Lead Guitarist and Lead Vocalist
“Slim” Rick Rogers
Rick started playing at around the age of eight, when he'd pick up the family's old guitar and try to copy what his cousin was playing - little did he know at the time that these fingerpicking songs were mainly versions of Robert Johnson songs, along with ragtime standards! As a teenager, Rick's first band was firmly of the rock style of the era, but progressed into funk and jazz, performing around the Midlands.
He then played in several reggae bands doing many gigs, and once supported Desmond Dekker.
Rick rediscovered his love of the blues and shared the front of the stage in a combo with a very traditional British blues outfit, supporting Wilko Johnson on a couple of occasions. This period was a real eye opener for Rick as he learned and mastered the art of the blues harmonica.
Following this, Rick fronted Blackfish, a Blues/ Rock/ Funk band playing a set of Rick's original compositions - this gave him a more dynamic style, which he has transferred into GearJammer, where he adds his passion and energy to vocals, guitar, and harmonica alike.
Rhythm and Lead Guitar and Backing Vocals
“Gorgeous” George Martin
Along with Bill and Keith, George is a founder member of GearJammer. He started playing the guitar about the age of 13, with an old acoustic guitar long abandoned by his sister. A neighbour gave him a couple of lessons and the first song he learnt was Worried Man Blues, using open E, A, and B7 chords. Then the lessons stopped, and it was self-learning from there on in!
A huge fan of Status Quo, George played along to their records all the time, slowing them down from 45 rpm to 33 rpm to learn them. Musical influences soon broadened into all things Seventies – Glam Rock, Punk, Metal, Rock, but the record player learning method remained.
He played in a number of long forgotten, and short-lived, bands in the Burton-on-Trent area during his late teens, most of which never got past the first gig, before leaving the area for a career in the military.
Over the years, George has played a variety of styles ranging from Country and Western to Punk, but has always returned to the Blues as his first love. For many years during his military career, George performed as one half of a duo, Musique, a ‘middle of the road’ function band performing at weddings, birthdays, and military functions.
Following his military career, he continued to start new bands to play at work functions, with Red Box Rockers and Junction 3 in London and Birmingham. Until recently he played bass guitar in an unnamed Deep Purple/Rainbow tribute band, with local musicians Rob Bowles and Graham Fenton, but then GearJammer started, and the tribute band fizzled out because of time constraints.
Unlike other band members, he has never shared the stage with anybody remotely famous, but lives in hope!
Bass and Backing Vocals
“Fat Willy” Bill Crane
Inspired by his father’s love of Buddy Holly, The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, Bill picked up his father’s self-made electric guitar and began to copy the old Rock ’n’ Roll his father loved. Later, aged 11, and armed with a cheap Les Paul copy, Bill joined The Boogy-Woogy Brendan Band (school band based at Ibstock High School, Leicestershire), playing three gigs in total. This awakened a love of playing in bands and a love of the guitar.
Bill continued to play and learn and later in the mid-1980s formed BP & The Oil Slicks with Duncan Beverly on drums and Sid Mellor on Bass, influenced heavily by Led Zeppelin, Free, and Dr Feelgood.
In 2012 Bill joined Swadlincote four-piece band Shallow Waters as bass player and quickly got back into regular gigging, often appearing at Marston’s Brewery, and for a couple of years as the opening act at The Sausage and Cider Festivals in Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Peterborough, Swansea, Nottingham, Burton on Trent, and Manchester.
Being a former member of Overseal Gala Committee, Bill became organiser of Overseal Overload Music Festival, then later The Original Heather Music Festival, and also helps at many other local live music events.
Later Bill and Andy Winebloom formed The Treble Fours, from just the two members (Bill on bass and Andy on guitar). It was apparent that to progress a full band approach was required, so the band recruited Tristan Hopper on drums and Kayleigh Ellis on Lead Vocals.
The band went from strength to strength and recruited Andy Locker to work alongside Kayleigh as joint male/female lead vocals. The Treble Fours are now a highly regarded and busy local band playing pubs, clubs, and festivals.
To satisfy his yearning to learn “The Blues”, in 2017 Bill answered an ad for the formation of a new blues band. Keith and George also answered the ad and GearJammer was formed. The three lads kept it together despite regular personnel changes until Rick joined in January 2019. The gigs have been thick and fast since, with a promising 2020 ahead.
Bill is also the bass player for a couple of other bands, playing blues and uniquely structured punk styled covers of pop songs in local pubs.
Drummer and GearJammer Engine Room
Keith “Mojo” Hewitson
Keith is the drummer and a founder member of GearJammer. He started playing drums at the age of 13 and performed his first gig at a village hall in a Leicestershire village at the age of 14. He then continued to play in various Leicester bands: The Rivals, The Saints, Krispen Dayze, and Karavan.
Keith started to hone his craft gigging on the Working Men’s Club and Cabaret circuits throughout the Midlands and Yorkshire, which peaked with a three month contract touring Germany: a steep learning curve and a formative experience.
After returning to the UK, the Progressive Rock genre enticed Keith to form Ginger, a Leicester based five-piece band working the University, Club, and Festival circuit throughout the UK and Europe.
During that period the band was fortunate enough to support a number of very well known artists and bands, including Deep Purple, Uriah Heap, The Who ,Yes, and Rory Gallagher.
Ginger had good support as they trod the usual path of playing as many gigs as possible in the hope of a record deal.
After about four years of a continuous three, four, or five gigs a week, and with the record deal still elusive, Ginger called it a day. Keith then successfully developed other interests outside of music.
However, the call of music is strong and in September 2017 GearJammer was formed. Keith is now back behind a drum kit and provides a powerful approach to the drums, combined with the experience and ability to keep the band tight.