The Folk Ramblers: Bill Cohen and Carl Yaffey.


The Folk Ramblers perform the popular folk songs of the 60's made famous by Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul and Mary, and many others. 

Catch us at farmer's markets, churches, coffee houses, hootennanys, nursing homes, etc.


Bill Cohen:

Bill Cohen began playing folk music about 60 years ago as a teenager and has never stopped.  Now that he’s retired after 4 decades as a statehouse news reporter for all of Ohio’s NPR stations, he’s got even more time to sing.    Sometimes he performs with Carl, doing sing-alongs of folk tunes from the 1950’s and 1960’s.  Other times, Bill links history with music and memorabilia at concerts about the turbulent 1960’s in general and about the civil rights movement in particular.  He also performs public concerts with other themes: Thanksgiving gratitude, growing older, the many facets of romantic love, and oldies but goodies (1957-63).  Sparking memories of the 1930’s, 40’s, and 50’s, Bill regularly performs at senior centers, nursing homes retirement villages, and memory units.  


Carl Yaffey:

Carl Yaffey, a Multi-instrumentalist (banjo, mandolin, bass, and guitar), grew up in Norfolk, VA and has been playing music on and off since 1962. During the “folkie days”, Carl played banjo and guitar in several Kingston Trio “clone” groups in Norfolk. He moved to Columbus, OH in 1966, and has been involved in the Columbus music scene ever since. Early on he played bass in a country band and several Rock and Roll “oldies” bands (“Bill and the Brunettes”, “Streamliner”). Carl played clawhammer banjo in several old-timey bands (“Turkeys in the Straw”, ”Pit Bull String Band”) and played 3-finger banjo and bass in the bluegrass band “One Riot One Ranger”.

Carl’s professional life began with his move to Columbus to accept a job as a systems analyst/programmer with Bell Laboratories, now Lucent Technologies. After retiring from Lucent in 1989, Carl established his own business, Yaffey Software Development, in order to do independent software design. His other interests and hobbies include Amateur Radio (K8NU), reading, walking, and dancing (balkan, contra, folk). Carl is married to Debbie Shaw and lives with her by a wonderful ravine in Columbus.

Carl is now a full-time musician. He is the author of several Mel Bay books, "A Banjo Player's Guide to Jamming", "A Flatpicker's Guide to Jamming", "A Mandolin Player's Guide to Jamming", “A Bass Player’s Guide to Jamming”, and “A Fiddle Player’s Guide to Jamming”. Carl formerly taught clawhammer and 3-finger banjo, guitar, mandolin, and and bass and is now retired. He plays banjo in the old-timey band “The Timbre Wolves and the bluegrass band, “Grassahol”. He plays bass with “BluesSwing”.