Nestled in the hills of rural Northern California, is a tiny town called Pope Valley. This fork in the road is really nothing more than a cold drink stop between the tourist heavy Napa Valley and the recreational area of Lake Berryessa. Less than a quarter mile from the general store, post office and garage, there’s an unassuming little building called the “Pope Valley Farm Center”. This is where the story of Cash Creek began.
A group of local teenagers with big dreams and a love of Country Music, formed a band called “Silver Creek”. They began honing their craft by playing the 4H and FFA dances at the beloved Farm Center. Over the next several years, with a few personnel and band name changes, they became a regional phenomenon, performing in front of thousands of fans at every club, fair, and festival throughout the western United States. It wasn’t long until they began to attract the attention of some record labels in Nashville. Soon after, they were showcasing for the top A & R reps in town. However, what started out as an exciting opportunity, unfortunately led to the band’s ultimate demise.
By the time the guys had returned to the west coast, two of them had already decided they were moving to Music City. One was multi-instrumentalist and founding member, Kimo Forrest. He immersed himself in the music scene, playing with local bands and setting up a recording studio in his converted garage. While he sharpened his skills as a musician and producer, he began playing and touring with established artists like John Michael Montgomery, David Lee Murphy, and various Grand Ole Opry stars, to name just a few. He coproduced records with top hit-makers Byron Gallimore, (Tim McGraw, Sugarland), and Brett Beavers, (Dierks Bentley). He also recorded Hank Williams, Jr., Jeff Cook, (Guitarist for Alabama), Daryle Singletary, and many more.
Steve Stokes was just your local neighborhood “prodigy” in his hometown of Indiana, just outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With an amazing “touch” on the fiddle, and every other musical instrument he laid his hands on, Steve was destined for a bright future in the music business. After earning his college degree, he made the journey to Nashville. His affable personality and impressive abilities landed him gigs with many artists, including, Josh Turner, Trace Adkins, Mel McDaniel, and John Michael Montgomery. It was during the John Michael tour that Steve and Kimo formed a tight bond. Kimo began using Steve on his recordings and the magic was immediately apparent. Steve’s silky-smooth fiddle tone and sparkling mandolin parts were the perfect compliment to Kimo’s heavy drum and guitar-based creations. They knew they had hit on something special and unique.
When Kimo decided to turn this “sound” into a band built for the long haul, he knew he would have to turn to those former “local teenagers” from the “Pope Valley Farm Center” days. A few text messages and phone conversations later, two of his dearest friends, bassist Monty DeVita and drummer Jim Blaylock, were on a plane to Nashville. Another one of Kimo’s close friends also received some text messages extending an invitation to join this ride. Kentucky guitar man, Brad Smith, was the final piece to the puzzle. His considerable skills on the instrument and laid- back personality made him the obvious choice to round out the lineup.
Cash Creek is a unique blending of big vocals and big guitars, with healthy doses of fiddle and mandolin thrown in for good measure. The songs and production are of such a high-caliber, it’s hard to believe this project is self-produced. With it’s distinctive sound and hook laden tunes, you will be driven to listen again and again.
Cash Creek is –
Kimo Forrest - guitars, keyboards, lead vocals Steve Stokes – fiddle, mandolin, guitars, vocals
Monty DeVita – bass, vocals Brad Smith – guitars, vocals Jim Blaylock – drums, vocals