Born Sheffield England, Played trumpet from the age of Seven. The trumpet was a gift from my Grandfather who at the time was a famous drummer in England, who played numerous times at Royal variety shows. At the age of 10, played Solo at the Royal Albert Hall, and again at the age of 14 at a mass band concert. Both times in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen. At the age of 14 passed all exams for The Royal Collage of Music and learned to play numerous instruments. At 17 years of age and on, played professionally for touring bands, along with being a Session Musician. Over this period of time, I played with a number of top recording stars and traveled the Globe. Relocated from England to California in 1995 as a Sales Director for a national Company and continued playing music purely as a hobby.
In 2010, put a full on soul band together with children. The Soul Mates band consisted of lead and base guitar, key boards, percussion, trumpet, alto and tenor sax, trombone and vocals. Teaching them was rather like herding cattle. However, Soul Mates became very well known, with all the cutest and talent. Soul Mates played many venues that included: theaters, festivals, corporate events, headlining at SoHo and making television appearances. Soul Mates were a great time of my life that lasted four years. In their final year of being together, Soul Mates played thirty seven gigs and did three television appearances.
In 2014, I had the inspiration to put together a Soul Band of grown ups and for me to be back on stage blasting the trumpet. I currently play with two bands: Valley Wind Ensemble for twenty one years and Soul Cats for two years. Love it; I am truly having a BLAST!
The Soul Cats : Members
Eldon Shiffman started playing the trombone when he was ten years old. He was one of the founding members of the Brass Rings, a seven member group that toured throughout the Tri-counties, playing the popular Tijuana Brass music. After that band dissolved, he continued to play with local groups. Hecurrently plays with the Valley Wind Ensemble in Santa Ynez and the Soul Cats.
Born in Kansas to his father, Dave Peck, who was a professional musician band leader, and music teacher, Bob got his start pulling the bass drum cart for his father's high school marching band at the age of six. By the time he was eight years old he had graduated to marching snare playing in Central Coast parades and band camps.
As a teen, Bob started several of his own bands, such as Four Play, Frog, Forest, and Motor Head, covering 70's rock.
In the '90's Bob and his family relocated to Casper, Wyoming where he put together heavy metal bands, Strych IX and Graven Image, and a power trio named Trilogy playing all original music in local venues and state competitions.
Returning to the Central Coast in the early 2000's, Bob and his wife, Vicky, formed an acoustic band called The Believers with Bob on the jembe and Vicky on percussion and back up vocals. Covering old school country music, blues, and rock and roll, The Believers played local venues such as Solvang's Royal Copenhagen Hotel and The Touch and Los Alamos' Ghostriders and Steel Horse saloons.
In 2014 Bob was introduced to Michael Roberts and invited to play drums for The Soulcats.
"Unlike anything else, music is the purest celebration of human spirit. Since I was young, learning music has matured me and has taught me the many values and lessons that life brings in a way that no entity could form into words. Beginning on guitar and piano, I did not know how to read music; my ear had saved me from consequences of not knowing how to read proficiently. After having decided on the trumpet in late high school education, I had practiced four to six hours a day in beginning band to catch up to the students in the jazz and advanced wind ensemble. Which, after one semester of practice as a beginner, I auditioned and not only made it in both ensembles but earned first chair/lead. Upon graduation, I was awarded the Louis Armstrong award. Since then I have studied music on a collegiate level, as well as had the opportunity to teach along side band directors of high school, junior high, and elementary school orchestras, wind and jazz ensembles within the Central Coast. I do teach privately, play in various jazz ensembles and combos, as well as have started a jazz combo and pep band at Allan Hancock College, which has not been seen since the early 70's.
Above all else, my time with Michael and the Soul Cats has been nothing short of supportive, welcoming, and exciting. The energy of the rest of the band is of nothing I've ever experienced before. Even when the music gets challenging, the overall energy of the rest of the ensemble musicians and singers carry both myself and the audience forward."
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Born and raised in Santa Barbara County, Shane was brought up listening to a lot of classic and southern rock, Motown, and country music. Besides the mandatory singing, dancing, and playing of instruments through grade school, the first instrument, out of school, he played was the bass guitar at age thirteen. His main instrument in school a couple years prior and later was the tuba. Months after getting the bass, Shane was playing regularly in a church worship band, after school rock program, and a garage band.
He has been in rock, worship, jazz, coral, alternative, concert, pep, and marching bands and a couple of choirs. The main gigging band that Shane has played in, in the last twelve years, has been the classic rock band, Are We Not Horses, which he still plays with from time to time.
Shane has also made some of his own instruments. Other than bass, he can play guitar, stand-up bass, tin whistle, piano, ukulele, autoharp, drum kit, and other percussion instruments. In late 2014, Michael Roberts recruited Shane into the Soul Cats to play the bass and sing, in which The Soul Cats refer to as Sugar Shane.