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GTM String Band, Whistlin Rufus set to jam Eastside Bluegrass

by: Contributed photo Whistlin’ Rufus.

The Eastside Bluegrass Series continues this Saturday, Feb. 18, with performances by The GTM String Band as well as Whistlin' Rufus.

The show takes place at 7 p.m. in Freedom Foursquare Church, 660 S.E. 160th Ave. Suggested donation is $10 per person, and the show is all ages.

If you play an instrument, come at 5:30 p.m. for an informal jam, or just bring your voice and sing along.

Here's a brief look at Saturday's performers:

GTM String Band

A three-piece acoustic band whose members hail from the Portland-Vancouver area, the trio plays bluegrass-based music using two guitars and a bass fiddle. Fiddle tunes comprise most of the band's instrumental numbers while members Greg Stone, Tony Rocci and Marty Henick all contribute vocally.

Rocci has played both electric and acoustic guitar since an early age developing a large repertoire from rock 'n' roll to folk. Bitten by the bluegrass bug about 10 years ago, he and his wife, Eileen, founded the popular bluegrass band Northwest Passage. He has also either won or placed in several guitar contests over the years.

Henick has been playing bluegrass music for 12 years. For the past five years he's been the banjo player for Northwest Passage. His passion is for the bass fiddle, along with his strong lead voice and high harmonies.

Stone is a guitar player and vocalist living in Portland who loves bluegrass and all kinds of music. He teaches guitar to local students.

Whistlin' Rufus

More than your average traditional fiddle and acoustic guitar band, this group has a new CD, 'It's About Time,' that combines infectious melodies, lively bluegrass, soulful ballads, and fast and joyous Irish pub tunes. Pat Connell plays mandolin and guitar and is the lead singer, Ritchie Wernick sings harmony and plays guitar and harmonica, and classically trained cellist John Hubbard also plays banjo. Natasha O'Neal plays fiddle and Greg Paul thumps the bass.

Shari Dolan will perform in between the other two bands. For more information, call 503-307-2993 or visit eastsidebluegrass.com, gtmstringband.com or whistlinrufus.com.




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