The Brombies website

Before I tell you the long story, there’s a current story that is far more important. On April 30th, 2017, Bill Bryson passed away. NO he did NOT die of cancer, as some misinformed people are passing around. He’d had COPD for several years. It finally took it’s toll.

There was a small, private funeral a few weeks ago. This coming Sunday July 2nd there will be a Celebration of Life Memorial service at Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Dr. in Burbank, CA. The pickin’ party will be in the back room starting at 2:00–6:30. Food & drinks will be provided. There will be lots of music, singing, maybe a few tears. Bills wife Annie will be there, so you can give her a hug. We all think that this “wake” is going to be very memorable, so don’t miss it.

Greetings friends and neighbors. Jo Ellen here. Many of you folks have been coming out to see us play every Monday night at Viva Cantina for a long time. Thanks for stopping by our new website. We started our Acoustic band around 10-12 years ago. We’ve had a few changes since then; I thought I’d tell you all about them on this “news” page.

First, The Brombies are the wild horses that roam the outback of Australia. It’s spelled Brumbies. George and I thought it would be cool to name our band after a horse. That was in 1989! We saw the movie The Man From Snowy River; about Jack Brumby who brought horses to Australia. Later we found out we’d spelled it wrong.

I had been playing guitar since was about 10 years old; my mom taught me. When George and I met & got married, he always wanted to have a band. So, we started a band. All I had was my really old Martin Acoustic–Not electric. George bought me a great electric guitar, made at Valley Arts. In 1989 we put together an electric band. Randy Drake on drums, David Coy on bass. We four played together for 15 years We played all over town, closed a lot of local bars, played in San Diego and the beach area. Then we added Doug Livingston on pedal steel. That was fun.

About 10 years ago an agent in San Diego called and asked if we could do an hour of bluegrass for the Julian Fiddle Contest/Festival. SURE! I know the chorus to every bluegrass song. I’d have to learn the verses. Off we went into Acoustic, mostly bluegrass.

Fast forward a few years, Bill Bryson on bass & vocals, Patrick Sauber joins the herd on banjo & vocals, Doug leaves and joins Cody Bryant. Me back on acoustic guitar! George, Patrick, Jo Ellen and Bill: We played that way for lots of festivals, concerts, house parties, wedding receptions—you name it, we played it. In the first year that we had our new (used) Toyota Van we put over 20,000 miles on it. We did a lot of traveling–all over California, Arizona & Nevada.

One night onstage at Viva Cantina, in early 2012, my right arm literally quit playing. Yep. Bill & George looked at me, I looked back with a face that said, “I don’t know!” Before I could protest, I was having surgery on my shoulder, then they had to FIX the first surgery (another doctor did that) We were so lucky. John Plotnik had played banjo with us many times when Patrick would be out of town. So, we asked John if he could play guitar with us. WOW. Could he ever! THEN my neck quit on me too.

Throughout all of this, I would come and go with the band in between various surgeries and an odd car accident of an old guy trying to run me down with his car. Finally, I cried UNCLE. I had to have neck surgery. That’s been two years now. I still can’t play guitar. Meantime, Bill got sick and wasn’t able to play with us off and on. For awhile we floundered, then John Plotnik recommended Keith Rosier to play bass with us. We waited for Bill to get better. Turns out Keith and Bill had been good friends for many years, from the old days at The Palomino club in the valley.

So, lots of you have never seen me play guitar; that’s OK. I get to sing. I have the best seat in the house—smack in the middle of all that great music these fellas play. No, I won’t be able to play guitar ever again. I was only sad for a short time. When I was trying to get through the day without the pain making me want to go back to bed, the last thing I would think of would be playing guitar.

So, if you see a photo, or buy our CD’s you’ll see a photo of me with my guitar. On our new, finally finished CD, John Plotnik is playing half the songs and I got the other half done before my neck made me quit.

Now you know the long story of why I’m not playing guitar anymore. I’ll keep this story up on the website for awhile, then I’ll write some more nonsense.

TOMORROW, June 27th 2017, we will receive the shipment of our new, third CD created by this band called The Brombies. The title of this new CD is: RUNNING WITH THE HERD. I love it! There’s a beautiful photo of running horses on the cover. This CD is dedicated to Bill Bryson. This new CD will be available in a few days at ; where you can also purchase our other two CD’s.

Thanks for listening and thanks for coming out to the gigs. I’ve really enjoyed meeting so many people who’ve become good friends; wouldn’t trade that fer nothin’. Blessings

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