The Rubes are returning to the Little! Come get your toes tapping with their blend of bluegrass, western swing, and beyond.
Ethan Hughes started playing the Dobro at the tender age of 12 and began singing at age 16. Since then, he’s become a gifted vocalist and added guitar, fiddle, banjo and mandolin to his roster of instruments. He can be found playing one or more of the above and singing lead or harmony vocals with the Rubes. New to the Rochester NY bluegrass scene, he’s quickly making a name for himself. He has played with many bands in the DC and Philly area such as Fitzmaurice, Legends of the Potomac, Darren Beachley and Potomac, David Bromberg & Sons, Five and Time.
Austin Wahl is our talented lead guitar player and adds his bass vocal chops to our harmony stack. Originally from Minneapolis, Austin came to Rochester to study at Eastman School of Music. Having earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in classical guitar performance from the Eastman, he is currently a doctoral student of guitar with Nicholas Goluses. He has won prizes in guitar competitions in six states and two Canadian provinces, including the Minnesota State Fair’s youth bluegrass flatpicking competition. Austin joined Kubick’s Rubes in mid-2018, and has also played with local bluegrass groups The Crooked North and Great Vagrant.
Sawing on the fiddle, and singing harmony or lead vocals, Betsy Kubick loves to play bluegrass, old time, cajun, and other roots music. A veteran of the local music scene and occasional sojourner to Louisiana, West Virginia, and other centers of American roots music, Betsy has at last fulfilled her ambition to name a band “Kubick’s Rubes.”
Paul Swiatek lends the Rubes his expertise on banjo, guitar, and vocals. He started performing in the Rochester area in 1978 with “Reeves and Swiatek” and has been writing and performing his own folk and bluegrass songs ever since. Along the way, he’s been a regular performer at both Brian Coughlin’s highly regarded Singer Songwriters in the Round and the Side Room in Shortsville, where he can frequently be seen picking with mandolin ace Perry Cleaveland.
John Denniston, is one of this area’s top Mandolin players. Born and raised in Palmyra, NY, John is steeped in the classic Bill Monroe mando-playing tradition, having honed his skills playing with Seneca County Bluegrass, Lisa Bigwood and the Washday Band, Cuttin’ the Grass, Eva and the Dog Boys, and Cabin Fever.
On upright bass is Jordan Kleiman, who has played jazz and roots music in Philadelphia and Rochester since the 1980s. Aside from the Rubes, he plays bass with Rochester-based bluegrass band The Crooked North, and enjoys taking an occasional old-time gig with the Wild Root String Band, the Rough Alley Rounders, and others.