On a sunny spring afternoon in 1994, as per my routine, I parked my car under a weeping willow and reclined my seat. I began to meditate to help me find some clarity and perhaps answer to some important questions in my life. When my mind was clear of all thoughts and life’s clatter, I asked myself this question. “What should I do with the album project I am working on?” A flood of ideas began to permeate my mind, but the one answer that stood out was the one that encouraged me to form a Duo, and start performing so I could complete the project – my life long dream since childhood. This was the seed that was the beginning of Big Rain.
With this thought in mind, I got out of my car and walked into the fitness center. While working out I noticed a tall lanky guy with long blond hair talking to a woman. They were talking about music and I heard him say, “What I need is a singer I can work with”. I looked over at him and the words jumped out of my mouth, “I can sing”. We talked for a long time discovering that we had so many of the same interests, we decided to get together to sing and jam.
A week or two later, I invited Peter over to the studio to share my album project with him. The moment we sang the first harmony we knew we had found magic. We poured all our energy into our music and two years later our dream of making our first album was realized. It was titled, “Sound of Freedom”.
The Evolution of a Sound and Musical Style.
We started out with a Rock Blues approach but the music also took on a tropical feel which I latter called “Tropical Funk”. Because of our exposure to music from around the world, and the diverse Central Coast, and San Francisco Bay Area tastes for music, we started to develop our own blend and sound.
Santa Cruz is a beautiful Coastal Community well known internationally for the beaches, surfing, our redwoods, the University and its cultural diversity. In Santa Cruz, thirty to forty touring artists perform weekly in one of the smallest geographic counties in California. It is amazing that so many artists are able to sell tickets to all those shows in such a small market.
As we evolved as a band with Rock, Blues, Funk and Tropical Styles, we built a strong following on the Central Coast. Later, we expanded into Northern and Southern California and up into Oregon while we brought County Rock, and Country into the mix. Everything was anchored with the best songwriting, vocals, and musical talent we had in us.
For the next seven years, we were relentless playing at least 100 dates a year. We worked with the best musicians. They became friends and interchangeable parts on a team that we could call on to perform at various Festivals, Fairs, and Venues. We had released three Indy Albums, set up our own distribution through record stores, and were selling hundreds of albums.
Then one day I got a phone call from Ray Ruff who was a well known producer. Ray lived in Los Angeles and invited us to come down and cut a few sides. He said that if everything went well, and we were happy with the results he would offer us a Recording Contract on his Record Label, Oak Records.
Initially, we had no idea who he was. It wasn’t long before we discovered that he was one of the most successful producers and promoters in the last forty years. I asked him what a side was, and he responded with a Southern drawl telling me that a side is a song. He then went on to say he liked our music and singing, and thought we had what it took to make it.
Things went more than well. We recorded an album that produced two number one and several top thirty charting songs. The album still receives air play around the world. With Ray we pioneered a Country Rock Crossover that took on our other influences and was anchored with our brand of Everly Brothers like harmonies.
We went on to perform throughout the USA and to tours around the world.