Sandii Castleberry and Men of Pause pair bluegrass and folk on Diamond Valley Arts Center stage

Vocalist Sandi Castleberry sings on the Diamond Valley Arts Center Saturday, Feb. 3 in historic downtown Hemet. Tony Ault photo

Sandii Castleberry and Hot Flash, a bluegrass and folk group, made a special appearance alongside fellow musicians Men of Pause at the Diamond Valley Arts Center in historic downtown Hemet Saturday, Feb. 3.

In addition to the Hot Flash ladies, Castleberry and Anne Finch from Idyllwild, auto harpist and vocalist Kathleen Johnson from Three Rivers was introduced that evening as one of first ladies in Hot Flash. Johnson played several of her own favorite songs.

Backing up the ladies were the Men of Pause – keyboardist Barnaby Finch and outstanding multi-instrumentalist Don Reed, a friend of Sandii for many years.

The combination made for a fun evening at the DVAC stage, 123 N. Harvard St. in Hemet, with Barnaby sending out a few jokes along with Castleberry’s favorite cow jokes.

The talented group played more that 20 songs in two sets, featuring bluegrass to jazzy folk songs from such great singers as Hank Williams, Earl Scruggs, Bob Dillion and Vince Gill.

Don Reed often showed his skills on his mandolin, steel guitar and guitars in the variety songs with group during the performances.

Johnson sang and played to Linda Ronstadt’s “Faultless Love” and “West Virginia,” showing her skill on the autoharp. Anne Finch, with her bass, picked up the Hank Williams tune “Take the Chains from My Heart,” bringing the audience to join in the singing. Barnaby Finch, Reed and Castleberry gained applause and cheers for their parts in “Bullseye Breakdown.”

Castleberry put her heart into singing the gospel song, “Lord, I Hope this Day is Good.”

The center continues its lineup to top musicians through the spring with performances from Marshall Hawkins with “Seahawk Mojo” for Black History Month Sunday, Feb. 18; Eva and the Vagabonds, Saturday, March 3; Steven Ragsdale Quartet, Saturday, March 17 and The Mercy Stone, Saturday, April 7.

Tickets to Music at the Center events on Saturday evenings are $15 for nonmembers and $10 for DVAC members.

Presale tickets and events calendar are available at and on Facebook. Call (951) 652-3822 or email [email protected] for more information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.