Steve and Mary E., welcome singer, guitarist Ron Spears into Bella Studios to talk about his life, love and music (can they be separated?)
Ron comes to the "Diner" by way of Chicago, to Union Pier Michigan, just up the road from Michigan City along the South Shore and off of Red Arrow Highway. Spears takes us on a journey from his early exposure to the greats of Greenwich Village. "Growing up in New York, and spending a lot of his teenage years going to music venues in the area, he was exposed to the great fold music revivalists of the time. Folks like Baez, Dylan, VanRonk, Paxton. In addition to folk-greats, influential guitarists like Jerry Garcia futhered his love of 60's rock. His love of guitar picking styles of other greats of the 70's captured his ever-evolving attention.
"I...fell in love with the old blues greats like John Hurt, Blind Willie McTell, Blind Lemon Jefferson, and when Hot Tuna (Jorma Kaukonen, guitarist of the Airplane) hit the scene, Rev Gary Davis. Doc Watson became a powerful influence as
well. Throw in Gordon Lightfoot, Stan Rogers, and a plunge into ragtime guitar, and you had a witches brew."
As life would have it and as many young dreamers do he went on to become neurochemist to wine enthusiast to wine import company and as we often find in life a return to the original passion, music. After 20 years he picked up the guitar again and is dedicated to mastering his instrument. His new genre - the Great American Songbook with a focus on original interpretations, finger picking styles and blending his music with other local musicians. you can find Ron, playing with the Ah-Tu band, teaching and other solo performances, such as Sips, Suds and Songs.