Their debut CD - the simplicity of two voices and acoustic guitars. Doug Hanks and Julie Wuertz combine their love of 70's Laurel Canyon folk-rock and classic country to deliver close harmonies with a peaceful, easy feeling.
Sapphire Creek’s Doug Hanks and Julie Wuertz weave their voices together in a tapestry punctuated with finger-picked and staccato strummed acoustic guitars. Their harmony-rich arrangements of folk-pop, folk-rock, country, and Americana are sure to please. The duo also performs as part of The Silverados, a 7-piece southern California country cover band. “We just wanted to do something a little different,” says Julie. “We’ve sung off and on as a duo for various events for about twenty years.” Doug adds, “Now, we’re finally recording it.”
JULIE – Though she is from the 80's generation, Julie's musical roots go much deeper than that. Born and raised in Southern California, she grew up performing in a great music program at her church which allowed her to sing, act, go on tours, and even record children's albums. As a featured singer with The Silverados, her interaction with an audience keeps them riveted. "One of the best things at the Concerts in the Parks is having all of the girls come up and sing with us for a song. What a blast!" When Julie isn't singing with Sapphire Creek, she is with her husband and two (nearly grown) children, and you can still find her singing on a Sunday morning at the same church she attended as a child.
DOUG – Music started early for Doug at age 4, but when he was 14 he performed with a folk group that traveled through northern California. Later, he paired with Jim Blanco to form Blanco & Hanks – singing all the hits of the 70’s while accompanying themselves on acoustic guitars. Throughout the 80's and 90's Doug traveled extensively throughout the US. Doug also released Walking in the Father’s Love in 1982, which received airplay in 55 markets across the US. Through the 80's and 90's he continued to sing at camps, conferences, and churches. In 2011, he released Blue Sky Sliding featuring Julie on three tracks – a preview of things to come.
Both California natives, Doug and Julie were influenced by the soft-rock of Laurel Canyon and evolving folk music – Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Eagles, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, and their contemporaries. And both were inspired by the country favorites of their parents – Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Buck Owens, and Merle Haggard.
As part of The Silverados, they have shared the stage with Tim McGraw, Montgomery Gentry, John Michael Montgomery, and Shiela E. Now, newly formed in 2013, Doug and Julie look forward to a rich adventure as they share their music.
In their debut CD, all vocals: Julie Wuertz & Doug Hanks. All guitars: Doug
Each guitar recorded on this CD is acoustic (except the Fender P-bass.) The acoustic guitars Doug played are Taylor guitars and one Gibson: • 420 Koa Limited Edition equipped with K&K pure mini pickups • 1997 514C equipped with K&K pure mini pickups • 1992 710 with no pickups • the "MercyMe 810" equipped with a Fishman under saddle pickup • a customized GS Mini mahogany with K&K pure mini pickups • a 1967 Gibson J-50 on the intro to "The West."
The Gold Tone Banjitar played on "Love's Gonna Rock Your World" uses a modified Nashville tuning -- the low E and A strings are tuned an octave higher and the high E is drop-tuned to D.
The J.R.R Tolkien Orc-estra under the bent baton of D. Richard Henrys is actually samples from Los Angeles Scoring Strings (LASS), Garritan Personal Orchestra 4, and Garritan Instant Orchestra. Drum and percussion samples are Drums on Demand.
Doug would like to thank: • The many friends and neighbors who encouraged us at the house concerts used to hone these songs, especially Shel & Bernice Clark for the use of their lovely garden home. • Nathan Brown for his continued support to be poetic and artistic. • James Hood at James Hood Guitar Repair, Escondido, CA (formerly Buffalo Bros.) for his work on the Gibson J-50 and Taylor 514C (They sound fabulous!) • The Silverados (Mike, Steve, Scott, Ray, Audrey) for their fine work throughout the season. • The Friday 6 A.M. Brandon's men for their prayer throughout the year. • Koen for making me laugh when he counts off songs to twelve and then, at the age of three, plays like he's a rock star. Good job, Big Boy! • A special thank you to Julie for agreeing to try something new in music (though we had been doing this for over 20 years together.) • And most of all, thanks and love to the lovely Mary for listening to hours and hours of the same music as I recorded and mixed the CD. We did it!
Julie would like to thank: • My dad, Norm, for always being my #1 fan. For always encouraging me and coming as often as he could to see us perform. • My mom, JoAnn, for recognizing that music and singing was my passion at a very young age. And for carting me around for rehearsals, performances, and recording sessions for many years. (Extra thanks!) • The Silverados-- my second family-- and for being part of my life for the last 20+ years. Love you guys! • To Bill, my husband, for everything you do for our family and me. I love you, honey! • Daniel and Sarah for just being my wonderful kids. Love my babies! • The biggest thank you to Doug for all of his work and creative genius putting this project together. And for that email that started it all: Maybe or Maybe not??
Song notes from Doug: "Tomorrow on Her Mind" - First write was in 2008. I put this on Blue Sky Sliding, too. The first line is the schoolyard mantra about teachers on the last day of school. I probably got the idea around the last day of school that year and made it about a girl who explores her newly found freedom.
"Love's Gonna Rock Your World" - I remember playing this in Y2K for some friends at a camp, but I wrote it in 1999.
"When You're Dancing" - Wrote it in 1999 for the wedding of ballet dancers Chris Bonomo and Sarah Spradlin. Now for the mere fun of it, they hike the John Muir Trail through California.
"Stay at Home" - Inspired by an episode of NPR's Story Core - a mom told her daughter of her past life as a sex slave in the U.S. She ran away from home as a teen, got kidnapped in a park, drugged, and worked for nine years as a prostitute. Never stay at home if you are being abused; seek help today! But if it's just a fight with Mom over your iPhone, it's safer at home than out of the mean streets. Some people who can hurt you very badly for a long, long time prowl around out there!
Because human trafficking is considered to be one of the fastest growing criminal industries, the U.S. government and academic researchers are currently working on an up-to-date estimate of the total number of trafficked persons in the United States annually. With 100,000 children estimated to be in the sex trade in the United States each year, it is clear that the total number of human trafficking victims in the U.S. reaches into the hundreds of thousands when estimates of both adults and minors and sex trafficking and labor trafficking are aggregated. (www.polarisproject.org)
"The West/Sun Hangin' Low" - First write on this was in 1998. I always intended to record it with an extended orchestral beginning -- a prelude reminiscent of Copland's "Open Prairie" or something like Randy Newman writes for period films.
The three covers on the CD are songs we love. Julie sang "Country Roads" as a child blaring it as loud as she could on the car stereo, and one of the first songs Doug learned on the guitar was a chicken-pickin' version of "Jackson." Edie Brickell's haunting lyrics and Steve Martin's claw hammer banjo on "Remember Me This Way" made this song an easy choice for their songlist.