Bluegrass & Beyond!

Those three words just begin to introduce you to the music of this fine Sacramento band that has been around for more than 15 years with 2 Great CD's to their credit. The band has its roots in traditional Bluegrass featuring sweet three part harmony vocals, with solid banjo, fiddle, mandolin, dobro and most recently added, Steel Guitar as primary lead instrumentation. Beyond Bluegrass however, the band loves mixing in Western Swing, Country, Gospel and a little bit of everything in between.

On the "Beyond Bluegrass" side, the band loves Bob Wills and Western Swing music to the point of writing and recording an original tribute song to Bob Wills on their 2008 CD entitled "Bob Played Here"! The song was written on the basis of Bob and his band playing right in the bands home town area of Sacramento at "Wills Point night club" back in about 1947! Western Swing music is a major part of the bands 2 CD's and always a part of every live performance the band does.

The quality of the bands Western Swing Music is further documented as they are a listed artist on "Swingin' West", a great Western Swing Radio Show on the web hosted by Mike Gross since the early 1980's. Mike has played a number of the bands Western Swing songs on his Swingin' West" radio show since the release of their 2008 CD "Bob Played Here"! Here is Mike's description of the band as he shares one of their Western Swing songs on his show.

"Western Lights is a fine Bluegrass Band from Sacramento California that just loves Western Swing. With their newest band member now adding steel guitar to their Western Swing music, I can't wait for them to finish their planned 3rd CD so I can play all their new Western Swing songs on my Swingin West" radio show!"- Mike Gross, Host of the Award winning "Swingin' West" radio show. Swingin West Radio Show Website

The bands special talent and passion for Western Swing Music is further demonstrated as they are also a member of "The Western Artists" web site, dedicated to promoting Western Artists/Artisans as well as contributors to the Cowboy, Country & Western ways. Western Lights is proud to be a listed artist under the sites category of Western Swing Music. Here they are in mighty fine company with numerous other fine Western Swing Artists including Asleep at the Wheel! Check their page out at: Western Lights on


On the Bluegrass side, the band is very well equipped and loves doing straight ahead traditional Bluegrass music in the historic style of Bill Monroe, Flatt and Scruggs as well the wonderful established bands of today like Blue Highway, Del McCoury and others. They have played at numerous Bluegrass Festivals in California including the "Good Old Fashioned Bluegrass Festival" in Hollister, the "Red White and Bluegrass Festival" in Auburn and the "Susanville Bluegrass Festival" in Susanville. This side of their music is always a part of every show they do and a major focus on both of their fine 2 CD's, "Favorites of Ours" and "Bob Played Here!"

If you enjoy fine Bluegrass, Classic Bob Wills type Western Swing and a little bit of everything in between get one or both of their CD's and come see a live show!

Meet Western Lights

Bill Ward is a native of Sacramento and grew up listening to Country Music and loving it thanks to his Dad. He began flat-picking bluegrass music in the mid 70's and provides the band a solid rhythm and some fine occasional lead breaks. Bill has also mastered the use and technique of the unique Swing Chord progressions that are essential to the Western Swing Music the band is known for. Bill loves playing his 67 Martin D-18 in the appropriate style for both the bands Bluegrass and Western Swing Music. Bill sings both lead and harmony parts for the band Bill is the leader and spokesman for the band and can be contacted by visiting the Contact Page

Melvin Fong enjoys all kinds of music and plays in a number of different musical groups/formats that also include Celtic, Modern Worship/Gospel and other Bluegrass/Country type music and bands. Melvin is considered among the best fiddle players in the area being equally proficient in the Bluegrass, Western Swing and all the music styles the band loves to do. Melvin sings harmony for the majority of the bands vocals songs. Melvin has a talent and passion for writing a wide variety of original songs that the band loves to do!

Mike Brooks is from Tulare, California and some of his earliest memories are hearing his Grandpa Play old time fiddle tunes. Mike does double duty for the band doing a fine job of playing both Mandolin and Banjo. Mike is considered among the best mandolin players in the Sacramento Area. In recent years he has expanded the bands versatility writing some songs and doing some fine vocal work on select songs. Mike sings lead on his barn burning version of Katie Daley.

Sam Ferry lives in Woodland and is originally from Springfield Mo. His first California memory was learning to play guitar from his uncle at the age of 8. His first band experience came at 12 and has continued with a wide range of music including Bluegrass, Country, Western Swing and Rock and Roll!  One of the finest bass players in the area, Sam is equally proficient playing stand up or electric bass for the wide range of "Bluegrass and Beyond" music the band loves to do.  Sam's vocals, both lead and harmony blend perfectly with the other parts provided by Bill and Melvin for that wonderful three part harmony sound the band is known for.

Gerry Mamola grew up in Sacramento where he was exposed, in the fifties, to the sound of Sacramento's big Country Music Performers. Listening to the sounds of such musicians as Bob and Billy Jack Wills, Vance Terry, and Tiny Moore, fostered his life-long love of Americana music, especially the sound of the steel guitar, both Bluegrass and Western Swing style. After spending fifteen years playing straight up Bluegrass dobro with Sacramento's River City Boys, he is thrilled to have the opportunity now to explore the fusion of Swing and Bluegrass with The Western Lights.