Most Valuable Players

Marvin Dykhuis


Marvin Dykhuis is originally from Racine, Wisconsin. He had been an already familiar face in Austin's acoustic and blues scene for a few years, when I arrived in 1988, using the name Marvin Denton. Before moving to Austin, he had traveled the college circuit with the duo “Paffrath & Dykhuis” and had fronted blues, folk and acoustic bands in the Illinois-Wisconsin area. He was introduced to me in my early round of clubs and bars around town. I invited him to sit in, and it wasn't long before I found him adding really tasteful compliments to my songs, on guitar and vocally. Marvin has played on all my demos and recordings since, and quickly grew into the band leader and right hand man. He is always a solid ancho, whether in a small configuration or with a full blown symphony orchestra. Some wild instrumental surprises have emerged out of his gig bag too, and he's played them well. Keep your eyes on my records instrumentation credits and on works he's produced.
He and his wife Becky (a woman high on my admired list) built their own beautiful straw bale house, and Marvin is a Master Beer Brewer.

And there's more. I secretly think he was born with an internal navigation device. Yeah, we get lost out there sometimes, but even with the road signs in a foreign language, with or without a road map or manager – we always seem to get there.

Having said all this, I hope Mark Knopfler doesn't hear about our silent giant of the music industry, right here in our midst, the low key and always delightful Marvin Dykhuis. I can't match Mark's salary, yet.

2009 has finally seen a solo CD released by Marvin. It is called “My House”. Marvin wrote many of the songs himself and also does a beautiful rendition of Michael Smith's “The Dutchman”. For Marvin's fans, this has been a long awaited treat. The CD is available through the website CD Baby. Marvin continues to play and
co-produce on my recordings and still appears on live performances. He does many shows of his own and produces and plays with other singer-songwriters around Austin and on tour as well. You can find him on MySpace.

Uli Rademacher


Uli Rademacher is from Hamburg, Germany, where he was part of a thriving folk music scene in the 1960's. Though he mostly concentrated on his “day job” later on, he continued to play through the years, most notably with German songer/songwriter legend Franz Josef Degenhardt, and since his retirement he has been very busy playing in blues, folk and skiffle groups around the northern German region.

I was out looking for live music in Hamburg in 2005 and found him hosting a Scottish/Irish music night at a club. I was impressed with his acoustic guitar, harmonica, and his tin whistle playing. He has traveled and played back-up with me at many European performances. In spring 2009 he accompanied Peter Rowan and me on a twenty show tour of the Netherlands.

Chip Dolan


Chip Dolan hitchhiked into Austin from Newton, New Jersey in the late 1980's. His eclectic knowledge of music from formal studied piano through rock and pop cover bands found him work with popular Austin bands such as “Hotcakes”, whom he ran a successful number of years with. He joined my band in 1994, when we were about to tour my CD “Destiny's Gate” and needed a keyboard player. He surprised and impressed us with some Flaco Jimenez and Mingo Saldivar licks on accordion as well.

He contributed wonderful textures to my 1996 Warner Bros. CD “Dreaming From The Labyrinth”, then co-produced my Rounder Records CD “Sigh of Truth” in 2000 with Marvin Dykhuis and me. His first original, “A Song For The Journey”, appeared on “Sign of Truth”. Since then, his songwriting credits include the song “Buck Town”, which appears on his self-released CD, “Right Now”. This song, about the neighborhood hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina, received high praises and brought his name into songwriters circles. He lives in Austin, where he still backs up many name performers, jams with Marvin Dykhuis and other Austin all-stars, and plays his own solo shows.

Check out Chip on MySpace!

Arturo Garza


Originally from Kingsville, Texas, Arturo L. Garza started playing music at age nine. He studied music at Texas A&I University and moved to Austin in 1970. He toured with Conjunto Bernal, then he joined “Beto and the Fairlanes” in 1976. With Beto (Robert Skiles), he has recorded several CDs and continues to play a high energy and tasteful blend of latin

and jazz drums and percussion.

He has appeared on many of my recordings and live shows, beginning with “Aquella Noche”, recorded live in 1991. He also joined me on several Symphony orchestra shows. Over the years, Arturo has performed and recorded with a number of bands. He produces videos with Infynit Media Group and is a product designer for Cirrus Logic. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Katherine.

Check out their blog!

Paul Pearcy


Paul Pearcy, a top drummer and percussionist, has played a vital role in the “Austin Years” of my story. He was born and raised in Austin, Texas, finely developed his craft and has kept involved and active in the sound of this town. His name is known in many clubs, performance halls, and studios here and beyond. He has been in many popular Austin bands, and has backed up several of my peers including Darden Smith, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Sara Hickman. Paul has played on several of my recordings since “Culture Swing” in '92. I hold dear the many miles of kind patience he has shown my family and me over the years, over continents and oceans we've travelled together.

Glenn Kawamoto


Glenn Kawamoto, originally from Hawaii, has spent several years in the southeast U.S. before making Austin his home. Glenn began playing bass in my shows in '96, with the release of “Dreaming from the Labyrinth”. He joined us that summer for our performances at the White House and at the Olympics. Glenn continues to play with us at special performances on the road or in town. He has appeared on all of my records since “Sign of Truth”and even co-produced my 2005 release “A Heart Wide Open”. His gentle manner and enthusiastic stage presence help keep us in step and feeling centered. Glenn runs a thriving bass trading business that all bass players should know about. Call him at (512) 445-5572 or check out his website!

Tish Remembers: Amy Farris (1968-2009)


Amy Farris was a fine violin player from Austin.Texas. She passed away recently in Los Angeles, where she was living the last few years, doing studio work, playing in the live music scene with Dave Alvin and promoting her own music. She played on some of my recordings between 1994 and 1999. Most notable, she recorded on my children's CD “Cada Niño”, and on my contribution to Pete Seeger's tribute CD “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” on the song “Festival of Flowers”. She toured with Alejandro Escovedo and was an integral part of the Austin live music scene through the nineties until her move to L.A. in 2003.

Although it was great knowing and admiring her work on a professional level, she was particularly dear to my family as my daughter Nina's violin teacher for ten years. She is dearly missed by the many violin students she inspired with her selfless, enthusiastic approach to learning, and by those of us who saw her passion and discipline as a teacher and as a performer. She will be remembered for her inner and outer charm and beauty.