Gaviota Peak 2013

18 02 2013

View to the east from Gaviota PeakView to the east from Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota Peak
Ceanothus on Gaviota PeakRyan and Maya Amid the Ceanothus at Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota PeakRyan and MayaCeanothus on Gaviota PeakCeanothus on Gaviota Peak
Ryan Amid the Ceanothus at Gaviota Peak

Gaviota Peak 2013, a set on Flickr.

Here are a few photos from my Gaviota peak hike last Saturday (Santa Barbara county). It was gorgeous day, and our native ceanothus shrubs were in full bloom and covering the peak and surrounding hillsides. The aroma was amazing! Additionally, it was a clear day that offered 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside – rolling oak covered hills, the Santa Barbara coastline, the sparkling, blue Pacific ocean and the Channel islands in the distance. This is one of my very favorite hikes on the California Central Coast!

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Próxima Parada at Linnaea’s Cafe in San Luis Obispo

12 04 2012

I created a new channel on my Vimeo account with some casual recordings I’ve made of one of my favorite local bands based in San Luis Obispo, California. Although young, this group of talented singer-songwriters and musicians, draws from some of the great musical artists of the 60s & 70s as well as more contemporary artists. The styles of the music they perform vary quite a bit, so the best thing to do is just sit back and enjoy listening to a selection of their music, and you’ll see what I mean. It would be even better to see them live, and they’ve been playing around here and there in San Luis Obispo, and especially lately at the popular Linnaea’s Cafe downtown on Garden Street. In fact, Próxima Parada will be playing at Linnaea’s Cafe this Saturday, April 14 from 8-10 p.m. Their sets always (at least the three times I’ve seen them perform) include a fun mix of original songs written by Nick Larson and/or Bryson Bailey as well as some carefully chosen covers, some going back to before these guys were born!

Click here to go to the Próxima Parada channel on Vimeo.





Próxima Parada ~ “Who You Callin’?”

8 04 2012

This is a great song written entirely, lyrics & music, by Bryson Bailey. I really like the vibe of this! Apparently the band was only introduced to this as a finished song the night before this performance. I wouldn’t have guessed as everyone seemed really into the groove like they had been playing it awhile.

Próxima Parada at Linnaea’s Café, San Luis Obispo, California, March 10, 2012

Bryson Bailey (lyrics, lead vocals, electric guitar)
Nick Larson (percussion)
Myles Wittman (trumpet)
Clayton Cole (bass)

Próxima Parada ~ “Who You Callin’?” from Michelle C. Torres-Grant on Vimeo.





Shell Creek Road ~ 24 March 2012

28 03 2012

Although this year is not expected to be a banner year for our native wildflowers, there are still small patches here and there to enjoy. We arrived at about 7:00 a.m., just before sunrise. You can tell in the photographs the dramatic difference in the lighting between pre & post sunrise. Before sunrise the colors are soft and even. The first rays of sunlight cast an ethereal golden glow. Click here to see the photos with full plant descriptions from my excursion to Shell Creek Road.





Music To Make You Smile

28 03 2012

“I woke up this morning, and all I could feel was music
I woke up this morning, and all I could feel was music
Let’s jump on that front porch, and damn well darn abuse it
Let’s wake up every morning, and only feel this music”

So there was this new banjo, and the members of Próxima Parada, one of my favorite local bands, seemed excited to put it to good use. They only had the banjo for about a week, and just the night before this performance Nick & Bryson came up with the idea to do this fun medley. It starts out with the familiar “Dueling Banjos,” but then it segues into an original knee slapping, hand clapping, foot stompin’ song. They had the whole audience going (watch the video; it’s guaranteed to make you smile!). They call the medley “Next Stop; Porch Stompin’ ” (Próxima Parada is Spanish for “Next stop”).

Próxima Parada at Linnaea’s Café, San Luis Obispo, California, March 10, 2012

Bryson Bailey (lyrics, lead vocals, electric guitar)
Nick Larson (vocals, banjo, mandolin)
Myles Wittman (trumpet)
Clayton Cole (bass)
Kevin Middlekauff (sitting in on mandolin & banjo)

Próxima Parada ~ “Next Stop: Porch Stompin’ “ from Michelle C. Torres-Grant on Vimeo.





Bandly at The Sanitarium Music Nights Salon in San Luis Obispo

22 03 2012

Everyone at The Sanitarium Music Nights in San Luis Obispo, California, seemed to be enjoying the high energy performance of local band Bandly. They really rocked the house with their three song set. They are a newly formed band; I can’t wait to hear more! Here they are performing their original song, “Couldn’t Stay,” on March 21, 2012.

Bandly is Benly (guitars, vox and keys)
and Danly (drums, bass, keys and vox)

The Sanitarium Music Nights are organized by Vincent Bernardy of St. Vincent Folk. They are every first & third Wednesdays of each month at 7:00 p.m. at The Sanitarium Inn & Spa in San Luis Obispo, California. It’s a casual and fun gathering of local musicians, singers and singer-songwriters performing for an intimate audience of music lovers and fellow musicians.

Bandly ~ “Couldn’t Stay” from Michelle C. Torres-Grant on Vimeo.





Central Coast Love Song

22 03 2012

I really enjoyed finally meeting Central Coast singer songwriter, Don Lampson, last night at The Sanitarium in San Luis Obispo, California. Here is a song he wrote for his long time love, Peg, called The Heart of the Chaparral. It tells the story of their life together. Don gave a heart felt performance, and I loved how the lyrics referenced the Central Coast!

Don Lampson ~ “The Heart of the Chaparral” from Michelle C. Torres-Grant on Vimeo.








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