Archive for the Sausalito After Dark Category

Saturday Evening at the No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

Saturday Jan. 29 was a gas with Wendy DeWitt on piano, Lonnie Walter on bongos and myself on guitar. What a pleasure it is to play with Wendy. Whereas I usually have to sing and hold the middle together, Wendy carried the ball and I only had to diddle around on the guitar. My singing duties were still there but with her dominant left hand, the music rocked with very little effort from me.

To learn more about Joe Tate and his music go to

http://www.theredlegs.com/JoeTate.html

Or

http://xrl.in/4y57

On You Tube see

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4vIQODAiAP4

Blue Monday at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street

We had another Blue Monday Jam session at the Sausalito Cruising Club last night. This was the first one in a very long time.

It used to be hosted by Billy Dunn, a very talented singer and pianist. During his tenure, Blue Mondays were very popular and well attended. After his departure, attendance fell off and it was discontinued.

Recently, Blue Monday was being held at the Sausalito Seahorse Restaur.ant but the owner was annoyed with it and he fired the musicians. Taking this as a cue, I arranged to start it up again at SCC. After making arrangements with the Sausalito Cruising Club I hired Willie Riser and Donny Kountz who had been fired.

On this our first night, we had a very good crowd, owing to Donna Bragg’s birthday party which was happening there at the same time.

Myself along with Donny Kountz and Willie Riser formed the core trio for the jam. We had several acts contributing to the fun including Tristan Gounard, the Jimmy Buffet Bums, Bonnie Hofka, Jesse Kincaid, Tom Barr, Ray DeFazio and the Daylight Again Trio.

After we played some good old songs for an hour, Tristan came to the stage to play his ukulele and sing some Hawaiian songs. This was sort of a relief from our hard driving blues and it was well received.

Next the Jimmy Buffet Bums did some JB tunes with very nice harmony. Lonnie walter was there on the bongos giving it a nice Caribbean feel. The room was groovin. Tom Barr assisted on harmonica.

Next up was Jesse Kincaid who sang a Beatles number followed by The Midnight Hour and some quasi rap stuff he makes up. People were dancing big time for this.

Finally, I returned to the stage and performed several numbers with Ray DeFazio and Bonnie Hofka. Sana, of the Daylight Again Trio sang “Men.”

We finally finished up with some call and response numbers with myself on vocals and guitar and the Daylight Again Trio doing the responses. I used to sing with these folks in a group called Tried And True and I had forgotten how much fun it was singing with them.

We finished the night with “The Last Time” which is an old spiritual that kinda rocks.

Next Blue Monday at the Sausalito Cruising Club will be on February 7th at 7PM.

 

Ukulele Baby Songbook

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

The Ukulele Baby Songbook can be purchased online at theredlegs.com. You can see the entry at

http://www.theredlegs.com/JoeTate.html

It is 40 pages and contains 18 songs of varying difficulty. Each song has chord charts for baritone and tenor ukulele on the facing page . The songs are on odd numbered pages and the chord charts are on the even pages. This way the student sees the song arrangement on the right hand page and the chords on the left hand page. A CD is included which has all the songs performed by Joe Tate.

Front cover and inside pages

My daughter in law was pregnant and she asked me to make a CD of ukulele music to play for the unborn child. I recorded 18 songs which I thought suitable for children. This CD was played often during the pregnancy. After Zoe was born we noticed that she had special responses to ukulele music. If she was crying or upset, a few chords on the ukulele would usually calm her down.

I was laid up for a few months the following year and, while lying in bed with my laptop, I wrote out charts for all the songs and made them into the songbook called Ukulele Baby. Naturally we think of Zoe as the Ukulele Baby. If you want to learn to play, this is a good place to start. The book is simple and easy to understand with emphasis on learning by ear rather than the tedium of standard music decorum.

To learn more about Joe Tate go to

http://xrl.in/4y57

New Rising Sons and Fiver Brown

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street                 Joe Tate

Friday

Taste of Rome at 1000 Bridgeway is a great place to hang and enjoy what is probably the best coffee house in Marin. With a collegiate atmosphere, it seems to be populated with a cross section of local writers and  artists.

When the weather is nice, like it is this evening, the front glass is folded back so the interior and sidewalk area become one. You can enjoy a glass of wine, beer or sample the offerings from the menu. These include pizza, sandwiches, salads, quiche and pasta.

This evening the New Rising Sons are playing from 7: PM till 10: Pm. This group’s genesis dates from 1964 when Ry Cooder , Taj Mahal and Jesse Kinkaid formed the Rising  Sons in southern California.  The group also included Gary Marker and Ed Cassidy. They were a popular band in the Los Angeles area and often played clubs along the Hollywood strip. They recorded an album with Columbia records but, because they didn’t have a hit single, it was never released. The LP was widely bootlegged and after some 35 years was finally released.

In 2007 Jesse Kinkaid  and his new group became the house band at Mill Vally’s Sweetwater. With Jonathan Lovitt on guitar, Jake Baker on drums and Kurt Huget on bass, they were employed as the anchor band of the club. They decided to call themselves the New Rising Sons.

Tonight the set started with Jonathan Lovitt singing the jimmy Reed standard “Hush Hush.” Jonathan makes good use of his ample guitar skills while simultaneously providing an authentic sounding Jimmy Reed rack harp.

Continuing on with light rock and blues, the groove spread out onto the sidewalk where passersby stopped to enjoy the sounds and gyrate a little. Jake Baker sang a nice rendition of Elvis’ “Little Sister.”  Kurt Huget, who was playing guitar tonight, gave of a nice version of the folk rock clkassic, “The Might Quinn.” Duane Van Diemat, formerly of the Tasmanian Devils, played bass instead of Kurt because Jesse Kinkaid was absent. So Kurt took over Jesse’s guitar spot.

Veronica Page came to the stage and sang “I Fell In Love.” At this point, the soft rock program was over. Fine with me. Veronica has a smooth bell tone voice that morphs into a squall as she belts out this number.

Jake and Kurt team up for some tight harmony on the Everly Brothers’ “Dream. This is really nice. Kurt also sings a tribute he wrote for the late Francis Clay, the legendary drummer of the Muddy Waters band, titled “ Ain’t  Gonna Muddy the Water Any More.”

The New Rising Sons return to Taste OF Rome in Sausalito on July 26.

Just a short walk down Bridgeway brings us to Piccolo, at 660 Bridge way. This is right at the intersection of Princess Street and fronting Yee Tock Chee Park, which is built like a sort of pier connecting between the sidewalk and the Bay.  You can sit outside here at the restaurant or in the park. It’s hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. However, there is strict rule here not to bring your alcoholic drinks beyond the perimeter of the restaurant.

They have good coffee as well as wine, beer and an assortment of other goodies. Take your pick: appetizers, Pizza, salad, panini, pasta, croissants and more. Owner Mauro, who used to operate Caffé Divino, keeps busy scurrying from table to table, making sure everyone is happy.

Fiver Brown’s band is playing outside facing the Bay. Fiver received the name from his mother because of her fascination with the seer rabbit in Watership Down.

The group features Fiver singing his many original songs with a sprinkling of covers scattered throughout the set. He is backed by Dave Zuckerman on guitar, Mary Pitchford on fiddle, Gregg  Galbraith on Keyboards, Scott Lipsitz on bass and Rocky Vogler on Drums. They develop a nice ensemble sound which drifts across the water  and envelopes this downtown hub with a nice Sausalito groove.

The songs carry popular themes with vocals interspersed with nice solos from guitar, keyboard and fiddle. All in all, it’s a very nice sound. These folks seem like real professionals and they can be heard at various functions around town. Look for them at Bay Model functions and occasionally at the Presidio Yacht Club.

Many patrons are dancing on the concrete slabs in the park. It is a nice night and many people are walking in and out from the street. The crowd is made up mostly of locals, though some folks have expensive cameras hanging from them. The atmosphere is very congenial though and, I would recommend hearing music here whenever it is warm.

Tom Bowers and Curtis Lawson

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm  Street      Joe Tate

Saturday

This evening, I’m back at the Sausalito Cruising Club to hear the Tom Bowers Boogie Band. Tom Bowers is the fine bass player who also sings with Billy Dunn  at the Blue Monday jam sessions that are held here. Tonight, he is backed by Dennis Geyer and Pierre LeTor on guitar with Randy Hayes on drums. The admission is $10 which includes the buffet dinner. Tonight’s buffet has salads, pasta, bread and chicken plus some dessert goodies.

Starting off with the Kenny Burrell classic, “Chitlins Con Carne,” the groove is set for low key, low volume with lots of chatter filling up the spaces between notes. With the sun sinking low over the panoramic view of Richardson Bay, it couldn’t be better. Our plates are full and with any drink you want, the music is just right.

This is a two-guitar band, which is to my liking. This used to be standard, but has become less common. These guys use their guitars like a kind of duet. The effect is created by trading licks in a call and response pattern. One guitar calls out a short phrase and the other answers with a complement. It’s a little different than the more common “taking fours” in which each instrument alternately plays four bars.

Tom sings a couple B.B. King songs and follows with T-Bone Walker’s  “Times Is Hard.”  When Dennis Geyer sings “Don’t Have To Worry Bout A Thing” with a mambo beat, people start to dance. Next is an original treatment of Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man.”  All I can tell you is that it was a refreshing departure from the original style.

The set finishes with Albert Collins “Frosty,” after which I head for the Presidio Yacht Club to check out the Blues Explosion featuring Curtis Lawson, Lisa Kindred and Eugene Huggins.

The Sausalito Cruising Club is located at Dunphy Park, near the intersection of Bridgeway and Nap Street. Call 332 9349 for information or go to http://www.sausalitocruisingclub.com/.

The Presidio Yacht Club is a short distance away at Fort Baker near the North Tower of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Curtis, dressed in a red suit with blue sequined cape and hat, is backed by the Eugene Huggins Blues Band with Gabe Navarre on guitar, David Kemp on Bass, Jake Baker on drums and Eugene assisting on harmonica and vocals. Lisa Kindred, the Down Home Girl, is also here to entertain us with her brand of homey blues.

The band warms up the room with a few songs sung by Eugene, which are infused with strong harmonica and guitar solos. Eugene introduces Curtis, who makes a grand entrance with a swirl of his cape.

Curtis gets the room moving with “Shake, Rattle And Roll”. Without stopping they segue to “Flip Flop And Fly.”  The whole dance floor fills up right away. The room comes to fever pitch when Eugene’s harmonica cuts in.

It has been a hot day. Now the fog is coming in thru the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a spectacular sight from the clubhouse window and it is cooling everyone off.

Curtis gives us “Stagger Lee” and there is no holding back. The dance floor is no longer big enough. There’s dancing at the bar and all around the tables. Curtis has ditched the cape and is now running back and forth in front of the band. There is no stage, so he is right in there with the dancers.

Now that I think about it, the stage creates a barrier between the performer and the audience that is often needed. But here? What the heck, this is really fun and, because everyone is keeping their cool, no stage is needed.

One of Curtis Lawson’s great songs is “My Woman, My Girl, My Wife.”  It’s a slow tune, dedicated to his wife, Linda. This eases the room back from early exhaustion. Just in time too, because a bunch more people are streaming in.

The door is open and the fog is blowing in, making all the burgees flutter along the ceiling. The room is plenty warm from body heat though.

Now we get a string of rockers from, Chuck Berry’s “No Particular Place to Go,” to Jimmy Reed’s “Ain’t That Lovin You Baby”. Then it’s “Walkin The Dog”, “Early In The Mornin” and “What You Gonna Do?” After “Johnny Be Good” the set finishes out with “Dock Of The Bay” which morphs into “Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa.”

Lisa Kindred Comes to the stage and picks up where Curtis left off, launching into “Let The Good Times Roll,” followed by a few selections of a similar bag.  The place is packed now and the vibe is right.

Soon we are informed that Miss Boudeeka O’Conner is going to sing. She is known for her work with the Unauthorized Rolling Stones. She also is a cast member of the Summer Of Love Revue in which she sings both Janis Joplin and Grace Slick.

Boudeeka serves up “Blue Bayou” and “Chain Of Fools” with her sultry soprano voice. The band chimes in with the “chain, chain, chain” responses, giving it an authentic Aretha sound.

Lisa and Curtis finish the evening with a rousing blues duet that is made up of traded lines taken from several different songs that are improvised together in a very coherent and listenable way.

Curtis Lawson has been singing blues in the Bay Area for more than 50 years. He has three CDs: “Live At The Saloon,” “Ain’t No Cure For The Blues”  and “Legend In My Own Time.”  He was recently honored by the City Of San Francisco for his cultural contributions. Go to http://www.curtislawson.net/music.html. to learn more.

Lisa Kindred has a CD called “Steppin Up In Class.” She also made an LP with Vanguard records in 1965. She sang with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, Bob  Dylan, David Crosby and many others.   Go to http://www.sfblues.net/LisaKindred.html for more information.

To contact the Presidio Yacht Club call 332 2319 or go to http://www.presidioyachtclub.org/

Boogie Woogie Piano

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street       Joe Tate

Saturday

Tonight we got to hear some old fashioned New Orleans piano from Macy Blackman at Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar at 2009 Bridgeway. Macy presents a combination of styles ranging from Professor Longhair to Ray Charles. In between you can hear Fats Domino, Doctor John, Huey Piano Smith and a little Jerry Lee Lewis. His excellent piano playing is complimented by his soulful vocals. He is accompanied by Bing Nathan on bass.

Starting off with “Let the Four Winds blow,” you can feel Fats Domino in the air. The vocal is spot on with all the little Fats Domino piano figures sprinkled in. The patrons react to “Tipitina” as if they know what to expect. Macy has his fans here and this song gets them going. This must be Professor Longhair’s defining song, though many more are to come.

Next is Rays Charles’ “Hallelujah I love Her So” followed by “Rock House” and eventually “One mint Julep.” “Rockin Pneumonia And The Boogie Woogie Flu” segues to some swamp blues with “Goin Back To New Orleans. Listening to these guys is like a little trip down south, if you know what I mean.

Macy grew up in Wilmington, Delaware and got his chops in New York City. He came to the Bay area in 2000 and now lives in Kensington. He has played with Dr. John, the Clovers and has his own group, the Mighty Fines, that features Jack Dorsey on Drums, Nancy Wright on Tenor sax and Snakebite on baritone sax. They can be heard at Ana’s Jazz Island in Berkeley on June 28.

Macy can be heard also at Servino’s in Tiburon. He will be there July 3. Also coming up is the “Blues Piano Orgy” on May 30, at the Belrose Theatre in San Rafael. This event will have Macy Blackman, Sid Morris and Wendy DeWitt. If you feel like venturing to North Beach, you can hear Macy every Monday and Tuesday in June.

Macy has a couple CDs that are good listening. His newest, “24 Hours A Day,” demonstrates his ample musical skills and is infused with the New Orleans style. He also has an older CD, “Something For Everybody,” a mixed bag of R&D , be bop and blues.

For more information about Macy Blackman go to http://www.macyblackman.com/

For reservations at Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar call 332- 1512 The music schedule can be found at http://www.saylorsrestaurantandbar.com/entertainment.htm

Wednesday

Following the trail of boogie woogie piano to the No Name Bar at 757 Bridgeway, Wendy De Witt is holding forth tonight with a surprise guest. Wendy is one of the anointed Queens of Boogie Woogie, which was recently celebrated at the Sweetwater Station in Larkspur.

Wendy is endowed with incredible musical independence. Each of her hands is under separate control, the result of right-left brain coordination that is the basis for this ability. When her left hand gets to movin, the boogie starts groovin. The right hand spins the melody all in syncopation to that powerful bass line coming from the left. It is marvelous to watch her hands dancing, sort of in circles, around the keyboard.

“Texas Stomp” sets the tone with it’s quick rhythm and driving bass to get the feet tapping. Wendy’s four-inch heels start to move and her wide brimmed hat is bouncing around. Pretty soon this statuesque woman started singing in a total groove. With the piano filling out the spectrum, all you could have added is drums. Her “Walking Down The Road” was hand clapping good and she got a little vocal help from one table.

Eugene Huggins showed up and brought some real blues power to the proceedings with a pocket full of harmonicas. Wendy introduced him and they took off with “Mother Earth,” the Memphis Slim classic. Wendy has a unique way of playing this song with a slowly descending bass line that, mixed in with the moaning harmonica, sounded spooky and dark  It sounded like it had been crossed with St. James Infirmary. Real nice.

Huggins then sang a few songs including some Jimmy Reed and his holiday favorite, “Life Is a Nightmare.”  This is one special song. The pathological precept here may be a laughable absurdity. Describing all the bummers of life, the song has an uplifting beat that gives a happy feeling. He sings it with a smile so you know ther must be some irony in there.

Wendy closed out the set with a few cuts from her “You’re Not There”  CD. She played “Don’t Want No Man,”  “Unknown Boogie”, and “All You Cab Do Is Cry.” She has another CD titled “Soul Shake.”

For more information about Wendy De Witt got to http://www.wendydewitt.com/

Chambers Blues Duet

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street              Joe Tate

Friday

Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar, at 2009 Bridgeway, hosts what should be called the Chamber Blues Duo. Consisting of Chris Goddard on Guitar and Eugene Huggins on harmonica and vocals, they deliver delta blues with a chamber ambience. Each instrument, perfectly attuned, blends melodically with the other.

This is not usually the case with most guitar-harmonica duos.

Huggins, who cut his eyeteeth on Little Walter, spins out flawless blues with a tone set for fine dining.  Chris Goddard works his hands like Mississippi John Hurt and delivers primitive yet sophisticated blues guitar that pulsates with syncopation. His right thumb traces a bass line that is always accompanied by some melody and chords struck by the fingers. And that’s just the right hand.

In addition to the fine delta blues, these guys also mix in some standards and rock n’ roll favorites. The first set was heavily weighted to standards while the major feasting was going on.

Goddard starts out solo with “Stardust” and “Cast Your Fate To The Wind.” On each of these songs, Goddard’s mastery of the guitar is displayed.  Where others would simply play chords and melody, Goddard also inserts some counterpoint in the lower register.

Huggins now takes the stage and sings “Reeling And Rocking”, the Chuck Berry hit. During the bridge, they break into the instrumental, “Tequila.”  Neat.

Next up is “Memphis,” with some three part syncopation, two parts guitar, and one part harmonica. This song wants to explode, but the Chamber Bluesmen are keeping it under control.

Goddard lays down a long and flowery intro to “The Wind Cries Mary.” This beautiful Hendrix song reaches a new dimension with the addition of harmonica.

The serious blues starts with a few layers of crying slide guitar. “Mean Old Frisco,” the Arthur Crudup classic relives for a few minutes of harmonica-guitar give and take.

Muddy Waters is remembered next with “Can’t be Satisfied,” which is delivered with authentic style and has all the little slide guitar embellishments. The instrumental sections have guitar-harp harmonies, which push things a little closer to the edge.

The sated audience responds as Huggins sings his rendition of ”Little Red Rooster” of Howlin’ Wolf fame. Actually written by Willie Dixon, this song was a big hit for Wolf in 1961. Goddard lays some amazing slide into this one.

After a smokin’ “Shake Your Money Maker,” the proprietor, Sean Saylor, joins the group on guitar.  Saylor plays a sustained note style, which contrasts with Goddard who lays off these effects. Nevertheless, the blending of the sound is pleasing.

When Huggins takes up a guitar, it’s all guitars for a few minutes. Saylor gives us some solos that are more reminiscent of BB King than the old-fashioned delta blues that is the trademark of Goddard and Huggins. Saylor’s guitar proves itself on “As The Years go Passing By” and “Fools Paradise.”

There were some dueling guitars on “Crazy About A Mercury”, but it was very friendly and entertaining.

The duo has a CD entitled “Troubled Times” and another titled “Life Is A Nightmare” which features Huggins.

Goddard has played with Maria Muldaur and Commander Cody. He also wrote “Rockin Over China,” which was recorded by Commander Cody and Bill Kirchen. He also made a blues compilation CD on the Taxim label with Lisa Kindred.  Goddard also has CD of Christmas songs, which are played beautifully in contrapuntal style.

Huggins also has recorded a CD with Eugene And The Blue Jeans, a group he fronted for many years. He has also recorded with Harvey Mandel, Ron Hacker, Lisa Kindred and Marc Benno. In addition he has preformed with Chuck Berry, Buddy Guy and Tom Waits.

Both Goddard and Huggins are local guys. Goddard grew up in Tiburon and Huggins has lived his whole life here in Sausalito. They will be back at Saylor’s on Friday, June 20, from 7:30 till 10:30 PM. On Saturday June 28, they will be at the Marin Brewing Company at Larkspur Landing.

For booking information call 887 9488.

For reservations at Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar call 332 1512 or go to http://www.saylorsrestaurantandbar.com/news.htm

Sunday at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street              Joe Tatedsc01097

Sunday

The Sausalito Cruising Club hosts the Medicine Ball Band Sunday afternoons from 5-9:30 PM. This group must be one of the best-kept secrets in the Bay Area music scene. Their excellent music far exceeds the notoriety they have been accorded.

Led by guitarist David Sturdevant, who moved here from upstate New York 38 years ago, MBB delivers a versatile repertoire with everything from swing standards to R&B with a distinct New Orleans flavor. If you ask, they will even play Dixieland. They were kind enough to play dinner music for a while so everyone could enjoy the buffet.

Founded in 1971 by Sturdevant, the group started by playing in the street for tips at Union Square in San Francisco. Along with Sturdevant was a pair of banjos played by Dave Marty and Abe Van Der Meulen. The late Amanda Hughes started singing with them later as they moved on to clubs. Their first bass player was Randy Jackson, the world famous producer and arranger who is now a judge on American Idol.

Today the band is a very tight ensemble with Charley Hickock on keyboards, bill Belasco on drums, John Hunt on trombone and Curtis Lindberg on trombone. Lindberg is substituting for Yolanda Nickell tonight. Nickell usually plays alto saxophone for the group. Bass is also supplied by Hickock who plays it left handed on a separate keyboard. Sturdevant doubles on chromatic and blues harmonica.

A small retinue of singers, all members of the choir at Plymouth Church in Oakland, are also present. These include: Steve Randolph, Yvonne Dawes, and Mwanza Furaha. Vocals are also provided by Sturdevant, Hunt, Hickock and Lindberg.

Hickock, from Cleveland Ohio, joined the group in 1980 when they had a steady gig at Clancy’s Irish Pub in San Francisco. It was here that the main repertoire was worked out between Sturdevant and Hickock.

Herb Caen was a patron at Clancy’s where he often sat in with MBB on drums. Though occasionally mentioned in Caen’s column, MBB has never been reviewed. At this time, the situation will be corrected.

Bill Belasco, who handles the drums, has been with the group on and off since the 80’s. He also played many years with the Pickle Family Circus. He is a native San Franciscan.

John Hunt, the full time trombone, is from Baytown, Texas and has been a member of MBB since 1982.

Lindberg, tonight’s special guest, has had a long career playing with the likes of Dr. John, Dave Bromberg, Lou Rawls, The Beach Boys and even Tommy Dorsey.

The program starts with Honeysuckle Rose with Hunt on vocals. This rendition is mostly instrumental with interesting trombone harmonies that are interspersed with groups of “fours,” little sections where each member plays four bars. This gives each instrument a little showcase that lends variety to the overall sound.

Next is “Sunny Side of the street,” with Hickock on vocals. This old standard really comes to life when Sturdevant plays a solo on chromatic harmonica. The sweet harmonica strains give this an old world flavor that is at once sophisticated and continental.

Sturdevant next treats us to his version of Fats Domino’s “My Blue Heaven.”  The trombones let loose on this one with a little Dixieland fervor. One realizes, this isn’t your average club band.

Sturdevant and Hickock harmonize on George Jones’ ”The Race Is On,” before calling up the singers.

First up is Steve Randolph with “Satin Doll.” Randolph, who has over six years with the band, has a smooth tenor voice that drips with professionalism. Sturdevant assist on this one with his melodic harmonica to provide a truly enchanting effect.

Yvonne Dawes steps up with “Bye Bye Blackbird,” the Ray Henderson mystical standard that has delighted audiences for more than 80 years. Dawes voice is made for this song, which she delivers with seemingly no effort.

The band gives us an instrumental groove with “Rosetta” before bringing up the heavy hitting, Mwanza Furaha.

Furaha, formerly with Pharaoh Saunders, has been with MBB for about four years. She sings with a powerful yet sublime voice that lifts each song above the ordinary. Her laconic improvisations give “Georgia On My Mind” a Cab Calloway feeling which blends with the mood here as the sun sets over the bay.  She sings “My Funny Valentine,” with a samba beat, adding little scat sections that are applauded by the audience.

Many other exciting things happened including when Hickock picked up the melodion, a small breath powered keyboard, and marched through the audience with the rest of the band following. The drummer switched to tambourine for this. The electric guitar is hooked up wireless so Sturdevant was also in the parade.

For more information about the Medicine Ball Band go to http://www.medicineballband.com/

The Sausalito Cruising Club can be reached at 332 9349 or go to http://www.sausalitocruisingclub.com/

Blue Monday at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , on February 10, 2011 by joetatesblog

Leading the Band Ukulele styleLeading the Band Ukulele style

Monday night was again the weekly Blues and Dinner session at the Sausalito Cruising club hosted of course by Billy Dunn. What a great venue for a casual evening out! The Sausalito Cruising clubis easy to find.  It is off shore on a hip old barge directly behind Dunphy park. Admission is $10 for members and $15 for their guests. This includes a delicious all-you-can-eat buffet as well as all the blues you can handle, with some of the areas most talented musicians. The Cruising club also has a full bar!

Ukulele Baby Songbook

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music on January 6, 2011 by joetatesblog

The new Ukulele Baby Songbook is now available from theredlegs.com. Go tohttp://www.theredlegs.com/JoeTate.html