Side-Wheeler String Band is comprised of some of Sacramento's finest musicians. Since 2016, they have fined-tuned their repertoire to include an eclectic mix of original, traditional, and cover material. "Side-wheeler String Band delivers an authentic blend of folk music traditions, drawing from the well of British folk, early American folk and Bluegrass. Tying together established, and original songs with a unique approach to instrumentation and solid musicianship, Side-wheeler is energetic and thoughtful, foot-stomping one moment, contemplative the next." (Patrick Grizzell, internationally acclaimed poet and songwriter).
Playing regularly in the Sacramento area, Side-wheeler showcases an original brand of acoustic Americana, folk, and bluegrass. Bringing a high-energy sound to any venue - whether they are rocking the house with traditional numbers such as Katy Daly, or toning down to a lyric waltz like Ken Burnett's Beaker Street - Side-Wheeler is a music act well worth seeing.
Adrian Baxmeyer (electric bass, backup vocals), formerly of One-Eyed Reilly, The Marvels of the Midway, and Kenny Rego and the Law of One, brings an intricate groove and original punch on his bass and back-up vocals; he is a versatile and exciting bass player to watch: "[Adrian Baxmeyer] plays a better, tight and driving melodious rhythm with one arm than most bassists play with two." (Randy Joy, Music Blogger).
Ken Burnett (mandolin, guitar and vocals) is a long-time Sacramento songwriter and “Northern California Mandolin guru” (Cristian Kiefer). He has played with numerous award-winning bands and artists such as Amee Chapman and The Big Finish, William Mylar, Sal Valentino, Richard March, Mandolin Avenue, and 2Me. He writes a healthy amount of Side-Wheeler's tunes and contributes to the band’s sound with authenticity.
Liz Ryder (Celtic harp, Celtic bouzouki, banjo, guitar, vocals), Sacramento's English songbird, brings her rich vocals and award-winning original songs to the group. She has played at various festivals and venues in the UK and US, including Telluride, Rocky Mountain Folks Fest, the San Francisco Folk Festival, Warwick, and Towersey, and, among others, opened for Richard Thompson and Eric Taylor. “With her soaring Joan Baez-like vocals and lyrics which mesmerize, she holds the rapt attention of the audience whenever she plays.” (Nusi Dekker, LocalMusicVibe San Francisco) Ryder also performs her music as a solo act, fronts the Liz Ryder Band, and is a former member of Sacramento bluegrass band Mandolin Avenue.
Josh Surette (guitar, vocals) has been a featured musician in numerous bands including the super Celtic band, Griffin, the Lynsey Bostick Band, and Mandolin Avenue. With his stellar leads and skillful rhythmic work on guitar he contributes vibrant texture and style to ballads and fierce instrumentals alike.