Bios

Sandy Johnson

Sandy, the vocalist in the band, sang her first solo when she was six at the Irish pageant at St. John's Catholic school. At 14, she went to Woodstock to get inspired (that's right, kids, the original one!) and since then has sung in choirs, musicals, rock bands, singing telegrams and a 40's style Big Band. Music means a lot to her and she's even picked out songs for her rapture though she's not exactly sure what that means or if she gets to choose.

With the Guinea Pigs, she is finally singing her favorite music that she hopes becomes YOUR favorite music. Some of her big influences are Robyn Hitchcock, Guided By Voices, Aimee Mann and the Pretenders. When she's not rehearsing with the Guinea Pigs, you can find her in her garden or in a local movie theater.

She's essentially an old hippie and wonders what's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?

Dan Thompson

The trouble started with a grade school band called the OK-Doh's, with the later-to-become-famous Steve Kujala.  We shut down the school talent show when we got a bunch of kids up on stage with us to play the Stones' (Can't Get no) Satisfaction.  It was very loud.  We scared parents and administrators alike.  We got a stern talking to.  I was hooked.

A few years my college band The Snoids, featuring "Big Daddy" Earl Moeller, had some success.  
There were some Grateful Dead cover bands, some jazz performances with a Chicago dance company, and lots of recording.  One of my songs, "Coffee", received airplay on college stations and was covered by several groups.  But then, perhaps sadly, I put music into low gear so I could focus on my dream of raising a family and becoming a Fuller Brush man, playing only the occasional coffeehouse, wedding, fund raiser, or house party.  I stumbled through this existence for some 20 years at which point my vintage 1962 Hofner guitar was destroyed, ironically, in a brush fire.  Recognizing the impermanence of physical objects, and thus awakened from my somnolent state, I began again, playing and writing in earnest, developing a body of work called the Coffeehouse Collection, which I performed under the name of Muzzy and the Uulators.  This eventually led to a collaboration with Ms. Sandy Johnson, which brought our varied styles together into something unique and wonderful, and which later expanded into the Guinea Pigs as we know it today.

Dan is also the Official Town Troubadour of Manchester CT, voted in in 2013.  Duties include performing at town functions such official Swearing In Ceremonies, variously Busking and/or Chortling at town events, and helping to welcome Chuckles the Groundhog into the spotlight each winter.  His catalog of other work can be found on SoundCloud.  And he runs an approximately monthly coffeehouse / open mic at the Manchester Unitarian Universalist Meetinghouse.


Jude Russell

I first picked up the guitar in grade school, taking weekly lessons down in Joe Diorio's basement in York, PA. I rarely practiced, and I am sure he knew that as I plunked my way awkwardly through Mel Bay. Nevertheless, one summer in the back of my parents' Ford Ranch Wagon as we trekked out to Wisconsin, chords and strumming came together with some semblence of fluidity, and I became a guitarist. My earliest performances were folk mass, and late 70's high school rock n'roll. I picked up a bass for the first time in college.

I've survived many musical phases: pit band, new wave, classic rock, folk. After many years hiatus, I began to play with a kirtan group (Om Namo Shivaya!), happily chanting away until Sandy plucked me out of the crowd at Real Art Ways' Creative Cocktail Hour and invited me to audition for the Guinea Pigs.

When not playing bass, I teach yoga, chase hot air balloons, and sneak a little electrical engineering in. You can also find me at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival, where I am the crew chief for performer merchandise sales.

Steve Dauphinais

Some time around the third grade I witnessed a friend playing his drum-set - I was hooked. My parents took the brave and generous step of buying me my first drum set in 6th grade, and they tolerated the learning curve. I paid for part of that set by doing extra chores at home, and now I am good at folding laundry. I am obsessed with snare drums, and I traded in my first bicycle for my first snare drum. Ironically, I am now also obsessed with bicycles and now own a bike shop (Bicycles East in Glastonbury).
In 7th grade, I joined the band - the Stone River Band - and we were cool! We played major gigs at our local block party and even played for a Middle School Dance – we had hit the big time! I went on to play in many bands including classic rock, jazz, and big band. Spent a few years working with a singer songwriter recording original music and even played hand drums for a yoga kirtan.
Ultimately I got too busy with the bike shop and backed way off on music for about 8 years, only to play every once in a while at my church. This is where I hooked up with the Guinea Pigs when I was invited to play on their CD. I'm now happy to have joined them. They are great people, fantastic musicians, play wonderful music, and I'm back playing my drums!