Heath De Fount-Haberlin-Full Bio
Heath De Fount-Haberlin was born in San Francisco, California on January 8, 1970 at UCSF near Haight Street in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury neighborhood and raised in both San Francisco and on Mt. Tamalpais in Tamalpais Valley, California. He is a seventh generation San Franciscian. Heath was born on Elvis Presley’s birthday almost a month late, "My mom is the biggest Elvis fan in the world so I am convinced she held me in until the King’s B-Day." He currently resides in both San Francisco and Mill Valley. Heath is San Francisco-based guitarist, singer-songwriter and musician. He is also a producer, arranger and author who also teaches guitar, bass, piano, drums and songwriting. It is the collective sum of the aforementioned musical skills for which Heath has been hired as a professional in the studio and on stage for the past three decades.
Heath’s unique upbringing in the San Francisco Bay Area, around a both musical and artistic environment, exposed him to a wealth of great music, musicians and artists. Heath was raised in a self-proclaimed "musically vibrant community" where members of the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Grace Slick and Sammy Hagar all lived in close proximity. Heath grew up on Mt. Tamalpais and attended Tamalpais High School, in Mill Valley, California, with late rapper Tupac Shakur, Chris Chaney, the bass player of Jane’s Addiction as well as a member of Alanis Morissette’s touring and recording band from 1995 to 2002 when she sold an astonishing 30 million records worldwide, actress Courtney Thorne-Smith and MTV VJ China Kantner, daughter of Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick and Paul Kantner. (NOTE: Congrats to my two high school friends from Tamalpais High School, Chris Chaney and Tupac Shakur, on their respective 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominations!)
Heath knows plenty about musical traditions: traditional blues provided epiphany that launched his own career. As a teenager growing up in Mill Valley, California, he discovered the music of Stevie Ray Vaughan. By age 19, only six years after getting his first electric guitar, he was performing at local blues bars and rock clubs. After graduating high school, he entered both College of Marin and UC Berkley as a music major and a baseball college athlete before receiving a Division 1 baseball scholarship to the University of San Francisco. Heath moved to San Francisco to develop his musical style from a range of electric and acoustic influences, including rock, blues and folk.
Mill Valley’s legendary Sweetwater Saloon also had a profound influence on Heath's musical upbringing. Heath's childhood friend was the late Tro Patterson, son of Jeanie Patterson, Sweetwater's original owner. The nightclub had featured Jerry Garcia, Elvis Costello, Bob Weir, Ry Cooder, Santana and John Lee Hooker. Heath fondly recalls sneeking into Sweetwater underage and seeing live blues for the first time-blues icon John Lee Hooker. Heath performed there with many prominent local artists such as San Francisco Lilith Fair winner Noelle Hampton, Storm of the television show "Rockstar-Supernova", Allyson Paige, Heather Combs, Lynn Asher, Raz Kennedy, Bobby Vega, Dean Del Ray, Cole Tate and Vince Converse. Heath was also in the Sweetwater Saloon’s house band with bassist Kevin T. White for up and coming singer-songwriters as the ’67 Satellites as well as playing at Sweetwater's environmental monthly benefits concert the "Soundwood Jam Series" with Allyson Paige. Unfortunately, the legendary Sweetwater Saloon closed it's doors in late 2007.
Mill Valley’s Village Music also had a lasting musical influence. Village Music's owner John Goodard would direct and advise Heath on "real" artists, their music and Heath would listen, buy their records and learn from them. John ran the place since 1968. He transformed the mom-and-pop music store, where he worked as a teenager, into an archive and a mecca of music and memorabilia, drawing customers and celebrities from across the country and helped make the store world-famous. Almost as renowned as the store itself are its customers, some of whom have appeared at the anniversary bashes the store throws for faithful customers and friends. A perfect example of one of those parties, always held at Mill Valley's Sweetwater Saloon, included performances by such disparate musicians (and Village Music fans) as Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, James Burton and Jerry Garcia. Sadly, in the face of a new era in music and increasing rents, Heath's hometown of Mill Valley lost it's two genuine aforementioned treasures and also lost a big chunk of its soul; it's two and only bastions of quirky, funky, non-yuppie goodness. Both the Sweetwater Saloon and Village Music oozed character and soul, and that's partly why they remained such a renowned destinations and musical landmarks for decades. Goddard closed Village Music's doors in September 2007.
Heath has performed at many Bay Area clubs including the Great American Music Hall, Bimbo’s 365 Club, Slims, the Sweetwater Saloon, 19 Broadway, Peri's, the Boom Boom Room, the Last Day Saloon in San Francisco and in Santa Rosa, Lou’s Pier 47, the Saloon in North Beach, Oakland's historic Eli's Mile High Club, Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz and the Edge in Palo Alto to name a few. He has also played at some of San Francisco's most historical landmarks such as San Francisco’s City Hall, the De Young Museum, the Asian Art Museum, the Old Federal Building, the General's Residence at Fort Mason and the Log Cabin in the Presidio. Heath has preformed at many Bay Area Festivals including the North Beach Festival, the Union Street Festival, the Muir Beach Fireman BBQ, the Tam Valley Creekside Festival and nationally at the Lake Tahoe Blues Festival with such artists as Etta James, Bobby Blue Bland, Maria Muldaur and Chris Cain.