DENNIS WITCHER - Bass

Shelah, a southern California native, is 4-time Southern California fiddle champ and was primary fiddle judge at the Topanga Banjo/Fiddle contest for 17 years. She has sung jingles for commercials, worked as a park musician at Knott’s Berry Farm and Magic Mountain, and toured to Japan with Knott’s.  Shelah has played in many local and out-of-state bands, toured the US with them, has opened for notable groups like Nickel Creek and Ralph Stanley, and played at the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) World Of Bluegrass.  Shelah teaches fiddle, and gives workshops at many events.

Jim Cooper – Guitar & Vocals

Dennis started his career in Southern Louisiana as an electric bass player. He moved to Southern California in 1969, working with many notable musicians including Peter Tork (The Monkees) and Spencer Davis, among others. Dennis formed the legendary LA bluegrass band “The Witcher Brothers” in 1986 and toured the bluegrass festival circuit for over 20 years. He is an award-winning mandolin player, founding member of the Bluegrass Association of Southern California, and has been the mainstage MC for the Topanga Banjo/Fiddle Contest since 1988.

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Tim O’Brien – Dobro & Vocals

Keith Chagnon – Banjo & Vocals

Jim has been playing and singing for over 30 years. His ability to remember chords to a thousand tunes and songs is amazing. His lead singing is warm and he adds depth to others with his versatile vocal harmonies. He has been in bluegrass bands for more than 30 years, including Southland Express, Cheesy Tortellini’s, High Cotton, and the original Grasslands, which was the house band at the old Banjo Café in Santa Monica. A fixture at jams everywhere, Jim is happy to be playing in Grasslands, made up of old and new friends.

Shelah Spiegel - Fiddle & Vocals

Keith grew up in Northern Ohio, surrounded by a musical family. He started playing guitar and banjo at an early age, studying the playing of all the banjo greats from Earl Scruggs and Alan Shelton to Sonny Osborne and Bela Fleck. Moving to Southern California in the 1980’s, he quickly found work in various local bands. Keith has attained a regional identity as one of the top bluegrass banjo players, exhibiting musical taste, timing, and tone. With an attentive ear to the melody as well as back-up, he is known and respected as a true team player. Keith is an IBMA nominated banjo player, and looks forward to entertaining Grasslands audiences.

Tim has navigated the Southern California bluegrass scene for over 20 years as a talented guitar, banjo and Dobro player and lead singer. He was a member the Rank Strangers, the Witcher Brothers (in which he contributed on two recordings), Blue Plate Special, who won Best Band at the Topanga Banjo and Fiddle Festival, Cheesy Tortellini’s and Free Wheelin’. Tim cut his teeth learning fiddle tunes and being exposed to traditional bluegrass. His vocal influences come from singers such as Tony Rice and Ronnie Bowman and bands such as Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver, Lonesome River Band, Hot Rize, and Blue Highway.