Enjoy Live Music Concerts in Orange County, CA

Lord of the Strings Concerts has been bringing the finest musicians to Southern California since 2002. The Orange County Register called President & Founder Tim Johnson the "Guitar Hero."

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A person playing an orange guitar with their hand on the string.

Upcoming Events

Pat Bergeson & Bruce Forman


Guitarist and harmonica player Pat Bergeson has written, toured, and recorded with many of his musical heroes. Beginning at the University of Illinois in his home state, he moved on to New York City and picked up a Jazz Studies degree at William Paterson University. After playing in New York for ten years, he moved to Nashville upon the request of Chet Atkins who heard Pat on a demo tape. Chet invited him to play on his album “Sneakin’ Around” with Jerry Reed, and later featured Pat’s guitar and compositions on his 1994 release Read My Licks. They were good friends and toured together for several years.

A versatile guitarist as well as chromatic and diatonic harmonica player, Pat’s style incorporates jazz, blues, rock and finger style and he is known for his session work with a variety of artists. He has been in the studio with Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss, Dolly Parton, Bill Frisell, Martin Taylor, Suzy Bogguss, Bill Evans, Peter Frampton, Michael McDonald and many others. He has toured with Shelby Lynne, Madeleine Peyroux, Wynonna Judd, Suzy Bogguss and then four years with Lyle Lovett and his Large Band. Pat has been a teacher and producer and has appeared on many movie soundtracks.

"Bruce Forman is one of the great lights of our age.”

- Barney Kessel, Jazz Times

A hectic touring schedule; twenty-one recordings as a leader,  countless sideman recordings including Ray Brown, Bobby Hutcherson, Roger Kellaway; soundtrack performances on three of Clint Eastwood’s distinguished films—most notably Academy Award-winning Million Dollar Baby; raconteur, arranger, acclaimed educator, in residence at USC’s Studio/Jazz Guitar Dept., when does Bruce Forman rest?  

Deep immersion in American culture inspires Forman to contribute to the traditions that he draws from. Reunion! (the newest project) revisits the famed Poll Winners sessions with cohorts John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton, playing instruments owned by Barney Kessel, Ray Brown and Shelly Manne; Formanism (his trio project); original works like The Red Guitar; his high-rated podcast, GuitarWank; Cow Bop and the “road challenges” down historic byways like Route 66; JazzMasters Workshop; Junkyard Duo; GrumpsTV (a fifty episode YouTube variety show during the lockdown), the popular ‘first chorus of the day’ series on Instagram…these are only the latest answers to the endless question that underlies Bruce Forman’s creativity.  His music and life reflect every step of his journey, and demonstrate the awareness of an artist who’s very much at home in the world, and at the top of his form.

Mission Viejo Civic Center
Saturday - February 24th
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm

A man and woman holding guitars posing for the camera.


Acoustic Eidolon, featuring Joe Scott on double neck guitjo and Hannah Alkire on cello are from Colorado and have graced stages throughout the US, Europe, Australia and Canada.  With thirteen CDs and two DVDs to their credit, these masterful artists continue to captivate audiences throughout the world with their signature “new acoustic” sound and boundless possibilities in blending Celtic, Americana, World & Flamenco musical influences, something that Dirty Linen Magazine praises as “a sumptuous musical feast.”   They are described by the Swallow Hill Music Association as “an evening of brilliant instrumentality,” and Georgia’s Good Life Magazine enthuses, “Acoustic Eidolon offers concert-goers a chance to absorb some of the most powerful and intriguing music on the scene today.”

Their original sound is created by the mixing of their diverse musical backgrounds and their unusual instrumentation including the one-of-a-kind double neck guitjo, an instrument of Joe’s own design praised by USA Today as a “beautiful harp-like sounding instrument … like nothing we’ve ever heard before.”  The double-neck guitjo has 14 strings and Joe has developed his own style and technique, playing both necks simultaneously.  Classically-trained cellist Hannah Alkire studied with G. Magyar of the Hungarian String Quartet and is recognized internationally for her stunning tone and emotional, impeccable playing and for taking the cello places it’s never been before.

What started as a musical journey between kindred spirits blossomed into their marriage in 2001. The result is a coupling of intricate and passionate music with genuine and engaging stories. They are each virtuoso players but their stories and connection to the audience add the backdrop of transparency from their lives, from the struggles to the triumphs.

Mission Viejo Civic Center
Saturday - March 23rd
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm



The Black Market Trust are an American Traditional Pop/Vocal Jazz group from Los Angeles who combine the sounds of the legendary American crooners and vocal groups with the fire and energy of Gypsy Jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt. Consisting of five world class musicians who have traveled the globe recording and performing on the world’s biggest stages and with music’s most renowned artists, The Black Market Trust capitalize on their experience and pedigree to deliver a high energy, crowd pleasing performance filled with some of the best songs ever written.

The live show features material from The Great American Songbook infused with Django’s romantic and virtuosic flavor.  Add some intricate vocal harmonies, a dash of Rat Pack-style comedy and it’s clear to audiences why The Black Market Trust have quickly earned a reputation as one of the premier live acts performing in music today. Be transported as they meld two distinctly different vibes- one of a gypsy campfire, the other a slick metropolitan nightclub- into a cohesive, stylish sound.

Mission Viejo Civic Center
Saturday - April 20th
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm

Joscho Stephan Trio


Joscho Stephan shapes modern gypsy swing with his playing like no other: With his authentic tone, his harmonic finesse and his sense of rhythm, but above all with his breathtaking solo technique, Stephan has earned himself an outstanding reputation on the international guitar scene. Like no other, he knows how to stand out from the multitude of current Gypsy Swing adaptations by combining Gypsy Swing with Latin, Classical and Rock, in addition to numerous interpretations of the well-known classics of the genre. This is where Stephan’s strength as a creative visionary shines through. The result is a delight for concert audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Joschos YouTube version of “Hey Joe” has now reached 3 million views. His debut album ‘Swinging Strings’ was voted CD of the month in 1999 by Guitar Player magazine.

In 2004, Acoustic Guitar Magazine celebrated Joscho Stephan as the future of gypsy jazz guitar. For the CD “Guitar Heroes” in 2015, Joscho Stephan invited guitar greats like Bireli Lagrène, Stochelo Rosenberg and Tommy Emmanuel. The 2018 production “Paris – Berlin” was released as a limited “Direct to Disc” vinyl, recorded at the legendary Hansa Studios (where David Bowie’s “Heroes” was recorded, among others). In total, 4 of Joscho’s albums have been nominated for the German Record Critics’ Award. In the USA, too, he has thrilled audiences with concerts in Nashville, Chicago, San Francisco, Detroit and at the legendary Jazz Festival. San Francisco, Detroit, the legendary jazz club Birdland and the Lincoln Center in New York. On the Australian continent, Joscho Stephan has toured with Tommy Emmanuel.

His current trio includes Sven Jungbeck (rhythm guitar) and Volker Kamp (double bass). The trio has been on the road since 2018 and has since played numerous tours and concerts. (e.g. in Germany, Italy, Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Croatia, Switzerland, Luxembourg and Estonia).

Mission Viejo Civic Center
Saturday - June 1st
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm

A man with a guitar in front of him.

clive carroll

Born in England, Clive began his musical journey in Chelmsford, Essex.  His parents had a taste for American country and old time music and it wasn’t long before Clive was playing in the family band on a homemade banjo.  By his early teens, guitar in hand, Clive was traversing the worlds of soul, pop, funk, and traditional Irish music, balancing his affinity for Slayer with the etudes of Tárrega.
This breadth of musical curiosity was to become one of his strengths; even as a kid Clive was as comfortable accompanying a group of folk singers as he was jamming along to Nirvana, or reading charts on banjo and guitar in theatre orchestra pits. 

Clive went on to earn a 1st Class Honours Degree in Composition and Guitar from the famed Trinity College of Music in London, all the while balancing his classical work with forays into the world of the steel string guitar.  By the time he graduated from Trinity, Clive had not only penned orchestral works,  he had written an album’s worth of solo acoustic guitar music. A chance meeting with English guitar legend John Renbourn proved the catalyst for Clive’s debut album, “Sixth Sense”, which Renbourn deemed “a milestone in the journey of the steel-string guitar”.  He subsequently took Clive on the road with him and the pair toured North America and Europe together, launching Clive’s solo performing career.

Since then he has worked with guitar greats such as John Williams, Tommy Emmanuel, Xuefei Yang, Ralph Towner, D'Gary, and Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. He has toured across Europe, Australia, the Middle East, and North America.
To date, Clive has released four solo albums; “Sixth Sense”, “The Red Guitar”, “Life in Colour” and "The Furthest Tree".
Clive has also written, performed, and conducted music for television and film, most notably collaborating with John Renbourn to compose the music for the film “Driving Lessons”, which features Julie Walters and Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame. 

Mission Viejo Civic Center
Saturday - July 20th
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm

Transatlantic Guitar Trio - 2

transatlantic guitar trio

This extraordinary guitar trio features three very different members with very different backgrounds.  Richard Smith is an International Fingerstyle Guitar champion from London England.  He is a soloist and master of just about any and all guitar styles from Chet Atkins to Merle Travis to Jerry Reed to you name it!  Joscho Stephan is from Germany and a true superstar, known the world over for his sensational Django Reinhardt "Gypsy Jazz" style.  Joscho's guitar skills are so special you will be left breathless just watching him.  Rory Hoffman is from North Dakota and a master of many instruments from Guitar to keyboards, accordion, harmonica and all reed instruments.  Rory has appeared on the Grand Ole Opry many times as a soloist and sideman to Ricky Skaggs, Kathy Matea and Kacey Musgraves to name a few.  These three diverse styles  become so harmonious in the music they have created that audiences tend to cheer while watching "note play" bordering on the impossible!

Mission Viejo Civic Center
Saturday - September 21st
Doors: 6:30 pm
Show: 7:00 pm