Beatles style bluegrass comes to Pacific

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The community, students, staff and faculty members filled Taylor Meade Performing Arts Center on Nov. 15 to enjoy the sold out Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band concert.

“They play Beatles music with a bluegrass twist,” said Events Coordinator for Pacific University, Curtis Ray. “It’s a different sound with the Beatles music in the background.”

Since the band performs music by the Beatles, Ray knew the community would be familiar with the songs and enjoy the concert.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band has been performing together for more than two years.

Wasler said he and the rest of band members, Bach Nordwood, bass player and vocalist; Gerald Jones, banjo and mandolin player and vocalist, and Reggie Reuffer, fiddle and vocalist, stumbled upon each other through gigs.

“We love performing together and we try to support each other’s sound,” said Wasler.

While the band only plays Beatles music, Wasler said they are thinking about adding new songs next year. At the moment, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band only performs one song that is not a part of the Beatles music, sung by Bill Withers called “Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone.”

“This is a crazy arrangement we did to be funny,” said Wasler. “We soon realized it actually sounded really good and it seems to be one of the best songs in the show.”

Bluegrass music is a type of folk music involving the use of stringed instruments like a guitar, violin or banjo.

Bluegrass music is distinguished by the improvisations by the musicians. Wasler describes the band’s music as a hybrid.

“It can’t be labeled as rock and roll or jazz and classical,” said Wasler. “It’s a mix of all four and built around the songs.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band tries to think outside of the box and produce songs they think sound well.

While they get a lot of offers to perform, Wasler said the group is very picky about which gigs to commit to.

“We do this for fun, not to be famous or to make a lot of money,” said Wasler. “We do it because we are musicians who love our craft.”

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Bluegrass Band is the second of five concerts a part of the 21st season, performing arts series. Ray said, they do a series every year, hosting five to six concerts.

There will be three more concerts in February, March and April.


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