Toni Baker joined the Dakotas on keyboards and vocals in the 80s, when the band reformed with original members, Mike Maxfield and Tony Mansfield and toured with Billy J Kramer in '96. Toni has a long history of working in hit bands. He played on Billy Ocean's early recordings in the 70s, & was a member of "Shabby Tiger", a hugely successful group in Europe, with many hit singles, such as the No.1, "Slow Down". Toni, a session man for years, is also a songwriter and had a Number 5 hit in Japan with the hi-energy classic "Eat You Up". Toni also was responsible for writing all the music for Britain's top comedy series "Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights" and "Max & Paddy's Road to Nowhere". Toni continues his production work for major TV programmes including "Waterloo Road" and "League of Gentlemen".
A CD with much of his TV work - The Best of Peter Kay So Far - was released in Dec 2005.
Pete Hilton joined the Dakotas in 1998. He is a respected session drummer, and has been touring since 1963. In the late sixties Pete worked the original Liverpool Cavern Club along with the eminent guitarist Robin Hill. Pete and Robin went on to form jazz rock band "Spring". There were memorable live performances with Mike Oldfield, Joe Cocker, Canned Heat, Deep Purple, & Traffic. In the late 70s Pete worked UK theatres with many greats such as Frankie Howerd, Bob Monkhouse, Rolf Harris & Tommy Cooper! He also worked alongside The Supremes and David Essex, who inspired Pete to perform in "Godspell" while he was living in Canada.
Pete also starred alongside Toni in "Phoenix Nights" as a member of folk band "Half A Shilling" and he is currently recording again with Robin Hill. As well as playing with the Dakotas, he teaches drumming and regularly appears at tradeshows demonstrating Roland V drums alongside colleague Pete Shaw. Here's an example ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ErL6qTr1Nco
Alan Clare joined the Dakotas on lead guitar and vocals in 2006, when Mike Maxfield became too ill to perform live. His varied guitar styles perfectly suit The Dakotas' music.
Alan has worked in many different bands, from funk to jazz bands, and also played in Freddie & the Dreamers alongside Pete Hilton. He is still a major session player, having worked with artistes as diverse as the Supremes, Dionne Warwick, Buddy Greco, Cliff Richard, Gene Pitney, Gerard Kenny, Kenny Lynch, Lynn Paul and Ken Dodd.
As well as being one of the North's leading session guitarists, Alan also teaches a master class in advanced jazz guitar techniques.
Marius Jones joined the Dakotas in 2010. He was already well known to Pete, Alan & Toni, so was an obvious choice when it came down to choosing the right man for the bass guitar job.
Marius has a wealth of musical experience and has worked with many legends over the years. As well as having worked with Pete & Alan in Freddie & the Dreamers, he also played bass with Amen Corner for several years.
He is a great musician who has provided the musical foundation for a wealth of international stars.
Ronnie Ravey had been known to the Dakotas for years, as a professional singer/frontman and had worked alongside many famous names both live and in the studio, since the early 60s.
Like the rest of the band, he learned his craft by performing and singing every kind of music from The Everly Bros to Joe Cocker. His personality is second to none when it comes to making an audience feel at home, and when the band decided to add a frontman in November 2010, Ronnie was the perfect choice.