Kevin Pugh
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Kevin Pugh

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Band Rock Folk

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Music

The best kept secret in music

Press


I've never been mentioned in Rolling Stone, yet. Just wait a few years and this will come to fruition. - Rolling Stone


Discography

Welcome to my world of computers (EP)
The Life in a Daze (EP)
BYOB (single)
The Best of Happy Music
Dan Reutter's "3 Chords & a Dirty Mouth"
The Thirsty Pirates (Live @ SMW Yacht Club)

Photos

Feeling a bit camera shy

Bio

Songwriter/musician/producer/label owner/session player/lyricist/audio engineer/tape to CD conversions/ dj/arranger instructor/live recordings/singer (my sister will still debate this one)

Like many others, this music journey begins on an A flat while Kevin’s piano teacher was striking his finger onto the correct note (or note she wanted him to play). Born into a family of many generations of great musicians, Kevin felt no pressure to become a musical prodigy. After premiering in a few sold out concerts at the age of 7 [ok, they were piano recitals], Kevin wooed the virgin ears to “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” and at a later fully capacity crowd, “William Tell Overture”. Since he didn’t receive any encores, he decided to hang up playing the piano for the time being.

When trying to get in on high yielding stocks in the mid 80’s failed, Kevin knew he had to find something else to satisfy his entrepreneurial spirit. Herb Caen, famed writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote on 2/12/82 that when Kevin grew up he wanted to, “work for the Disney Corporation… because I own part of it in stocks.” That didn’t happen. After losing his “shirt off his back” on foreign oil investments and a poor barley market, Kevin felt his push back to music. An electric guitar birthday present near the completion of high school was all that was needed to produce the “big sound” that was soon to happen.

By no means were the early stages of playing guitar easy. Kevin lost the love of his friends and family very quickly, but continued strumming, in spite of being ostracized by the rest of human civilization. While attending school at UC Berkeley (FYI - He flunked out of the music department), Kevin met Justin Murata around 1995, a Hawaiian slack key guitarist who didn’t mind Kevin’s playing. Justin was once quoted as saying, “I loved playing guitar with Kevin. His playing was so bad that it kept burglars away from my apartment. Those were some of the safest days of my life.” Kevin was soon exposed to many of Hawaii’s great musicians: Gabby Pahinui, Iz, Leward Ka’apana, etc. Kevin would later get to visit Justin in Oahu in 1999 to get a greater appreciation for where this music originated.

“Who is Shack?” you ask. Well, let me tell you. He’s not that tall basketball player on the Los Angeles Lakers. Gary Shackelford is a Travis pickin’ guitar player that will blow your socks off! Shack used to live across the street from Kevin and had Tuesday night jams sessions that included fine California wine, cool homeboys… and music, too. On any given Tuesday, upon entering his house, you could be mystically transported to Bourbon Street in New Orleans via “Georgia on my Mind” or “When the Saints Go Marching In” with banjo, euphonium & all; or suddenly be riding a train through the Midwest with some hobos singing some Hank Williams, Johnny Cash or Willie Nelson songs. Kevin learned a wealth of musical knowledge from Shack and everyone with whom he was introduced. Shack’s house was where Kevin learned jazz standards, country classics, how to solo, and most importantly – how to have fun with music.

Now that Kevin had some musical knowledge, he was ready to open himself to the public. In the winter of 1999, Kevin made his radio debut on “The Dog House” on 94.9 WILD. “The Dog House” Bay Area shock jock radio show were now famous for being the last radio show to interview The Notorious B.I.G. and 1st radio show to interview Kevin Pugh. “The Dog House” had Kevin play guitar and take requests from listeners who were on their morning commute.

While taking a swim in the Pacific Ocean in early 2000, Kevin had an encounter with a humpback whale that would change his life. The whale told Kevin, “Hey, have you ever thought of moving to Los Angeles? I hear there lots of smog and tons of traffic. I think you’ll love it.” Without hesitation, Kevin packed his bags and swam to Los Angeles from the Bay Area.

After drying off from the swim, breathing some smog and sitting in traffic for 1 hour, Kevin realized that he needed some new guitar strings. After stumbling across Los Angeles and looking for a place to find guitar strings (Note: there are very few guitarists living in L.A.), Kevin met Un Yung Chong, the owner of Happy Music in Korea-town, California. As they say in those Hollywood movies that they make a few blocks from Happy Music, “This was the start to a beautiful friendship.” Kevin and Chong shared the same musical interests: rock, jazz, soul, funk, experimental, Spanish guitar, reggae and many other types. On Sundays, Happy Music became an extension of what was formerly Shack’s house. People would meet at Happy Music with their instruments and let all cars, buses, helicopters and other local businesses on 3rd Street know that we were alive via a term described by Chong as “CREATIVE SONIC POWER”!!! Since meeting Chong, Kevin has learned to play the drums, tenor saxophone, double bass (or, as Chong