Listen to Desde Que Viniste by founding member Matt Sircely

Now streaming on all major services like Pandora (link here) and Spotify (link here) 

The eighth release from our archive is “Desde Que Viniste”, a romantic bolero composed by our mandolinist, Matt Sircely. In 2001, our violinist Tim Wetmiller invited Matt to join him and his teacher at the time, Paul Anastasio, to study with their maestro, the legendary Juan Reynoso Portillo and his longtime friend and guitarist Cástulo Benítez de la Paz in Mexico’s Tierra Caliente de Balsas. Cástulo procured a guitar off the wall of an auto repair shop, and they spent weeks singing songs and playing tunes whenever they weren’t busy studying at the maestro’s house. Each day, locals would stop by to share songs, especially romantic boleros. Matt composed ‘Desde Que Viniste’ upon returning north, drawing on the bolero romantico tradition with flowery poetry, both direct and metaphorical. The narrator addresses a lover and friend, expressing love, gratitude, and solidarity from afar in the weathering of coming storms. Hear more on our listen page.

Our most recent recording, No Pressure, is
available on all streaming services

Hot Club Sandwich

More than twenty years ago, hot-jazz string band Hot Club Sandwich formed in Olympia, WA after a chance meeting on a front porch. Each band member offers compositions and arrangements, with instrumentation featuring guitars, bass, violin, mandolin and drums. Everyone in the band sings. The fifth Hot Club Sandwich recording, No Pressure (2018), features a guest appearance by master mandolinist David Grisman. Joseph Mascorella delivered an outstanding performance on No Pressure, see our page devoted to Remembering Joseph Mascorella.

Photo: Hot Club Sandwich performed at the Royal Room in Seattle on January 11, 2020, sharing the bill with The Swing Bringers.

In 2023, Hot Club Sandwich is still led by four core founding members who have played together for over 20 years: Kevin Conor on guitar, James Schneider on bass, Matt Sircely on mandolin, and Tim Wetmiller on violin. In performance, the ensemble often grows to include members of the band’s extended music community, and Hot Club Sandwich is always happy to furnish a quintet or sextet.

We congratulate Ray Wood on his retirement after 70 years on the bandstand. Ray joins us in mourning the tragic passing of Joseph Mascorella due to unexpected illness in October, 2022. Joseph’s salient vocals and brilliant drumming continue to shine our most recent recording . We hold his memory in our hearts every single day.

Visit the ‘Concerts‘ page to see information about upcoming shows. Visit the ‘Contact‘ page to subscribe for the email list. HCS is on Facebook.

Ray Wood Retires After Nearly 75 Years on the Bandstand

Ray Wood’s first radio performance was in Bremerton in the late ’40s at the age of six. Now, nearly seventy-five years later, Ray is retired from performing at eighty years of age. As a child, Ray was present for the rehearsal of Arkie Shibley and his group in the living room of Ray’s parents’ house (his parents were big country music fans). The following day in Seattle yielded the famous recording “Hot Rod Race No. 1”, cited in “Hot Rod Lincoln” as the precursor song.

With his late brother, Chuck, Ray was a founding member of the Rhythm Rockets, one of the Northwest’s first rock and roll bands in the 1950s. In 1959, Ray lied about his age to a recruiter to tour USO halls in the Far East, backing up touring artists like the Delmore Brothers and Sir Lancelot in places like Taipei, Seoul, and Okinawa. Returning at the end of the 1960s, Ray held standing residencies over the years, such as on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and in Northeast Portland at a country music club (when he departed, he was replaced by Jimmy Bryant). Ray is literally a walking archive of music.

You can still write to ask Ray about chord inversions or applications of modal theory. In addition, we are compiling a “Ray List” of songs which Ray loved to sing. It’s in the hundreds. Please send us a message if you remember one of his favorite songs, and we’ll add it to the “Ray List”. Feel free to send an email to hotclubsandwich [at]

Read reviews of
No Pressure:
Visit the ‘Press‘ page

“True Northwest originals, Washington State string swing ensemble Hot Club Sandwich has cooked up a delightful batch of new tunes… They let the music be their guide as they adopt their own interpretation of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli’s pursuit of honest, adventurous improvisation while embracing musical forms from around the world… For this, their fifth album, they invited longtime friend David Grisman to produce and the result is a record that stirs the musical pot with dynamic instrumental interplay.”
— Tara Joan, No Depression