Bands for Hire ~ Bluegrass

Microtonic Harmonic


photo by Microtonic Harmonic Bluegrass
One of my favorite bands - whose grass is not green but blue: Hailing from California’s Monterey Bay, Microtonic Harmonic is all about one thing: playin’ fun, feel good music for all ages to enjoy. Though firmly rooted in traditional bluegrass, the quartet of string bass, mandolin, banjo, and guitar is not afraid to venture out into various musical styles including Gypsy-Jazz, Funk, Folk, Celtic, and original Alternative-Acoustic creations. Sweet harmonies, fast hoe-downs, and soulful ballads characterize Microtonic Harmonic’s ever expanding sound. Whether you are looking for entertainment for a

party, club, community event, or dance, Microtonic Harmonic is the answer.

Honeysuckle Possom


The Honeysuckle Possums are Susan Reeves, Nicola Gordon, Rebecca
Troon, Lisa Macker, and Ruth Alpert. Collectively they play guitar,
fiddle, banjo, ukulele, bass, mandolin, tin whistle, and strum stick.
The Honeysuckle Possums reach a state of collective musical bliss
while playing old-time, original and bluegrass songs and tunes, and
then share that slice of heaven. Unconditional love, support and a lot
of laughter are a big piece of the pie. Possum audience members are
likely to laugh, sing, dance, clap along, and take home a big grin!

Fog Valley Drifters


photo by The Fog Valley Drifters
The Fog Valley Drifters, based in the Monterey/ Modesto area, play a mix of traditional Bluegrass, Americana, Folk and Blues music. The band has been performing in Northern California since 1996 in venues such as Good Old Fashion Bluegrass Festival (Hollister), Bluegrass in the Foothills Festival (Plymouth), Gallo Center for the Arts (Modesto), and Plaza Linda (Camel Valley). The Drifters were finalists in the Gallo Center Valley’s Got Talent competition (2010) and were nominated for Modesto’s MAMA award in 2010 and 2011.

The band members include Al Tsacle (fiddle), Rachel Bennett, (mandolin & lead vocals), Chuck Hurd (banjo), Ross Redding (guitar & lead vocals), and Cory Welch (bass). Their current CD release, “Old Songs for New Times”, is available for purchase at

The Abbott Brothers


The Driftless


Their sound is largely shaped by the original music that we write, intricate three part harmonies and a focus on beautiful fiddle, mandolin and banjo soloing. I have been involved in many music projects in my life, and can honestly say that this one feels special – there is a joyful energy captured by this group that I think is rare. We have not yet played in your area, but have developed a following in the Santa Cruz - San Francisco area having played at various venues including: Don Quixote’s (SC), Crepe Place (SC), Alternative Cafe (Seaside), Amnesia (SF) and the Star and Plough (SF).

They are not enamored with typecasts of boxcars and cowboys, but are inspired by the fields and forests around us and the people and animals who share their lives. Like the Driftless Area, (a small area in the Midwest, left untouched by the last glacial age, creating a unique terrain without silt, gravel and boulders), playing music together is a consistent space where they take refuge and celebrate.

Scarlett Road


Scarlett Road is an ensemble of wide-ranging musicians who together have forged their own unique sound - bluegrass/roots/americana.

Under the guidance of bandleader Chip Wittpenn, mandolin, guitar. Each member of the group is encouraged to draw upon his or her own diverse musical background to bring something special to the mix.

Melinda Moore’s sweet and lyrical vocals, along with dobro, mandolin, upright bass, fiddle, banjo, guitar, and harmonica are used to create Scarlett Road’s signature appeal. The result could be described as bluegrass/roots/americana - with maybe a touch of country blues thrown in.

Whether performing original songs or familiar favorites tailored to fit its own style, Scarlett Road is a band well worth discovering.

Chip Wittpenn mandolin/guitar/ vocals
Melinda Moore lead vocals/rhythm guitar
Bill Rawson banjo/vocals /Clawhammer banjo
Tamila Swanson double bass/vocals
Randy Marks guitar



Named after the little town that grew out of the well traveled Salinas river fording site of the mid 1800s, the newly formed four-piece bluegrass band Hilltown is sure to get your toes a tapping. All of the band members live in the Monterey area; three on hills overlooking the bay and the other just across from the old Hilltown site in Salinas--hence the name. Three of the band members, also of the venerable Fog Valley Drifters based mainly in Modesto, were looking for a way to stay in practice locally and invited guitar flat picker par excellence and singer Norm Green to join in. As happens with a lot of bands, things clicked and a new band was born.

Along with Norm, band members include bluegrass nut and versatile musician Cory Welch on stand-up bass, vocals and occasional dobro. Long time bluegrass fan and Scruggs style picker Chuck Hurd keeps the drive alive with his five string banjo. And anchoring the band with her solid mandolin chops, tasteful instrumental breaks and lead and harmony vocals, is the talented veteran of several Monterey bands from the past--Rachel Bennett. Hilltown works to keep the variety alive with Norm, Cory and Rachel switching it up on lead and harmony vocals. The band plays traditional, country fried, and folksy bluegrass and always looks for ways to showcase the instrumental talents of the band.

Henry & Ella


Husband and wife--Henry and Ella Warde-- have been playing traditional bluegrass and country music for a combined twenty years. They have preformed across America and parts of Canada, and are excited to be here tonight with you.Known across America as "The Bluegrass Sweethearts," they are two of the most exciting and entertaining performers on stage today.

Dan Crary, Bill Evans & Wally Barnick

Long Journey Home / Reuben’s Train

Dan Crary, Bill Evans & Wally Barnick: Americana masters join forces in new trio Join flatpicking pioneer Dan Crary, banjo legend Bill Evans, and SoCal acoustic favorite Wally Barnick as they come together for the first time to perform cutting edge bluegrass, folk, and Americana music. Dan Crary is a pioneer of flatpicking guitar solos in a bluegrass band, right up there with founding fathers Doc Watson, Clarence White and Norman Blake in carving a role for the flatpick guitar soloist in bluegrass music. A founding member of the Bluegrass Alliance, and the "newgrass" approach, his 20+ year collaboration with Byron Berline and John Hickman (as BCH and in the bands Sundance & California) earned him numerous awards and accolades. A veteran of tours in more than thirty countries, Dan`s a stylist with an international reputation for taste and brilliance. His "racing licks sounded like the fretboard equivalent of Fred Astaire dancing up, then down a staircase."
(LA Times) Bill Evans is an internationally loved five-string banjo life force. Whether he’s lending his instrumental chops to a blazing fiddle tune or performing one of his original compositions, Bill is one of contemporary banjo’s treasures. He’s probably the only banjo on earth who has performed with the San Francisco Symphony, on A Prairie Home Companion and with Dan and Wally! He’s at home with traditional and contemporary bluegrass as well as branching out on the farthest musical limbs that Dan and Wally can take him. Wally Barnick (bass & vocals) describes himself as “principally a singer who some 40 years ago took up playing bass guitar in order to ensure a place in the band.” That strategy has definitely worked for this wonderful singer and instrumentalist, who is at home singing and playing everything from folk and bluegrass to Bakersfield country and even some rock and roll. Wally has performed with many familiar California Americana and bluegrass groups in these past four decades, including the Cache Valley Drifters, Bluegrass, Etc., and The Hay Dudes. His warm vocals and engaging stage presence are a perfect complement to Dan and Bill’s instrumental fireworks. A Crary, Evans & Barnick show includes new songs and old stories, blazing instrumental artistry, and deep-down, powerfully-felt musical moments. It`s whistling winds in the pines, rambling boys and tragic girls, joys and laughter from old times, furious and foot-tapping instrumental tunes, and a little touch of glory-to-God. And it`s the hovering ghosts of Jimmie Rogers and The Carter Family and Bill and Lester and Earl and Woody and all the greats who showed the way. Dan Crary Bill Evans Wally Barnick

Crary, Evans & Barnick


Dave Holodiloff


Dave Holodiloff is a mandolin player, vocalist, composer, and band leader known for his inventive arrangements, expressive musicianship and ability to inspire partnerships with amazing musicians. Dave has made a name for himself both as a performer at festivals and concert venues and as an acoustic event entertainment specialist, bringing the party to weddings and events throughout Northern California and beyond. A devoted craftsman on the mandolin, his extensive repertoire spans Bluegrass, Jazz, Celtic, Brazilian, Latin, Gospel, Funk, Rock, Reggae, and Traditional music from around the world. This diverse mastery of styles comes together under Dave`s high energy precise playing for a sound that is rich, unexpected, and exceptionally fun. He has recorded and released eight albums that capture traditional acoustic music at its most dynamic. The diverse recordings include Bluegrass, Jazz, Celtic, World Favorites, Holiday Classics, and even a Grateful Dead Bluegrass Tribute.