By Jessica King
An American roots band comprised of four Ramonans and an Escondido resident is set to perform a free concert at Wynola Pizza and Bistro this Friday.
The Sunny Side Strings is a relatively new group, having formed earlier this year, but its five members bring years' worth of musicianship to the table.
As an American roots band, The Sunny Side Strings is made up of all acoustic instruments and touts a playlist that encompasses bluegrass, old time, country, blues and more.
Candace Regel, owner of The Blinds Spot and Regel Floors at 707 Main St., organized the band specifically to provide entertainment at a Ramona Chamber of Commerce mixer in March.
Regel, who is also a horse trainer and riding instructor, said the mixer was co-hosted by one of her riding students, whose family owns the high-end furniture and lighting fixture company, The Dusty Oak. As a favor to her student, Regel, a guitarist, said she would help with the entertainment and set about to find other musicians to round out her act.
She contacted two former bandmates she played with as part of the now-disbanded Poway-based all-strings group, Rattlesnake Creek.
Those former bandmates, bassist Bob Carpenter of Escondido and Ramona music teacher Lisa Klopp, who plays mandolin, agreed to play.
Regel also got nurse practitioner and professional fiddle player Karen Orozco and merchant marine and banjo player Greg Revers on board. They also live in Ramona.
The band practiced about six times before the March mixer and performed with no specific plans for what would come next. The performance was so well received that the group was asked to play again and again and again around town.
Since the mixer, The Sunny Side Strings has performed at the National Day of the Cowboy at Mountain Valley Ranch, the Ramona Branch Library and the Ramona Country Fair.
“It’s just been fantastic,” said Regel. “I was away from guitar for 20 years until I joined Rattlesnake Creek … I was so sad to see it go (when it disbanded) and so to have the new band come together is just wonderful.”
The band plans to release its first CD around the first of the year, and hopes to hear cuts from it played on the web-based radio station Ramonaradio.com, run out of the Ramona Music Center at 1045 Main St.