• West Coast Music

    As the name indicates West Coast Music has its origin on the American West Coast. The music emphasizes melody, harmonies and arrangements, and the vocal and instrumental performances are always with great skill and of high quality. The music is often performed by pop/rock artists from the American West Coast, but is in no way limited to any geografical area.

SONS

The Sons of Champlin started in 1965 in Marin County, California, rising from the wreckage of the Opposite Six, a locally popular R&B band from the pre-Beatle era. “Six” members, Bill Champlin and Tim Cain, added Terry Haggerty and the first of a series of drummers and bass players. The new band was named for the “front” man, Bill Champlin.

For a couple of years the Sons played as a five-piece band, working the college and high school dance circuit and the various clubs and bars in the Bay Area. Their playlist was mostly covers, some R&B such as “Midnight Hour,” and some commercial pop such as “Shades of Gray.”

The Sons’ first record release, on Trident Records, was a single called “Sing Me A Rainbow”. It got a little local AM radio airplay. In 1967 the Sons of Champlin became a seven-piece band, adding a trumpet and more importantly, Geoff Palmer on keyboards, alto sax, and vibraphone. By this time the San Francisco scene included the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms, and as the Sons joined that rock circuit, they earned a reputation as a group of R&B and jazz musicians far above the caliber of the electrified folk-rockers who formed the core of the scene.

Not only did the Sons boast a horn section, their philosophical themes, R&B and jazz tempos and arrangements were far ahead of any in rock music, and set the Sons apart from the guitar-dominated bands playing the San Francisco ballrooms.

Because nearly every other major San Francisco band signed a big record deal before the Sons did in 1968, they have sometimes been referred to as a “second wave” San Francisco band, although the Sons predate most of the fixtures in that scene. Between 1968 and 1977 the Sons of Champlin released seven albums. Despite developing a fanatic fan base in a number of regions, the national breakthrough never arrived, and in 1977 the members dispersed to other projects.

However, their fans never forgot the Sons of Champlin and continued to spread the word and the music. After a twenty-year hiatus, the Sons reunited for a series of successful reunion gigs in 1997. Two of the earliest shows were in April at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium where it all began. Several more concerts were held in July, followed by more in the fall.

Then on January 24, 1998, the Sons recorded their first-ever live CD. It was released on July 28, 1998, in cooperation with Grateful Dead Records. The Sons’ earlier studio releases never quite captured the magic of their live shows. Quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart said of those earlier shows: “they were breathing fire… they were the most talented of all the bands.”

More concerts followed whenever schedules permitted over the next few years, including some that were promoted by fans, and all that were great, according to those in attendance.

In the fall of 2001, original guitarist, Terry Haggerty, left the band to pursue other musical endeavors. He also introduced the band to his replacement, Tal Morris, who is a great guitarist and blended into the Sons’ lineup very well.

Early in 2002, in an extraordinary partnership with the Expression Center for New Media, located in Emeryville, CA, the Sons were back on stage and back in the recording studio. This collaboration resulted in the release of a live CD and DVD, titled “Secret”, which captured the magic of the Sons at their best, not just live … but Alive. Dave Duncan, the Sons manager at the time, had this to say: “This is not a nostalgia act. This is the real deal.”

The Sons of Champlin continued to tour as their schedules permitted, mostly on the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. There were more personnel changes, with Tal Morris, as well as the horn section, leaving the band to pursue other musical opportunities

The Sons’ first studio album in twenty eight years, “Hip Li’l Dreams”, was released by Dig Music on August 23, 2005, to great reviews. This was a labor of love and includes great guest artists such as Tom Johnston, Bobby Kimball, Will Champlin, Tamara Champlin, Steve Madaio, Billy Ward, Carmen Grillo, and Bruce Gaitsch.

In 2007, Acadia Records released a compilation of three Sons’ Ariola albums: “The Sons of Champlin”, “Circle Filled With Love” and “Loving Is Why”. The title of this two-CD set is “The Ariola Years”. Carmen Grillo, formerly of Tower of Power, and a close friend of Bill Champlin, became the newest member of the Sons that year.

Between October of 2007 and February of 2010, the Sons were on hiatus, due to scheduling conflicts. However, in March of 2010 they toured the West Coast again, to rave reviews. Bobby Vega replaced David Schallock on bass for a short time, and Bill Champlin’s wife, Tamara, was added as a featured vocalist. In 2012, Tim Cain, the original sax player and the band’s first real arranger, re-joined the Sons after 35 years. He also sings some of the tunes he wrote for the band on the first two albums. He pairs up with Jeff Lewis on trumpet and occasionally Doug Rowan on bari and tenor sax. Dick Mithun, a longtime friend of the Sons and the producer of one of the band’s CD’s, is the bass player.

In July 2014 the band’s long time drummer, James Preston, passed away after a long battle with cancer. The band chose to keep going and put Alan Hertz in as the drummer. Alan fit right in and made the gig his own. In September 2014, the Sons performed a sold-out concert in Northern CA, with Carmen Grillo, Terry Haggerty and Bill Champlin on guitars.

The band has numerous gigs on the books for 2015, and they are looking forward to more events in the future. It’s kinda’ hard to hold ’em down. The present lineup of the Sons is: Bill Champlin, Geoff Palmer, Tim Cain, Tamara Champlin, Carmen Grillo, Dick Mithun, Jeff Lewis, and Alan Hertz.

Discography

Live At San Rafael, CA 1995

Echoes Records 2015

Tracks: For a While, Slippery When Wet, Imagination’s Sake, I’d Like to Get to Know You, Lookout, Saved by the Grace of Your Love, Slam Dunk, To the Sea, Queen of the Rain, Hot Pants, Here’s Where Your Love Belongs, Goldmine & Follow Your Heart.

Musicians on the Live At San Rafael, CA 1995 album: Bill Champlin, Terry Haggerty, Geoffrey Palmer, David Schallock, Michael Andreas, Mark Isham, Phil Woods & James Preston.

Welcome to the Dance/The Sons of Champlin/A Circle Filled With Love/Loving Is Why

Beat Goes On 2015

Tracks: Welcome to the Dance: Lightnin’, For Joy, Who/Heaven Only Knows: Who / Heaven Only Knows, Right On, No Mo’, The Swim, Welcome to the Dance, Welcome to the Dance: Silence, Welcome to the Dance: Sound/Turn Around: Sound / Turn Around, Welcome to the Dance: Healthy Woman & Welcome to the Dance: Welcome to the Dance. The Sons of Champlin: Lookout, Like To Get To Know You, Marp, Planet Ripper, All And Everything, Without Love, Rainbow´s End, Geoff´s Vibe, Queen Of The Rain & Gold Mine. A Circle Filled With Love: Hold On, Here Is Where You Love Belongs, Follow Your Heart, Knickanick, Imagination’s Sake, Still In Love With You, Circle Filled With Love, To The Sea, You, For O. While, Slippery When It’s Wet & Helping Hand. Loving Is Why: Saved By The Grace Of You Love, Loving Is Why, What’ Cha Gonna Do, West End, Big Boss Man, Time Will Bring You Love, Doin’ It For You, Where I Belong, Let That Be A Lesson & Love Can Take Me Now.

Musicians on the Welcome to the Dance/The Sons of Champlin/A Circle Filled With Love/Loving Is Why album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Loosen Up Naturally/The Sons/Follow Your Heart

Beat Goes On 2014

Tracks: Loosen Up Naturally: 1982-A, Thing to Do, Misery Isn’t Free, Rooftop, Everywhere, Do It! Don’t Fight It, Get High, Black and Blue Rainbow, Hello Sunlight, Things Are Gettin’ Better & Freedom. The Sons: Love of a Woman, Terry’s Tune, Boomp Boomp Chop, Why Do People Run from the Rain, It’s Time, Country Girl & You Can Fly. Follow Your Heart: Before You Right Now, Children Know, Hey Children, Follow Your Heart, Beside You, Headway & The Child Continued.

Musicians on the Loosen Up Naturally/The Sons/Follow Your Heart album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

The Ariola Years

Evangeline Records 2007

Tracks: A Circle Filled With Love: Hold On, Here Is Where You Love Belongs, Follow Your Heart, Knickanick, Imagination’s Sake, Still In Love With You, Circle Filled With Love, To The Sea, You, For O. While, Slippery When It’s Wet & Helping Hand. Loving Is Why: Saved By The Grace Of You Love, Loving Is Why, What’ Cha Gonna Do, West End, Big Boss Man, Time Will Bring You Love, Doin’ It For You, Where I Belong, Let That Be A Lesson & Love Can Take Me Now. The Sons Of Champlin: Lookout, Like To Get To Know You, Marp, Planet Ripper, All And Everything, Without Love, Rainbow´s End, Geoff´s Vibe, Queen Of The Rain & Gold Mine.

Musicians on the Ariola Years album: Sons Of Champlin.

The Best Of The Sons Of Champlin

Acadia Records 2006

Tracks: 1982-A, Everywhere, Hello Sunlight, Terry’s Tune, Boomp Boomp Chop, Hey Children, Love of a Woman, Get High, Headway, A Sound of Love, It’s Time, Things Are Getting Better, Black and Blue Rainbow & Freedom.

Musicians on the Best Of The Sons Of Champlin album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Hip Li’l Dreams

Dig Music 2005

Tracks: For Joy, Dream On, I’m Not Your Lover, Swim, Hip Li’l Dreams, Soul Explosions, Bring Home the Gold, Maybe, Star Outa’ You, “74” & Light Up the Candles.

Musician on the Hip Li’l Dreams album: Bill Champlin, Tal Morris, David Schallock, Tom Saviano, Mic Gillette, Geoffrey Palmer and others.

Secret

Sons Records 2003

Tracks: Hold On/For Joy, Rooftop, Look Out, Right On, Maybe, Get High, Gold Mine & Poppa Can Play.

Musicians on the Secret album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Fat City (1967 album)

Big Beat Records 1999

Tracks: Sing Me a Rainbow, She Said, Don’t Talk to Strangers, 1,000 Miles from Nowhere, One of These Days, I Wouldn’t Put It Past You, It’s Gonna Rain, Fat City, To Me, Green Monday, Don’t Stop, Little Fugue, Shades of Grey, Say You Know, I Wish You Could Be Here, One of These Days, It’s the End, Pillow, Don’t Stop & KCPX Radio Spots.

Musicians on the Fat City album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Live

Arista Records 1998

Tracks: Fat City, 1982-A, Rooftop, No Mo’, Black and Blue Rainbow, Things Are Getting Better, Get High, Time Will Bring You Love, Follow Your Heart, Misery Isn’t Free, Tobacco Road, Freedom & Hold On.

Musicians on the Live album: Bill Champlin, Terry Haggerty, Tom Saviano, Mic Gillette, Geoff Palmer, David Schallock, Jim Preston, Phil Wood & Mark Isham.

The Best Of Sons Of Champlin

Capitol Records 1993

Tracks: 1982-A, Everywhere, Hello Sunlight, Terry’s Tune, Boomp Boomp Chop, Hey Children, Love of a Woman, Get High, Headway, A Sound of Love, It’s Time, Things Are Getting Better, Black and Blue Rainbow & Freedom.

Musicians on the Best Of The Sons Of Champlin album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Marin County Sunshine, 1968-1971

Decal Records 1988

Tracks: 1982-A, Black And Blue Rainbow, Hello Sunlight, Everywhere, Don´t Fight It Do It, Jesus I Coming, It´s Time, Love A Woman, Terry´s Tune, Headway & Follow Your Heart.

Musicians on the Marin County Sunshine, 1968-1971 album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Loving Is Why

Ariola Records 1977

Tracks: Saved By The Grace Of You Love, Loving Is Why, What’ Cha Gonna Do, West End, Big Boss Man, Time Will Bring You Love, Doin’ It For You, Where I Belong, Let That Be A Lesson & Love Can Take Me Now.

Musicians on the Loving Is Why album: Bill Champlin, David Farey (Horns), Steve Frediani, Terry Haggerty, Rob Moitoza, Geoffrey Palmer, James Preston, Christopher Bond, Gary Coleman, Chuck Findley, Jim Horn, Paul Hubinon, Tom Scott & Ernie Watts.

A Circle Filled With Love

Ariola Records 1976

Tracks: Hold On, Here Is Where You Love Belongs, Follow Your Heart, Knickanick, Imagination’s Sake, Still In Love With You, Circle Filled With Love, To The Sea, You, For O. While, Slippery When It’s Wet & Helping Hand.

Musicians on the A Circle Filled With Love album: Bill Champlin, Steve Frediani, Terry Haggerty), Geoffrey Palmer, James Preston, David Schallock, Laura Allan, Allan Estes, David Foster, Mike Firgate, Gail Levant & Rob Moitoza.

The Sons Of Champlin

Goldmine Records 1975

Tracks: Lookout, Like To Get To Know You, Marp, Planet Ripper, All And Everything, Without Love, Rainbow´s End, Geoff´s Vibe, Queen Of The Rain & Gold Mine.

Musicians on the Sons Of Champlin album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Welcome To The Dance

Columbia Records 1973

Tracks: Lightnin’, For Joy, Who/Heaven Only Knows: Who / Heaven Only Knows, Right On, No Mo’, The Swim, Welcome to the Dance, Welcome to the Dance: Silence, Welcome to the Dance: Sound/Turn Around: Sound / Turn Around, Welcome to the Dance: Healthy Woman & Welcome to the Dance: Welcome to the Dance.

Musicians on the Welcome To The Dance album: Bill Champlin,  David Shallock, Terry Haggerty, Geoffrey Palmer, James Preston and other.

Follow Your Heart

Capitol Records 1971

Tracks: Before You Right Now, Children Know, Hey Children, Follow Your Heart, Beside You, Headway & The Child Continued.

Musicians on the Follow Your Heart album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Minus Seeds & Stems

Not On Label 1970

Tracks: Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, You Don’t Love Me No More, Nice Time Being, Miles Around You, What Are We Doing Here (Winterland Jam), Lucille, Roll Out The Barrel, Yo Mama, Uncle Mergetroid, Chico Smoke El Ropo (Winterland Live Jam), Instantaneous Instrumental Jam (Or Do Watcha Wanna Do), Get High (Piano Solo), Hey Children, Hag Backwards (Inside Outside) & Beggin’ You Baby

Musicians on the Minus Seeds & Stems album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

The Sons

Capitol Records 1969

Tracks: Love of a Woman, Terry’s Tune, Boomp Boomp Chop, Why Do People Run from the Rain, It’s Time, Country Girl & You Can Fly.

Musicians on the Sons album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

Loosen Up Naturally

Capitol Records 1969

Tracks: 1982-A, Thing to Do, Misery Isn’t Free, Rooftop, Everywhere, Do It! Don’t Fight It, Get High, Black and Blue Rainbow, Hello Sunlight, Things Are Gettin’ Better & Freedom.

Musicians on the Loosen Up Naturally album: Sons Of Champlin and others.

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