About Chaska Potter
vocals / guitar
From 1890-1920 a group called "Cheeruptimus" traveled through the U.S sharing their music and their stories with all who would listen. These musicians, Grace and James Potter, were Chaska Potter's great grandparents. From them a love of music has been passed down the family tree, characterizing the heart and soul of the Potter clan.
The third of six children, Chaska was born in a cabin in the Santa Cruz mountains of California. Her parents have always said that musical participation was a prerequisite to joining the family; it wasn't an option. As soon as Chaska could talk she was singing (so the story goes), and by age 8, she was playing the piano. Papa would have the kids up in the morning at 5am, to jam for a couple hours in the garage/studio before skipping off to work and school. "The Potter Family Singers" performed around Santa Cruz County at convalescent homes, dances for handicap children, and holiday events of every kind.
Reaching her current height of 6'1 at the age of 14, Chaska had the attention of every sports coach in the county, as well as some college coaches around the nation. Playing volleyball, basketball and track & field, sports became her main focus. One of Chaska's coaches told her that "if you want to be the best, you have to pick one thing and devote all of your time to it". Thank goodness she didn't take that one seriously! A desire for diversity and versatility, Chaska continued to participate in three sports at Aptos High School, as well as singing in the treble and jazz choir. Her senior year, Chaska won the award for "Athlete of The Year" in Santa Cruz County and was heading to UCLA on a full scholarship to play volleyball.
As a high school graduation gift, Chaska's parents gave her a guitar and she was off to LA. She began learning to play through a correspondence with her dad in which she would send him songs she wanted to learn, and he would send back chords and charts of how to play them. Although most of her time was dedicated to volleyball, Chaska would make time to go to open mics around town and to play in coffee shops whenever she could. It was not until spring quarter of her third year (1998) that Chaska was introduced to the women of Chrysalis, as she sat in the audience of UCLA's Spring Sing and watched them perform. A few weeks later she went to The Coffee Bean to watch them perform again, where she was asked to join them to sing Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams". Soon after that performance, Mona called her and asked her to join the band.
Grateful for this opportunity to play and create with other musicians, Chaska was thrilled to join the women of Chrysalis (soon to be Raining Jane). She has since acquired the ability to play bar chords and use a wammy bar, play one song on the bass and one on the djembe, and has found her best friends. Inspired by the harmonies of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; the guitar jams of Dave Matthews; the lyrics and passion of Ani Difranco; and the attitude of Joan Jett; Chaska continues to search for her own sound.