Alex Colvin has been playing guitar and writing songs for over 40 years. Born in Manhattan, he grew up listening to old jazz records, especially Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven and his Hot Five. He also enjoyed listening to his mom and aunts harmonize on old Tin Pan Alley standards and party songs.
As a child, his family moved to San Francisco, and then to Montana. Rock and roll, surfing music, the British Rock Invasion, folk music, counterculture music of the sixties, blues, reggae, and country all influenced his music. In addition to over 80 of his original songs he plays over 200 covers from all of these genres. Among his favorites are Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Leonard Cohen, Louis Armstrong, the Eagles, John Lennon, Neil Young, Willie Nelson, Bob Marley….but there are really too many to name.
In 1968, he left Montana to go to school in Seattle at University of Washington. This was a time when a lot was happening and also a time of great music. The weekend he arrived, Jesse Colin Young and the Youngbloods were playing the Love U Festival on University Boulevard. Alex and his friends loved going to concerts of Albert King, the Grateful Dead, Three Dog Night, John Mayall, Blind Faith, and other greats of the sixties. Alex's roommate, Charlie, had grown up in San Francisco going to Fillmore West and really knew how to pick the bands.
It was in Seattle that Alex began developing his unique finger-picking style. At a guitar workshop in the Cascade Mountains west of Seattle, Jerry Corbitt from the Youngbloods taught him alternate bass picking and Janis Ian helped him to develop his vocal style and introduced him to more complex chord phrasing and strumming. Alex DeGrassi inspired him to be more serious about picking when he taught him to play some Hot Tuna and Classical Gas. He was also influenced by the style of Mississippi John Hurt and Jerry Silverman.
In 1971, he quit school and went "on the road." He hitchhiked around the country playing music and exploring life. Eventually he settled down in Maryland where he continued his education and worked for a time as a writer, editor, graphic designer, web designer, event organizer, and consultant for several non-profit organizations.
However, Alex always kept a guitar handy to translate his experiences and insights into song. He also continued to improve his music and songwriting through study and practice of chords, scales, and theory to give depth, background, and finesse to his music while at the same time keeping it down home and earthy.
Entering the 21st century, the muse seized him. Since then he has devoted himself solely to performing, song writing, and poetry. His songs and poems chronicle many aspects of the "sixties generation."
Alex and his wife Linda currently live half the year in Maryland and half the year in the Cascade Mountains in Northern California.