Terrapin Road

Terrapin Road


You love to boogie. We love to play. We can take it from acoustic country blues or turn it up for styles from Chicago to New Orleans and from west coast jump blues to the British invasion.


In August 2005 word went out in Carson City that there was a need for a boogie and blues band. Steve Thoma & Michael Ray answered the call by contacting Gary Wheeler. After a few changes in various arrangments Tony Ghiglieri joined the band in 2007. Sharing a love for Blues, BBQ, Rock, Mexican Food, Rockabilly, Fish Tacos and Live Music of all kinds makes for a great combo (please dont hold the sauce!) You love to boogie. We love to play. So we can take it from acoustic country blues or turn it up for styles from Chicago to New Orleans and from west coast jump blues to the British invasion. All of us are avid listeners of live music. There is something pure about seeing and hearing a few blokes lay it down live with all of the sweat and surprises. We will supply you with boogie so hot it makes you wanna jump for more and blues so fine it makes you wanna find the closest BBQ.

The name "Terrapin Road" refers to the long slow road that we in the band have all traveled musically to get here.

Steve Thoma, a Sparks native, has been playing drums for a very long time. Having discovered Elvis, Buddy, and Jerry Lee at an early age while living with his family in Texas, he was ready to rock by the time they moved to Ventura in southern California in the 50's. Surf music was the order of the day and some of his earliest influences were Dick Dale and the Deltones, and The Ventures. With the British invasion came his introduction to the blues through bands such as the Yardbirds and later John Mayall and the Bluesbreakers. He even got to open for bands like Eric Burdon and the Animals and Them when they had a lead singer by the name of Van Morrison. One highlight was opening for The Doors and the Grateful Dead in 1967.
From guitar players like Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page and Eric Clapton, to the likes of Peter Green and Mick Taylor, all of these guys lead to his discovery of American Blues with bands like the Blues Project, Canned Heat, and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. With guitar players like Michael Bloomfield, Elvin Bishop, Ry Cooder and Taj Mahal leading the way, it was only a matter of time before everything started pointing back to the roots of the whole thing where you find Muddy Waters, Robert Johnson, Son House, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGee, the list goes on and on.
However, one question came to mind..... How is a skinny white kid living in a southern California beach community gonna play the blues? It seems that this music comes from way down deep where everything that comes out comes from experience. Well, after 55+ years of life's ups and downs, the prerequisite drug problems and subsequent health issues, scrapes with the law, marriage and divorce, successes and failures, good times and bad, he's paid his dues and is now fully qualified to play the blues for you.

Michael Ray currently works as a musician around the Northern Nevada area. You will see him in the Carson Valley at a variety of venues both with Terrapin Road, and as a solo act. Sporting his abilities as a song writer, guitarist and bass player, Mike takes this stuff seriously. From Southern California to Nashville to the Northern Plains and then to Northern Nevada, Mike brings experience to the table that you couldn't buy if you wanted to. Mike fuels the fire of the acoustic portions of Terrapin Road shows.

Gary Wheeler and comes to Nevada from Portland, Oregon where he worked with The Rail Kings and several other bands. He is a long standing member of the Cascade Blues Association and has recently joined the Reno Blues Society. He has an intense passion to promote blues awareness.
Growing up in a small town in New Mexico, Gary started to play piano in 3rd grade but became frustrated with the music taught by the local music teacher and switched to guitar. "There were parts of rock & roll and country music that had a different feel to them than other songs, but there was no one around that could explain why."
At a concert in Phoenix in 1982, Gary found out that those parts were blues licks and rhythms."Sadly, I never knew who B.B. King was until I saw Alvin Lee open for him. That's what'll happen to you when you grow up in a small town with no music awareness. I heard that cat and he knocked me out. All of his music was made up of the parts in the rock & country songs that I liked. I was different person after that experience". After years of merely flirting with the guitar, he met Doug "Dub" Lewis of Detroit. For several years Dub instilled in Gary the importance of the role of solid rhythm guitar. Since then the pursuit of tone as well as the tight groove have been his quest. When asked 'why blues?', he replies, “Is there anything else that displays the raw emotion of human experience in all it's forms?"
So lets talk about tone and the groove. How do you get there? "Well, they are just as elusive as the Thunderbird, but tone and groove can be evoked in a variety of ways. I suggest the following: Take meat, metal and wood; a


Frequently heard on 'The Blues Project' on 100.1 KTHX 'The X' in Reno Nevada and KVMR Nevada City.
Please visit www.terrapinroad.com for more music files.

Set List

We currently work our sets with approximately 100 songs. We are prone to playing as long as the crowd is dancing, and only require breaks when the drummer cramps up. Best case? 45 minute sets with 5-10 minute break. What we usually do? 2 hr sets with a 15 minute break.

Set List - No, we aint always gonna do them in this order, and no we aint always gonna do em all, but yes, everyone we do will knock you to your knees and get you back up again.

Rattle Snakin Daddy
Ain't Misbehavin
Winin Boy
Jelly Roll Baker
Don’t you Feel My Leg
Ain't Nobodys business
Salty Dog
Crazy Blues
Chicago Woman Blues
Honey Whats wrong with you
Long Way Around
Lonesome Train
Key to the Highway - Electric
Your Feets Too Big
Long Time Leavin
Somebody Been Plowin in Your Field
Katie Mae
Key to the Highway - Acoustic
Cake Walk
Money Tree
Fishin Blues
Sittin’ on top of the world
Red label Blue Mornin
Strange Things
I'm Ready
Shes Tough
Drinking Wine
Buried alive in the blue