The Bay Area trio known as The Warblers (who are on hiatus at this time), featured the lead singing and guitar playing of Yvonne Walbroehl, known to longtime readers of Bluegrass By the Bay as the former author of "The Parking Lot Picker" column. California festival goers may also recognize Yvonne -- a ubiquitous presence at the best of the late night campfire jams -- for her powerful voice and soulful picking. She also plays in the band Cabin Fever. Claudia Hampe and Larry Carlin, of the groups Keystone Crossing, Keystone Station, and Blithedale Canyon, joined Yvonne in haunting two and three-part harmonies.
They played at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park in October 2002, and they used to play often at the former Sweetwater in Mill Valley.
THE WARBLERS BAND MEMBERS
Yvonne Walbroehl -- Yvonne's roots are firmly planted in bluegrass. Originally from the state of Virginia, Yvonne (or "Dr. Y" as she is sometimes known) did her undergraduate studies at Mary Washington College in her home state. She went on to get her Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill while a kid named Michael Jordan was playing basketball there. She spent some time in Michigan before relocating to the Bay Area in 1994, and she spends her vacations going to bluegrass festivals on the West Coast. She has been playing guitar since she was 11 years old, and her favorite singers growing up were Hazel Dickens, Emmylou Harris, Bill Monroe, and the Stanley Brothers. She is one of the hottest flat-pickers around, and her ax of choice is a 1947 Martin D-18. Her major influences on her guitar playing were Clarence White, Tony Rice, and Doc Watson. Yvonne plays in three bands -- The Warblers, Cabin Fever, and Farms In Berkeley -- and she can be found in the middle of a hot jam at 3 AM at bluegrass festivals everywhere. She is a member of three bluegrass organizations -- the Northern California Bluegrass Society, the California Bluegrass Association, and the International Bluegrass Music Association, and she lives in Mountain View.
Claudia Hampe -- Claudia is originally from Radnor, PA, where she sang in a folk group in high school called The Jovial Singers, who, in 1965, beat out a young singer named Jim Croce in a talent contest. She sang in the band Rowdy & The Rivets some years back during the "Urban Cowboy Scare" of the early 1980s, and she also warbles the high parts with The Warblers. Claudia sings and plays rhythm guitar, and it was her beautiful harmonies that made this band sound so good. She also plays with the duo Keystone Crossing as well as the bands Keystone Station and Blithedale Canyon. She has been living in Mill Valley for 40 years.
Larry Carlin -- Larry is a performer, producer, and writer of bluegrass in the San Francisco Bay Area. Originally from King of Prussia, PA, he has been living in the Bay Area for 36 years, and he sings and plays standup bass. He performs in four bands, and writes a weekly column for the California Bluegrass Association called The More Or Less Daily News (MOLD). He also plays with the duo Keystone Crossing as well as with the bands Keystone Station and Blithedale Canyon. He has been writing film reviews for Movie Magazine International for 24 years. He lives in the little hollow of Sausalito.
Four decades of bluegrass in CA
Great Acoustic Guitar Shop
This page updated 5/28/2015