John Reischman and the Jaybirds play the Merville Hall

Bluegrass fans will have their plates full when John Reischman and the Jaybirds fly in for a concert of new tunes and songs at the Big Yellow Merville hall on Sunday, Dec. 3.

The Jaybirds, featuring some of today’s finest acoustic musicians, are led by veteran performer and world-renowned mandolinist, John Reischman. Reischman began his career in the San Francisco Bay area in the early ’80s with the Good Ol’ Persons bluegrass band and the legendary instrumental new acoustic quartet, the Tony Rice Unit.

On Sunday the 3rd, the Big Yellow Bluegrass hall will be full of tunes from the Jaybirds’ brand new seventh recording: On That Other Green Shore. The band’s newest member, Patrick Sauber, on guitar and vocals, will join Reischman, Greg Spatz on fiddle, Trisha Gagnon on bass and vocals, and Nick Hornbuckle on banjo and vocals.

Sauber, who hails from the Los Angeles area, is one the west coast’s most sought-after sidemen. A soaring harmony singer and firecracker lead guitarist, he’s featured on the 2016 Grammy-nominated album The Hazel and Alice Sessions by Laurie Lewis and the Right Hands. Patrick has played and recorded with such stellar names as rock legend John Fogerty and multi-instrumentalist John Jorgensen.

Reischman moved to Vancouver in the early ’90s and formed the Jaybirds, a two-time Juno-nominated band delivering their own trademark blend of original songs and instrumentals, reimagined tunes from the old-time vaults, and bluegrass power. Bluegrass Unlimited magazine called John “one of the world’s undisputed masters” of the mandolin, and he’s known for producing wonderful tone from his famous 1924 Gibson ‘Lloyd Loar’ F-5 mandolin.

Bassist and songwriter Trisha Gagnon is one of the most versatile lead vocalists in bluegrass, anchoring gorgeous three-part harmonies. Nick Hornbuckle has developed his own voice on the five-string banjo – a two-finger roll unlike other contemporary banjo players.

“Nick’s banjo can be downright spine-tingling,” said the L.A Daily News.

Greg Spatz, a “world-class bluegrass fiddler” (Fiddler magazine) plays flawlessly time after time and his Paul Bunyanesque chops have made him a popular fixture down through the years on the West Coast.

This five piece bluegrass bombshell will rock the Merville Hall on Sunday, sending the sinners a’runnin’, so be sure to get to the warm and cozy hall early to settle in for an evening of delightful, foot stomping bluegrass.

Tickets are available at Long & McQuade, Courtenay; Blue Heron, Comox; and Music Plant, Campbell River.

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