Formed in 2015, the Rivertown Skifflers are a jug band in the wild North American folk tradition of the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, the Even Dozen Jug Band, and Stringband. We play mostly uptempo, happy music featuring washboard, kazoo, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and ukulele. Perfect for dancing, toe-tapping, and guaranteed to elicit smiles and occasional chuckles.
Jared has been playing music in Sonoma, Marin and beyond since he was a boy. Initially trained in classical violin, he's played in symphony orchestras, rock bands, and almost everything in between. Jared's especially delighted to have found such a lovely group of folks who share his passion for jug band music! When he's not fiddling, singing, or strumming his uke, he loves cooking, backpacking, writing music for video games, teaching musical theater, and most of all: sharing his life with good friends.
Born in a small town in Illinois, Scratch spent his second month getting out when the getting was good. He came to California, grew a bit, and, though well meaning, angered a series of High School science teachers by compulsively beating beakers and counter tops as he searched for the perfect syncopation to steady his nerves. He claims to be deeply sorry for what was understandably taken to be flippant insolence...but was in fact (if we are to believe his account) completely beyond his control.
Marley's experience as an artist is primarily in visual arts. She enjoys playing music as a more fluid form of creative exploration and catharsis than the visual media she works in. Trained on the trumpet, she has adapted that knowledge and her playing style to bass. She also likes to play around on piano, flugelhorn and ukulele. She enjoys collecting less common instruments in similar families to the ones she can play. In combining her capacity for artistry with music, she has designed and built her own solid body bass guitar from a block of redwood, with custom wiring and controls. Her latest project is making modifications to a banjo bass guitar she acquired, to better suit her role as accompaniment to the Rivertown Skifflers.
Arden has been an avid singer since being singled out in the 6th grade as "someone who could carry a tune" and winning a spot on the all-city choir. That thrilling start led to a lifelong love of singing. Arden has performed locally as an ensemble member in over 25 musicals and operas. While she enjoys being on stage, she thinks that playing with the Rivertown Skifflers is the most fun she's ever had musically.
Retired RN; Hot Yoga Teacher; Jared's dad. Husband to Helen, father/stepfather/grandfather, yoga student/practitioner, volunteer, Cloverdalian.
Juan started playing the trombone in elementary school and transitioned into playing the baritone in middle school and eventually the tuba in high school. Juan's low brass experience was a natural fit into the jug's rhythmic harmony. The Rivertown Skifflers is Juan's first band but he's no stranger to the stage as his Karaoke skills are over 9000. When not working on video games, Juan is probably online playing them. He is cool.
Kathie Rothkop fell in love with percussion when she saw a cowboy playing a very strange percussion instrument called a “Stump Fiddle”. This started her on a quest to learn how to play it. After being turned down by 6 drum teachers, (the last one suggesting she go to the local “senior center”), a wonderful teacher named Vince Littleton took her on. Kathie’s basement is now filled with many percussion instruments, including a washboard, full drum kit, djembe, congas, tambourine, among many other jug type noises makers. She is a full time percussionist with an all girl Americana band called Foxes in the Henhouse. You can see her every holiday season playing with The Christmas Jug Band. When she is not “banging” on something you can find her out on the trail feeling her horse’s hoof beats.