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Triple Fret

By: Mark Winston

Triple Fret is a very unique project in the Triangle area. Their set list melodically combines jazz, pop, rock 'n' roll, and blues influences. They are a theme based rhythm focused ensemble. They also cover the occasional more familiar rock material, including pieces by Zappa, Hendrix, or The Allman Brothers. Lap steel guitar is a central feature of the act, and their live performances emphasize improvisation.

Impressive, eclectic, and astonishing is no small praise when you consider who is making these comments. In addition to band leader Mike Babyak, the core of Triple Fret consists of

Mike Rosado - Drums
E. Scott Warren - Bass

and a host of special guest side men. The music clip below features the band with special guest local guitar icon Scott Sawyer.


If you were not in the know, clearly this is not your average group of garage oriented weekend warriors. Babyak is not unlike the bulk of our artist members, he is not a full time musician. Babyak, who has a classical and R 'N' Roll background, relocated to Durham in 1994.

Babyak credits Steve Kimock, who has been his teacher and collaborator since they were teenagers as his most important influence and the person he owes the greatest artistic debt. Kimock is a genuine icon in the improv world, playing regularly with members of the Grateful Dead and Bruce Hornsby.

Mike took guitar lessons from Scott Sawyer for two years to expand his knowledge of jazz. In addition to Kimock and Sawyer, at a Triple Fret performance you might see numerous other leading area musicians such as Grammy award winning artist Will McFarlane, Leo Kishore, or Bongo John Metcalfe. Given the part time nature of the project, guests are based on artist availability.

It was Sawyer who introduced Babyak to Rosado. The have been playing together for ten years, and both feel the relationship has helped them each develop as musicians.

Rosado is both a session drummer and performs regionally for several acts. In addition to Triple Fret, Mike is a key player in The Morning After. "I try to play in a variety of different styles to keep my musical appetite satisfied. I also perform gigs here and there for The Music Maker Relief Foundation, which is a great Non-Profit org. that helps legendary blues musicians stay active and in the scene while keeping the blues tradition alive"

E. Scott Warren has been with the project for about 4 years. Warren is a professional bassist based in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Prior to relocating here from Dallas, TX, he attended the jazz studies program at the University of North Texas and has played professionally for 18 years in a variety of styles and contexts.

Scott Sawyer www.scottsawyer.net
Sawyer is an adjunct Instructor at East Carolina University (Greenville, NC). He also offers private instruction to guitarists and non-guitarists, as well as clinics & master classes. Sawyer's latest album “GO THERE” charted on XM Radio and features Oteil and Kofi Burbridge (Tedeschi-Trucks Band).


Photo from Scott Sawyer Benefit @SouthLand Ballroom

Songs in Borrowed Time
Their last CD was released for Christmas in 2010 and lives up to being described as "eclectic." Two of the songs sort of remind me of Paul Simon, there is a song with a Reggae vibe, a bluesy honkey tonk tune, etc. The CD was recorded at Bongo John Studios. Notably, well known local producer John Custer is included in the credits.

The band has also been a regular at the fabulous Carrboro Music Festival.

Triple Fret has 2 upcoming shows which I encourage people interested in a hot sound to attend

Wed 2/29 - The Blue Note Cafe (Durham)
Special Guests - Scott Sawyer and Ghezzi

Sat 3/24 - The Cave (Chapel Hill - Early Show)
Special Guest - Danny Gotham

Additional Links

Triple Fret
Steve Kimock
Will McFarlane
John Custer
Bongo John Studios
Leo Kishore



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