Hal Guio experienced much of his early music education while growing up in Southern California. He started out in the same way so many young musicians do… jams with friends in the garage with the Silvertone guitar he got for Christmas. The afternoon trips to other young player’s homes, by way of Mom and the family Buick, were a regular occurrence. Although the equipment wasn’t the best, it was always big fun. Over the years, both equipment and ability steadily improved. Hal’s musical hobby with the kids next door passed through many stages over time.
Hal came to know life on the road as he delved into different musical projects ranging from duos to dance bands. Early on, Hal’s playing style was influenced by the heavy sounds of the “message” bands of the day. These rock and blues bands of the late sixties and early seventies were a regular source of inspiration. On the flip side, Hal was also attracted to the vocal harmonies of folk music and would often forsake his electric guitar to play acoustic, classic folk ballads with friends, and practice his finger-picking styles. It was also during this period when Hal was first exposed to the island sounds of reggae music which would play such an important role in his musical future.
Although he can’t name one person, Hal’s favorite electric guitarists have always been players who have a signature sound and who could really express themselves through their instrument. Hal says, “Today we have so many great young players who have taken the instrument to another level, just as Clapton, Hendrix and others did in my generation. The evolution of the guitar and its potential are continuing to expand and I think that’s a good thing!”
Of his vocal abilities, Hal says, “Over the years, I’ve been able to develop an edge to my singing style that serves me well on my original tunes, and I’m always working hard to expand my vocal abilities in other directions. Together with my guitar style, I feel I have developed some interesting musical textures that give vibrant color to the fabric of my original music.”
“I think of reggae music, as represented by Bob Marley and other reggae giants, as the music of the soul. The hypnotic rhythms and inspirational lyrics hold a special place in my heart. Reggae is my music of choice when simply listening or relaxing. Reggae is a unique form of folk music and the flavor is always educational, positive and uplifting. This makes reggae music, truly, music for the whole family!”