Sid Orr – Guitar, Bass, Vocals, Songwriter
Sid doesn’t know the meaning of the word retirement. He served in the Marine Corps from 1966 to 1970, serving “in country” with the Marine Helicopter Squadron (HMM-362) Ugly Angels at Phu Bai, Vietnam from 1969-1970. After his service in the Marine Corps, he served in the Georgia Air National Guard from 1970 to 1999. Following his retirement from the the Georgia Air National Guard, he became a certified teacher and taught high school for ten years before retiring in 2010.
Sid has been playing bluegrass since 1970 and is currently a band member of the Mars Hill Porch Pickers, and the founding member of The Tunnel Rats. Over the last twenty years, Sid answered a calling to use his musical gifts to touch the forgotten warriors of Vietnam. His first CD Vietnam: The Journey (2013) focuses on the “in country” combat vet. In his second CD Vietnam: The Journey Continues (2016), he collaborated with Robin Daniel and Libby Wilson writing songs to raise awareness of the immense struggles the lonely veteran faced coming home. Struggles that continue today…
Robin Daniel – Bass, Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter
Robin is a Mechanical Engineer from Georgia Tech, and a STEM Education entrepreneur, who teaches guitar – a true renaissance woman. She picked up the guitar in 1998 and never put it down. She developed her love of Bluegrass music in 2007 and expanded her musical talents learning to play mandolin and bass. She has entertained audiences of all genres as a member of four bands, the most recent being the Peach Mountain Gang and The Tunnel Rats.
Although Robin’s family was not directly involved in the Vietnam War, she corresponded with several warriors “in country” from 1966 to 1969 as part of a Camp Fire Girls service project. She developed a more personal connection when one of the warriors with whom she had corresponded, a helicopter door gunner, came to visit her Camp Fire group when he returned from Vietnam. Robin is eternally grateful to Sid Orr for his willingness to share his Vietnam experiences, giving her the opportunity to collaborate on the songwriting, help manage the production, and perform the music of the Tunnel Rats Music CD Vietnam: The Journey Continues, (2016).
Libby Wilson – Guitar, Vocals, Songwriter
Libby is a native of Greenville, Alabama in the county of Hank Williams Sr.’s birthplace. Some of her earliest memories are of her family singing and playing songs around the campfire. She is fulfilling her lifelong dream of writing songs and playing in a Bluegrass band, Peach Mountain Gang.
Through bluegrass she met Sid Orr and Robin Daniel, and soon the three worked together on the Tunnel Rats CD Vietnam: The Journey Continues. Libby expresses an emotional connection to the forgotten warrior and the struggle coming home through her beautiful song, “The Rest of Us.” As a talented songwriter, she paints a vivid and compelling picture with her words and music. Libby is grateful to Sid Orr for sharing his songwriting experience and she is honored to be a member of The Tunnel Rats.
Joe Curry – Guitar, Vocals
Joe served in the United States Air Force from 1969 to 1973. As an Avionics Maintenance Specialist, he kept the F-4 Phantoms flying. His infectious smile and laugh, and his happy-go-lucky approach to life are his calling cards.
Joe credits his brother as his only guitar “teacher” and learned music by playing and watching others. Growing up, he and his brother played guitar while his mother played piano and his father the banjo. They had their own “family band,” playing music from the 30’s and 40’s. His interest in bluegrass developed after meeting and playing with fellow Tunnel Rats, Dickson Lester, Harold Hollingshed, Robin Daniel, and Sid Orr. Joe thoroughly enjoys singing and playing with The Tunnel Rats and jamming on the Marietta Square on Tuesday nights.
Ron Levine – Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals
Ron is a native of Chicago, and has been playing music all his life beginning with an accordion. His father who was not a fan of guitars agreed to buy him one if he learned to play “Walk Don’t Run” by the Ventures, and the rest is history. Ron played guitar professionally in a variety of genres over the years, and more recently applied his musical talent to mandolin. Ron has that rare raspy Chicago Bluegrass voice which paired with the mandolin makes music comes to life with an expressive bluesy Bluegrass style all his own. Ron plays regularly with a Blues band and shares his talents in Mars Hill Porch Pickers Band and The Tunnel Rats.
Harold Hollingshed – Guitar, Vocals
Harold describes himself as shy, timid, and bashful, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who agrees. Serving in the United State Air Force from 1969 to 1973, he spent three years as a “silent warrior” in the Security Service Command comprising the top one-percent of Air Force recruits. He can’t talk about his specific duties, but suffice it to say, he maintained the equipment the USAFSS used to keep our country safe from cold war threats. He did two stints in Georgia Air National Guard from 1973-74 and 1980-83. He worked for Lockheed and later Lockheed-Martin from 1980 – 2012.
Harold shares years of experience, hundreds of old Country Western songs, and thousands of stories with the Tunnel Rats. Harold began his musical career at age fourteen playing rhythm guitar and singing. He joined a country western band, “The Kennesaw Strays,” while in high school. Since 1974, he has entertained at hundreds of benefits, senior events, clubs, and parties as a member of six bands! It must be his shy and retiring nature, …but that’s another story.
Painter Dickson Lester – Guitar, Vocals
The man with “3 first names,” Dickson is the consummate entertainer, loving to make people smile and laugh everywhere he goes. Children love him, and he’s a favorite dance partner for the ladies in a senior living community where he and his band, The Mars Hill Porch Pickers, play routinely. As the founder and member of the Mars Hill Porch Pickers, Dickson serves the community by playing for many fundraisers, non-profit, and other charity events that are near and dear to his heart.
Dickson is a Vietnam Veteran (1970-74) serving in the Navy for 6 years, and has supported the efforts of his “brother from another mother,” Sid Orr to honor and welcome home fellow veterans through music. Dickson shares his musical talents and his unending enthusiasm with The Tunnel Rats helping to create fun, lively, and memorable performances.
Jimbo Wright – Banjo, Vocals
Jimbo’s hilarious antics on stage keep audiences and his band members laughing and entertained. He’s a multi-talented musician who plays both banjo and bass with anyone who will let him. It is always a treat when Jimbo is able to join the Tunnel Rats on stage. Jimbo sings and plays banjo with the Mars Hill Porch Pickers and The Tunnel Rats, and as a regular of the Bluegrass scene throughout the southeast, and anywhere else he travels, he brings joy and laughter everywhere he goes. Jimbo served in the United States Coast Guard from 1969 to 1971.