Archive for americana

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

To learn more about Joe Tate go to

To learn more about the No Name Bar go to

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

The Gaters at Saylor’s and No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 11, 2011 by joetatesblog

Maggie catfish and Joe Tate, best known as members of the Redlegs in their roles in the Movie, Last Free Ride, have been doing some gigs together as The Gaters. The name derives from having come from the Gates, an area along the Sausalito waterfront where Liberty Ships were built in WWII. The Gates had become a haven for artists and musicians, along with many other bohemian types who constructed makeshift houseboats on these Sausalito mudflats.

The Redlegs fit right in with all this and spent many years raising hell at all the local parties. They played a form of rock n’ roll that thumbed its nose at the world but was at the same time a joyous celebration of the local community. It all seemed hip enough during the late sixties before the area was rebuilt into an upscale houseboat marina.

These days Maggie and Joe are content playing conventional rock, old standards, hawaiian and just a few of the old Redlegs numbers that are still craved by a few diehard fans.  They delivered all this at Saylor’s Restaurant and Bar last Friday.

The Gaters: Joe Tate and Maggie Catfish at Saylor's

Not surprisingly, there were a few people there from the old days. There was also a large contingent of folks who came to hear the Hawaiian music. They weren’t disappointed. Maggie Catfish lived in the Islands for many years and has absorbed the culture and music of Hawaii. Likewise, Joe Tate sailed to the Islands in 1977 but didn’t study the music until much later. He now plays with the Ukulele Friends Ohana which specializes in the Hawaiian.

The first set was mostly Hawaiian but gradually gave over to standards and old Coasters songs. Later, some of the old Redlegs songs came out like Nasty Little Boy and Old Matt. There were a some good sit in performances too. Tom Barr played harmonica on many of the blues numbers and Skip Dossett sang some Elvis songs. Joe Tate’s rendition of  Whiter Shade Of Pale is noteworthy because it uses a harmonica to play the Hammond organ solo made famous by Procol Harem.

The Gaters at the No Name bar

The next night they are at the No Name Bar where they usually appear with percussionist Lonnie Walter,  who couldn’t make it tonight. Tom Barr came though and he assisted on blues. There were more Redlegs fans tonight than Hawaiian aficionados so, rock n’ roll prevailed. There was also an extra helping of RedLegs songs including Sailor’s Love Song, Love won’t Change and the ubiquitous Nasty Little Boy.

There was also plenty of New Orleans sounds like Rockin Pneumonia and some Fats Domino tunes. Joe also sang a new song called Roosevelt Blues which tells a story of Abraham Lincoln and Franklin Roosevelt. This song tells it like it is, a must hear for all Americans.

Joe Tate had some DVD movies of the Last Free Ride he was selling. These are always available here on Saturday during his performance. He also sells the Ukulele Baby Songbook which has a bunch of songs arranged for ukulele. This is also available online at

To learn more about the Redlegs go to

To learn more about Joe Tate

The New Rising Sons at the Sausalito Cruising Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life with tags , , , , , on March 14, 2011 by joetatesblog

The New Rising Sons 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.

The current lineup includes Jesse Kincaid on guitar and fiddle, Mark Banning on guitar, Kim Carrigg on bass and Jake Baker on drums. Boudeeka O’Connor is the lead singer who also stars in the Summer Of Love Revue. In the Summer Of Love Revue she portrays both Janis Joplin and Grace Slick. She has an incredible vocal range and intensity which allows her to cover many genres. Mark Banning is also a phenomenal  player with a seemingly endless repertoire.

Having fun with the New Rising Sons

The evening started off with Jake Baker singing Otis Redding’s “Dock Of The Bay” followed by Jesse Kincaid on Jimmy Reed’s “Bright Light Big City.” Mark Banning performed a rendition of the Bobby Troup classic, “Route 66,” after which Boudeeke came to the stage and delivered a number of beautiful renditions.

Starting with “Blue Bayou,” the wonderful Roy Orbison song. This was followed by Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams,” Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and Janis Joplin’s “Piece Of My Heart.”

More classics followed, like “Long Cool Woman” sand by Jake Baker, “The Midnigt Hour,” “Brown Eyed Girl” and many more. Boudeeka came back with her “Chain Of Fools/Born On The Bayou” medley which filled up the dance floor.

The New Rising Sons L-R Jake Baker, Jesse Kincaid, Kim Carrigg, Boudeeka O'Connor and Mark Banning

Mark Banning

Mark Banning

One of the best things to hear them perform is “Light My Fire,” the Doors smash hit. In their rendition all the complicated organ parts are played by Banning on the guitar. With some signal processing, it still doesn’t sound like Ray Manzarek but some whole new thing that is refreshing and nostalgic at the same time. It doesn’t sound quite like a guitar and certainly not an organ but something new and different to be appreciated.

Another great song performed by the New Rising Sons is “Stairway To Heaven,” Led Zeppelin’s iconic anthem one can often hear being played in music stores by beginners. These guys do the whole thing which is long and complicated. This is the only band I know which covers this song.

There were a couple of folks who sat in this evening too including Paul Seaward on Harmonica and Joe Tate who sang and played guitar on a couple of songs.

Paul Seaward assists on harmonica

Boudeeka is now engaged to be married and is moving away from the Bay Area. Her last dates with the New Rising Sons will be at the end of May. Time is running out to hear her sing in the area with the NRS so make a date soon to hear them.

Curtis Lawson at the Sausalito Seahorse

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 25, 2011 by joetatesblog

Curtis Lawson celebrates 55 years of singing the blues in the Bay Area on this occasion. It’s also his 77th birthday and the man is still going strong.

He has a tight quartet backing him tonight. With Nick Otis, son of Johnny Otis, on drums, Matt Silver on guitar, Kevin white on bass and the great Bobby Webb on saxophone, the evening starts out with some solid instrumentals including “Sissy Strut” and “Night Train.”

Matt Silver, Nick Otis, Kevin White and Bobby Webb

Curtis, dressed in his snazzy red suit, takes the stage and pumps out “Turnin Point,” a song made famous by Tyrone Davis back in the 70’s. This is followed by the hearfelt “My Woman,”  Curtis’ own poignant song about his wife, Linda.  After covering a few Jimmy Reed numbers, he moves on to James Brown, Wilson Picket and Otis Redding.

It was raining so hard that the noise on the roof could be heard over the music. Curtis thanked everyone for coming out in such rotten weather, of course.

He invites Jay Johnston of KPOO Radio to the stage who recounts the history of Curtis Lawson and reminds us to tune in to 89.5 FM to hear his regular broadcast, Blue House Party every Monday. Bobby Webb also has a blues show on KPOO every Tuesday at 9:00. Before taking the stage Jay showed us some of his really cool moves on the dance floor. Just sitting there at his table, you have no idea how agile he is.

Curtis Lawson turns 77

Curtis Lawson turns 77

Anyway, when Curtis comes back, he starts inviting his friends to the stage starting with Joe Tate who belts out a couple of rockers, “High Heeled Sneakers” and “Down Home Girl.” Gail Muldrow followed with some high powered vocals and superb guitar shredding. After some various artists sat in on drums and bass, Curtis came back and sang James Brown’s “Please please please” with Tate and Muldrow backing the vocals. Before they could step down it was “The Night Time Is The Right Time,” the Ray Charles classic.

Curtis Lawson has to be one of our greatest local artists. He can be heard at the Saloon in San Francisco, the Sausalito Art Festival, the Marin City Festival and occasionally at the No Name Bar in Sausalito.

Her’s a nice You Tube clip of Curtis at the Art and Soul Festival in Oakland

A recent show at the Seahorse

All in all, it was a great show. If you get a chance to see Curtis, don’t miss out.

Obedie William,Linda Lawson, Curtis Lawson, Joe Tate and Jay Johnston

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


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