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 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.
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. Chris continued to play but only with friends and family. In April 2013, Chris, became a permanent member in the Penny Creek 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 and 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. In the ‘90’s he was in a succession of bands. Fritz 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 a member of the Penny Creek Band, and hopes to play with those wonderful folks for many years to come.
Banjo and Vocals
Born at Clark AFB, Philippines, John moved to Florida in 1968 when his father was transferred to Patrick AFB. In 1979 John and his family went to a concert at Banjo Man's Old Tyme Pickin' Parlor in Satellite Beach, Florida and heard Bluegrass music for the first time. John saw the 5-stringed banjo and just had to learn to play it! For his birthday that year, he received a banjo and lessons with Garland Shuping, former banjo player with Jim and Jesse and the Bluegrass Alliance. He took to it pretty well. After 7 months of lessons, he began giving lessons at Banjo Man's. Over the years, John has played with several bluegrass bands and has been fortunate to play at the Kissimmee, Withlacoochee and Peace River bluegrass festivals as well as play in backup bands for great musicians such as Benny Martin, Chubby Wise and Bill Grant and Delia Bell. Penny Creek is an awesome band and I'm so excited to be with these guys!
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