Like a jukebox of old 78 records, The Ventucky String Band is reminiscent of a time when Texas Swing still dominated the AM radio airwaves, and Bluegrass music was as novel as the arrival of television.
Where some have tried to diminish Ventura as “Ventucky,” this band sees their name not as a veiled jab at Bluegrass music or the city that brought them together— but instead as a tribute to the music and culture of the farmers, roustabouts, and cattlemen that helped grow the city during the early days of big-oil and agriculture in Ventura County.
Formed in 2010, this highly skilled multi-instrumental quartet features Matt Sayles, Dave White, Rick Clemens, and Lauren Donahue blending three part harmonies and original songwriting into a sound that harkens back to the golden age of country music, and the roots of the country and western sound of the 1930's, 1940's and 50's. Members of the Band have played professionally for over 30 years, with appearances on the Wheeling West Virginia Jamboree (WWVA), as well as performances with Bluegrass, Country, Western Swing & Cajun legends like Merle Haggard, Dwight Yoakam, Asleep at the Wheel, Larry Sparks, Doyle Lawson, the Bellamy Brothers, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys and Hot Club of Cowtown.
Typical sets can vary from 1930’s Jazz & early Bluegrass, to cowboy ballads, folk, and honky-tonk—all seamlessly woven together with original songwriting that draws inspiration from the deep well-spring of American roots music.