Here are a few links to some good friends and music connections that are important to us:
Christopher Smith is a close friend of ours and an amazing songwriter. He wrote the Song “Apple Sauce” and backs us up with mandolin on our version of it on our CD. We sing on his great CD “Sweet River Grace.” He’s also got a wonderful CD called “Gravedigger’s Boy.” He’s known in Marin County, for two popular children’s CDs, “Carry Me Home,” and “The Golden Gate.” He’s a much loved kindergarten teacher as well.
We met Darryl Purpose a few years ago through our friends Randy Villa and Tim Konrad of Santa Rosa House Concerts. He’s a wonderful singer/songwriter with some great stories to tell and several great albums. We’ve made a nice connection with him and hope to get him out to California more often.
We also met Michael McNevin at a Santa Rosa House Concert and got to know him even better hanging around camp sharing songs and meals at the Strawberry Festival. Not only is he a great songwriter/storyteller, but he’s a world class Etch A Sketch artist! Like all the other folks we’ve listed here, he’s been a great inspiration to us. Our song, “McNevin’s Toothache,” got it’s name from his reaction upon hearing it for the first time before we had a title for it, he said, “Aww that was so sweet it almost gave me a toothache!”
The Musers are one of our favorite local Sonoma County bands. We first met Megan McLaughlin (also at a Santa Rosa House Concert!) several years ago. She was great. We didn’t actually get to know her until we found ourselves in a song circle with her at the 2005 Kate Wolf Fest. Megan not only entertained us with her great songs but she made us laugh a lot. She’s also a retired kindergarten teacher. She started the Musers with singer/songwriter Anita Sandwina and stand up bass player Tom Khun. We first met Anita when she was in Three at Last with Ginger Parish and Velvi Appleton.
Stevie Coyle was one of the original Waybacks. He left his successful band quite a while back to pursue his solo career and do guitar lessons and workshops. Several years ago he opened a shop, Mighty Fine Guitars in Lafayette CA. Stevie’s a brilliant finger style guitar player and song writer. He also makes people laugh a lot. A few years ago he started The Quitters with friend and amazing guitarist Glenn Houston, also an original Wayback and later in the Houston Jones Band. We feel very fortunate to have opened some concerts for Stevie a few years ago and had the opportunity to play with him a bit. He’s a dear friend who’s been very supportive of our music. His solo album, “Ten-In-One,” is brilliant. A concept album that takes you on a bit of a journey.
Houston Jones Band was made up of some of our old Strawberry Fest friends and camp mates, several of whom used to be original Waybacks. Travis Jones and Glenn Houston started the band and Peter Tucker, Chris Kee and sometimes Chojo Jacques helped to make this another of our favorite bands, with so many great songs and albums. Chris Kee wrote many of the songs on their recordings.
Jamie Byrd became a dear friend when we met her one magical middle of the night, at the Strawberry Fest in the 90’s. She was an incredibly gifted singer/songwriter and visual artist as well. She played guitar beautifully in all sorts of unusual tunings, and she sang like a bird! We were so devastated when she left us all too soon in the heartbreaking spring of 2020.
The Rowan Brothers have been an inspiration to us since we were teenagers growing up in Marin County where we saw them opening for the Grateful Dead at Winterland in the early 70’s. We’ve since had the opportunity to get to know Lorin Rowan a bit and had the honor of opening for him and his brother Chris at a house concert in 2008 and were invited to sing a couple with them as well. His great cellist playing friend, Doug Harmon, plays a bit on our CD. Lorin also sings and plays mandolin beautifully on Jamie Byrd’s album “Garden Of Days.”
Our friend Ginger Parish formerly of the great band “Three at Last“, asked me to play a bit of flute on her album, “Lullaby”. That was my first and only recording project without Michael and I was excited to have been asked! Most of the songs are Ginger’s beautiful originals which she wrote for her son. This is a really sweet album for all ages!
Nory Fussell is another dear friend, and like family to us. He’s written some really sweet songs and we wish we all lived closer together!
Paul Kamm and Eleanore MacDonald are amazing singer/songwriter’s who have been inspiring and influencing us with their magic since we first met them up in Nevada City back in the ’80’s. They’ve got several beautiful albums. We’ve enjoyed their many performances on the stages at the Kate Wolf Memorial Festival backed up by Nina Gerber who is another one of our musical heroes.
Paul Kamm has also entertained us for years with his amazing high energy band Achilles Wheel, who we love dancing to any time we get the chance.
Keith Greeninger is another inspiration to us who we first met at a Santa Rosa House concert years ago and got to play a bit with him at a small jam in Randy Villa’s living room after the concert. He was very encouraging and sang along with us on some of our homemade songs which was a treat! We heard him recently at the last Kate Wolf Festival where he did several performances including one with Paul & Eleanore and Nina Gerber. Such a treat to hear!
Peter Wilson is another great musician/singer/songwriter who has inspired us for years since he released an album in 1982 called “Folk Music.” He and Eleanore MacDonald recorded a song called the Endless Mile which was written by Julie Snow. We loved the way they did that song and were inspired to learn it ourselves. We eventually recorded it on our album. We hadn’t seen Peter in many years and finally reconnected with him at The Strawberry fest.
Tracy Grammer and the late great Dave Carter have inspired and encouraged us since the first time we heard them several years ago at a couple of Santa Rosa House concerts. We were fortunate enough to meet them a few times before Dave left this crazy world behind at the age of 49. We had asked him if he’d mind if we perform and record some of his songs and he said he’d be honored. His song “Gentle Arms of Eden” was the one we put on our 1st CD. Tracy is still touring and spreading Dave’s wonderful songs around. She’s also writing her own great songs and has released some beautiful CDs with Jim Henry.
We met the great Terri Hendrix and Lloyd Maines thru another Santa Rosa House concert years ago and were lucky enough to have the opportunity to open for them at a house concert that our friend Tracy Miller hosted. When we finished our short set Lloyd told me not to put my flute away and invited me to take a couple of flute solos during their set! Whew I was nervous but managed to pull it off! Then we saw them again a few years later at one of Randy Villa’s birthday parties where they invited us up to play one with them and Terri let Michael play her cool, blue guitar!
Charlie Cutten was another dear friend and fellow musician who we lost when he was tragically killed by a careless driver. We knew Charlie from the Strawberry festival. He’s mentioned in a line of our song “Strawberry Jam,” which sadly took on a new meaning after we lost him. His moving music will stay with us.
We have had the honor of providing the sound and opening for the awesome and hilarious Bluegrass band Dry Branch Fire Squad a few times at a small backyard house concert that our friends Gerry and Amy have put on the day before the band was scheduled to play at the Hardly Strictly Music festival which they do every year. .