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Filtering by Category: 2016lineup


Steven Stubblefield

rushad has become a staple of the DIO scene at this point.. although we're not sure if Rushad and staple should ever be used in the same sentence... you'll likely find him in his usual Saturday afternoon amphitheater spot... but who knows what he'll be up to this year... we hear he's been fooling around with a looping pedal... watch out! The goblin king returns...

Rushad Eggleston (“Rushadicus”) is a revolutionary cellist, composer, poet-philosopher, and entertainer whose unforgettable performances captivate and inspire all generations and types. With an intimate knowledge of classical music, jazz, and bluegrass under his fingers, coupled with an infamously infectious sense of rhythm, Rushad is a whole futuristic wonder-band expressed through just one person. Using his cello (and occasionally a guitar) as the steering wheel, Rushadicus will take you on a rocket-fueled melodic journey through space and time, and from the ridiculous to the sublime. Hopping nimbly around the stage with his cello strapped to his body while passionately singing songs that range from stuck-in-your-head-for-weeks to elaborate yet compelling miniature operas in his own language of Sneth, Eggleston is an incomparable soulful jester of modern times. A fearless improviser, Eggleston spontaneously navigates through his seemingly endless repertoire of instrumentals and vocals, only pausing briefly to set the stage for a battle between him and Bach, or rattling off with incredible speed a 3 page poem of self-fashioned words*.

If this sounds a bit far-fetched or incoherent, make no mistake: Rushad Eggleston is a world-class entertainer, with credentials. He won a full scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston and was nominated for a Grammy award while still studying there, a feat which no other member of its laundry list of legendary alumni have pulled off. Eggleston singlehandedly invented bluegrass cello and spawned a huge revival of cello in roots music. Now it seems every other band you see has some transformed cellist jamming along. In addition to acting in television commercials for the likes of Mazda, appearing on movie soundtracks and hundreds of studio recordings, Rushad was also a founding member of the popular alt-bluegrass outfit Crooked Still, legendary stringband Fiddlers 4, and explosive rock trio Tornado Rider. He has performed at renowned venues (including Carnegie Hall) in 45 states and 13 countries, and taught hundreds of youngsters worldwide how to let loose their musical imaginations and rock on the cello.

Kendra McKinley (Solo)

Steven Stubblefield

Kendra McKinley helped found DIO back in 2013... and we're stoked to have her with us every chance we get. Launching a music career in SF, we don't always see her around Santa Cruz much anymore, but when we do... it's always good. The voice of an angel, the strength of the sea, the prowess of a legend...

Kendra McKinley is a troubadour for the new millennium. Combining the sophistication of Tin Pan Alley melodies, the harmonic sensibility of 1960s chamber pop, and the seductive calm of Bossa Nova, McKinley creates intoxicating compositions that can bring even the rowdiest crowd to a standstill.

Sky Country

Steven Stubblefield

Sky Country are at the core of the do it ourselves spirit. Representing the DIO crew out of Big Sur, these dudes represent all the brainwaves you might feel when cruzing a sun-swept Pacific highway... 

Sky Country offers up warm, hazy sun-soaked Rock n Roll inspired by the coasts and deserts of the western frontier - a genuine California sound born and bred from the lineages of renegade surf culture and ramblers of the lost nowhere lands to the east. The songs amble down the bleached highways and byways of windswept americana where guitars can still sound like bones, drums still barrel down the tracks, and poets still wink and grumble at the human heart.

The Naked Bootleggers

Steven Stubblefield

always happy to have the bootleggers back in action... Local favorites from the Santa Cruz Mountains, these boys bring the acoustic heat, sweet storytelling and good ol' fashion humor mixed in too...

Local favorites from the the Santa Cruz Mountains, The Naked Bootleggers are reviving the standards of yesterday while writing the standards for tomorrow.

Local musicians Don Mackessy(banjo/vocals), Ona Stewart(guitar/vocals), S.T. Young(guitar/harmonica/vocals), James Mackessy(bass/vocals), Jeremy Lampel(mandolin/vocals) span the gap between old time and contemporary music with captivating vocal harmonies, lyrical creativity and that high lonesome sound of old.

The Bowties

Steven Stubblefield

The Alabama Bow Ties are a group of young, voracious bluegrass pickers with plenty of history and experience. Dedicated to precision playing of the masters' classics, we are happy to bring traditional bluegrass into the hearts of audiences far and wide.

Sure Fire Soul Ensemble

Steven Stubblefield

The Sure Fire Soul Ensemble is a heavy, original, instrumental soul band based in San Diego. They draw influence from the masters of the style from the past and modern day, including: Quincy Jones, Jimmy McGriff, Mulatu Astatke, Isaac Hayes, and The Poets of Rhythm.  

Royal Jelly Jive

Steven Stubblefield

An intoxicating mixed drink of Gypsy Rock and Soul Jive, Royal Jelly Jive dives deep head-first into the old school throwback sounds of the 1940’s with a groovy new twist. Rapturous horns, sleek bass, an intoxicating mixed drink of Gypsy Rock and Soul Jive, Royal Jelly Jive dives deep head-first into the old school throwback elegant keys and swingin’ cymbals are just some of the sweet tastes you may devour if you’re lucky enough to catch them.

All fronted by the sultry and soulful vocals of Lauren Bjelde, this band will have you stompin’ your feet with crooked delight until the moon comes back up again. Go get yourself some of that Royal Jelly Jive now!

Marty O'Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra

Steven Stubblefield

Explaining Marty O’Reilly and the Old Soul Orchestra’s music is like describing a remembered dream. It feels familiar, but at the same time it feels new. It's blues but not blues, folk but not folk, soulful but not soul. Marty’s voice is beautiful and distinctive, his lyrics stark yet lush over gritty electrified guitar. Chris Lynch's violin, Matt Goff's percussion and Ben Berry's rich bass meld beautifully. The chemistry of these friends is obvious. But one can also hear an urgency in the songs, expressing something elemental and perhaps contradictory: love and anger, joy and pain. They go from raw gospel blues to cinematic epics, from heavy driving grooves to delicately arranged folk songs.

The live performance is at the core of this project: the band enters a trance and the music is born again as something new every night. They leave the stage out of breath, the ground littered with broken strings and bow hairs. It's hard to describe, impossible to categorize. Yet people who know the music will try to explain it to you, just as you might struggle to explain a dream in the morning. The visions might slip away as you recount them, but the feeling remains.

The band formed in Santa Cruz California in 2012 and has been touring relentlessly ever since, from San Francisco to New Orleans to London to Seattle. They invite you to join them.
   "A band true to its name: soulful"
   "Delightful... well crafted music"
-SF Weekly 

Steep Ravine

Steven Stubblefield

Steep Ravine's soulful sound takes roots music in compelling new directions. Fusing elements of folk-rock, bluegrass, and jazz, the band continues to enthrall audiences with their uniquely Californian sound. Songwriter Simon Linsteadt (guitar, lead vocals) and Jan Purat (violin, vocals) began playing music together in high school in Northern California, later moving on to study music at UC Santa Cruz and the California Jazz Conservatory. They fortuitously met bassist Alex Bice (bass, vocals) through jam sessions in Santa Cruz. Percussionist Jeff Wilson, a close musical compadre, is the band’s most recent addition. Steep Ravine has toured extensively throughout the country and has released two full-length records of all original material.

Dan P and the Bricks

Steven Stubblefield

Dan P. and the Bricks is a 10 piece ska band from Santa Cruz, CA, featuring members of MU330 and Slow Gherkin. With a 5 piece horn section, two guitars, organ, bass, and drums, the goal is BIG SOUND and BIG FUN!

Formed in February of 2009, the focus of the band is to play locally and raise money for local charities. Fund raisers so far have included a benefit concert for The Leukemia and Lymphoma society, Hospice of Santa Cruz County, and The Surf City AIDS Ride benefiting The Santa Cruz AIDS Project.

Kelly McFarling and the Home Team

Steven Stubblefield

McFarling’s music occupies a place between places…” a testament to the singer songwriter herself, who has moved across the country from Georgia to California and dwelled in various places between. With an affinity for mountains and desert-scapes, and a sensibility for Southern literature, McFarling writes music for motion, and the emotional power of her music will move you.

Whether fireside or festival, McFarling’s voice can take you soaring with its distinctive clarity, or have you leaning into the intimate cracks of its authenticity. Her songs present honest aperture into the shaky and shimmering nature of transitions. Her band provides a bed of classic Americana instrumentation loaded with tasteful space, and perfectly placed flourish.

Over the 4 years they have been playing together they have solidified a sound that nestles into comparisons of a dark Emmylou Harris, or a bright Neko Case. McFarling’s first studio album Distractible Child (2010) features her first compositions and a focus on folk sensibilities. The sophomore album Ridgeline (2013) is a matured development of McFarling’s songwriting and arrangements. With prominent pedal steel and guitar provided by Tim Marcus, Andrew Laubaucher on drums, Jonathan Kirchner on Bass, Micah Dubreiul on keys and McFarling’s signature claw hammer Banjo, the band sound lives somewhere between Tom Petty in Los Angeles and Gillian Welch in Nashville.

Sparrows Gate

Steven Stubblefield

Sparrows Gate's music is cut from the same cord as John Steinbeck's desolate western landscapes and the humble optimism of his characters hearts. Zebedee Zaitz's lyrics are the deep reflection of small town California during warm nights.  Sparrows Gate is a series of relationships; The guitar and bass rhythm is a product of the brothers' Zeb and Anthony Zaitz relationship and their Florida upbringing. The call and response of the southern guitar licks weave with the range of Joel Tolbert's organ and slide guitar. Tolbert's music is a part of his blood, as three generations have tended to the land and the musical spirit of America's southwest. Drummer Josh Barnhart's steady rhythm, crescendo and fill alternate with melodic vocal harmonies, reflecting the values of an artistic family. Sparrows Gate is a group of musicians linked by the common experience of families heading west early last century to a land of promises and new beginnings.

Zebedee Zaitz Lead Vocal and Guitar
Joel Tolbert Keys & Lap steel Guitar
Anthony Zaitz Electric Bass
Joshua Barnhart Drums
w/ Roger Tompkins Upright Bass
featuring Jersey Paul Dutton Telecaster

Windy Hill Bluegrass

Steven Stubblefield

It's immediately evident at a Windy Hill show that the band is excited about bluegrass music and have big fun picking and singing. They're becoming increasingly well-known – and are winning awards – for their entertaining performances.

Windy Hill began as an idea in a Menlo Park (CA) High School wood shop class, where two 17-year-old friends sat around their work station sanding their projects and talking about live music. They discovered a mutual love for the songs of Bill Monroe, Carter Stanley, and Jimmy Martin and set out to learn to play and sing traditional music.

In 2008, these two friends – Henry Warde and Ryan Breen – found themselves in Fort Collins, Colorado, and started their band. Windy Hill was always the natural choice for the band name, as Ryan's backyard in Portola Valley, CA, overlooks the town's landmark – a golden hill separating the SF Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean.

The next year, they returned to California and another bluegrass-loving member of their high school class, Kyle McCabe, joined the band. Henry (mandolin), Ryan (banjo), and Thomas Wille (guitar) usually form the band's power trio, while Kyle (bass) holds down the beat.

Listen to Windy Hill here.

Range of Light Wilderness

Steven Stubblefield

The band is a three piece centered on songwriter Tommy Frank MacDonald. The sound is hushed and catchy, melodically magical, beachy pop. Songs are born from long days in Big Sur, where Tommy dwells on high ridge top, in the center of a sunset.

The Range of Light Wilderness is joining us from Big Sur, CA. Listen to their enigmatic sounds below...

Emily Afton

Steven Stubblefield

With a voice that has been compared to Adele, Regina Spektor, and Lauryn Hill, Emily writes and performs unique, vocal-forward songs that will leave you both nostalgic and hopeful. Emily Afton’s sound intertwines ribbons of indie-pop, soul, and alternative rock into stories that unearth her life as an “overly sensitive,” yet critical, artist who is coming of age in the first world.

In 2010, she released her first EP under the former stage name Emily Moldy, which led to touring performances with greats such as Sean Hayes, Scarub (of the Living Legends), Mira, and more. In 2012, her song “My Own One” was featured on a Nature Valley Thins Commercial, and again in Estee Lauder’s 2013 Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign, exposing her music to wider audiences and bringing her local and national recognition.

Since then, she has been performing and recording under her new (and actual) name, Emily Afton. Working with acclaimed Bay Area producers David Earl and Lila Rose, she has spent the whole of 2014 evolving herself as a recording artist, while immersing herself in the creation of her first full-length album (to be released in Spring 2015).


Steven Stubblefield

Rising from amorphous kraut rock jam sessions in the back of a barbershop, Monarch takes bluesy, meditative psychedelic rock and injects jazz, guitar harmonies, and a taste of down-home country heartbreak. Monarch incorporates the triple-guitar punch of Dominic “Daddy Sticks” Denholm, Thomas DiBenedetto, and Nate Burns, backed by the driving rhythms of Andrew Ware and the hypnotic bass thump of Matt Weiss. Together, they weave an engulfing tapestry of sound, influenced by the unstoppable forces of cheap beer and jazz cigarettes. Their self-titled EP was released in late 2014, and it’s been passed in plastic cd sleeves to butterfly boy believers across the world.

Jordan Smart

Steven Stubblefield

Jordan Smart is not your average singer-songwriter. His pure approach to traditional americana music leaves some feeling like they have gone back in time. Armed with a set of beat-up harmonicas, a homemade kick drum, an acoustic guitar, banjo, and a voice like raw honey, he never ceases to captivate his audience.

The Painted Horses

Steven Stubblefield

The Painted Horses are a rising folk band from the Santa Cruz Mountains in California.  Denys Kozakis and Natosha Wengreen discovered their mutual love for songwriting and singing harmonies and started the project along with their good friend and musical partner Jon Payne on bass in 2014.  The band regularly performs as a trio, but have also been known to perform with a full band depending on the show and for recordings. The Painted Horses strong songwriting and harmonies seem to connect them mostly with a folk genre that is unique and seemingly all their own. 

2015 was a big year for The Painted Horses, as they continued to grow their fanbase throughout various California cities. Highlights of 2015 include the bands NPR Tiny Desk concert submission being featured as an editors favorite, doing multiple video session for Jam in the Van and Humboldt Live Sessions, and a debut album/song feature on CMT's the Edge. In addition to playing multiple music festivals in California including American River Music Festival, Redgate Ranch Music Festival, and Dio Fest, the band had the pleasure of playing renowned music venues such as Slims (SF), The Chapel (SF), Lagunitas Brewing Company (Petaluma), Sweetwater MusicHall (Mill Valley), Leos (Oakland), Kuumbwa Jazz Center (SC), Moes Alley (SC), and several shows in the Fillmore Poster Room (SF).  They played with bands such as Poor Mans Whiskey, Jamestown Revival, The BrothersComatose, Pert Near Sandstone, Kate Davis, Honey Honey, The Wild Reeds, Hey Rosetta, and many more. The band continues to be a favorite in Santa Cruz and the Bay Area, and are regularly drawing new faces to their shows.

Pat Hull

Steven Stubblefield

Pat Hull's lyrically and vocally charged songwriting "goes in the direction of gently reinventing the genre rather than obeying its exhausted axioms" (Deli Magazine).