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The Story Behind Homestead & Wolfe’s CD

1. Ernie’s book: Mexican Roots, American Soil

Music was another YF drawing card. Our Good Sam Singers was an ensemble group of about 30 teenagers that contributed to the Sunday worship services. We also sang at nursing homes, prisons, and rest homes. A couple of these people were musically gifted, especially JoAnne Avery (Neish)… She was majoring in music at De Anza Community College. Eventually, I put her in charge of the entire music program and suggested that the church hire her part-time (they did)…

A smaller group of seven, that I dubbed Homestead and Wolfe (H&W), consisting of myself and six youth, toured the nation. JoAnne and I were primarily responsible for putting H&W together. Our group was so good that I contacted my old musical friends, the Wrecking Crew (see pp.136-137), and with their instrumental backing recorded an album in the mid ’70s at the pre-eminent Gold Star Studios in Hollywood with Stan Roos on board as our engineer. The album was titled Our Times. Thirty years later, the album was reissued by Anopheles Records.

Ernie  Bringas, Mexican Roots, American Soil, June 2016, Phantasm Press, page 244-246, ISBN 0692721584

2. Anopheles Records

Originally released in 1975, Homestead & Wolfe’s lone and unknown privately pressed LP is an artifact so lost to time, it has never appeared in any discography, list of rare records, or catalog, anywhere. However, exists it does, and now their story can be told.

Homestead & Wolfe was a folk-harmony group based around the United Methodist Good Samaritan Church in Cupertino, CA (near San Jose). Comprised of two female lead vocalists, one male lead vocalist, and buttressed with superb male and female harmonies throughout, H&W performed original material in a rich, melodic folk-rock-country style that is well executed, as well as earnest and personal. The patriarch, producer and lyricist of the group, Ernie Bringas, had dabbled in the record biz as one of two founding members of the “surf hot rod” early 1960s vocal duo the Rip Chords… As a Minister of Youth and master planner and motivator at Good Sam from 1969-75, Bringas assembled and encouraged this ensemble of counselors and students, eventually offering them an opportunity to record an album and have a shot at ‘making it’ as artists. He gave them the ultimate leg up’ in the business, producing this finely crafted recording using his old Hollywood connections.

These 15 tracks were recorded at the legendary Gold Star Studios in Hollywood between 1973-75. Engineered by Stan Ross, these recordings feature top flight studio musicianship from legendary “wrecking crew” drummer Hal Blaine, guitarist Ben Benay (Goldenrod, Darius), acoustic guitarist Al Casey, monster bass player Ray Pohlman, not to mention one of the world’s most renowned and respected pedal steel guitar players, JayDee Manesss . . . . The harmonies and arrangements of H&W recall both the Mamas and the Papas and the Carpenters at times . . . .

Homestead & Wolfe represents a highly unusual and strikingly original blend of unproven but talented youth vocalists, top quality session players and engineering, and a truly rare chemistry that makes this one of the great folk-rock discoveries of the last 10 years.”

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