Pearly Blue is a northwest bluegrass group that specializes in a traditional presentation of mountain music. It’s members are veterans of many top Washington bluegrass bands including the Dunton Sisters, the Ohop Valley Boys, the Downtown Mountain Boys, and The Fossils to name a few.
Guitarist and Anacortes resident Barry Brower has been at the core of many fine groups in addition to The Fossils. He also formed the Friends of Sally Johnson in the 1980s. Barry is a bluegrass writer and historian, and was a longtime emcee of KBCS “Bluegrass Ramble.”
Jen Dunton is familiar to many Skagit Valley residents from her years of performing at the Rockfish Grill with the Dunton Sisters. She switches from guitar to bass in Pearly Blue but that sweet voice remains. The legendary Ralph Stanley said of her and her sister Bev Dunton, “Those girls sure can sing!” She has performed with the likes of Tony and Larry Rice and interviewed with major recording labels in Nashville.
Rich Jones has been a long-time stalwart on the Washington bluegrass scene. Raised in Darrington, the son of a talented musician from North Carolina, Rich has been playing banjo since he was a teenager. He is a multi-instrumentalist adept at guitar and mandolin as well as banjo. Rich has been a member of Ron Spears and Within Tradition and the Ohop Valley Boys.
Mandolinist Mike “Spumoni” Manetas is a special guest in this version of Pearly Blue. He comes all the way from Arcata, California, where he is a regular performer with the Compost Mountain Boys. “Spu” and Barry are longtime musical partners, having played together in Fickle Hill throughout the 1970s, one of only a few west coast bluegrass bands performing at the time. Because of their long history of playing together, they have a very large repertoire of bluegrass songs.
Fiddler Rob Bennett comes from a family of noted Washington bluegrass musicians. He was a longtime member of 78 RPM, one of the top Washington bluegrass bands of the 1990s, as well as Skagit Valley’s Queen’s Bluegrass. He began playing the fiddle at the age of ten, once performing on stage with the Father of Bluegrass Bill Monroe. With his clear high voice, Rob also sings lead and tenor vocals with the band.