CD to showcase Virginia City musicians |

CD to showcase Virginia City musicians

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal Tim Fackler, a.k.a. Stoan E. Pickens, listens to a practice session in his home studio in Virginia City on Friday night. A CD featuring musicians from the Comstock town, "Dusty Rose: A Virginia City Gathering," is expected to be released in about a month.

It all started with a “wouldn’t it be great if…” comment.

“Wouldn’t it be great if the musicians in town could all play together?” asked guitarist Paul Smith, who performs with a variety of Virginia City musicians.

Tim Fackler, a finish carpenter and Texas native now living on the Comstock, took the idea and ran with it, inviting 25 musicians who work or live in Virginia City to get together to record a CD. They would all perform original songs and be side men on each others’ tracks.

He found out that was easier said then done.

“The hardest thing was getting the musicians all together,” he said. “This was a four-month project and we only had all the musicians together once.”

But after the four months and many nights of recording a few tracks, then adding tracks as musicians became available, “Dusty Rose: A Virginia City Gathering” should be out in about a month.

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Fackler, 56, a singer, guitarist and songwriter who has been playing music for just six years, is the director and producer of the project, and has a few songs on the CD.

“I play with guys who have been playing for 40, 50, even 60 years, so they make me sound good,” he said. “I’m just a catalyst in many areas.”

He said he is a melody and lyric man, leaving more experienced musicians to come up with the leads and fills in his songs.

“I don’t usually direct them,” he said. “I just let the player go with what he feels.”

He’s known as Stoan E. Pickens for music purposes and put out a CD of his own a few years ago.

He said his stage name came from Smith’s comment about his playing, “man, that’s some stony pickins” which Fackler said referred to a smooth, easy playing style. “The E. stands for easy,” he said.

The CD is a compilation of 20 original songs performed by 25 different artists who either live or work in Virginia City. Fackler said the styles include classical, 1860s waltz, rock and roll, new country, alternative and a few old-fashioned protest songs.

Engineered in the basement studio of Reno music producers Ryan Colier and Brendon Lund, the CD includes piano tunes by Squeek LaVake, songs by husband-and-wife duo Will & Sheree Rose, singer-guitarist Bobby Kittle as well as Stoan E. Pickens.

Three members or former members of the Comstock Cowboys have contributed; guitarists Glenn Buschine and Dale Poune each added a song and Cowboys’ bass player Rick Hammel adds a classical piano number.

“There’s some amazing musicians here,” Fackler said. “That’s one thing I was trying to do, show what talent is here.”

Other musicians in on the project include guitarist Smith, who had the original idea, guitarist and mandolin player Jesse James, bassist Steve Neil, saxman Stogy Buckhorn, drummers Bob Stransky and Bob Shadow, singer-guitarist Michael Ray, guitarist Doug Tarrant, Harry Callahan, Duane Brown, Robert Baker of the group, No Agenda, Sherry Benitez, Gabe Sosa, Frank Falcione and Roger Hass.

Fackler said the final mix of “Dusty Rose: a Virginia City Gathering” will be done July 1, then sent to Los Angeles to be mastered. The CD should be out by the end of July, he said.

The CDs will be sold in Virginia City shops and over the Internet, with Fackler getting first shot at any proceeds.

Fackler is hoping to organize a live performance of the music, but is running into the same problem as when they were recording – getting all the musicians in one place.

“But when we do this live, it will be amazing,” he said.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at or 882-2111 ext. 351.