The band began as an all-electric outfit founded by Tom Arbisi called The Glass Onion Band. When that outfit splintered in 2013, guitarist Tim Garrett found Tom through a CraigsList ad, and the two started playing as The Acoustic Onion at Tru-Luv’s restaurant on Sophia Street in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Dave Guzman gradually joined on bass and vocals, holding the band together with three-part harmonies and bottom end. Shortly afterward, drummer Tom Ansink showed up with a cocktail kit, rounding out the original lineup. The foursome landed multiple residencies at prestigious area venues, and garnered awards that included Finalist status in the Free Lance-Star’s 2017 Reader’s Choice Awards for Best Band.
In the summer of 2018, Guzman, looking to devote more time to songwriting and family, handed off bass duties to friend and long-time Onion sub player Paul Frields. Shortly thereafter, Tom Ansink began making retirement plans, and Dave Nichols was ushered into the band. Over Christmas 2018, Tom Arbisi’s emergency medical issues forced him to step aside. Co-founder Garrett took the reins and recruited Douglas Ebert to stand in for the recuperating singer. Once Arbisi returned, the band unanimously decided to keep Ebert on full-time, including the new and more challenging arrangements and vocals they’d arranged.
After Nichols’ departure, the band welcomed Anthony Novak to the drum seat in February of 2020. This newly muscular lineup weathered the COVID-19 pandemic and gratefully continued gigging (safely!) through the year. In 2021, life changes intervened for Ebert, Frields, and Novak, and they amicably departed to help Garrett and Arbisi re-establish the original acoustic duo act — fittingly, the way everything had started.
Inspired by sounds of the 1960s and 1970s, The Acoustic Onion plays music we all grew up with and love. We’ll have you singing along, remembering great times from the past.