Everything Is Just Like It Seems
Gary Strauss left Detroit and traveled to San Francisco in the early 1970's with $50 and his guitar. He was fortunate to meet Marty Balin's father, Joe Buchwald, who introduced him to Mitchel Holman (bassist, It's A Beautiful Day). They soon formed a trio with Elvin Bishop\'s drummer, John Chambers. The group was a workshop for the members, who all wrote songs and supported each other\'s development. They performed at clubs and outdoor venues throughout the city. Gary ultimately landed a gig with the Fabulous Sylvester though a recommendation from bassist Steve Depra (now a fixture in the NYC music scene). Sylvester's unique style of gospel/rock proved to be an invaluable education. Gary returned to Detroit in the 1980s to record his own material and played numerous gigs with his group, the "Ratrace Choir." During this time, he worked with R&B legend Jimmy Ruffin, who produced vocals on the first album. Subsequently, he toured with Carl Carlton in support of his hit, "Bad Mamma Jamma." In the 1990\'s, Gary produced and wrote songs for Detroit based vocalists Tatiana and Valerie Thomas. At some point in the late 1990\'s, he descended into the Labyrinth of playing top forty music. Having realized that he had driven himself a significant distance down a road far from the path he set out to travel when he originally relocated to San Francisco, Gary took advantage of an academic scholarship to attend law school and received his J.D. in 1993. He continues to write and play at sessions in the Detroit area. In 2008, he recorded renditions of 14 songs he wrote though the years.