In October of 2012, four talented teenagers with a passion for bluegrass music came together to form the award-winning group, “The Long Shots.” Their repertoire ranges from originals and traditional bluegrass to alternative newgrass, which reflects their childhoods steeped in bluegrass music. Most recently, The Long Shots spent the summer of 2013 barnstorming venues across Minnesota and Wisconsin, including being selected by management of Grammy-winning band The Steep Canyon Rangers as an opening act, all while infecting their audiences with high-energy and irrepressible drive and spirit onstage. It comes to no surprise to the crowds that hear them that two of the band's members are award-winning musicians, both placing in the top five at the 2013 Minnesota Guitar Flatpicking Championships. In November of 2013, the band also placed second in the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association's Race for a Place Band Competition. Combining skillful instrumentation, inspiring song selection, creative arrangements and clever audience interaction, The Long Shots will surely get your toes tapping and put a smile on your face.
***PLEASE NOTE: We will happily travel farther than 10 miles!
Meet the band:
Sophie Galep (Mandolin, lead and harmony vocals)
Sophie first picked up the fiddle at age 7, and it wasn't long after that before she found an interest in the mandolin and guitar as well. She was fortunate to receive mentoring by Chuck and Sandi Millar (of bluegrass outfit No Grass Limit) for most of her life. Spending her childhood growing up around bluegrass festivals, it was no surprise when she decided to take it seriously at age 14 and start The Long Shots. Sophie enjoys holding down the mandolin parts for the band as well as handling the booking and promotion end of things. Most recently, she has received a scholarship to partake in the Nashville Mandolin Camp, (with instructors Roland White, Mike Compton and Ashby Frank) and enjoys the distinction of being the only female to place in the top 5 finalists in the Minnesota Guitar Flatpicking Championships. As well as picking, in the words of Greg Cahill, Sophie has been known to "sing her butt off!"
Carl Sones (Guitar, lead and harmony vocals)
Carl is a hot young picker who has been steeped in bluegrass his whole life. Growing up in Waverly, MN, Carl has been raised in the music community by his dad, Graham Sones, who has played with bands such as Drivetime, Tangled Roots, No Grass Limit, and Monroe Crossing. Carl became inspired to play guitar when he'd come with his dad to shows. He received his first guitar at the age of 9 and started taking lessons when he was 10. Carl took lessons from Chuck Millar for three years and got the hang of it quickly! Carl has competed in the Minnesota Flatpicking Guitar Championship and most recently won 1st place in youth and 2nd place overall in 2013. In The Long Shots, this enthusiastic young lad will have your feet tapping and hands clapping in no time!
Jake Ashworth (Banjo, harmony vocals)
Jake is seventeen years old and has been playing banjo for about seven years. His first banjo was a Nechville Banjovie, a miniature banjo on which his dad showed him the basic rolls. With this help and the help of books and various other teachers, Jake has taken off learning and creating new things to create his own unique style of playing that incorporates all styles of banjo playing.
Gabrielle Regnier (Bass, harmony vocals)
Gabrielle has grown up in Saint Paul, Minnesota surrounded by music. She has been going to festivals with her father Mark Regnier for as long as she can remember. She started out on the fiddle when she was 6 years old but switch to playing the bass when she was 14 and has been playing all different kinds of music ever since. Whether it's classical, jazz, or pop with her high school, Cretin-Derham Hall's String Ensemble and Wind Ensemble, bluegrass with her family or her friends in the Long Shots she loves playing music and working the crowd with her glorious locks of curls!