NC musician’s career hits a higher gear |

NC musician’s career hits a higher gear

Guitarist-singer-songwriter Adam Kline is modest for someone who may be on his way to becoming a regional act.

The Nevada City resident was recently signed by new Sacramento indie label Doppler Records to record two CDs. Kline fails to mention that Greg Brown of Cake (“The Distance”) is the producer, or that Victor Damiani, formerly a bass player with Cake, co-owns Doppler Records.

Kline, who started recording in Damiani’s studio this week, will be the first musician to have a full-length CD on Doppler, but don’t expect to hear that from him.

He’s the type of musician who asks if friends can be included in interviews so the story’s not just about him.

And Kline, 23, is embarrassed that the photographer at the interviews might take pictures that show CDs, guitars, clothes and photos strewn against his bedroom wall. He is afraid it might give the impression he’s lazy.

Kline was the guitarist for The Gears, a popular Nevada County trio performing Beatlesque-pop rock style originals from 1998 to 2001. He wrote most of the group’s songs.

The trio broke up when drummer Neal Morgan went off to the University of California at Berkeley and bass player Jason Graham moved to Portland, Ore., to check out the music scene there. Kline remained in Nevada City and kept The Gears’ image in front of the public by regularly sending detailed e-mails to 250 addresses.

These e-mails still eloquently describe the achievements of his former trio members, list gigs featuring friends and push The Gears’ two CDs, “Today and Tomorrow” and “Wakey Wakey.”

Of course it’s Kline who also maintains The Gears Web site at

When The Gears broke up, Kline thought of his future and formed Golden Shoulders to play melodic pop rock-based music with a rotating lineup of friends.

“It’s a way for me to play shows with my friends,” Kline said, “mostly so far in Sacramento. I hope to play more in Nevada City because I love it here.”

While other musicians are thinking about how to leave Nevada City, Kline wants a music career from Nevada City.

Asked if he would consider the possibility of moving to a more music industry-friendly area such as Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco, Kline strikes a panic-stricken pose.

“I’m not going anywhere. What do you mean?” Kline states adamantly, squinching his face.

“I have no intentions of moving away from Nevada City. Look outside my apartment,” he says, almost reassuring himself. “It’s beautiful; the people, the river are wonderful. It’s a good feeling here.”

If his CD, set to be released by late spring, is well-received in the Pacific Northwest, Kline will gladly tour, though – as long as he can return home immediately after the gigs are completed.

“I’d be happy seeing a lot of the world. I’m not afraid to leave the confines. I just like this womb,” he says.

Kline also truly likes his friends.

If he makes it, Kline’s friends will be there with him, sharing in his good fortune. Local and Sacramento-based pals of Kline will guest on the CD.

“I’m excited. I think that everything is in place for this CD to be something we can be proud of,” Kline says.

“People ask me if this is a solo thing, but it’s more people than I’ve played with before,” Kline says. “It’s definitely going to be a team project.”

Graham, who returned to Nevada City because it’s a more supportive music scene (thanks to friends like Kline), says it’s just like Kline to include his friends in his successes.

“I think that with this record deal in particular, he has a chance to do what he wants to do, which is to make a decent living in music,” says Graham, who has been in bands with Kline since their days at Nevada Union High School.

Graham, who will appear on the CD, added, “It’s totally on his shoulders this time, it’s all his thing; that’s pretty cool.”

Keara Fallon, the other half of Doppler Records, believes Kline might go very far.

First seeing him at an early Gears gig, she’s kept in touch with Kline through his mass e-mailings.

“His ability to connect with an audience on top of producing songs that are playful yet serious, that kind of energy and charisma we don’t see very often,” Fallon says. “He makes everyone feel good and gives a good performance no matter what.”

Fallon has only high praise for the Nevada City musician.

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