Albert J. DeGroft
Raised in the San Francisco Bay Area and was born as an RH child. I was the first person to survive that, at the hospital I was born in.
When I got out of the crib, I was put in my older brother's room (10 years my elder!). I listened to Rock n' Roll on the local radio station, KYA. My oldest brother slept with the radio on so the sounds of Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Jerry Lee Lewis and others were my introduction to music. Later came R &B, The Beatles, and then the "San Francisco Sound", with the help of my two other brothers and my one sister that was still at home. (I was the youngest in a family of 6 with no father present, even when he was standing in the livingroom.)
At about this same time (age 9 or so) one of my brothers got a drum set, so I started to learn to play drums. Being left handed, I'd turn the set around backwards but later learned to play right handed. At age 11, the old Ludwig was traded in for a Martin D-28, so I picked up the guitar. Once again, I found myself picking the thing up backwards. My brother wasn't going to let me change the strings around on his guitar so I still play a right handed guitar, upside down.
In high school, I always ended up being the teacher's aid in guitar class. (The only class I ever got A's in.) At 17, I played in front of over 300 people and actually got applause! Shaking, I fell in love with performing.
I tried to go to college in the early 70's but lost interest in academia. It took a few more years for me to start taking theory classes and that was only for 2 semesters. I started playing solo in restaurants and coffee houses about that time.
1978 - Wento to College of the Redwoods - Eureka, CA. Spent time in small bands and solo-ing in more coffe houses. (It's a good thing I like coffee!)
1979 - Played "Mama's Truck Stop", "Zoo Zoo's" and "Nice Cream" in Eugene, OR.
Went to Santa Cruz, CA, via Alpine AZ, and called that home base for the next 6 years. Playing more coffee houses, and meeting performers at The Catalyst. In and out of bands like PASAJ (pronounced "passage") that got good reviews at the local junior college. Played with a Blues band at the Albatross and the drummer's girlfriend drug him off the stage by his ear, for looking at another girl. We never got another gig or another drummer. Did a lot of street music.
1980 - Met Bo Diddley , and stayed with him in Hawthorn FL, for 6 months, honing my recording techniques and occationally jamming. Played a concert with him in Gainsville to about 3,000 people. Got homesick and ended up back in Santa Cruz, CA, doing lots more street music and coffee houses.
1986 - Moved to the Mt. Shasta area. I went back to college, and took more theory and other music classes. At that time, I was the only person in California to ever challenge a guitar course ! Did some recordings on 4 track that made some airplay.
Played with a bunch of bar bands until I my my wife-tobe, JoAnn and we started "Nuclear Fishin'", which finally evolved into "The Lucky Lizzards" .
1995 - Built thew now defunct* "River Home Studios" and started my own recording career. We were playuing music in our living room with the Sacrmento River right across the street and the Dunsmuir Train Station on the other side of the river! If you listen carefuly, you might actually her some of those trains! (see CD's.) *After changing to "Mirror Valley Studios", a rap crew took over the name "River Home Studios". You can find tham on the web, if you want to.
In late 1998 - formed Albert J. DeGroft Publishing, as a music publisher, through, BMI.
2005 - Moved out of Dunsmuir to the Bella Vista area (near Redding) to get away from shoveling snow and trains getting inadvertantly recorded! Started to build a larger recording studio, with a seperate control room. The building size was 576 sq. ft., on 10 acres, in a QUIET neighborhood.
Fall 2006 - Had a "zit" on my throat that was just plain weird and I couldn't "pop" it either. Went to various doctors and finally went to see an ENT (Ear, Nose, Throat) specailist who did a biopsy to find out I had Tonsillar Cancer. Went in for Surgery on Sept. 7th, 2006. Spent 2 weeks in just as many hospitals and the next 9+ years re-cooperating. That, along with selling oa bunch of the studio equipment, to pay the bills.
2011 - Got to where I could play a little guitar and remembered that I had a whole catalouge of songs I had written (for better or worse) and decided to record them for postarity. It took 3 years and just as many CD's to get it all down, but everyone who played really surprised me and a lot of the music sounds really nice! ()again, go to the CD page!)
Copyright © 1997 - 2018 Mirror Valley Studios