Tempest is Chuck (guitars, mandolin) and Tim Ball (fiddle), plus Harry Aceto (bass) and Eric Metzger (drums). We have also worked/collaborated with Lee Blackwell, Bob Isaacs, Alex Lacquement, Rob Saunders, Geoff Saunders, Jane Knoeck, Larry Unger, and others.  Past bands have included Tofu Snowshoe (w/ Rebecca McCallum), the Jolly Beggars (w/ Bill Henrie), and Corazon (w/ Max Wickhold). Tempest neatly blends traditional tunes with inventive, progressive grooves and harmonies that draw from jazz, world music, and pop/R&B. 

Over the last 8 years, in addition to being a staple on the regional dance scene, Tempest has toured up and down the East Coast and in New England, receiving rave reviews at such venues as Glen Echo, the Concord Scout House, the Greenfield Grange, and the Old Farmer's Ball in Asheville. Tempest has also performed at the Rochester Thanksgiving Weekend, the Cornell Dance Series, the Syracuse University dance series, the Bard College swing club, and most recently, the first CDR Extreme English Dance in Rochester. 

Contra Dance Bands


Spindrift is a relatively new dance band featuring Chuck (guitar) and Eileen Nicholson (fiddle) along with occasional special guests. Buoyed by Chuck and Eileen's natural musical chemistry, Spindrift strives to present creative interpretations of traditional, and some more modern, tunes.

Lake Effect
Lake Effect is my newest band, actually a "reunion band" featuring fiddler Matt Sloboda, with whom I used to play back in the early 2000's (before Matt had kids to raise!). Lake Effect is is a powerful exploration of Irish, French-Canadian, Americana, and other styles. Rounding out the band, most of the time, is saxophonist Rowan Wolf.

Tempest Music Samples

  • Frank's reel0:00
  • My Marianne0:00
  • Derry Reel0:00