MP3 The Wendy Woo Trio - Luxury
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The Wendy Woo Trio
I grew up in Boulder, Colorado. I had some musical exposure as a child, but mostly my influences came from the local poetry and art scene. I picked up my first guitar at the age of 18, learning a few chords, then began writing some original songs.
In 1993 when the Fox Theater opened in Boulder, I started working there. I heard many great bands and had a chance to network with other musicians. I started to put together my own bands (with musicians like Brian Nevin of Big Head Todd) and to open for touring musicians like Sheryl Crow. In addition to learning the art of playing on stage and arranging songs for full band situations, I learned booking, publicity, and promotion from Ambrosia Healey, Fox Theatre publicist and daughter of Dan Healey, sound engineer for the Grateful Dead. Then I had the opportunity to produce a CD for friend Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor, as well as produce six titles for myself.
In 2000, I left the Fox Theatre to pursue music full time and to reside in Denver, the city only 25 miles away from the town I grew up in. It was close to home, but very different in musical style and approach. I went from being a âdifferent band every nightâ to finding other musicians in the area with similar dreams and goals to make up the band that I am promoting now, the Wendy Woo Trio.
I met Chris Maestas one afternoon working at Ruppâs Drums in Denver. He grew up in the small town of Espanola, New Mexico, where his parents owned and operated a small music store and a floral shop. While they were busy with their businesses, Chris came home from school and played drums for hours. When he wasn't doing that, he was reading every drum and music magazine he could get a hold of. After self-studying music during his teenage years, he moved to Denver in the early 1990s to help revive Larimer Square with his cousin Randy Rutherford, founder and owner of Larimer Group (Josephinaâs, Champion Brewing Company, Mexicali, Tommy Tsunamiâs).
After years of working downtown, Chris decided to get out of the corporate rat race and find music again. He started Darby Drum Company and began making custom drum kits and snares for Denverâs best drummers including Ben Wysocki (The Fray), Brian Nevin (Big Head Todd and the Monsters), Daren Hahn (Ani DeFranco) and others.
When I met Chris, he was playing with an original band in Denver called Mean Old Man, but he was ready to move on to a situation where he could play and write music more often. And in him I found someone who wanted to share the joys and the burdens of songwriting, arranging, song formatting, sound engineering, booking, and promoting. For the first time in my musical career I had another mind to bounce ideas off of and create new ones. Since we started playing together, we have booked and performed close to 200 shows a year, we have co-written a full album of material, and we have co-produced a new CD. On top of our business successes, we recently married and are expecting a baby in April.
Our next step was finding a bass player with a similar vision. We asked around and started auditioning players. The first person we auditioned was, Mitch DeZwarte, a keyboard player from the Denver-based band Ten Tiers. He was also a bass player, guitar player, and sound engineer. We were thrilled to have found a proficient musician whose personality we loved just as much.
Mitch grew up in the small town of Fondalac, Wisconsin. He was the son of a cheese maker. He grew up playing piano, bass, guitar and every other instrument he could find. In his early 20s he worked in a cheese factory. He recalls carrying a huge vat of cheese across the warehouse and having a little old man doing the same job look at him and ask, âSon, what are you doing here?â The very next day Mitch moved to Denver and enrolled in music school at CU Denver. He brought his high school sweetheart Miranda to Denver and married her. Mitch is now playing bass and keyboards for the Wendy Woo Trio. He is a proficient songwriter and has included one of his original songs, "Gone." He also assisted in the production and engineering of the new album.
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