I was 19 in 1977 when I started playing the blues in San Francisco/East Bay bars and clubs.
I was fortunate to have grown up in an area with a thriving blues scene and learned first-hand from
"the old guys".
In 1989 I toured Europe with Ron Hacker and the Hacksaws.
I've played all of the major Northern California festivals-San Francisco Blues Festival, Sacramento Blues Festival, Marin Blues Festival, Monterey Blues Festival and Redwood City Blues Festival. I played on Mark Hummels 1st harmonica blowout in 1991 and twice since. I've the shared the stage with blues legends James Cotton, Brownie Mcgee, Lowell Fulson, Eddie Taylor, Sonny Roads, John Mayall, Maria Muldaur, Del Ray, Lazy Lester and Percy Mayfield.
I played with Mississippi Johnny Waters and Sonny Lane for about 5 years until they both passed away.
Our drummer was the legendary Francis Clay. I recently ended a 2 year stint with "Red's Blues" based in Sacramento.I've played on dozens of albums including releases by Steve Freund, Red Archibald, John Broadway Tucker, Planet Blues, Mojo Madness, Maria Muldaur, Carol McComb, Shane Dwight, Paris Slim, Clarence guitar Sims , Red's Blues and Ron Hacker.
In 1998 I purchased a mandolin to learn to play pre-war blues on. I bought some Bill Monroe and Stanley Brothers recordings to hear how the mandolin could sound and started digging the soulfulness of the oldtime bluegrass sound. I've played mandolin and sang with Alhambra Valley Band ,John Murphy's Carolina Special, McCrae Brothers and Keystone Station. I've headed my own Bluegrass/Oldtime Ensemble "Dave Earl and Friends" that's featured some of the Bay Area's best bluegrass musicians.
I had the opportunity to open for a Ralph Stanley show in the spring of 2000. I've played onstage at the following Bluegrass festivals: Good Old fashioned Bluegrass Festival, Willow Creek, Wolf Mountain, Woodland, Mid State, Scotts Valley, Plymouth, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, SFBOT, Bluegrass by the River in Arizona and California Bluegrass Association Fathers Day (Main Stage and Vern's Stage) .
I can also sometimes be found playing mandolin at Bluegrass Jams.
In 2014 I began learning Old-Time fiddle music on mandolin and released a CD "Old-Time Ramble"
I can often be heard playing solo (guitar with harp in a rack) at Pier 39 at Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I've developed a method of micing the racked harp that captures the authentic Chicago style blues harp tone. In my solo show I sing and play mostly Early Chicago and Delta Blues. I can also use backup tracks with mixes from my CD's so people can hear my music with more accompaniment.
Occasionally I am joined by musicians from the SF community.
In 2017 I relocated to Grass Valley in California's Gold Country.
I play locally and also travel to the Bay Area and Sacramento for gigs.
I play around Grass Valley/Nevada City with harmonica player Scott Hickman in the acoustic blues band
"Big Bend Blues"
I have released 15 CD’s of my own:“Unplugged”, “Harmonica Country” , "SF Street Blues", "Sidewalk Boogie", "Big City Blues", "Rockin Blues" "Blues Instrumentals", "Mandolin Blues", "Harmonica Blues", "Uptown Guitar Blues". "Acoustic Blues Instrumentals", "Bluegrass", "Old-Time Ramble",
"San Francisco Christmas" and "Waterfront Blues", all on my “Backtrack Records” label.
I also engineered and produced the Carolina Special CD “Carolina Sunset” when I was playing with them.
My CD'S are available at my online store or by contacting me.at 415 564 4910 or email@example.com