When you hear Christian Quesenberry's original, Coastlines To Mountaintops, it's not hard to see the story behind the song. Born in Sacramento, California but moved to Virginia to an adopted family at two years old- Christian has grown from small-town dreams to a full-blown music career at the age of 25. His musical foundation is built upon a combination of experiences- from learning to play in his local church band, to high school years spent pursuing choir and a possible future in teaching music.. Somehow, all paths lead him to the same destination- knowing that his passion was to build a career in music. Singing since he was a small child, he also picked up the guitar at age 10. Over the years he found a knack for not just guitar, but drums and piano as well. A student at Staunton River High School, he was active in both the choir program and the musical theatre program. He would go on to say that some of his most valuable lessons about singing and vocals were learned at that age, from his choir teacher Nicole Schmitt. At age 23 he began playing cajon (or box drum) with Smith Mountain Lake bluegrass band Ricky & The Banjo Mites. Made up of Ricky, Laura, and Amy Quesenberry and friend Dave Owens- The Banjo Mites were an SML favorite! Enter 2020 and the Covid Pandemic hit.. Christian was able to take this downtime to spend mastering his craft and booking shows for solo and duo acts with fellow Banjo Mites buddy, Dave Owens. After recieving a Callback Audition to American Idol in early 2022, he hit the ground running with his band, The Groove, and has quickly gained recognition for his captivating stage presence, soulful vocals, and his rythmic appraoch to the acoustic guitar. The Groove is a multi genre-list band birthed right out of Smith Mountain Lake, Va. They play an eclectic mix of old favorites and new originals by the band themselves. Christian draws his musical inspiration from artists like Bill Withers, John Mayer, James Taylor, Tom Petty and many more. Christian's soulful voice and captivating stage presence will insight joy and infectios grooving. The year is full of exciting upcoming projects as the band broadens their range of travel and Christian hits the booth at Fainting Goat Studios to record his debut album, Coastlines To Mountaintops.
Where do you even begin with such a colorful character like Dave Owens? Do you start things off by directly addressing the fact that 98% of this man's wardrobe consists of tie dye t-shirts? Or do you start by mentioning the obvious obsession he has with fishing on Smith Mountain Lake? OR perhaps we talk about the magical menagerie of musical talent just coursing through his veins?
If you've been to Smith Mountain Lake and enjoyed any local music- I would just about guarantee that you've heard Dave Owens. Nicknamed The Fishin' Musician, Dave has been living at SML for 38 years now. Believe it or not- he's a Charlottesville transplant! He's been picking the guitar for 50 years and performing publicly for 45- we're not sure what all went on within those first 5 years but we're offering a high reward for any footage of Baby Dave learning guitar.
In addition to the astounding caliber of music that he brings to the band, Dave lays down some spicy lead guitar, and will also take the job of lead vocal from time to time. Dave is the true Yoda of the group.
Coming from one of the most musical families in our region, Amy began singing and playing the bass at age 12. At age 13 Amy was formally a member of her Dad’s (Ricky Ellis) bluegrass band, regularly competing and winning at numerous festivals and competitions. A formidable upright bass player, but no stranger to the electric bass either. Amy holds the bottom down like no other, and is a key ingredient in what the band calls our “wall of sound”. If you make one of our shows, one of the first things you will notice is an audible bass that will vibrate your soul. No wimpy bass playing from this lady! After you are wowed by her bass, Amy will blow you away with her incredible, soulful vocals. She is a harmony queen; and not afraid to belt it out on lead vocals as well. A multi-intrumentalist, Amy also plays guitar, and is an award winning Folk-song Competition winner. She has won numerous 1st place ribbons at different bluegrass festivals throughout the years. A true gem, she is.
The newest member of the band, John Graham, has certainly made an impact on the sound of Christian Q. & The Groove! Born in Loxahatchee, Florida and raised in Georgia- John has been playing the drums since he was in sixth grade. At just 22 years old, his skill and timing is already off the charts! Playing the music scene in Atlanta, John was a member of Lemons Episode. Little did he know that a move to Virginia in 2021 would lead to a chance meeting at one of Christians summer gigs. By the end of the year, John had become a full fledged member of the band and has been a huge part of making the sound what it is. If you've had a chance to hear the group live, you already know that The Groove's signature "wall of sound" wouldn't be the same without the crisp, spot on rhythm that he holds down along-side the bass. Drawing his inspiration from drumming greats like Benny Greb, it's easy to see that this young man has a talent well beyond his years already. The band is excited to welcome such an impeccable musician and downright awesome guy to The Groove family!
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