KEN BLACKLOCK, LARRY CARLIN, DR, ELMO, JOHN PIERSON, DANA RATH

Photo by Mike Melnyk

WILD BLUE

Wild Blue was Marin County's premier bluegrass band from 1991-2012. The quintet mixed bluegrass classics and originals with folk and country songs, providing an entertaining and energetic show for audiences of all ages. The band recorded one CD titled Wild Blue Grass, and they had their CD release party at the 142 Throckmorton Theatre in Mill Valley on September 9, 2009. You can read press reviews of the recording here.

Wild Blue featured Dr. Elmo, whose holiday hit "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" has been the most popular Christmas song in the nation for the past 37 years, having sold over ten million copies. Originally from the state of Kentucky -- the birthplace of bluegrass music -- he has been living in Marin for over 40 years now. He is a veterinarian, plays the banjo and was one of the band’s lead vocalists.

Guitarist John Pierson, from Gainesville, FL, has been living in Sausalito for a few decades now. He was the band balladeer as well as a first-rate harmony singer, and was also the group’s financial and spiritual advisor.

 

Fiddler Kenny Blacklock, originally from Santa Rosa, CA, lives in Petaluma after spending a few years living in Japan. Besides playing fiddle (he also plays tin whistle, keyboards, mandolin, musical saw, and viola)(but not in this band), Kenny makes his living as a music teacher, and he studied at the Berklee School of Music.

Mandolinist Dana Rath, from San Rafael, moved west from Burlington, CO, many years back. A versatile musician, he also plays classical music on mandolin with his group the Modern Mandolin Quartet.

Rounding out the bottom of the band is bassman Larry Carlin, the self-proclaimed "King of King of Prussia, PA," now living in self-imposed exile in Sausalito. Another of the band’s lead singers, he is also produced shows and wrote about bluegrass for multiple publications.

All five of these guys were very talented musicians, and their three-part harmonies forged a musical blend that captivated and delighted all audiences. Their recording, Wild Blue Grass, covered a range of material, from ballads and Beatles to gospel and goofy songs, such as Elmo's inimitable rendition of "The Wild Dogs of Kentucky."

Having performed all over California for 21 years, Wild Blue also played private and corporate parties, weddings, and wineries. They were a band that was fun to watch and that obviously enjoyed the music that they played.

Two members of Wild Blue retired from performing live in 2012, so the band is no longer active.

E-mail Wild Blue.

For more photos, go here.

 

 



This page updated 1/27/17