Meet The Band

Slade Rivers

This is a picture that was taken at the Hwy 49 Americana Music Festival 2014.

I was born in California but moved to Beeville, TX when I was a kid. It was there that I learned a lot of Hank Williams’ songs which are the basis of the music that I still play. I’ve written about half of the material played by the SRB.  My wife and I live in a log house that I built in Pioneer, CA.  Life is good.

Bill Griffin

Bill Griffin plays electric mandolin with us and sometimes fills in on bass.  Bill is very well known in the folk/bluegrass genre having backed up and produced Kate Wolf for many years.  His tenure with the Cache Valley Drifters has been ongoing for over 4 decades.  He also is quite well known among Hawaiian musicians.  Bill has toured extensively with the most prominent Hawaiian musicians in Hawaii and on the mainland.  Throughout his professional music career he’s been known by a number of different names such as, but not limited to, Porter Whitman, Les Izmore, and Elky McGroverson. Go figure.  Come to one of our shows and I’ll give you the whole story on “Elky McGroverson”.

Beans Sousa

Beans and I met up on the East Carson River near Markleeville a few years ago when we were both trying our best to pull a few rainbows out of the river.  Since then we’ve been playing music together on occasion, writing a few songs, and of course, fishing.  Beans’ background includes playing bass and guitar with rather well known people such as Larry Hosford, The Fly By Night Band, and the very popular Lacy J Dalton.  I’m proud to say that we are good friends and musical collaborators.

WC Slim

Now here is a guy who is a real mystery. Nobody knows where he’s from or what his background is. He just sort of shows up. Not really, I’m just messing with you. He is a deluxe bass player from the town of Plymouth, CA. He has a really strong background in western swing music which is a legacy he inherited from his father who once played bass for Bob Wills.

 Jim Park

We met Jim Park through our friend Beans Sousa.  Jim is from Carson City, NV.  Beans (also from Carson) had been looking for a pedal steel guitar player for quite a few years when he found Jim.  It just so happens that Jim had been living about a block away from Beans for about 18 years.  Is that what they call serendipity?  Whatever.  Jim plays a mean honky tonk style of steel guitar and we love having him on board.

Kathy Barwick

When Kathy plays with us she plays dobro and lap steel but she is equally proficient on guitar.  She’s currently the Northern California Bluegrass Assoc. dobro player of the year and she deserves every bit of that title.  The consummate musician, she’s also known as “Moonshine Kate”.  Moonshine Kate is the real deal...

In Memory of Chester “Wiperblade” Williams

I met Chester in 2003 when I started building my house in Pioneer, CA.  He lived just down the street from me.  One summer day after working long hours on the house I heard some live music coming from somewhere.  So I walked around until I figured out where it was coming from.  Chester and his rock band were practicing on his front porch.  I walked up the driveway and introduced myself to him.  Immediately he was friendly toward me and invited me to hang out with him and the band.  Three years later Chester was there when we started the Slade Rivers Band and played with us off and on for the next 6 or 7 years.  He was always outgoing and friendly to everyone he met.  He might have been a little crusty on the outside but he was a softy on the inside.  He loved puppies and kitties but his best attribute was when we played a new venue or private party he was the first one to find out where the food was.  His playing was as steady as a wiperblade (hence the nickname) and he will be missed.  Rest in peace my friend.