W. Clay Lee - Guitar and Vocals
Clay began his musical career at age eight playing the piano. At thirteen he began playing the guitar and writing songs. Like most musicians, he played in several bands throughout high school and college. After college, he played music full time. He's done shows with the Shirelles, James Brown, The Swinging Medallions, Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck, Sammi Smith, Lynn Anderson, The Phones and has backed countless other artists. Clay has had acting roles in five motion pictures and has written music for four of them. Songwriting has always been his passion and he's written well over a thousand songs. Clay has spent countless hours doing studio sessions, which resulted in being on several 45's and many different c.d.'s releases. His latest c.d. "Those Summer Days" by The Carolina Blue Dots was written, arranged and produced by Clay. Currently, he plays guitar, sings, and writes the music for The Carolina Blue Dots.
Buster Riedel - Lead Vocalist and Percussion
Buster has been playing and singing professionally since 1965. He has worked with numerous groups over the past 55 years. Opening for The Bar-Kays, Johnny Paycheck, Merle Haggard, Kool and the Gang, Tammy Wynette, Marty Robbins, Lynn Anderson and James Brown. Buster performed two years on the tv show that aired on Channel 26, called "America Heart of the Country". He has numerous years of experience with studio recording, road work, producing, co-writing and vocal. One prominent beach music DJ said that Buster has one of the best beach music voices that he has ever heard! Currently, Buster handles the lead vocals and percussions for The Carolina Blue Dots.
Derek Tesch - Drums and Vocals
Derek has been around the Beach and Shag music scene for years dating back to the early seventies when he began touring at the age of sixteen playing drums. Derek has toured with various versions of the Drifters, Tams, The Four Tops, and The Chairman of The Board, The Outlaws, Roy Head, The Phones and James Brown. Presently, Derek plays drums and sings for The Carolina Blue Dots.
Fabio Mann - Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Fabio's experience includes beach music tours and shows with The Four Tops and several regional groups and festivals in and around Atlantic Beach. Studio and recording sessions with James Brown and many performances with Wycliffe Gordon and local orchestras in Augusta GA, Greenville, SC and Columbia SC. Many Broadway touring shows including Westside Story, Oliver!, Oklahoma, Camelot, The Music Man and many others. The Carolina Blue Dots represents an opportunity to return to Beach Music with an incredible original ensemble poised to make it's own mark on this exciting genre!
Steve Pruitt - Trombone and Flute
Steve has been playing trombone ever since his daddy bought him one for $5 at a garage sale back in 1980. Originally forced to practice outside, Steve earned his way into the house by learning to play songs by ear – most importantly, the University of Alabama Fight Song (mom & dad’s Alma Mater). He got around to learning to read music and discovered he enjoyed writing and arranging, too.
From those humble beginnings, Steve continued his playing with the USAF bands in Illinois and California before deciding to find a real job and stop the road life for a while. After retiring from teaching public school band for 25 years, Steve has once again devoted his time and energy to the pursuit of making music with friends.
When he isn’t playing or writing music, Steve enjoys listening to music (classical); traveling with his beautiful wife, Jasmine; hanging out with his grandkids (3 so far); or just doing whatever comes to mind. Steve is excited to join the Blue Dots for whatever adventures are ahead.