Somewhere North
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Somewhere North

Band Rock Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"How Far North?"

How far 'North'?
by Wendy Butler, 2/8/2006

Nick Downey said he thought about calling the music flow “acoustic-rock,” but it isn’t really “slow, melodic stuff.”

He does perform on an acoustic guitar, but the guitar is plugged into an amplifier.

Downey is lead vocalist and songwriter for Fortuna-based Somewhere North.

“Where is Fortuna?”

That tends to be the common question from people in Southern California or even as far north as the Bay Area, drummer Mike Grimaldo said.

“We started saying, ‘We’re from somewhere north of San Francisco’ and the name just stuck,” he said.

Downey, Grimaldo and Travis Rogers (bass guitar) generally rehearse at the back of Downey’s Fortuna home.

The room in which they rehearse is large and fitted with a stage, couches and tables.

The music bounds back and forth between the walls, but isn’t too caught in echoes.

“Impossible, I don’t even know why I dream/Impossible that dreams were even meant for me. …”

When you watch the give-and-take – melodic and otherwise – between the three band members it hardly seems “impossible” that they have built up enough energy between them to release their debut CD “Love of Mine.”

The CD should be available at Eureka’s The Works and Two Street Music, Arcata’s The Metro and Fortuna’s Final mix, they said. It is also online at

Another cut “Only For Me” begins quietly with Downey’s voice at lead and then picks up to show off the instruments.

“When we started it out, it was just too slow for me,” Grimaldo said. “Not to rip on slow songs, (but) I like to do high-energy stuff. … We needed the music to be equally strong or stronger.”

The music influences that wound themselves into the members’ development are varied.

Even though it might seem that the three take a bit of their cue from Cold Play, that group is not one that was mentioned when influences were discussed.

Grimaldo, 20, listens to Santana and Buddy Rich.

He describes himself “like an indie-rock drummer with a Latin background.”

Grimaldo performs with his father and brothers, too.

Sometimes Elvis Pressley ingratiates his way into those performances.

Grimaldo began on piano, but later switched to drums.

“At my dad’s church, he didn’t have a drummer,” he said. “Now that I do know what I’m doing I like it.”

Downey, 23, didn’t listen to music that often while growing up.

But, his friend purchased a guitar.

By the time Downey was 14, he was interested in Big-Band jazz music, including attending the Redwood Coast Music Festival.

His favorite band is Wilco. The lead Jeff Tweedy was scheduled to perform at Humboldt State University this week.

“There’s something about their sound that just really connected with me,” he said. “Jeff Tweedy can kind of play the folky style, but has this rock sound.”

Downey began performing music in church, just as Grimaldo did.

Downey was in a band with his brother, Nate.

Rogers, 18, said he didn’t begin listening to music with frequency until about one year ago, but has performed it since he was in sixth grade, beginning with the drums.

He has performed with his church’s “worship team.”

“I’ve always had a passion for playing music,” he said. “”Ever since I could remember I just wanted to play music. … I really didn’t pick up bass until I found this band.”

Downey said that Somewhere North grew out of a band he had with his friend Sam Phippen about three years ago.

“It was kind of along the lines of what my brother and I used to do,” Downey said.

Then Downey found Grimaldo in a Safeway parking lot.

Grimaldo works at the store.

Then in December 2004 Rogers joined the band.

Phippen left the band in March 2005.

Downey said he writes many of his songs about relationships.

“The songs that I wrote a lot of people take them literally,” Downey said. “As a songwriter, I take emotions that I feel, take emotions that I see.

“I’m very curious about a relationship between a man and woman. I like to dissect it and see how it works.”

He said he doesn’t currently have a girlfriend.

“My main goal is music,” Downey said.

- Eureka Reporter


Pictures Worth of Words EP---2004
Another Day, Mexican Green, He Knows
Only Hope, Day After December, Tangled Hair,
Faith Like That,
Sunrise EP---2005
West, Bend or Break

Somewhere North singles---2006
One Chance, Focusing, Impossible, In Your Eyes

Love of Mine, full length album---2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


San Francisco has long been known as northern California, but little do people know that 300 miles north, is a town called Fortuna. Nick Downey, Mike Grimaldo, and Travis Rogers have tried many times to explain Fortuna when telling people where they are from, until finally they gave in and started telling people that Fortuna is, “Somewhere North of San Francisco.”

Since that day, the name, Somewhere North, has become a respected name throughout the area as one of the premier bands in Humboldt County. Somewhere North is paving the way for a fresh and energetic sound. Led with heartfelt lyrics and pounding rhythms, sweet melodies and dynamic motion, with only a three piece acoustic band? There are skeptics, but only listen to them and you will find that rock can truly be found in acoustic guitar, drums, and bass.