Our Mission

To preserve, promote and encourage the performance of bluegrass music
and American roots acoustic music in Southwest Florida
The Acoustic Music Society of Southwest Florida is a 501 c 3 non-profit
community supported music organization doing business as Palmgrass.
We host bluegrass music events primarily in Lee and Collier counties in
Southwest Florida. Other forms of acoustic music we include in some of
our events include Celtic, old-time, roots, old country and acoustic blues.
Currently we are working with the Lee County Alliance for the Arts
(www.artinlee.org) to promote bluegrass events at their facitity in Fort Myers.
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Check our schedule of events to find out when performances are happening.
 
     
     
 

AMS Board

 
       
 

President - Doug Gerdon

Doug and his wife Anita moved to Fort Myers from Indiana in 2009 and have settled in the Estero area.  Doug took up the mandolin late in life, learned the ropes at the Flamingo Island Flea Market, and currently picks the 8 string with the Bugtussle Ramblers.  His business and leadership background includes owning and running a distribution business and years of volunteering in various leadership positions with Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Kiwanis and similar organizations.  He has also spent time volunteering for the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky and at their ROMP festival.

 
       
 

Vice President - Ken Oehler
Ken and his wife Jan Napolitano moved to Naples in 2006 from Naperville, Ill.   Ken took up guitar back in the sixties and seventies during the folk music era, learned a little but unfortunately stayed away from it until moving to Florida.  He’s picked up the guitar again, playing only informally with local bluegrass musicians and Capt. Joe and the Bottom Feeders at an adult education gig in Naples – Bluegrass Jam with Capt. Joe McNichols.  Ken’s working career included executive positions in Human Resources and Mfg. Operations in the automobile, airplane engine and insurance industries.
Now retired, Ken’s activities (aside from desperately learning how to play guitar better) include enjoying their six grandchildren, volunteer activities with the Naples Humane Society, and active involvement in vintage automotive repair and restoration with the British Car Club of SW FL.  And going to see and enjoy the local bluegrass bands, wherever they may be performing in the area.

 
       
 

Secretary - Linda Teelon

Linda grew up listening to bluegrass and country music and returned to it after attending a bluegrass show in her hometown more than 30 years ago. She met her husband, Doug Yaehrling, there when his band performed at the theater and learned that they lived three blocks from each other in the Utica NY area. Linda retired in 2008 after working for the New York State Office of Mental Health for 30 years, first as a Dietitian at a Psychiatric Center, then as an Auditor for the agency. She and Doug then moved to Port Charlotte. Linda is a constant presence at the Sunday shows and other events.

 
       
 

Treasurer - Karen Batten

Karen was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and was instilled with the love of hard driving bluegrass since high school. Her background of classical piano adds individual touches to her traditional banjo style. There is no doubt she loves the traditional bluegrass music but has a respect and excitement for the new melodies as well. Karen served as secretary of the AMS board last two years and has been a constant presence behind the scenes. She sings and plays banjo for the Bugtussle Ramblers.

 
       
 

Board Member - Sharon Morrison

Originally from Louisville Kentucky was first involved with Bluegrass in the 1980’s when playing with her husband in a band called Beargrass Bluegrass. After being away from bluegrass for a while she was able to get back to it when she retired from teaching school. She now plays with Captain Joe and the Bottom Feeders based out of Naples Florida. She married to Pat Morrison who plays the bass. Pat and Sharon have a photo restoration business and have become involved in nature photography. Sharon looks forward to helping out with the Palmgrass Association.

 
       
 

Board Member - Dick Spottswood
Dick has hosted bluegrass on WAMU-FM in Washington since July 1967. The Dick Spottswood Show, in its 28th year, matches bluegrass to related traditional styles, focusing on the years between the world wars when a lot of music was still unindustrialized and sounded on record much as it did in homes, churches, dance halls and village squares. The show's also called the Obsolete Music Hour and streams around the clock and around the planet on www.bluegrasscountry.org.
Spottswood was a founder of Bluegrass Unlimited magazine in 1966, and is a contributing editor. He has produced and annotated numerous recordings, including the 15-record set Folk Music in America, produced by the Library of Congress for the American Bicentennial, and served as a consultant for Time-Life Records’ jazz series. His biography of Wade Mainer, Banjo on the Mountain, was published by the University Press of Mississippi in 2010. Publication of a book-length study of the Blue Sky Boys is in progress, and Dick is completing a large anthology of early bluegrass and prot0-grass from the King and Starday labels, to be published by Gusto in Nashville.  Dick’s knowledge of bluegrass and connections with the industry are valuable resources when we plan events and decide the direction of our organization. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_K._Spottswood
 
   

 

 
       
 

Rick Goodrich –Board Member

Born and raised in Michigan, Spent my entire career as a supplier to the automotive and other transportation industries.
Married to Kathie for 46 years, have three grown sons, three wonderful daughter-in-laws and five grand children.
Have been a big fan of bluegrass/country music for several years, enjoy the "acoustic" sounds the instruments produce.