Spirit of 66
Born in Roswell, New Mexico, Dave Sessions grew up listening to 60's music, 'I had a number of albums - Sgt. Peppers, Abbey Road, Cream, that kind of thing. Those songs just became burned into my brain after awhile! Sessions picked up the guitar at about 12, first learning to strum chords on a cheap acoustic and later studying for several years with guitar legend Joe Satriani. 'Satriani taught in a tiny little room in the back the local used guitar store a couple blocks from my Junior High. 'Perhaps Berkeley was too much freedom...' Like most kids growing up in Berkeley back then, Sessions experimented and exercised the freedom of the streets. During the summer he would spend whole summers in Yosemite where his father worked as a climbing guide. 'At 19 I climbed the '3000 face of El Capitan, it took over 5 days on the face, sleeping in hammocks. Summers turned into years, traveling the southwest, climbing, and writing songs. Eventually the music brought him to L.A. Sessions supported himself by doing a number of commercials that featured rockclimbing and he also quickly found work in a number of stage plays: Candida at the Pacific Resident Theatre, and David Knapp's 'A Bed Facing North' in which the LA Times described his performace as 'especially first rate' A series of introductions led to Sessions hooking up with Grammy nominated record producer, Chris Julian, to work on a three song demo. Meanwhile, Sessions began performing in the LA and Santa Monica acoustic scene and within months, Sessions was playing to packed houses at the Crooked Bar, and Luna Park. Despite getting close at several of the major labels, things never worked out and Sessions was left to piece things out for himself.. 'Looking back, that was clearly not the time to try to get signed, but it was very hard to take.' Sessions found himself teaching rockclimbing to kids and coaching a climbing team at an indoor climbing gym. One of the members of the climbing gym happened to be music producer Gregg Olson. 'We would talk music and somehow that just led to making 'Spirit of 66'. There was quite a bit of writing before we actually got started in the studio. Gregg was unbelievably hard on me, as Satriani had been years earlier, but now it was songs instead of scales. ...he forced me to bring in songs he couldn't say no to.' When asked if the 'numerous points of origin' are reflected in the music, Sessions replies, 'I'm sure it's all in there: the places, the journey. Looking back I can see how all the pieces fit together. But when I listen what stands out is New Mexico and the Southwest. That's what gives my music it's meaning. My music always comes back to New Mexico. I can't escape that - it's at the heart of me.'