Green to White and [Luna] Red All Over

--busk1   bəsk/   verb
gerund or present participle: busking
1.    play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street or in subways.

We’ve all witnessed this scene in downtown SLO. Whether you’re meeting a pal for a pint at Frog and Peach or on a mission to find the latest vampire trilogy at Barnes and Noble, you’ve brushed past the assorted fringe bodies adorning the sidewalk and been transformed instantly into an audience member for their impromptu musical “busking” performances. Sometimes you hurry by, nodding or smiling politely. Sometimes you slow your pace to a sort of mosey, your path now circling the sound, taking enough time to find that loose dollar bill in your pocket and toss it into the open guitar case,  genuinely gladdened that your journey took you past that particular public bench at that particular time on that particular day. Well, on one such day two years ago, the music coordinator for Luna Red encountered a trio of buskers outside of the GAP and stopped dead in her tracks. She gave them her business card, the cash in her wallet, and all the minutes she had until she had to be at work. That month Green to White joined Luna Red’s live music program and became instantly one of the restaurant venue’s most celebrated house bands.

The trio is comprised of James Gallardo on back-up vocals, up-right bass, and auxiliary percussion; Jason Clark on lead and back-up vocals, cajon, and auxiliary percussion; and Eric Hunter also on lead and back-up vocals, acoustic guitar, and percussion. Their resulting sound is an eclectic mix quite unlike anything that the SLO-cal music scene has borne before.   Green to White’s genre of music has been labeled anywhere from “acoustic world music” to “Americana fusion.” Their conglomeration of influences from three distinct sources renders them virtually uncategorical, yet the reggae-jazz-bluegrass infusion that they’ve mastered is so pure and uncontrived and just so right that listeners don’t question it as they shimmy out of their seats to join in the crowd lighting up the dance floor.

The trio met over three years ago at a gathering surrounding the members of another local band, Captain Nasty. The three of them instantly clicked on a jamming basis, began their public busking adventures together, and in the next year started booking gigs all across the local music scene under the band name “Orange in Hand.” At one of their early-on gigs at Mee Heng Low Noodle House, the group was mistakenly introduced as “Green to White.” Without batting an eye the three artists laughed and shook hands, deciding instantly that the misnomer was a more fitting title for their musical project.

The three artists each bring a diverse collection of musical influences to the Green to White drawing board. Jason’s colorful sound draws upon stylistic favorites ranging from Bob Marley to Boyz II Men; Eric’s guitar and vocals derive inspiration from folk groups such as Young the Giants and Punch Brothers; James’ contributions are based on a diverse background of musical interests ranging from the progressive rock of Genesis to classical jazz guitarist Pat Metheny. The sum of their parts is a lively, contagious wave of upbeat rhythmic sound that incites an epidemic of positive feelings and energetic movement.

In Spring of 2014, Green to White celebrated the release of their first full album Green to White. You can find their CD on iTunes, CD Baby, and also at local favorite music stop Boo Boo Records. For postings of upcoming events, visit the band’s facebook page or email the crew themselves at greentowhite3@gmail.com.

And of course, you can find the talented trio performing monthly at Luna Red restaurant on our live music line-up, where their dapper vests, pageboy caps, and appreciation for Dickel Rye old-fashioneds  fit right in with the Luna Red family way.  

-- Hayley Mae

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