With a career spanning 45 years, Star Waschevski’s love for music has grown from Heartland Band acts to a solo career and, finally, into a family act — from professional tours with big name bands, such as Chuck Berry and REO Speedwagon, to headlining Nevada County’s State Fair with his local group, StarpeopleBand.
Currently in its fifth year of operation, StarpeopleBand is the combined genius of two husband-and-wife teams, including the Rices (Doug and “J” Cat) and the Waschevski’s (Star and Geri-Lynn). They will be kicking off their spring sojourn at The Stonehouse event center in Nevada City, playing from 6 to 9 p.m. Come early for happy hour specials and come hungry for Hot Chix by Chef Jeff — serving delicious grilled chicken tenders on a bun with homemade, authentically fresh sauces and topping’s.
A classic rock dance band, StarpeopleBand specializes in Motown, Beatles, Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Eagles and even some Tina Turner classics. Producing excellent covers and originals too, StarpeopleBand’s focus is as a highly interactive dance band, featuring a four-beat rhythm and blues with heavy emphasis on vocals. Star and his band mate, Doug, share lead vocals, guitar and bass. Geri-Lynn (keyboard) and Doug’s wife, Cat (percussion), share harmonies, while Billy “the Kid” plays drums — the real heartbeat (and heartthrob) of the band.
Their secret to producing pitch-perfect Eagles and Beatles covers is to pair “the ladies on back up and the men on lead four-part harmony,” shares Star. “Billy the Kid plays drums with us too. We play county fairs, wineries, weddings, street fairs and parties,” including the Nevada County Fair and local street fairs, such as The Nevada City Chamber of Commerce’s Hot Summer Nights.
As an engaging group, Star is known for dancing off stage in the crowd with his wireless mic.
“I can out-dance any of them!” Star is playful and highly energetic when it comes to engaging crowds, following a motto of personal connection and “a process of waking everyone up and engaging them into something that we all love” — the music.
The “musical genius” of the band, Doug ensures that the instrumentation and vocals “fit like a glove,” a choreographed act of concocting medleys from originals and recordings. With Star’s performance background in shows and tours and Doug’s recording background as a technical studio musician in New York City, the band has been busy with group and personal recordings. Star’s album, “Geri’s Rose – Morning Star,” a 2012 release, features originals by both Doug and Star, including songs with the entire band.
These songs are “experiences in life put into rock and roll and country rock songs, with light-hearted themes of having a family, loving nature and the rural life.”
About Star’s latest song, “Indian Summer,” he said, “I express appreciation for nature while pulling in a native recognition for how Native people respond to their own identity.”
A Nevada County classic, catch Starpeople Band at The Stonehouse. Come early for happy hour specials offered from 5 to 7 p.m. The Stonehouse is located at 107 Sacramento St. in downtown Nevada City.