Art imitates life for Stevens’ ‘Party On The Beach’Written by Amanda Tindall | | firstname.lastname@example.org
As Bob Stevens sat on a log on the beach with his guitar, he looked down at the mass of broken shells under his feet. As he did, the lyrics of his song, “Party On The Beach,” part of this year’s “Red, White & You, Too!” American Red Cross benefit CD just came to him, he said.
“I looked down, and it was all shells. The song just happened in that moment,” Stevens said. “That’s what I try to do — write outdoors, if I can.”
Stevens taught himself to play guitar through trial and error, he said, and had his first show when he was 14 years old. Since then, he has performed and taught guitar lessons, to as many as 50 students at a time. As he became more advanced, he learned music theory from more experienced musicians. Stevens said even from a young age, music was a part of his life.
“My dad played guitar when I was growing up, and a lot of his friends were in really good bluegrass bands,” he said. “As a little kid, I remember sitting around and listening to these guys play.”
Stevens has played with bands in various cities, spending three years in Phoenix with an upscale cover band, and in Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked at Gibson.
“I like regular pop songs, which is weird because that’s a whole different side of me than the guitar player,” Stevens said. “I play a lot of different styles, a little bit of everything, instrumentals, but as far as songwriting the lyrics, I like just simple pop songs. They’re catchy.”
With his new album, Stevens decided to put everything together on his own — lyrics, instrumentals and vocals.
“This record was just to see if I could do it all myself,” Stevens said. “Music is such a universal language. Last fall, I had the chance to go to Italy and meet some family I’d never met from over there. I was in this little village, and there were these two guys with acoustic guitars. They were playing all the things that we play here, but singing them in English. I got up and played a few songs with the guys. It’s a universal language no matter where you are.”