Music and brew tastings at "A Few Brews & A Banjo"


“A Few Brews & A Banjo gives one and all a wonderful way to spend a lazy summer afternoon in Chester Park on June 22,” said Plumas Arts Director Roxanne Valladao. “Enjoy classic rock and Americana music while sipping on a micro-brewed beer. Watch children and other light-hearted folks dance to the music or get your own self up and dancin’.”

Admission to the music part of the event is free. The Elks Club of Chester will provide nonalcoholic beverages and tri-tip sandwiches for sale.


Music and brew tastings begin at 2 p.m. and end at 6 p.m. Tickets for tasting glasses and wristbands are $25 and will be available at the park on the day of the event to those 21 years old and up. 

“Perhaps the best part of all,” said Valladao, “is that with your admission you will be helping raise funds for local high school music and drama programs.”

A few of the brewing companies expected to be on hand are Sierra Nevada, Great Basin, Lassen Ale Works, Anchor, New Belgium, Firehouse, Anderson Valley, Lagunitas and Bear Republic.

The music schedule features Edgewater performing between 2 and 3:30 p.m.

Edgewater, a newly formed Lake Almanor area band, plays a mix of classic rock ’n’ roll, progressive and alternative rock, rhythm and blues, and blues. The band’s members are Greg Rogers (guitar, lead vocals), Joe Aman (guitar, vocals), Grant Holliday (bass guitar, vocals) and Owen Rogers (drums, percussion).


Edgewater will be making a debut performance at A Few Brews & A Banjo in Chester Park on June 22 at 2 p.m. Hailing from Lake Almanor, band members play a mix of classic rock ’n’ roll, progressive and alternative Rock, and rhythm and blues. Photos courtesy Plumas Arts


At 4 p.m. The Back 40 takes the stage until the event ends at 6 p.m.


The Back 40 is set to perform at A Few Brews & A Banjo in Chester Park on Saturday, June 22. From left: Gordon Wilson, guitar, vocals; Mari Erin Roth, vocals, percussion; Mark Serumgard, drums; Andrew Ohren, bass, vocals; and Tommy Miles, guitar, vocals. Photos courtesy Plumas Arts

In mid-2008, multi-instrumentalist Tommy Miles got some friends together in Quincy to begin working on a new group originally envisioned as a classic and alternative country act. The goal was to develop a repertoire of the music of classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens and Emmylou Harris, for example) along with country-influenced rock and the music of new artists from the Austin music scene, among others. 

The original group included seven musicians with two female vocalists among them. As the concept has evolved, The Back 40 has settled down to a solid five-piece lineup.

Guitarist Gordon Wilson has been playing music around the area “for ages,” and has played with Miles in several other groups for about 15 years. His blues-based guitar solos are a major feature of the band’s sound.

Vocalist Mari Erin Roth began performing locally with the Crosby Stills and Nash tribute show in Quincy in 2008. She brings her soulful vocal style to the front of the stage along with the occasional tambourine or shaker.

Andrew Ohren (bass and vocals) is perhaps best known as Plumas County’s premier classical guitarist, but he also has a wide background in jazz, rock and other styles. He brings exceptional talent to the group with a melodic and creative electric bass style.

Rounding out the solid rhythm of the band is drummer Mark Serumgard, whose interest in a variety of styles, especially heavy rock, drives the group with a hefty precision right in line with The Back 40’s eclecticism and danceability.

Miles plays rhythm guitar and sings. His musical approach is influenced by a number of rock styles but also by several rural musical traditions including Celtic and Appalachian folk music.

The current repertoire includes country-influenced music of all kinds with an emphasis on songs with funny and intelligent lyrics. Along with classic country tunes (like “Mama Tried” and “Folsom Prison Blues”), the band covers such alternative country artists as John Prine, Reckless Kelly, James McMurtry, The Bottle Rockets, Lucinda Williams, Alejandro Escovedo and Southern Culture on the Skids. There’s a fair amount of swampy rock material from icons like Bob Dylan, David Lindley, Jethro Tull and The Black Crowes — even Led Zeppelin — thrown in too.

“Topped off with a small but growing number of original pieces, the music is energetic, fun and danceable, said Valladao, “and it appeals to audiences of all ages.” 

Proudly devoid of commercial Nashville twang, the group has found a loyal local audience. Most importantly, though, the band mates are good friends who are rooted in Plumas County and who foresee performing and evolving together for many more years. 

A Few Brews & A Banjo is produced in partnership with Plumas Arts. Special thanks are also offered to Superior Products Co.’s Mark Carter, Mtn. Division.

This event is completely produced by volunteers, and volunteers are still needed to help during the day of the event. Anyone interested is invited to call (530) 259-3757.


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