Jim, who frequently collaborates with legends like Ralph Stanley and Elvis Costello, is also a critically acclaimed solo artist with dozens of studio releases, including his latest Carolina Moonrise, written with Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter and Buddy and Jim the critically acclaimed new duets album recorded with long time friend Buddy Miller of which Mojo states: “Miller and Lauderdale’s duets have both the easy familiarity of old friends and the musicianship of old pros.”
Stryder Callison started playing guitar and writing songs when the rest of his pals were learning to ride bikes. Born in a small rural town in California’s central valley, this self-taught multi-instrumentalist was raised on a steady diet of hard work and country music. But never one to be cowed by convention, Stryder’s insatiable appetite for new music had him soon listening to (and playing) rock and roll, reggae, dub and punk rock. And so, a misfit singer-songwriter sprouted amongst the hicks and hayfields. After playing with numerous bands, relentlessly touring and writing for other artists, Stryder released his first solo album in 2008, titled ‘Years in the Making’. A couple of years later he found himself late night jamming with The Maids of Honor, a popular local Santa Cruz group. "I knew right away that I’d found my band." And that’s how John Barrett, Kelly Castro and Lex van den Berghe came to be The Jackwagons, and with Stryder riding point, they’ve been cranking out a steady stream of booze-soaked drinking songs, high-octane roots rock barnburners and heartbreaking love songs.
Band-mates Kelly Castro and Lex van den Berghe spent many years playing in the critically acclaimed Bay Area band Frontier Wives, earning their chops and touring the U.S. extensively with a number of bands including Camper Van Beethoven, Dash Rip Rock, Reverend Horton Heat, The Cramps, Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper, The Meat Puppets, Rank & File and The Dead Milkmen. You may have also seen Lex in one of his past lives competing on CBS’ Survivor Africa and Survivor All Stars.
Look for Stryder Callison & the Jackwagons debut album, due out later this summer.
After tiring from the indie/club scene, Lovers and Strangers called it quits in 2002. Ray found his niche in writing songs and producing music from his home recording studio in Las Vegas. After reuniting with his long time friend George Edwards, Ray was convinced that song writing was still his strongest musical asset. Through George, Ray was introduced to Brad Madix who agreed to produce, arrange and mix Ray’s forthcoming release “RE-CREATION.” To record, Ray hired long time bay area keyboard player Chris Rieger and Las Vegas studio/Blue Man group players-Corky Gainsford, Michael Kelly and Mike Szuter.
The decision to get back on stage was an easy one once Ray met veteran Las Vegas drummer/producer Mike Fouts, musical whiz kid keyboard player Mik Shaffer, bicoastal studio bass player Mike Avila and Los Angeles transplant Mike Harris on guitar to form The Forget Me Nots.
Ray Bertolino and The Forget Me Nots offer a heartfelt brand of Americana put to music with topics ranging from the economic strife plaguing the world today (American Way) to catchy love songs (Heads in the Clouds) Ray take’s a very organic approach highlighting piano and organ using very straight forward guitar tones and lush backing vocals but it’s the band’s hard work ethics and nothing good come easy attitude that makes them something to watch for now and in the years to follow.