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    Bob Gentry

    Biography

    Singer-songwriter Bob Gentry had all but given up on his music career. After several big starts and equally big stops, Gentry moved from Los Angeles to Palm Springs with the intent of starting fresh. Enter Blue Élan Records co-founder, Kirk Pasich, who stumbled upon Gentry’s music.

    Thoug. . .

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    Singer-songwriter Bob Gentry had all but given up on his music career. After several big starts and equally big stops, Gentry moved from Los Angeles to Palm Springs with the intent of starting fresh. Enter Blue Élan Records co-founder, Kirk Pasich, who stumbled upon Gentry’s music.

    Though Gentry had transitioned into another career path, he never stopped writing songs. For him, it was a form of therapya place where he could truly express himself and yet, he always hoped someone else would hear it too. 

    “I had written a bunch of new songs to do with what I'd been feeling and living the last 10 years,” says Gentry. “Pasich had asked if I had any new music so I sent a few demos. Pasich quickly introduced Gentry to Grammy-nominated producer Dave Darling. “The next thing I know, I’m recording a new album,” exclaims Gentry. “In the past, I would write a few songs, rehearse them with a band, and play them live to see how they felt. If they seemed to get a good reception or it just felt great, then I’d book some studio time and record them. But these songs went right from my bedroom and into the recording studio frying pan.”

    It turned out, working with a producer was also new to Gentry as in the past he acted as his own producer, “I was a little nervous at first, but after so much time working with him it’s really hard to imagine not working with him! I think trust is probably the most important thing between an artist and producers and I trust Dave 100%, he really gets me. He knew right away the best way to represent the songs.”

    Gentry felt like he was “back on the horse” again hence the perfectly titledBack on the Horse EP was released in October 2020, his first new music in 10 years. Gentry acknowledged second chances like this don’t come around too often. After giving up on a music career and nestling into a quiet life in Palm Springs, it was the words of Kirk Pasich and Blue Élan that really sold him. “For us, it starts with the music. Good music deserves to be heard, no matter who it’s by, no matter the age, no matter the gender, no matter the faith, no matter the sexual orientation—no matter any of that. Good music by committed artists. That’s what our Blue Élan family is all about.” 

    After releasing the EP and spending much of 2020, as everyone else in the world had, in lockdown at his Palm Springs home, it was there that Gentry continued to write and finish the final two songs for his debut full length album.Fortune Favors iswhy I would even attempt another “horse" ride. It’s that old saying:Fortune Favors the brave, the bold, the strong… I also kind of liked the double meaning offavor being an actual favor; and I still feel extremely fortunate. I’d like to think we make our own luck, but I don’t know how much is really luck and how much is actually putting yourself out there and accepting the good fortune when it happens.”

    The first single fromFortune Favors happens to be Gentry’s favorite track on the record, “Lonesome”. Explaining, “It’snot about feeling lonesome at all, like you might think though. It’s basically saying you canbe alone or do things alone withoutfeeling alone, going alone and taking chances. Often, I’ll get asked the question: “What would you tell your younger self?”…. I wrote the song fromthat point of view. Every line is the advice I would have given myself if I had it to do all over again; not just with music, but with life in general. One line says “climb back on the horse when it comes in last”…and I’ve been trying to take my own advice.”  For Gentry, that advice seems to be working out just fine.

    Recording a Christmas song in July is always a funny concept which is why when Gentry made his first attempt at writing an original holiday tune, the title seemed obvious. “Being a Michigan transplant for the last 20 years or so, I still am not quite used to not having a white Christmas. I’m usually missing my friends and family back in those rustbelt states while trying not to get sunburned here in California. I’m not quite used to seeing palm trees with Christmas lights on them,” explains Gentry. The track was recorded during the holiday lockdown period when COVID was at its peak, sort of juxtaposed as to what the holidays really are, a time with family and friends, not isolated and masked up!

    “I’ve had ‘Monopoly’ in my back pocket for many years but never recorded it. Lyrically, I had so much fun writing it and throwing in all those game references and analogies: Landing on Hotels, you own the Deed, Chance, Rolled Doubles, the Hat and Car piece, Jail, Free Parking, …it goeson and on and it almost wrote itself,” Gentry laughs. “But the main idea of the song is feeling like I haven’t always been such a great player in the game of life and love, especially in relationships where one person seems to own it all. ‘Do you think I can change? Do you think I’m the one? Do you want to share Boardwalk’s fun with me…through your Monopoly?’ I’m pretty sure this isn’t what Parker Brothers had in mind when they made the game. This song is one of my new favorites.”

    A gifted musician from an early age, learning to play both piano and guitar, Gentry honed his musical skills. In his teen years, Gentry found some success with the original line-up of Moisture, a grunge-influenced 90s rock band. The band attracted a dedicated following, and was nominated for Best Rock Band at the Motor City Music Awards. The group disbanded and Gentry found himself relocating to Southern California. 

    After arriving, Bob recreated Moisture with new members from an ad in The Recycler. Finding more success on the West coast, the band performed on the USA Network and Canada's MUCH Music Network, before being offered a recording contract by FarmClub, then a label under Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records.

    “It felt like a scene out of a movie. Six months later, September 11th happened, along with the record industry changing due to things like Napster... everything just sort of vanished,” explains Gentry.  “It went away just as fast as it came, but for those months, I was on Cloud 9.”

    Now solo, Bob Gentry began writing and performing with Grammy-winning artists including prolific singer-songwriter and poet Rod McKuen, best known for songs such as "Seasons In the Sun," "If You Go Away," and the Oscar-nominated "Jean," as well as David Tyson, writer of the hit "Black Velvet" performed by Alannah Myles. Gentry has also worked with Tony DeFranco of the famous DeFranco Family, James Lee Stanley, as well as a growing list of others. His first solo album was released in 2005 and his song “Never Know” was featured in the popular hit Fox television seriesBonesin 2006. That same year, Gentry made it to the finals as part of the cast of the NBC showStarTomorrow which featured David Foster as the head judge. His second solo album,Seconds, was released in 2010.

    Gentry is excited to continue on with this new chapter within his story. This time, he hopes, good fortune is in his favor.

    “On our last day recording I felt like I was about ready to go into detox mode; I was so sad! It was almost like a full day at the amusement park that was coming to an end. Finishing the recording was great, but Inever wanted it to end. I think I could live in the studio; It’s my favorite part of it all. So when Kirk said to me “I think we need to get you in with Dave for another track so we’ll have enough for the record”—he could have said, “I think we need you to go to Hawaii” and the feeling would have been the same.”

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