- Wayne Rice - guitar, Banjo
- Rick Kerby - guitar
- Noel Taggart - guitar, Mandolin
- Kim Weeks - guitar, Dobro
- Pete Varhola - bass
LIGHTHOUSE was formed in 1993 by five veteran bluegrass musicians from the San Diego area with well over a hundred years of performing experience between them
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 Club.
Banjo player and vocalist Wayne Rice has been involved in bluegrass music for over 35 years. He was an original member of Brush Arbor, a popular country-gospel group. 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). For the past 25 years, Wayne has hosted "The Bluegrass Special" a radio program heard weekly on KSON-FM in San Diego.
Bass player and vocalist Pete Varhola also performed with Kirby and Rice in Pacific-ly Bluegrass. Considered one of the top bass players in Southern California, Pete has been active in the San Diego folk and bluegrass scene for almost thirty years. Most recently, he played banjo and bass for the group Sweetwater.
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. He also works with the popular bluegrass ensemble "Highway 52." Kim is considered one of the top Dobro players on the west coast.
The newest addition to Lighthouse is fiddler Tom Cunningham, who is also a virtuoso on guitar and mandolin. The only full-time musician in the band, Tom is a member of the Jackstraws, an ensemble that stays busy performing at San Diego tourist attractions, conventions, corporate events and other venues. For several years, Tom hosted the dolphin show at Sea World. He is also a member of Grassology.
LIGHTHOUSE has performed at numerous bluegrass festivals, churches, coffee houses and concert venues throughout Southern California. They have performed at the Golden West Bluegrass Festival in Norco, the Huck Finn Country and Bluegrass Jubilee in Victorville, Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, the San Diego Art Museum and the Del Mar Fair. LIGHTHOUSE approaches every appearance with a professional attitude and they never fail to entertain audiences with their tight harmony vocals, crisp musicianship and engaging style.