Richard Smith's fretboard fireworks, warm tone and lyrical style will melt your heartstrings, have your toes tapping and your jaws hanging open. His ever growing repertoire comprises a wide variety of music from classical Bach to Beatles pop. It includes Scott Joplin Rags just like Sousa marches, Chopin, Mozart and fiddle tunes. It ranges from jazz standards to Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed and to Django Reinhardt gypsy swing, not to mention their intriguing originals. Richard delivers both lightning fast barn-burners and beautiful ballads, occasionally spiced with gentle and witty vocals. His incredible stylistic wealth is founded in a lifelong love for music.
Richard has toured the world as a solo artist, with his brothers Rob and Sam as the Richard Smith Guitar Trio, and with his swing band, The Hot Club of Nashville, featuring Stuart Duncan on fiddle, Pat Bergeson on guitar and Charlie Chadwick on bass. Fellow guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel prefers Richard Smith as one of his favorite duet partners. In 2001, Richard became the National Fingerstyle Guitar Champion in Winfield, Kansas. He has been a mainstay at the Chet Atkins Appreciation Society Convention in Nashville since 1991, where he has played with many world renowned artists including Nato Lima of Los Indios Tabajaras, sax legend Boots Randolph and John Jorgenson of Desert Rose Band and Elton John Band fame.
Richard has also performed with other great musicians such as Marcel Dadi, Tommy Tedesco, Thom Bresh, Joe Pass, Bireli Lagrene, Bryan Sutton, Les Paul, Mark O’Connor, Sam Bush, Martin Taylor, Jorge Morel, Suzy Bogguss, Muriel Anderson, Guy Van Duser, Bela Fleck, Victor Wooten, Tony McManus, Buster B. Jones and Brooks Robertson. Richard has shared the bill with a host of others, most notably Steve Morse, Albert Lee, Paco Pena, Barney Kessel, David Russell and Johnny Hiland.
Great Northern Planes was formed out of the ashes of former Portland band Pumpkin Ridge. The band was forced to split after too many people called at 6:00 a.m. on weekends to ask for a tee-time. However, the "Punk" attitude was kept, and a new sound was born of the ashes. The result has been a successful combination that has taken the band to new places. Whether you want traditional Bluegrass for your formal gatherings or a Bluegrass free-for-all that's guaranteed to get you arrested, The Great Northern Planes do it all. When the late Bill Monroe was asked to comment on these boys, he responded, "What?"
Rob Hakanson – hometown Portland, OR – A former "Punk" Fiddler, Rob is now a mandolin manipulator. For the Planes, Rob has analyzed each and every combination of strings and frets and has concluded that there are twelve, yes twelve notes only, in the world of the mandolin. He can play them in order, backwards or forwards. If you can catch Rob warming up before a show, maybe you can hear one of those catchy tunes, da,da da da da da da de da da. Off stage Rob is a computer something or other. We know Rob is good at what he does because they let him work late at night and on the weekends too.
Jim Hancock – Hometown Portland, OR – Jim, a "Punk" original, has come a long way from his "log cabin in New York City" birthplace. When it comes to clean and thoughtful banjo playing, I can tell you one thing, Jim is a nice guy. Ask Jim (wake him up first) about his ukuleles and zebras.
Doug Hancock – Hometown Milwaukie, OR – Doug, known as the "Pharoah of the Flat Pick," constantly plays all around the melody and on both sides of the beat. When he's not playing his guitar, he's testing different forms of asbestos-based hair polymers for Mary Kay. If you see Doug, feel his hair. Trust us.
Steve Bond – Hometown Newcastle, AL – Steve is the Planes' bass virtuoso. Steve came to the Northwest not too long ago from Wallyland. Rockabilly, klezmer, bluegrass – it's all music to him. Steve was in the northwest as a part of the Federal Witness Protection Program. During last year's federal government shutdown, they could no longer afford to keep him hidden, so they turned him loose and told everyone who he was. We're glad they did because we found him.
Whistlin' Rufus is a very talented acoustic quintet. They play traditional bluegrass instruments and sing some bluegrass tunes with wonderfully tight harmonies, and yet they are not necessarily considered a traditional bluegrass band. Although some of their tunes are Irish, they are not just an Irish band either. The Whistlin' Rufus artists are delightfully varied in their choice of material. They are passionate about a wide range of music and have the acumen to play it all well. They favor their original compositions, but don't be surprised if you hear them cover Tim O'Brien, Green Day, The Beatles or Bill Monroe. You can be sure to hear traditional foot stompin' mountain songs, Irish Ballads and American Folk favorites. Each band member contributes vocal harmonies and performs a variety of tunes guaranteed to get your toes tapping! The long awaited Whistlin' Rufus CD titled "It's About Time" is available and can be ordered online or by phone. Their tunes can be sampled on their website, but seeing them live is a treat you won't want to miss.
Band members: Pat Connell – Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals
Ritchie Wernick – Guitar, Harmonica, Vocals
John Hubbard – Cello, irish Banjo, Vocals
Natasha O'Neal – Fiddle, Vocals
Greg Paul – Bass, Vocals
The Pearce Family Band was formed in 1986, when Doub and Traci were married. Shortly thereafter, band members Wil, Molly, and Cate were born and added to the lineup. They began officially touring together in 2004, and have played shows all over the United States, launching from the musical hotbed of Southern California.
After two CD's ("Not For Sale" in 2004 and "Guilty" in 2006) and the addition of Wil's wife, Janie, the family is working hard to complete their next release for the summer of 2012. Playing a blend of events including festivals, concerts, camps, and church functions, the band is experienced in a variety of contexts.
The band's sound flows from the foundation of traditional bluegrass, but is fresh and unique as they are influenced by jazz, rock, classical, and other styles. Family ties run deep with the Pearces, which is made apparent by their seamless teamwork onstage, and love and support of each other's offstage. The hard work and unity has paid off as the group has won numerous contests for their vocal harmony, instrumentation, and band proficiency. They give God the glory for their talents, and their love for Jesus flows from the stage, particularly during their uplifting Gospel tunes. The combination of a love for music, family, great personalities, and excellence in their craft, make The Pearce Family Bluegrass Band an unforgettable group of artists.
Band members: Doub Pearce, Traci Pearce, Wil Pearce, Janie Pearce, Molly Pearce, and Catie Pearce.
Puddletown Ramblers is an experienced five piece band founded in 1996 who performs original compositions, Traditional Bluegrass, Americana and Acoustic music utilizing soulful lead and harmony vocals and dynamic, tasteful instrumentals. Puddletown Ramblers are based in Portland, Oregon and travel extensively in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. With a large repertoire, variety in their set list choices, and a sprinkling of comedy, the Puddletown Ramblers have entertained audiences all over the Pacific Northwest and have become a favorite of many promoters and music lovers.
Puddletown Ramblers perform the original songs of David Peterson as well as a vast array of vintage traditional music from the greats of Bluegrass, Country, Gospel, Instrumental and Old Time. Some of the artists they sound like and perform selections from include: The Blue Sky Boys, Flatt and Scruggs, Bill Monroe and many others from the first generation of Bluegrass music. Puddletown Ramblers have recently opened for national acts David Grier, Special Concensus and Dale Ann Bradley.
Puddletown Ramblers have appeared at many events and festivals over their career including: The Mt St Helens Bluegrass Festival in Toledo, Washington, Winlock Pickersfest in Winlock Washington, Goldendale Fiddlin’ Under the Stars Festival in Goldendale, Washington, Tygh Valley Bluegrass Festival in Tygh Valley, Oregon, Tumwater Bluegrass Festival in Tumwater, Washington, BirdFest in Ridgefield, Washington, Clark County Fair in Battle Ground, Washington, Bi-Zi Farms Harvestfest in Vancouver, Washington, Cartwright’s Music and Events Center in Stayton, Oregon, Amboy Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Amboy, Washington, Randle Bluegrass Festival in Randle, Washington, Rainier Pickin’ Party Bluegrass Festival in Rainier Washington, Ryderwood Bluegrass Festival in Ryderwood, Washington, Clatskanie Bluegrass Festival in Clatskanie, Oregon, Toutle Bluegrass Festival in Toutle, Washington, and many private and public events, weddings, parades, parties, festivals, theaters, churches, and markets all over Oregon and Washington.