Cadillac Mountain, a Tucson based bluegrass band, is a dynamic group of talented musicians who have been playing together in southern Arizona since 2002, bringing their high-energy hard driving bluegrass sound and low-key style all over the state, from Flagstaff to Tombstone. Often performing as a duet with co-founders Joel Leland on guitar and vocals and Rudy Cortese on banjo and vocals, or with Katy Carr on upright bass and Heather Hardy on violin and vocals as a band, they are sometimes joined by Corrine Garey on fiddle, and Alvin Blaine on dobro, vocals and anything with strings.
Joel Leland hails from Cape Elizabeth, Maine, and got the name of the band from the highest point on the eastern seaboard in Maine, Cadillac Mountain. It’s the first place the sun touches the continental United States. Joel has been playing bluegrass guitar in the Tucson area for 20 years.
Rudy Cortese has been a championship banjo player throughout the Southwest for over 30 years. He is a singer, songwriter and composer and is a four time winner of the Four Corner States Banjo Championships, and also an Arizona state banjo champion.
Katy Carr joined the band in 2002 on the upright bass after a long-standing stint gigging and touring with the Molehill Orchestra. Katy has been keeping everyone on time and smiling for over 12 years.
After moving to Tucson in 1990, Heather Hardy joined the Sam Taylor Band as a featured violin soloist, and soon becoming a vocalist. By 1996, Heather had formed her Lil’ Mama Band, taking it to New York in 1997, and in 2000, she was inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame. She has been bringing her amazing style to Cadillac Mountain and putting the blue in bluegrass for over 12 years.
Corrine Garey keeps the bluegrass licks genuine with her championship fiddle playing and no-nonsense approach. Corrine, by introducing Joel and Rudy, has been a key part of the family from the beginning. Finally, Alvin Blaine has been playing music across the country for decades and brings his unmatched style and virtuosity to every tune.
Having long-standing weekly gigs at several Tucson watering holes, Cadillac Mountain has built a loyal following throughout southern Arizona. Known for driving, high-energy musicianship and outstanding vocals over a wide range of material, Cadillac Mountain’s deep respect for the roots of bluegrass music shines through every show.
Winners of the 2017 Pickin’ in the Pines band competition and the 2017 Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival Band Competition, they have just released their first album, Cadillac Mountain. Save the date and make plans to join them for their CD Release party at The Hut Tucson on September 23rd!