Honest Millie

Meet the Band

Ellen Carlson
Ellen Carlson is a veteran of the NH music scene and has loved swing music since she was young. She enjoyed singing around the piano while her Grandmother played the classic old tunes, played Western Swing growing up, and was an original member with the NH based folk/swing trio Sweet, Hot & Sassy along with Val.

A well-respected teacher and organizer of the NH Fiddle Ensemble and Fiddleheads JamCamp, Ellen has taught at workshops and festivals throughout New England and New York. One reviewer of her own album, People I Play With, said " The songs are all top-shelf. This is a fine recording of varied music that grows on the listener with each listening and is recommended to folks who like great fiddle, well-sung top-quality songs, and want something different out of life."

Val Blachly
Val Blachly has performed professionally since the early 70's with several bluegrass and folk bands. Val's bass playing and sweet vocals are familiar to many listeners from her 12 years as the founding member of the swing ensemble Sweet, Hot and Sassy. She currently performs with the Mink Hills Band, a creative, wide ranging, bluegrass/swing group. She has 5 recordings, one of which is a children's CD.
Jim Prendergast

Jim Prendergast has recently moved to Portsmouth, NH after thirty years spent in the heart of Nashville’s music industry, working as a recording guitarist and producer. At one time or another, he has performed as a sideman with almost every Grand Ole Opry star, and recorded with many of the legendary Nashville studio musicians.

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More recently, his attention has turned to Celtic and Irish music, a return to the folk music that captured his attention in the 1960s. For seven years, he led the ‘Boys of County Nashville’, the featured band at Findley’s Pub in the world-famous Opryland Hotel. He is the producer of CMH Records’ ‘Celtic Tribute’ series of instrumental CDs, which showcases his specialty, ‘DADGAD’-tuned guitar.

Owner/operator of a busy recording studio in Nashville for twenty years, Jim has moved his recording facility to Portsmouth, where he is already at work with several New England-based folk and Celtic musicians at his new
Mill Pond Music Studio.

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Agnes CharlesWorth

Agnes studied composition and electronic music at the Center for Contemporary Music in Oakland, CA and went on to work in sound design for film, video, and performance in the Bay Area.

Relocated to Maine, she has created original scores and soundscapes for various arts organizations including Buoy Gallery, Marshall Store Gallery, Portsmouth Poet Laureate Project and New Hampshire Theater Project. She plays keyboards with the swing band Honest Millie and maintains a roster of enthusiastic and talented students.

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Lee Anne Ames

Lee Anne is a tenor saxophonist who studied at the New School in New York in the late 90s. Highlights from that time included playing with the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Nuyorican Cafe in the East Village, playing the Cape May Jazz Fest with Joe Chambers and sitting in with Mo Guajiro.

After spending some time in Puerto Rico playing in plena, salsa and jazz ensembles, she returned state side and settled in New Hampshire and was a member of the Lakes Region Big Band for several years. In 2007 she began performing with the all-female swing group, Swing a Cat, on sax and clarinet. She also enjoys letting loose on jazz gigs with pianist Craig Jaster.

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Paul Wolf

Since beginning drum lessons studying with Harvey Simon in Boston at the age of 12, Paul’s musical career has evolved with many twists and turns in terms of the styles of music he has played and the people he has performed with. Of course, like all budding musical prodigies, he joined his first rock band in junior high school, and was also involved in chorus, concert and marching band.

In the late 70's for reasons known only to Paul he picked up the washboard. A handful of thimbles and a rippled metal plate the size of a serving tray have propelled Paul to semi-fame as one of the premiere washboard players in the country. His washboard chops dazzle audiences and musicians alike in such diverse styles as ragtime, blues, bluegrass, cajun, and swing. Since the late 70s he has played washboard in a variety of bluegrass and cajun bands, and even shared the stage with such notables as Pete Seeger, Ricky Skaggs, Jerry Douglass, Leroy Troy, and a few others.

While Paul was scratching the washboard in the late 70s, just after college, he was also playing drums in several Western Mass bands. In the mid 80s, with a relocation to Southern, NH Paul played in many Portsmouth-area bands varying in genre: Blues, Rockabilly, R&B, Funk, Disco, Bluegrass, Honky-tonk C&W and Jazz. Among them, the NH seacoast surf/rockabilly icons, the Beach Cowboys and Johnny Reverb. As well as a couple of short stints with the Boston based Cajun-Zydeco band the Boogaloo Swamis.

His current steady gigs are with The Jumbo Circus Peanuts, a 12 piece party band playing charts from the 1920's to the present, the Old School Band both out of Portsmouth, NH. The Central Mass based Wide Open Spaces playing original and covers roots/Americana/Bluegrass, and now holding the bottom down with Val in Honest Millie.

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