About the Band

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(l-r) Jess Wilke, Monica Hamilton, Sally Gore

Red Rock is:

Monica Hamilton –  lead vocals, rhythm guitar and mandolin

A founding member of concurrent trios ‘Red Rock’ and ‘Ordinary Heart,’ Hamilton has played in cover and traditional bands in Central Massachusetts and Rhode Island since 1989, playing guitar and singing lead and backup in her own arrangements of classic rock, pop and traditional folk and Celtic songs. In Massachusetts, she fronted the Irish band ‘Erin’s Crossing,’ where she also played fiddle and bodhran, and played guitar and keyboard in the 5-piece rock band ‘The System.’ In Rhode Island, she was principal rhythm guitarist in the 4-piece acoustic rock band ‘Second Story.’ Her influences range from classic rock and punk icons like The Who and The Clash to singer/songwriter acoustic performers like Richard Shindell and Emmylou Harris.

Jess Wilke – bass, vocals, guitar and ukulele

Also a founding member of concurrent trios ‘Red Rock’ and ‘Ordinary Heart,’  Jess has transitioned from classically trained brass player to acoustic rock bass player. Wilke received her Bachelor’s of Music Education at the University of Massachustts Amherst and her Master’s of Music Education with Kodaly emphasis at Holy Names University. She currently works as the music teacher at the Houghton Elementary School in Sterling, MA where she fronts the faculty band ‘The Special Agents’. As a euphonium and trombone player Jess studied with David Sporny and Dr. Benedict Smar and performed with The Massachusetts Wind Orchestra and University of Massachusetts Wind Ensemble under the direction of Malcolm W. Rowell. After rediscovering a love of singing and folk music in graduate school she began to transfer her knowledge of music theory and technique to the electric bass. Jess considers her dad’s constant blaring of The Who, The Moody Blues, The Band and The Beatles to be some of her most formative musical experiences. Listen carefully to her bass lines and you might just hear an Arban’s scale study or a favorite quote from a piece of iconic wind band music just to keep the classical performer alive inside!

Sally Gore – mandolin, percussion and vocals

New to performing, ‘Red Rock’ is Gore’s first band. She’s played percussion (drum kit and assorted instruments) since 1995. Under the tutelage of several great players in Portland, Maine, she honed her skills in rock, swing, blues and Latin styles. Needing a quieter instrument for apartment living in Worcester, Massachusetts, she picked up the mandolin in 2008 and immediately fell in love with the stringed rhythm instrument that it is. She currently studies with Howie Turnower out of The Music Emporium in Lexington. For Gore, lyrics are as essential to songs as the music, and she is an avid follower of singer/songwriters including Rosanne Cash, Gillian Welch, Dar Williams and Billy Bragg. Her musical playing is influenced by many of today’s popular string bands including Crooked Still, Joy Kills Sorrow, and The Decemberists. A research librarian by day, Sally couldn’t be happier to bust out of the library every now and then and play music with ‘Red Rock.’

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