North Country Blue emerged in the fall of 2017 and has quickly established itself as one of California’s freshest and finest bluegrass bands. The band includes three original members, each just 15 years of age: Ida Winfree, from Turlock, on mandolin; Megan January, from Roseville, on upright bass; and Tessa Schwartz, from Berkeley, on fiddle. Rounding out the band are two recent additions: Christine Wilhoyte, who attends Chico State, on banjo, and John Gooding, a high school senior from Vacaville, on guitar. The band combines fresh takes on the traditional bluegrass canon, thoughtful covers of challenging modern material, and a number of startlingly mature and well-crafted originals. Their instrumental skills and beautiful vocal blends have caught the attention of audiences throughout California and beyond, and the band’s first full-length album (available on itunes, CD Baby and Spotify as well as directly from the band) was released in 2019 to considerable acclaim: IBMA award-winner Jon Hartley Fox wrote that the band’s debut recording “feels to me like an important beginning . . . . It’s an assured, confident and very accomplished first step and a heartening dispatch from the next generation of bluegrass.