I began playing guitar at the age of 11 and started performing at age 13 with my older brother. We had a bluegrass band called The Smoggy Mountain Boys (we were from Los Angeles, which was still very smoggy in the early `60’s). We played all the Hoot nights (short for hootenanny) at various clubs around L.A. We also competed yearly at the Topanga Canyon Banjo and Fiddle Contest: when they were still being held at Camp Wildwood in Topanga Canyon. I played guitar, my brother played the banjo. We also had a mandolin, bass, and occasionally fiddle and dobro.

I lived in London: teaching, recording & performing, as well as studying Indian music, and adapting my studies to guitar. I studied with Martin Simpson, the late Isaac Guillory, and Ratnakar Vyas while teaching 27 students of my own. All were excellent teachers as well as superb musicians & performers. Isaac was a mentor in many ways. I also met my second very important teacher of Indian classical music: Ratnakar Vyas, sarod. Hari Har Rao [sitar] in Los Angeles, who was a Fulbright Scholar at UCLA & an early student of Ravi Shankar’s, was my first teacher. Hari was also the founder of the Ravi Shankar Music Circle, today known simply as The Music Circle. Upon my return from London, while living in Northern California, I had the great opportunity as well to study with Maestro Ali Akbar Khan at his school in San Rafael. I was one of two guitar players amidst a sea of sitars & sarods!

Martin Simpson taught in a small guest house behind his modest residence in Richmond, England just outside of London. I always enjoyed the trip out to his place as it was a long train ride and a lot of walking; Martin reinforced the concept of tone and articulation for me. Although our styles were quite different there were still many places that we met. I consider him to be one of my main fingerstyle influences. He’s a great player and teacher. I consider him a friend as well.

Isaac Guillory was an American ex-patriot living in London. Isaac was a seasoned solo performer. When he wasn’t driving all over the countryside playing he was in London. He was a fine teacher as well. He taught inspirational clinics at the University of London they were always well attended. The University had some great acoustic stairwells and I used to practice in them before and after classes. I was working in several guitar tunings at the time: Standard, Drop D, Dadgad, EAC#EAE, and CGCGCF which I used when I studied with Indian sarod teacher Ratnakar Vyas. The beautiful echos of the stairwells inspired the development of many compositions.

Ratnakar Vyas, Sarod, was a great teacher for me, a beautiful and humble man and a fine player. I consider him, Hari Har Rao and Maestro Ali Akbar Khan to be my strongest influences as pertains my slide style; and John Fahey as my original, and most impacting influence, as regards: solo fingerstyle guitar, improvisation, and altered tunings. I’ve also listened extensively to subarhar [a kind of baritone sitar] and sarangi which is a lap-held cello-like instrument fingered using the cuticles of the left hand (ouch!). All these sliding influences were to later show up in my recordings. Although I had been listening to Indian music since I was a teenager, and playing slide since 1971, these years from 1986 to 1996 shaped my sound.



Richard Peikoff: Acoustic Guitar, Nylon Strings Guitar, Slide Guitar, Baritone Guitar, High String Guitar, Synth Guitar

Parsuram Sherla: Tabla, Tambura

John M. Keane: Drums and Keyboards, Engineer, Producer

Kit Walker: Keyboards, Engineer, Producer

Jeff Miley: Nylon String and Acoustic Guitar

Greg Conway: Acoustic Guitar

Chris Chitouras: Electric Guitar

Buzz Feiten: Electric and Nylon String Guitars, Synth Guitar

Michael Manring: Fretless Bass, E-Bow

Dave Kilner: Bass

Tom Kennedy: Bass

Gordon Rehm: Bass

Bob Een: Cello and Voice

John Barnes: Synclavier

Lenny Castro: Percussion

Paul Livingstone: Tambura

Dave Beyer: Percussion


EADGBE___ Standard Tuning

E A C# E A E___A Major Tuning

A E A D E A ___(High Strung) Asus4 Tuning

B F# B F# B E___Bsus4 Tuning

C A D E A D___ C 6/9 Tuning

C G C F G C___C sus4 Tuning

C G C G C F___ Csus4 Tuning

C G C F# G C___ C Lydian Sus Aug 4 Tuning

C G C G Bb E___C5/7 Tuning

D G D E A D___Dsus2 Tuning

D A D G A D___Dsus4 Tuning

D A D F#A D___Dsus Aug 4 Tuning

D G D G Bb D___G Minor Tuning

D G D G Ab D___G5b2 Tuning

D G D G A D___Gsus2 Tuning