...no turning back

Darby Stands: BIO

     Darby came into the world on July 24, 1962 in a rural hospital in Medina, Ohio. He started playing the piano when he was about 8 or 9. He didn’t like going to lessons much, but rather enjoyed making up stuff of his own. He also liked using silverware to play the plates, glasses and pans after dinner was finished. His musical education continued aided in a large part by his older brothers' record collections. A wide range of rock, folk, jazz, and country was around to hear. He got interested in guitar at around age 10 and stuck with it. His brothers also took him to his first ‘rock’ concerts including Jethro Tull and Shawn Phillips. The damage was done...there was no turning back after that. He also caught the bluegrass bug and added that to his playing diet. At San Diego State University, he majored in music and got intimate exposure to a variety of ‘world’ music styles, playing and studying with teachers from many different lands. Classical guitar was supplemented with sitar, Japanese Gagaku and Indonesian gamelan. After graduation, travels to Europe, Africa and Asia brought him back to the states to do folk and bluegrass in Idaho. He went to Taiwan in 1994 and studied Chinese zither or ‘gu-jeng’. Next he ended up in Kumamoto, Japan where he began his studies on Japanese koto and shamisen. He formed the Stands & Cairns group with Jeff Cairns on shakuhachi and put out the CD ‘Shirakawa in 1998. Currently he lives in Beppu, Japan continuing his koto studies and playing fiddle in a bluegrass band.


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