Key points Henry Howard and Patrick Ayres' live performance of their CD, "Home" 10 p.m. today Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant
Henry Howard and Patrick Ayres have been playing their instruments for less than two years, but already they've released their own CD of original material.
The two seniors at Steamboat Springs High School recorded "Home" to satisfy the requirement at Steamboat Springs High School that they complete a senior project. The result is good enough to support a live performance, at 10 p.m. tonight at the Rio Grande Mexican Restaurant, 628 Lincoln Ave.
"Home," is as much about the passion he shares for music with Ayres as it is about fulfilling graduation requirements, Howard said.
"I think I just have such a passion and a natural ability for music, I sit down at the piano and go as far as I can with it," Howard said.
Ayres said his parents gave him a guitar for Christmas about four years ago and he noodled on it for a week before giving up. He rediscovered it just more than a year ago, and with a little guidance from Howard, began improvising leads off scales.
Howard has been involved with choir for most of his school years, he said. He began playing the acoustic guitar about two years ago, and began studying piano with internationally known Steamboat recording artist Mary Stockdale seven months ago.
Howard began piano lessons with traditional sheet music, but thought the melodies coming out of his own head sounded better.
"Ms. Stockdale has helped me to bring out that natural improvisation that was there," Howard said.
He said the eight original tunes that he and Ayres recorded (they collaborate on some tunes and write others independently) are straightforward in the relaxed mode of Jack Johnson and Ben Harper.
"Our music is simple, but deep as far as the feeling of it all. It comes from our own personal experiences," Howard said.
Ayres said he's looking forward to performing a song tonight that didn't make the final list for the CD. The genesis for the song can be traced to a home-building mission he completed with United Methodist Church.
"It's called 'Fallen Angels,' and it's about taking things for granted," he said.
Both musicians have played at open mic nights at Mahogany Ridge and during spring break last month, they summoned the courage to step up in front of an unfamiliar audience at an open mic night at a restaurant in Costa Rica.
They'll bring their music "Home" in a live performance tonight.