Archive for the Eugene Huggins Category

Blue Monday at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Eugene Huggins, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2011 by joetatesblog

Blue Monday was fortunate this August 8, to have a visiting Band from the East Bay. Juke Joint plays classic R&B, with guitar, bass, drums and a little horn section of trumpet and sax. The house band, led by Joe Tate with Jeff Costello, Willie riser and Donny Kountz, warmed the place up before introducing Juke Joint.

Juke Joint: L-R Cayce Carnahan, Barbara Speed, David Bailey, Ted Stewart, Roger Bergen and John Bergen

Starting off with Otis Redding’s Can’t Turn You Loose, all the little horn parts are laid down over driving bass and drums under the expert control of Ted Stewart. Dave Baileys vocals sound very authentic in his own belt em’ out style.

Ted Stewart

Although these folks all now live in the East Bay, Ted Stewart has a long history here in Sausalito. After playing many years with the Redlegs, drummer Stewart formed Contraband which was later renamed Sugar Daddy.

Even further back in time, Ted Stewart and Joe Tate played with Salvation, a San Francisco 60s rock band that played numerous dates at both the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom opening for Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and the Doors among others..

Stewart has enjoyed a career in jazz since moving to the East Bay. He is still perfectly at home with R&B. Just listening, you’d think he never played anything else.

David Bailey

Next up is knock On Wood, the Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper hit that has been covered by everyone from Otis Redding to David Bowie.

David Bailey really nails this one. Bailey does most of the vocals and plays the harmonica here and there where needed.

Juke Joint burns through Can’t Get Next To You, I feel Good and High Flyin’ Baby before kindly relinquishing the stage to other musicains. Learn more about Juke Joint at

Next up was Coyote And Crew with, among others, Gary Schevenstuhl who also brought his own band, who played a little later.

Ron Rosano, Harry Gold, Willie Riser and Bonnie Hofkin

There was also a visit by Oakland bluesman, Harry Gold, who sings in a high tenor, pitch perfect voice while wailing the blues on guitar. It is really a pleasure to hear him.

Ken Markowitz

Longtime Sausalito Cruising Club member, Ken Markowitz, was up next with Chris Pruess, both on guitar. Markowitz is sort of like a Dean Martin with a guitar, singing in a faux inebriated voice while looking super cool. They were joined by Willie Riser and Ted Stewart. Very amusing.

In the final jam, Eugene Huggins accompanied Kathy Holly on harmonica while she sang Crazy, Willie Nelson’s signature song that was such as smash for Patsy Cline.

Jeff Costello, Eugene Huggins, Jake Baker. Kathy Holly and Willie Riser

Holly has a great interpretation of it. With her jazz tinged voice, she presents subtle textures with a roboto timing. Jeff Costello confidently laid down the chord progression while Huggins’ soulful harmonica created shivers. Holly also produces Cabaret Night, a monthly show featuring many singers and always a great variety of music. Check out Holly’s site at

The Blue Monday schedule is supposed to be every other Monday. However, certain chaotic functions have altered that to almost every Monday this year. To see upcoming Blue Monday Jams, go to Joe Tate’s Local Music Vibe profile at

To learn more about the Sausalito Cruising Club go to

Uncle Buffet at the No Name Bar 42311

Posted in Bay Area Music, Eugene Huggins, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2011 by joetatesblog

Joe Tate has hooked up with a couple of singers who do the Jimmy Buffett songbook. Chris Wilson, who often plays the No Name Bar with Eugene Huggins, plays bass and sings with Don Trujillo who handles the chords on guitar.

This meet-up was arranged by Lonnie Walter who plays here every Saturday with Joe Tate. Excluding Tate, they have a regular Jimmy Buffet show that they perform around the Bay Area working with other artists.

Uncle Buffett: Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate, Don Trujillo and Chris Wilson

Anyway, they have a good sound which generates a lot of sing along action from the bar.

Joe Tate opens with Scotch And Soda followed by Blueberry Hill. The next bite is Jimmy Buffett’s Changes In Latitude and Margaritaville, perhaps his best known and loved songs.

Don Trujillo and Chris Wilson

Extra tips soon guaranteed hearing Margaritaville again in the second set. Don Trujillo and Chris Wilson delivered some nice harmony on  Cheesburgers In Paradise and Son Of a Son. Tate came back with Minnie The moocher and Little Egypt just to give things a little balance.

Some of the JB songs have hand clapping breaks in which everyone keeps time while Don does some kind of Caribbean rap that was profound and unintelligible at the same time.

Chris Wilson sings up a storm on Wait In Vain and we hear Trujillo leave the JB format on Mercury Blues, the K.C. Douglas/Robert Geddins hit from 1949, a year when Mercurys were all the rage.

Four hands clapping: Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate

Tate finishes out the set with Satisfaction in an attempt to, sort of like, not fit in.

The second set featured more of JB’s big hits including Music for Money, Pencil Thin Mustache and  Volcano. Trujillo also sang Brown Eyed Girl with vocal assists from Tate and Wilson. Tate also came back with good old Down Home Girl and Poison Ivy, both Leiber/Stoller songs from the fifties.

It was a very pleasant evening with a friendly mixture of tourists and locals.

Joe Tate plays the No Name Bar every Saturday. For more information go to

To see Joe Tate’s Ukulele Baby Songbook go to

The misspelled poster

Eugene Huggins on St. Patrick’s Day at Smitty’s Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Eugene Huggins, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life on March 18, 2011 by joetatesblog

It was a pretty nice night out, just getting ready to rain, so it had warmed up like it usually does here before precipitation. The band had already finished one set when I bumped into Burt Winn outside in the street.

Burt is playing bass for Eugene Huggins tonight, though he has also played with the late Johnny Nitro for 11 years. Burt filled me in on a few things of late and we went in for the second set. The joint was jumping with the usual crowd and the merriment could be felt immediately.

In addition to Huggins and Winn, the band consisted of Steve Freund on guitar and Robbie Bean on drums.

The joint was a jumping

Eugene Huggins was in good form playing the classic blues harmonica, sounding a lot like Little Walter. Starting off with “Hip Shake” and “Mustang Sally,” the music came alive with Steve Freund’s burning guitar weaving in and out of the drenching wet harmonica blues.

Huggins lead the band through 11 songs that included smokers like “I Got My MoJo Workin” and “Mona.” The dance floor was busy all the time.

Eugene Huggins

Huggins is a well known figure in Sausalito. Having lived here all his life, he learned the blues and harmonica as a boy. He led two bands over a span of decades; The Casuals and Eugene and The Bluejeans.

The Bluejeans played every major party in Sausalito for about twenty years. He now appears with various band lineups under his own name. Tonight’s lineup is about the most usual.

Huggins is also in demand by top artists to lend his harmonica skills. He has played with Chuck Berry, Carlos Santana, Tom Waits and many other well known singers.

Burt Winn also helped out on vocals, singing the Bill Withers classic, “Ain’t No Sunshine” and later “Pink Cadillac.”

As mentioned above, Winn played with Johnny Nitro And The Doorslammers for many years. He has been playing with the remnants of the Doorslammers at the Saloon in North Beach since Nitro’s death February 19th. They have been playing in Nitro’s old time slot which is Friday and Sunday.

Winn also plays regularly with  the Powell Street Blues band, Jan Fanucchi, Chris Taylor and Kathy Tjeska. When he’s done playing the blues, Winn studies carnatic music, the classic music of southern India.

Burt Winn

Steve Freund knows his way around the guitar and every song has his signature vamps and endings on it. He has that wonderful combination of taste and skill that set his music apart from the crowd.

Steve plays regularly with his girlfriend, Jan Fanucchi at the Saloon in North Beach and they will be at there next Friday the 25th. Freund will be there the night before with his own band. Steve and Jan also appear at Graffiti’s Bar in Petaluma on the first and second Friday of every month.

The Doorslammers are likely to continue on with Joe Lococo on guitar, Chad Harris on keyboards and drumming duties shared by Rick Sankey and Robin Roth.

Steve Freund

The untimely death of Johnny Nitro has saddened us all and it will take some time to get over it. His many wonderful renditions of the classic rock and blues will be missed. Not to mention the many sarcastic and humorous songs he composed.

Many memorials are planned for Nitro including one this Saturday at the No Name Bar from 6-8:30. He was scheduled to play there at that time.

There will be one the next day at the Saloon and another on March 30th at the Little Redwood Theater in Redwood City. For details go to


The Eugene huggins Blues Band