Jenelle: Drums, vocals

Jenelle has played the drums since 8 years old and has played as a session player and in popular rock, oldies and blues bands throughout the country since the age of 15.

In Cincinnati, she has played with Jay Aronolf, son of Ohio's famous Senator, Stanley Aronolf playing modern sophisticated rock, Nightshift and the first Dirty River band playing to eager fans at the local popular college clubs and on the radio with several bands.

In 1986, Jenelle played with Cincinnati Legend, Gradual Taylor, in a band who Gradual later called the best band he had ever put together. The band consisted of Ernie Waits, Jim Orwig, keyboards, who later joined “The Menu’s” and Sondra C.

Jenelle experimented with electronic percussion for the first time then, using Linn Drum triggers in this band on her vintage 1967 Ludwig acoustic set.

After that band split up, Jenelle put together a “favorite oldies” band playing 50's and 60’s, Doo Wop, rockabilly and surf music after which, Jenelle resurrected Dirty River again for a second version, playing the local circuit that included Mike and Jay Tucker (“J. Scar”), known from the jams, Sondra C and Jeff Bonta.

Now again, the band is reborn, still featuring Jeff and Jenelle along with some new blood, Rick Stone and Malkum Gibson!


Roland electronic V-Drums

Da old sets

Drums and Vocals

Old "friends"

Vintage '67 Ludwig's

 10-piece Tama's











Click on above pic for larger image

Click on above pic for larger image


Updated: 07/16/2014

  • Jenelle owns four drum sets. One, a TAMA 10-piece Imperial-Star acoustic set in Gun Metal Grey (Gibraltar double-tiered cage) with a full array of Zildjian cymbals, an expanded version of the Roland V-Drums, featuring dual triggers for sequencers and Midi, played through a Roland KC-500 full-range 150-watt keyboard amp and run simultaneously through the P.A.

Two other sets Jenelle is especially proud of are a 6-piece 1967 vintage Ludwig set in blue sparkle and her latest, a custom Yamaha 5-piece jazz set in natural wood finish.

  • Jenelle, professionally trained, has played in musicals, as a hired session player, in school bands and in popular rock, oldies and blues bands throughout the country; Cincinnati, Ohio, NYC, Washington D.C. and all around the California Bay area, since the age of 15. She has played in regional circuits too doing rock oldies shows at fairgrounds as recently as 2000.

  Through The Years:

  • The Insects, a very popular dance/show band of the 60’s, was managed by the pair who managed the national act "Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods"  who secured freelance solo work for Jenelle in musicals in addition to her work in the band.


  • The first band managed by Jenelle was "Cherry Fog". It was a late 60’s band that performed at amusement parks, VFW halls, large bowling alleys, dance halls and clubs. Tunes were covers by Vanilla Fudge (You Keep Me Hanging On), Strawberry Alarm Clock (Incense and Peppermints), Aorta (Strange), as well as the more mainstream Yardbirds, Hendrix, Doors, Rolling Stones, Beau Brummels, and others. This band won all four of the “Battle Of The Bands” it had entered and opened for other local big acts at the time such as "Mechanical Sandbox" on big stages.


  • During the 70’s and 80’s, while in her own bands, she also ran sound for other bands such as Wolf Raven that included Rick Shelly, Gary Bates, Steven Bishop and Karl Gregory. Rick played more recently for "Sonny Hill and the Nightshift".


  • Jenelle's band in 1980 was "Phoenix". This band featured Jay Aronolf, at 16, a young guitar rock god and son of Ohio's famous Senator, Stanley Aronolf. Jay later went on to form "Rough Midget," "Mara" and now is the leader of "1969." Phoenix played The Stones (Brown Sugar), Blue Oyster Cult (Cities On Flame With Rock And Roll), Robin Trower, Aerosmith (Sweet Emotion, Runnin' with the Devil), The Who (Behind Blue Eyes), Hendrix and Pretenders (Precious) among others.


  • Jenelle played the local popular college clubs and on the radio with Phoenix and Nightshift ('80, '81) and then the first Dirty River was born in 1982, a name she registered. Dirty River in this first incarnation featured outstanding performers who have since gone on to make a name for themselves in bands or producing and writing (national act Kathy Wade). Nightshift played The Cars, Robert Palmer and Bob Seeger. The first Dirty River was blues and rock performing covers and originals. They did The Police (Message in a Bottle), ZZ Top (Arrested for Driving While Blind), Grateful Dead (Turn on Your Love Light), Savoy Brown (Tell Mama, Can't Get Next to You) Ten Years After (Hear Me Calling), Buddy Miles/Hendrix (Them Changes), Blodwyn Pig ( Someday), Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee (White Boy, Walkin Blues, others), Huey Lewis (Heart of Rock and Roll), Bonnie Rait (Love Me Like a Man) and Aretha Franklin (Respect), to name some, at local clubs packed to the walls.


  • In the late eighties and in-between two versions of Dirty River, Jenelle put together an oldies band. They played 50's Doo Wop and rockabilly, surf music and rhe classic hits of the 60’s. playing on a regular basis at the top stages in the area including hotels and "house gigs", this band did The Diamonds, Ventures, Chantays, Righteous Brothers, Steely Dan, Pink Floyd, T. Rex, Grand Funk and Dire Straights among others.


  • In 1986, Jenelle played with Gradual Taylor, a star in Cincinnati. They played the "Chatterbox" every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday and broke all of the attendance records, literally packing the huge club to it's capacity. It was a performance dance/show band, joking and having fun with the audience bringing the house down. Gradual writes, records and performs his own hits including his infamous “Shake Your Hiney” and “Just A Little Taste Of Your Love” among many others.

Gradual called this the best band he had ever put together. The band had great chemistry and included players Ernie Waits, who had played with Taj Mahal, on bass and vocals, Jim Orwig on keyboards, who later went on to “The Menu’s” prior to their rise to fame, Sondra C and Jenelle on drums, experimenting with electronic percussion for the first time using the Linn Drum with triggers off of her vintage Ludwig acoustic set. Gradual and the band kept the place wild and the girls, who frequently removed their tops on the dance floor!


  • A year later, Dirty River was resurrected again. No less talented than the first version this one was a benchmark for blues when blues was just getting reborn in Cincinnati. It was during this time Sondra C came to a blues jam at Miss Caties, hosted by Jenelle where it was decided Sondra would be the lead singer for Dirty River and a load of blues tapes were given to her to learn appropriate for a female lead singer. Dirty River played the local circuit at many locations, such as Miss Kitty's and was the house band at Township Fields and Tavern, Burbank’s, Gay 90's and others.

    Being house band at Township F&T allowed us to play and host many jammers and because the place was so huge, including the multiple baseball fields, it  allowed us to host the very first blues festival Cincinnati had seen.

    Dirty River then, in early 1992, put together and hosted an outdoor music festival celebrating the best blues that the city had to offer. It included some of the original blues masters local to Cincinnati including the Blues All-Stars, which featured "Sweet" Alice Hoskins, Ricky Nye, Skoot, Sonny Hill and "Little Al" . It was a success! We had beautiful weather, a great line up of fantastic blues, FAntastic turn-out with several families in attendance and lots of sponsors. The then very new Cincinnati Blues Society, put together their first festival the following year, based upon this model and continues to put a yearly festival today. Jenelle was a part of their first one, bringing Sponsors on board, marketing and the featured performer, James Cotton to town!  Of and on since then, she has served on the board as Web Mistress and Secretary for the Cincinnati Blues Society (

    Dirty River also did “RiverFest” that same year in September, a huge Cincinnati farewell to summer with a monstrous fireworks display set to music at the end of the evening televised. RiverFest attracts 500,000 people from the region and Dirty River’s performance was featured live on air.

    Riverfest, 1992


Benefit performance August, 2005


Jammin' January, 2004 w/ Paula Wolfe (my best friend, R.I.P.)