The Cadleys

New Acoustic, Traditional Roots.


Two singers, one voice.

The Cadleys are one of the most skilled and entertaining acoustic bands in the Northeast. John and Cathy's duet singing follows in the tradition of great male-female duets like Ian & Sylvia, George Jones and Tammy Wynette, and Emmylou Harris and Gram Parsons, they show how two voices blended in seamless harmony can produce one powerful sound.

In concert you’ll hear The Cadleys perform everything from traditional mountain ballads and bluegrass classics like “Bury Me Beneath the Willow” and Bill Monroe’s “Blue and Lonesome,” to Alison Krauss’ “The Lucky One,” to the Louvin Brother’s “Cash on the Barrelhead.” And just to add a few surprises, you’ll also hear new acoustic arrangements of some favorite Beatles tunes, a generous sampling of John’s originals from his Nashville-produced solo CD, The Closer I Get, and his latest release, The Hard Years,  and Cathy’s knockout version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”

Laying down the groove is award-winning bassist John Dancks, who recently took that distinction even further with his induction into the SAMMY (Syracuse Area Music) Hall of Fame. Rounding out the band is Perry Cleaveland, one of the most in-demand mandolin players in Upstate New York. Perry’s virtuoso playing has been featured in just about every prominent acoustic act in the area, recorded and live, bluegrass and otherwise.

The Cadleys know how to engage an audience with a rare combination of great original and traditional songs, stunning two and three-part harmonies, solid musicianship, and the occasional bad joke.

Band Profiles

  • John Cadley, vocals, guitar, mandolin
  • Cathy Cadley, vocals, guitar, banjo
  • John (JD) Dancks, bass
  • Perry Cleaveland, vocals, mandolin, fiddle
John Cadley

John Cadley

John began playing guitar at the age of 13 after hearing a recording of the Kingston Trio—and he’s been performing ever since. Beginning in folk music, he moved on to bluegrass and then country music, playing with such seminal Northeast bands as the Down City Ramblers, Cross Creek, Texas Hots, and The Lost Boys. 

John has been a touring road musician out of Nashville, and his songs have been recorded by national bluegrass artists such as Tony Trischka, Jim Hurst, Missy Raines, Amy Gallatin, Richard Kiser, the International Guitar Duo, and Lou Reid, who, with Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs singing harmony, took John’s song, “Time,” to the #1 spot on the national bluegrass charts for three consecutive months.

John (JD) Dancks

John (JD) Dancks

John (JD) Dancks has been a fixture on the Central New York acoustic music scene since his days at Syracuse University, when he played with banjo great Tony Trischka in the Down City Ramblers. He has also played with renowned guitarist Russ Barenberg and in the national touring act Country Granola with singer Danny Weiss.  

JD is first-call bassist for anyone playing blues, country, rock, jazz, and folk. So much so, that he has been inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Awards “Hall of Fame.” He’s added his solid, tasteful playing to many studio sessions as well, recording both locally and for national labels such as Rounder Records.

Cathy Cadley

Cathy Cadley

Cathy Cadley discovered a passion for the guitar at age 11 when she began taking lessons from her uncle, international touring singer/songwriter Ed Hamell.

Since then she’s studied a variety of genres, including classical, jazz, flatpicking bluegrass, and clawhammer banjo. One of the highlights of a Cadleys concert is seeing the audience response when Cathy breaks from her mesmerizing singing, developed over 20 years as the director of a church vocal and instrumental ensemble, to deliver a fast, soulful acoustic guitar solo. It’s a rarity to have both those talents, plus a third—i.e., her ability to connect instantly with an audience. Taken together, they make Cathy Cadley a powerful live performer.


Perry Cleaveland

Perry Cleaveland

Perry is a SAMMY Award winning mandolinist who also adds harmony vocals and fiddle. Born in Louisville, Kentucky Perry emigrated to Syracuse, N.Y. and grew up in a household that hosted many bluegrass luminaries during his formative years.

In his High School years, and continuing later, he began playing in a number of New York State Bluegrass bands including: Hard Times, Pleasant Valley, Bristol Mountain Bluegrass, Rosewood, John Rossbach & Chestnut Grove, The McCarthy Paisley Band, and Lost Time. He has performed for festivals, colleges, clubs, private parties, corporate events, arts centers, schools, town concerts, PBS/NPR affiliates: WCNY, & WXXI, and New York State Council on the Arts-sponsored events, including Arts in Education series’ under the auspices of Young Audiences of Rochester.