Hanging With the Sugarman!

Hola Good People! Last night we finally got a chance to hang inside the reality of the Sugarman, as in the wonderful documentary “Searching For Sugarman”.

Have you seen this movie yet? It’s a beautifully executed account of a late 1960’s folk rocker named Rodriguez, who after releasing 2 albums in the U.S. that go totally unnoticed, freakishly becomes a superstar in South Africa. Only thing is, 20 years lapse in between where Rodriguez has no idea of his popularity in South Africa and instead lives in Detroit working in manual labor for meager wages.

I love the humbleness of this fellow and how he takes life simply as it unfolds. Cool music too! Hunt it down and I’ll bet you’ll dig the ride.



We had a fantastic samba hit at the SDA Academy in Cardiff last Sunday afternoon. Many thanks to all of you that made it out! The built up “Jobim Medley” came off great as the musos skillfully navigated the page turns and the tempo warps. Perfecto on the weather front too and we’re hoping to use this venue again in the future.

PS. If you we’re at the concert and have a little extra moment, please email me back a note with your thoughts on the show that I can pass along to the City of Encinitas people, letting them know that folks out in the audience liked the event. This concert was sponsored by the Mizel Grant, the City of Encinitas, and the SDA Foundation and they like getting reactions on how these projects turn out. Many thanks!
Happy Players of the Bossa Nova Empire! From left to right, Tripp, Leonard, Peter, Kevyn, Gunnar, and Duncan. photo by Rick Sokol

Happy Players of the Bossa Nova Empire!
From left to right, Tripp, Leonard, Peter, Kevyn, Gunnar, and Duncan.
photo by Rick Sokol

On a sad note, one of my favorite musicians and human beings has just left the grand stage. Oscar Castro-Neves played some incredible samba guitar as well as composed and arranged up a storm, all of this delivered with his warm spirit and heart. Oscar passed away last week after doing battle with cancer.

I first discovered his music back in the early 90’s as he was backing up saxophonist John Klemmer. Klemmer called me to play some gigs in L.A. and directed me to learn the music off of one of his albums, which also featured Oscar on guitar. I thought I knew how to play bossa grooves but when I heard Oscar playing I realized I had a lot to learn. He could carry the whole band with his infectious groove.

I later met Oscar and over the years we’d share guitar stories and chord shapes and he even sat in on one of our gigs at the old Dizzy’s when it was located across the street from the baseball stadium. It was a great night, him playing Jobim’s “Waters of March”, transcending the wild lyrics and the hypnotic chord pattern. We all experienced Brazilian magic!

The last time I saw Oscar was at the Athenaeum Studio for a concert of guitarist Roni Ben-Hur back in August. Mundell Lowe was there too and the three of us, Oscar, Mundell and myself, talked guitar and came up with the idea of doing an Athenaeum show celebrating our music and our friendship. We we’re working out the details and possible dates but it all got cut short when Oscar said his health wasn’t going well and he’d have to wait.

I’m already missing this fine fellow and I’ll keep listening for his truth inside the samba. Play on Oscar!

Oscar Castro-Neves

Oscar Castro-Neves

Up for this week, super stoke on my Thursday return to the Roxy Restaurant in Encinitas. It’s been a while and I can’t wait to traverse the sonic landscape of solo guitar with all of my friends and the good people of North County. Hope to see you there!

On Friday night I’ll join the masterful Gilbert Castellanos for his ongoing Westgate Hotel music series in downtown San Diego. This cat plays up a storm and it’s always a great time being in his sphere of influence. See you then!

Gilbert taking a breath, prepping for the next notes.

Gilbert taking a breath, prepping for the next notes.

Rounding out the gig week, big fun ahead on Sunday as we pull the gang together to play a free outdoor show in Del Mar. It’s called the Del Mar Village and Art Stroll and they close off the highway as folks cruise to different music and art locales. We’re playing at the 11th Street stage and the band is Leonard, Tripp, Gunnar, Duncan, and myself. It’ll be a good October Sunday afternoon jazz moment and you can now start your engines. See you there!


That’s the word for today and thanks for reading.

all the best, Peter


“She’s Leaving Home”
My daughter Kylie is off at college and I’m missing her. Wahhhhhhh! This got me thinking about the Beatles song “She’s Leaving Home” and I think I’ll play it at the Roxy this week. Maybe it’ll bolster my spirit. I recorded it on my Peter Sprague Plays Solo CD and the Taylor steel string acoustic guitar is sparkling and the melancholy Beatles melody is timeless. This album has been my best seller by far and if you don’t have it yet, perhaps hunt it down. Check it out!