The Graz

The Graz was born Texas and remembers getting his first blues lesson on piano from the family cook, Jeanie.  In December, 1963 the family moved to New York and shortly after that The Beatles appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show.  “I was already rockin’ out to Elvis by then but this was a game changer.” The Graz got his first guitar soon after and taught himself “…with a book and vinyl record that gave folk lessons.”

In Junior High The Graz went electric and started playing in his drummer’s basement but found it hard to play cover songs. “I just was never that good a player.  I wanted to be original but everyone was into playing top 40 to get gigs.  I just wanted to improvise.”

After High School, The Graz moved to California, gave up rock ‘n roll (at least for a few years) and studied the sarod under Ali Akbar Khan in Marin County.   Carpal tunnel syndrome sidelined his sarod playing but not his guitar playing as much.   “Bar chords are still tough for me,” he stated in a recent interview.  The Graz spent time in sales at San Francisco’s Guitar Center, working with clients like: The Grateful Dead, Jefferson Starship, Hot Tuna, Jesse Colin Young, UFO, Journey, Herbie Hancock, Heart, The Climax Blues Band but found the after hours jam sessions with his associates a real education.


Backyard jams in Marin led to the formation of a rock trio, OUT OF THE BLUE.  The band, fronted by drummer and vocalist, Timothy Harning (1953-2014) and bassist Mike “The Mole” Daniels, recorded several songs but never released a recording.  They played occasional gigs around Marin County and from that band sprang THE LIBERATORS, fronted by Paul Liberatore and featuring The Mole on bass and Martin Fierro (January 18, 1942 – March 13, 2008) on tenor sax. Martin also in the

freeform rock, and avant-garde traditions. Fierro played with the Sir Douglas Quintet, Legion of Mary, Jerry Garcia, James Cotton, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Loudon Wainwright III, Queen Ida, Jazz Is Dead, The String Cheese Incident, David Grisman, Derek Trucks, Dark Star Orchestra, the Allman Brothers, Merl Saunders, The Grateful Dead, Zero, Steve Kimock & Friends, Yonder Mountain String Band and many more.


The Liberators were mainly a live band but did go into Prairie Sun Studios to record. That project ended abruptly when The Graz found himself on a red-eye to NYC to put an end to a long distance relationship by relocating.


The Graz is always working on several recording projects mainly as a guitarist and sometimes as engineer/producer. He is an avid photographer, sometime filmmaker.