Chris Clifford comes from a musical family of educators. At the age of 4 he was ‘earing out’ the pieces his mother played on piano, tapping the keys and mimicking her fairly accurately. Exposure to ukulele and piano was supplemented with guitar after seeing the Beatles on TV. After a few lessons at the old Wallach’s Music City, guitar became Chris’ passion. In 1968 by age 15 he met his first songwriting partner, Steve Hammer. As Hammer & Clifford they began writing and playing their own material, soon forming a trio. The Hammer, Clifford, Daniel band, eventually reformed as a country rock band, Woodwork.
Woodwork was a notable act on the local LA scene throughout the early 70’s. They were signed to a development deal and in a later configuration were joined by Alan Mendelsohn of the Maria Muldaur band and Phil Lees, (son of Gene Lees, world renowned writer and jazz critic) and fronted by Gloria Goldsmith, who the band backed, including in TV appearances.
The 80’s found Chris writing original material and studying guitar with famed master Ted Greene. Other opportunities opened for Chris and as a member of the Younger Brothers and as a sideman, opened for Las Vegas acts and throughout SoCal. One notable gig brought Chris into Sneak, a local Redondo and college circuit favorite.
Chris has performed at many major LA venues, including the Troubadour, the Ice House, Filthy McNasty’s, the Palomino. Currently, we find Chris as a founding member in this newest band, The Silver – a solid unit of veteran players who create their own compelling songs which resonate with audiences. Chris is a prolific and extraordinary songwriter and much of his solo and collaborative material populate The Silver’s set list. - and the rest will be future history.
Kevin comes to us as a native of South Africa. Classical piano lessons at an early age paid off handsomely. You must come to a gig to hear Kevin begin a solid rock tune with Bach's Toccata & Fugue in Dm. And because he’s from the bottom of the planet, Kevin learned to play upside down. He plays keys, guitar and has sung lead vocal and harmonies in groups since 1969. Kevin's experience includes his opening acts as solo and duo acoustic.
Several of Kevin’s bands include Village Green, Raven, Buttercup (which had a hit single “Baby Love Affair”). A position with Performing Arts Council of Transvaal saw Kevin as sound and lighting engineer for Breytenback Theatre in Pretoria. Other gigs include music retail management, supplying instruments for top bands. A full time job with professional Pop Group Pendulum saw Kevin gig in many top venues in S.A. as well as recording a number of hits in the Top 10.
He has played in various groups in the Johannesburg/Pretoria circuit, including first percussionist and conductor in a semi-classical brass band. Projects included the gospel group Gift, the Kevin Duke band, both with CDs of original material. Kevin paid his pub scene/private party/corporate dues with Undercover and Not Fragile, performing a wide range of cover material. Radio airplay came again with Dixie Hillbillies as keyboardist/lead vocalist. Kevin moved to California permanently in 2016. As you can see from the photo on the left, Pendulum had a great sense of humor. Those wacky pranksters hoped you'd seriously buy into the outfits. If you get an outfit like any one these, you can be in the band, too!
After a brief stint with the Sterling Sylver Country Band, Kevin was offered a position with the Brent Payne Band as keyboardist and backing vocalist, performing at Disneyland where Kevin met Chris Clifford and decided to leave the Brent Payne Band and join up with Chris. The two have been inseparable ever since.
Born and raised in Saint Louis Missouri, I began playing drums when I was around 13. I always considered it as just a hobby until I went to college. Some friends asked me to play with them so they could enter a battle of the bands at Drury University. Not only did we win that contest, but went across town to enter a much bigger one at Missouri State. That was the beginning of my crazy musical life.
We also won the contest at Missouri State to where I had transferred. Suddenly, the soccer team treated me like I was some kind of celebrity, which I didn't quite understand. Far be it for me to argue.
In the mid 70’s I decided that I wanted to play music for a living. My first group in St. Louis was Salt and Pepper (not that one). We had a lot of fun, but never could seem to break into the big clubs in town. Some friends of mine, who were actually the ones that encouraged me to play for a living, had just moved back to St. Louis and asked if I would start a new band with them - Cheap Mink. We eventually became one of the top bands in the city. We were booked to open for national touring acts. When people asked me to describe Cheap Mink's songs we wrote, I always said “picture Queen with a female vocalist”. And as you see, this band was so poor, we couldn't afford shirts, not even for the female lead singer. Poor girl....But boy, she could sing!
I moved out to Los Angeles in 1985 after living in Dallas for a few years and doing some recording with a guitar player named John Michael. We got some airplay on KLOS of one of our tunes back then. And at least we could afford to have shirts.
I also have had a previous career in radio, working throughout California for country and classic rock FM stations, among them KOCP, the Octopus. And so my story moves to the present playing with this great group of guys and musicians, “The Silver”. PS: we all have a few shirts.
When I was born, I was very young. Growing up in Detroit, I absorbed Motor City Soul, jazz and Motown like a sponge. As a teenager in San Diego, I was exposed to SoCal folk and the nascent folk-rock music scene.
Two friends and I formed a Peter, Paul and Mary-type group in high school in the late 60's. Got my first acoustic 12-string, which I still play in The Silver (shown here). I began listening to music from all genrés, time periods and cultures. All-time faves: Igor Stravinsky, Nino Rota, composer of many Fellini films, and The Four Tops. My first rock band was The Mark Four in 1965, named after either the Lincoln Continental or an air conditioner brand which had a cool logo. We played USO functions, frat parties, clubs, Top Gun officer's events at Miramar Naval Air Base, weddings, etc. I saw the Beatles in 1965 Balboa Stadium, San Diego. I knew then that a guitar would always be my best friend.
I started writing songs. At UCSD, La Jolla, I also got involved as program director and eventually station manager for the campus radio station (KSDT-FM). It's the only FM station I know of that was situated in the vast eucalyptus groves and was equipped with a cushy living room with a Franklin fireplace. Oh, the stories that room could tell...I also had a cool jazz DJ spot at KDIG-FM La Jolla- an embodiment of Clint Eastwood's character in "Play Misty for Me". Music classes at UCSD were on the bleeding edge (John Cage, Harry Partch, Pauline Oliveros, Morton Subotnick et al). For my final exam, I filled various sized cooking pots with water, banged on them with a spoon, turned and twisted them to produce a crazy "boy-oy-oying" vibrato. For the finale, I opened the quonset hut door to bring in the sound of rain. Suddenly, a police car with siren wailing passed by. Standing ovation. A+! I started writing play scores for drama department productions.
After graduation, I pursued various music avenues in LA, composing play scores with the likes of Dale Wasserman (author of Man of La Mancha) and Carmen Zapata, writing and producing radio jingles and songs. In this town it helps to be part musician/part recording engineer/part producer/part arranger. They're all interrelated. I won some songwriting contests and recorded original material in Studio A at Capitol Records on Vine St. in Hollywood at The Songwriter’s Showcase hosted by Len Chandler. I've performed at The Troubadour, The Ice House, The White House (WLA), The Palomino and many other venues. One group, the Crosstown Cabbies, pictured here, developed a solid following in town.
Nine years ago, my father-in-law gave me his 1925 alto sax which was hibernating in a Brooklyn closet since the 40’s. He hated practicing sax in high school, which explains the pristine condition in which I found it. I still don't understand how he could play as a star on Brooklyn's Tilden High football team as "Crazy Legs Cofsky" and then quickly change uniforms to play in the marching band at halftime. Some things must remain a mystery. I will be forever grateful to my father-in-law Shel for the sax.
If you’ve ever heard beginner sax players squeak and squonk, you’ll understand when I now apologize to everyone whom I have tortured. I don’t squeak anymore...well, ask Kevin. Songwriting was the vehicle that got me in touch with Chris Clifford, who invited me to sit in with The Silver. Eventually, when we took group photos, it dawned on me that I was in the group. I am thrilled to be playing with such advanced cats.
In the early 1960’s, Steve asked his parents for a guitar & lessons. Living close to the original Ernie Ball music store, he took lessons from guitar great Jay Lacy. Like many 14 year-olds at the time, Steve then saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, saying to himself “…that’s what I want to do”. Not long after, Steve formed The Chevelles with several school buddies, eventually changing their name to The Four Dimensions, playing school dances, college events, frat parties and other local performance venues.