Reader Spotlight: Ronnie Penque

Ronnie PenqueMeet Ronnie Penque, our bassist in the spotlight for January 26, 2010.


Ronnie Penque has been playing music for over 30 years. When not working with NRPS or his band RONNIE PENQUE BAND, which includes his brother Chris Penque on guitar, Ron is busy as a session player. Ronnie started out as the original bass player in the popular Grateful Dead cover band Ripple. Through the years Ron has also played with many other bands and great musicians including Bobby Weir, Mickey Hart, Vassar Clements, Peter Rowan, Melvin Seals, Robert Hunter, John Popper, Pete Sears, David Nelson, Barry Sless, Keller Wiliams, Donna Jean Godchaux, Jeff Pevar, and Michael Falzarano. After Ripple retired in 2003, Ron was asked by keyboardist Melvin Seals of The Jerry Garcia Band to join his band, “Melvin Seals and JGB.” A short time after joining Melvin and JGB, NRPS drummer Johnny Markowski came on board and the two developed a lock and key rhythmic feel on bass and drums that they brought to The New Riders. If the name Penque is familiar, Ron’s uncle the late Romeo Penque was one of the most famous woodwind and flute players in the industry who was best known for his work with Miles Davis. At age 12 Ronnie was taught to play bass by his father Ron Penque Sr., an accomplished session bass player for 20 years, who gave Ronnie his 57 Precision bass (Dads Bass) upon his retirement.


Barnegat, New Jersey USA

Day gig:


Years experience:

35 years


  • 1957 Fender P bass pre CBS
  • Also Copy of the above.
  • Eden and Crest Amps
  • DR strings
  • Alembic Pre Amps
  • Mostly Eden Gear now

Why I play the bass:

I liked the sound & feel. I liked the way it made me feel to hear it.

I like the way it felt when I first played it.

My father was a bass player too.

My influences

Some of Ronnie’s musical influences are The Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh, NRPS bass player Dave Torbert, Donald Duck Dunn, John Entwistle, Paul McCartney and Jack Casady, among others.

More on the web:

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