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.
Dan Sankey plays mandolin, and sings harmony/lead vocals. Dan’s a fixture on the San Diego bluegrass scene – an accomplished musician on the fiddle, mandolin, banjo and guitar.
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.
Jim Blakemore plays guitar and also sings lead vocals. Jim has played with nearly every bluegrass musician and band in San Diego and has hosted open jams at his home.
Mike Tatar Sr. – banjo, vocals; Dan Sankey – mandolin, vocals; Yvonne Tatar – bass, vocals; Jim Blakemore – guitar, vocals