California Bluegrass Band to Play Harrietville
As previously reported, appearing at this year’s Harrietville Bluegrass and Traditional Country Music Convention is a bluegrass band called Blue & Lonesome. This group has captured the traditional sound of bluegrass music and is made up of five of the world’s top traditional players in the business today: Ed Neff, Mike Wilhoyte. Larry Cohea, Paul Shelasky and Jeff King.
Ed is known to California bluegrass fans as the premier fiddler and mandolin stylist in the traditional vein. He has been a fixture in the Bay Area Bluegrass scene for over 40 years playing with such stalwarts as High Country, Done Gone, Roanoke, True Blue, Adobe Creek and the Vern Williams Band with whom he spent 15 years. Although Ed has long been acknowledged as one of the west’s greatest fiddlers, Blue & Lonesome Bluegrass band takes advantage of his stellar mandolin work and benefits from his authoritative lead and tenor vocals. Ed has been awarded an honorary lifetime membership in the California Bluegrass Association.
Mike has deep roots and a long-term investment in the traditional bluegrass style. Mike first heard Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, and other first generation players, as a 13 year old, in his hometown of Toledo, Ohio. He soon decided that Bluegrass music was the music he would play, and he has been playing it ever since. Before moving to California in 1989, Mike defined his energetic and melodic guitar style in numerous bands in northwest Ohio and most notably, in The Raisin River Band with longtime friend Jim Hurst. Since moving to the Bay Area, Mike entered the local scene with a confident G-run and began playing with the nationally known band Roanoke and more recently with Adobe Creek Bluegrass.
Larry has loved bluegrass since he first saw Flatt & Scruggs perform in 1959. He has been playing bluegrass, and the banjo, since 1963, and has never strayed from this tradition style of bluegrass. Larry is originally from Springfield, Tennessee, but spent sometime growing-up in Bakersfield, CA. Larry came to the Bay Area in 1973, and joined Butch Waller’s band, High Country, as a bass player. Soon after he replaced Bruce Nemerov on the banjo and the rest is a well documented history, as he is still a member of that band, and a veteran of many other fine bluegrass bands from Northern California. Larry is one of the best, most hard-driving banjo players on the West Coast. His forthright, cutting vocal style is traditional bluegrass through and through. Larry sings lead, tenor, and baritone with Blue & Lonesome.
Paul is a native of Northern California and a long time resident of Novato California. Paul started on guitar at the age of fourteen, and began fiddle and mandolin at age eighteen. Although his parents were classically trained musicians, Paul taught himself to be fluent in bluegrass, jazz, Celtic and a smattering of other styles. Paul has earned two California State Fiddle Championships, has twice been named California State Flat-picking Guitar Champion and is an honorary lifetime member of the California Bluegrass Association. Paul played with several highly acclaimed bluegrass bands including twelve years with the Good Ol’ Persons, five years as the resident fiddle player at Disneyland with the Rhythm Brothers and nine years touring with Lost Highway. Among others, he has performed and recorded with David Grisman, Tony Rice and Frank Wakefield.
Jeff has been playing Bluegrass music for over 30 years. Born and raised in rural Missouri to a musical family, Jeff entered music contests on banjo and guitar before playing on live radio. Jeff performed around Missouri, Maine, New England and the Midwest before moving to Sonoma County, where he met up with other bluegrass players and joined them on the bass. Jeff’s musical talents were featured in Round Oak, a local band called the Rhythm Rasslers and Adobe Creek Bluegrass.