After some interminable chit chat and milling around, the house band starts at 7 and, after about 45 minutes, Joe Tate opens up the stage for others to sit in. On this occasion, there were many fine players in attendance including the wonderful Lisa Kindred who really rocked the house with her rendition of Let The Good Times Roll.
The band starts the evening with Blue Monday as usual. Then, after Blueberry Hill, Fats Domino is absent the rest of the set. Then there’s some Creedence Clearwater, Chuck Berry, the Coasters and finally Tate sings something called Roosevelt Blues which tells the rather poignant story of Franklin Roosevelts life. We will be hearing more of this song, written by McKinley Peebles, after the Presidents death.
First up to sing is, of course, Miss Lisa Kindred who, as mentioned, starts the house rockin on that first number. Then she gives out her feminized version of the much recorded Lee Dorsey classic which she calls Get out Of My Life Sweet Thang. This is over the top but nothing prepares us for what she sings later. The most sublime voicing for House Of The Rising Sun was showered down upon us in an unmitigated feast of harmony.
Next up is John “Coyote” Egan with his guitar students, Marco Ugolini and Robert Hobart. Coyote, as he is known, plays a bright and vibrant form of original blues. One of his songs that stands out is Rolling Into Texas. He carries the vocal and segues into some scorching guitar. His students imitate and sometimes upstage him at this game. It’s all in fun, even though Coyote sometimes feigns annoyance.
There was also a harmonica section, with Diver Dave and Scott Sherman, that hangs out at the edge of the dance floor. They take turns on solos whenever they get the high sign from whoever is leading. They worked intermittently with all of the performers, helping out here and there with solos and train rhythms where needed.
There was more good stuff to come with Anthony Lincoln providing vocals with his partner Gary Berger on piano. It’s just an old upright with a microphone jammed in the back but it sounds good as long as the guitar players don’t get carried away with their volume knobs.
Anyway, this duo is joined by Joe Tate on guitar, Ron Rosano on Drums and willie Riser on Bass. With Tate assisting on vocals, Lincoln burns through some good R&B numbers, like Mustang Sally, Shotgun with Lincoln on sax, Hit The Road Jack and Spooky just to mention a few.
In the middle of the set, Suzie Q takes the stage and gives out her rendition of Love Potion #9. She is the sweetheart of the waterfront and everybody loves her.
The last set is played by the one and only Craig Caffall who has his own popular band and plays flawless guitar blues. Willie Riser takes a break here while Tate takes over bass.
Caffall leads off with some basic funk then moves on to Rot Orbison’s Born On The Bayou. He delivers it up in Creedence Clearwater style then follows with The Thrill Is Gone, the Rick Darnell/Roy Hawkins tune that has been recorded by so many.
Willie Riser returned to the stage and Caffall belted out a few more tunes including Before You Accuse Me, a song many don’t realize was written by Bo Diddley. In any event, this version sounded as good as Clapton.
The house band finishes the night with Tate’s rendition of Minnie The Moocher. The Hidee Hidee Ho’s are returned from the audience in one last spasm of musical exuberance.
But wait! Gabe Navarre suddenly shows up and we squeeze one more song out of him. What it was, nobody knows.
The Craig Caffall Band plays the Seahorse Restaurant this Friday night. Here’s the listing
Joe Tate plays the No Name Bar in Sausalito every Saturday evening at 6. To learn more go to
Joe Tate’s Ukulele Baby Songbook is here