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Lighthouse

Sound description

Bluegrass and Gospel music from one of San Diego’s top bluegrass bands, featuring six musicians who have played together for more than 15 years. The music features great harmony singing with banjo, dobro, fiddle, mandolin, guitar, and upright bass.

Current Status

Dave Grisman, Bruce Cockburn, Norman Greenbaum, Dave Brubek, Sonny Terry

Influences

Dave Grisman, John McEuen
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Lighthouse was formed in 1993 by veteran bluegrass musicians with well over 100 years of performing experience between them.

They chose their name to identify themselves with San Diego’s famous lighthouse on Point Loma, and also with their passion for gospel music.

Guitarist and lead singer Rick Kirby was the founder of Pacific-ly Bluegrass, who played locally for more than 15 years. The group recorded three albums and played hundreds of concerts and bluegrass festivals across the U.S. Kirby was also the founding president of the San Diego Bluegrass Club.

Banjo player and vocalist Wayne Rice has been involved in bluegrass music since the 1960s. He was an original member of Brush Arbor, a popular country-gospel group of the 1970s. While Rice was with Brush Arbor, the group recorded two albums for Capitol Records, played Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, and was voted “Vocal Group of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music (1973). For the past 30 years, Rice has hosted the Bluegrass Special radio program on KSON-FM.

Mandolinist and vocalist Noel Taggart is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed with several bluegrass bands around San Diego. He previously played banjo with the local 1980's band Blue Skies, and also played with Higher Ground and Rose Canyon. His soaring tenor voice is especially suited for the high lonesome sound that characterizes bluegrass music.

Playing the dobro (resonator guitar) and singing bass is Kim Weeks, also a former member of Blue Skies and several other regional bands. He also works with the popular bluegrass ensemble Highway 52. Weeks is considered one of the top dobro players on the West coast.

Tom Cunningham is the band’s fiddler, but he’s considered a virtuoso on guitar and mandolin as well. The only full-time musician in the group, Cunningham is also a member of the Jackstraws, an ensemble that stays busy performing at San Diego tourist attractions, conventions, corporate events, and other venues. He also performs with Grassology.

The newest member of the band is bass player Dave Somes. He’s a native San Diegan, now living in Descanso, who has performed with a variety of musical ensembles from college orchestras to bluegrass bands. For more than ten years, he has performed with the New City Sinfonia and appeared in The Cotton Patch Gospels at Lamb’s Players Theatre. He’s a former member of Higher Ground, the bluegrass band that also included Noel Taggart and Kim Weeks.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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