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.
  Soon after relocating in '88, my guitar playin' buddy from SoCal (Chris Hoffpauir) enticed me into coming to Berkeley to sit in with some friends he had started playing with that later became
Urban Twang. I learned a lot in playing with Chris over 7 years together. We played some pretty raucus campus oriented parties, a festival at People's Park, a couple of clubs, and were regulars at the campus pub (the Bear's Lair) where we played Friday Happy Hours in '89. This band featured Evan Schulz on bass, Scott Coleman on guitar, and Neil Gegna on drums. We started playing Dead, Clapton, and Stones covers and then began writing originals like Take A Hike and  Nocturnal Tendencies which grew out of instrumental jams we had performed.
  In the summer of '90 I sat in for a couple months with
Avocado Sundae  who I had met through Neil and his roommate/ bass player Sean Marshall who Urban Twang had jammed with on a few occasions. I loved these guys funky rock vibe and filled in while their keyboard player was travelling to add a little color to the mix. They had just moved to the Marin area from Santa Barbara and we played this at Margaritaville in Capitola (When you go? , jam )
  In '91 most of UT moved to a house in SF where we built a studio and made allegiances to get a more professional project together. We found a bass player (Dave Gantenbein) who had just moved here from Michigan ...and also added a female vocalist (Liza Groen) and a violinist (Mike Kang...who soon thereafter moved to Colorado and got
String Cheese Incident going, so we worked with viola player Jason P. of Paddlefoot ) We called ourselves Edgar as we needed a name and couldn't agree on one (something that has been a chore in many bands, and one that many don't often survive). It was supposed to motivate us to get a real name, but then we started getting some good repeat gigs and ended up using it for another year and a half. ( here's Broken Words )
  There is a saying that a band is only as good as its drummer. Edgar had about a dozen of 'em which eventually really burnt us out on trying to teach our tunes to new ones constantly, not too mention the different feel the music would inherit with each one. The ironic thing is with a stripped-down reforming of Edgar introduced a time keeper among drummers to the mix....the much heralded
Steve Dubois.
Steve was introduced in our new incarnation which was dubbed the
BooHoos ( digression and tommy's tragedy , the place he knew ) We continued on in the same vein of Bay Area clubs and kept basically the same lineup, though further transmogrifications into NamelessTennessee and the Sensitive Locksmiths transpired till Scott moved back East to go to grad school in '95.
    We still had a gig on the calendar when this happened and carried on with the likes of Andy Stoys on guitar and local rebel-rouser Dave Goob on keys to perform at the Hotel Utah as
Skutch. (the shear jamming majesty of Elephantine Overlord in D was among the spoils of that union). We went on to play recreationally every few months for a few years.

  The first band that I pieced together  after working with Chris and Scott for so long was called
the Underlings (Bob Fagan guitar, Jeff Symunds Bass/guitar, and Fred Stark on drums - Drunk in my own House and Seems to Be). We had 4 versatile and talented writers/singers, but unfortunately couldn't get together enough to really make things happen....I was in a kind of crazy time in my life and I kind of got impatient with our progress and pre-maturely removed myself several months later (and I had to sublet our space  at "Downtown Studios" to  7 Year Bitch to re-coop some costs). I would have liked this to work out different though, great guys and pretty interesting and versatile line up.

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.)
Over the next couple years, I backed off of playing a little.

I started going to Tech school and got a Computer Networking certification which enabled me into what was still a booming dotcom market which many of my friends had benefited from. During this time I had some great experiences with some temp gigs and sitting in with friends (
Good Foot, Johnny Nitro's Doorslammers, Red Archibald & the Internationals, Hand of Kindness (with this tune : slacker jazz ).

   Later in '98, I played with
M''man . We only made it about 5 months but was a blast and we grooved out some happenin’ parties in the East Bay including a brilliant one at the Jingletown Gallery and a few lounge gigs down on the peninsula. M'man was pretty acid jazzy and was comparable to bands like MMW or the Greyboy Allstars ( two of my favorite of  bands at the time)'s Placentia, On the One Hand and Whenever you Want from that project.

  Later in '99, I filled in a several gigs for the T. Sax player in
Sideways. These guys were a 4 piece with keys and a wailing woman singer. They had a very jazzy style that was grounded in rock and funk and left a lot of room for improvising within the context of their very dynamic songs. This snippet is from the Broadway Studios in SF: catapult

   2000 was my big adventure with dotbombing and other than sitting in a bit and a few Skutch jams, it wasn't till 2001 I played for a couple of months with
Passenger who was entertaining yet ultimately decided against the idea of adding a horn player. These guys have a great dynamic from years of working together and get into some deep jams ala the "Dead" vibe. (mercy,mercy,mercy) They are still going and I sat in and was on a couple great bills with them in subsequent projects..

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.
Playing with these guys got me juiced to play regularly again and later this year Dave, Evan, and I started playing together and working up some old and new material for
Mara Connection (of which you can hear some diddies generated in my digital studio).  Steve joined us on drums and we played for a year pretty solid. It was fun being able to primarily play guitar and do a lot of singing again. We working on a CD of new and old material and will had some assorted shows as our bass player had to move to LA for a spell. He returned a couple years larter, but Dave and I had a new project going by then that was taking most of our time (PTB outlined below)...but the 4 of us got together a couple times a year and rocked… and will try to do so every year or 2

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

It was in spring of 2002 after I met my wife Cathy that I  posted an ad in the Musician's Exchange on Craigslist and got a call from Mike Reed of
Sol Americano. I played with these guys starting the end of June 2002 and it was fun and engaging, and a chance just to play a lot of sax again. We released our first CD "Boogie Buffet" which was pretty much in the can already when I started playing in the group, but here a few cuts with a little sax mixed in by the magic of my digital workstation:

Boogie Buffet
Butterfly Kiss
St. Augustine

We had some great gigs including one opening up for Soullive at Chico State University . Unfortunately the group dis-banded in Dec 2003 to the horror of legions of fans (myself included).  They had played together for years and even toured for a bit before I had joined, They had reached their early 30’s and had other circumstances in their lives and in some of the dynamic and personal interaction among members that kind of undermined the project, but all in all it was hugely successful and it pretty much had run its course for these guys.

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:

Ghetto Falsetto

(and heres an oldie, but goodie the
Right Thang !!!) 


Powers That Be

The beginning of 2004 brought in what would  become the
Powers That Be.

Dave G and I teamed up with ex-Dynasonics drummer Eric "Daddy Love" Persons,
guitarist Marc Lionetti, B3 pumping Abram Shapiro and female vocalist Edith Jordan. Here is a
from our first practice. In 2005…. And here’s a link to our final gig till post some targeted stuff:


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.
Andrew, Brett, Taylor...and some of the guys in the group over the previous few years had written a fair amount of material. Andrew is a soulful singer and engaging front person...and his energy is really positive and infectious….  to me, sort of along the lines of someone like Michael Franti. Anyway, we found Kevin to play lead who also writes and sings...and after a few practices engaged in like 5 weeks of regular gigs...and sounded really good and had a blast.

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.


Go to this sites Jamalia page for some samples, or to our site at



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. ( 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)