Next gig:       December 2: Donkey & Goat Winery (Berkeley) 6 pm and Fireside Lounge (Alameda) 11 pm     (more...)      

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Nobody from Nashville is a new, up and coming San Francisco Bay Area string band. We all met in the summer of 2011 at a popular bluegrass festival in California where we discovered that once we started jamming together, nobody wanted to stop and the band was born. Full disclosure: none of us is from Nashville, though several of us have visited.

Band Member Biographies

The strength of the band lies in tight harmonies and hard-hitting instrumentation delivered night after night and all night long by the following individuals:

"Papa" Jamie Maddox plays banjo and sings lead and harmony vocals. He's a grandfather who retired from 35 years of driving a San Francisco taxicab and various other pursuits to play bluegrass music.

"I've been trying to play the 5-string banjo for almost 50 years now and I'm still working to get it right. It's a story with no end. I have loved this music ever since I heard the Kingston Trio in the early 60's. It's a musical bridge from pre-colonial times to the present day that channels the soul of America. I bow to the masters of this music, too numerous to mention here, and give thanks to my dear wife and family who support me in playing it."

Ian Epstein toured the country entering flatpicking contests at bluegrass festivals, where he never placed below fourth place. Currently he manages Epstein Towers, where the band generally rehearses.

Chris Eccles plays mandolin and sings lead and harmony vocals.

Bluegrass has its roots in Scottish, Irish and Welsh traditional music and Chris' years in the coal mines of South Wales started a lifelong fascination with Appalachia and its music.

"After hitchhiking from Wales to Kentucky one summer, I decided not to return home. Years of wandering finally led me to settle in San Francisco. My mandolin heroes are John Reischman and David Grisman and I love Bill Monroe, Flatt & Scruggs and the Stanley Brothers and all of the Welsh Bluegrass greats."

Jim McCall was on a quest to find the perfect musical instrument. He has spent several life times test-driving a wide variety of selections, only to ultimately discard them. He once had a dream of playing the marimba on top of the Great Wall of China with the Dead, but somehow that never happened. He has tried piano, jews harp, harmonica, banjo, guitar, drums, mandolin, kazoo, african marimba, and bagpipes. He was taken to a lot of opera as a child. All this musical soup was instrumental in his choice of a really obscure instrument, the dobro.

Dan Hildebrandt has played bass for some great bands like the Infectious Global Groove band The Ragbirds and another Michigan band on the Jam Grass circuit. Now he keeps us together here in San Francisco.


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