Sunday, May 9, 2010
Jim Guittard - California Daze (USA 2008; rec. 2001-2002)
Here are a couple of albums recorded by JIM GUITTARD, currently living in Portland, Oregon, USA.
His music is an interesting mixture of folk/folkrock and country rock with some psychedelic undertone. As one of his influences he mentions THE BYRDS, and I think that one can clearly hear that (e.g. Beach).
If you like the genre, his albums are well worth checking out!
Jim also worked with Henry McGuinn, the son of BYRDS co-founder Roger McGuinn in a project called THE RAGAS (to be posted later), while living in California.
Q: Where exactly are you from?
A: I am originally from Dallas, Texas. But have lived in various places, thus soaking up the vibes of wherever I have lived. I went to college in a small town called Gunnison in Colorado. After that I worked the corporate world of insurance and got fed up and struck out for Hollywood to attend a music school. After 3 years in Hollywood I traveled back to Texas and became a caretaker for my grandparents. After two years of that, I applied for the Peace Corps and was accepted to teach English in Bulgaria. I was there for almost three years and came back to the States and to Portland, Oregon.
Q: Do you want your real name mentioned? If so: What is your real name?
A: Jim Guittard is my real name and what all my solo music is under.
Q: How recorded?
A: I have been recording myself really since 1994 when I got my first 4-track machine. It was a Tascam. In the early days, I recorded myself mostly doing Beatles, Tom Petty, or other classic rock music. - My favorite guitar to use is a 6-string 330 Rickenbacker. I also have a 12-String 330 Rickenbacker. For some songs I used a Dr. Groove drum machine and make shift shakers (beer can filled with rice taped up). On my earliest album 96/98 I had a friend, (Jim Seagroves) play pots and pans drums. He was a drummer but didn't have any drums so this is what we did. - In California, I had a lot of gear that was stolen that I used. - I had a Telecaster B-Bender guitar, 12-String Acoustic Guild, and a Fender Jazz Bass. Hope the thugs that stole it are making some good music. - While in Bulgaria, I used a 12 String acoustic guitar.
Q: When recorded?
A: "Busted in Bulgaria" was recorded between July 2006 to July 2008 on my dell laptop using Adobe Audition 3. - "The Notorious G.I.D.D." was recorded in 2004-2005. It was when I lived at my grandparents and I used the Tascam 6-track recorder and Cool Edit Pro for editing and mixing. I used some kind of keyboard for a few of the tracks. Can't remember what kind. - "California Daze" was recorded in 2001 to 2002 and on the 6-track Tascam recorder. Brian McKay engineered some of the songs like "Beach (Acoustic)". But otherwise I recorded it myself. - 96//98 was recorded during the years 1996 - 1998 on my Tascam 4-track recorder.
Q: Who involved? Who played what?
A: "Busted In Bulgaria": I played all acoustic guitars, all percussion or drum machine, all lead and back up singing. There are various background noises that I got from various real news events like: on "Survival Mode" the Andrew Meyer Taser scandal at University of Florida John Kerry Rally. - On "Gangster" I used some of my students for background talking. - On "8A Class", you can hear me "trying" to instruct my students over the loud classroom noise.
- "The Notorious G.I.D.D." is all me with acoustic and electric guitars and lead and background singing.
- "California Daze": "Beach" is co-written by Dominica Campanella of the neo-psychedelic band the Quarter After. I wrote the first verse of the lyrics and he wrote the other verses and chorus. I put the song to music. - On "Beach - Acoustic" Vladimir Maskoff played the jazz fender bass. - On "Confusion, Lies, Guns, and Drugs" Vladimir Maskoff played the jazz fender bass. - The songs "Swing Tune" and "Jazz Tune" were instrumentals songs I wrote while attending the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, California. The recordings of these songs were an actually playing test that I did. I came into class with charts for the musicians that I had written out and they sight-read the 2 songs. The back up electric guitar is a Brazilian guy named Reginaldo. He was a friend of mine. I do not know the name of the drummer. The teacher you can hear in the background is Lupo Groinig who gives a critique.
- On 96/98 I played the acoustic guitars, electric guitar, sitar, tambourine, sang lead vocals unless noted otherwise. My brother Bob Guittard played bass on Chapatis, and electric guitar on "Once Around the Moon." - Warren Barry played keyboards and drums on "Once Around the Moon." I played bass on "Once Around the Moon." - Jim Seagroves played pots and pans drum on many of the tracks as well as sang or talked some backgrounds.
Q: Any more releases? Any "official" releases?
A: No other official releases but I am constantly working on new material.
Q: Since when does this band/project exist (are you into music)?
A: I have been fascinated by the tape recorder and sounds since a small child. I think the first song I learned on the guitar was George Harrison's "Don't Bother Me." I guess I related to George the most because he was the quiet Beatle and often overlooked.
Q: Any previous bands worth mentioning?
A: While in California, I had a duo with Henry McGuinn called the Ragas. We recorded a bit and had a few shows. The music can be found here:
http://www.jamendo.com/en/artist/The_Ragas It is pretty raw. - He is the son of Roger McGuinn co-founded the Byrds. - Here's a little piece I wrote on the Ragas:
Q: How'd you "label" your music?
A: I don't like labeling myself because my music may be heard differently to everybody and labeling is rather meaningless sometimes. To me, my music is honest optimistic, psychedelic, folk-rock, country-rock, "figure it out as you go" hopeful music or experimental. A kind of travel life diary music or who knows it may be just crap music.
A: I was a child of the 1980's and I was not into Motley Crue or Def Leppard at the time. I was the guy with sideburns since I was 16 and looked up to Elvis and the Beatles. I got turned onto the Byrds while in California and Bob Dylan. Bob Dylan is probably who I am influenced the most by. It is really his philosophy of life that has influenced me. The rebelliousness of Johnny Cash has also influenced me quite a bit. In that he does his own thing and does not need to please anyone. - And lastly Anton Newcombe of the Brian Jonestown Massacre has heavily influenced me in the music and again mostly for his philosophy of life to keep at it and never give up no matter what jokers are attacking.
Q: Website, myspace?
A: Main website:
To download the albums for free:
Q: Anything that you think is interesting, that you'd like to inform the blog readers about...
A: Only thing I have to say is that every one should find their own voice through art, music, writing or whatever. The world needs more idealists to express feelings to bring about change. We have been told what to think for so long and we don't need to be told. As George Harrison said, "Think For Yourself." Experience things for yourself. Be open-minded and get out of your back yard and experience things that may be out of your comfort zone. - I had a live interview just months before coming back to the States on Tangra Mega Rock Radio Station in Bulgaria: http://jimguittard.com/?p=241
(J. G. via email)
Favourite track: Beach
JIM GUITTARD: California Daze (2008)
(mp3-zip, 8 tracks, 25 min, 37,9 MB, MP3 VBR 192k)