Songs I Wish I Wrote: Brian Davies of The Sonoran Dogs


San Diego Folk Heritage is looking forward to hosting Arizona-based bluegrass band The Sonoran Dogs on Saturday, July 11 at San Dieguito United Methodist Church.

We’re always interested in learning about a bands inspirations and aspirations, so we invited band member Brian Davies (bass/vocals) to share a few songs he wishes he penned. Enjoy!



I once heard that “Margaritaville” is played on the radio somewhere in the US every minute and a half. Just think of the royalties…

One of the greatest songs ever written is Woody Guthrie’s, “This Land Is Your Land.” It will go on forever as a mainstay folk tune.

“The Times They Are a Changing” by Bob Dylan, is as poignant today as it was in the 60’s. Great tunes! Wish I had penned them all.

Hope to see you all in Encinitas for a great evening of bluegrass music with The Sonoran Dogs. Click here for more info and tickets!

Under the Influence with Sidewinder’s Bruce Huntington

Just two days until our next San Diego Folk Heritage concert at Templar’s Hall in Poway, featuring Americana roots band Sidewinder w/ Los Angeles-based Rodger Maxwell opening. We had a chance to speak with Sidewinder’s own Bruce Huntington about his musical influences. Here’s what he had to say:

What artist or song was your greatest influence when you first started making music (and why)?
Although it is difficult to pinpoint one single songwriter, the name that pops to my mind is Bob Dylan. Nice melodies, but wonderful pictures always painted in his songs. Dylan knows how to draw in the listener with his words. I never tire of his songs.

What artist or song currently influences you (and why)?
I really like Tom Russell‘s ability to tell a story. He is perhaps my biggest influence these days. I recently wrote a song, “The First of Goliad” that is reminiscent of the Tom Russell style and full of religious concepts. Tom Russell can just about make any subject matter interesting and compelling. He is amazing! Ian Tyson, who co-composed songs with Tom Russell, is a close second. A crazy song that Tom Russell wrote that I love is “Tonight We Ride.” I don’t know where his ideas come from.

San Diego Folk Heritage invites you to witness the ways Bruce’s musical influences come through in his performance with Sidewinder this Friday in Poway!

Concert Information:
San Diego Folk Heritage Presents
Sidewinder w/ Rodger Maxwell
Friday, February 27th – 7:30pm
$18 ($15 members)
Templar’s Hall – Poway Park
Tickets online or at door

Getting Emotional with Happy Traum

Greetings, Folk Heritage friends! We just wrapped up a lovely show last Friday with Chris Stuart and Janet Beazley in Poway, and we’re now gearing up for another performance on Friday, January 30th at Templar’s Hall with acclaimed American folk musician Happy Traum. San Diego’s own Chris Clarke will open the show. Tickets are available at the door or online.

Playing off Happy’s name, we asked him a few emotionally-driven questions about his personal and musical journey.

You were an active participant during the Greenwich Village folk days of the 50s/60s. What is one of your happiest memories from that era?
My first day, as a teen-aged novice guitarist/folksinger, finding my way to Washington Square on a sunny Sunday afternoon and finding a park filled with like-minded players from all over the city jamming on guitars, banjos, fiddles, mandolins and other acoustic instruments. They were playing bluegrass, folksongs, blues, ragtime, calypso, old-time and every other genre of “folk music” you could think of. It was the start of many trips to the Village over there next decade.

What angers you about today’s politics?
The hardened attitudes and intolerance for other’s viewpoints. Left or Right, we need to find common ground.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?
My wife and I are avid table tennis players and enthusiasts.

In addition to performing, you are an accomplished writer and instructor. How do you handle the stress of multi-tasking?
It’s not stressful if you love what you’re doing and feel fulfilled and lucky to be able to do what you like. I’m challenged and invigorated by what I do, not stressed.

As the music industry limps along in the digital age, is there anything that worries you about the industry now compared to earlier years?
I’m optimistic because I see so many people still making music together “the old-fashioned way.” There may be more front porch pickers, local bands, open mics, jam sessions, song circles and other musical communication going on than ever before. Digital delivery means more access, even though it may mean less monetary income. Still, musicians are finding a way to make a living and get their music out to others.

What song gives you the most joy to perform live?
I always love to play Bob Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain.” It never comes out the same way twice.

Your friend and fellow musician Bob Dylan certainly has a way with words. What is one of the most amusing things he ever said to you?

He once told me (this was back in the late Sixties) that Perry Como was the greatest living singer. I thought it was amusing at the time, but he was very serious and meant it.

You’ve traveled extensively throughout the world. What do you love the most about visiting a new city?
First, finding where the good food is and then meeting musically like-minded people, who are seemingly everywhere. It’s through them that I discover things I need to know about a new city.

We hope you’ll join us on January 30 for Happy’s performance. As an added bonus, Happy will be teaching a guitar workshop on Sunday, February 1, also at Templar’s Hall in Poway. For more information on both events, please visit