Windy Hill began as an idea in a Menlo Park (CA) High School wood shop class, where two 17-year-old friends sat around their work station sanding their projects and talking about live music. They discovered a mutual love for the songs of Bill Monroe, Carter Stanley, and Jimmy Martin and set out to learn to play and sing traditional music.
In 2008, these two friends – Henry Warde and Ryan Breen – found themselves in Fort Collins, Colorado, and started their band. Windy Hill was always the natural choice for the band name, as Ryan's backyard in Portola Valley, CA, overlooks the town's landmark – a golden hill separating the SF Bay Area from the Pacific Ocean.
The next year, they returned to California and another bluegrass-loving member of their high school class, Kyle McCabe, joined the band. Henry (mandolin), Ryan (banjo), and Thomas Wille (guitar) usually form the band's power trio, while Kyle (bass) holds down the beat.