“It’s Good Time Music” – “Bluegrass has that summertime feel to it” – “It lifts the spirit” – “If it’s bluegrass, you can feel it” – “Bluegrass is foot tapping music, the audience can’t seem to sit still”
Just a few quotes from listeners over the years, but for us that play bluegrass, this holds true and much more. There is nothing quite like playing bluegrass with a bunch of your long time friends to set your mood straight and realize you are doing what you are meant to do.
This is the story of The Goat Hill Girls, the harmonious blending of old and new friends, some of whom have played music together for 37 years or more. All native Californians, the Goat Hill Girls are named for a landmark in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California and feature the song writing talents of several people in the band. Many of their songs present the feeling of Old-time California. Most bluegrass songs are about the mountain areas of the East Coast so The Goat Hill Girls are doing their part in having California being represented in the Bluegrass song world. In addition to their song writing talents, the Goat Hill Girls feature plenty of traditional bluegrass, vintage country, old timey, Irish and some fun novelty tunes. If you come to see the Goat Hill Girls you will see the joy they share in playing together, writing and arranging tunes together and just plain having fun together and especially with their audience.
“Sonia Shell is a brilliantly eclectic banjoist with equal mastery of three-finger Scruggs style, the scale cruising of Bill Keith, and Don Reno’s syncopated, high register chord picking”
“The fancy and fetching bluegrass fiddling of Lee Anne Welch will keep your feet moving all night” – “Her playing is dynamic, varied and keenly attuned.”
“The mando chords are held down by Kim Elking. Elking’s control of tonality is reminiscent of Norman Blake and she develops some excellent counterpoint on back-up.”
“Sonia, Lee Anne and Kim are characterized by precise, smoothly harmonized instrumental teamwork”
Linda Maki offers her song writing talents to the Goat Hill Girls with songs that people ask for time after time in their live performances. Her song, ‘Grabtown Gulch’ paints a vivid picture of how life was in a shady town in the redwoods on the California coast, evoking the theory of “what’s yours is mine” to a tee.
Linda’s voice is smooth with a hint of an old time feel, but full of personality and emotion. Her grandpa was a ukulele-playing vaudeville actor and singer, and she believes his voice from beyond called her to start singing and playing guitar as a child.
“Lisa is a great musician and a kind and observant instructor” – “Fabulous teacher..wonderful energy and spirit”
Lisa Burns has won the best bass player award for several years from the Northern California Bluegrass Society. She has also played in numerous bands around the bay area and is sought after to lend the bass parts to many recordings.
Lee Anne Welch won best fiddle player 2013 and 2018 and Kim Elking for best mandolin player in 2009. Both Lee Anne and Kim have won the Lifetime Achievement awards also from the Northern California Bluegrass Society.
Lee Anne Welch-Fiddle
Kim Elking- Mandolin
Linda Maki- Guitar
Lisa Burns-Acoustic Bass
The Goat Hill Girls play the first Tuesday of every month at The Summit House Bar and Grill located at the top of Highway 17, Los Gatos.
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