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About Red Desert Ramblers
Red Desert Ramblers
The Red Desert Ramblers play Bluegrass, Classic Country and Swing music blending harmonies with smoking instrumental breaks.
The Salt Lake Tribune says ‰ÛÏwhen it comes to locally produced bluegrass bands, it‰Ûªs hard to do better.‰Û�
They have been honored by the International Bluegrass Music Association by being the first Utah Band (and Sharon is the first hammered dulcimer player) to EVER be hired for an IBMA performance and were the only bluegrass band featured at the Mountain West Conference of the Arts. Members have won several awards including Sharon as best Utah dulcimer player and Rick Martinez as best banjo player for IAMA.
They are a regional band with national recognition and members hail from Salt Lake, and Summit counties representing the best of Utah.
Regional/National festivals include International Bluegrass Music Association FanFest in Nashville; Darrington, Washington Bluegrass Festival; Pickin‰Ûª in the Pines (Arizona); Memorial Day Bluegrass Festival (Grand Junction, CO); Southern Nevada Bluegrass Music Association Festival (Logandale); Bannock County Bluegrass Festival (Pocatello, Idaho), Portneuf River Bluegrass Festival (Lava Hot Springs, Idaho)‰ÛÓBluegrass in the Barn (Nampa)‰ÛÓIdaho Sawtooth Bluegrass Association (Cascade), Birch Creek Bluegrass Festival (Fountain Green, Utah), Red Rocks Bluegrass Festival (St. George, Utah), Windwalker Ranch Bluegrass Festival (Spring City, Utah) and more!
SHARON MITCHELL (hammered dulcimer, harmony vocals) Sharon is the band Leader/Manager and has played hammered dulcimer since 1989. In addition to Red Desert Ramblers, she also plays with the Public Domain String Band and The American Irish Duo. Past bands include "Last Night‰Ûªs Fun" (Irish), "Around the Bend" and "Lonesome Ridge" (bluegrass). Sharon runs the Intermountain Acoustic Music Association (IAMA) Local Concert Series. She is the "roots and branches" of the band adding both an old time flavor, and a unique progressive twist.‰Û¬‰Û¬
STEVE HEWSON (lead vocals, guitar, mandolin) Best known as the host of the Rockport Dam Jam, and former manager of Rockport State Park, he hails from Huntington Beach CA proving that country twang can come from the land of sand and surf. After going electric with the country band "Desert Skies", Steve returns to his first love of acoustic music with the Red Desert Ramblers. He also plays with Detour Utah.‰Û¬‰Û¬
RICK MARTINEZ (5-string banjo) Rick‰Ûªs style is 30 years steeped in traditional and progressive bluegrass music. His diverse influences range from Earl Scruggs to Tony Trishka. . His clean, precise and dynamic playing reinforces the authentic sound of the band. Rick has played with the "Rick Martinez Band," " Holdin‰Ûª Out," and the "Prairie Dogs". He has been known to cross styles, and is not opposed to musical risks. We are proud to call Rick one of our own.‰Û¬‰Û¬
DAVE BATES (upright bass) Dave has been a mainstay in the SLC/Summit county communities for many years. He has been a pilot and a bus driver. When he is not flying he is a farmer in Wanship. His attention is also focused on mentoring teenagers and youth so they become proficient musicians. Dave also plays with the Silver Creek String Band. ‰Û¬‰Û¬
RICHARD SCHMELING (lead/harmony vocals, mandolin) Richard Schmeling: adds solid mandolin chops, harmonies and lightening quick, clean breaks to the band. He's also an accomplished guitar and piano player. His ballads are amazing, and no one can belt out traditional heart wrenching songs like him. He was raised in the West. Richard also performs with the band Bluegrass Rising.