Home | Mercantile| Member Bios | Schedule | Contact Us

Band Bios:

117 West in costume on location for the PAX network reality show "Cold Turkey"
117 West. A fresh new quartet from the San Diego area playing traditional bluegrass and exploring jazz, country and pop influences.
A band with new interpretations of familiar themes!
Read more on each of the band members:
Kenny Wertz | Dan Broder | Becky Green | Darren Weiss
 
  Kenny Wertz ~ Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Born in Virginia, raised in southern California, Kenny has been playing music and singing since the age of 8. Forming the "Scottsville Squirrel Barkers" with Chris Hillman in the early 60's Kenny is considered a founder of west coast bluegrass music. Kenny did his military service in the Air Force and upon completion joined Chris in the "Flying Burrito Brothers". When the Burritos disbanded, Kenny, along with Herb Pederson, Byron Berline and Roger Bush formed the "Country Gazette". After Herb and Byron left the band Kenny and Roger joined with Roland White and Alan Munde to continue with the
"Country Gazette". After 7 record albums, televisions, radio, movie sound tracks and touring the U.S., Canada and Europe, Kenny put his music on hold to raise his daughter, Briana Moon. In 2000 Kenny formed a new band, "Down the Road", and with this band won the southwest bluegrass championship at the Huck Finn Festival. In 2003 Kenny played a reunion with the "Scottsville Squirrel Barkers" at the "Adams Ave Street Fair". Currently living in Fallbrook, CA with his wife Annette, now he's back playing banjo with "117 West", his latest project, and he says
"This band is HOT!!"
Email Kenny
Dan Broder ~ Guitar, Mandolin, Lead Vocals
 
Dan has played guitar for 17 years and was immersed in music by both his father who plays classical violin and his older brother who plays acoustic blues guitar. He started out playing electric lead and rhythm guitar in several rock bands in college. Dan played some acoustic jazz duets during this period and was first exposed to bluegrass at the coffee shop gig in which a guest sat in on the mandolin. Upon moving to Champaign, IL Dan became involved with a band called The Bluegrassholes, two members of which formed the "Yonder Mountain String Band". This was a woodshedding period for Dan and he learned to sing and play bluegrass guitar. After the Bluegrassholes Dan teamed up with banjo player Noam Pikelny to form the group "Waffle Hoss", which played a wide range of gigs and venues in the Illinois area and featured Dan on vocals and guitar. Dan moved to San Diego in fall 2003 where he met Kenny, Darren, and Becky while playing at San Diego Bluegrass Music Society events. Dan also plays mandolin and electric guitar. Dan spends his days as a microbiologist at UCSD and lives with his wife, Rachel near the university.
Email Dan
 
Becky Green ~ Bass, Lead & Harmony Vocals
 

Becky began her musical experiences on an old upright piano in the second grade. Feeling too shy to play in public and preferring to stay home and play "Okie" boogie-woogie her dad taught her, the lessons fell by the wayside, but she kept playing her piano every day.

After growing up, she saw cloggers performing to bluegrass music and was instantly hooked! She taught herself to clog and became a member of the Footloose Cloggers from 1978 through 1985. The group performed at the Harvest Festivals in San Diego and Phoenix, the National Square Dance Convention in Sacramento, clogging competition at Opryland, a European trip and many others. As a single parent, Becky was unable to take the extended time off required to participate in the more distant events and, after seven years, she decided it was time to hang up her dancing shoes.
Wanting to play bluegrass music, she bought a guitar, played in an local trio for about a year and served as Secretary/Treasurer for the San Diego Bluegrass Club for five years.
In 1990 she added bass guitar to her repertoire. She was the bass player for the band "Dixie Road Bluegrass Band" for two years. Taking a break for a while, .she started playing bass.again in 1997 and became a founding member of "Down the Road Bluegrass Band." She also played bass guitar with the band "The Goodtime Gospel Gang" for over two years. Becky is currently playing bass and singing harmony and some lead vocals with the new band "117 WEST".
Becky resides in El Cajon, CA
Email Becky
 
  Darren Weiss ~ Mandolin

Darren grew up in Southern California, spending much of his youth around a campfire listening to folk music. Having missed the great folk scare of the 60's by a couple of decades, Darren never the less took up the acoustic guitar and plucked the campfire classics through high school.

Darren was introduced to the mandolin via David Grisman recordings and developed his first taste for bluegrass while in college in Flagstaff, AZ. After realizing that everyone else played guitar, Darren bought his first mandolin for diversity's sake and hasn't looked back since.

After serving in graduate school in Amherst, MA, Darren landed in the San Francisco Bay area. Aside from countless hours jamming at the local hangouts, Darren played mandolin in the bluegrass group The Echo Street String Band; which among other things, helped develop his taste for fine whiskey.

Darren joined 117 West after moving to San Diego to work in the wind power industry.

Email Darren
 
   

Copyright©, 117 West. All right reserved.