If you could line up Joan Baez, Emmylou Harris, Patty Griffin, and Allison Krauss on a stage, singer/songwriter, Valerie Kramer, of Mountain Shine would fit right in. As a matter of fact, her followers frequently comment that if they shut their eyes and listen, they couldn’t tell the difference between Valerie’s clear and lyrical vocal style to that of the pros she’s often compared to. In the vein of Patty Griffin’s songwriting style, Valerie’s songs, “Hey, Little Sister” and “In Those We Love” tell intimate stories about family complications and the love that heals all wounds. Her song “Mountain Shine” which she wrote to put a feeling and a purpose to the band’s namesake, has an upbeat, colorful flavor all its own. Valerie’s first aspirations were to sing on the opera stage, but she chose to put family first. Now that her children are grown, she has uncorked her talents and has poured her love of music in the spirits of audiences across the Sacramento Valley.
Guitarist, Chuck Parrnelli, adds a sweet bluesy sound to the mix and his guitar has stories to tell! It has traveled the world with him aboard Navy ships to Japan, Taiwan, and Hong Kong. His guitar sang for years in the Sacramento based band, New Blue Flavor, as well as in Nick of Time. Chuck allows his to guitar do most of the singing, although he lets his voice do a little of that, too. From straightforward country licks to lyrical ballad and blues leads, his guitar sings a variety of tales.
Bassist, Barry Prior, keeps the band in sync! Barry plays the bass…well, like a bass, not a guitar. He anchors the rhythm section and acts as a conduit between beat and melody like a pro. Barry has played semi-professionally for over forty years. He rocked it the bands Cryin’ Out Loud and Mason Street Band and brought it down home with the Americana bands Mandolin Avenue and Maddy’s Farm.
Pedal Steel/Dobro/Guitar player, Larry Tracy, is the icing on the band’s cake. Larry’s sweet leads and vibrant, yet subtle fills, consistently turn heads in every audience. People love to come and shake Larry’s hand and discuss his instrument and his brilliant interpretations. Larry’s resume’ is impressive. He has played for over 40 years in many bands with recognizable names such as Rhythm Riders, Big Iron, T-Buck and the Bad Dreams, and Colorfinger.
Drummer, Rachel Lederer, is a recent college graduate from CSU Chico earning a degree in Music Education. With a jazz background, Rachel knows when to be subtle and when to really bring it home. Rachel is always trying out new and different ways to add interesting percussion sounds to the band: the mouth harp is her latest addition. Hank Biggs, local rockabilly favorite, liked her playing so much that he recruited her to play with him as well. She’s an all around great player!