Here's how it goes:

This guy Dug moves to L.A. to make his mark in music. He puts together a band, grand concept, huge scheme, it's beautiful, it's perfect, it's starting to sound like a band, and - oops - it's all the wrong people, and it disintegrates into a smoldering mess. Dug is burned out and frustrated, and his friend Molly is constantly pestering him to play some music, and he thinks, "What a concept, play some music for fun," and they get together and jam with Dug's roommate Jeremy, and from there blossoms the band that will become Garden Variety. Dug's other roommate Finn starts to sit in on a song here and there, playing mandolin, but it gets embarrassing for him to keep getting on and off the stage, so they figure he should just learn all the songs, which he does. From there they go through numerous bass players until they find Matt, and for a while they have a friend playing saxophone and flute, but he isn't always available, which prompts Dug to search the papers and find a violin player looking for a jazz group. They entice him to come over - "Yeah, we have one jazz song ... or at least it's got some minor chords in it" - and his name is James. Molly has a couple of babies, which interrupts the progression slightly, but bodes well for Garden Variety: The Next Generation.

Molly's sister Linda (they're identical twins) comes for a visit in '91 and they force her to sing with her sister at a couple of shows. About six months later she decides to move to L.A. and of course they won't let her do that unless she agrees to sing with the band.

At least that's the story so far. Garden Variety is still adventuring and still having fun and still growing, and when they're not playing a loose, laid-back set somewhere in California, they're writing or jamming or playing with Molly's kids or hanging out at Dug's place. Somewhere in there there's good food and songbirds and the sun on your face ... it's a lot like a garden in all the best ways.

Excerpted from The Racer Record, the Racer Records newsletter.