Boomerang has been entertaining a loyal following on the Central
Coast since 2006. Originally rooted in ‘60s and ‘70s folk and rock genres, the band
now covers Rock ‘n’ Roll classics from the ‘50s through the ‘80s. The band’s extensive
repertoire also includes several original songs.
The members of Boomerang are: band leader Rick Grether
(12- and 6-string guitar), Bob Kerwin (drums), Greg Somers (guitar), Scott Thorshov
(bass), Rich Van Houten (keyboard, guitar) and – making this sextet very unique
– Martha Chivens playing the harp! Also distinctive is that all six members of the
group contribute to the vocals.
Previous venues include: Arroyo Grande Rotary Bandstand
(Village Summer Concert Series), San Luis Obispo Court Street Summer Concerts, Spyglass
Inn in Shell Beach, Claiborne and Churchill Winery in Edna Valley, and many other
clubs, restaurants and local parties from Morro Bay to Santa Maria.
BAND MEMBER MUSICAL BIOGRAPHIES: 2012
Rich Van Houten taught himself to play piano as a
child and added guitar in his teen years playing for “Folk Mass” in the Catholic
Church during the 1960’s. He even recorded an album with Jim Strathdee in 1967 called
“New Wine.” Following a one year vacation in Vietnam, Rich toured the US playing
(for food) in coffee houses and restaurants and later used these same talents to
entertain Boy Scouts around campsite fire pits. Rich sings, plays guitar, piano
and bouzouki for Boomerang.
sings and plays 12 string and lead guitar. He taught himself to play the ukulele,
soon moved to the guitar, and played in several rock bands during his high school
and college years. His band The Crucibles, auditioned for a recording studio in
San Francisco in 1966 and subsequently decided to keep their day jobs! His ambition
was to become a rock star and an airline pilot. One of those two dreams came true!
Greg Somers is also
a self taught guitarist who at age 14 formed a rock band called “The Outcast.” At
age 16 he joined a Motown/Rock group called “Marv, Bev, and the Triumphs” and cut
two 45 rpm records. They made 2500 copies, 2490 of which are still in his garage!
His greatest successes, though, were playing in a musical called “Life,” and performing
in churches in the San Francisco Bay area and on the Aircraft Carrier “USS America.”
the Director of the SLO United Methodist Church Children’s Center, was reading a
book about child brain development and learned how important practicing music was
to increased thinking ability. Always having enjoyed harp music at the Northridge
Methodist Church, she in 1996 started taking harp lessons (to increase her thinking
powers) and played her first gig (harpists do gigs?) for Pauline High’s healing
service one year later. This naturally led to her playing with Week Beginnings and
then becoming a main attraction in Boomerang. We now have the only rock and roll
harpist on the coast. She’s great!
adds the bass. Scott was raised in a musical family listening to his mother playing
piano and older sister practicing every instrument under the sun. Scott sang in
choir as a child but didn’t play an instrument until his wife gave him a guitar
for his birthday. A natural progression and passion for the bass followed.
is our only Boomerang member who is not also in Week Beginnings. Bob first started
playing drums in the Army when he volunteered for the Drum and Bugle Corps to relieve
himself from KP duties. He later played in several bands in the Los Angeles area
and locally played in, and managed, a band called Reminisce. Between his interests
in stainless steel sculpting, cooking and wine making, Bob finds time to drum with
Boomerang. He does keep us on beat!