Acoustic Bluegrass and Gospel Music


Left to right: Doug Hodge, Al Michael, David Wilson, Michelle Wilson

The Turtle Creek Ramblers (TCR) band performs a variety of music, tailored to the event, but stays within the areas of Old Time Family Country, Gospel and Bluegrass. We perform at town and country festivals, fund-raisers, dedications, appreciation dinners, church functions, private parties, civic organization events, and organized venues. We can provide concert style shows or background music. TCR typically performs within a 150 mile radius of Beloit, WI, but will travel further depending upon the needs of the event promoter.

The band members are

David Wilson — Mandolin, Vocals
Michelle Wilson — Upright Bass, Vocals
Al Michael — Banjo, Vocals
Doug Hodge — Guitar, Vocals

TCR originates from a small settlement just a short ways northeast of Beloit, WI, and to the northwest of Clinton, WI, known as Turtleville. As its nearest neighbors, Shopiere and Tiffany, Turtleville is in the Town of Turtle. Turtle Creek rambles through these quiet and lovely settlements on its journey from Turtle Lake in Walworth County to the Rock River. How can you get more country and folksy than that?

Member bios

David Wilson started playing music in his mother's womb...well, at least, drumming. His first vocals were developed instantly upon birth. Then, on to more interesting items for instruments, such as a stick and dad's Rambler hubcaps (notice the name of that car?), the spring on a screen door (remember those?) and rubber bands on an Ovaltine container, etc. He took a 12-year hiatus from the musician's life to pursue his first serious career (kindergarten through 12th grade), only to feel empty inside as the yearning to return to a musician's lifestyle increased. His greatest musical influence while growing through those years was the gospel music in the weekly church services he attended, and listening to the music played by his cousin Willard Tacker from Wynne, Arkansas ("Thanks, Willard! Little did you know that I was watching you intently"). Then, after a long period of time of attaining scars on knees and elbows, he met a tremendous person that encouraged and helped him to develop his own musical style and flair, finally settling on Bluegrass, Gospel and Old-Time Country. This person was justly rewarded for her persistence and support by becoming David's wife (just ask her, she'll concur).

Dave says, "the Turtle Creek Ramblers are truly a fun-loving, caring, sincere, passionate and talented bunch of folks, and I am delighted and fortunate to be playing with them. The first chance you get, stop on by and see the TCR band. We'll do our outright best to make it worth your while.

Michelle Wilson sat through endless hours of piano and flute lessons as a child, just to get the hang of how music really worked. For her 30th birthday, her husband bought her a vintage Gibson guitar, which she learned to play within a short period of time. As time and practice brought the Turtle Creek Ramblers into formation, Michelle was "strongly urged" to start playing the bass. On Valentine's Day, Dave, the love of her life, bought her an upright bass which has been her "Baby" ever since. By the way, she really loves major holidays! As Michelle works full-time in an accounting, tax and medical billing office, her mind wanders to her next opportunity to sing and play along with the boys. Music has always been an integral part of her life, and bluegrass music and the Turtle Creek Ramblers have made playing music even more enjoyable.

Al Michael is a 30-year resident of Roselle, IL. He started playing banjo during the folk music craze in the early sixties. After 20-some years not playing, he picked it up again around 2006. Married for 34 years, Al has 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren who, he hopes, will pick up on Bluegrass. Al's earliest musical influences were the folk musicians of the time, then he got "blown away" by Earl Scruggs and his banjo style. Later on he tried some rock and roll guitar, but came back to his first love, the 5-string banjo.