ARCHIVES: Click here to check out Scott's archived web pages containing a journalistic view of his musical endeavors through August 2008.
THE SALTY SUITES: Reviews/Archives
Click HERE to purchase the new SALTY SUITES CD!
Brewing up support
Musical acts Salty Suites and Phoebe Bridgers help Bob Stane raise funds for his Coffee Gallery Backstage
Bluegrass is getting a little greener thanks to Scott Gates and Nathan McEuen. At the Mountain Twilight Music Festival at the Big Bear Discovery Center Saturday, July 31, they, along with bassist Chuck Hailes, are bursting with youthful energy for traditional twang.
The Mountain Twilight Bluegrass Festival at the discovery Center's Outdoor Amphitheater is part of the Music in the Mountains series. Performances are 4 - 9 PM, with McEuen, Gates and Hailes hitting the stage at 7:45 PM.
Mandolinist Gates of Apple Valley, and guitarist and vocalist McEuen of Los Angeles, followed in their familie's multi-instrumentalist footsteps, and with absolutely no pressure from the old guard.
Gates, who will turn 18 one day prior to the event, first heard the mandolin listening to his grandfather Marco Manzo, who played classical Italian music on his [Martin] mandolin at family gatherings when Gates was a kid. Gates' uncle Scott [Manzo] is also a musician who played bass with Three Dog Night and various other projects. Music is in Gates' blood.
By age 3, Gates picked out a tune on the piano, and by age 6 he played Bach, but Gates gravitated back to the mandolin. "It's always been symbolic to me, playing the same instrument as the head of the family played," Gates says. "It was an honor thing, and I love the sound."
At age 8, during a trip to Disneyland with his family, Gates saw Evan Marshall playing mandolin with billy Hill and the Hillbillies.
"To see him right in front of me mastering an instrument that I was learning to lay was pretty mind blowing," Gates recalls. The young Gates walked right up to Marshall and asked for lessons. "He taught me basically everything I know."
Gates fine-tuned his playing, recording his first CD, "Legacy," by age 12. At 13 he formed the award-winning Pacific Ocean Bluegrass Band with friends.
More recently, Gates recorded with Kenny Loggins and [performed with] Steve Martin. The latter has been returning to his love of bluegrass and playing festivals like Bonnaroo in Tennessee and performing on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show".
"Its neat when someone like that brings attention to bluegrass," Gates says of Martin. "Now he can pull his banjo out and play like he wanted to when he was 17."
As for his famous music mate, Gates is quick to clarity, "I did not play with Steve Martin," he says with a laugh, "I played FOR Steve Martin. It was a gig. A job. But it was the coolest job I've ever had."
Nathan McEuen, left, Scott Gates and Chuck Hailes perform at the Mountain Twilight Music Festival Saturday, July 31.McEuen also occasionally back up Martin, coming full-circle from his father, John McEuen, who [is] a member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Martin opened for the band at times with his comedy act, and the band backed Martin on the recording of "King Tut," credited at The Toot Uncommons. The two have had a working relationship for decades.Gates met Nathan McEuen 2.5 years ago when the two were brought together through a fiddler friend, Phil Salazar. Nathan, who is 30, was un-phased by Gates' age, respecting him purely as a musician, which is something Nathan sought his entire career as a young musician.Nathan grew up on the road with his father. His uncle, William, is also a successful producer who worked with the band. At 8, Nathan wrong his first song, and at age 13 he began playing guitar. By 16 he immersed himself in every aspect of musicality offered to him.The one person he didn't ask much from was his father, choosing to make it on his own instead of in his father's shadow. "It deterred me at first," Nathan says. "It was one of those things where I didn't want to follow directly on the coattails, so I tried to make a footprint in a well-beaten path."The first time Nathan wrote and performed his own song in front of an applauding audience, he was hooked. His most recent solo CD, "Scrapbook Sessions," is an ode to the lifestyle he's adopted, handed down from his father.Nathan built a portable recording studio to lay down new tracks from town to town when he stops in to see various music friends across the nation. The result is a sort of genre roadtrip, with Nathan flitting from one style to the next depending who he is collaborating with, including Gates.But the music is all American, Nathan says, with his roots firmly planted in country music. "I was influenced by my dad and his friends," Nathan says. "One summer I got to meet Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Not only did I get to meet them on a personal side, but I got to see and feel the music by the people who wrote the songs."His music is for music lovers, Nathan says, and his fans get that. "My friends have come to know me as someone who is too rock for country and too country for rock -- and too green for bluegrass," he says. "But people love it."____The Big Bear Discovery Center is located at 40971 North Shore Drive, Fawnskin, CA. www.nationalforestassociation.org 909 382 2790
Los Angeles, California
Member Since 2001
SCOTT GATES secured a position in the world of mandolin performance at an early age and is as close to a mandolin prodigy as you can get. Now 17, he has had amazing opportunities to work with well-established artists like John McEuen of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, actor/comedian/bluegrass banjo player Steve Martin with whom he played live on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and recording with singer/songwriter mega-talent Kenny Loggins on his soon-to-be-released album All Join In.
Scott first showed an interest in music at three years old. At age five, his mother requested that the family piano teacher take him as a student and, by age six, he surprised everybody by performing a complete Bach minuet as a birthday gift. At age seven, Scott became interested in the mandolin through his grandfather's playing of Sicilian folk tunes at family gatherings, then by performances by Evan J. Marshall, the mandolin master with whom Scott eventually studied for six years.
Scott competed in several contests throughout his childhood, receiving first place in all but one, a classical music competition on mandolin at age 10, against adults, where he received second place. Scott developed his own unique sound and, at age 12, released his first album entitled Legacy. Soon after that he form the young teen band Pacific Ocean Bluegrass and released a second album, Festival Kids, the primary purpose of which was to earn money to provide instruments and music camp scholarships to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity.
When Scott was nine years old he and his parents looked to the Credit Union for advice on opening a Coogan account. Though he wasn't working television and radio consistently, he was performing regularly and the family joke was often "ask Scott he's the one with the money!" Scott's rule of thumb is to commit 10% to charity, 20% to his pocket and 70% to his Coogan account. Throughout his childhood, he discussed his income with his mother, and she saw to it that the appropriate amounts were placed accordingly.
Scott finished high school in September -- a year early -- in order to freely experience a long-term road trip with The Nathan McEuen Band, who kicked off a nationwide tour on September 20th at the Julian Bluegrass Festival.
IN SCOTT'S WORDS:
My parents wanted to make sure I never had to wonder what happened to the money I made while I was a kid, so we went straight to the Coogan experts at AFTRA-SAG Federal Credit Union. Having my Coogan account with AFTRA-SAG has also taught me how to save and, when I'm 18, I can convert the account into other credit union products that will allow me to continue to save towards such things as a college education and buying a home. Thanks to my parents and the Credit Union, I have a chunk of change to look forward to managing when I'm older.
"Saw you play in Norman, Oklahoma Sunday night....you rock dude.....AMAZING!!!!! everyone is still talking about your playing!!!"
THANKS, NOLEN, FOR KEEPING US POSTED ON HOW THE GUYS ARE DOING. WE'RE LOVING THE FEEDBACK BACK HERE IN CALIFORNIA!
For Immediate Release
July 8, 2009
Bluegrass, Blue Jeans and Beyond
2â€™fer Ticket Special for Forest
Buy 2 Adult Tickets for Price of 1
The San Bernardino National
Forest Association (SBNFA) announced today an irresistible ticket offer designed
to raise more funds for forest restoration in the Big Bear Valley.
The bluegrass and country entertainment fund raiser for â€œForest Aidâ€
scheduled Saturday, July 25, 2009, on the Discovery Center Amphitheater stage is
raising funds to restore the burn areas from the 2007 wildfires in the Big Bear
Valley. To encourage more
residents, mountain and music enthusiasts to get out and help restore their
backyard and/or national forest, adult tickets are now available at a
â€œdonationâ€ of 2 for the price of 1; or, 2 tickets for $25.
Teen (13-17) prices are now $10 each; 12 and under are admitted free with
a paid sales receipt from Riffenburgh Lumber.
In return, the SBNFA has lined up an amazing group of entertainers from
4:00pm to 10:00pm to celebrate community and great mountain music.
Tickets are available online at www.SBNFA.org,
at the Discovery Center Adventure Outpost and at the event gate.
Gates will open at 3:00pm;
the music begins at 3:30pm with Wake the
Bard, a local favorite; mega-risers, Scott
Gates along with Nathan McEuen (son of Nitty Gritty Dirt Band John McEuen) and Chuck Hailes, Scott just finished an album with Kenny Loggins,
Nathan recently appeared on American Idol; you can see this high-energy act
featuring lots of standards and original pieces as they appear on major stages;
performing for one-night only at the Discovery Center Amphitheater. Sligo
Rags, named among the top acoustic bands in LA (by Folkworks Magazine) and
two-time winners of the Orange County Music Award for Best Folk Band, this
dynamic ensemble presents Celtic Folk with a decidedly bluegrass attitude. Sligo
Rags is taking the local and not-so-local Folk and Celtic music scenes by storm
with a unique blend of eclectic musical influences . . .
The Black Irish Band excelling
at Irish, Italian, and American folk music with an assortment of original songs
and traditional western ballads will perform hits from their 16th CD,
â€œOut of the Fireâ€, honoring Americaâ€™s Wild land
Firefighters and perhaps a sneak preview of cuts from their 20th CD
to be released in August. . . Ramblinâ€™
Rangers, San Bernardino National Foresters who debuted at last yearâ€™s
bluegrass fest will share great folk and bluegrass classics along with originals
including their signature hit, â€œThe San Bernardinoâ€™sâ€. Closing out the
evening will be the Johnny Cash Vegas
Tribute to the â€œMan in Blackâ€ show performing his legendary hits and
bluegrass roots along with special tribute guests.
Come meet the â€œRagsâ€ (Sligo Rags) at our launch event at Northwood Resort in their outdoor
amphitheater on Friday, July 24, at 7:00pm.
Donâ€™t be surprised if elements of country,
gypsy jazz and swing manage to sneak their way into their show.
Enjoy the cool breezes and great entertainment; admission is free.
Preferred seating will be available to Northwoods guests and Bluegrass,
Bluejeans and Beyond ticket holders on a first-come basis (present your paid
ticket for access). Standing room
will be available for outside guests. Stillwellâ€™s
Restaurant will be serving food and bar drinks in their outdoor space.
Northwoods Resort, the official hotel partner of the SBNFAâ€™s â€œMusic in the Mountainsâ€, is featuring a two-night ticket
package including accommodations, tickets, complimentary shuttle to the event on
Saturday, July 25, and access to the Friday night preview event.
For more information, please visit northwoodsresort.com.
"Coldwell Banker and The Tim Wood Group are returning for
their 4th year as presenting sponsor of our Amphitheater program," said
Sarah Miggins, SBNFA executive director, "they have been so steadfast
in their support that we're excited to expand our relationship this year to
include the Mountain Music Festival. Weâ€™re
pleased to welcome The Lighthouse Project as a nonprofit partner.
Proceeds from the event will assist in expanding their Peace Gardens
project in the Big Valley elementary schools. Through this program, local
school children will grow and harvest fruits and vegetables and donate to local
families. Event co-sponsors are
City of Big Bear Lake, Northwoods Resort, Big Bear Mountain Resorts, Arrowhead
Credit Union, Riffenburgh Lumber, Lagonita Lodge, Big Bear Lake Parks and Rec,
and YMCA Camp Whittle.
Bill Knickâ€™s CafÃ© and Bar will be open for business; parking is
free; overflow parking is planned at the North Shore Elementary School (1.5
miles east of Discovery Center) with free continuous shuttle service; bench
seating is limited and first-come; guests are encouraged to bring their own
beach chair for the open and casual seating areas. No outside beverages are allowed.
United States Forest Service, the San Bernardino National Forest Association and
TreePeople are partnered in planting over 20,000 seedlings in 2009 to help
rebuild a healthy San Bernardino National Forest. This partnership is based on a
simple belief: That a single person planting a single tree can help revitalize
fire-damaged areas, effect climate change, clean the air, capture rainwater and
build a sense of community. Forest Aidâ€™s mission is to replant and revitalize
the mountains of Southern California.
About the San
Bernardino National Forest Association: The
San Bernardino National Forest Association (SBNFA) founded in 1993 is a key
education, conservation and recreation nonprofit partner to the U.S. Forest
Service creating partnerships that bridge the gap between forest visitors and
nature through environmental interpretive programming and initiatives that
promote forest appreciation and restoration.
The SBNFA offers outdoor recreational programs that foster respect for
the forest, the environment and stewardship, while providing hands-on activities
for all ages. For more information call (909) 382-2796 or visit www.sbnfa.org.
About The Lighthouse Project:
The Lighthouse Project will
create in Big Bear a child honoring community in which respect for one another,
supportive relationships and our community values can be observed and felt
throughout our community. The
mission of the Lighthouse is to work collaboratively with other agencies,
groups, organizations and individuals to create a community in which all
Have a sense of worth and belonging
Take responsibility for themselves, each other, and all children
Â·Are further inspired
View children as assets, and use the positive language of asset building
in personal and professional settings
to achieve excellence in all endeavors
LOCAL TEEN BACKS UP STEVE MARTIN ON "THE ELLEN DEGENERES SHOW"
Apple Valley, CA - A local teen will be on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Monday, May 25, playing back-up mandolin for actor, author and artist
Gates, 16, is in demand as a session mandolin player who has played with The
Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, recorded with Kenny Loggins, and formed two acoustic
bluegrass bands of his own.
The teen has been playing mandolin since he
was 7 years old, and along with his current group The Nathan McEuen Band (aka
Gates-McEuen-Hailes) recently played at the Calico Ghost Town
Gates' debut with Martin is schedule to air
locally Monday 5/25/09 at 4 p.m. NBC, Channel 4.
Gates Becomes 10th Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival Performer To Appear On
National TelevisionFor a festival that is fiercely dedicated to local talent, the NCBS Good
Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival has had a surprising number of
performers over the years who have â€œnational television appearanceâ€ on
their resume. On May 25th (Memorial Day), Scott Gates will
become the 10th such GOF musician. He will play mandolin in banjoist Steve
Martinâ€™s band on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Scott joins Carl Abbott, Kyle Abbott, Luke
Abbott, Leslie Abbott, Bob Cole, Bill
Evans, A. J. Lee, Chris Stevenson,
and Alice Stuart in this category. Remarkably, 6 of the 10
played both at the GOF and on national TV within a 12 month period.
And, we arenâ€™t counting all of the close bluegrass friends who jammed on
the Abbott Familyâ€™s TV show, now in eternal reruns. And, of course, we
arenâ€™t counting The Wronglers, whose Hardly Strictly
festival was the subject of a national PBS documentary â€” but the band
members (somehow) never made it on screen. And, we still await the national TV
debut of longtime GOF favorites Tristan Clarridge and Tashina
Clarridge, whose respective music careers are soaring these days, but
just not (so far) on those little boxes in our living rooms.
All the rest of the GOF bands: Call your agents now!
True GrittyJohn McEuen bids the Wesf Coast
BY GLEN STARKEY
(ScottGates.com notations: The photo below is
actually, from left to right: Nathan
McEuen, John McEuen and Jonathan
McEuen. We aren't quite sure what show was being announced, but we are happy to
have Scott mentioned with John McEuen, Nathan McEuen and Chuck Hailes at the
cellSpacing=0 cellPadding=0 width=200 align=left>
Nitty Gritty PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN
Dirt Band (almost) founding member and multi-instrumentalist John McEuen (banjo,
guitar, mandolin, fiddle) is getting ready to permanently bust a move to
Manhattan, which will severely limit his West Coast exposure, but you can check
him out one last time when he plays a couple of shows at Cambriaâ€™s Painted Sky
Studios on Friday, Jan. 16.
Though McEuen is generally credited with
being a founding member of the popular country-rock band, which ironically was
formed in Long Beach far from anything country-esque, he actually replaced
Jackson Browne, who along with Jeff Hanna and Bruce Kunkel formed the
Illegitimate Jug Band while still in high school. Later in college they renamed
it the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, adding Jimmie Fadden, Ralph Barr, and Les
Thompson. Because McEuen replaced Browne before the band recorded its first
album, Browneâ€™s been sort of forgotten as a member (not that it hurt his
The Dirt Band (as it was known in the â€™70s) had several modest
hits and even made an appearance in Paint Your Wagon, a musical starring Clint
Eastwood (who, judging by his song over the credits in Gran Torino, hasnâ€™t much
improved voice-wise). Their real success came in 1972 when they released Will
the Circle Be Unbroken, a three-record set of traditional country and folk
tunes, which eventually went platinum and cemented the bandâ€™s reputation for
musicianship and respectful homage to the Americana genre. The project was
spearheaded by McEuen. The band was also the first U.S. rock band to tour the
former Soviet Union, and they performed and arranged Steve Martinâ€™s 1978 novelty
hit single â€œKing Tut.â€ Interestingly enough, McEuen has enjoyed the most
fruitful and critically acclaimed solo career (he left the band in 1986 only to
Â Â McEuen is the only California musician to perform solo on
the Grand Ole Opry. Heâ€™s made more than 40 albums (six solo) with 20 top 20 hits
that have earned four platinum and five gold recognition awards, six Grammy
nominations with a win in 2005 for Best Country Instrumental, CMA and ACM
Awards, a Western Heritage Award, an Emmy nomination, and an IBMA Record of the
Â Â Heâ€™s currently producing an album featuring all of Steve
Martinâ€™s music. Guest artists include Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Tony Trishka,
Earl Scruggs, Pete Wernick, Stuart Duncan, Jerry Douglas, and Tim
If I were you, Iâ€™d call for tickets since the venue can only seat 75 people per show. The performances
will be recorded live for possible inclusion in upcoming CDs, which means
your applause may end up on a record. McEuen will be joined onstage by his son
Nathan (guitar, vocals), Chuck Hailes (upright bass), and Scott Gates
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Teen makes name as bluegrass artistMay 4, 2009 - 10:19 AM
APPLE VALLEY â€¢ Scott Gates is in demand as a session mandolin player,
having played with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, recorded an album with Kenny
Loggins and formed two acoustic bluegrass bands of his own.
The kicker? The Apple Valley resident is just 16 years old.
Scott was born in Santa Clarita and began his musical career at the age of
three, fingering the notes to â€œMary Had a Little Lambâ€ on a toy piano.
After a stint with lessons on a real piano, focused mainly on hymns and
classical music, he dropped the instrument completely.
â€œI regret it now,â€ he said. â€œBut Iâ€™m going to pick it up again
Still, those classical roots come back to haunt him on occasion.
â€œI was playing (mandolin) with a harpist on the street in Ventura a couple
days ago and I started playing these classical songs,â€ he said. â€œI was
like whoa, I didnâ€™t realize I had these in my repertoire.â€
When Scott was seven he was at Disneyland with his parents watching Billy Hill
& the Hillbillies. He was enthralled by the mandolin player, who turned
out to be duo-style master Evan J. Marshall.
â€œAfter a show I walked up to him and asked him if he would teach me
mandolin,â€ Scott said.
Marshall agreed, and what started as one hour lessons every two weeks quickly
grew into three hours once or twice a week.
Scottâ€™s parents continued driving him down for lessons when he moved to
Apple Valley at 8 years old. Thatâ€™s also when Scott became friends with the
son of a Lost Highway Bluegrass Band member and fell in love with the genre
through the Huck Finn Festival.
At 13 Gates and his friends formed the Pacific Ocean Bluegrass Band, which was
more of a â€œmusic collectiveâ€ really, Scott said, with its young members
In 2007, the â€œcollectiveâ€ took top honors in the Topanga Banjo/Fiddle
Last summer Scott was invited to play with a friend at the Camarillo Airport.
Turned out he was joining Jonathan McEuen, son to Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
founder, John McEuen.
After finishing the airport gig, Jonathan invited Scott to join him the next
â€œHe said, â€˜Iâ€™m going to be playing with my dad and my brother if you
want to come and pick.â€™ I didnâ€™t realize it was John McEuen until I got
Scott ended up playing with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band during last yearâ€™s
Huck Finn Jubilee.
Soon Gates and Nathan McEuen, who is 26 and has opened for David Crosby,
decided to make their own band. Bass player Chuck Hailes joined the group to
form the Gates McEuen Hailes Band.
Over the last year the acoustic bluegrass band has played shows in Memphis and
Nashville, done a tour around the southwest and is getting ready for another
Meanwhile Scottâ€™s earning his high school diploma online through
Philadelphia-based PennFoster.edu. He hopes to graduate through the
independent study program within the next six months.
â€œIâ€™m not going to be the Social Distortion rock star who drops out of high
school and runs with it,â€ Scott said. â€œThereâ€™s so many people with crazy
pipe dreams and I really want to have something to fall back on.â€
Right now heâ€™s thinking that might include a career in environmental
studies, or maybe advertising â€” â€œsomething that I can make a good living
at,â€ he said.
â€œSome of the best advice Iâ€™ve ever gotten, and Iâ€™ve gotten a lot, is
â€˜Youâ€™re not going to be the cute little kid forever,â€™â€™ Scott said with
When asked how he recently snagged a gig recording songs on the latest Kenny
Loggins album, Scott said humbly, â€œIt was one of those things where this guy
knows this guy and this guy knows this guy...â€
Nathan McEuen showed Logginâ€™s producer a YouTube video of Scott and what
started as playing one break along with John McEuen, battling back and forth
between the mandolin and the banjo, grew to recording three or four songs.
â€œThe best part was when I left (Loggins) said, â€˜Weâ€™ll do it again
sometime,â€™â€ Scott said.
While his oldest brother Thomas is â€œcompletely tone deafâ€ â€” raising
three beautiful daughters, holding down three jobs and still making time to
play Airsoft with Scott â€” his other three siblings have all dabbled in
His brother Brandon played bass in a punk band as a teen, but has dropped the
hobby for dropping out of planes, doing military intelligence work for the
Dustinâ€™s still a great guitar player, Scott said, sticking to classic rock
â€” not Chicago classic rock, Scott clarifies, but more like â€œsome great
Chuck Berry licks.â€
And his sister Lorie, whoâ€™s married to an airman in Arizona, still sings in
Scott started singing a few years back, mainly because no one else wanted to
be â€œthe front guyâ€ for POB. Now heâ€™s taking lessons with a singing coach
in Hollywood and sings backup vocals with Nathan McEuen whenever he feels
Brenda Hough of Bluegrass Breakdown has said, â€œScottâ€™s vocals now match
his mandolin prowess.â€
Scott would love to become a songwriter, too. Heâ€™s penciled one so far about
a coal miner, but calls it â€œnothing special.â€
â€œI like the idea of getting my heart out there. But I really want to write
something thatâ€™s different and unique,â€ he said. â€œIâ€™ve crumpled a lot
He also has a passion for Celtic music, as evidenced by his Dropkick Murphys
ringback tone. And he dreams of playing in an Irish pub where, heâ€™s been
told, people â€œshut up and pay attentionâ€ to good olâ€™ acoustic music.
When asked about his ultimate goal as a musician, Scott said, â€œI just kind
of want to make people happy, I guess. I know it sounds cheesy, but I want
people to have the same appreciation for music that I do.â€
Brooke Edwards may be reached at 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.
On "Local teen makes name as bluegrass artist"
WOW! WHAT A GREAT KID. NOW, HERE'S A YOUNG MAN WITH REAL AMBITION. IT'S GOOD TO SEE SUCHA YOUNG BOY FOCUSED ON SOMETHING THAT HE LOVES AND CON POSSIUBLY MAKE A GOOD LIVING AT. YOU GO, SCOTT, AND KEEP WORKING AT YOUR GOALS. I HOPE YOU DO TAKE UP THE IANO AGAIN. SOMEONE THAT IS CULTURED IN THE ARTS SURE BEATS THE YOUNG ONES THAT CONSTANTLY WANT A HANDOUT AND THINK EVERYONE OWES THEM.
New Page 1
Nathan McEuen (guitar and vocals, songwriter -- and not to be confused with brother Jonathan) is a successful singer and songwriter of his own accord. His young yet vast experience in the wonderful world of music and earned him performances on The Tonight Show, The Grand Old Opry, opening for John Denver, Kenny Loggins, Crosby Loggins, to name only a few. Nathan plays everything
acoustic genre from Old-Time and Traditional Bluegrass, to Folk, Folk-Rock and contemporary Acoustic Rock. He has been well received nationally and internationally.
Topanga's annual banjo/fiddle contest and festival has had great successes over the past 48 years. Certainly, 2007 and s008 were exciting for mandolin player Scott Gates as he won first place in the band category, two years in a row. Since those marked events, Scott has been showcased several times by John McEuen, both in his solo shows, and with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Son Nathan McEuen and Scott have been performing together on a southwest tour. The past few months, Scott has focused primarily on vocals as his newest instrument, while still performing at top notch on the mandolin and guitar.
Chuck Hailes (bass, vocals, songwriter) brings in a strong traditional bass with excellence in execution of his well-loved instrument. Chuck's soothing high tenor harmonies linger upon one's mind for hours beyond the show. His bass playing and time keeping
abilities strongly drive, yet complement, the entire band.
To book your house concert or venue contact Nathan McEuen firstname.lastname@example.org, or Scott Gates at
ScottGates@ScottGates.com. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Scott Gates, now a mandolin workshop instructor at the age of 16, returned to the Good Old Fashioned Festival in Hollister, CA this year as the leader of Pacific Ocean Bluegrass Band, the winners of the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle band contest in 2007. (Scott also won the same title in 2008 with The Muddy Buddies) Scott's vocals now match his mandolin prowess...
New Page 1
A note from Jesse McReynolds and
his wife Joy:
We really enjoyed meeting you and your Dad when you came to the Pick Inn!
Thanks for posting the pictures on your web-site.
Jesse & Joy McReynolds"
The Pick Inn
Gallatin, TN 37066
On Sunday May 19th, 2008, the 48th annual Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Contest was held. Temperatures soared in to the 100's and the wind was very
slight. Scott went to the contest with two of his dearest friends, Cate and Molly Pearce to compete in the band competition as a trio called "The Muddy Buddys".
The kids have known each other since Kindergarten but became
reacquainted at last years competition where Scott and his Band Pacific
Ocean Bluegrass won the top honors as best band, Molly won for
intermediate Banjo and Cate won for best back up guitar. They entered
this years contest and performed two songs, "Fisher's Hornpipe" and
"The Fox". The crowd was blown away by their performance and the
instrumentals and the harmonies were tight and beautifully blended. Lo
and behold when the awards came out, the Muddy Buddys had won best band for 2008! So now Scott has won with two separate bands in back to back yearsÂ in
the Best Band category in this prestigious contest, joining with such
previous winners as The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band and Nickel Creek. Quite
an honor and quite a weekend!
Here's the winning performance video: - courtesy of Bruce Beyerle
New Page 1
2007 Topanga Banjo & Fiddle Contest Winners
MANDOLIN VIRTUOSOS REUNITE: Mentor, Prodigy to Perform in Victorville.
It was back when banjos dueled, orange trees blossomed and bluegrass grew like weeds that Evan Marshall first fell in love with the mandolin. Now a world-renowned mandolin player, Marshall is teaming up with his equally impressive former pupil Scott Gates for a rare local performance Saturday.
"It's very nostalgic," Gates said of reuniting with his mentor. "Whenever we get back together it's like we never had a day where we weren't playing music together."
Many consider Gates, who was raised in Apple Valley, a mandolin prodigy.
He began his musical career at the age of 3, fingering the notes to "Mary Had a Little Lamb" on a toy piano. He formed his first band at 13 and, at 19 years old now, Gates has recorded with Kenny Loggins, performed on "The Ellen Degeneres Show" and has played in several successful bands. His most recent venture, "The Salty Suites" is more what he calls "experimental" mandolin music with original songs all written by the band.
Beginning as a classical violinist, Marshall said his proudest moment when country music legend Chet Atkins asked him to plan on stage. Adkins said of him, "Evan is a true virtuoso, one of the great musicians of our time."
The Gates family saw Marshall perform at Disneyland with the bluegrass band as part of the show "Billy Hill and the Hillbillies." It was there that they asked Marshall to train Gates -- then just 7 years old -- to play the mandolin.
"As a student Scott practiced diligently and progressed well," Marshall said. "I was especially surprised how quickly he progressed."
Marshall taught Gates until he was 13. He noticed at that point Gates was eager to branch off in his own direction. "One of the things a teacher does is equip their student to be their own teacher," Marshall said. "Scott's really found his own voice on the instrument."
The two rarely perform together anymore, both busy with their own successful careers.But during Saturday's concert at the High Desert Center for the Arts, Marshall and Gates plan to show the audience just what their instrument can do.
"Expect to hear great bluegrass, Italian mandolin and impromptu duets," Marshall said. "It should be exciting and entertaining."