Daze of Blue
NOT TOO LATE TO START ANEW is not just the title of our first CD, more importantly, it is the mindset and core idea we shared as we formed our band.
Daze of Blue is comprised of four, to put it delicately, well-seasoned musicians. Most people would agree that, based upon the ages of the members of our group (a cumulative 200 years of musical experience), our little band doesn’t stand the slightest chance of "making it" in the music business... and they’re probably right... and that’s why our goal is far less lofty.
Simply put, the objective of Daze of Blue is to perform original music that people enjoy; to offer unique songs that make people smile, and to have fun while we do it. We also hope to encourage others to think, "If these guys are willing to try something new, maybe I should, too!"
We appreciate you taking the time to listen to the result of our efforts.
We hope you enjoy the music and are inspired by the songs, but most of all, that you come to believe that for you, too, it’s not too late to start anew.
Mike Johnson – Guitar and Vocals
Dr. Mike Johnson holds a PhD in psychology and has been a practicing psychotherapist for 33 years. He also earned a second degree black-belt in Hapkido karate and has owned and operated his own karate studio. Mike has 2 children and 4 grandchildren.
Regarding his music experience, with encouragement of his dad, Mike picked up the guitar at the age of 9. In his own words, "I loved it and started my first band at the age of 12. My dad served as band manager, and the band was called the Flourescents." Mike played guitar from 7th grade and into high school and, by the age of 15, became so proficient on the instrument that he was asked to teach guitar in a local music store.
Mick, as Sal the Daze of Blue drummer often calls him, formed and played with several bands throughout his teen years. He performed locally in Southern California with The Showmen, The Blades of Grass, and Live Oak. Although music was Mike’s passion, the demands of life caused him to take a different path.
For decades, the responsibilities of marriage, children, obtaining his PhD and establishing a practice in psychotherapy became his primary focus. But, after a difficult divorce and years of not playing music, Mike determined that it was time to pursue the passion of his life, music. In 2004, Mike formed a "classic-rock and country" band called Sedona. The band was a union of life-long friends that enjoyed entertaining throughout Southern California. Now co-leading Daze of Blue with keyboardist, Randy Ray, Mike is once again "doing what he loves and loving what he does."
Randy Ray – Keyboardist and Musical Arranger
For the past 30 years, Randy has been the president of a film distribution company. However, he began his musical career in 1962 as the organ player for a "one-hit wonder" group called The Dartells. During the decade of the ‘60s, Randy played in nightclubs, worked as songwriter for the animation film company, Hanna-Barbera Films, and produced for several major labels such as Dot Records, Paramount Records, Atlantic, and WEA.
Throughout the early ‘70s, Randy and his various bands (The Dartells, The Now Concept and Rain) had the opportunity to perform as opening acts for several high profile recording artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, Elton John and others. But, by 1974, Randy determined that playing in a group was not for him so he moved to the Philippines to build and operate a recording studio in Manila. While in the Philippines, Randy worked with top international advertising agencies such as McCann-Erickson and J. Walter Thompson for clients like Coke-a-Cola, Sinclair Paint and 7-UP. And it was in Asia that his life changed.
Randy was introduced to Jesus Christ by Quaker missionaries. And after praying to receive Christ in April of 1977, Randy returned to the US in order to join the staff of Campus Crusade for Christ to launch a new Christian label. He was with Campus Crusade from 1981 to 2000.
In 2009, as a result of several invitations and opportunities to "sit in" with Mike's band Sedona, Randy and Mike co-founded Daze of Blue. In Randy’s own words, "I never realized how much I missed playing music.. I love it… and I’m having fun doing something I thought I would never do again… and I truly believe that it’s not too late to start anew"
Sal Rodriguez – Drummer and Vocalist
Sal's keen interest in music and his natural rhythm caused him to pick up the drums at the age of eight. His extraordinary musical gifts and abilities were obvious to all who heard young Sal and it was not long before he began playing with many local teen bands.
Versatile in all styles of music, from rock, Latin, country, gospel to jazz, Sal has performed live and recorded with the group LA Times and with solo artist Barry White. As a member of the band The L.A. Mob, Sal played opening act for many highly prominent artists including Tower of Power, Tierra and Shalimar. After Sal made a decision for Christ in the '80s, he performed with the Christian band Looking Up. However, as is often the case in the career of a musician, the demands of life necessitated that Sal set aside his music in order to provide for his wife and children. Sal and wife Kathy now have a blended family of four children and eight grandchildren.
While "making a living" as a certified engineer and big rig driver, deep within his soul, Sal never lost his love for music or his desire to perform. His incredible voice and outstanding playing abilities were "re-born" when, in 2009, he was asked to perform and sing with the group Daze of Blue.
During the time Daze of Blue recorded their first CD; Sal suffered a major heart attack and had to undergo triple by-pass surgery. The recording was halted but, after 6-month recovery period, Sal re-joined the group to complete the first Daze of Blue CD, appropriately entitled "not too late to start anew."
Steve Learned – Bass and Vocals
Steve Learned has been a working musician in the Orange County and Los Angeles area for over forty years.
During this time he has had the opportunity to work in many venues and with many well known musicians, from doing opening shows for such notables as Dave Mason, Rick Nelson, Patty Loveless, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Kingston Trio and Pat Boone to working in Las Vegas with Bill Medley of Righteous Brothers fame.
In 1984 Steve played at Republican National Headquarters for Ronald Reagan on the night he won re-election.
Although Steve served as operations officer and airplane pilot for a music rental company for many years, as well as working as an administrator for a medical laser manufacturer, he has always continued his music career, remaining true to his family tradition; both of his parents were gifted musicians and educators, and encouraged Steve to begin playing music at an early age.
As a result of Steve’s extensive ba
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