Growing up in Spokane
Growing up in Spokane, Washington in the 50's and early 60's I became captivated by the music of groups like The Kingston Trio and The Brothers Four and Peter, Paul, and Mary. Because they were from Spokane The Chad Mitchell Trio was probably my favorite. I was fascinated by their sound and tried to copy Chad's style of singing. This was the group that first recorded "Blowin' in the Wind" by a young songwriter named Bob Dylan as well as songs like "Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound" and "Marvelous Little Toy" by Tom Paxton.
In 1962 I formed a folk group at Lewis and Clark High School where we learned songs off folk records as well as we could and sang them to whomever would listen.
In 1968 I was asked to join The Brothers Four. Through the years I have gained even more respect for Chad Mitchell as a singer and for another member of their group, Mike Kobluk, who is one of the truly good guys in our business. In 2009 The Brothers Four and The Chad Mitchell Trio performed together in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The picture here is of Chad and me taken in the lobby that night. It's always fun to meet our childhood heroes. It's pretty amazing to share a stage with them years later.
The story gets even better because it was at that Lancaster date that I asked Paul Prestopino, long time accompanist for The Chad Mitchell Trio as well as Peter, Paul, and Mary, if he would be willing to play on a new album I was going to be recording in New Jersey. He agreed (along with Kingston Trio bassist, Paul Gabrielson.) The results can be heard on the album "Following the Light." The experience of working with Paul Prestopino was...well...hard to describe. Paul often added his magic touches while listening in ear phones to a basic track and my scratch vocals. I sat a few feet away one time listening through my own earphones as he was adding a guitar part. The cleansing tears of wonder and delight started flowing as I listened to this man add his touches to my song and voice. A long way for a kid from Spokane.