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Byron Berline Band Performing in Los Olivos

Posted: Saturday, February 19, 2005

By: Peter Feldmann, Bluegrass West (Expired article)

Los Olivos, CA -

Three time national fiddle champion Byron Berline and his band, including John Hickman - banjo, Brad Benge - guitar, Richard Sharp - bass, and Steve Short - drums, will bring a program of traditional bluegrass music and Western swing to St. Marks Church, 2901 Nojoqui Avenue, Los Olivos on Thursday, March 17th at 8:00 PM.

Berline's early career included playing fiddle with bluegrass legends such as Bill Monroe, Dillard and Clark, and Country Gazette. After moving to Los Angeles in 1969 he soon became one of the most popular fiddlers in the music business. His long list of performing and recording credits include: The Rolling Stones, The Eagles, The Band, The Byrds, Elton John, Alabama, Mary Chapin Carpenter, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Rod Stewart, Earl Scruggs, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette, Mason Williams, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Vince Gill. He also has extensive television and movie sound track credits and has appeared in STAR TREK, BLAZE, BACK TO THE FUTURE III and BASIC INSTINCT.

Berline has recorded seven solo albums including his highly acclaimed "FIDDLE & A SONG" which was nominated for two Grammys: 'Best Album of the Year' and 'Best Song of the Year'.

Berline brings together his musician friends from the past and present to perform as the BYRON BERLINE BAND. These friends include:

BANJO: Regarded as one of the great masters of the banjo, the legendary John Hickman continues his twenty year collaboration with Berline. Hickman has played with bluegrass greats like Red Alien, Frank Wakefield, and Earl Taylor's Stoney Mountain Boys. He was a valuable member of the Berline-Crary-Hickman trio, which saw a continued development into the acclaimed band CALIFORNIA. John's work can be found on major label studio sessions as well as motion picture and television soundtracks.

GUITAR: The youngest member of the band. Brad Benge is an accomplished vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, playing guitar, keyboards, bass and drums. He also keeps busy in the local studios as a recording engineer and producer. Brad remembers joining in with his parents' bands at a very early age. The stage was familiar territory, which gave him the opportunity to develop his skills and be prepared to fill the vacancy in the Berline Band. His biggest influences have been Dan Taminski, Tommy Emmanuel and Sean Watkins, as well as music innovators John Hartford and Frank Zappa.

BASS: Richard Sharp is at home on the left-handed upright bass. He grew up listening to all kinds of music from Hank Williams to Bill Monroe and The Beatles, and has toured and recorded with Harlow Wilcox, including his Grammy nominated album "Groovy Grubworm". Sharp has shared the stage with Hank Thompson, the Texas Playboys, Chris Hillman, Vince Gill, Alan Munde, John Anderson, Boxcar Willie, Wanda Jackson, Colin Raye and Les Gilliam. Sharp's showmanship and vocal contributions bring a nice variety to the band.

DRUMS: Steve Short started playing drums at an early age with his parents' family band. Since those days Steve has recorded and played with every big name imaginable, including three years touring with Reba Mclntyre. Steve is a highly successful recording and sound engineer who has engineered the several BYRON BERLINE BAND albums. Steve is undoubtedly the most popular session drummer in the Oklahoma area.

Tickets to the event, priced at $17.50, will be available at Jensen's Music, Solvang and on-line at Tickets at the door will be $20, if available. For further information, call 805 688-9894 or visit

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