As consumers, we don’t often think about the diversity of creators and their creative processes, possibly because we are too focused on the finished product. But on July 2nd in San Diego, the Copyright Alliance hosted an event for delegates and stakeholders at the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations where the true diversity of music rooted in a relatively small geographic area – extreme Southern California - could not be ignored. Each of the featured musicians drew on their diverse experiences to bring the audience a completely different sound.
Jesika von Rabbit and Todd Rutherford of Gram Rabbit joined us from the deserts of Southern California. Their band has been named “Best New Artist” by LA WEEKLY. They incorporate sounds of disco-pop, off-kilter country, and psychedelic rock. If you’re wondering what this actually means, or might sound like, think of their hometown Joshua Tree, which is described as “a symbol of the High Desert, a cultural icon, a state of mind…You'll know when you arrive [there], as the clutter of civilization gives way to …beautiful vistas -- yucca, cactus, desert wildflowers, fantastic boulder formations, and of course, … famous Joshua trees.” Or listen to their sounds here.
In contrast, Sara Petite, who originally hails from a tiny town outside of Seattle, Washington, has made her home in the San Diego area for the past 10 years. Sara’s subtle and charming demeanor evokes memories of days when small town life ruled the imagination. Sara, who grew up with no indoor plumbing, pulls from her many life adventures and experiences to foster a new genre of alternative country. Listen to Sara’s music here.
Jack Tempchin’s songs are well-known to all of us, though Jack himself may not be. Jack is a 30x platinum songwriter, and has written a number of legendary hits, including "Slow Dancing" for Johnny Rivers, "Already Gone" and "Peaceful Easy Feeling" for The Eagles. The memorable songs that Jack has written remind us that many of the most influential artists are those who work behind the scenes. Though Jack has worked many years behind the scenes, he is preparing to release his debut live DVD/CD containing several acoustic versions of his hits on JACK TEMPCHIN: LIVE AT TALES FROM THE TAVERN.
The fourth artist to join us was David Lowery of Cracker and Camper Van Beethoven. Though David now lives on the East Coast, his family is still rooted in Southern California. Cracker is an alternative rock band, and Camper Van Beethoven mixes elements of pop, ska, punk rock, folk and alternative country, as well as various types of world music. David is an articulate speaker and writer, especially on issues relating to artists rights.
One might have expected an evening with songwriters from one particular region of the country to be lacking diversity. On the contrary, the evening’s performances both contrasted and complimented each other. The evening served as a wonderful reminder of the diversity of voices and experiences in the creative community.
All photos pulled from video footage by David Avallone