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Diggin’ It: Local Band Diggin Trails Plays Redwood Mountain Faire

By Julie Horner

Hailing from the Santa Cruz area, Diggin Trails kicks off day two of the Redwood Mountain Faire Sunday morning, June 2nd on the Henflings Stage at Roaring Camp Meadow. The edgy five-piece Americana rock n’ roll outfit features a diverse lineup of talented musicians: singer and guitarist John Dodds fronts the band; Lauren Miroyan holds down stomping basslines; Sean James brings the energy on drums; Don Mackessy shreds on banjo; and ‘kid in the candy store exciting’ tenor guitar player Matt Warren howls on harmony vocals.

The band recently interviewed with Tina Davey at the KBCZ 89.3 FM studios in Boulder Creek on Sunday Morning Live.

Blending elements of country, rock, bluegrass, and punk, the band played several originals including Basking in the Cold Concrete, a catchy title with decidedly folky sound laced with a tinge of grit. A little Good Luck Thrift Store Outfit meets Devil Makes Three. Tina asked how punk fits into the mix, “I can almost hear it in your vocals and definitely in your energy. How do you pull punk into the bluegrass realm?” John said, “I grew up playing punk rock music and electric instruments.” As did other members of the band. John writes most of the songs, though he said each band member has written songs over the years and contributes to new material. Asked how the name “Diggin Trails” came about, John said that the idea of digging trails represents the pioneer spirit, getting things done.

“We’ve all been friends for a good 15 years,” John said. “We were all in a band called ‘Tater Famine’. Don told the story of how he met Johnny: “I was in a band called Sons of Jefferson. I used to be a contractor, and I was building a house on the Westside of Santa Cruz, and we’d go to the Parish House sometimes on Fridays.” They took the bus down so they could have a few pints, Don had his banjo and his bandmate Jeff had his mandolin. “We were walking along playing songs and we look and we can see far off in the distance there’s another guy turning a corner and he’s walking towards us playing guitar.” It was John Dodds. “And we see each other and we keep walking and all meet up in front of the Parish. We went in there and played music for the Clampers, and they bought us drinks all day.”

Get tickets to Redwood Mountain Faire: redwoodmountainfaire.com

Fans of rootsy rock n’ roll with a bit of a bang will be stoked to know that Diggin Trails is also playing Moe’s Alley on Sunday, June 9 with Willy Tea Taylor & The Fellership; Club Zyante on June 15; and at The Crepe Place on July 5. Diggin Trails album “Over by June” was released in 2023 and is available on Apple Music, iTunes, Spotify, and most streaming apps. On YouTube: @diggintrails9638 | IG @diggin_trails

To book your band on KBCZ Sunday Morning Live, send email to producer Bruce Bellochio: brucekbcz@gmail.com kbcz.org

Julie Horner writes about music, art, and cultural scenes of the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Photos contributed


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