BoThe Band

Matt Hyman - Jenny Harada Wasson - Joe Schulte - Dan McClung - Dale Largent

photo by Ben Moon

The Moon Mountain Ramblers have always stayed on the creative edge of acoustic music. This increasingly popular group (voted best band by readers of local paper, The Source Weekly, in 2004, 2008, 2009 and best wedding band in 2012), has consistently been one of the hardest working and most successful bands in Oregon for a decade. Even in Bend, which has a strong and fast-growing music scene that brings in plenty of tough outside competition, the band continues to sell out the hottest venues in town.

At first glance, the Ramblers may look like a traditional bluegrass band, with the classic instrumentation of fiddle, mandolin, acoustic guitar and upright bass. However, with the addition of full percussion and musical inspirations with no boundaries, this band has truly found their own unique niche in the world of acoustic music. If you attend a show, or listen to any of the band's albums, it won't take long to recognize the variety of musical influences this band uses to create their ever-growing library of original music and creative covers. With tasteful flavors of Celtic, Bluegrass, Jazz, Latin, Rock and more, MMR can most closely be labeled as an Acoustic Americana, Jamgrass Band.

The Moon Mountain Ramblers have had the honor of sharing the stage with such great acts as: The David Grisman Quintet, Del McCoury Band, John Reischman and the Jaybirds, Asleep at the Wheel, Jackstraw, the Gourds, Hot Buttered Rum, New Monsoon, Sneakin’ Out, Taarka and others. MMR has twice hosted their own Moon Mountain Music Festival (2008, 2009) and kicked off the Moon Mountain Music Camp in 2010. The Moon Mountain Ramblers have performed at festivals throughout the Northwest including: the Sisters Folk Festival, Siskiyou Bluegrass Festival, Northwest String Summit, 4 Peaks Music Festival, Mountain Stomp, Prospect Bluegrass Festival, Bend Brew and others.

Press About the Moon Mountain Ramblers:

"The Moon Mountain Ramblers, a string band from Bend, have created their own soulful interpretation of traditional bluegrass, swing music and country music. Listen to their tunes and you'll hear Django Reinhardt-flavored acoustic jazz or country rock a la Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers." Laurie Heuston (Tempo, Mail Tribune)

“The Best band I saw at 4 Peaks on Saturday was Bend’s own Americana string band the Moon Mountain Ramblers.” Ben Salmon (music reporter of The Bulletin in Bend)

"Built on more of a jazz and blues than bluegrass foundation, the combo likes to embark on polyphonic sprees and improvisational interludes." (Joe Ross, music writer Bluegrass Now)

Review of "Let it all be Good" from Ben Salmon of The Bulletin (Bend, OR) “Schulte’s title track is a joyous blast of rock ‘n’ roll… . [Wasson]’s 'Chasing the Sun' is a new-traditional fiddle tune that will flutter it’s way into your heart. Hyman’s songs are the twangiest of the bunch, evoking visions of cowboys and campfires. And McClung’s instrumentals incorporate a little jazz, a little swing, and a whole lot of Middle Eastern flavor on the 11-minute-long jam 'El Serpiente.'”

Instrumentation: Matt Hyman - acoustic guitar, dobro, lead vocal; Joe Schulte - mandolin, lead vocals; Dan McClung - acoustic bass, harmonica, vocals; Jenny Harada - violin, vocals; Dale Largent - hand percussion

Discography: Moon Mountain Ramblers (2004), Borderline (2006), Let It All Be Good (2009), Live at the Tower (2010) (double disc). A new release was initiated in the studio in January 2013, with an anciticapted release of summer 2013.

 

 

Matt Hyman

 

Matt Hyman
Guitar, Dobro, Lead Vocals

aka Mai ( pronounced: May)

Mai is a vocalist, guitarist and songwriter originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee. For the past twelve years his creative and natural songwriting has been an integral part of the MMR musical stew. His driving rhythm guitar and his heartfelt and honest vocals have defined and propelled that distinct sound of MMR. Matt has devoted his life to playing and learning the guitar and has used MMR as an outlet for expressing his original songs. With help of the band, his songs have blossomed into a life of their own; high energy, fun-loving tunes that audiences of all ages respond greatly to.

He independently released his first solo album in 2010 called "Restless". It showcases, along with his introspective songwriting, Matt playing a variety of instruments including guitar, dobro and banjo. The rusty twang and authentic craftmanship of his songs really shines through. By producing, writing and performing these songs on his album, he shows his dedication to his art, music and to being a professional musician. True to his restless nature, Matt will continue to explore his chosen path of music with a current album in the works supported by MMR.

You can reach Matt at porchpickin@gmail.com

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Jenny Harada Wasson
Violins, Vocals

Jenny Harada Wasson started playing the violin at the age of 10 in Bend, Oregon. She studied the Suzuki Method and played in symphonies throughout high school and college. She received a Bachelors of Art in Music Performance at Beloit College in Wisconsin. While in Wisconsin she got her first taste of bluegrass, performing during ultimate Frisbee games. After moving back to Bend, she met mandolinist Joe Schulte who introduced her to Dawg music and whiskey, a powerful combination. She was the original member of the Chili Dawgs, which eventually morphed into the Moon Mountain Ramblers. 

Along with the Ramblers, Jenny also performs with Bend’s hip hop band Person People, Laurel Brauns and the Sweet Harlots and the Central Oregon Symphony. She teaches fiddle out of String Theory Studios in downtown Bend. In her spare time, you can find her rooting for the Blazers or playing a game of cribbage. Her idols include Darol Anger, Stuart Duncan, Jason Carter and Stephane Grappelli.

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Jenny Harada

 

 

Joe Schulte

 

Joe Schulte
Mandolin, Guitar, Vocals

At 28 years of age, Joe Schulte is a bit of a late bloomer in the musical world, but has been on a very unique musical journey. Raised in Alaska but now considered a local Oregonian, Joe has allowed his life to become fully engulfed in the world of music. He is now a full time music teacher owning a successful private studio in downtown Bend, Oregon. What might set Joe aside from many other players, and teachers, are his musical influences. Joe is a firm believer that there is magic in all musical styles and genres, even if one is not a big fan of the music in general.

Most players get their influences and ideas from artists who play and have pioneered similar styles of music. As Joe values this idea as well, he also lends a big ear to totally unrelated projects including Electronic, Rock, Pop, Hip Hop, Jazz, Metal, Folk, on and on- old and new. A conscious listener can easily hear this in his song writing. Variety is his main focus. He does admit though that since picking up the mandolin, David Grisman's music may just be the most prominent influence in learning the instrument. Now he likes to use what he has learned from the Dawg in combination with whatever ideas he can snatch from his most diverse musical library. All in all Joe likes to play progressive music.

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Dan McCLung
Upright Bass, Harmonica, Vocals

aka Bassdawg

Owner of Music Makers (200 NE Greenwood Ave., Bend, OR).
Though Music Makers is primarily known for acoustic guitars from Taylor, Eastman, Walden and Samick, we also are dealers for Yamaha P Series portable digital pianos, Eastman mandolins, GoldTone banjos and resophonic guitars, Kanaloa ukuleles, Kustom amplifiers, Lee Oskar and Hohner harmonicas. We also have a print music section (teacher discount available) and a full range of musical instrument accessories.

Dan McClung was born and raised in the Ft. Worth, Texas area where his musical career began early.   “I remember watching The Grand Ole Opry live on TV with my parents.  I had just turned three years old and begged for a guitar for Christmas.  When it arrived I soon discovered it was only a toy guitar and would never really be playable.  I was so upset I proceeded to bust it up on the hardwood floor.”  Piano lessons began in third grade; trumpet was played from the fifth through twelfth grades in school; and a “real” Sears Silvertone guitar arrived during the sixth grade along with an awareness of Bob Dylan and The Beatles

Soon Dan was beginning to write songs, which has continued to be an area of great interest.  At the age of twenty-four during a trip to Canada, Dan meet some folks who would turn out to be life-long friends.  By quirk or fate, they all played acoustic instruments but needed a bass player.  Dan volunteered to be the bassist and soon had an acoustic bass (which he named Rosie) and did some serious wood shedding to get up to speed on this unfamiliar instrument.  This first band became known as Home Made Stew from which one of the founding members, Patricia Conroy, went on be named the Canadian Country Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” for 1994 and garner “Album of the Year” status for her sophomore release (CCMA – 1993). 

The next band in which Dan was a member was Station Road, another fine Canadian Bluegrass Band that won the Carlisle Bluegrass Festival and extensively toured Southern Ontario.  After five years in Canada, Dan returned to his native Texas for a while before moving to Bend, Oregon in 1984.  By 2001 it had been 21 years that Rosie the bass had lain idle.  Once again, feeling the yearnings to play with fellow musicians, Dan put out the call to see if he could get something going and after not too long the Moon Mountain Ramblers came to be.

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Dan McClung

 

 

 

Dale Largent

Dale Largent
Djembe, Percussion

While Dale studied classical percussion methods at Interlochen Music Academy, his approach to music has developed a large and growing reputation as a performer, teacher, studio sideman, and advocate for the arts. In spite of his classical training and proficiency on many percussion instruments, Dale has focused the last 15 years on handdrums.

Dale has performed 75+ shows / year since 2006 with Taarka, the award-winning Moon Mountain Ramblers, and many others. Dale has also performed with: The Everyone Orchestra, Darol Anger, Steve Kimock, Reinhart Melz, Joe Craven, Vince Herman, Jeff Austin, Mamady Keita, Sharon Gilchrest, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Damian Erskine, Nathan Moore...

Also a recording artist, his recordings include albums with Taarka (Frogville Planet Records), Moon Mountain Ramblers , COYO, the Everyone Orchestra, Mark Ransom, and many others.

Dale owns a professional recording studio, Dale Largent Recording, where he tracks his own music as well as projects for other great artists. When not on stage, he shares his passion for rhythm and being loud with students of all ages through schools, groups and private instruction.

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contact
Revised - February 4, 2013

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Moon Mountain Ramblers