Who are the members of Penny Creek?
Guitar and Vocals
Chris was born in Chicopee, MA and is the youngest son of John Paganoni (luthier) and Nancy. As the son of a military officer, Chris’ family relocated all over the United States, but in the end called Manassas, VA home. Chris began playing guitar at the age of 13 and his style was strongly influenced by the various musicians that would periodically visit his family home. His primary influences though were the direct teaching of his father, Wayne Fairfax, Dick Smith, Jimmy Gaudreau, and Doyle Lawson. At 15 Chris took up the bass and began playing with Arnold Hobbs and Partners, and recorded his first album as the guitarist on a project by Karen Spence (vinyl only) until he went to college. Although Chris continued to play but only with friends and family it wasn’t until he joined in with Penny Creek Band in 2013 for a short period and then returned in April 2014 and has now become a permanent fixture in the band.
Mandolin and Vocals
Fritz grew up in Southern New York (Long Island) and began playing guitar when his mother gave up on learning to play her new ’62 Gibson. He was in his first band in 1969, being allowed to play those 2 famous notes in “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield. He discovered bluegrass music in the mid ‘70’s when, as a dedicated Deadhead, he bought the “Old And In The Way” album. David Grisman’s playing inspired him to buy his first mandolin, a Harmony held together with wood screws. More serious mandolin and bluegrass playing dominated the ‘80’s and ‘90’s when he was in a succession of bands. He has fond memories of playing in Breakeven Bluegrass, Southern Shores and Scattergrass, among others. Fritz moved to South Florida in 1995 and has for 20 years been a member of the South Florida Bluegrass Association, even serving briefly on its board. Fitz moved to Cocoa Beach, Florida in August of 2015. He is excited and humbled to be the newest member of the Penny Creek Band, and hopes to play with those wonderful folks for many years to come.
Bass and Vocals
Born in New Orleans and raised in Alabama, Susan moved to Melbourne, Florida in 1986. She started playing guitar in 1987 when her son decided after 2 months of lessons that it was not for him. By then she fell in love with the guitar and soon after found her groove in Bluegrass music. She attributes her husbands sister, Bonnie Phillips, and Gary Waldrep of the The Gary Waldrep Band for exposing her to bluegrass music. Susan started playing the mandolin back in 2000 and then in 2010 the bass became her primary instrument in the band. Her strong vocals and leading personality makes her the perfect leader of the band.
Banjo and Vocals
Born a fourth generation Florida boy, in Kissimmee, raised in Vero Beach and homeschooled his entire educational career, Isaac has always had a passion for music. He started helping his father lead singing in church when he was just four years old. His first love is acapella hymn singing, especially Sacred Harp music, with all of its beautiful harmonies. After watching the movie, Oh, Brother Where Art Thou? , he became inspired to learn more about Bluegrass music. Ralph Stanley, in particular, sparked his interest in the banjo. In 2004, just after Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne, he gladly left behind four years of piano for a new adventure on the five string banjo. Isaac became a full time banjo player with Penny Creek in 2008. He married in October of 2014 to Rachel and resides in Vero Beach, Florida
Hello my name is Trevor Klutz. I was born in Coral Springs, Florida and raised in Vero Beach, Florida. It all started with violin lessons in elementary school when I was 12. Once I learned the basics, I started to learn fiddle tune after fiddle tune by ear. I was turned on to bluegrass music when I learned an entire mandolin album by ear. I played in a orchestra all throughout high school and went to South Plains College Levelland, TX to study commercial music. I was lucky enough to take lessons from bluegrass great Joe Carr while I was there. I also enjoy playing the guitar and mandolin. I'm proud to part of the Penny Creek Band and I look forward to every gig with these talented musicians.