Scott Diehl and Lance Frantzich of The Storytellers speak with Christina Fuoco-Karasinski, Pasadena Weekly Executive Editor on February 6, 2022

What can fans expect from your show when you play the Coffee Gallery?

Lance: Attendees can expect a carefully curated collection of our favorite songs from our considerable song list. Songs with compelling stories, lyrically and melodically speaking. They can expect three-part harmony singing, tight rhythms and soulful inspired lines from our soloists. That’s what we’re shooting for anyway. And they can expect to hear our original song “The Ballad of Bob Stane”, our tribute to the owner of Coffee Gallery Backstage.


The late, great Jerry Garcia two-timed the band he is most associated with – the Grateful Dead – to perform a purer bluegrass style of music in the 1970s.

Let it never be forgotten that the first instrument Jerry Garcia performed on was the banjo. The iconic lead in the iconic band, the Grateful Dead, first picked up the instrument in 1950 and played it for more than a dozen years before working up the nerve to audition for bluegrass legend, Bill Monroe.


The 2020 coronavirus might have, at best, taken the banjos, guitars and fiddles to YouTube. But with luck the acoustic strings shall return in 2022.

If one appreciates bluegrass music, one need not hire a bluegrass band to hear it, nor need they follow the social media page of the best local bluegrass band in the city. They need only be in the know of where and when their favorite California bluegrass festival is scheduled.


Will toe-tapping banjo and fiddle riffs ruffle feathers at a business party? Maybe – if you’re lucky. Bluegrass is absolute fun and a universal crowd pleaser.

The corporate event planner sometimes has to go way out on a limb when selecting musical entertainment. What will be “just right” for the occasion? What genre is “in” with the attendees – or, should you surprise them with something unexpected?


Why go with bluegrass? Maybe the question is why not get some fiddle, bass, guitar and banjo music when it comes to tying the knot?

Bluegrass music for a wedding or wedding reception might not be for everyone. But neither are Pachelbel’s Canon, Wagner’s Bridal Chorus, or Bach’s Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring (the latter of these sounds a little sexist anyway). Neither is pop, funk, or disco.


The guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass fiddle, fiddle, and dobro come together to produce arguably the most American of music genres, with 17th century roots.

For many, the bluegrass style of music might have established itself in their ears as the banjo and fiddle most prominent from those all-time greats, Earl Scruggs and Lester Flatt. But pull up some of the wonderful videos of their band, The Foggy Mountain Boys 7, on YouTube and you’ll see the other instruments that complete the sound: a standup bass, acoustic guitar, sometimes a mandolin and the dobro.



In short, jamgrass is a freer and more expansive version of traditional bluegrass. But it helps to view it in terms of how all music, like language itself, evolves.

Music is a language. And as language evolves, so too does music.

Some would say the sensory and atonality of of Debussy (said to be influenced by a literary style in France in the late 19th century known as Symbolism) somehow was the progenitor to American-born jazz. And jazz, known for its improvisational jams, could well be what evolved traditional bluegrass music to jamgrass sometime in the latter half of the 20th century.


A “Sinners & Saints Soiree” bluegrass music celebration has been announced at the Los Angeles landmark venue. The lineup features jamgrass specialists The Storytellers, The Rattlesnakes bluegrass band and the much anticipated reunion of Sugar in the Gourd.

October 25, 2019, Los Angeles, CARootsGrass Promotions and Molly Malone’s Irish Pub has announced an All Souls’ Day roots music celebration on November 2, 2019. Dubbed a “Sinners & Saints Soiree”, the lineup includes the notable reunion of the storied all-woman Americana band Sugar In the Gourd, as well as the California bluegrass stalwarts The Rattlesnakes, and the hippie jamgrass outlaws The Storytellers.


How did your band choose the name “The Storytellers”?

We chose the name because we’re a folky, bluegrassy band – a modern, progressive bluegrass band – but a bluegrassy band band nonetheless. These songs typically tell stories. Stories about train engineers and heroes and villains and life out on the road. Part of the art of it is telling these stories with credibility and authenticity. The music isn’t enough. So a band takes a lot on when they decide to be a bluegrass band and then decide to call the band “The Storytellers”. You’d better know what you’re doing!

Where do The Storytellers mainly perform? Has your initial performing place changed?


Los Angeles Americana band, The Storytellers, have announced a concert to benefit Altadena-based folk music venue.

March 11, 2019 – Los Angeles, CA – The Storytellers, the preeminent Los Angeles folk band, will perform a concert to benefit The Coffee Gallery Backstage on March 17 in Altadena, CA. The Storytellers are the fastest rising folk group on the Los Angeles music scene. The Coffee Gallery Backstage is a renowned listening room owned by legendary folk music promoter Bob Stane.


Los Angeles folk band, The Storytellers, have partnered with esteemed Atwater Village restaurant for “Folky Fourth Friday” residency throughout 2019.

February 22, 2019 – Los Angeles, CA – The Storytellers, the fast-rising Los Angeles folk band has announced a fourth Friday monthly residency at Bon Vivant Market & Cafe. The esteemed Atwater Village cafe, owned by renowned restauranteur Tricia La Belle, has been recognized for their eclectic French and California-inspired cuisine and ambiance.


Welcome to our new website. We have decided to upgrade our website to better reflect where we are as a musical ensemble and the quality of our live music performances.

The website was designed and developed by our creative and talented friends at BrightBulb Solutions, the same team that developed our first website and that designs our concert posters.