Eighty Mile Beach members Beth Custer and Christian Jones adopted their moniker from a clandestine locale along the shores of western Australia, where the copper–sanded landmass of the continent meets the majestic, sky–blue expanse of the ocean. That space where land intersects sea, where complementary opposites meet along one line, is a metaphor that aptly describes the San Francisco duo.
Eighty Mile Beach are a melding of two worlds – Custer’s poetic lyricism and woodwind musicianship with Jones’ rhythmic, beat–influenced grooves. While emerging from places on opposite ends of the spectrum, together, they make organic, primordial music, influenced by everything from jazz improvisation to the rhythms of modern electronic dance.
Custer is a veteran clarinetist virtuoso best known for her 13 years as an original member of San Francisco’s eclectic Club Foot Orchestra. Combining a wide array of instrumentation – including woodwinds, brass, guitars, and percussion – Club Foot Orchestra gained notoriety worldwide for their acclaimed live accompaniments to silent film classics such as Fritz Lang’s "Metropolis" and the animated "Felix the Cat" series on CBS.
San Francisco–native Jones began as a hip–hop DJ at clubs and college radio, eventually feeding his creative hunger by learning various instruments: guitar, bass, samplers and whatever else he could lay his hands on. Jones’ love of music led him into studio production, and his sonic expertise has made him an invaluable co–producer and engineer in the Bay Area community. Among the artists he has worked with are Charlie Hunter (Blue Note Records), Henry Kaiser, Bill Frisell, and TJ Kirk (whose album was nominated for a 1997 Grammy Award).
They discovered a common appreciation for experimenting with well–written, interesting music. The two began to collaborate almost immediately. "Sometimes the seeds to our music will begin with one of Beth’s poems," says Jones. "Sometimes it’ll start with a drum beat or a bass line I create. "We both approach one point from each of our respective backgrounds." What has emerged over a period of two years is a wonderfully, vibrant, earthy collection of songs that comprise their debut LP, Inclement Weather.