Archive for the ukulele music Category

The GATERS at the No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, No Name Bar, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , on October 20, 2011 by joetatesblog

The GATERS, with Sandy Bailey, Maggie Catfish, Joe Tate and Lonnie Walter have been playing the early Saturday evening music set for quite a while and they are booked through till October 29 in this time slot. The name derives from locale’ rather than a type of reptile.

The Gates is a section of  the waterfront where liberty ships were built in WWII. Gate 3, which is near Mollie Stones Market, was the center of the ways where most of the final assembly and launches took place. Most of the houseboats are located around Gate 5 and 6.

Te GATERS: Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate, Maggie Catfish and Sandy Bailey

It was in this area that The Redlegs, a 70s rock band, once flourished. Catfish and Tate were members of The Redlegs and are now content just to be GATERS. They have teamed up with Lonnie Walter, who grew up at the Gates and Sandy Bailey who lived in Sausalito back in the day.

Bongos Lonnie Walter, Guitar Joe Tate

The group has departed from the usual guitar, bass and drums rhythm section and instead use bongos, ukulele and bass ukulele. This provides an intimate sound that is easy on the ears.

The ukulele bass, played by Bailey, has the same tonal range as a regular bass but with faster attack and decay, the rising and falling volume of each note. This adds to the percussive effect of the bongos. The ukulele played by Catfish also adds another strong rhythm element. Taken all together with Tate’s guitar and the three part harmony, it’s a very compelling sound.

Background vocals from Maggie Catfish and Sandy Bailey

On many songs, Tate sings old favorites in a strong baritone voice while Bailey and Catfish lay down harmonic background lines. Then, effortlessly they segue into three parts. Fats Domino’s music is well represented along with The Coasters and Tate has a version of Cab Calloway’s Minnie The Moocher that brings the house down. Another favorite at the No Name Bar is Bailey’s rendition of On Bridgeway, a send up of George Benson’ On Broadway.

Margo St. James, Kayla Kahn and friends

There were some notables in attendance including Margo St. James, Kayla Kahn and Larry Moyer. There are those who say these folks used to live at the No Name Bar. Nowadays, James lives up north and only visits occasionally while Kahn can often be spotted at Bridgeway Gym. Moyer, ever the artist, spends most of his time in a floating studio anchored offshore from Gate 5. One of Sausalito’s most respected artists, his paintings grace city hall and are in high demand. He still cranks them out on regular basis, seldom bothering to come ashore.

Larry Moyer with Showtime and Tate

Night Beat digresses though. Lonnie Walter takes a couple of amazing solos and demonstrates why Tate calls him Showtime. There’s a tune called Nasty Little Boy, Tate’s biographical account of not behaving well, in which Walter blazes away on the bongos while simultaneously doing all these dance-like motions with his arms.

After some New Orleans stuff like Rockin’ Pneumonia, the genre shifts to Hawaiian and doggone if it doesn’t feel like the Islands. This starts with the well known Hanalei Moon, Bob Nelson’s hapa haole classic.

Tate has his own hapa haole song called Pahala. It’s quite beautiful and it is about a small town in Hawaii where he had attended a Hawaiian music workshop. Apparently some of it rubbed off on him. Maggie Catfish tops off this section with Moon Of Manakoora, a Hollywood created song first sung by Dorothy Lamour for the movie, Hurricane.

Catfish doubles on ukulele bass

There’s also a lot of trading instruments between these players. They call it musical instruments.

Bailey usually  has the bass. But then he hands it to Catfish and starts playing ukulele.

Tate sometimes gets out a uke too. But this one has eight strings and sounds like a harpsichord. When this happens, Catfish plays guitar. They do Troubled Times in this configuration, a lament about losing a job, having a house foreclosed and going to jail. It does ring a bell.

To learn more about the GATERS go to http://www.localmusicvibe.com/artist/the-gaters

To learn more about Joe Tate go to  http://fwd4.me/02ts

To learn more about the No Name Bar go to http://localmusicvibe.com/venue/no-name-bar

This a video slide show of one of our songs about sailing away in the Richmond.


The Medicine Ball Band at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, No Name Bar, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2011 by joetatesblog

The Sausalito Cruising Club often 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.

Basic Medicine: David Sturdevent, Ylonda Nickell, Larry Vann, Richard Howell, Kirk Harwood and Wendy DeWitt

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.

John Stafford and Wendy DeWitt

Today they are joined by Wendy DeWitt, the Queen of Boogie Woogie,  on piano. With Ylonda Nickell on alto sax, John Stafford  on various woodwinds, Richard Howell on soprano and tenor sax, Larry Vann on drums and kirk Harwood on congos, the group is rounded out with vocals by Thea Rose, a sweet young singer adept in the ways of jazz.

Starting with a couple instrumentals, DeWitt sets the pace with one of her classic boogies rendered in her own inimitable way. Careless Love follows with John Stafford leading the way on tenor sax.

The beautiful Thea Rose takes the stage and belts out Who Could ask For Anything More?, followed by Otis Redding’s Dock Of The bay, sung in a clear tenor voice.

Thea Rose

Ms. Rose is in the tenth grade at Terra Linda High, and plays cello, piano and guitar. Her uncle gave her a Billie Holiday CD when she was seven and she has been enthralled with jazz ever since. Her Favorite singer is Ella Fitzgerald and favorite musician is Thelonius Monk, just to give you some idea of where she’s coming from. When time and circumstances permit, she sings with the Medicine Ball Band as she has for the last two years.

After a break she returns with Lullaby Of Birdland, which is completely over the top. Sturdevant and Stafford toss in an incredible harmonica-clarinet duet that makes the whole performance click.

Sturdevant sings My Blue Heaven, written by Walter Donaldson with lyrics by George A. Whiting in 1924. The dance floor fills up with this one, and DeWitt’s keyboard work transports us to the 50s’ and Fats Domino. We get some more of the harmonica-clarinet instrumental section.

David Sturdevant and John Stafford

Apparently Sturdevant and Stafford have been working this routine up. They are planning a tour of the US to showcase what they have been creating. After the break they give us a demo of playing just harmonica and clarinet. It starts off seeming to be just amusing, but them morphs into a full blown musical tour de force.

There was some good blues on the menu too. The drummer, Larry Vann, is a true original as he delivers his song, Down In Shady Lane, played in 4/4 but overlaid with 6/8 time. It is slow and soulful and you know you are hearing the real deal.

Larry Vann

Vann played on many of the famous Motown recordings, toured extensively with Buffy St. Marie and has recently been playing dates with Martha Reeves. He is known as the Groove Merchant, and is the originator of something called the Oakland Scratch Groove. Often appearing at venues like Yoshi’s, Vann is in demand.  Check out his website at http://www.larryvann.com/

David Sturdevant, Ylonda Nickell and Richard Howell

Richard Howell, impressive to listen to, also has some serious cred in the business. Names like Etta James, Chaka Kahn, Don Cherry, Carlos Santana and Taj Mahal are just a few of the personalities that drop from his lips when he discusses his resume’. Learn more about Richard Howell at http://www.wireonfire.com/richardhowell/rhq/

Not to be outdone by all the name dropping, Ylonda Nickell, takes over the proceedings with her rendition of Misty. Starting a with a slow, roboto introduction, Nickell launches into something bordering on Rhapsody In Blue, Gershwin’s monument to stately blues. Nickell has a way of expanding a simple song like this into a kind of symphony with many movements.

The joint was a' jumpin'

There was lots of other good stuff including Feelin’ Alright, of Joe Cocker fame and sung here by Stafford. Sturdevant and Stafford team up for some vocals too, like on Sweet Georgia Brown, written in 1925 by Ben Bernie and Maceo Pinkard (music) and Kenneth Casey(lyrics). It’s good to hear some male harmony and these guys are getting ready for the road so they have really tightened it up.

They will be back from their tour in October. You can hear them at the Sausalito Cruising Club on Sunday afternoons a couple of times a month.

To learn more about the Medicine Ball Band go to http://www.medicineballband.com/

To Learn more about the Sausalito Cruising Club go to http://www.sausalitocruisingclub.org/

Also check out Last Voyage Of Th Redlegs at http://www.theredlegs.com/JoeTate.html just click on the PDF link

If you are a musician, please come to the Blue Monday Jam Sessions at the Sausalito Cruising Club every Monday at 7.

Go here http://localmusicvibe.com/band/joe-tate

 

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 http://jukejointband.com/

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 http://kathyholly.com/

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 http://localmusicvibe.com/band/joe-tate

To learn more about the Sausalito Cruising Club go to http://www.sausalitocruisingclub.org/

Maritime Day at Galilee Harbor

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, ukulele music on August 11, 2011 by joetatesblog

Night Beat occasionally steps out into the light of day. This was the case on August 6 when the sixth annual Maritime Day was held at Galilee Harbor in Sausalito.

Maritime Day festivities at Galilee Harbor

Maritime Day festivities at Galilee Harbor

Maritime day was originally held at the Bay Model beginning in 1981.  It was produced there for a few years by Art Zone until it was discontinued. Meanwhile, in the intervening years, every August 4, Galilee Harbor would commemorate the destruction of Bob’s Boatyard in 1980, an event which led to the creation of this community, a resident owned marina for live-aboard artists and maritime workers. Eventually, the Galileans decided to revive Maritime Day in place of the Bob’s Boatyard commemoration.

Curtain Call

Activities included a marine flea market starting at 8 AM, Music starting at 1 PM, boat rides, boat building demonstrations, food and beer and face painting. A rowing dinghy built built by Anton Hottner was raffled off  to one lucky winner. There were many children present who, at first, occupied themselves at the face painting table. A lot of fun was being had. One wonders why, as we age, we let go of all this stuff.

You name it

The flea market was loaded with all kinds of marine wreckage as well as clothing, cooking utensils, fire extinguishers and some music books offered by Joe Tate.

Tall tales abound

Food included pie and ice cream, fish and chips and the aforementioned beer. This was all served up in a little section with picnic tables and umbrellas.

Visitors could also go for free boat rides aboard the Santa Famiglia, owned by Heather Richard of Galilee Harbor. The Dixie,owned by the Spaulding Wooden Boat Center, also provided free boat rides. There were also opportunities to paddle around in rowboats if you knew the right person.

Boarding the Santa Famiglia

A major delight of the day was a visit by the Grace Quan, a replica Chinese shrimp fishing junk built by volunteers and staff of the National Park Service under the direction of John Muir. Between 1860 and 1910, these were the workhorses of the Chinese dried shrimp industry and were similar to vessels from the fisherman’s home waters in Guangdong Provence, China.

The Grace Quan arrives early

The Grace Quan was built on the beach at China Camp State Park. Located along the shoreline of San Pablo Bay, China Camp was among the largest of the Chinese shrimp fishing villages on the bay.

The Grace Quan visit is a salute to Galilee Harbor and it’s own sailing traditions. Several Chinese junk rig boats have been built by Galileans including Peter bailey’s Bertie and Joe Tate’s Whitefin.

The music program started with Ale Eckstrom playing his wonderful sea chanteys, all in traditional style, except for the tennis shoes maybe. Ale is an atomic veteran who was a guinea pig for the Bikini Atoll nuclear bomb tests near the middle of the last century.

Ale Eckstrom

Since then he has played his concertina for multitudes throughout the Bay Area and beyond. He is a true Sausalito Treasure. Living anchored out for the past several decades, Ale can often be seen pedaling his folding bike around the waterfront. Josh Bailey followed with some amusing and well received guitar improvisations.

Fred Odell took the stage with his bassist and played a good many strong country style songs, many of which are his own compositions, and which he embellished with some nice harmonica licks. Fred, by the way, won the raffle for the rowboat amid some disappointment and envy from at least one sore loser.

The party took on a tropical theme with sunlight bursting through the scattered fog. Galilee Harbor has its own micro weather system due to the topography of the nearby hills coupled with somewhat predictable wind patterns. The harbor was lit up with bright sunlight while the neighboring environs were shrouded in fog.

To this, add the Ukulele Friends Ohana, otherwise known as the UFOs. Taking the stage with 14 ukuleles, a guitar and a bass, they sing in a tight chorus with old standards, pop and island songs with Hawaiian lyrics.

The Ukulele Friends Ohana or UFOs

This may have been the high point of the day, judging from audience reaction. The harmony drifted to every corner of the area, lowering blood pressure better than any medicine a doctor can prescribe. Under the leadership of Del Medina, the group plays every Friday at a secret location in San Rafael known only as Area 51.

See their blog at http://www.rubbaslippa.com/

Peter Belden’s band was up next, delivering some great R&B that precipitated lively dancing. With Steve Furst on drums and Alex Dias on Bass, powerful vocals stream from the sultry voice of Alicia Gomez.

The Peter Belden Band

Peter is a resident of Galilee Harbor and works as a pilot on the Vallejo ferry.

Next up, the Waterfront Pickers do a sort of bluegrass-country thing. Except for the UFOs, like most of today’s entertainment, these folks are from the waterfront and include boatbuilders, mechanics, journalists, and all the other trades necessary to maintain boats.

The Waterfront Pickers: Hans List, Jody Boyle, Andy Turpin, Tom Funkhauser, Suzie Olson, David Gissendaner and Karen White

Gabe Navarre opened the next set with remembrances to those who had died in the past year. After speaking shortly, he sang a couple of spiritual duets with Julie Butler.  With the audience drawn into his sad story, he broke the spell with some hot rock and roll with Scotty Lipsits on bass and Noah Wahldon of Vinyl on drums.

David Lister; sound engineer or mad scientist?

David Lister; sound engineer or mad scientist?

Fiver Brown’s band did the last set, playing mostly original songs. They really connected with the audience, who were by now getting a little dingy from all the fresh air and music. The liquid refreshments may have also been a factor.

Behind the scenes, David Lister was working all the sound gear. With all 16 UFOs on stage, he managed to mic every voice and instrument. He could be seen pulling cables, connecting mics and whatnot all afternoon.

Congo Bongo Natty Aye

Congo Bongo Natty Aye

Oh yes! Those little music books by Joe Tate are called Ukulele Baby Songbook. Over in one corner of the flea market, some happy sounds were coming from Joe’s ukulele with help from Lovise Mills providing percussion on a cooking utensil. The book contains many songs and CD of how each song is played on the ukulele. To learn more go to http://ukulelebaby.org/

To learn more about Galilee Harbor go to http://www.galileeharbor.org/

Contact Night Beat at  joebtate@gmail.com

Michael Skinner’s Final Touch Band at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on June 29, 2011 by joetatesblog

The Final Touch Band comes to the Sausalito Cruising Club as part of the legacy from the Blue Monday jam sessions that were led by Billy Dunn and Michael Skinner here some years back. Although The Final Touch Band predated the jam sessions, it was some time before FTB would be playing their spectacular brand of rhythm and blues at the  Sausalito Cruising Club. Joining FTB tonight are guitarist Steve Gannon and bassist Larry James, both members of the old SCC jam band. Although The first Sessions featured Pat Wilder on guitar, Gannon became the regular for several years.

The Final Touch Band; L-R Steve Gannon, Michael Skinner, Larry James and Richard Younger

The Final Touch Band is the brainchild of Michael Skinner, a talented drummer/singer who grew up in Richmond, CA where  as a youngster he played and sang with the Spiritual Corinthians. He learned music from his late brother Melvin and his uncle both of whom were members of the Spiritual Corinthians. He graduated from Harry Ells High School in 1984. “Charisma” was his first band.

Michael Skinner at work

Soon he would be playing with Beverly Stovall at the Serenader Club in Oakland, CA where he met up with Billy Dunn and later Curtis Lawson.  This was his core group leading up to the formation of the FTB, which at first was with Leonard Hawkins, Dale Whitmore and Larry James on guitar. Tonight, Richard Younger is subbing for Hawkins on keyboards. He’s a funny guy all laughing and joking. The way he moves around the keyboard, he looks like Ray Charles.

Michael Skinner’s rendition of Mustang Sally is something to behold. With his powerful gospel trained voice, he lends incredible power to this Wilson Pickett classic. The ending, which Michael arranged, is like no other and is an apt demonstration of this band’s power. All their songs have great endings.

Larry James wails with Steve Gannon L and Richard Younger R

Bassist Larry  James, who doubles on guitar, can really belt out some oldies but goodies too. His version of Shake rattle and Roll segues into shout, the Isley Brother smash from yesteryear.

Steve Gannon sings the blues

Steve Gannon delivers up some good blues with Howlin’ Wolf’s, Baby, How Long. This man can play some guitar too, and in a most pleasing way. His playing can be searing and laid back at the same time. Sort of like sweet and sour, it’s delicious.

Gannon, who grew up in London, came to Oakland in 1985 after the end of a ten year marriage. When he was invited to Eli’s Mile High Club in Oakland, he played with Beverly Stovall and Sonny Rhodes who took him on tour of Canada with his band.

Steve wound up playing in the house band at Eli’s three nights a week. There was an after-hours club called Deluxe Inn where he finally met Michael Skinner sometime in the 80s. Later he hooked up with Billy Dunn in Curtis Lawson’s band where he shared guitar duties with the late Drake Levin.

Joe Tate medleys with Michael Skinner

There was one other little surprise for the night; Joe Tate showed up and sang a couple of old favorites like Blueberry Hill and High Heeled Sneakers, which is done in a medley of songs traded back and forth between Tate and Skinner. It went sort of like this; Tate sang a verse of High Heeled Sneakers then Skinner sang a verse of Big Boss Man. Bits of several songs were strung together with alternating singers in a sort of faux competition. Amusing.

The Final Touch Band will return to the Sausalito Cruising Club on Friday July 1 at 8:00 PM

To contact the Final Touch Band go to

http://www.gigleader.com/band/michael-skinner-and-final-touch

To learn more about the Sausalito Cruising Club go to

http://www.sausalitocruisingclub.org/

Michael Aragon Jazz Quartet, Blue Monday at Sausalito Cruising Club, Wendy DeWitt, Joe Tate and Jeromeo at the No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , on June 13, 2011 by joetatesblog

Michael Aragon has been playing Jazz at the No Name Bar in Sausalito every Friday night for the past 28 years. Probably the longest running jazz gig in the Bay Area.  Starting in 1983 with Dick Conte on piano and Chuck Sher on Bass, the group has evolved over many years.  Vince Wallace, a master of the tenor sax, joined the group between 1986 and 1991. During the 90s, Jackie King provided his incredible guitar. In this configuration, they cut an album with Willie Nelson.

Michael Aragon Jazz Quartet today: L-R Casey Filson, Rob Roth, Pierre Archain and Michael Aragon

Yolanda Nickel, a protege’ of Vince Wallace, also worked these Friday night sessions for many years.

Today the group consists of Casey Filson on piano, Rob Roth on saxophone, Pierre Archain on Bass and Michael Aragon on Drums. Progressive jazz is the main bag but, Aragon often has guest singers and other players who may perform old standards, R&B or blues. For Bay Area  jazz, this is as good as it gets.

Michael Aragon

Michael Aragon was born in the old town section of Sausalito where his parents owned a considerable amount of land. Sally Stanford often would baby sit with him when he was little. Aragon was spared the burden of wealth because his parents gave their entire fortune to charity.

He gained his love of music from the singing of his mother, who remarkably, had memorized the entire Bible. It was jazz that captivated him later on, though he dabbled in many other styles including some standup vocal work.

His playing is reminiscent of Elvin Jones, a figure he has always admired.

Rob Roth

Rob Roth came to California from Philadelphia in 1999 and started with Aragon in 2000.  He graduated from Temple University where he majored in Jazz Performance.

Rob turns in some smokin’ hot solos on stuff like Bailing Out or Bud Powell. Sounding like his hero, Dexter Gordon, Roth has complete control of the tenor saxophone. It is a pleasure to hear his renditions of the Antonio Carlos Jobim bossa novas.

Casey Filson has been doing the piano chores here for about three years. Living in the East Bay, he grew up in Richmond  and teaches at Saint Mary’s College High School in Berkeley.

Filson’s excellent playing gives the perfect framework for the Quartet’s extensive playlist. The piano is the department of chord progressions and they flow from his hands in an unbroken stream.

Pierre Archain plays a strong rhythmic bass style that insistently drives the music while meshing with the profusion of chords. He has held down the bass position here since the 1980s.

Pierre Archain

Archain was born in the south of France where he grew up in Montpellier and Toulouse as well as Nice. He came to New york in 1979 but ended up in San Francisco.

If you like jazz, you’ll love the Michael Aragon Jazz Quartet. They are at the No Name bar in Sausalito, CA every Friday night starting at 9 PM.

The No Name Bar has been here since 1958. The owners who opened it then couldn’t decide on a name. During the remodeling of the bar, they wrote various trial names on the wall. These can still be seen if one peeks behind the bar.

In addition to friday Jazz, the No Name Bar has music every night of the week. To see the schedule go to

http://localmusicvibe.com/venue/no-name-bar

The June 6, Blue Monday jam session at the Sausalito Cruising Club was powered by 19 jammers including Steve Gannon, a founder of the Monday night sessions at SCC. Led by pianist Billy Dunn, his R&B quartet with keyboard, bass, drums and guitar played by Gannon, held forth every Monday here for many years. Gannon, who recently overcame cancer, was warmly received by all the many folks here who knew him.

Steve Gannon and Shima Moore

There were many of the regular jammers in attendance along with some new people who were invited to the stage including Shima Moore. She joined Gannon and sang a few oldies including When Will I Be Loved, made famous originally  by the Everly Brothers and later by Linda Ronstadt.

The house band is now Joe Tate, Willie Riser and Donny Kountz on guitar, bass and drums respectively. They performed an opening set old R&B, New Orleans, and rock music.

Coyote and crew

Tate opened the stage for jammers at about 8:00 PM. First  up was John “Coyote” Egan and his guitar students. Numbering six in all, this took a huge chunk out of the waiting cue. They played really  well and the dance floor came alive.

Paul Bohan and Willie Riser

Slowly,  through various rotations, almost everyone got to play or sing including Daylight Again, a trio of singers who laid down some tight harmony on old standards and whatnot. Beautiful to listen to though.

Great performances were also turned in by Paul Bohan, Gabe Navarre and Miss Suzie Q.

Gannon and Tate performed the finale’ with Roosevelt Blues, a compelling sort of historical review of American presidents. You can see Joe Tate perform Roosevelt Blues at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k6F7nYzcqJ8

To learn more about the Sausalito Cruising Club go to

http://www.sausalitocruisingclub.org/

Kirk Harwood, Joe Tate and Wendy DeWitt

Joe Tate appears every Saturday evening at the No Name Bar in Sausalito with Various Artists. On June 4, he was joined by Miss Wendy DeWitt and Kirk Harwood who was substituting for Lonnie Walter.

DeWitt is an incredible performer, combining piano virtuosity with strong vocals covering the blues, standards and a healthy dose of boogie woogie .

Tate adds his own charm to the ensemble with a powerful baritone voice that is well matched to stuff like Minnie The Moocher, of Cab Calloway fame.

Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Jeromeo

The following week, on June 11, Jeromeo shared the stage with Tate and the resurrected Lonnie Walter. Just as with DeWitt, Tate doesn’t have to work very hard with Jeromeo on account of having the bass lines and chord rhythms supplied by their excellent keyboard work.

To learn more about Wendy DeWitt go to http://www.wendydewitt.com/

To learn more about Joe Tate go to http://fwd4.me/02ts

The No Name Bar schedule is at http://localmusicvibe.com/venue/no-name-bar


Sausalito Cruising Club, No Name bar, Taste of Rome and Seahorse

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2011 by joetatesblog

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.

Phil Berkowitz, Donny Kountz, Stephanie Teel and Carrie Gesendasy jam out!

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.

Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Jerome Phillips at the No Name Bar

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.

Chris Goddard and Eugene Huggins with David Kemp and Sean Saylor sitting in

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.

Kirk Harwood, Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Wendy DeWitt at Taste of Rome

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.

Joe Tate and Miles Ceralde at the No Name Bar

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.

Joe Tate and Sandy Bailey at the No Name Bar

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.

The Tickets at Sausalito Seahorse Restaurant

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

http://www.myspace.com/theticketsband

To learn more about Joe Tate go to

http://xrl.in/4y57

See the Ukulele Baby Songbook at

http://ukulelebaby.org/

The No Name Bar flyer Joe Tate and Ukulele Bailey

Here’s another video of Joe Tate  playing the ukulele and singing Don’t Think Twice

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ik8zVBZLJtk