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La Jolla Elementary alumni

Bruce Robinson, Fred Benedetti, Nickel Creek, Black Licorice, Rob Halford

Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson

Songwriter Bruce Robinson played Major League baseball with the New York Yankees and Oakland As during the late ‘70s and early ’80s. After his debut full-length was released in 2012, he played the main stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, when the Cleveland Indians hosted the Yankees that August. “Since that time, I’ve continued to write and produce music, now having written 81 songs, 71 which appear on my three fully produced CDs. This past week I received shipment of my newest CD, number four, Red Rose.” The album was recorded with Jim Nau (Stone Horse, Lost Coyotes) at Blue Horse Studios in Ramona. “Jim Nau and I go back to La Jolla Elementary and Muirlands Jr High, where we were in our first bands together in 5th, 6th and 7th grades.” Red Rose melds acoustic country, blues, reggae, pop, and Latin rock. “There are 21 original songs, lyrics and music all by me. The musicianship is terrific, with San Diego stalwarts like John Rekevics on saxophones and flute, John Cain [who recently relocated to New Orleans] on keyboards and harmonica, Rick Nash on bass, Jim Nau plays both drums and lead guitar, and I play acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, and vocals. Up and coming country singer Leah Keane from Ramona is the harmony vocalist.”

Fred Benedetti

Fred Benedetti began playing guitar at age nine. In 1986, he was one of twelve guitarists chosen worldwide to perform in the Master Class of Andrés Segovia at USC, where Guitarra Magazine wrote “Fred Benedetti amazed the audience with his performance of the Bach Chaconne.” Peter Sprague picked up the guitar at age 12, studying with San Diego jazz guitarist Bill Coleman. On August 29, Benedetti and Sprague joined an all-star lineup of guitarists and musical innovators who participated in Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night to support inclusive, safe, student instruction, instruments, and teacher training during the pandemic. The YouTube livestream also featured performances by Muriel Anderson, David Broza, Laurence Juber, Stanley Jordan, Larry Mitchell, Christie Lenée, Rory Block, Andrew York, Alex de Grassi, Vicki Genfan, Makana, and Stephen Bennett & the Harp Guitar Orchestra. The concert turned a spotlight on the work of national nonprofit Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) and Anderson’s Music for Life Alliance (MFLA), supporting inclusive music programs for students in Title 1 schools.

Nickel Creek

An acoustic music trio with roots in bluegrass, Nickel Creek features three permanent members: Chris Thile (mandolin), Sara Watkins (violin, fiddle), and her brother, Sean Watkins (guitar). They formed in 1989 with Scott Thile, Chris’s father, playing string bass. The Watkins and the Thile families met after Sean Watkins and Chris Thile had mandolin lessons with the same teacher. The band will be the subject of an ambitious Craft Records reissue campaign for long out-of-print vinyl releases, including their platinum self-titled album (2000), the Grammy Award-winning This Side (2002), and the best-selling Why Should the Fire Die? (2005). Each album will be pressed on two 180-gram vinyl LPs cut at 45RPM, featuring mastering from the original tapes or high-resolution sources by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering.. Due November 6, each reissue is housed in a double-disc, gatefold jacket. Additionally, the band will offer exclusive editions of each title on their website, limited to 500 copies each. These include Nickel Creek pressed on translucent opal vinyl, This Side on marbled mahogany, and Why Should the Fire Die? in a translucent gold and red marbled variant. The hi-resolution audio for each album will also be made digitally available for the first time.

Black Licorice

Formed last year, alt-rock band Black Licorice features Conner Farrell, Jason Nierenberg, Isabelle Bain, and Ryan Marshall. According to the group, “The band was not only created out of a desire to bring rock back into the mainstream and release the greatest music of all time, but also to inspire future generations to live more fulfilling lives without fearing the judgements of others. Our motto is ‘Never Live from a Position of Fear’… when you’re unafraid of others’ opinions of you, you’re untouchable and able to reach the people that you want to be speaking to.” Their debut single “No Patients” was released earlier this year. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the band headed to Arizona to record a series of four singles, which they released throughout the quarantine, including “Tell It to Me” (which was produced as a video utilizing footage from Rick and Morty and the Howard Stern show), “Fun Times” (featured on Spotify Brazil’s official playlist Volume Máximo), “Getting Closer,” and concluding with “Down the Drain.” With the band now back in San Diego, a new single called “Coughdrops and La Croix” just dropped. They’re reportedly working on a new EP due for release later this year.

Rob Halford

Occasional Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says he’s working on a blues album, telling the Paltrocast “It’s already begun. I’ve been working on this blues album with my brother [Nigel] and my nephew [Alex] and friends that I worked with together on the Celestial album. We had such a great time, and they’re so talented. And that blues thing has never left me, it’s just part of rock ‘n’ roll...We’re slowly putting bits and pieces together. There’s no timeline on it. We’re kicking the tires, and I’ve already got some bits of ideas here and there, and they sound great.” In addition, Judas Priest has announced that they will launch their own music festival next year as part of their ongoing 50th anniversary celebration. Dubbed the Warlando Metal Fest, the event will take place on September 11, 2021 at the Orlando Amphitheater at Central Florida Fairgrounds Orlando. Priest will be headlining the festival, and have recruited Sabaton, Lacuna Coil, Soulfly, Mushroom Head, and Uncured to perform as well.

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Bruce Robinson
Bruce Robinson

Songwriter Bruce Robinson played Major League baseball with the New York Yankees and Oakland As during the late ‘70s and early ’80s. After his debut full-length was released in 2012, he played the main stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, when the Cleveland Indians hosted the Yankees that August. “Since that time, I’ve continued to write and produce music, now having written 81 songs, 71 which appear on my three fully produced CDs. This past week I received shipment of my newest CD, number four, Red Rose.” The album was recorded with Jim Nau (Stone Horse, Lost Coyotes) at Blue Horse Studios in Ramona. “Jim Nau and I go back to La Jolla Elementary and Muirlands Jr High, where we were in our first bands together in 5th, 6th and 7th grades.” Red Rose melds acoustic country, blues, reggae, pop, and Latin rock. “There are 21 original songs, lyrics and music all by me. The musicianship is terrific, with San Diego stalwarts like John Rekevics on saxophones and flute, John Cain [who recently relocated to New Orleans] on keyboards and harmonica, Rick Nash on bass, Jim Nau plays both drums and lead guitar, and I play acoustic guitar, resonator guitar, and vocals. Up and coming country singer Leah Keane from Ramona is the harmony vocalist.”

Fred Benedetti

Fred Benedetti began playing guitar at age nine. In 1986, he was one of twelve guitarists chosen worldwide to perform in the Master Class of Andrés Segovia at USC, where Guitarra Magazine wrote “Fred Benedetti amazed the audience with his performance of the Bach Chaconne.” Peter Sprague picked up the guitar at age 12, studying with San Diego jazz guitarist Bill Coleman. On August 29, Benedetti and Sprague joined an all-star lineup of guitarists and musical innovators who participated in Muriel Anderson’s All Star Guitar Night to support inclusive, safe, student instruction, instruments, and teacher training during the pandemic. The YouTube livestream also featured performances by Muriel Anderson, David Broza, Laurence Juber, Stanley Jordan, Larry Mitchell, Christie Lenée, Rory Block, Andrew York, Alex de Grassi, Vicki Genfan, Makana, and Stephen Bennett & the Harp Guitar Orchestra. The concert turned a spotlight on the work of national nonprofit Guitars in the Classroom (GITC) and Anderson’s Music for Life Alliance (MFLA), supporting inclusive music programs for students in Title 1 schools.

Nickel Creek

An acoustic music trio with roots in bluegrass, Nickel Creek features three permanent members: Chris Thile (mandolin), Sara Watkins (violin, fiddle), and her brother, Sean Watkins (guitar). They formed in 1989 with Scott Thile, Chris’s father, playing string bass. The Watkins and the Thile families met after Sean Watkins and Chris Thile had mandolin lessons with the same teacher. The band will be the subject of an ambitious Craft Records reissue campaign for long out-of-print vinyl releases, including their platinum self-titled album (2000), the Grammy Award-winning This Side (2002), and the best-selling Why Should the Fire Die? (2005). Each album will be pressed on two 180-gram vinyl LPs cut at 45RPM, featuring mastering from the original tapes or high-resolution sources by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering.. Due November 6, each reissue is housed in a double-disc, gatefold jacket. Additionally, the band will offer exclusive editions of each title on their website, limited to 500 copies each. These include Nickel Creek pressed on translucent opal vinyl, This Side on marbled mahogany, and Why Should the Fire Die? in a translucent gold and red marbled variant. The hi-resolution audio for each album will also be made digitally available for the first time.

Black Licorice

Formed last year, alt-rock band Black Licorice features Conner Farrell, Jason Nierenberg, Isabelle Bain, and Ryan Marshall. According to the group, “The band was not only created out of a desire to bring rock back into the mainstream and release the greatest music of all time, but also to inspire future generations to live more fulfilling lives without fearing the judgements of others. Our motto is ‘Never Live from a Position of Fear’… when you’re unafraid of others’ opinions of you, you’re untouchable and able to reach the people that you want to be speaking to.” Their debut single “No Patients” was released earlier this year. When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the band headed to Arizona to record a series of four singles, which they released throughout the quarantine, including “Tell It to Me” (which was produced as a video utilizing footage from Rick and Morty and the Howard Stern show), “Fun Times” (featured on Spotify Brazil’s official playlist Volume Máximo), “Getting Closer,” and concluding with “Down the Drain.” With the band now back in San Diego, a new single called “Coughdrops and La Croix” just dropped. They’re reportedly working on a new EP due for release later this year.

Rob Halford

Occasional Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford says he’s working on a blues album, telling the Paltrocast “It’s already begun. I’ve been working on this blues album with my brother [Nigel] and my nephew [Alex] and friends that I worked with together on the Celestial album. We had such a great time, and they’re so talented. And that blues thing has never left me, it’s just part of rock ‘n’ roll...We’re slowly putting bits and pieces together. There’s no timeline on it. We’re kicking the tires, and I’ve already got some bits of ideas here and there, and they sound great.” In addition, Judas Priest has announced that they will launch their own music festival next year as part of their ongoing 50th anniversary celebration. Dubbed the Warlando Metal Fest, the event will take place on September 11, 2021 at the Orlando Amphitheater at Central Florida Fairgrounds Orlando. Priest will be headlining the festival, and have recruited Sabaton, Lacuna Coil, Soulfly, Mushroom Head, and Uncured to perform as well.

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