I have a bluegrass band called Lighthouse that has been performing around San Diego for a couple of decades now.  To see where we’re performing next, click here.


Here’s the band bio:

LIGHTHOUSE  was formed in 1993 by five veteran bluegrass musicians from the San Diego area.  They chose their name to identify themselves with San Diego (with its famous lighthouse on Point Loma) and also with their passion for gospel music. “For God, who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has made his light shine in our hearts …” (2 Cor. 4:6).

Guitarist and lead singer Rick Kirby was the founder of “Pacific-ly Bluegrass,” a legendary San Diego band that was together for more than 15 years. The group recorded three albums and played hundreds of concerts and bluegrass festivals across the United States. Originally from North Carolina, Rick was also the founding president of the San Diego Bluegrass Society.

Banjo player and vocalist Wayne Rice has been involved in bluegrass music since the 1960’s. He was an original member of Brush Arbor, a popular country-gospel group of the 1970’s. While Wayne was with Brush Arbor, the group recorded two albums for Capitol Records, played Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry, and was voted “Vocal Group of the Year” by the Academy of Country Music (1973). Wayne is also the long time host of  “The Bluegrass Special” a radio program heard weekly on KSON-FM in San Diego.

Mandolinist and vocalist Noel Taggart is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed with several bluegrass bands around San Diego. He previously played banjo with Blue Skies, a popular San Diego group of the 1980’s. He also was a member of Higher Ground and Rose Canyon. His soaring tenor voice is especially suited for the “high lonesome sound” which characterizes bluegrass music.

Playing the Dobro (resonator guitar) and singing bass is Kim Weeks, also a former member of Blue Skies and several other regional bands.  Kim is considered one of the top Dobro players on the west coast.

Tom Cunningham is the band’s fiddler and lead guitarist.  With more than 30 years of experience as a full-time musician, he often performs in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada and locally at tourist attractions, conventions, corporate events and other entertainment venues.

On the upright bass is Dave Somes. He’s a native San Diegan, now living in Descanso, who has performed with a variety of musical ensembles including the New City Sinfonia and “The Cotton Patch Gospels” at Lamb’s Players Theatre.  He is also a former member of “Higher Ground” (a bluegrass band with Noel Taggart and Kim Weeks).

LIGHTHOUSE has performed at bluegrass festivals, churches, coffee houses and concert venues throughout Southern California. They have performed at Huck Finn’s Country and Bluegrass Jubilee in Victorville, the San Diego Art Museum, the East County Performing Arts Center, Sea World, 4th and B Nightclub in San Diego, the Del Mar Fair. KSON’s CountryFest, and the Roger Hedgecock Show (KOGO).


At Huck Finn's Jubilee with special guest Ron Block (of Alison Krauss' band) on banjo

At Huck Finn's Jubilee with special guest Ron Block (of Alison Krauss & Union Station) on banjo

In our "western" garb, 2005

In our "western" garb, 2005

We recorded a CD in 2006 with some of our favorite songs on it. We no longer have any actual CD’s left to sell but if you would like to download a digital copy from CD Baby, click here. It is also available from  iTunes or Be sure to type in “Lighthouse: A California Bluegrass Band” if you’re doing a web search.

11 Responses to Lighthouse

  1. Pingback: Lighthouse | Wayne Rice

  2. Pingback: Follow the Light … house | Wayne Rice

  3. richard mcewen (dobro) says:

    hi wayne, im still here in green valley az.. lets keep in contact. i have a bass player @ need a guitar-vocalist. any ideas in toucson area. were into country-bluegrass. regards, r.mcewen

  4. Marcus Gardner says:

    Are you one of the former members of the popular group Blue Skies that played in San Diego in the late 70s and 80s? Well, you guys were HOT. Boy, that takes me “back to the day” when Blue Skies rocked out on the riverboat Reuben E. Lee on Harbor Island. I remember it being the best place in town for dancing and entertainment, and you had to wait in line to get in the place on Friday and Saturday nights! You guys were GOOD! The drummer was very entertaining to say the least, and the vocalist, Tina was beautiful and I’ve wondered if she went on to record or what? My wife was always a little jealous of her and accused me of staring. actually, I think she said I was leering. I wasn’t, of course. We were there to dance and close the place and on special occasions, have a great steak dinner. Thanks for the memories, BLUE SKIES!

    • Wayne Rice says:

      Hi Marcus,
      While two of our band members (Noel Taggart and Kim Weeks) played with a bluegrass band called Blue Skies back in the 80’s, I don’t think they ever played Friday and Saturday nights at the Reuben E. Lee, or had a drummer, or a girl singer named Tina. You may be thinking of a different band. Sorry.
      All the best,

  5. Hey Wayne, I am trying to contact Kim Weeks. I think he changed his email address. Could you forward this to him. Would much appreciate it. By the way; Where can I find a copy of “Bringing Mary Home” by the Dillards?

    Virgil Johnson.

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  7. Suzanne J Scott says:

    I wonder if you ever play in los Angeles area I would love to come.
    Also, do you know of any bluegrass gospel bands that play in a church here. I live in Torrance, CA.
    thank you!

  8. Timothy Henry says:

    I’m not sure if you played on the radio in the late 1970’s. I lived in California up till I was about 5 and I heard a song that was wonderful, but I only remember a phrase. I’ve listened to your music as I like bluegrass and I enjoy Dr. David Jeremiah. The song was upbeat and from what I heard it is not blue skies or Mr. blue sky.
    The phrase is “I see the new skies, blues skies….” and also ” …heaven above..” I believe and perhaps sky instead of skies. The new skies and blue skies are drawn out. Great music

  9. William McMorrow says:

    Proud to be known as their #1 “groupie”, many a night you’d find me at the Reuben E Lee restaurant for “last call”. BLUE SKIES was the greatest and you’d be lucky to get in the place Friday or Saturday night for years. The drummer, Alan Brenemann was a kick, his bro, Jim (guitar) was an amazing singer. I too, was in love with Tina, the lead vocalist. She was beautiful and never have heard a more beautiful and versatile voice. Did I mention she was gorgeous, too?

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