Gayla has been playing guitar since age 4, fiddle and mandolin since age 10, and began her career as a professional performing musician at age 9. Her work as a music journalist for several prestigious guitar magazines, including Fingerstyle Guitar, Fingerstyle360, Acoustic Guitar and Premier Guitar, give her a depth of knowledge that encompasses playing, composing, guitar construction, gigging and recording.
Gayla performs regularly around the Iowa City and Cedar Rapids areas. Look for her billed as "Drake and Johnson", "Natalie Brown and Gayla Drake", "Drake and Waite", "Aunt G and the Stone City Nephews", and "Bruner, Drake, and Johnson".
Gayla has a wide interest in many styles of acoustic and classical guitar including bluegrass, folk, fingerstyle, open tunings (particularly DADGAD). Gayla also teaches songwriting, mandolin, and fiddle for students who want to learn bluegrass, old-time, Celtic fiddling, and even blues, country-blues and rockabilly. Drake has vast experience leading and teaching songwriting workshops both privately and at several Midwestern colleges, and will gladly work as a songwriting teacher/coach one-on-one.
When she’s not teaching, Gayla enjoys writing, sewing, beading, and studying ancient Celtic history (anthropology and mythology).
Gayla recently completed a new CD of all-original music with Aunt G and the Stone City Nephews.