Spinning Wheel is a large band, usually eight to ten players at a show, playing more than sixty gigs a year in the San Francisco and East Bay areas. We play at community events, restaurants, private parties, senior centers and retirement communities. We are particularly proud of providing pre-show entertainment for the annual Willows Theater production of Mountain Days, the musical about John Muirâ€™s life.
Our name came out of a hurried brain storming session just prior to our first public performance. It turns out that â€œSpinning Wheelâ€ really was the best choice since it symbolizes the period and the communities where the types of music we play originated.
During the 10 years weâ€™ve shared our music with the public, â€œhaving funâ€ is the key element for both our audiences and our band. Our publicity flyers read: â€œA sing-along, clap-your-hands, dance, bring-the-kids, get-together-with-your-friends evening of good old time music and fun. Be sure to bring a sense of enjoyment and community.â€
The Spinning Wheel band members for this CD include:
Carol Baier (fiddle) music teacher
Bart Dickson (bass) retired labor relations director
Bob Dunn (banjo) retired physicist and telephone pole climber
Mike Elliott (guitar) retired school bus driver and instructor
Pat Elliott (fiddle) retired customer service manager
Stu Forman (banjo ) family practice M.D.
Alex Morphy (guitar) health educator
Maria Murillo (fiddle and mandolin) teachersâ€™s aide
Ed Oldynski (banjo) computer engineer
Ed Smith (guitar) retired engineer
Jim Wiant (guitar) health professional
Article which appeared on Califonia Bluegrass Association Website:
Old Time Saturday Night - greater than the sum of its parts
Today's column from Bruce Campbell
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
The official charter of the CBA is to promote the â€œfurtherance of Bluegrass, Old-Time, and Gospel Music in Californiaâ€. Sometimes it seems that old time music is the plain-faced spinster sister of Bluegrass. Bluegrass gets all the excitement and the press, it seems, and yet, I hear a lot of old time music being picked at campsites at festivals.
Some longtime friends of mine have a band called Spinning Wheel. A nicer bunch of folks you couldnâ€™t ask for. They exist somewhat on the old-timey fringes of the Bluegrass â€œsceneâ€ in Northern California (although many, if not all of the musician are active CBA members), and I think they like it that way.
We crossed paths for the first time some years ago, when I was first getting into Bluegrass, and they knew a lot of songs, and I had the pleasure of jamming and gigging with them several times. They didnâ€™t share my ambitions to get a small, tight hot-pickinâ€™ outfit together, and eventually, I moved on to pursue my vision.
What Spinning Wheel is all about is capturing the good time feel of good old fashioned American music. Some of it is Bluegrass, but itâ€™s of the church social singalong style. They also play a lot of Irish tunes, and some very obscure old timey stuff. Over the years, they have played countless gigs at convalescent hospitals and retirement homes, often for low, or no pay. They have become Martinezâ€™s de facto house band, exuding that historic townâ€™s charm in their music, and youâ€™ll see them playing at just about every cultural event in town.
Their sound has smoothed and matured over the years, and has become uniquely their own. They have a large lineup (I tease them about being a bluegrass orchestra) and sometimes number about a dozen players, with multiples of almost every instrument except bass. Youâ€™d think itâ€™d sound like a train wreck â€“ isnâ€™t that the threshold where jams start breaking up under their own weight? But it works! And they are in control of their sound â€“ itâ€™s very consistent from show to show.
Mike Elliott is the leader of this marvelous folk orchestra, and his stories that introduce the songs are an integral part of the bandâ€™s appeal. This doesnâ€™t mean he rules with an iron fist â€“ the whole ensemble appears loose and comfortable onstage, and theyâ€™re quick to tease Mike if the opportunity presents itself.
Overall, the show ainâ€™t screaming-fast bluegrass â€“ thatâ€™s NOT what Spinning Wheel is about, but it is warm and comfy throughout. I try to catch their show several times a year, and itâ€™s ALWAYS an enjoyable time. If you ever want to know what an Old Time Saturday Night sounds like, check them out. Their website is at www.spinningwheelmusic.com. They treat old time music with respect and reverence, but still show their audiences a real fine time!
Check out the artist's website:
1. Foggy Mountain Top
3. Eight More Miles To Louisville
5. Old Slewfoot
7. Walls of Time
9. Wreck Of The Old 97
11. My Little Georgia Rose
13. Red Haired Boy
15. Poor Wayfaring Stranger
17. Blue Ridge Cabin Home
19. Crawdad Song
21. Think Of What You've Done
25. Love, Please Come Home
27. I'll Fly Away
29. Old Home Place
31. Salty Dog Blues
33. Fire Ball Mail
35. Muddy Water
37. Man Of Constant Sorrow
39. Old Joe Clark
41. Country Life