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About New Potato Caboose

With almost 40 years of music bonding and bringing it all to every show, New Potato Caboose is rolling strong with epic jamband groovy goodness. The roots of NPC stretch back to the early days of the jam scene, sharing stages with the likes of Blues Traveler, Widespread Panic, Dave Matthews Band, and legendary ground-floor acts like The Band and the Neville Brothers. As the first band ever to play the iconic Wetlands Preserve in NYC, NPC was featured in the Sundance documentary. At one point, the group was playing over 200 dates a year and garnering write-ups in Pollstar, Billboard, and Variety. They’re currently performing at outstanding venues and bringing their one of a kind live act to a fervent fan base. 


The Caboose has just released a new album, It Ain’t a Thing, that captures both the band’s origins and the magic that is happening now. The album was tracked almost entirely live with the band performing all original songs as you would hear them at a live concert. You can hear the band deftly roll in influences from the party vibe of Little Feat, the innovation of the Grateful Dead, the shimmering vocals of CSN, and the relatable earthiness of The Band. These elements are brought to life by the extraordinary talents of members Doug Pritchett (acoustic guitar, vocals), Don Laux (rhythm guitar, vocals), John “Red” Redling (keyboards, vocals), Tim Pruitt (lead guitar, vocals), Mike Mahoney (bass), and the powerful double drums sound of John Trupp and John McConnell. 


Renowned producer John Alagia (DMB, John Mayer) was inspired to produce the project, tapping into the music scene roots they all share. Alagia brought in a talented team from the Red Light Management/DMB family, including engineering wizard Jeff Moxley (Blues Traveler, Plain White T’s) and L.A. mastering ace Whynot Jansveld (The Wallflowers, Crash Test Dummies). The band and production team lived and recorded together at Haunted Hollow, Dave Matthews’ private studio in Charlottesville, VA. The new album has gotten rave reviews and charted very well going up to #5 on the radio chart and #18 on the RMR chart. This positive momentum has energized the band and their fans. 


Moving forward, the band is excited for the future and looking forward to performing more great concerts that always deliver a wide variety of Caboose originals and select signature covers, amazing harmonies, melodic depth, and killer double drum grooves. As life-long friends and accomplished musicians, NPC always throws down next level jams. One live concert, with a mix of New Potato Caboose originals and signature covers, is all a music lover needs to know how truly good it feels to “Get Loose with the Caboose.”



Lead Vocals & Acoustic Guitar

Doug Pritchett is a native of Birmingham, Alabama where he grew up with music filling his home on a daily basis. Whether it was played live on the piano by his father or hearing his older brother’s garage band practicing or listening to the console stereo playing Broadway musicals and 60’s folk classics, music was always a part of life.


Doug started his own musical aspirations at the age of 16 in his high school talent show and his passion for singing and playing guitar began to flourish. After graduating from high school he attended the Catholic University of America where he met Don and Red. This is where the jamming really began, playing endless hours in the dorm and ultimately,  in the winter of 1983, forming the all acoustic vocal group, Wood’n’Steel. A year later, with other fellow classmates,  New Potato Caboose was created and the rest is history.


Soon after the 200 shows a year touring ended in 1995, some of the members of  NPC and Doug formed the spin off band, Radio Mosaic,  and over the next few years recorded two albums. Doug currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina empty nesting with his wife, Poppy, while his son, Forrest, is off at college. When Doug is not joining this brothers in New Potato Caboose on the road, he plays in several different ensembles in the North and South Carolina areas.


Vocals & Guitar

Born in Southern California, Don Laux grew up in Alexandria, Virginia in a house full of older brothers who would blast Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers, and Little Feat on the family stereo whenever they could. After seeing a lifeguard at the neighborhood pool play guitar during breaks, Don knew he had to have one of his own. So he mowed lawns and did odd jobs until he had enough money to go to Veneman's music store and score an acoustic guitar and two Beatles songbooks. In high school, Don joined the choir as a way to broaden his talents and gain entry into one of the school's several rock bands. Serendipitously, he received some pretty solid vocal training as a result. Working as a roadie for his guitar teacher's band provided professional-level experience that he brought along to Catholic University, where he met his future bandmates Doug and Red. These three young musicians discovered how easy it was for them to blend their voices and make harmony magic. Impromptu vocal sessions in the dorm stairwell led to gigs in the university rathskellar, which led to jams with other musicians on and off campus, which led to the founding of New Potato Caboose


As the band developed into jam scene pioneers, Don found himself sharing lead vocal duties with Doug and helping make the three- and four-part harmonies central to NPC's signature sound. He became an important member of the songwriting team, collaborating on such staples as "Promising Traveler", "The Mansion", "Gold Plated Crime", and others. His rhythm guitar playing adds not only familiar riffs that make the songs memorable, but also more subtle textures that give the songs depth and color. Most importantly, through the years Don has shared in the deep brotherhood among the NPC bandmates that is still going strong to this day.


According to Don, one of the best things about the journey with New Potato Caboose is that it just keeps getting better and better. The band is tighter than ever, the new songs keep flowing, and the camaraderie keeps on growing from its strong roots. With so many good things locked into place, the future sure seems like a bright spot to set sights on and step on the gas!



Keyboard & Vocals

Red plunked out his first tune on piano at age 4, and has been playing ever since.  He studied music at Manhattan School of Music while in high school, and earned a Bachelor of Music in Composition at CUA, where he met Doug, Don, Rich, and Dana.


Doug and Don turned him on to the music of the Grateful Dead while performing as the acoustic trio,  “Wood “N’ Steel,” and Red enjoyed the good writing, the vocals/lyrics, and the improvisational approach.  It wasn’t long before they went to Philly for Red’s first Dead show, and the influence took hold.  He has always loved artists such as the Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Yes, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Emerson Lake & Palmer, The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, John Prine, Simon & Garfunkel, and yes, the Monkees! (To name a few.) 


Red has played in many ensembles, including symphony orchestras, jazz ensembles, church choirs, and bands.  He was and still is a church organist, and often performs solo on his beloved 12 string guitar.  He is regularly asked to perform and record with many artists on the East Coast, and enjoys every gig.  He is the Band Director at JEJ Moore Middle School in Prince George, VA.  He lives in Hopewell, VA with his wife of 29 years, and they have raised two children, who are now adults and on their own.



John Trupp is a native of Washington, DC and has been extraordinarily active in the east coast music scene. He has been fortunate to perform many thousands of concerts on many of the east coast's finest stages. John was thrilled to joined New Potato Caboose as a drummer and songwriter in the mid 80s and has been a driving force in many of their original compositions. After the New Potato Caboose heyday, John began frequently recording on albums with Grammy winner and legendary producer John Alagia and super producer Doug Derryberry at their highly successful studio and performed on countless albums with various artists.


Currently, John produces and engineers recordings and full albums at his recording studio in Washington DC and provides award winning graphic and web services with his company Metro Graphics. He has won an array of awards for music and graphic design. John also has many songs placed in movies and television, including recent placements on The Young and The Restless on CBS. John was also involved with numerous video productions for MHz and Exuberant TV while working with Grammy winner Scott Shuman. As a multi-instrumentalist and singer, he performs stage shows with many ensembles, including fronting east coast jam band Soul Gravity.


John is a member of the Recording Academy (The Grammys), is a board member emeritus of the Songwriters Association of Washington (SAW), and does community service through affiliations with Rotary International. He also does a lot of studio work as a musician and producer, and hosts and promotes local concerts. He hosts DC's longest running Songwriter Showcase and promotes and develops new talent in the region. He has two wonderful children and resides in Maryland with his lovely wife Katherine. And let’s not forget, John is still the unofficial mayor of Derwood.




Mike was inspired when he was 4 or 5 by his older brother who was in a band when they lived in Pakistan, then began playing guitar in the early 70s when he was around 13.  Exposure to Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Grateful Dead, Deep Purple and a variety of traditional blues musicians helped to shape his playing style and ability and his appreciation of the bass.  Mike played in several bands in high school and afterward and eventually ended up playing bass in a band out of necessity.


The drummer from Mike’s band in themed 80s (Point of Departure) joined the Caboose as a 2nd drummer and Mike’s joining the Caboose followed soon afterward in 1986.  Mike saw his abilities and playing style improving greatly as he jammed with the talented and seasoned musicians of the New Potato Caboose.


Mike now lives in South Carolina and still plays in the large band Stillhouse that he co-founded in 2003.  Over the years Mike has played live and recorded with a handful of local Columbia musicians and bands.  As the Caboose moves in to its next phase of growth, Mike looks forward to playing more and working on new material.



Music has always been a principal force in the life of DC native John McConnell. Having grown up listening to recordings of his grandfather's band Ajax Big Band,  John’s own journey as a musician started in 3rd grade playing drums with John Trupp; a collaboration continuing to this day. By their collegiate years, McConnell and Trupp had developed a knack for the fills, depths, and flourishes only double drum jamming can create. Around this time, one of the members of McConnell’s band Point of Departure was living at the infamous St Perry House, the old home and HQ of the first NPC members. McConnell was quickly welcomed into the jams, sharing in the musical and personal chemistry of NPC. By 1985, the NPC was solid with its fresh and rocking rhythm section.


In 1992, McConnell & Trupp started pursuing their own band, The True, resulting in touring & recording projects with producer John Alagia as well as two developmental record deals. When not on the road with The True, McConnell worked as a promotor rep. for Cellar Door, bringing names like The Rolling Stones, Billy Joel & The Grateful Dead  to the DC Metro area. Throughout this time, McConnell & Trupp continued to perform with members of  NPC, whetting the appetite, and setting the stage for what would become the legendary NPC reunions.


In 1996 McConnell married his wife Elizabeth and moved to Morgantown WV, where he instantly immersed himself in the local music scene, co-founding bands Helicopter Collective and SaborLatino, two bands which continue to play the WV, Pittsburgh, and Western Maryland markets. In the early 2000s, Johns company Blue Dolphin Productions was instrumental in the reopening of the historic Metropolitan Theatre, where John brought in national acts such as the Wailers and Yonder Mountain String Band. John is also an organizer of Morgantown's famous LennonThing, a celebration of all songs Lennon, played in a festival-like atmosphere with all proceeds benefitting local food charities. John has been named one of the most influential people of Morgantown by the Dominion Post for his work in revitalizing the Arts in the City.  Elizabeth & John have two college aged sons, one a Senior at West Virginia University, and one a Freshman at in-state rival Marshall University. Now an empty-nester, John looks forward to expanding his role in artist relations with NPC as they create a new record, and he is excited to see what opportunities lie ahead for this great group of friends and musicians.    



Guitar and Vocals

Tim’s earliest music memories include watching anything he could find on TV where live instrumentalists were featured including shows like Hee Haw and The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour. His personal record collection started when his grandmother would hear a good song on the radio and promptly buy the 45 for Tim. From playing trombone in elementary school to his first paying gig as a bass player for an 8-year-old Elvis impersonator, Tim knew that playing in a band was in his future.


He played bass and guitar in various bands in the Baltimore area throughout high school and college before settling on lead guitar for the roots/jam/punk band The Swilltones. His versatility grew with the one-of-a-kind songs of Frankentractor and the roots rock vibe of Richard Taylor and the Ravers. Various bands and gigs followed and through his contact with Mike Mahoney, Tim started playing gigs with New Potato Caboose in 1990. More recently Tim has performed and recorded with Radio Mosaic, Smooth Kentucky, The Stone Hill All-Stars, and Arty Hill and the Long Gone Daddys.


Most days Tim can be found in his workshop tinkering with a guitar, fixing a pedal for a friend, or tweaking an amplifier. He lives in Sykesville, MD with his wife and two kids who are accustomed to the sound of a cranked up Fender amplifier at dinner time.

Meet the Band



Steve’s first instrument was the trumpet at eight, but in true rock-and-roll fashion he publicly destroyed his horn so completely that his dad tried (in vain) to patch it back together with a blowtorch. Fast-forward past a few piano and guitar lessons that never really took, Steve was fifteen when he grabbed hold of a friend’s bass and was immediately hooked. Borrowing a knock-off P-bass from his high school (which he also eventually destroyed), Steve was soon playing for hours a day, copying what he heard in the mixes of Cream, Led Zeppelin, and The Beatles. Before long he joined his first band, and though he’s not sure they even had a name, he remembers they took second place in his school’s Battle of the Bands. New heroes emerged in the music of Herbie Hancock & the Headhunters, Sly & the Family Stone, and James Brown, and at Georgetown University in 1992 he co-founded the erstwhile popular funk band Perfunktory. After graduating he moved to New York and gravitated towards the jam band scene, playing clubs like the Wetlands and the Knitting Factory. Around the millennium he recorded and toured with the jam band mindface, and he still plays with his musical brothers in NY/NJ’s Shark Hat (formerly Blunt Force). He has recorded and performed with a great many very fine musicians up and down the east coast, and he no longer destroys his instruments, at least not on purpose.

Steve lives in Washington, DC with his wife and three children. He teaches guitar, bass, ukulele, songwriting, and music theory and is the cofounder of Rock The Hill, a rock & roll enrichment program for kids focusing on semi-private instruction, group jam sessions, and live show production. His induction into New Potato Caboose comes by way of John Trupp, with whom Steve has played for about a decade in various acts around DC. One of Steve’s more specialized talents is his ability to learn a lot of music very quickly, and this has come in handy in absorbing the Caboose’s epically long repertoire. He is thrilled to be a part of this legendary powerhouse and would very much like to see you at the next show.


Photo credit: All photos by Steve Hefter except photo of John Trupp by Dito Morales.

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