Bluegrass Etc.

Bluegrass Etc. is a popular trio that plays, as its name suggests, bluegrass music. Since its formation, however, the outfit has progressed to embrace a more eclectic acoustic mix. The Chicago Tribune included the group’s 1999 album, Home Is Where the Heart Is, on its list of the year’s ten finest bluegrass albums. The trio features Steve Spurgin on vocals and bass; Dennis Caplinger on vocals, fiddle, and banjo; and John Moore on vocals, mandolin, and guitar. In addition to their work with Bluegrass Etc., each member of the trio has carved a separate successful career for himself.

In 1983 Steve Spurgin joined Bryon Berline, Dan Crary and John Hickman, in a band that became CALIFORNIA, after adding John Moore on mandolin. CALIFORNIA went on to earn three consecutive IBMA Instrumental Group of the Year awards and travel over much of the world performing its brand of power bluegrass.​ Steve’s true passion is songwriting. Those of you familiar with his material will recognize songs like “She Always Smelled Like Lilacs”, “Muley Was A Railroad Man”, “Band of Angels”, and “A Walk in the Irish Rain”. In 1994, after winning the prestigious “New Folk” award at the Kerrville Folk Festival, Steve began concentrating on a solo approach to his career and has become one of the most distinctive and enjoyable singer/songwriters that Texas can boast. Steve Spurgin is the genuine article.​

Caplinger is a popular studio musician in Nashville and California when he isn’t touring and recording with Bluegrass Etc. During the annual show put on by the Academy of Country Music, he plays in the production’s band. He, too, has contributed to commercials and movies. He has played on the soundtracks of animated children’s programs Histeria and Pinky and the Brain, as well as on a number of film soundtracks, among them Back to the Future III, Rio Diablo, El Diablo, and Apt Pupil. He has played on recordings by John Reischmann and Rita Coolidge.

Moore is a premier mandolinist, and his talent on the instrument helped thrust the group California into the spotlight and earn the band the title of Instrumental Band of the Year for three consecutive years beginning in 1992. He has performed on stages across the U.S., and tours have taken him to Japan, Europe, and Canada. He appeared and played in Christmas in Connecticut, and The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies on CBS, where he played in a quartet that was rounded out by Earl Scruggs, Roy Clark, and Byron Berline, Moore’s former bandmate in California. His credits include commercials, session work, and the soundtracks for The Spitfire Grill, El Diablo, and Blaze. One of Moore’s mandolin protégés is Nickel Creek’s Chris Thile.

John Moore – mandolin, guitar, vocals; Dennis Caplinger – banjo, fiddle, vocals; Steve Spurgin – bass, vocals

Vulcan Mountain Boys

Vulcan Mt Boys are a 4 piece Bluegrass band with roots in San Diego jamming and stage performance venues. Maintaining high fidelity to “Birth of Bluegrass” through “Modern Roots” eras, you will get high-energy tempos, driving rhythms, and soaring traditional harmonies.

Hold on, VMB will give you a wildly satisfying traditional Bluegrass listening experience journey!

Eric Bentley – bass; Bill Frisbie – guitar, vocals; Lou Shrinkle – mandolin, vocals; Jim Henderson – banjo, vocals

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The Brombies

The Brombies are a Los Angeles, CA band formed by Jo Ellen & George Doering in the late 1980’s. All of the band members have played different styles of music from an early age, but for the past five years they’ve been dedicated to traditional bluegrass. They’ve all been performing as professional musicians for too long to even mention & as individuals they each have a long list of credits. They are all prominent in the southern California recording & bluegrass scene. With Jo Ellen on guitar & vocals, George on mandolin & vocals, Keith Rosier on bass, Patrick Sauber on banjo & vocals, and John Plotnik on guitar and you’ve got an exciting band full of talent and experience. These seasoned performers travel all over the western states playing at various bluegrass festivals. The band places a lot of emphasis on the vocal harmonies and instrumentals, but their primary goal is to present their original songs and to play some music that might lift the spirits of the audience for that brief time they are there. Jo Ellen & George were winners in the Bluegrass & Gospel categories for the Chris Austin Songwriters Contest at Merlefest in 2007, 2009 & 2010. They’ve also been honored to perform in the IBMA Songwriters Showcase in Nashville in 2006 & 2010. Rhonda Vincent has recorded “Anywhere Is Home When You’re With Me”, one of Jo Ellen and George’s songs from their first CD.

The Brombies (Brumby’s) are the wild horses that roam the outback of Australia.

Jo Ellen Doering – vocals, guitar; George Doering – vocals, mandolin; Patrick Sauber – banjo, vocals; John Plotnik – guitar, vocals; Keith Rosier – bass

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Prairie Sky

Artistry is, at best, difficult to define. Such is the case for the music of one of San Diego’s premier acoustic string bands, Prairie Sky. Indeed, with roots firmly in bluegrass, this group of seasoned artists borrows from all musical genres, playing and singing tunes from 60’s era rock, to 30’s and 40’s swing, old-time string music from Ireland and the Americas, with some great original material thrown into the mix as well.

With such diverse interests and an abundance of talent, Prairie Sky’s sets are inventive and entertaining, being constructed with thought and engagingly presented. Whatever and wherever – they play, Prairie Sky demonstrates strong yet tasteful instrumental prowess in guitar, mandolin and fiddle, with unusually clear and beautiful two, three and four-part harmonies.

All said, Prairie Sky is a rare delight, as their motives for performing are clearly for the love of the music, with its members’ mutual joy and shared affection emanating from the stage to warmly infect all who are lucky enough to hear them.

Avery Ellisman – vocals, fiddle, mandolin; Dwight Worden – vocals, bass; Jeff Smith – vocals, guitar; Ramona Ault – vocals, guitar

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Front Porch Music Preservation Society

This local bluegrass band made up of the finest and best looking musicians in Southern California. FPMPS is a bluegrass band rich in traditional bluegrass music, however they also offer up some not so traditional bluegrass music.

Precision instrumentals mixed with great vocals and smooth harmony’s makes for a performance any audience will enjoy.

Jeremy Shelton – guitar, vocals; Corky Shelton – banjo; Greg Burrows – guitar, vocals; Scott Edwards – bass

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