Soda City String Band plays both traditional and contemporary styles of bluegrass music and is comprised of four seasoned musicians, 3 of whom are returning Woodshed Archive artists. They have performed just about everywhere bluegrass is played, from local joints like Bill’s Pickin’ Parlor, British Bulldog Pub, Tombo Grille, Main Street, and private events to BBQ & Bluegrass festivals all over the region.
Guitar player Larry Casteen is the newcomer of the group to the Woodshed but he is no newcomer to bluegrass. You’ll find Larry singing and picking guitar, mandolin, and banjo at just about any bluegrass event in the region, whether on stage in a band or in a pickin’ circle with friends. Woodshed Archive welcomes Larry and Soda City Bluegrass Band to this exciting Woodshed session!
On banjo is Randy Lucas, the first place winner of the 2015 SC Banjo Competition at RenoFest in Hartsville, SC and recipient of many other banjo and guitar competitions througout the US, including the 1997 National Banjo Championship.
An article in South Carolina Living by Hastings Hensel lets us in on how Randy and bluegrass have a lifelong kinship with each other:
He shares a birthday with bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. He was born into a family in which his great-grandfather played fiddle, his grandfather played guitar, and his father played banjo and guitar. He was even named after a banjo tune by Earl Scruggs called “Randy Lynn Rag.”
Lucas has been playing his own banjo since the age of 5, and grew up blending traditional bluegrass with a variety of musical influences.
“It’s not just bluegrass,” he says. “When I came up through high school, I heard all the rock n’ roll, all The Beatles, television shows, movies, augmented chords, diminished chords—all that really plays into my music. I sometimes feel like I’m a rock n’ roll player playing banjo.”
The bassist for the group is Dave Holder of Columbia, SC. Dave started playing folk music in 1964 and has continued playing acoustic music of some sort throughout his life. He says that when he became involved in bluegrass he realized his guitar skills weren’t quite adequate enough, so he returned to the double bass after laying it down in 1968. Dave performs in a number of area bands and projects, many of which have played sessions at the Woodshed. In fact, Dave is such a welcome “frequent flyer” to the Woodshed that we feel the need to name his section of the stage “Dave’s Corner”!
Worth Lewallen on fiddle first played at the Woodshed just a few weeks ago with the Hobart Trotter Project. He’s the newest member of Soda City String Band and a USC student pursuing a degree in Music Education as well as a teacher in the USC School of Music’s Strings Project. Welcome back, Worth!
Larry Casteen – Guitar/Mandolin, Vocals
Randy Lucas – Banjo/Guitar, Vocals
Dave Holder – Bass, Vocals
Worth Lewallen – Fiddle