Guitarist for Soulshine has always loved music
Geoff Fish was 10 years old when he got his first guitar. Since then, he’s never looked back.
By day, Fish, who grew up in La Marque, works as a medical technologist at the University of Texas Medical Branch. But by night — at least two or three times a week — he plays at venues around the county.
Fish has worked at the medical branch for 20 years. But he still lives for playing music, he said.
“It’s my passion,” he said.
Fish credits his older brothers for exposing him to great music early in life.
“Growing up, my brothers were listening to Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix,” Fish said. “They’re the ones who gave me the love for it.”
But it wasn’t until Van Halen’s 1978 self-titled debut album, which many say rewrote the rules of rock guitar and hard rock in general, that Fish said he really knew what he wanted to do with his own music.
“That was it,” Fish said. “It just took off from there.”
Fish took guitar and bass lessons growing up. He played in a couple of other bands, besides Soulshine, over the years. Those bands too were local and made up of other local musicians.
One of the bands, called The Hunger, was based out of Dickinson.
“We played a lot of alternative rock,” Fish said.
In college, he also played with a band called Sternal Ray, which was made up of all medical branch residents.
And in the 2000s, he was with the Full Throttle Band that played a lot of classic rock across the county in icehouses and biker bars.
He quit playing with that band to attend the medical branch, he said. Shortly after, the band got signed with a label and started touring across the country, which is something it still does today.
In Soulshine, Fish plays alongside Jimmy Ray and Scott Misner.
“With Ray and Fish, we just sound like Gulf Coast people,” Fish said, laughing.
Today, Soulshine plays a big mix of music, which includes classic rock, modern rock and outlaw country music covers. But those in the audience can always be guaranteed to hear one song at every performance, he said.
“Our band is named after Warren Haynes’ song ‘Soulshine,’” Fish said. “We play it at every show.”
But the band gets a lot of its influence from 1960s rock bands such as Cream, Eric Clapton and Black Sabbath.
“That’s some of the best music,” Fish said.
Oddly enough, some of the best musicians and music-related friends Fish has ever met was while hitting up various biker and karaoke bars, he said.
“That’s where I really fell in love with blues music,” Fish said. “You get to where you can just jump up on stage and play with anyone.”
Today, Fish said he gets a lot of inspiration by simply listening to Pandora.
“It’s easy to really dive into and listen to all kinds of music, some stuff you may have never heard of before,” Fish said.
But other times while listening, it’s easy to hear where an artist got his or her inspiration, he said.
“You may be sitting there listening and hear a lick you recognize,” Fish said. “Music is such a language like that.”
That language is something he’s gone on to share with his son, daughter and wife, he said.
“It’s something that brings us together,” Fish said. “It’s something that can bring people from all walks of life together — music is really special like that.”
To listen to some of Fish’s music or to learn about one of Soulshine’s upcoming performances, visit www.facebook.com/texassoulshine.