Q&A:DCB: What musicians were you first influenced by?
LRS: Two different kinds of musicians. First- "The Professional Recording Artists". As I mentioned previously, our home was always filled with "good music". It's hard to measure what fine recording artists do for the development of a young musicians mind, but these mentioned above are quite profound in the material that I have been writing. Also, this is about the time that I became aware of such guitar artists as Chet Atkins, Barney Kessle, Joe Pass etc..... Second-"The Professional Teachers". When I was young, from about 9-12yrs, I had a series of teachers that taught me "every lick they could" but little about reading music. It wasn't until high school that I really learned how to read guitar music from my 1st classical teacher Mr. John Urutia. Hear in my high school years I grew exponentially in that ability because of my band director and now longtime friend Mr, Burl Walter, Jr. DCB: When did you first develop an interest in writing music?
LRS: From the age of 9 all through my high school years and beyond, I became more of a "rock" lover than a "jazz" lover. It was during those years that I cut my teeth on writing music. Nothing was ever published, but it was sure a lot of fun!! When I was 18, I decided to go into the family farming business and didn't write for well over a decade. In 1990, farming being what it is, I decided to go back to school to get a professional teaching degree in order add another income source for my family. Many good creative ideas came from that year and surprisingly enough, almost all of it from Jazz! From this year and the years to come, saw many different ideas from classical to jazz and even in rock. DCB: What other musicians have played your music and what groups have you performed in?
LRS: To this writing, only local talent-including all that I have posted on my myspace web site-have played my tunes. Again, only local talent from large group jazz to trios in both rock and jazz. Some of there names include: A.J. "Bob" Jackson-trumpet; Pete Scaffidi-bass; Kevin Cearley-trumpet; Fritz Carney-bass; Les Nunes-T. bone; Adon Infante-T. Bone; Ed Hull-T. Bone; Ron Catalano-sax; Steve Dailey-sax; Lloyd Ellis-trumpet; Rick Tuttrup-piano; and Joe Lizama-drums(Joe is the drummer for Johnny Mathis). The group that I hired to play the Big Band arrangements on my MySpace page is: "The Joe Lenigan-Little/Big Band" Bob Bergthold and Debi Ruud performed the singing. All of this talent is from the Central Valley area of California-centering around Fresno.