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Brian Smith in the Santa Cruz Mountains

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    • 29 posts
    December 31, 2012 12:06 PM PST

    Hi folks!  Boy, this site has grown quite a bit since it's humble beginnings in early July of 2011, right around the start of The Harrow & The Harvest tour.  I live in the mountains above Santa Cruz with the love of my life, Leora, and our two kids, Kahlo (15) & Jonah (12).  I currently work as a drug and alcohol counselor, after 8 years as in-home caregiver for private clients, and before that a 16 year career in music retail.  I've played solo and in numerous bands since picking up the guitar in 1984 while living in Athens, Greece.  From 2007 to 2011, I had a weekly residency on Tuesday mornings for 4 hours at our local coffee house, The White Raven.  In August of 2011, I decided to take the plunge and assemble the all acoustic group I've always wanted, and after experimenting with a plethora of various musicians, I finally had all of the pieces of the puzzle by April of 2012.  Upright bass, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, guitar, male & female vocals.  Mountain Folk! & ; Mountain Folk went along it's merry way until August of 2014, when ego and internal strife caused it to abruptly implode.  After a year long hiatus, during which time I tried getting something going with another guitarist/vocalist, I'm returning to weekend busking on Pacific Avenue in hopes of connecting with my future musical soulmates.

          Gillian & Dave's music found it's way to me the way most great music does, by fate.  Leora & I had just moved back to the East Bay following a year (1996) in Manhatten, and when I discovered that my next door neighbor played guitar, I invited him to come over and play with me.  It was a mis-match made in heaven with his Fender Strat & my Martin D-35, but it gave us a chance to talk & compare notes.  Having worked for Tower Records as a music buyer for 8 years at that point, I'd managed to put together a music collection of close to 2,000 cds which afforded any visitor easy access to my musical tastes.  Damien took note of my leanings and returned several days later with a cassette copy of Revival.  And, of course, I was hooked from the opening notes of Orphan Girl. 

         As my significant other will be glad to tell you, I'm no stranger to musical obsession.  The Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Patty Griffin, Tracy Chapman, The Beatles, The Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Allman Brothers, Nick Drake, Natalie Merchant, Elliott Smith, Ray LaMontagne, Damien Rice, Alexi Murdoch & that's just the tip of the iceberg.  Did I mention that the family won't let me play Gillian in the car anymore?  Hell, Leora STILL can't listen to Frank Sinatra!  There'd probably be more on that list if weren't for the fact that I'm also required to sleep, eat & work.

         For some reason, however, Gill & Dave struck a note deeper than any other before or since.  Perhaps it's because their music is closer to what I strive for in my own performances, solo and with my band.  Not surprisingly, we cover more Gillian & Dave originals (& covers) than any other artist in our repertoire: Annabelle, Billy (Bob), Hickory Wind (Gram Parsons), Look At Miss Ohio, Miners Prayer (Dwight Yoakam), Orphan Girl & Pocahontas (Neil).  So, that's it for me.  I look forward to meeting more of you online & in person.  And, don't forget to tell all your fellow G&D friends about the site.  Have a Happy New Year.  Brian  

    This post was edited by Brian1964Smith at October 6, 2015 9:22 AM PDT