The Saluda River Band


Band Bio

The Saluda River Band has been playing together since April of 2017. The band members meet at Bill's Music Shop in West Columbia, SC where they were all taking part in a monthly workshop call the Slow Jam. They decided that since they were having so much fun jamming together that they would put together a group for performing at local venues. Some of the recent places they have perform include Bill's Pickin' Parlor, Salem Baptist Church, and Saluda Shoals.


Band Members include-- Nathan Speare on guitar, Anna Speare on upright bass, Leo Pearson on guitar, Dick Workman on mandolin, Susan and Brian Skelly on guitar and harmonica, and Steve Slice on banjo. Each member has a repertoire of songs that they take the lead vocals on, and Susan in additional to singing lead, sings harmony. We love playing the old, traditional songs, and have set lists from the Carter Family to Johnny Cash and Hank Williams. Country and Southern gospel songs round out the repertoire!


The Saluda River Band on Facebook


Dr. Nathan Speare



Band Members 
Dr. Nathan Speare

Dr. Nathan Speare is a chiropractor who took up playing the guitar in order to be able to play along with his kids. He is the founder of the Saluda Rive Band. He also plays with the Fine Thymes String Band, which is a band that plays early Americana, folk, and bluegrass music. Dr. Speare sings melody for the band. He handles bookings for the group, and may be reached at 803-575-2022.

Anna Speare

Anna is a junior at Dutch Fork High School. She plays multiple instruments for the band, though primarily the upright bass. She has sung in many different choral groups, including District Honors Chorus. Recently she competed in an opera competition and came in second place. Her beautiful soprano voice adds the high harmony lines for the band. Anna plans on going to college to studying conducting. She also is a member of the Picken Pearls, which performs bluegrass and folk music around the state.

Dick Workman

Dick plays the guitar and the mandolin. After attending college for a year, he served five years in the USAF. He then worked for Delta Air Lines in aircraft maintenance for thirty-one years, retiring in 1993. During this time with Delta, he also worked as a independent commercial pilot, teaching flying and doing charter work for Miller Aviation of Columbia. Has been playing the guitar for about twenty-three years and the mandolin for about seven years. He also plays with “Aint Quite Rite". Dick currently lives in Lexington, SC.


Leo Pearson

Leo grew up in Aiken, SC during the 50's and 60's when everyone was listening to Elvis, the Beatles, and the Rolling Stones. He listened to them too but also had a stack of Flatt and Scruggs and Johnny Cash albums. He spent his summers as a young lad in Alabama with his grandparents where he often slept on the porch listening to the Grand Ole Opry on the radio.  Leo has been going to bluegrass festivals all over the southeast for many years. He started taking lessons at Bill's Music Shop as he approached his 50's. Leo was recently elected to the office of President of the SCBTMA where he volunteers his time and talents to keep Bluegrass and Traditional music growing. Leo is passionate about this music and loves sharing it with others of all ages!

Susan Skelly 

Susan has played the guitar on and off for many years but has always enjoyed singing, whether in choirs or with her husband Brain, and delights in many kinds of music. She has enjoyed leading children's music for church on many occasions and loved beig part of the worship team. Singing and playing with the Saluda River Band has provided a regular outlet for her love of music.  Her other favorit eoutlet is her grandchildren!  In her spare time she is also a nurse educator at the Children's Hospital at Palmetto Health Richland.
Brian Skelly

 Brian, husband of Susan and father to 5 grown kids scattered throughout the planet, started playing harmonica in order to spend more time with his wife.  When searching for the right instrument to learn to play in his old age, "harmonica" stood out, as it only required 1% talent, 2% perseverance, and 97% hot air, which was right up his alley. He likes all genres of music yet really enjoyes playing bluegrass and folk with the Saluda River Band and sometimes for worship in their church.  Harmonica-only players in the bluegrass world are few and most often thought of as "groupies", and he is honored to be one.
Steve Slice

Steve Slice has wanted to play in a bluegrass band since the sixth grade.  He started taking banjo lessons two years ago at age 57 and appreciates the opportunity to play with the Saluda River Band. Steve is a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.  He has taught at USC since January 2010. He worked 32 years with the United States Department of Agriculture in the Farmers Home Administration/Farm Service Agency applying economic principles in lending money to farmers all across South Carolina. Slice serves on several agricultural advisory boards, councils and collaborative committees — Clemson’s State Extension Advisory Council, the South Carolina New and Beginning Farmer Program Advisory Council and the Midlands Local Food Collaborative. After serving two terms as the president of the South Carolina Agricultural Council, he has continued his service to the council as its secretary/treasurer for the past 12 years. He has also been a guest lecturer in Clemson’s College of Agriculture.  While working full-time with the USDA, he taught for six years as an adjunct professor in the Department of Economics at the Moore School. Upon retiring from the USDA, he accepted a full-time appointment as a lecturer with Department of Economics. Steve has been married 34 years to Deborah Slice. Together, they have three sons — David, a graduate of the Rochester Institute of Technology; Benjamin, a senior in Environmental and Natural Resources at Clemson University; and John, a senior at River Bluff High School in Lexington, South Carolina.

Established in 1991 and reactivated in 2014, the SC BTMA is a non-profit organization chartered by the state of South Carolina.