Storytellers, a progressive bluegrass ensemble that in its early days graced stages in Pasadena, has come far since its founding in fall 2017.
The band, which took just one year to shift from busking on the streets of Los Angeles and Santa Barbara to playing in bars and festivals throughout the state, is now considered as one of the fastest rising bluegrass groups in the Southern California music scene.
In an interview with Pasadena Now, members of the Storytellers described their early shows in Old Pasadena and at Coffee Gallery in Altadena, as “milestone performances” in which audiences were fully immersed in their music and taught them a lot about performing.
“People were paying very close attention to what we were doing and how we were playing and what we were playing,” Scott Diehl, the band’s vocalist and guitarist, said as he recalled the Pasadena crowd back in their early days.
Bringing their signature mix of vibrant folk music and country blues, the Storytellers will return to Pasadena for their Full Moon Concert at Stonywood on Saturday.
Launched in 2010, Full Moon Saturdays at Stonywood is a backyard concert series running each year from May through October at the home of Garth Garrett and Trisha Jauchler, according to Stonywood’s Facebook page.
“We invite an eclectic array of musicians to perform in our beautiful backyard under the shade of a magnificent Live Oak tree we have named ‘The Old Man,’ Garrett and Jauchler write. “With the accompanying chorus of birds, flowers, a meditation garden, snacks, and non-alcoholic beverages provided (BYOB), a memorable experience is guaranteed!”
With the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in place, only a limited number of people will be able to watch the band live.
The others will have to watch them via livestream, which can be viewed on the band’s Facebook page. The Storytellers, said bass player Lance Frantzich, will be bringing a quality show that will uplift the crowd.
“Our favorite shows are the ones where the audiences are very, very involved and they’ll end up singing and dancing along. And it really just brings up the whole vibe of the whole show. It’s like we’re all on the journey of the show together,” said Frantzich.
Other members of the band include banjo player Dave Burns, fiddle player Tyler Emerson, and percussionist Steve Stelmach.
After their concert in Pasadena, the band will perform Sept, 23-25 at Gilley’s on the Las Vegas Strip.
The band considers their upcoming performance a major milestone in their music career.
“We’ve dreamed of [performing] in Vegas since the beginning. It seemed like such a faraway dream a few years ago,” said Frantzich.
With their humble beginnings and milestones, members of the Storytellers expressed hopes that they will be able to inspire other people to pursue their dreams.
“Do whatever your soul calls you to do because it’s soulful in the end, and whether it’s making music or writing poetry or painting or sculpting, go and do it. Life’s too short to live without creative expression,” Diehl said.
Frantzich echoed Deihl’s sentiment, saying “Dreams do happen.”
“To achieve those dreams, it just takes a lot of hard work and dedication to the craft, but it’s never too late to start any kind of creative practice,” Deihl said.
“The main message that we want people to know [about] us is that if you have any kind of dream or creative interest, do it. And they can happen,” Frantzich said.
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggested donation: $25/person for inn-person attendees; $15/person for live simulcast. Children under 12 are free. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. All profits go to the musicians.