The "Strangers" bluegrass sound is a mixture of traditional, Stanley, Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs material with more progressive material from Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band and some Del McCoury. A four piece (banjo, guitar, mandolin, and bass) they are still able to produce nice, three-part harmony with all musicians singing on one song or another.
The Strangers have been around since 2001 in it's present configuration. They have performed at festivals and gigs throughout the southwest and San Diego area. We won the 4 Corners Band Contest in Wickenburg Az in 2007 and have shared the stage with many national acts.
Price Range: $300 per hr 2 hour min -
Gig Length: 60 - 240 minutes
What to Expect
Exciting uptempo vocal and instrumental music done in the bluegrass style. All acoustic instruments, featuring banjo, mandolin, guitar, bass and vocals. Traditional music from Bill Monre, Flatt and Scruggs, Stanley Brothers to more contemporary groups like Blue HIghway, Lonesome River Band.
The Virtual Strangers were formed in 1992 in Napa, California. In 1996, they relocated to San Diego County. Since moving to the San Diego area the Virtual Strangers have reformed and performed at many local events. The band currently consists of Mike Tatar Sr., Yvonne Tatar, Jon Cherry, and Kit Birkett
The "Strangers" sound is a mixture of traditional, Stanley, Monroe, and Flatt and Scruggs material with more progressive material from Blue Highway, Lonesome River Band and some Del McCoury. Usually a four piece (banjo, guitar, mandolin, and bass) they are still able to produce nice, three-part harmony with all musicians singing on one song or another.
Mike Tatar Sr. has been playing banjo since 1977 when he discovered it and bluegrass music. Besides the banjo, he plays guitar and sings lead and harmony vocals, and also plays the resophonic guitar.. Mike also hosted "Bluegrass Central" on the Internet at World Music Webcast for 4 1/2 years. Mike was a member of “Snowy River” and “In Cahoots” bluegrass bands. Mike was the President of the San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS) for 4 years and has been the Membership Chairman for the past 14 years. He is also the Festival Chair of the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival in Vista, California which happens every August and celebrated its 10 year in 2012.
Jon Cherry started playing bluegrass in the late 60's. Jon's guitar and mandolin work added strength to the bands "Union Creek" and "Snowy River". Dissatisfied with many of the mandolins that he has played, he decided to construct his own "Cherry" Mandolin. Jon plays mandolin, guitar, and sings harmony and lead vocals with Virtual Strangers.
Yvonne Tatar plays the stand up bass and sings harmony vocals. She played bass in high school until graduation. After having children she returned to the bass playing with "In Cahoots" and the California Old Time Fiddlers Association accompanying many fiddlers in both performance and contests. Her father, grandfather, and great grandfather played old time fiddle.
Kit Birkett has been playing bluegrass since the mid 60's. His rhythm playing adds a rock steady beat to the band and gives it the drive a bluegrass band needs. Kit also shares lead vocals. His band credits include the "Squirrel Barkers" and "Down the Road", winners of the 2001 Southwest Bluegrass Play-offs.
The band are members of the San Diego Bluegrass Society (SDBS), North County Bluegrass and Folk Club (NCBFC), California Bluegrass Association (CBA), Southwest Bluegrass Association (SWBA), and the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA).
Virtual Strangers have played at a number of wineries in both Napa, California, and Temecula, California. They have played at the Summergrass Bluegrass Festival, (link hidden), in Vista, Ca; The Julian Bluegrass Festival, in Julian, Ca; The Brawley Cattle Call in Brawley, Ca; The Parkfield Bluegrass Festival, (Camp Rude), in Parkfield, Ca; the Sam Hinton Folk Festival in San Diego, Ca; Sea World, in San Diego, Ca. The band has also opened for Rhonda Vincent and the Rage and have shared the stage with Bluegrass Etc., California, the Dillards, Nashville Bluegrass Band, Lost Highway, among others. The Strangers took 1st place at the 2007 Arizona Bluegrass Band contest in Wickenburg, Az.
Not known to many, the band also has an alter ego named the Tatar Patch Bluegrass Buddies where they perform an educational set at schools, and children's music camps and programs, playing at many schools throughout San Diego County and other areas in California.
When you're looking for bluegrass in San Diego the Virtual Strangers won't be too far away!
Additional Booking Notes
A sound system is available if needed.
Past Booked Events
|July 20, 2016–July 21, 2016 • 11:00pm - 1:30am||Corporate Event|
Turkey Knob, Lonesome Pine, New Camptown Races, Old Kentucky Home, Rocky Top.
|Yvonne Tatar||Bass, and vocals|
|Jon Cherry||Mandolin and vocals|
|Kit Birkett||Guitar and vocals|
|Mike Tatar||banjo, reso guitar and vocals|
Influences & Inspiration
Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs, Stanley Brothers, Lonesome River Band, Blue Highway, Ron Spears and Within Tradition