The Brombies are a Los Angeles, CA band formed by Jo Ellen & George Doering in the late 1980's. All of the band members have played different styles of music from an early age, but for the past five years they've been dedicated to traditional bluegrass. They've all been performing as professional musicians for too long to even mention & as individuals they each have a long list of credits. They are all prominent in the southern California recording & bluegrass scene. With Jo Ellen on guitar & vocals, George on mandolin & vocals, Bill Bryson on bass & vocals and Patrick Sauber on banjo & vocals you've got an exciting band full of talent and experience. These seasoned performers travel all over the western states playing at various bluegrass festivals. The band places a lot of emphasis on the vocal harmonies and instrumentals, but their primary goal is to present their original songs and to play some music that might lift the spirits of the audience for that brief time they are there. Jo Ellen & George were winners in the Bluegrass & Gospel categories for the Chris Austin Songwriters Contest at Merlefest in 2007, 2009 & 2010. They've also been honored to perform in the IBMA Songwriters Showcase in Nashville in 2006 & 2010. Rhonda Vincent has recorded "Anywhere Is Home When You're With Me", one of Jo Ellen and George's songs from their first CD.
As of this date, January 2016, John Plotnik has been playing guitar with us for the past three years. We are still searching for someone who can build us a new website so we can include John Plotnik in our Bio's. John is a fine musician who plays guitar, banjo and dobro; and also sings great! He played for many years in the bluegrass band at Disneyland and still plays at Knotts Berry Farm often. We are very thankful that he now plays with us.
The Brombies (Brumby's) are the wild horses that roam the outback of Australia. Click here for more information on the Brumbies.
Jo Ellen was born in Pittsburg, Kansas way back in the 1900's. She first played guitar at 10 years old when her Mother taught her some chords; her Dad also played guitar and both her parents played piano. She grew up singing old time music with her Mother and sister in church, on local TV and the odd barndance around town in San Diego, Calif. Piano lessons were added later and as a teenager she began playing the 5-string banjo, along with other friends in the San Diego area who had discovered bluegrass; friends such as Bernie Leadon, Kenny Wertz and Chris Hillman. The local San Diego music community was rich with players and performers who all benefited from the atmosphere of The Blue Guitar and The Land of Oden. The Blue Guitar was the local guitar shop owned and operated by the founders of The Scottsville Squirrel Barkers, Ed Douglas and Larry Murray. The Land of Oden was the local folk-bluegrass club where she began performing. After the girls quartet that she sang with returned from a 5 month USO Tour in 1964, including Viet Nam, she moved to Los Angeles. For many years she played in all the local folk music clubs, including the Troubadour, The Ice House & McCabes. A brief stint in Hoyt Axtons band, then traveling with The Smothers Brothers & Ricky Nelson, brought more interesting adventures. When she met George and they married 36 years ago, she hung up her traveling shoes. They began making music together, performing around town and writing music together for movies, television, documentaries, etc. Their favorite music is playing bluegrass with The Brombies and time spent with their furry animals in the piney hills of Hollywood. Check out some of Jo Ellen's stories on this website.
In December of 2012 Jo Ellen had surgery on her shoulder, then again in October of 2013 she had to have that surgery repaired. In October of 2014 while in Santa Fe, NM, a man tried to run her down with his car; causing her to run backwards and falling very hard on her shoulders and neck; Resulting in surgery on her neck in May of 2015. As of this date, January 2016, she's coming along well. She's very thankful to still be singing with the band, while her orthopedic adventures are still in repair. She's looking forward to the possibility of playing guitar again. Meanwhile, she must concentrate on healing from the several surgeries and the most recent surgery on her neck.
Mandolin, Lead and Harmony Vocals
George was born in Alton, Illinois. His Father started giving him piano lessons at the age of 5 and when he was 7 he decided that he had to have a guitar; which was bothersome to his classically inclined parents. For years as a young fellow he was fortunate to play in many bands with the local musicians in Escondido, California, including Pete Harrison. Somewhere in there he tried Irish Dancing with his sister Susan, which wasn't too cool at that time. He became Jr.High School President by promising Coca Cola in all the water fountains. In high school he played any instrument that the marching band needed; like glockenspiel and flute, even snare drum. He tried studying music at San Diego State College for a year, but he wanted to get out there and play not talk about it! When he moved north to Los Angeles he brought with him a VW Van full of stringed instruments, an accordion and a determination to succeed in the music industry. A few years on the road with performers like, "Sonny & Cher" and "Seals & Crofts" cured him of the traveling bug. Finally, all those years of practicing guitar began to reap some benefits. These many years later he is a very successful studio musician who is sought out for his ability to read the written music but make it sound spontaneous. If you wait to the bitter end of many movie credits, you'll often find his name listed there. He is also listed in the credits of many popular CD's. Although he can play anything with strings, for the past few years he's enjoyed the challenge of bluegrass mandolin. For sure, his favorite thing to do is play bluegrass with Jo Ellen, Bill & Patrick or to be at home with Jo Ellen, his wife of 36 years. P.S. His twin brothers still have that van.
Acoustic Bass, Lead and Harmony Vocals
born in Evanston, Illinois, but calls California his home. Bill has a
long list of credits in his wonderful career of playing and singing bluegrass
and country music. He started playing bluegrass and old time music in
the early 60's, then joined and recorded with The Bluegrass Cardinals
and Country Gazette in the mid 70's. He was an original member of The
Desert Rose Band with Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen. He's played with
so many people we can't list them all; but we'll mention that he has several
CD's with Ry Cooder, The Laurel Canyon Ramblers, Chris Hillman & Herb
Pedersen, Bluegrass Etc. (John Moore & Dennis Caplinger), and The Dillards.
He's had some of his original songs recorded by many people, including
Jerry Garcia's "Almost Acoustic Band". Currently, he still travels and
records with Chris & Herb, Bluegrass, Etc. The Laurel Canyon Ramblers
and a recent reunion of The Desert Rose Band. If he's in town, you can
find him playing bluegrass every Saturday night for the past 18 years
at Vincenzos in Valencia, California with "The Grateful Dudes". We are
very glad to say that for the past 10 years, if Bill's in town, he'll
also be playing and singing with The Brombies. Bill now lives in Monrovia,
California with his long time, lovely wife Annie and their Golden Retriever,
Here's a very interesting side note: Bill also plays gut string, fretless banjo, clawhammer style! Hey, try to say that real fast.
Banjo, Guitar and Harmony Vocals
is a California native, born in Arcadia. Patrick may only be in his early
twenties, but he's already a veteran performer in old-time, bluegrass,
folk, western, and other musical genres. He is exceptionally gifted on
the Cajun accordion, mandolin, guitar and banjo. His first musical influence
was his dad, old-time Master fiddler & claw-hammer banjo player, Tom Sauber,
who he still performs with often. He also plays with many other bluegrass
bands including Laurie Lewis and Tom Rozum. Patrick has recorded with
many artists including: Laurie Lewis, Richard Greene, Chris Stuart & Backcountry, Dirk
Powell, Hazel Mountain and many others. He's toured with The Limeliters
& original member Alex Hassilev. In 2003 Christopher Guest asked Patrick
to be the banjo player in The New Main Street Singers in the folk-music
satire movie, "A Mighty Wind". Patrick also plays on the soundtrack CD
from that movie. He also toured with the cast of Mighty Wind, performing
the music from that movie. Patrick, his Dad Tom, Herb Pedersen and Bill
now play together often as a group with the unusual name of "Loafers
We're just happy that Patrick finds some time in there to play and sing with The Brombies.