Sixteen years ago, guitarist Mike Sapunor, mandolin player Mahlon Aldridge and guitarist Brad Manosevitz started playing acoustic jams every Sunday at the local nursing home Pleasant Care, calling themselves the Frequent Flyers.
Manosevitz has since moved out of town, but Aldridge and Sapunor continue to play the nursing home (now called Helping Hands) to this day, and the trio has expanded to a core group of six members—a full bluegrass lineup with Reggie Knox on banjo, Scott Cooper on bass, Steve Wiesner on dobro, Dave Bernard on fiddle, and Aldridge and Sapunor still on mandolin and guitar.
The group became a more serious pursuit five years ago, when they nabbed a regular monthly gig at Bocci’s Cellar. They also started playing weddings and private parties, and began incorporating elements of country, folk and the newgrass sound. They called themselves Wet and Wreckless for a couple of years, but changed the name to the Intangibillies in 2012.
“We put our heads together, and had some tequila, and figured out Intangibillies. To us, it’s hillbilly music at its core, but it has an intangible quality to it. It doesn’t really classify neatly,” Sapunor says.
They still play Bocci’s on the first Thursday of every month, as their following grows. “We play with a lot of energy and a lot of drive. It gets pretty intense up there from my view of things,” says Sapunor. “People really appreciate the energy and the improvisational nature of the jams. There ends up being a lot of smiles.”
INFO: 8 p.m., Thursday, July 3, Bocci’s Cellar, 140 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz. Free. 427-1795.