Bandgirl's Blog

{February 26, 2015}   From Rhythm Guitar to Bass Guitar

I learned to play the guitar from my brother who was wounded in Viet Nam.  He went out and bought two Yamaha classical style with nylon strings and the wide neck.  I’m showing my age, but it was a large guitar for a 10 year old girl.  He got a couple Mel Bay books and figured out the chords and we started learning a few song together.  It was the time of Cat Stevens, CSNY and Gordon Lightfoot.  Woodstock was happening up the road from our town in NY.  It was magical.  I remember the beauty of strumming each chord over and over till it was perfect, no buzz, no dull, just magic.

I joined the church folk mass group and they were devoted John Denver fans. We perfected arpeggios and daydreamed.  My brother moved up in the world and bought a Gibson Hummingbird in around 1973. Imagine what that would be worth if I still had it somewhere hidden away in a closet, but it disappeared, probably pawned as times got tough.

I took lessons from John Quara, who took me through many books.  He worked professionally in some big band in NYC and I played rhythm to lots of big band music during lessons, not really the direction I was hoping to go. I dreamed of being Judy Collins, so I lost interest.

It was years before I picked up a guitar, many years of college, work, marriage, kids, divorce, loneliness.  I didn’t even have a guitar hidden away in a closet. I just left it behind, but one day I picked it up and amazing things have happened.

I can’t wait to tell the stories that took me from strumming that guitar to playing bass professionally.  It’s become the anchor of my life today. More stories to follow.

Visit our website at  I co-wrote the lyrics for the song “Moonshine” that plays on the home page, pick up our cd at  I play rhythm and co-wrote most of the lyrics.  Yeah, life is good.

Thanks, Mary Warstler


{February 24, 2015}   Silverwing’s ready to gig

We are gearing up for a great year.  We just added a new drummer who is bringing some intensity to the band.  Our set lists are geared to get folks up on the floor dancing.  Just booked a few new gigs at one of our favorite spots, the Ponderosa Saloon, in historic Virginia City and a music festival in Fernley, NV.

Life is good in Silverwing. I’m getting better on the bass everyday.  Today I checked out a video on the bass line to Pretty Woman. Ya know what?  A year ago I turned if off and walked away.  Today I was like “Oh yeah, I’m stepping it up.”  Wait till the band hears me at practice.  Can’t wait.

So if you are looking for a great rockin’ country band for your event in Nevada or Northern California, contact us at  come visit me on twitter also.  I’m ready to chat.

Mary, the bandgirl

Silverwing is going to have a great time this Friday night when we get to play at the Red Dog Saloon in historic Virginia City, Nevada.  First off, any time we play any where is a great time, but the Red Dog is a legend in rock-n-roll music history.  Janis Joplin played there along with other rockers of her era.

Now they bring new and upcoming acts to town like Rose’s Pawn Shop and keep the place packed with their great food.  For us in Silverwing it’s an awesome gig with a great stage and high tech sound equipment.  I am not as experienced a musician as the rest of the band and I am even intimidated by the sound check!  I don’t want to show my inexperience before the gig even starts.  Hah, that wouldn’t be real impressive.  So I act cool and calm and try to make an appropriate request, like “Can I have a little more vocals in my monitor.”  That’s good band jargon!

We are pleased to be asked to play this particular weekend, since it Camel Races Weekend and town will be packed. Learn more about the Camel Races at  I guess the camel races are a hoot and when they are over you can visit numerous restaurants or bars for some entertainment.

Whatever you are doing this weekend have some fun.  I will. 

{August 16, 2013}   No gig? What?

Yeah, no gig this weekend. What to do? What to do?

Instead of playing the guitar till midnight on Saturday, we will be DJ’ing a wedding for a friend.  That will be a great experience for our friend and his bride.  Hopefully we can provide just the right background for the friends and family to visit with each other.  If they have a few drinks and warm up, we can get them out on the dancefloor.  A nice slow dance usually gets the couples out on to the floor.

Last wedding we hosted, I made a mistake that ended up starting the party.  I put a CD into the player and was scrolling down to a song that was familiar to me, but I missed it and hit “play.”  Some hiphop dance tune started up in this room full of cowboys and construction workers.  Yikes, oops, too late to undo it.

But a few notes into the song, the younger crowd let out with a hoop and a holler and headed out to the dance floor.  Little did I know it was a some big line dance that everyone knew except for me.  What kind of DJ am I?  I am new to this stuff, but it worked out great.

So even though there is no gig scheduled, we still keep our life filled with music.

Okay, if you read my last post, I was pondering what kind of night the band was going to have at the Whiskey Tavern a place we’ve never played ever before!  Well, let me tell you, it was a blast. 

The crowd was fun and rowdy.  We had lots of dancing and applause all night long.  At the end of the night when Mel was trying to say goodnight, he said everyone wanted to shake his hand and told him we were the best band they had ever heard in there.  Well, that’s awesome.

And we really rocked it up.  I mean we are a country band, but our song selection is upbeat.  Yeah, sure we have a tear in our beer on occasion, because everyone needs a sad song once in a while.  But mostly we keep it hopping and rowdy.  From Dwight Yoakum, George Jones and Merle Haggard, to Jason Aldean, Jake Owen and Blake Shelton, we find the fun stuff and we will take your breath away with the energy that we put into a song.  So you better be in good shape if you want to keep up with us.

But that energy does catch up with a person once in while, like me, for example.  Sure at 1am I was having a great old time, excited and pumped up.  Then we tore down the equipment, like rolling up miles of chords, packing up microphones, lights, guitars, and then back into the pickup truck.  All of sudden, it’s not so much fun.

We have a bass player buddy who says, “I play for free, you pay me to move gear”  well I totally get that.  Playing is too much fun, humping gear, huh, not so much.  But it’s a small price to pay for being a rock star.  Ah! 

Meet Silverwing at  Our CD “Moonshine” is available at our gigs, website, CD baby and Amazon.


{July 31, 2013}   Silverwing at Whiskey Tavern

Silverwing at Whiskey Tavern

Mary, Mel, Sean and Frank of Silverwing

We have a gig tonight.  Silverwing is booked to play at the Whiskey Tavern.  This is our first time playing there, so we just don’t know what to expect.  Is it a country crowd? A rock crowd?  Will it be packed or not?  Will they dance or just stare at us?

Years ago I came to my first Silverwing gig with my friend who was married to the drummer.  I had never met Mel, the band leader, who is now my husband.  After the very first song my girlfriend elbowed me in the side and said, “Applaud, it’s your job.”  So I applauded loudly and yelled “Yeah” and we helped the party get started.  It’s contagious. 

So we applauded and next thing you know someone else across the room applauds and their friend applauds and someone yells, “Yeah” and it spreads.  But without that first person it takes a while longer to win them over.  Sometimes no one wants to be the first person to give the band their endorsement by applauding and you get this uncomfortable empty silence at the end of a song that you just put all your effort into for the crowd.  Oh well.  It’s a challenge.

So maybe you take a break and talk to someone at the bar or nod at someone who will ask for a song and you make a connection.  Then after a few more beers and a slow buckle polishing song, you’ve got them.  They finally start to hoot and holler and it’s a party.  But it sure is easier when the band family table does it’s job of applauding!  Ha!

Wish us luck at the Whiskey Tavern.  Come say hi to us at our Facebook page or check out our website at  Our CD “Moonshine” is for sale there. 

All original music from Northern Nevada’s best kept secret, Silverwing. We may not be Number 1, but we try harder! You can hear the title track “Moonshine” at our website Purchase the entire CD or sample tracks and pick out your favorite. My suggestion this week????….I would check out “Wide Open Spaces” which is a huge crowd favorite.

Gigs are all unique.  The location, the crowd, the aura of the day.  Some gig days are tense.  Will they like us? Will anyone show up? Will I remember the chords to my new song?  Some gig days are comfortable, like our regular Saturday gig at our home town hangout.  Piece of cake, no sweat.

Well, yesterday was all adjustment, all day.  First, we had set up questions.  This spot? No too much sun.  That spot?  Not enough electricity.  That spot?  Too far away from the crowd.  Then we have to find that one song which will grab them and get them out of the floor.  That wasn’t too hard with this crowd full of cowboys.  Throw a George Strait at them and it’s a party.  So crowd participation was good.

But it was blistering hot, over 100.  There wasn’t enough water or Gatorade on the planet!  After 4 hours of tearing up the guitar leads, Mel’s hand finally cramped up into a little ball and we had to throw in the towel.  Of course they understood and handshakes all around with lots of atta-boys.  Mel even met one of his fans from his new job at KHWG 750AM.  A lady in the crowd said she had called in with a request just last week and he played her favorite song immediately.  Right on, go DJ Mel.

But the most unique thing that happened yesterday was definitely a Silverwing first.  So we’ve been playing for a few hours, outdoors, under a pavilion on a concrete slab.  We have a few couples on the dance floor swinging to some hopping country song, when I see something start moving across the floor.  It zips to the right, stop, zips to the left, stop, zip, zip.  Wow, by now I’m more than curious.  I’m alarmed.

For an insect, it’s rather large and of course, ugly, sorry, not a bug lover.  So my people are dancing near by as this largish bug is zipping all over the floor, so I step out from behind the microphone and make a display of watching this bug zipping around.  It starts heading for the bass player and he’s busy singing and watching this monster of a bug heading in his direction, when my hero came out of the crowd and stomped it.  We needed a big guy with big shoes for this bug, it was no common bug.  Whew!

When the song ended and we had a chance to look at the big gooey mess, oh my goodness, it was a scorpion.  Not only a big yucky mess, but dangerous as well.

So that is our first for yesterday.  Scorpions on the dance floor.  Sounds like a horror movie.

Mary Warstler is the rhythm guitar player for her band Silverwing.  You can purchase their first CD of original music at


{July 20, 2013}   Rockin Rodeo Party!

Silverwing is very excited today.  Today is the big Rodeo Party where all the local ranch types are coming together for a big barbeque and we get to play music for them.  This is a huge day for our band, since there will be people there who have never heard us play music.  On top of that, there will be out-of-towners attending, so hopefully the folks from Idaho, Utah, and California will be impressed.

We are playing in a long empty meeting room with an adjacent bar.  We’ve played this room before and we definitely need to set up our gear facing the bar.  Years ago we set up in the back corner away from the bar entrance.  Well, we did what we were told, but ugh, we spent the entire night playing to an empty room, since everyone was hanging at the bar.  We still played our best, that is our job, but I love seeing folks dancing, so it was boring!

So today, set up across from the bar, turn down the florescent lights and bring some flashing lights for some attitude.  Party attitude.  No matter how good you play, if you can’t get someone out on the dance floor, it’s just not that much fun for anyone.  I always love the first person who gets up out of their chair and head out to the dance floor, that is the spirit! 

It’s only gonna be about 109 degrees today, ha, so I think it’s gonna be a flip flop and tank top kinda day, oh, that’s got the potential for a song hook.  I’ll have to remember that one.  Plus some cold beverages, if you get my drift.

All in all, today is going to be a great day for Silverwing.  Hopefully we might sell a few CD’s, t-shirts or bling.  If you are interested in our gear, head to our website for our schedule and merch. 

et cetera