tortolita gutpluckers

Guerilla bluegrass in baja arizona

About the Band Members


Nick Busch

Fiddle and lead vocals

Nick gets transfusions of a fluid he obtained from dissecting the brainium of a Yeti found frozen in a cavern, in a canyon, which enables him to summon up and perform songs before ever hearing them.  Nick’s captivating voice anchors many of the band’s vocals while his old-time fiddling style projects a decisive energy throughout the group’s instrumentals.


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Lane Johnson

Rhythm acoustic guitar and lead vocals

Upon learning family practice didn’t entail continuously siring children, Mad Doc Johnson returned to clinical work where, after authoring a book on herbal medicines, he dispenses sage advice to those patient enough. Not content to leave his needling at the office, Lane’s energetic vocals erases the band–audience abyss with a blend of carefully metered wit and just occasional irreverence.

Lane is also the author of I Am An Old Horned Toad, a children's book with sing-along CD.


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Jim Lowell

Banjo and vocals

Although retired from genetics, Jim conducts bleeding edge auto-rejuvenatic cloning procedures on himself to maintain his svelte 108-year body.  Along with his critically acclaimed conducting role on the a cappella lead-in to the band’s rendition of I’ll Fly Away, Jim’s more than proficient banjo picking slips in between Nick’s fiddle and the Dave’s bass keeping the band moving along on tempo. 


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David Stephen

Washtub bass and aphonic harmonies

Having been released from contemplating the sound of one hand clapping; Dave perpetually ponders the percussive and tonal potential of the unplucked string.  Forgoing a career in throat singing, Dave instead complements his reliable, rhythmic plucking on the washtub bass with nearly inscrutable aphonic harmonies. 

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Emeritus Members

This section features members who once played with the Gutpluckers, but have since moved on.

Billy Calder

Lead acoustic guitar and vocals

Heeding the advice of Monty Python to “run away, run away” Bill was last seen heading toward the vast expanses of the western prairie to practice medicine.  He retains emeritus status with the band, joining the Gutpluckers when in Tucson and for recording sessions.  Bill’s talent with the guitar and intricate picking style are apparent on the Gutplucker’s recordings.


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Diamond Jim Hewitt

Fiddle, mandolin, and vocals

After innumerable nights of Honky-Tonkin with Lane and Dave, Diamond Jim (sans diamond) resumed fiddle playing for self-preservation, hoping to limit his forays to one bar a night by being on stage.  Bi-instrumentally oriented, Jim is highly accomplished on both fiddle and mandolin and his solos are audience favorites.  His vocals contribute an important dimension to the group’s repertoire of songs.  Jim is equally talented in the studio with several CDs to his credit including Roadkill Stew by the Gutpluckers. 

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