Archive for blues

The Gaters at the No Name Bar

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

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street

The Gaters consist of some left over Redlegs including Joe Tate,  Maggie Catfish and Jeff Costello. They are joined by Lonnie Walter on Bongos. The name has nothing to do with alligators but rather with the fact they are all from the Gates, an area of the  Sausalito  waterfront where Liberty ships were built in WWII. There still exists three distinct areas that still have their WWII names; Gate 3, Gate 5 and Gate 6. There is also another section referred to as Gate 6 1/2 but, this is not historic nomenclature, just a convenient name for what would be an extension of Gate 6.

Anyway, Joe Tate plays the No Name Bar every Saturday with various artists. The Gaters are a special feature for Joe because of their long history together with the Redlegs.

On this night, they played some of the old Redlegs numbers along with some standard rock and blues. Maggie did a wonderful rendition of “What A Difference A Day Makes” as well as some very appealing songs like “Smokey Places.”

Jeff Costello maintained excellent work on the guitar, providing brilliant solos as needed. Jeff also helped out with some vocals and, as always, Lonnie Walter held it all together with the bongos.

Joe covered all his usual basses, singing in a strong baritone voice. While narrating the early history of the No Name bar, he does a little Name dropping about the various celebrities who have hung out there over the years.

There was a nice crowd of friends who attended along with many unsuspecting passersby who just popped in when they heard the music.

The flyer features a picture of Maggie and Joe taken at the drydocks of Richardson Bay many years ago.

For more information about Maggie and Joe go to

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

or

http://xrl.in/4y57

There is also a nice clip of the Redlegs playing at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fS1ZOiyK06o


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/

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