Until recently, Yvonne McMillan was the Northwest’s best kept secret.
While raising a family in a small Willamette Valley town, Yvonne developed a dedicated following of fans who only heard her sing informally at jams and gatherings. Now, with her family grown, she’s ready to bring her crystal-clear voice to a wider musical audience. Sugar Pine is Yvonne’s step into the limelight as lead singer, bass player, songwriter and bandleader.
Yvonne started singing with her brothers and sisters before she was in first grade, and she’s been writing songs as long as she can remember. After her kids were grown, she completed a master’s degree in music education, and now she teaches music at a middle school. But don’t worry — she doesn’t sing like a choir director. Her singing and original songs are filled with her real-life experiences, leaving you nodding your head and thinking, yes, I know what she means.
Steve Blanchard is a fixture in the Northwest’s acoustic music community. The Bronx Cowboy, he has toured and recorded performing cowboy songs. He was been lead guitarist for Prairie Flyer, a mainstay of the bluegrass scene until the band broke up in 2011, and he still performs with PF’s lead singer Jim Faddis. He teaches and inspires students at Vic’s Guitar Cave in Forest Grove, Oregon. He’s a really tasty guitar player. And he never fails to astonish with some of the astounding blather that comes out of his mouth. If you open the dictionary to the word “character,” you’ll see Steve’s photo.
Garrett Maass starts out with two strikes against him. He’s from L.A. and he’s a lawyer. But once you get beyond that you realize what a solid mandolin chop and creative leads can bring to a bluegrass and acoustic band. Garrett is well-known to Portland audiences for his performances with Stumbleweed, Deja Blue and other Portland, Oregon, bands, but you ain’t heard nothin’ yet. SugarPine features Garrett unleashed.
Matt Snook crossed the mountains from Eastern Oregon via wagon train. Well, it was really a 1984 Volkswagen van. But it could have been a wagon train. Anyway, the vehicle carried his banjo and his dobro, a collection of original songs as well as his repertoire of songs by Doc Watson, Tim O’Brien and miscellaneous music about drowned kittens. Look to Matt for the driving banjo that propels SugarPine, sweet dobro sounds and lead and harmony vocals.
Anna Snook has been wowing audiences since she was a little kid, when she earned $200 busking at a farmer’s market to pay for a school trip. (OK, who wouldn’t drop money in a little kid’s fiddle case?) But that was just the start. She is an accomplished fiddler, mandolin player and singer with years of experience performing, despite dropping the band’s average age by 20 percent. Recordings and performance work include the Snook Family Band, Vou Vivendo – a Brazilian ensemble – and most recently, SugarPine. With her lovely voice, impeccable ear and fine musicianship — and under-30-musical tastes — the newest member of the band adds much to SugarPine’s style and depth.
Contact us! We’d love to hear from you. SugarPine wants to help you make the most of your next event — a wedding, a community festival or a corporate party.