Boston Ravine Bluegrass Band was formed in 2018 in Grass Valley, CA. The town, founded during the Gold Rush, was once known as Boston Ravine. The group includes Robert Heirendt (guitar, vocals), Mei Lin Heirendt (fiddle, mandolin, vocals), and Karl Chelette (bass). Mei Lin, now 14, has grown up attending the California Bluegrass Association's Father's Day Festival, participating in the Kids on Bluegrass Program and enjoying all-night jams at bluegrass campouts. Steeped in traditional bluegrass, the band also brings their own interpretations of contemporary bluegrass, country, and gospel into their mix. Boston Ravine made their debut in May 2019 to a sold-out crowd at Wild Eye Pub in Grass Valley. Sometimes playing as a trio, sometimes as a band with special guests, Boston Ravine has captivated audiences at several venues including California WorldFest. They are also a popular pick for private parties and weddings.
Robert Heirendt has been playing music since his childhood. He plays various instruments including guitar, mbira (an instrument from Zimbabwe), and piano. He currently plays in the world/jazz fusion ensemble Tumble. His love for bluegrass music started in the early 80s through Jerry Garcia's work with Old and in the Way and has grown steadily since then. He is thrilled to be collaborating with his daughter through this project.
Check out some of his solo projects at robertheirendt.com!
Mei Lin Heirendt started playing violin at the age of 7 (now 14), when she was mainly interested in classical music. She trained for 5 years in the Suzuki Method and was greatly inspired by Vivaldi's Four Seasons. In 2017, she was the Concertmaster for the Music in the Mountains Youth Orchestra (MIMYO). Since then, Mei Lin has moved her focus from classical to bluegrass and country music. She is greatly inspired by artists Flatt Lonesome, The Grascals, Carolina Blue, The Lonely Heartstring Band, and Molly Tuttle. Currently, she studies bluegrass fiddle with Annie Staninec (The Kathy Kallick Band) and Adam Haynes (The Grascals).
Karl Chelette has been a working musician since he was 16 years old. Originally a trombonist, he eventually added 5 string banjo and electric bass. After touring Canada with a rock band, Karl studied jazz at Laney College in Oakland and switched to acoustic bass. Karl is now based in Nevada City, where he plays in several local bands and is a broadcaster/videographer for local independant radio station, KVMR. He has been playing with Boston Ravine since July, 2019.