Welcome to Wine Country Tales
Wine Country Tales is a blend of two divinely complimentary varietals; featuring guitar music by Brian Gore and artwork by Bill Russell about the California coast and wine country. They create original music and art for videos and performances. The show shares narratives about these regions and includes one-of-a-kind live digital drawing segment, focusing on scenic environs the audience chooses. The video series uses their original song and art to highlight the places people and history that make California so inspiring. Take a look. Help us decide what to draw live for you at each show by taking the polls at our Performances page. For more information click through the tab sections below.
Each performance features a full program of music and art inspired by the wine country and California coast. Bill Russell’s artwork is projected in tandem with Brian Gore’s music, to portray landmarks like the historic Bale Grist Mill in St. Helena; the migratory Miwoks and Spanish mission history; the adventures of Robert Louis Stevenson and his wife Fanny on their Napa honeymoon; Jack London’s ‘Wolf House’ in Glen Ellen, and much more. Instrumentals like ‘The Last Mission’, used in an animation about Sonoma, reference wax cylinder recordings of music from Spanish Colonial history in California. See some show photos here.
The inspiration for Santa Cruz in Song and Image, their first CD release, came from the afternoon walks Brian took with his son in the region. He wrote a full suite of music evoking the landscape and landmarks of Santa Cruz, California. Bill brings the story of these settings to life in animations and impressionistic paintings, that include the surfers at Lighthouse Point, the monarch butterflies resting area at Natural Bridges, the covered bridge in Felton and the waterfalls of Castle Rock State Park, and the birds found around the Lexington Reservoir. The narratives found in The Wine Country are designed, as much as possible, to be evocative enough to be understood without words. Brian and Bill will provide some initial explanation of their process and what was involved in bringing together these various media along with some basic context for the stories, historical events and landmarks.
Art for the stage show consists of live guitar music with digital versions of paintings, illustrations, and animations, which will be projected as montages and video. Most of this material is already produced for the series and is included in part, in the print material provided for the published release, as well as the videos on YouTube. Beyond basic amplification needs for an acoustic guitar, a high quality digital projector and screen are the primary technical requirements. Additionally, a stage plot and lighting sequence will be provided. Doceri and other apps for the iPad will be used to sync digital drawing to projection. Some pre-produced backgrounds and other elements are added for context. The portable iPad is connected through a wireless router remotely, which will allow for remote control of the entire visual sequence in the show.
The final part of each concert is dedicated to the host city. Brian and Bill will research each area, in advance of the event, using input from people knowledgeable about your community to inform their presentation. A site visit or residency, in advance of the show makes their reportage possible.
Brian and Bill provide full PR support for every event. A small selection of featured wines from the region is provided to raffle at each show. The Santa Cruz in Song and Image CD+postcard set, The Wine Country CD/DVD and image set, is also made available to press and media in advance of each event. All merchandise will be available for purchase at each concert as well as online.
About the Performers:
San Francisco guitar poet Brian Gore is one of the most interesting and influential performers of “the next generation” in fingerstyle guitar. A musical romantic, his lyrical compositions draw inspiration from nature, history and literature. He’s the founder of International Guitar Night, now entering it’s 15th season of global touring.
Bill Russell is a versatile visual artist working in a wide range of styles and skills…as an illustrator, visual journalist, educator and designer. He pushes the creative envelope by incorporating a variety of new multimedia technologies, such as live digital drawing, for use in performance and on the web. He has designed over 60 websites for creative clients. Born and raised in Canada, he earned his degree at Parsons School of Design in New York.