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(Hi, I’m Azaria! I’m here for the next ten months to help Olivia tell this story!)
(This song is part of a larger work-in-progress called “This Is Where You Live – Songs Inspired in Spokane, 2021-2022”)
In March 2020, Rick Clark was thinking about pizza. He wasn’t hungry for dinner, but rather for an opportunity to both help one of the many local restaurants impacted by COVID-19 and feed those supported by a local nonprofit.
He hopped on Facebook Live with the goal of raising $200 to purchase 20 pizzas from Pizza Rita for the Volunteers of America’s Hope House women’s shelter. With Clark at the helm, that fundraiser soon blossomed into Spokane Quaranteam, a community focused on helping anyone in need.
Olivia learned about Spokane Quaranteam when Rick spoke to her Leadership Spokane class over Zoom last winter. She had her camera off and her guitar in hand and began playing the riff that would become “Inspired by Rick Clark” while listening to his story.
“He was telling us about his turning point, looking in the mirror and shouting out loud ‘I’m not going out like this!'” Olivia said. “The song basically wrote itself from there.”
Looking at Rick’s story through an artist’s lens, Olivia identified with wanting to be and mean more, not just to the world or your family, but also to yourself.
“I think a lot of us can relate to not wanting to go out quietly, or insignificantly,” she said.
If you didn’t already know it was there, you’d walk by Lucas Brookbank Brown’s recording studio without a second glance. I almost did. The studio, which Lucas currently calls “the 309 space” because of its address, is small but feels welcoming and comfortably lived in, even though he’s only been there for about six months.
With just under three hours set aside to record, every second counted. But despite the time crunch, Lucas was in his element. Watching him bounce back and forth between the microphone and his computer, where he was piecing bits of various takes together to build the best vocal take possible, was a masterclass in efficiency and skill.
About an hour after he began recording vocals, Lucas began to experiment with bass parts, finding the best fit in about 20 minutes. Experiments with his Silvertone chord organ and acoustic guitar netted similarly fast results and added depth to the song.
“It comes from repetition of doing that process and also a lot of listening…” Lucas said of his quick work. “There’s definitely an element of practice and experience involved in that, and a little bit of luck.”
Lucas is no stranger to collaboration. As a singer, multi-instrumentalist and producer, he has worked and performed with countless musicians onstage and in recording studios.
So when Olivia reached out about this song, his interest was piqued. Lucas said it wasn’t difficult to connect with the song, even though he hadn’t written it.
“If it’s not a genre or a vibe that I’m familiar with or I enjoy, that can maybe be more of a challenge… but I’ve been doing cover music for a long time, so I’m not unfamiliar with listening to a recording and then learning the song,” he said.
Lucas praised the song’s chorus and catchy melody, saying the tune was “very clever and well-written.” He also enjoyed Olivia’s finger-picking guitar work.
For more of Lucas, check out his EP Everything Means Something Out Here. He hosts open mic nights and jam sessions at Red Room Lounge on Mondays and Wednesdays, respectively, and performs with his band at Zola on Tuesdays.
He’s also busy with his Spokane Arts Grant Awards project, which involves producing an album of songs by emerging local artists. He hopes to both provide work for musicians impacted by COVID-19 and showcase the talent in Spokane.
Miguel Maltos Gonzales is a San Antonio-born, Spokane-based artist who combines film photography and illustrations to express his American and Mexican Indigenous heritage. He currently acts as a Spokane Arts commissioner and is a creative cultural economy developer. Miguel is also a Spokane Public Schools Diversity Advisory Committee member and the president of the Hispanic Business Professional Association.
Miguel and Olivia first met via Zoom to chat about the “Arts Mean Business” music video series, which invited area musicians and filmmakers to write a song and film a music video in support of a local business.
Miguel acted as director and cinematographer for the music video for Olivia’s song “No Man’s Land,” which supported Northwest Mediation Center.
In the music video, Olivia is seen both working up the courage to visit the mediation center before finally going in and speaking with someone and wandering through a wooded area that Miguel had scouted out.
“He’s really easy to work with, and easy to be friends with,” Olivia said. “He’s truly curious and you can always tell he’s thinking deeply about the subject matter. I think his aesthetic is incredibly bold and has a true identity, and that’s really meaningful to me.”
In their 28-year run, the folks at Rockin’ B Ranch, located at 3912 Spokane Bridge Road in Liberty Lake, brought music, food and fun to audiences young and old. A ticket to a Rockin’ B Ranch Cowboy Supper Show provided four hours of entertainment – two performances (the outdoor shootout show and the main stage musical) and a BBQ dinner of the “eat till you can’t manage another bite” variety.
Like many local businesses, the Rockin’ B Ranch was hit hard by COVID-19. In 2020, the Rockin’ B team was gearing up to rehearse their latest supper show when they were forced to close. The next year brought many of the same difficulties, so they postponed the 2021 program too, looking forward to performing in 2022.
But in a statement posted on its Facebook page in March, the team announced that after two years of COVID restrictions, musicians moving away and staff members taking new jobs, they’ve decided to end their supper shows.
“We have so many fond memories and treasure all of the friendships that developed over the years,” they wrote.
The venue will still be available for weddings and other events. If you’re interested in booking an event at the Rockin’ B, visit the website or call Faith at (509) 230-4966.