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 The Band
With nearly a century of combined performing experience in venues from Seattle to the Mexican Border, the hallmark of The Usual Suspects sound is solid vocal harmonies, backed by a tight horn assemble, overlaid on a rock solid beat that keeps your feet moving. Specializing in danceable songs, their repertoire covers the spectrum of rock, pop, funk, oldies, disco, new wave, fusion, rockabilly, metal and Motown, and spans the generations of rock and roll from the fifties to today. Locally, the band has a large following and has graced many stages throughout SLO and Santa Barbara Counties!

Ben Black – Lead Vocals, Guitar, Harmony Vocals    
What do you get when you combine: an uncanny knack for remembering lyrics, diverse musical influences ranging from Louis Armstrong, Cheap Trick and Counting Crows; and then mix in 23 years singing and performing on the Central Coast? You wind up with Ben Black, front man for the classic rock and roll band The Usual Suspects.

Rob O’Sullivan – Drums, Percussion
Rob’s enthusiasm for drumming started with Big Band Jazz. He has played at various jazz festivals including the Monterey and Greeley Jazz Festivals. Rob has laid down the backbeat with various big band, jazz combos, rock & fusion groups. He now lays down the foundation for the sound that makes The Usual Suspects a Central Coast favorite.

Eric Stever – Saxophone, Piano, Harmony Vocals
An Arroyo Grande Local since 1972 his exploits in the music field are wide ranging from The San Francisco Blues Festival, The North Sea Jazz festival in Amsterdam and The Montreux Jazz festival in Switzerland. He enjoys sitting in with his dad’s local Traditional Jazz bands The Night Hawks and The Basin Street Regulars. He currently teaches all saxes, Flute, Piano, Bass Guitar and Guitar for the Jazz Labs in Arroyo Grande.

Justin Payne – Bass, Guitar
Justin has spent all of his life in the beautiful central coast discovering and sharing music, beginning with listening to every genre of music imaginable. In addition to being the back bone of The Usual Suspect’s rhythm section, justin is an accomplished tuba, bass clarinet and percussionist. Be sure to shout out his name when you see him on stage.

Horn Section – Sax, Trumpet, Trombone, Harmony Vocals
Filling out the band is The Usual Suspect’s horn section. Including Tom Secor on trombone, Lyle Stubson on trumpet and Ashley Black on sax, this rich and tight ensemble brings a versatile sound opening many avenues to the band’s repertoire.

Paula Richardson – Vocals, Percussion
Having studied music at the University of Maryland and with widespread experience performing with various bands, Paula brings her strong vocal talents to enhance and expand the avenues of the band's musical repertoire. Adding solid percussion, she is a great asset to the sound of TUS.

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