Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spotlight on Local Music- Forrest Bivens

Yet another great discovery from Urban Nights (a local music and art street festival) last week! My father and I happened to notice a man on the side of the street playing guitar, harmonica, bass drum, and singing all at once. Not only that, but he was damned good.
The man had obviously been a musician for a while- little did I know...
Forrest began playing music in high school and says it was obvious that he was hooked from there. He grew up in Cincinnati in the 60s and had that same ache for music that some of us have today. After playing around a bit in high school, he ended up falling into The Customs- a pioneer band of garage rock. A lot of you probably know of the Customs- they still play reunion shows every few years, and you may recognize Forrest as their bassist. Their single, Long Gone, is still occasionally reissued in Europe and the US.
 It gets better- do The Auburnaires ring a bell to any of you? They should. Also from Cincinnati, the Auburnaires are yet another great band of garage rock. After the Customs, Forrest moved onto this awesome group. After talking to him via email, I had trouble believing that I had stood there and talked to him with absolutely no  idea he was in two bands that I happened to enjoy very much... Without even knowing that, I was still so impressed with him and the LOVE he carried with him for music. The man played for a good 5 hours straight and I've never seen someone be so content with standing and playing something they loved.
It gets even better though- he moved to L.A. to play with the BOARDWALKERS for a while, before moving  back to Cinci to work in the Treasury. Forrest's list of bands was seriously so surprising.
Recently he moved to Dayton (where Idle and I live) with his wife and daughter, and plays small local gigs around the area. He still does home recordings and will probably play with the Customs more, which would be awesome.
As I stated earlier, Forrest played the entire night for Urban Nights- through the heavy winds and rain-threatening skies. The skies thankfully never followed through, but it sure seemed like they would... And yet there Forrest stood, smiling and singing old familiar songs into his mic.
What a find, am I right?


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