1642, 1642 Temple Ave., 90026
- LA Bluegrass Hoppers
- White Chocolate Drops
- Smoggy Mountain String Band
LA Bluegrass Hoppers:
The L.A. Blue Grasshoppers, UCLA’s very own old time and bluegrass band, brings a high-energy repertoire of dance tunes and polished harmonies drawing from the high, lonesome sound of Appalachia. Comprised entirely of UCLA students, we won the Band Competition at the 2013 Topanga Valley Fiddle and Banjo festival, along with individual awards for banjo and guitar solos. Our eponymous album, L.A. Blue Grasshoppers, was recorded and produced at UCLA and is available for purchase on CDBaby and from members of the band.
White Chocolate Drops:
The White Chocolate Drops are a duo of multi-instrumentalists Jonathan Shifflett and Nick Bachman. As students of old-time educator David Bragger, it wasn’t hard for them to find interests in common. The two find time to practice between Nick’s work as an animator and Jonathan’s studies in journalism.
Jonathan Shifflett: “I studied classical guitar in college and then switched to banjo ’cause I thought I wouldn’t have to try as hard…Two years later I’m still trying.” Nick Bachman: “I’m from Iowa originally, been playing for three years. But I came from a punk music background. I guess that’s all.”
The two share a love for the African-American old-time tradition and play with a historical sense of crookedness and harmonic confusion.
Smoggy Mountain String Band:
Amber Cavener (vocals): Amber was raised on old time music – her father and grandfather were both guitar players and singers from North Carolina. Family gatherings filled with music making led to a lifelong passion both for her and her brother, Jarvis Long III. Amber fronted ska, rocksteady and gypsy jazz bands before founding a traditional rockabilly group, Amber Foxx, with her husband Bobby Cavener in 2003. The group has played festivals in the U.S., England and Australia.
Bobby Cavener (upright bass): Bobby was interested in music at a young age. Guitar lessons opened him up to folk, blues and early jazz. A broken thumb made him believe music was out until a friend showed him the upright bass. Along with being a founding member of his wife’s rockabilly group, Amber Foxx, Bobby also performs with his brother-in-law’s hillbilly country band, J.W. Long & The Weyman Creek Boys.
Jarvis Long III (guitar, vocals): Jarvis has held a lifelong love of country music. In 2006, after stints of punk rock and rock and roll, Jarvis returned to his roots when he formed J.W. Long & The Weyman Creek Boys, a hillbilly country band, with his brother-in-law Bobby Cavener. Jarvis brings the rhythmic energy of his rock and roll background to his newfound passion – old time music.
Peter Linden (banjo): Peter fell in love with old time music while attending college in New York. Since moving back West, he has filled life with as much of it as he can, and with a little more sun.
Kyle McNally (fiddle, vocals): Kyle began playing the violin at an early age. After setting it down for many years, his passion for music was reignited when he moved to North Carolina and heard the sounds of old time, which he’s been playing ever since.