Stephen Blair (Bass 2007-2011)
I was born in Colorado Springs, CO and raised in Spokane, WA. I was always sonically sensitive and got my first guitar when I was oh about 10. I grew up digging on grunge and metal in the post-grunge era. Probably my biggest influence in those days was my uncle, John Blair, an amazing guitar player who showed me what is possible with practice and being a straight forward person. I went through a lot of personal changes around 16/17, I was really angsty and watching "The Wall" twice a day and decided that everyone and their mother owned a guitar and I wanted to play the bass. After experienceing a change in brain chemistry and being introduced the Grateful Dead at 14, I felt like my taste in music had matured and I began listening to a lot of jam music, mostly phish. When I switched to the bass my gtar teacher told me to seek out Dave Turner, a fuckin ripper bass player, he turned me on to the world of jazz fusion. He was the kind of musician that would say "if you got 20 bucks to burn, weird al is in town and his band is awesome." of course I didnt go. He showed me the likes of Jaco Pastorius and Marcus Miller, stuff that still shakes me to the core. Sometimes I like to joke that I sound like a blacked-out Jaco on his worst night, and even thats a stretch. Dave is probably my biggest influence as a teacher and I owe him so much for the wisdom he gave me. After a long summer of 2005 traveling the country, me and four of my friends decided to jump ship and move to Bellingham... music up and down the I-5, like minded people, like minded musicians, mountains and ocean. Moving to Bellingham turned out to be a great decision. I started getting into bebop and modal jazz and bluegrass and actually playing with people and experimenting musically. I had a short stint with the 20 String Band and had the opportunity to be the fill in bass player for some really fun projects.