Jamie Shea: Singer/Songwriter, Keyboards
Jamie has been performing as a singer and keyboardist for most of her life. She began singing folk songs in a coffee house when she was 14 and soon thereafter joined the first of many rock and pop bands. In the 70's she toured extensively with the bands Potbelly, Burning Ground, Apricot Brandy, and the Wayne Bell Revue while sporadically studying voice and music theory. Raising a family kept her closer to home in the Pacific Northwest with bands Chrome Dinette and What the Chelm. Other current bands include The Walrus and Pacific Twang.
Although throughout her musical career Jamie had occasionally written her own songs, meeting up with John Holmes in 2003 was instrumental in opening the songwriting floodgates! Jamie enjoys exploring various musical genres writing songs ranging from the middle-eastern feel of "Sacred Money" to the jazz funk of "Little Holiday."
John Holmes: Singer/Songwriter, Guitar
John started writing songs in the late 60's and played in Seattle in the 70's performing with the bands Lost Continent and Spectacle. After having a family and moving to Mount Vernon his focus became more towards writing music and lyrics and he established his own recording studio (Wired Homes Studio) in the mid 90's as a tool for recording his songs and those of many friends and songwriters in the Northwest. The studio collective has thrived on the creative energy and friendships of local musicians. There have been recording projects by Rick Epting, Ira Fein, Li Gold, Wedge Michaels as well as 2 projects with Ron Weyers, Sunrise and Caught Up In A Web, and 2 projects with John Savage, Walkin' In The Sand and Old Moonshine.
Philosophy: The creative process is one that enables us all to communicate what we're feeling and experiencing each in our own unique way. When we are allowed to indulge in this creative process in an uninhibited and non-judgmental manner it becomes a therapy of a kind in that it allows expression of anything in any way that we feel like.
Michael O'Neal: Drums, Vocals
Michael has owned three drumsets in his career and all were Christmas gifts from his parents. His current drums came down the chimney in 1968. The previous set was bright red sparkle, circa 1964. His first drums had Disney characters printed on them and were presented when Michael was a mere three years old. They had to be discarded by that summer due to the aggressive free-bop-jazz style that he pursued at the time.
Luckily, Michael's playing mellowed with age so his drums and his family's nerves survived for a bit longer period of time. He has played many styles of music through the decades — rock, dixieland, jazz fusion, country, klezmer, soul and gospel. But his favorite thing is backing up a female vocalist. When asked where inspiration is to be found he pointed to the dance floor. "I'm doing something right if people dance and don't throw things." So true.
Dave Lyon, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Trombone, Harmonica
Playing trombone from elementary school through college, Dave graduated with a degree in Music Education and began teaching k-12 music in Concrete, WA. Oddly, the trombone did not serve him as an elementary music teacher and he started studying the guitar with tenacity. He began playing and singing in the late 1990's at folk festivals and in 1999 moved to Birch Bay and took a job as Music Director at a New Thought church in Bellingham where they had a guitar player fixture and he began his love of the bass.
Fast forward 14 years and Dave is playing bass and singing in several working bands in Bellingham and Mt. Vernon while teaching guitar, bass and ukulele as his full time occupation. Dave and his wife Shelly (a tremendous singer) are involved in musical theater and the raising of unruly dogs.
Mark Kelly: Saxophone, Flute
Mark teaches music four days a week in his private studio of adult and school-aged woodwind students. He conducts the Kid’Sax Ensemble out of this studio and runs the Bellingham Youth Jazz Band (www.jazzproject.org) which he started in 1997.
Mark plays saxophones, clarinet and flute in several bands including The Makedonians, The Atlantics, and the Holmes Shea Band, as well as guest appearances as a guest performer with various ensembles in Whatcom & Skagit county. He also works with various band students in the Bellingham school district as a woodwinds coach. Mark and his wife share a home with two cats in the middle of Bellingham, bicycling (or motorcycling) distance to virtually everywhere.
Oscar de la Rosa: Latin Percussion
Originally from Puerto Rico, Oscar spent time in New York City where he played with the Sexteto Borinkuen in the early 70's and then in the late 70's played with Orchestra Love. In the early 80's he moved to Houston and played with Latin Clave as well as the renowned Tito Puente. Later in the 90's he played with the Barrel House Gang in the Spokane area of eastern Washington prior to moving to the Skagit Valley.
Oscar has in a short time become THE latin percussionist in Northwest Washington. In addition to playing with HSB, Oscar plays with his own La Rosa Trio performing jazz and latin music at numerous venues and events throughout the Pacific Northwest. He recently joined the Seattle based salsa band Conjunto Chevere. He also is active in local theatrical performances and numerous other musical groups.
R.I.P: Mark Gowan
Mark was our beloved bass player beginning in 2005. He was taken from us in September of 2011. Here is the bio he wrote - very typical of his self-deprecating Southern humor:
Born in Memphis, Mark was raised in the blues and has brought soul gospel to the Northwest. He spent five years in Nashville before wandering the country aimlessly for a long time. Maui was home for many years and holds a special place in his heart (especially in February).
Settling in the Northwest, he played in the Future Pastures Band and with Charlie Gearheart, along with countless other bands now lost to memory. Mark seems to be having a pretty good time now and has successfully avoided writing a novel.