The Blue Monday Jam Session at the Sausalito Cruising Club on April 25 had over 22 participants, all of whom came to the stage and played. The house band, consisting of Joe Tate, Donny Kountz and Willie Riser, played the first set of lively blues, mostly covers of oldies but goodies.
There was a surprise visit by two members of the Average Dyke Band and they performed several exciting dance tunes. This refers to Staphanie Teel and Carrie Gesendasy who appear here every other Monday and thus alternating with the Blue Monday Jam Session.
There were also many other excellent players taking the stage this night including John “Coyote” Egan with several of his students, who are all proficient guitarists. The Cruising Club also welcomed harmonica wiz, Phil Berkowitz who joined with Teel and Gesendasy as well as Gary Berger and Anthony Lincoln who wails on the sax and vocalizes some good old Motown songs.
On Saturday April 30, Jerome Phillips and Lonnie Walter joined joe Tate at the No Name Bar. Joe Tate sang a couple things that brought the house down including Roosevelt Blues, which seems to clarify some things about American History.
Jerome Phillips is an incredibly skilled musician who segues seamlessly between Gershwin, Leadbelly or The Beatles. This makes it easy for Tate to move around between the many genres he likes to dabble in.
By the way, you can see Joe Tate sing Roosevelt Blues at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6F7nYzcqJ8
In other news, Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar ended it’s music program on April 31st. Eugene Huggins and Chris Goddard played the final show there. Their many years of playing at Saylor’s Landing every Sunday night had become an institution of the Sausalito social scene.. This came to and end when Sean Saylor moved his operation to it’s present location at the former Guernica Restaurant.
The wonderful times had at both these locations will be long remembered by many.
There is a happening scene at the Taste of Rome Restaurant at 1000 Bridgeway featuring music from 7-10 on friday and saturday nights. On May 6th, Joe Tate, Wendy DeWitt, Lonnie Walter and Kirk Harwood were holding forth as “The Taters.” The gig was supposed to be played with Joe and Cole Tate who call themselves The Taters but, Cole was away on important business.
Wendy really stirred the audience with her virtuoso piano. While Joe is belting out some old favorite, Wendy has his back and drives it home with lots of torque, so to speak.
Lonnie Walter plays bongos while Kirk Harwood has a pair of congos and other handheld percussion instruments. With the piano and guitar it all creates a very nice sound for a small place where a full band may get to be a little too much.
The high point of the evening may have been when a troupe of Girl Scouts sat in one section all singing the responses to Minnie The Moocher. This of course is the Hi de hi de hi de ho song made famous by Cab Calloway which energizes audiences everywhere.
The next day, May 7, Miles Ceralde played with Joe Tate and Lonnie Walter at the No Name Bar in what is, perhaps, a prelude of things to come. Miles is just twenty and getting him to play here involved doing some research on the law and convincing the owners that this is legal. Under the rules, none of the other musicians are allowed to drink. That was easy for Joe, whose booze career ended long ago, though Lonnie Walter was a little chagrinned
Ceralde really showed what he was made of, burning up the fretboard with youthful riffs that were decidedly of the jazz and blues flavor. It’s refreshing to see a youngster with so much going on. Miles Ceralde will be back at the No Name Bar with Joe Tate on June 25.
The next week Sandy “Ukulele” Bailey joined Joe Tate and Lonnie Walter at the No Name Bar for a show that was quite different than the usual. Bailey sings and plays ukulele and bass, switching instruments between songs as needed. Joe Tate is an ukulele nut too and tonight he shares some of the bass duties when Bailey plays ukulele.
They performed many Hawaiian songs interspersed with Americana of the blues and jazz persuasion. With Ukulele Bailey’s sweet smooth voice and Tate’s characteristic growl, the harmony achieved between them is remarkable, especially on the Hawaiian songs, some of which they deliver in the Hawaiian language.
Bailey tore the place up with his rendition of On Bridgeway, a paraody of On Broadway, the smash hit by George Benson. The song even refers to the No Name Bar itself. When Ukulele Bailey returns June 18, you’ll want to come just to hear this song.
A little later this same night, The Tickets played at the Sausalito Seahorse Restaurant which is located on Harbor Drive near Gate 5 Road. The Tickets sound great in this room which has pretty nice acoustics. Debra Clawson, who fronts the group, has an unusual voice which lends itself well to the blues and pop music that make up The Tickets repertoire.
This restaurant has good food and a nice atmosphere except for the lighting which is overdone. There’s all these weird computer driven LED spots along with colored lights on the stage which make the performers look like zombies. A lot of fun can be had here in spite of these small distractions.
To learn more about The Tickets go to
To learn more about Joe Tate go to
See the Ukulele Baby Songbook at
Here’s another video of Joe Tate playing the ukulele and singing Don’t Think Twice