The Shepherd Canyon Band had its origins as a casual weekly jam consisting of Jerry Barush on banjo, Bernie Bishop on guitar, and the band’s founding fiddle player, Josh Jakus. The group jelled with the addition of Ken Smith on mandolin and Jess Beebe on bass, and – after several years in the woodshed – the Shepherd Canyon Band was born, named after the holler where Bernie lives. In 2016, Betsy Kenny joined the band, bringing along her fearless and flawless fiddling. Everyone in the band sings, with Bernie’s piercing lead vocals injecting the “high lonesome.” Ken contributes original tunes. While traditional bluegrass is the core of the band’s sound, they also like to explore around the edges, venturing into country, western swing, pop, or whatever songs might take a “grassin’.”
Collectively, the five band members are alums of more than ten other Bay Area bluegrass bands, including Pick of the Litter, Straight Ahead, Stay Tuned, and Dry Creek (Jerry); Grizzly Peak (Bernie and Jerry); the Barefoot Nellies (Liz and Jess); the Alhambra Valley Band (Liz); and the Avocado Brothers and the Bay Island Ramblers (Ken).
The Shepherd Canyon Band has played at numerous Bay Area venues, including the Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival in Hollister, the Potomac in Oakland, the Back Room in Berkeley, and Amnesia and the Plough & Stars in San Francisco. Don’t tell anyone, but their very favorite gig is the annual Fourth of July fundraiser for the Graniteville, California volunteer fire department.
Tickets are $15. Advance tickets are available at the link below and we accept cash only at the door (ATMs are nearby). The Back Room is an all-ages, BYOB (for those 21+) space, dedicated to (mostly) acoustic music of all kinds. You are welcome to bring your own adult beverage with no additional corkage fee. If you need more information, or have any questions, please call us: #510-654-3808. Thank you for your support!