Top row, left to right: Hillel Mogle, Lynn Lewis, Joshua Goodman, Danny Sherban & Tammy Worley.
Kneeling: David Ring & John Worley.
Photography: Anni Worley

Galilee Thunder is a brand new band formed from within the ranks of veteran bluegrass musicians from all over Israel. Most of them have performed or jammed with each other over the last 35 years or more.

Their repertoire includes songs and tunes from the whole spectrum of bluegrass music; from fast paced instrumental breakdowns and tight three-part harmony vocals to acapella four-part gospel songs, presented with verve, panache and humour.

Instigated by John and Tammy Worley from Kiryat Tivon, originally from Texas, this couple are the driving force behind the band. They share duties singing and playing the upright bass known as "Bubba" and John also plays mandolin and guitar. Both have been involved with "The Haifalutins" while John has performed with "The Hazel Hill String Band" and "Canaan Country"

Danny Sherban (fiddle) and David Ring (guitar) both hail from Yodfat and have been playing together for many years in groups such as "Galilee Grass" and "White and Bluegrass". Apart from being great instrumentalists their vocal harmonies are something to behold; both sing lead and tenor.

Joshua Goodman, from Mevaseret Zion, guitarist extraordinaire, has been around for a long while adding his expertise to the music scene and is a font of knowledge on old-timey music. He fronts "The Hazel Hill String Band" who, amongst other things, provide the music for the regular contra-dance sessions in Jerusalem.

Lynn Lewis from Kibbutz Tzora is the longtime compere of the Tzora Folk Club, plays mandolin, Dobro, guitar, 5-string banjo and sings lead, baritone and bass. He performed for many years with his wife, Judi, with bluegrass band "Canaan Country" and his own trio with John and Paul.

Hillel Mogle, resident of Tel Aviv, is the youngest member and is retained to keep the average age of the group to under 60 years. Hillel plays a mean 5-string banjo and has performed with "Canaan Country".

Paul Inbar comes from Haifa and has played fiddle with John in "The Haifalutins", "The Hazel Hill String Band" and with Lynn in his trio. Just wait until you hear the twin fiddle duets that he performs with Danny.

Just in case you wanted to know, name of the band is a tribute to the much admired Ricky Skaggs' band, "Kentucky Thunder".

We are not quite ready to take the band on the road but we will be the opening group at this year's Jacob's Ladder Festival at Nof Ginosar, by the Sea of Galilee, in May.

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