This local San Diego band features a mix of traditional and contemporary bluegrass to their ever-expanding audience. This five-piece group combines hard-driving instrumental style with unique vocals.

https://www.facebook.com/HighMountainRoad/

Yukon Jack Lohman – guitar, vocals; B.K. Nicholson – mandolin, vocals; Dan Sankey – fiddle/vocals; Brent Gutzwiller – banjo, vocals; Tad VanAllen – bass

The Virtual Strangers, 2007 Arizona Bluegrass Band contest winners, bring a great mixture of traditional and progressive songs. Their sound is a mixture of the traditional with Stanley, Monroe, and Flatt & Scruggs material along with more progressive material from Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band and Del McCoury. They have shared the stage with Rhonda Vincent, Bluegrass Etc., California, the Dillards, Lonesome River Band, Nashville Bluegrass Band, and others. Virtual Strangers perform in numerous events & festivals in San Diego and throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, and Colorado, among others. In addition, Virtual Strangers lead the annual Cruise2Jam Carnival Line Catalina/Ensenada Cruise each February where they teach passengers about jamming etiquette and hold onboard jam sessions.

Virtual Strangers also has an alter ego – the Tatar Patch Bluegrass Buddies. Several times each year, the Strangers morph into this kid-friendly persona and go into classrooms to educate school-age children about bluegrass music and how to start playing it. They have performed in schools and kids camps at many festivals.

Mike Tatar Sr., on banjo, holds down the lead vocals. He’s played with In Cahoots, Snowy River, Full Deck, LeRoy McNees, and was made an honorary Piney Creek Weasel by the late Rick Abrams.

Jon Cherry plays mandolin, and sings harmony/lead vocals. Jon’s played with Union Creek and Snowy River, and proudly plays his handmade Cherry Mandolin on stage.

Yvonne Tatar plays the acoustic bass and sings harmony. She is a proud fourth generation string player and has accompanied many old time-fiddlers. She’s played with In Cahoots, Full Deck, LeRoy McNees, and sitting in with many other bands.

Kit Birkett plays guitar and also sings lead vocals. His credits include the Scottsville Squirrel Barkers and Down the Road, 2001 Southwest Bluegrass Play-off Winners.

http://www.virtualstrangersbluegrass.com/

Mike Tatar Sr. – banjo, vocals; Jon Cherry – mandolin, vocals; Yvonne Tatar – bass, vocals; Kit Birkett – guitar, vocals

The Central Valley Boys are dedicated to paying homage to the greats of the beautiful and fertile Central Valley of California. No frills or fancy stuff, just down home Bluegrass music at it’s finest. Their show typically includes songs performed in the traditional style in respect to Vern Williams who they believe was the greatest bluegrass musician to live in California. Songs like “Bald Knob Arkansas” and “Oh Susannah!” done in the traditional style can also be heard at a Central Valley Boys show. They dedicated to paying homage to the great country and bluegrass musicians: Vern Williams, Del Williams, Ray Park, Rose Maddox and the Maddox Brothers, The Farmer Boys and more.

http://www.thecentralvalleyboys.com

Victor Skidenenko – banjo, vocals; Yoseff Tucker – guitar, vocals; John Cogdill – mandolin, vocals; Peter Hicks – fiddle, vocals; Dave Gooding – bass

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 Reishmann 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

Jeff Scroggins Band is a high-energy five-piece bluegrass band located in the Western Frontier state of Colorado. Their distinctive sound showcases an eclectic range of influences that marry second and third generation bluegrass, delivering a unique experience that captivates audiences and keeps them guessing. It’s a powerful, high mountain “bluegrass explosion” that features world-class banjo and mandolin playing, incredible vocals, a solid and energetic rhythm and an easy stage banter that has delighted listeners all over the world.

Fronted by internationally acclaimed two-time National Banjo Champion ​Jeff Scroggins, their distinct style is immediately recognizable due to Jeff’s unique and diverse range of influences, which include Alan Munde, Don Reno, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton. His fiery style and lightning-fast licks have earned him worldwide recognition and have left many a first-time listener in stunned disbelief!

The band also features the award-winning mandolin playing of Jeff’s son Tristan Scroggins. At only 21 years old, Tristan is an award-winning instrumentalist and accomplished songwriter in his own right while the instrumentals he shares with Jeff play a large role in the band’s unique and energetic style. In 2016, Tristan was nominated for the Instrumental Momentum Award by the International Bluegrass Music Association.

West Virginia native Greg Blake provides powerful bluegrass vocals steeped in country heritage, bringing a truly authentic sound developed from a lifetime of singing bluegrass, gospel, and country. Twice nominated for the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America’s (SPBGMA) “Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year” award, Greg’s phenomenal guitar playing has earned him nine nominations and five consecutive wins as SPBGMA’s Guitarist of the Year.

They are joined by Oregon native, 2016 Rockygrass Fiddle Champion, 2016 Arizona State Fiddle Champion, and 2017 IBMA Momentum Award Nominee Ellie Hakanson on fiddle and vocals. In addition to their individual accomplishments, the band was featured as the California Bluegrass Association’s Emerging Artist of the year, an honor given into the past to bands such as Della Mae, and Chris Henry & the Hardcore Grass.

http://www.jeffscrogginsandcolorado.com/

Jeff Scroggins – banjo; Greg Blake – guitar, vocals; Tristan Scroggins – mandolin; Ellie Hakanson – fiddle, vocals; Mark – bass