Back 40For bookings and information, contact:
Tommy Miles (530) 283-9396

  The Back 40 is an alternative country and rock band available for local venues and events in Northern California and Nevada.
  In mid-2008, multi-instrumentalist Tommy Miles got some friends together in Quincy, California to begin working on a new group originally envisioned as a classic and alternative country act. The opportunities for such a local band were promising, as the music has a strong fan base, and there were no other groups in the area playing much country music of any variety. The goal was to develop a repertoire of the music of classic country artists (Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, and Emmylou Harris, for example) along with country-influenced rock and the music of new artists from the Austin music scene among others. The original group included seven musicians with two female vocalists among them. As the concept has evolved, it has settled down to a solid five-piece lineup.
  Guitarist Gordon Wilson has been playing music around the area for ages, and has played with Tommy in several other groups over about fifteen years. His amazing blues-based guitar solos are a major feature of the band's sound.
  Vocalist Mari Erin Roth began performing locally with the Crosby Stills and Nash tribute show in Quincy in 2008. She brings her soulful vocal style to the front of the stage along with the occasional tambourine or shaker.
  Andrew Ohren (bass and vocals) is perhaps best known as Plumas County's premier classical guitarist, but he also has a wide background in jazz, rock, and other styles. He brings exceptional talent to the group with a melodic and creative electric bass style.
  Rounding out the solid rhythm of the band is drummer Mark Serumgard, whose interest in a variety of styles, especially heavy rock, drives the group with a hefty precision right in line with the Back 40's eclecticism and danceability.
  Tommy Miles plays rhythm guitar and sings. His musical approach is influenced by a number of rock styles but also by several rural musical traditions including Celtic and Appalachian folk music.
  The group is capable of performing in many configurations, including a more subtle lineup that features Tommy acoustic guitar and Mark on percussion.
  The current repertoire includes country-influenced music of all kinds with an emphasis on songs with funny and intelligent lyrics. Along with classic country tunes (like "Mama Tried" and "Folsom Prison Blues"), the band covers such alternative country artists as John Prine, Reckless Kelly, James McMurtry, the Bottle Rockets, Lucinda Williams, Alejandro Escovedo, and Southern Culture on the Skids. There's a fair amount of swampy rock material from icons like Bob Dylan, David Lindley, Jethro Tull, the Black Crowes, even Led Zeppelin. The band can easily move from a sensitive and serious tone (Mudcrutch's "Scare Easy," for example), to wide-open irreverence (as with Hayes Carll's "She Left Me for Jesus.") Topped off with a small but growing number of original pieces, the music is energetic, fun, and danceable, and it appeals to audiences of all ages. Proudly devoid of commercial Nashville twang, the group has found a loyal local audience.
  Most importantly, though, the bandmates are good friends who are rooted in Plumas County and who foresee performing and evolving together for many more years. Their enjoyment and appreciation of the music, of each other, and of the audience is obvious and infectious, and the crowd gets to ride the wave of energy and fun that the band members experience every time they get together to play.