Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores is a music- and harmony-lovers country band based in Lafayette/Berkeley featuring Lonesome Eddie on pedal steel. The band members are a playful group of talented musicians and singers who light up the stage with a nice blend of slow and upbeat songs. The present Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores country band was formed in 2013 by Lonesome Eddie and Austin Hurst when the rock & roll band that they had played in for 30+ years, Soft Touch, was ready for something new. The band includes a few other Soft Touch veterans and some new members. The band’s aim is to preserve the sound of classic country and country-rock styles, performing a mix of well-known country songs along with originals and tunes from other genres reinterpreted with a country flavor.
Lonesome Eddie, pedal steel and piano
Lonesome Eddie (aka Elliot Aronson) grew up listening to the swing music of the 40s, recordings of boogie-woogie piano, and strains of Appalachian mountain music and bluegrass that drifted in on WWVA, Wheeling, WV on late-night radio. He played piano in a dance band in high school (a regular at the local Fraternal Order of the Eagles) and guitar in a bluegrass group in college. Later when living in Boulder, Colorado he graduated to rock & roll piano playing with Eileen Dover and the Rhythm Kings and various other groups. When the opportunity arose to play in a country bar in the rollicking times that was Boulder in the mid-70s, he put together the original Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores. When he moved to the Bay Area, he fell in with Soft Touch right away and played with them for 30+ years. On retiring from gainful employment he took up serious pedal steel guitar, and he and Austin formed the current Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores.
Austin Hurst, lead guitar, mandolin and vocalsAustin grew up on the country music of America’s heartland in the late '50s - early '60s, picked up guitar in the folk and rock rebellion of San Francisco in the '60s, and by the '70s was playing, singing, and writing his own songs in a Berkeley bluegrass group. In the late '70s he formed the rock & roll band, Soft Touch, that performed for over 30 years. In Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores he plays lead guitar, mandolin, sings, and writes some of the band’s original material. Austin is involved with the bluegrass scene in Berkeley and is part of a weekly jam.
Dave Buchanan, rhythm guitar, bass, vocals
Dave is a recovering classic rock musician, now happily playing country. Most recently he played with Juice, and before that with The Extremities, The Megatones, and The Cadillac Kids (Chicago, 1970s). He thanks Gene (the band's bass player) for lending him a guitar and Austin for tuning it. If he had not serendipitously volunteered to babysit Gene's dog a few years ago, he would likely never have connected with Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores. Funny how life works.
Tenaya Conklin, vocals
As Austin's daughter, Tenaya was raised in a household infused with bluegrass, folk, country, rock & roll, r & b, zydeco, and dancing, with the Soft Touch band regularly coming to the family home to play music. She has been singing casually from an early age but took it up more rigorously when she undertook an acting career including musicals and cabaret. With a natural voice for country music, she was fated for Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores. In her spare time, she teaches musical theatre with the South Bay Children’s Musical Theater group and teaches wearable technology classes and other maker skills around the bay area. You can sometimes catch her lighting up the band’s performances with her wearable technology.
Andrée Hurst, vocals and rhythm guitar, violin
Andrée and Austin married in 2021, making her Tenaya's "Momandree". Driven by the folk and folk-rock music of the 70s, Andrée commandeered her brother’s prized 1950s-era rosewood flattop Guild, locked herself away, and woodshedded until she emerged an accomplished singer and guitar player. She is a member of the Berkeley-based performance club HOOT, and together with Austin, launched Front Porch Open Mic five years ago to support the hobby acoustic music scene. They added Front Porch Presents in collaboration with Town Hall Theatre to feature talent for the public four times a year. Andrée was recently selected to take part in the Premier Vocals and SharpRadio vocal groups on Smule, where she has more than 3,800 followers as @AndieTunes.
Svante Rödegård, drums, washboard, other percussion, cowbell
Svante started his illustrious career in Sweden where he played drums and washboard in several bands performing a range of musical styles including skiffle, Dixieland, swing, British pop and “Americana.” He toured Europe with the Swedish bluegrass and jug band group The Micky Moose String Band. A resident of the Bay Area for many years, he met up with members of Soft Touch in the early 80s through his wife’s softball team—serendipity again. He played with Soft Touch for 30 years. Now with Lonesome Eddie and the Saddle Sores, he has returned to the Americana of his Swedish roots.
Gene Seltzer, bass, rhythm guitar, vocals
Gene kicked off his performance career playing bass and guitar with the bluegrass and country swing band I’ll Be Right Home, Honey in Berkeley in the '70s and '80s. He also played for 30 years with our precursor rock & roll cover band Soft Touch. He has the distinction of actually having studied music (at The Jazzschool, Berkeley). He played with the jazz quartet Swing and can currently be heard in his jazz persona with the combos The Astronauts and Second Opinion.
John Rafferty, guest harmonica (as often as he's available!)
Bay Area native John Rafferty is a lifelong singer and blues harmonica player whose musical journey spans a decade and a half of collaboration with exceptional artists. Steeped in the traditions of roots music, John's performances are infused with diverse cultural influences, lending a distinctive touch to every song he interprets.