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Now Playing: "If I Needed Someone" by Suburban Skies
from the new "Suburban Skies - LIVE" CD.

Suburban Skies new LIVE CD.

for exclusive behind-the-scenes news, photos, info on private events, CD-Release Parties, Recording Tips, and exclusive offers & discounts.
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Some of our past guests...

Our First Guest...Peter Tork.
Sandy Jacobson (Producer) with Peter Tork at the 2010 NAMM Festival.
Our Second Guest was James Lee Stanley !
Pictured left to right, John Batdorf, Sandy Jacobson (Producer), James Lee Stanley (Guest Host).
Our Third Guest was John Batdorf !
Pictured left to right are: Michael Sunday (Host), Sandy Jacobson , Michael McLean, & John Batdorf.
Our Fourth Guest was John McEuen.
John McEuen (founding member of The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) with Michael Sunday (Host) in the studio
Members of WE FIVE in our studio.
Michael Sunday (Host), Terry Ragno, Jerry Burgan, Debbie Burgan, Chris Burgan, & Sandy Jacobson Prod
Then, 14-Year-Old Scott Gates, mandolinist.
Michael Sunday (Host), Scott Gates, and Mike Nadolson (Guests).

Our Guest Laurence Juber - 2x Grammy Winner.
Michael Sunday (Host), Sandy Jacobson (Producer), Laurence Juber (Guest), & Javier Otero (audience).

Our Guests, The Nathan McEuen Band
Nathan McEuen, Sandy Jacobson (Producer), Elain Gregston, & Chuck Hailes.
Our Guest Ngahihi Bidois, from New Zealand !
Ngahihi Bidois (one of the stars of DREAMCATCHERS) with Michael Sunday (Host).
Brian Ray - our studio guest.
Brian Ray in addition to releasing solo CD's, is guitarist with Paul McCartney's band.
Our Guests - Russ & Julie's House Concerts
Julie Paris, Russ Paris (Guests) with Sandy Jacobson (Producer).
Our Guests - The Quarrymen
Colin Hanton, Sandy Jacobson (Producer), Rod Davis, and Len Garry.
Our Guest - David Philp, The Automatics
The Automatics were one of the first Power-Punk bands to chart in the U.S.
Our Guests - Ted & Pablo
Ted & Pablo performing at The Skirball Center on their second U.S. Tour.
Our Guest - Evan Marshall, Mandolinist
Evan Marshall (Guest) with Sandy Jacobson (Producer) on the set of BackStage:Los Angeles
Our Guest - Matt Cartsonis
Michael Sunday (Host), Sandy Jacobson (Producer) & Matt Cartsonis (Guest) outside the studio.
Guests Matt and Zac Pless
Matt and Zac Pless from Washington, D.C.
Our Guest - Ellis Paul
Sandy Jacobson (Producer) with Ellis Paul (Guest) on location at McCabe's.
Our Guest - Ainjel Emme !
Ainjel Emme (Guest), Sandy Jacobson (Producer) & Michael Sunday (Host) in our studio.
Our Guest - Denny Tedesco (son of Tommy Tedesco.)
Denny Tedesco, Producer & Director of the film "The Wrecking Crew."

Suburban Skies
(performing original arrangements of Early Beatles)
With Grammy Nominee Sophie B. Hawkins
April 2, 2011
Doors open at 7:00PM
Suburban Skies 8:00PM
Brixtons South Bay Dive Lounge
100 West Torrance Blvd.,
Redondo Beach, CA  90277
(Redondo Beach Pier)
$12 Advance Tickets / $15 at the door
Advance Tickets: 562-477-8422

Nick Sherwin - Suburban Skies
Suburban Skies - Post-Beatles Era Band
Suburban Skies new LIVE CD.

"Suburban Skies is NOT a Beatles cover band...they do fresh new arrangements of songs written by The Beatles, as a tribute, and include a few covers in their live performances and on their CD's.  While not being a "cover band," I DO feel that they have the same type of energy as Papa Doo Run Run, a Beach Boys cover band that has been around for over 35 years, including performances on Disneyland's Tomorrowland Terrace."  -Sandy Jacobson-

Suburban Skies performs post-Beatle era Fab-Four music and is not a typical Beatles tribute band. They are a unique blend of experienced professional performers and highly skilled invigorated youthful players.

Most everyday, we all hear Beatles songs on the radio. “The Long and Winding Road,” “Yesterday,” or “Let It Be.” We love those songs, but you won’t hear them at a Suburban Skies concert. You’ll hear “Gimme Some Truth,” “Heart of the Country,” “Apple Scruffs,” and other great songs that the Beatles recorded after they were in the Beatles. Great songs that you just don’t hear anywhere else and that is what makes Suburban Skies unique.

Suburban Skies was birthed from the lyrics:
Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes.
There beneath the blue …

They are the perfect band for summer concerts in the park, private parties, and corporate events.

In addition to playing in the band, Nick Sherwin is the personal manager of the Southern California based pop-rock band Suburban Skies.

When did you know that you wanted to be a musician?  
I grew up listening to my dad’s Dixieland Jazz music, which was cool but not exactly inspiring to me.  We were sheltered from pop music, so it wasn’t until I heard my first Beatle album, Abbey Road (after The Beatles had already broken up) before I really knew I wanted to play music.  About the same time, I had gone to a Jr. High pool party and there were two “cool” kids with acoustic guitars singing in vocal harmony.  I noticed all the pretty girls had eyes for them, so I suppose that had something to do with my desire to perform as well.

Whom was your biggest influence to become a musician?  
My older brother Mike had buddies that played guitar.  Two in particular who used to come by and show me things on this beat up old nylon string my mother had given me.  I begged them to teach my Stairway to Heaven intro and stuff like that.  Sadly, both of these guys died very young, one of a drug overdose and one involved in a car accident.

If you had formal training, at what age did you begin?  
My mother bought me ten beginner group lessons and I hustled down there with that beat up nylon string.  I hated it.  After ten lessons, I could play “mam’s little baby loves shortnin’, shortnin’, mama’s little baby loves shortnin’ bread.  That’s it.  So, from then on, I was self taugt, put the record on, figure it out.

On average, how many hours a week do you practice/rehearse?
The older I get, the more I become aware of my mediocracy, so I actually work harder now than ever before.  Most every day, I work on things.  For the past two years and about 30 live shows, I’ve been the band’s bass player.  In the new version of Suburban Skies, I’ve switched over to the electric guitar so it has become increasingly important to rehearse.

Do you have a personal favorite song that you perform, and why is it your favorite?  
Seems to change all the time, as do our sets.  I can proudly say that all 30 shows over the past two years have been completely different set lists, different openers, different encores as well.  So favorites keep changing.  The show you saw this past Saturday, February 26th, featured 16 new songs, none ever played before live by Suburban Skies and all arrangements worked out about a month before the show.  Living a bit dangerously I suppose.

As a musician, what have you found to be your biggest personal challenges?
Over the years, music had been sort of the “other woman”, it took time away from family and my marriage and I’m not sure my wife was ever fully on board with me going out to play, (with good reason).  But I can say the singular reason we’ve had some recent mild success is because my wife Lois has become my partner in this, truly my biggest encourager and I’m so thankful for this.

As a musician what have you found to be your biggest professional challenges?  
The musician part seems easy compared to the industry part.  I write, arrange, produce, engineer, mix and master all our albums.  I do all the marketing, promotion, manage the band and I’m also the world’s greatest “roadie” humping all the gear around.  I suppose everything leading up to the stage performance is what wears me out.

What is one of your favorite performance memories?  
Probably the House of Blues Sunset Strip.  I came out on stage and there were 300 students from Biola (where I’m a professor of Marketing and Management) screaming and going crazy for us.  They were singing along with the words, the whole bit.  Felt sorta like a rock star that particular night.

If you could sit and jam with ANYONE, past or present, whom would you most like to do that with?
Oh my, where to start!  I suppose John Lennon is the easy answer and what comes to mind first.  We perform songs from all the Beatles’ solo catalogues, but over and over people come to me and say I sing like John.  So, sitting across from him with a couple of acoustics singing “Working Class Hero” would be sweet.

You just had your CD release party for the Suburban Skies "Live" CD, what do you feel were your biggest challenges in completing the CD, and what do you feel were your biggest triumphs?  
My initial thoughts are that it was a labor of love, very time consuming to mix and master over an hour of live music, but never really a chore.  I wanted so much to preserve an early record of the band.  The CD is a record of all 19 songs we played at one of our very early shows (maybe the third show we ever did).  I’m very proud of the energy that shines through on the recording and amazingly proud especially of my son Nick Jr. who laid down an amazing foundation with the drums.

How have you evolved as an artist/band, from your first CD to today?  
When I recorded John, Paul and George, I really had no plans for live performance.  I was content to record Ringo, complete the boxed set and begin marketing the package.  I was sort of dragged kicking and screaming to the live performance aspect of Suburban Skies.  It’s awesome to listen to the first three CD’s and then listen to the Live Cd and see how the songs were transformed.  There are breaks and riffs and things in the live versions never thought of in the studio.  

What drives you to keep pushing your creative boundaries?  
I’m pretty much always questioning where we are.  Are we still fun to watch?  Are people still coming to see us?  If I get bored, or if my son Nick, Jr. seems bored, it is time to juggle and change things up.  If you listen to John, Paul and George Cd’s, it sounds like three different bands.  I never really want to do what we’ve already done.  Maybe you make mistakes, maybe some things work better than others, but I’d rather be bold about it, live on the edge a bit, look over the cliff.

Do you spend time studying the styles of other artists, either within and/or outside your genre? I’m first and foremost a producer of music, so I’m constantly listening to pretty much everything.  Most folks my age are still stuck in old classic rock, unaware of all the amazing new music out there.  For me, anything that is unique, interesting, well produced, that’s what I’m on to.  

Tell us about your John, Paul, George, and Ringo CD series:  
A labor of love.  An idea that started one day almost five years ago when I recorded a stripped down version of Mean Mr. Mustard that actually appeared as first recorded on the John album (which was recorded first).  I wanted to pay tribute to the Beatles, but never be a Beatles Trubute band.  I’d die before wearing a wig or playing a left handed bass.  I strive to put my own stamp on the songs, all original arrangements.  I shy away from hits that we hear every day on the radio.  I’d never ever record “Band on the Run” for example.  I’d look at the album and be drawn to “Mrs. Vandebilt”.  One more to go...... RINGO!!!!

Fresh new arrangements of songs written by John Lennon.

Fresh new arrangements of songs written by Paul McCartney.

Fresh new arrangements of songs written by George Harrison.
Fresh new arrangements of songs written by Ringo Starr.

Interview with John Batdorf:

John Batdorf is a multi-talented musician, who has continuously reinvented his career.  In 1970, John Batdorf and Mark Rodney (Batdorf & Rodney) were personally signed to Arista Records by the president of the label, Ahmet Ertegun.  The Rolling Stones were being signed the same day, at the same location, in another room.  Ahmet personally guided their early career. 

Batdorf & Rodney headlined many shows, but also opened for such acts as America, Seals & Crofts, Dan Fogelberg, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Fleetwood Mac, The Doobie Brothers, The Youngbloods, Hall and Oats, Cheech and Chong, England Dan and John Ford Coley, Pure Prairie League, Harry Chapin, John Prine, Dave Mason, Kris Kristofferson.

John spent the 1980’s as a staff songwriter for such artists as America, England Dan and John Ford Coley, The Curry Sisters, and Kim Carnes.  He also worked as a studio singer on hundreds of jingles, movies, and TV Shows.  He also sang background vocals on recordings such as Rod Stewart, Motley Crue, Dave Mason, Eric Anderson, The Jefferson Starship, Berlin, Donna Summer, Dwight Yoakum, Boy Meets Girl, Mickey Thomas, Stan Ridgeway, James Lee Stanley, David Lee Roth, and The London Choir Boys.

In the 1990’s John began producing records and commercials, and continued his own songwriting career.  He also scored music for such shows as “Promised Land,” “Touched by An Angel,” and a 2-hour made-for-TV movie “Book of Days.”

Today, John has continued his own solo career, but also recently collaborated with James Lee Stanley to produce an all-acoustic CD of Rolling Stones songs, titled “All Wood & Stones.”  It received national attention in a November, 2006 article in U.S.A. Today.  His current solo CD, “Home Again” has revisited some of the old “Batdorf & Rodney” tunes, in the way they were originally intended to be heard, besides giving us some new songs to fall in love with.  After a 30-year hiatus, Mark Rodney joined John on this CD, and they will be touring again together in the near future.  They will be in Los Angeles, at Boulevard Music (4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City, CA 90230- (310) 398-2583) on Saturday, July 28th, 2007.  Tickets will go on sale the week before the concert.

John grew up watching his father, Jack Lionel perform.  Jack was bringing John on-stage to perform with him, as early as the first grade.  At age ten, John had his first band, "The Moonbeams."  Another strong influence, was Jack's brother, and John's uncle, Earl Scott.  Earl Scott was a country music performer with a few top hits in the late 1950's and early 1960's.

As John grew up, other musical influences were seeing The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show, and the whole British Invasion, along with artists such as The Buffalo Springfield, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Peter Gabriel.

I asked John what advice or suggestions he would give to a young performer starting out, that he wished he’d had when he began, and his response was “Be as musically educated as you can be.  If you can go to a music school, do it.  Learn to read music, to sight read, to arrange, harmonize, and vocalize.  Above all else, be disciplined.”  John said that scoring music for TV taught him how important being disciplined was, and how much more he could accomplish as a musician, if he applied the principles required for that to his own music career.  Also the more tools you’ve got, the more ways you can reinvent yourself, or continue to earn in the industry even if you’re not doing your “first love” at any moment in time. 


“When someone asked me for advice, I told them to never settle when it comes to your work. Always do the very best you can every time and you will never have regrets.”-John Batdorf

Sandy Jacobson


"You Should Have Been There...!"

I recently attended John McEuen’s concert at The Coffee Gallery Backstage.  I’ve seen John in concert several times, and I knew it would be a good concert.  But, it turned out to be one of those nights that will stand out in the minds of everyone in attendance for a long time to come. Everyone in the audience for this night’s show would tell you…“You should have been there!” 

I’ve often heard people talk about a night they walked into a club, and either an established musician or an up-and-coming musician joined the booked talent on-stage to create an unpredictable, yet memorable evening.  This night was one of those.

John McEuen had told me about Chelsea Williams, whom he’d recently discovered.  I knew she was doing the warm-up act, and generally, I’m skeptical about warm-up acts as I’m walking in the door.  Having John’s “endorsement” however, I knew Chelsea HAD to be better than “good”…and I anticipated her performance.

John was joined on stage by his son Nathan McEuen, Chelsea Williams, and a 14-year-old mandolin player, Scott Gates (who has studied under Evan Marshall, who plays with Riders of The Purple Sage).  None of them had played together as a group before this night's show…and they truly “made a little magic.”  There was a tremendous energy in the audience AND coming from the stage.  Each of these artists is tremendously talented in their own right, and combining their talents only exponentially expanded the experience.  I don’t know who was having more fun—  John McEuen, his on-stage guests, or the audience…                                          maybe it truly WAS a "shared experience."

Keep an eye and an ear out for solo performances by Chelsea Williams and Scott Gates.  We’ll be posting that information with links to their sites, as soon as we get approval to do so.

-Sandy Jacobson-                                                                                                3-30-07

Article about John McEuen:

If you remember "Mr. Bojangles," "House at Pooh Corner," "The Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song," or "Will The Circle Be Unbroken" album (which was recently added to the Smithsonian Institute), or simply enjoy hearing funny stories about the early days of a music career that began in the early 1960' don't want to miss John McEuen in concert!  For the price of a movie and popcorn, I've had the privilege of watching John McEuen play the guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo with great finesse, up close, without the need for binoculars.  If you don't remember any of these songs, and are just beginning to play any of the instruments that John plays, you will be inspired.  The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band will be celebrating their 40th Anniversary this year.  (John was one of the original founding members.)
The audience always has a great time, laughing at his stories, and occasionally joining in on the choruses of some of the "good old songs"....and singing lead (en masse) on the Beverly Hillbillies Theme Song, under John's witty direction.  It's an act that you can bring your family to.  John frequently brings some of his family.  His two sons (Nathan and Jonathon), both musicians in their own right, often join him on stage.  The boys are NOT riding on dad's shirt-tails...they don't need to.
If you're feeling left out, John will be appearing at
The Coffee Gallery Backstage on Thursday, March 29th...
2029 N. Lake Avenue
Alta Dena, CA 91001
(see appearances page) 
CALL NOW to make reservations, as it almost always sells out!!!
John will be an upcoming guest on BackStage:Los Angeles, in the near future. We are looking forward to his appearance at The Coffee Gallery and in our studio!
-Sandy Jacobson-
(reprinted from an article dated 2-2-07)

Artist Interviews:
James Lee Stanley

“James Lee Stanley is one of the great-undiscovered singer/songwriters in America,” and one of the best acoustic singer/songwriters I’ve had the pleasure of seeing in concert…and one of my favorite human beings on this planet. Last year he released a CD titled “All Wood & Stones” with renditions of all-acoustic versions of Rolling Stones songs. I was familiar with his own songs, and prior to attending the CD-release concert for “All Wood & Stones” I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to hear more of James’ original music—and wondered how even he could produce a version of Rolling Stones songs that would do justice to their work. He, and John Batdorf accomplished it with the same finesse that James produces all of his work—and they earned a write-up in a November U.S.A. Today article for that achievement. John Batdorf, Peter Tork, and Timothy B. Schmid were among the musicians who contributed to that CD.

James has been busy. In addition to touring the U.S., he released a live concert CD in September, in his “Two-Man Band” format with Peter Tork--titled “Live-Backstage @ The Coffee Gallery.” A gem performance of acoustic guitar, fresh wit, and honest lyrics. 

On January 13, 2007, I attended the CD-release/concert for James Lee Stanley’s new solo CD “The Eternal Contradiction.” In this CD, James covers an array of Socially conscious topics that he expresses with his consistent artistic delivery and articulate lyrics. My personal favorite tracks are “Let The Tree Fall,” “This Fleeting Moment,” and “Here We Are.” Another great track is “Mary January”--the story of a woman whom no one notices until she disappears…and no one is quite sure when or how that happened. It’s an insightful and thought-provoking song. 

In a recent interview, I asked James how he appears to sculpt songs with the ease that Michelangelo appeared to work in marble. He said that he works at a song until he “gets it.” He shared that one song, took an entire year of reworking, and filled an entire spiral notebook to get it “right.” He listens to a lot of music, and reads a lot. This approach produces a sophisticated and fresh song-writing combination. Some of the artists that have influenced him are Steely Dan, Miles Davis, and a broad spectrum of Jazz. 

James also possesses an open and candid sense of humor that can make you laugh until you cry. His ability to be honest about himself and life, can allow one to find the courage and the ability within to be more accepting of one’s self. 

James will be appearing in an upcoming interview on “Backstage: Los Angeles” and in the interim, can be found at

-Sandy Jacobson-

Artist Interview Air Dates and Locations:

Show Airdate/time/channel can be found on the "About The Show" page of the site.  Stay tuned for webcast info also!

"L.A.'s REAL Music Interview Show!"