Bluegrass Etc. is a popular trio that plays, as its name suggests, bluegrass music. Since its formation, however, the outfit has progressed to embrace a more eclectic acoustic mix. The Chicago Tribune included the group's 1999 album, Home Is Where the Heart Is, on its list of the year's ten finest bluegrass albums. The trio features Bill Bryson on vocals and bass; Dennis Caplinger on vocals, fiddle, and banjo; and John Moore on vocals, mandolin, and guitar. In addition to their work with Bluegrass Etc., each member of the trio has carved a separate successful career for himself.
Two-time Grammy Award winner Bryson, a 30-year veteran of the music business, formerly played bass for the Laurel Canyon Ramblers and the Desert Rose Band, both of which he helped found. The Academy of Country Music honored him with a number of nominations for Bass Player of the Year. His credits include recording with country artists such as the Oak Ridge Boys, Merle Haggard, Emmy Lou Harris, Buck Owens, Mary-Chapin Carpenter, and Glen Campbell, among others. In addition, he has toured with such artists as Dan Fogelberg, the Bluegrass Cardinals, the Eagles' Bernie Leadon, and the Byrds' Chris Hillman. He has also played for commercials and movies, including Bound for Glory, Cannery Row, and The Long Riders. Caplinger is a popular studio musician in Nashville and California when he isn't touring and recording with Bluegrass Etc. During the annual show put on by the Academy of Country Music, he plays in the production's band. He, too, has contributed to commercials and movies. He has played on the soundtracks of animated children's programs Histeria and Pinky and the Brain, as well as on a number of film soundtracks, among them Back to the Future III, Rio Diablo, El Diablo, and Apt Pupil. He has played on recordings by John Reishmann and Rita Coolidge. Moore is a premier mandolinist, and his talent on the instrument helped thrust the group California into the spotlight and earn the band the title of Instrumental Band of the Year for three consecutive years beginning in 1992. He has performed on stages across the U.S., and tours have taken him to Japan, Europe, and Canada. He appeared and played in Christmas in Connecticut, and The Legend of the Beverly Hillbillies on CBS, where he played in a quartet that was rounded out by Earl Scruggs, Roy Clark, and Byron Berline, Moore's former bandmate in California. His credits include commercials, session work, and the soundtracks for The Spitfire Grill, El Diablo, and Blaze. One of Moore's mandolin protégés is Nickel Creek's Chris Thile.