Acoustic Music At its finest—Bluegrass, Old Country and a little bit of surprise
Pastense plays a variety of new and old bluegrass and gospel music plus some old time country favorites. Many of their songs were adapted from albums by Alison Krauss, Rhonda Vincent and other top bluegrass groups, but they always add a unique flavor to make each piece their own. The group also performs some original material. They are a favorite at festivals, standing out with the three women as singers and/or instrumentalists. They play everything from traditional hard driving bluegrass fiddle or banjo tunes to “break-your-heart” ballads about life’s many struggles.
In addition to vocal harmonies and instrumentals, their performance is loaded with humorous anecdotes to complete the total entertainment package.
In April of 1996 the group recorded its first album entitled Simple Ways and a second, self-titled album in the summer of 2003. The second CD was engineered by Kansas rock legend, Kerry Livgren.
Jolleen Thorpe: Lead Vocals, Harmony Vocals, Guitar.
Don Anderson: Upright Bass.
Diane Gillenwater: Fiddle
David Dryer: Harmony Vocals, Guitar, Mandolin.
Susan Willits: Harmony Vocals, Lead Vocals, Mandolin, Banjo.
Jolleen has been singing most of her life. At age 14, she received a guitar for Christmas and this opened up a whole new musical world for her. She has been active in various acoustic music organizations in the area and is honored to have been the recipient of several vocal awards. Additionally, Jolleen is a songwriter and performs some of her original tunes at the group’s performances.
Don began playing acoustic music in the early ‘70’s. He and Jolleen and two other musicians formed Pastense early in 1994, after meeting at a local bluegrass club jam. Prior to his acoustic music career he was the rhythm guitar player for Roulette recording artists the Morning Dew. Don plays bass for Pastense and is the emcee for the group.
Diane joined the band in July of ‘95. She has been playing the violin/fiddle since she was ten years old. She is passionate about passing on the fiddle styles to the next generation. Diane teaches private music lessons in both violin and guitar. In 2002 she won first place in the Kansas State Fiddle Championships in Lawrence, Ks.
Dave has been playing bluegrass music most of his life. He is well known for his flat-pick guitar abilities, but is also an outstanding mandolin player with an exceptional ear for arranging harmony parts. Over the years Dave has played in various bluegrass bands, and has been playing with Pastense since 2001.
Susan joined the band in May of 2005. She has been playing acoustic music with local groups since the late 1970’s. Banjo was her main instrument (and first love) but she has focused on mandolin for the last few years. Her vocal harmonies provide the “Pastense” sound to which everyone has grown accustomed.
visit to find about about upcoming shows and purchase cd’s.
To schedule a booking:
From left to right:
Diane Gillenwater, Jolleen Thorpe, Don Anderson,
Susan Willits, David Dryer