Original music...beefy jams...sound bytes and links to bands.
I started playing tenor saxophone at 13 in Jr. High, then also at Van Nuys High in the marching, "pep", concert, and jazz ensembles. I enjoyed playing in all the bands...but didn't really catch the bug till I started playing and writing with friends when I was 22 and moved to NoCal to go to UC Santa Cruz.
Right around this same time, I had been brought into a collaborative situation by Dave Gantenbein for a group we later called the Dynasonics. When we started really getting some recognition and the kind of gigs we wanted....the egomaniac guitarist had a secretive band meeting where he tried to convince the other guys that the band was better going forward without my contributions.The guitar player and I traded off being the front person and ultimately I guess he wasn't really into that. ( This version of Dr. Ziggy's Uptown Boogie and Hide My Keys came from this era.)
Sunshine Garcia was the main vocalist (also married to bass player, Bill Becker). And she toured world wide in a band called Sovoso (also still going)...and in 2009 started doing gigs with Phil Lesh and was primary backup singer in him and Bob Weir’s Further band.
Going forward! Hopefully they can pull it up here for Cathy’s 50th and ColtonFest 2 this July 2011.
Here’s some Mara cuts from an old webpage (till I can update) : traces , called her again, take a ride
As the newest member and as it was one of the best groups I had been in...I was probably the one loving it the most. The group had a couple reunion shows in 2010, and if they do so again, would love to be a part of it as I like the people and the music as much as any group I have been in and the vibe and originality of what they offered the world was huge and unique.
Hondo, the lead singer is a huge presence (on and off the stage) and is a tremendously soulful singer and rapper.
Below are some live clips from a couple of shows:
Powers That Be www.powers-that-be.com
Dave G and I teamed up with ex-Dynasonics drummer Eric "Daddy Love" Persons,
Live PTB selections (from my final gig with them 4\24\09 at Bistro in Hayward)
This incarnation of the group made it the better part of a year before we added a new guitarist (Chris Meek).
Chris was a huge bounty for us and played with the group off and on for over 3 years.
We started playing with Judy Padilla in the Fall of 2005. Judy… is a phenomenal singer and a better front person than myself who
Mostly likes to play hard...and not be actively engaging with introducing the tunes and the band. Judy and I sang well together and created a great dynamic which included a bounty of new ideas and tunes.
Drummers? After Eric Persons, we had Dan for about a year and David Strong for the next few. One of the other
Great scores for out band was finding Patrick Petzel to lock down the keys for us. Patrick is also still with the group and has been advancing the cause for a few years now as well.
My own involvement kind of put a hiccup in progress when in the summer of 2007 , my wife Cathy and I decided that we wanted to move to Oregon. Both of our boys were on their own, I was self-employed and no longer tied to the area. I had also grown up in LA for 20 years (among some 15 million people), then the Bay Area for the next 20 (among some 7 million people)…
I was ready to move away from millions of people! As it so happened Cathy also found herself looking for a change and we got really attracted to some of the areas outside of Portland after looking around their in early 2007 for possible investment properties.
After looking a couple times, we decided we really just wanted to move there and began targeting areas in Clackamas County, SE of Portland. Powers That Be was then transitioned into the very able hands of Dave and Judy to help carry on what we started.
Leaving the band was the hardest thing for me about leaving the area (beyond missing some key friends as well).. In late 2008 we brought in a couple guys (Alex and Colin) to transition in and replace me….and Judy had a friend (Jeff Prinz) who was a screamin alto player. We ended up having a 4 person horn section that really influenced the sound for most of the next year. I finally moved North in June of 2009.
I made it most of 2 months before advertising on Craigslist and was courted by a couple PNW bands. Voltronic was the first… a mostly instrumental funk\jazz\jam outfit out of Portland. Gabe Rodriguez had me sit in a few shows with them and here’s a couple samples:
Voltronic had its own personnel issues and as much as it was lots of fun while it lasted for the next few months. Here is a link to their still existing Myspace and I will post some of their tunes with me sometime soon.
I had also played several times and a couple fun gigs with Flatback the end of summer 2009. I ended up gravitating more towards them and playing shows till they broke up in May 2010. It was very jammy band… their influences were Phish, MOE, the Dead, Ween…and until I came in and sang some more, most of it was instrumental. The average song in this band was at least 8 minutes, even without vocals. Trevor Wells and Evan Johnson remain good friends. The way the breakup went down was pretty horrible and unnecessary… a familiar story in my experience of an ego-maniacal controlling guitar player… raised its familiar head and really sabotaged the group just when we found a great keyboard player (Nate Creutau) and were getting some gigs and something of a decent reputation. Such is life and relationships especially ones with several people who are also “artists”).
Here are some tracks from our final Flatback practice: here
We had a great time and turn out for ColtonFest (1) on July 31, 2010. We had several smaller groups play and Papa Coyote
as a headliner. Here are some of those cuts edited here
After that I was decidedly taking off a few months before even worrying about playing again. I had let my finances and savings go too far south for comfort and was working on that….when after about 2 months, Andrew Hussey called me about playing in Jamalia. I kind of didn't expect some dude calling me from out of the blue to turn into something really fun and addictive to me… but it did and pretty much right away. A great group of people that were really into playing and had some serious potential and had also recently added a bass player (Tim) and a female vocalist (Christy)… we did several gigs and decided to step it up some and find a fulltime guitarist and commit to practicing and tightening it all up.
We recorded a few tunes out at my place to represent the new group as a demo...and have plans to do another 4 to add to a few other previously recorded songs to release a CD this summer to have for what looks like it will be a busy one. There is a tangible buzz around this group and although at this point it is a lot of friends and family …
there is a momentum, ambition, and talent here that is worthy of much more milestones and success. We are working on more writing and arranging… and having lots of fun…. And trying to be as professional and goal minded as we can along the way to enable as much positive reinforcement, growth and success as I feel this band really deservers. We have something eclectic, unique, and tangible to offer the world. We’ll see, but this has been like a new family to me and am having a wonderful time being a part of it all.
Beyond Jamalia, I am working on doing more acoustic guitar\song writer gigs and performing in the area as myself and sometimes as “Meatbird”. This is a moniker , I chose it as my first email address in ‘97 and it just was kind of funny. (firstname.lastname@example.org). It has double meaning now as I live on a farm and raise chickens and eggs! I will be publishing and performing (and demo’ing) songs I have already done some tracking on and written with many friends and band mates over the years, so Meatbird Music is something of a tip to the experience I have had… and a tribute to the cumulative influence and shared projects I have been a principal in since I started writing some 20 years ago. Music drives me and entertains me… and it has given my life such fun, memories, and inspiration most of my life...I couldn’t imagine not having it be a regular part of my existence.
Thanks for hearing the story and supporting me in my favorite activity!
There was literally a 6 year span of time this website was only completed through Sol Americano… I had to totally reconstruct it as the old template was not updatable...and it is just being updated in March of 2011. I am sure the adventure continues in interesting ways, but that is about all I have to say for now!
Bandliography page (adventures in 20 some years of bands)