Steve began his musical career at age 7 playing the accordion. Call it inevitable, call it fate, or call it his only viable choice– nearly every step in his musical career would point him to the band called Beadhead. After six years of accordion lessons he began fooling around with the guitar. The leader of his high school band recruited him to play accordion in the marching band—seriously. This impracticality eventually led him to play in the percussion section. It was here he met his first rock and roll bandmate, Jay Lundell. At 14 years of age they formed The Dynasty and even recorded an album. The band broke up when Steve moved to California. He teamed up with fellow Cal Berkeley students to form “Rhubarb”.
He moved back to Portland and teamed up with former Paul Revere and the Raider guitarist, and eventual business partner, Pierre Ouellette to form the Sludge Bros. The band’s bass player was Bill Piland, a stalwart of one of Portland’s most popular bands of the ‘70’s, Sleazy Pieces. The Sludge Bros had a very long run and over that period of time its members included Mr. Lucky and the Gambler’s, Mike Parker; Steppenwolf’s Kent Henry; Hudson Bros., Bob Metke; singer/songwriter Gary Ogan.
In the late ‘90’s Steve teamed with Bob Hawkins and John DiFalco (and former Beadhead guitarist Flor Fernandez) to start the Relics, a classic rock and roll/R&B oriented band. In 2000 Steve was asked to put a back up band together to support a Jimmy Buffett tribute artist for a gig in Portland. This led to the formation of the Oxymorons. Bill Piland joined this band along with ShaKara. Members of the Relics and Oxymorons eventually morphed into Beadhead after Steve saw Terrence Simmien play a R&B tinged zydeco show at Summerfest in Milwaukee, WI. Jay Lundell joined the band in 2010 to round out the current lineup.
The influences of Buffett, classic rock, zydeco all combine to create the “Tropical Rock” sound of Beadhead. Steve plays guitar, accordion, keyboards and sings for Beadhead.
John’s been playing both acoustic and electric guitar since the age of 11. Along with Beadhead, he’s played in a variety of bands through the years, and jammed along with note-able musicians such as local jazz drummer Alan Jones, and KISS lead guitarist Tommy Thayer. John’s guitar influences have been varied ranging from Brian May, to Alex Lifeson, as well as country and acoustic artists Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and Peter Mayer of the Coral Reefer Band. John loves experimenting with various gear combinations to develop signature guitar tones. Currently, his gear list includes the following: Guitars – 2 PRS ( one CE 22 Standard, one SE Singlecut), Late 80’s Fender Strat (Japanese), and a Taylor 410 CE single cutaway acoustic. Amps- Bogner Alchemist 112 combo, Crate CA30 acoustic combo. Effects- Boss GT8 multi effects processor. Other – Seymour Duncan P-Rails / Lil Screamin Demon pickups, Twin Tube Classic.
Percussionist ShaKara joined Beadhead after a stint with the Oxymorons. Her early influences include Tito Puente, Sheila E and Ralph McDonald. She plays congas, bongos, cabaca, maracas, wind chimes and numerous other percussion instruments with Beadhead. ShaKara, no relation to Shakira, orchestrates the band’s choreography on tunes like Fins, 5 O’Clock Somewhere and Stars on the Water. She’s an art history teacher and plays “Catholic Congas” at her church. Shawn is the band’s bus navigator. New music currently on her iPod is: Tom Petty, Gnarls Barkley, The Pretenders, Nelly Furtado and Santana.
Jay Lundell. Drums, Vocals.
Jay started playing at 12 years old after being inspired by watching “the Gene Krupa Story” on TV, and hasn’t stopped since. His early influences were the Beatles, Cream, the Rascals, and many of the Pacfic NW bands such as the Sonics and the Kingsmen. His first band was with Steve Karakas, and when Steve moved to California, Jay starting playing night clubs at 16 with the Phantoms.
Two years later, Jay played in Hawaii where he met the LA band Billie and the Good Guys. He joined them shortly after and played with the band in LA for several years. When he moved back to Portland, he joined Rainbow, a popular funk band. In the 80’s, he played with Lisa Gail and the Works, featuring Glenn Holstrom and Jim Solberg. Eventually Jay settled down with Ellen Whyte and Reflex Blue, with whom he played for over ten years. He recorded two of the band’s CDs and they won the Cascade Blues Association award often enough to be elected to the CBA Hall of Fame. As a drummer, Jay believes there’s nothing more fulfilling than playing great music that makes people get up and move. Check out Jay’s bio online.
Margaret Linn. Vocals
It’s hard to imagine the Northwest Music scene without Margaret Linn. Margaret has been performing in every possible venue and situation in Portland, Seattle, the Pacific Northwest and the national stage for over twenty two years.
Margaret started her singing early with her siblings, performing together and forming small groups. Her mother ran a foster home for children for the State of Oregon, taking in as many as three hundred children over the years. This diverse and revolving environment meant a constant and varied influx of records, radio and live music that brought to light the soul of her community.
From age eighteen, Margaret and her sister Mary developed a local reputation as solid performers as backup singers. The Linn Sisters were an established force in the core of Portland’s ever-expanding pop scene with their expertise and skill honed to such a degree that they became the de facto studio singers for many Portland media productions, including backgrounds and leads in scores of album projects, commercials and demos.
As a singer, songwriter, arranger, vocal couch and trained dancer, Margaret has contributed her talents to many local and international acts including Michael McDonald, Gino Vannelli, The Yellow Jackets, David Pack, Celine Dion, Nu Shooz, Patrick Lamb, Cool’R, Bobby Torres Ensemble, Traci Harris and Curtis Salgado.
“…Margaret Linn has an acquisitively soulful and rich voice that draws me in every time I hear her. She has a palette of vocal colors that can cover any musical canvas like it’s nobody’s business…”(David Pack, Ambrosia)
Bill Piland. Bass.
Bill has had a prominent role in the Portland scene since the ’70s when he was in the legendary Sleazy Pieces. Since the early ’80s he has played with Steve in the Sludge Bros,
Oxymorons and now Beadhead. You can also find Bill playing music with other local bands including
Seymour and Beatles tribute band Hard Day’s Knights. Bill was inducted into the Oregon Music Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 as a member of 70′s iconic band “Sleazy Pieces”. Bill is a nationally ranked backgammon player and leads Beadhead’s three and four part harmony efforts.
Shannon originally started with Beadhead as the “rubberboard” player on the band’s zydeco tunes. We quickly discovered her talents as a solo and backing singer and we began to prominently feature her vocal talents. After seven years, Shannon has changed her status with Beadhead to substitute and summer activity.