Valley Springs News

Firefall Jewelers Article

By Nick Baptista

At first glance, one would not suspect that Paul and Noreen Coca of Firefall Jewelers are musical artists.

The owners of Firefall Jewelers spend at least three weekends a month playing music and singing on the street corners of Berkeley and San Francisco spreading the word of God and for 11 years they worked with homeless teenagers in the San Jose area.

Their musical training is as different as night and day. Noreen is an accomplished violinist who attended college on a musical scholarship, while Paul is a self-taught guitarist. Paul said he began playing the guitar when he was 10 and his cousin who managed Carlos Santana’s band provided the inspiration.

The couple recently completed recording their third album, titled “Street Songs,” which is available at their Firefall Jewelers locations at 10 L Nove Way, Valley Springs, and 1259 S. Main St., Angels Camp.

The album features 12 songs written by Paul and one by Noreen of real life experiences – good times and bad - and with messages of hope, Paul said.

Many of the songs were written within the past three to four years, but one, “The Spirit and the Bride,” dates back to 1982 when the couple was spending their first anniversary in Yosemite National Park.

“After a hard day of playing and hiking we settled down to our campsite and I walked off by myself with my guitar, sat by the river and wrote this song,” he said.

“We got some amazing people to help us with this,” Paul said, as he launched into a “Who’s Who” list of Christian music artists.

The album was produced by Chuck Girard, whom Paul said someday will be in the Gospel Music Hall of Fame. Girard was a member of The Castells, The Hondells and later, Love Song, one of the pioneer Christian rock groups. He later enjoyed a solo career as a performer of Contemporary Christian Music.

His daughter, Alisa Childers, provided some of the vocals in “Street Songs.” She is known for being in the all female group ZOEgirl. She has had a string of top ten radio singles, four studio releases, and received the Dove Award from being with ZOEgirl.

“Street Songs” features the first time Girard and Childers have been recorded together, Paul added.

Phil Keaggy played electric guitar on the album. He is a seven-time recipient of the GMA Dove Award for Instrumental Album of the Year, and was twice nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Gospel Album. Rumors have followed Keaggy for years that Jimi Hendrix or Eric Clapton had supposedly named him as the world’s greatest guitar player.

And on bass was Mark Childers, who plays for Carrie Underwood.

“It’s just so amazing how this happened,” Paul said. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think these people would help us out, but they did.”