Rio Rocko is musician/songwriters, Gregory John Patzner and Sharlene Ayestaran. They met at a Palm Springs night club where Gregory’s band was performing. Gregory had just gotten his Fender Strat back after it had been stolen for the second time. It had been stripped, so he painted it red. Sharlene saw something in Greg that struck her as unusual. He was obviously more talented than the room. Her instinct would soon prove correct.
It turns out Greg had been writing songs since his teens. Growing up, he watched “Melody Ranch”and other country music shows on television to see how real musicians play guitar. By high school he excelled at the instrument, forming one of his first bands (The Fables) with his brother Kurt and school mates Dale Scrivner and Billy Steinberg. Steinberg would go on to write superhits for Linda Ronstadt, Madonna, The Pretenders and Cyndi Lauper, winning numerous Grammies along the way. Greg would go on to open for various performers including Merle Haggard, George Thorogood, Leon Russell, Sonny & Cher, Lou Christie, The Turtles, Tommy James and the Shondells and Tiny Tim as well as playing numerous club dates. He also toured for a month with the Herman’s Hermits’ Peter Noone, recording the Hermits’ live album at the McCallum Performing Arts Center in Palm Desert, California.
He never gave up his dream of performing his original songs on a major release. Then Sharlene came into his life. Like Greg, she had a portfolio of original songs that had never been fully realized.
Phantom Roc Records decided that no compromises would be made in the production of Rio Rocko’s first cd. They brought in a group of A-list musicians with numerous credits to their names and created Rio Rocko’s first cd simply titled “RIO ROCKO.” The recording sessions took place at major studios in Nashville, Hollywood and Berkeley over an 18 month period.
The Special Guest musicians include (in alphabetical order) BYRON BERLINE-fiddle (The Dillards, The Rolling Stones, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, The Byrds, Henry Mancini, Stephen Stills/Manassas, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Bill Wyman, Emmylou Harris, John Denver, Olivia Newton-John, James Taylor, Kris Kristofferson, Rodney Crowell, Hoyt Axton, The Doobie Brothers, Elton John, Rod Stewart, Vince Gill, Bill Monroe, Lucinda Williams, Randy Newman, Harry Nilsson, Earl Scruggs, The Band); MATTHEW BRUBECK-cello (Dixie Chicks, Tom Waits, Dave Brubeck, Sheryl Crow, Tracy Chapman); JIM CHRISTIE-percussions (Dwight Yoakam, Sara Evans, Lucinda Williams, The Mick Fleetwood Band, Tony Furtado, Norah Jones); DAN DUGMORE-pedal steel guitar (Keith Urban, Kenny Chesney, Toby Keith, Randy Travis, Trisha Yearwood, Martina McBride, Hank Williams, Jr., Faith Hill, LeAnn Rimes, Taylor Swift, Rascal Flatts, Emmylou Harris, Blake Shelton, Bon Jovi, Brooks & Dunn, Montgomery Gentry, Sugarland, Loretta Lynn, Sara Evans, Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor); SKIP EDWARDS-keyboards (Johnny Rivers, Keith Moon, Dwight Yoakam, Lucinda Williams, Buck Owens, The Sir Douglas Quintet, Sara Evans, Juice Newton, Flaco Jimenez); WES HIGHTOWER-backing vocals (George Strait, Martina McBride, Blake Shelton, Clint Black, Tim McGraw, Trisha Yearwood, Carrie Underwood, Big & Rich, Vince Gill, George Jones, Lee Ann Womack, Faith Hill, Montgomery Gentry, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, Brooks & Dunn, Brad Paisley, Dierks Bentley, Alan Jackson); AUGIE MEYERS-Vox Continental, accordion (The Sir Douglas Quintet-group member, Texas Tornados-group member, Willie Nelson, Jerry Lee Lewis, Freddie Fender, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt); BILL ORTIZ-trumpet (Santana-group member, Tito Fuentes, Boz Scaggs, En Vogue, Steve Winwood, Destiny’s Child); BRUCE KAPHAN-keyboard, guitar, percussions (John Lee Hooker, The Black Crowes, Chris Isaak, R.E.M., Sheryl Crow); KARL PERRAZO-percussions (Santana-group member, John Lee Hooker, Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Sheila E., Herbie Hancock, Sean Paul); DOUG PETTIBONE-guitar (Sara Evans, Jewel, Joan Baez, Lucinda Williams, Tony Furtado, Mark Knopfler, Dave Koz, Norah Jones); TARAS PRODANIUK-bass guitar (Dwight Yoakam, Buck Owens, Sara Evans, Flaco Jimenez, Lucinda Williams, Richard Thompson, Norah Jones)
In the able hands of renown producer, recording engineer, mixing engineer, arranger and musician Bruce Kaphan and mastering engineer Jim Demain of Nashville’s “Yes Master,” RIO ROCKO was created, an original and eclectic collection of country music guaranteed to please afficionados of great sound recordings everywhere. Enjoy listening.
Rick Caplan (2008)
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