willie painter band group photo

Playing a mix of danceable blues with a nod towards swinging jazz and an eclectic selection of rock and pop tunes, the Willie Painter Band consists of four veterans of the North Carolina music scene.

Willie Painter (guitar) and Craig Dittmar (bass) were members of External link opens in new tab or windowthe Boomers, who played for over 20 years in the Triangle and eastern North Carolina. They have performed in the past with Lightnin' Wells and the Real Gone Cats. Currently they also play with Nancy Middleton, the Pigz Brothers, Mike Hamer and the Rhinoceroses, and the Tommy G Experience. Painter wrote a monthly music column for the Urban Hiker from 1999 to 2004.

Bill Newton (saxophone, harmonica) is a founding member of three Triangle musical institutions: Rebecca and the Hi-Tones, Bill Newton's Big Blues Quartet, and the Duke Street Dogs. He has recorded with the Indigo Girls and Big Mama E and the Cool, among others, and toured extensively with singer/songwriter, Jon Shain.

John Hanks (drums), has been a member of many Triangle groups including: the Hard Times Jazz Band, the Swamis, Rebecca and the Hi-Tones, Sportin' Life, the Gregg Gelb Swing Band; more recently he has played with: Peter Lamb, Atomic Rhythm All Stars, Jim Quick & the Coastline Band, Bill Easley, Elmer Gibson, and Randy Johnston. His "day job" is longtime musician/accompanist for Duke University"s Dance Program and the American Dance Festival.