By the Bay

Local trio’s music defies classification

Special to The TribuneOctober 20, 2013 

Judy Salamacha

Whenever Jason Clark, Eric Hunter and James Gallardo show up at Morro Bay’s Community Farmers Market, people stop to listen.

The trio, Green to White, harmonize their voices and play upright bass, cajón and guitar. It’s no wonder they are “technically sound.” Cuesta College’s music department has enhanced their rich musical backgrounds.

“We started playing for pocket change, and we love to play,” Clark said. “People asked us to play for private parties and Easter Sunday at St. Timothy’s. The community decided we should be a group.”

After “100 gigs,” some call their style Americana, a fusion of bluegrass, standards, reggae, pop and jazz.

Gallardo just graduated with two music major degrees. At Morro Bay High School, he played heavy metal, but credits Cuesta College’s Ron McCarley and Jennifer Martin for inspiring him to major in music.

Hunter played bluegrass.

“Nate Conrad at Atascadero High influenced me to pursue music,” he said.

As for Clark, he was influenced earlier.

“Joanne Stoddard got me into music in the first grade,” Clark said. “At Templeton High School, it was a battle between football and choir. I played semipro in 2005 locally then with a team in Pennsylvania till it went bust. I was lost until I tried out for Cuesta’s choir. Touring Europe, I learned music is a universal language. I’m in Cuesta Voce. It changed my approach to music.”

The group’s music is arranged, but they’ll take risks with the phrasing.

“People say they’ve never heard a song they’ll recognize played our way,” Clark said. “We’d love to be discovered and go on tour. Meanwhile, we hope to play at local festivals and wineries and where our fans are.”

Find them every third Thursday at STAX Wine Bar or on Facebook.

Judy Salamacha’s column is special to The Tribune. Reach her at 801-1422 or judysalamacha@gmail.com.

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