OAKHURST — The band Stranded will be making their first mountain area appearance at The Yosemite Gateway Lounge on Friday, Jan. 19.
Hailing from Redondo Beach in Southern California, this four-person group brings some tasty funk, blues and rock ‘n roll to the Sierra, and everyone is invited to dance the night away.
The band is fronted by Kelly Skaja, a relatively recent transplant to the area, along with her husband Brian Hillman. She’s excited for the band’s inaugural performance in town.
“My husband and I moved to Oakhurst in May of 2017,” Kelly says. “We wanted to leave the city and become part of a smaller community.” The lead singer says the couple loves the area, including Yosemite and Bass Lake. “We bought a home and some property and have been really happy here!”
Kelly has been into music since she was a kid.
“I used to sing karaoke with my mom, aunt and sister. My whole family has had a big musical influence on me — both parents, my grandma, and all of my aunts and uncles play an instrument and/or sing.”
The gentlemen in the band are excellent musicians she loves to perform with, Kelly notes, and she’s gained a lot of confidence and experience working with them. Overall, she says, they uphold a high level of professionalism, work ethic and dedication.
“We have Jerry Curran on guitar, a veteran performer who has played with multiple bands over decades. His experience and talent with vocals and his guitar brings a level of significant depth to the various types of music we perform.”
Larry Mauro is on drums, a highly technical and skilled percussionist, according to Kelly, whose talents extend beyond playing drums and into live recording, effects, and sound engineering.
“Last but not least, Tim Mensink on bass guitar, whose ear for music, years of experience and laid back nature binds together our various elements and keeps us tight.”
Singing live, for Kelly, is the realization of a dream.
“It’s an experience that can’t really be described. It’s putting yourself out there, connecting with the crowd, and feeling the energy it sends back to you. Performing live music is the ultimate outlet for my creativity. No two performances are alike.”
Yosemite Gateway Lounge is located at 40531 Highway 41 in Oakhurst.