Ian Hinkley was born in Seattle but after a couple weeks’ time, the family had moved to Southern California, then nine years later moved to Sonoma, where Hinkley has called home ever since.
His mother was a folk singer and guitar player and his brother David, 13 years his senior and also a local musician, played guitar and sang as well. Young Hinkley broke his musical teeth on a harmonica when he was just 2, learning Ray Charles tunes, and the family would sit and play and sing harmonies to Neil Young and other folk singers.
Hinkley joined his first band when he was 18 and, no coincidence, it was with his older brother – an act called the Cavemen – where he stayed for seven years, playing in local bars and clubs even when he was underage. After the band broke up, Hinkley tried to convince himself music just wasn’t worth pursuing, and wondered why he wanted to do it in the first place. Was it notoriety? Girls? Boredom? He had no idea, so he stopped, but often found himself noodling on the guitar as his daughter slept and it dawned on him: This was never going to go away. It was in him and he really had no choice in the matter but to play. He decided to begin to write some songs and got some friends together and the Bumblin’ Bones was born.