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Nightlife & Music

Top Local Bluegrass Bands In Las Vegas

September 19, 2013 5:00 AM

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(photo credit: Thinkstock)

(photo credit: Thinkstock)

The Las Vegas music scene has a little bit of everything, including bluegrass bands. For those who aren’t familiar, bluegrass is a form of acoustic American music, influenced by the music of Appalachia. The diverse arrangements are also influenced by Irish, Scottish, Welsh, English and jazz music. Many bluegrass bands also play country, folk, jazz and other types of acoustic music. A typical bluegrass band consists of musicians with acoustic string instruments taking turns playing individual melodies and accompaniment. Some bluegrass bands also serve as square dance bands, complete with their own unique caller (vocalist that directs the dancers). You can find many of these talented local bluegrass bands playing at festivals, events and restaurants around Las Vegas, often for free.

Out of the Desert
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 294-3874
www.outofthedesert.org

Out of the Desert has been playing in Vegas sine 2008. You can hire the group for your special event or check it out every Sunday at Bar + Bistro from noon until 3 p.m. For videos and schedules of future performances, visit the band on Facebook. If you like what you hear, Out of the Desert has copies of its live concert CD available at performances.

Just For Fun
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 566-9372
www.s-w-b-a.com

The Just For Fun band formed in 1997 in an effort to bring bluegrass music to the people of Southern Nevada. Members Al Bess, Don Wadlington, Fred “Smitty” Smith, Sy Neilsen and Ron Williams play because they love it and love playing to audiences. The group is available for your wedding, party or other special event. To contact Just For Fun, visit the Southwest Bluegrass Association website, where you can also pick up a CD including the songs  “Georgia Rose” and “I Just Don’t Look Good Naked Anymore.”

Related: Amateur Night: Top Spots To Take The Stage In Las Vegas

Red Rock Ramblers
Carson City, NV
www.facebook.com/RedRockRamblers<

The Red Rock Ramblers are a group of experienced musicians playing bluegrass, gospel and classic country music. Members Doug Sherwood, Leon Evans, Daniel Blackerby, Joel Ferguson and Jim Damele have played the Backyard Jamboree and were featured in the Downtown Cultural Series. Several members of the Red Rock Ramblers are members of the Nevada Old-Time Fiddler’s Association and the Southern Nevada Bluegrass Society. For videos of past performances and future appearances, visit the band on Facebook.

Sagebrush Stringband
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 496-5120
www.facebook.com/SagebrushStringband

The Sagebrush Stringband is made up of Dave Carol, James Schuppel, Warren Kasendorf, Rick Crease, Patti Depetta and Jim Danmere. Sagebrush Stringband plays your basic bluegrass music at local community venues and events, often for free. Sagebrush Stringband is also one of the best square dancing bands in Las Vegas, playing and calling through the Southern Nevada Old Time Country Dancers. It’s safe to say that it doesn’t matter how much prior knowledge you have about the musical genre of bluegrass, Sagebrush Stingband will have you moving to the music and having fun.

Aspen Ridge
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 656-3049
www.aspenridgebluegrass.com

Aspen Ridge formed in 2005, progressing to its first gig at a local Border’s Bookstore. Playing a variety of bluegrass and folk, Aspen Ridge has become a party favorite at festivals in Utah and Nevada. The quartet of Fred Thull, Silvia Thull, Karl Tobler and Mike Brown recently produced their own CD including popular music and original compositions. To listen to clips or purchase the CD, visit the group’s website.

Related: Top Spots To Discover New Music In Las Vegas 

Christa Emmer is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in broadcast journalism. She has experience as a news writer, editor and producer in television news. Christa has been a Las Vegas resident for more than 20 years. Follow her on twitter @ChristaEmmer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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