Archive for boogie woogie piano

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

 

No Name Bar and Presidio Yacht Club

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life with tags , , , , , , , on April 4, 2011 by joetatesblog

It was a bar hopping evening starting at the No Name Bar in Sausalito at 6PM. Joe Tate plays here every week at this time along with Lonnie Walter and one other of his rotating guests. This week, Jerome Phillips rounds out the trio with his very experienced keyboard playing. Joe Tate performs his usual New Orleans swamp blues along with a couple new numbers like Little Egypt, the famous Leiber and Stoller song best known for its Coasters recording.

Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Jerome Phillips

They also let loose with some good old Chuck Berry stuff like Nadine which Jerome sings to good effect. Jerome also performs some nice instrumentals here and there while Tate scurries around with the tip jar.

They were selling  some DVDs of The Last Free Ride, a movie which chronicles the houseboat wars which took place here in the 70s. Tate also sells the Ukulele baby Songbook which come with a CD of him performing all the songs in the book. It is available at

http://ukulelebaby.org/

They finish up the night with Cab Calloway’s Minnie The Moocher and finally Chuck Berry’s Rock and Roll Music.

The next bar hop was to the Presidio Yacht Club where The Tickets, fronted by Debra Clawson, were playing. This joint is located in one of the most beautiful spots on earth on the edge of Horseshoe Cove at the foot of the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge. Viewing the bridge and San Francisco is like looking at a post card come to life. If you haven’t been here you should check it out. For information go to

http://www.presidioyachtclub.org/

Anyway, The Tickets do a lot of the popular covers from the Rolling Stones and other great rock groups. They also do some very nice originals with clever chord progressions and diatonic melodies. Very reminiscent of the 60s. This is exactly the kind of music that Bill Graham wanted to get rid of. Happily, in spite of his best efforts, this stuff keeps coming back.

The Tickets at the Presidio Yacht Club

There was a good crowd and The Tickets kept the dance floor full with such tunes as Born To Be Wild, the Steppenwolf classic that idolizes biker chic. Sung by Peter Herbert, who doesn’t appear to be the biker type, the song brings back memories of when Steppenwolf used to play at the Ark in Sausalito.

Debra Clawson comes back with a ballad or two that showcases her one of a kind voice.

The next bar hop was back to the No Name Bar where Wendy DeWitt was making some very fine music with her excellent band. With Kirk Harwood on drums, Jan Martinelli on bass, and Steve Freund on guitar, this group is a force to be reckoned with.

 

Kirk Harwood, Steve Freund, Jan Martinelli and Wendy DeWitt

Freund’s mastery of the guitar is beyond words. But his powerful vocals leave little doubt that he is the real deal. Combined with the Queen Of Boogie Woogie’s over the top piano, it’s easy to see why Harwood and Martinelli get excited. Kirk Harwood in particular keeps bouncing up and down with every cymbal crash. He just can’t sit still.

Anyway, this was real fun evening and hearing these folks was the perfect ending.

To learn more about Wendy DeWitt go to

http://www.wendydewitt.com/

To learn more about Steve Freund go to

http://www.stevefreund.com/

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

Wendy DeWitt, Joe Tate and Lonnie Walter at the No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music with tags , , , , , , on March 28, 2011 by joetatesblog

Joe Tate and Lonnie Walter play here every Saturday from 6-8:30, usually with a guest artist. This week it’s Wendy DeWitt, the queen of boogie woogie piano. Also sitting in this week was harmonica man, Tom Barr.

Joe started the evening with singing Slipping And Sliding, the Little Richard hit of the 50s. Then some New Orleans stuff like Rockin Pneumonia, the perennial favorite from Professor  Longhair.

 

Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Wendy DeWitt

Wendy and Joe take turns belting out some of the good old favorites that rock and boogie. These duties are shared two songs at a time, he plays two then she plays two.

Wendy’s piano skills are amazing. Just when everyone’s jaw drops as she burns through some really hot passage, she engages the audience and gets their participation.

Lonnie Walter carries the beat on the bongos and does some showy gestures with his hands .This always gets laughs and cheers. Lonnie has his own band called Lonnie’s Eggs. They appear regularly at the Saloon in North Beach.

This worked well until some of the other local singers showed up. Tate can’t resist bringing them up to the Stage. First there was Lauralee Brown and then Donna Dacuti both of whom sang a couple of very nice songs.

Lauralee Brown

Lauralee Brown sang Moondance which was a nice break from Tate’s blues oriented theme music. This was followed by Vine Street Betty.

Donna Dacuti did Georgia while DeWitt and Tate read from her arrangement. This was ok but she really killed them with her rendition of Built For Comfort, the Howlin Wolf, Willie Dixon number. Sometimes these sit-in things pay off.

Tom Barr sat in on harmonica and added some nice riffs to a lot of the blues stuff. He also assisted on background vocals with Lonnie Walter.

Tate finished the evening with Minnie The Moocher, Cab Calloway’s story song about a poor delusional woman who doesn’t have anything but a heart of gold. Tate plays the ukulele on this song for good effect. The quick decay of the plunka plunka ukulele voice actually drives the rhythm.

This song probably goes on a little too long because he prattles on about Minnie and then thanks the No Name, the bartender, every member of the band and what ever else comes to mind. The audience chimes right in with the hi de hi de hoes until the end.

Tom Barr, Lonnie Walter and Joe Tate

To learn more about Wendy DeWitt go to

http://www.wendydewitt.com/

To learn more about Joe Tate go to

http://xrl.in/4y57

Lonnie’s Eggs on Facebook

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lonnies-Eggs/259655605911

See Joe Tate on You Tube

http://www.youtube.com/user/joebtate?feature=mhum

Chris Goddard, Joe Tate and Lonnie Walter at the No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2011 by joetatesblog

L-R Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Chris Goddard

Chris Goddard was substituting for Johnny Nitro, who was to have played the No Name Bar this 19th of March, 2011. Unfortunately, Johnny died just four weeks ago, shortly after booking to play here. Everyone was excited that he was coming.

Myron Mu, who owns the Saloon, where Nitro has played for many years, was here that night and he told us the news. Lonnie said “We’re gonna have to cancel Johnny’s date.” It was with sadness that we marked his passing but we tried to rock out for him just as we thought he would have wished.

Joe Tate and weird guitar

Joe Tate and Chris Goddards crutches

Chris Goddard showed up on crutches himself, but still determined to entertain. It’s raining hard again tonight and the regulars are here along with a couple of Nitro’s friends

Joe Tate started off with Little Richards Slipping And Sliding then segued into a few New Orleans style tunes that were beautifully backed by Chris Goddard’s well versed guitar.

It’s a groovy sound, based not on having full band, but more like a coffee house thing with the bongos and guitars. It’s good listening mixed with some get up and dance numbers.

Chris Goddard also sang a few songs. Even though he’s not dancing around, he has still got it going on.

Tom Barr and lonnie Walter

Tom Barr and Lonnie Walter

Tom Barr showed up with his harmonicas and hammered out some nice solos on many of the blues renditions.

Tom regularly plays with the UFOs in San Rafael at a secret location known as Area 51. Joe joins in the fun there too, playing stuff you never get to hear at the No Name Bar.

Tom and Lonnie did some nice backup vocals on some of Joe’s songs and at times sounded like an old fashioned gospel quartet.

At intermission Lonnie talked about Johnny Nitro and in between the sentences you could here the rain coming down hard. Lonnie let us all know how much it hurt him. They knew each other well and both had been living above the Saloon on Grant Ave.

Jane Koestel, who was also a friend of Johnny, was there, but declined to speak.

Joe Tate will be back next Saturday with Wendy DeWitt and Lonnie Walter. Wendy, who was playing with us when Myron told us about Nitro, is a terrific pianist who has the boogie woogie in her soul. Her and Joe have done this gig a few times and it always smokes. It starts at 6. Check it out. http://www.localmusicvibe.com/event/wendy-dewitt-joe-tate-and-lonnie-walter

Johhny Nitro's final booking

To Learn more about Johnny Nitro go to

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/02/21/BAN81HR1FE.DTL

or  http://www.facebook.com/johnnynitrotribute

To learn more about Joe Tate go to

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

or

http://xrl.in/4y57

For this weeks show go to

http://www.localmusicvibe.com/event/wendy-dewitt-joe-tate-and-lonnie-walter

March 14 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 March 16, 2011 by joetatesblog

Well whaddya know? Monday night was frittered away playin the blues and more. The house band, with Joe Tate, Willie Rizer and Donny Kountz did the opening set with “Blue Monday” and some other simple stuff to get the evening started.

Debra Clawson,Tom Barr, Joe Tate, Jeff Suits and Oz

We had a couple of surprise visits. First was Mike Adams who, as a young teenager, played drums occasionally with the Redlegs. Everyone was amazed at how good could he play when just a boy. Tonight, he took over the drums after Andy Mendell, who was the first jamer of the evening. Andy came up before the end of the set so Donny got some quick downtime. Suzie Olsen also assisted on vocals during the set.

As soon as Tate took a break, John “Coyote” Egan took up the guitar like a menacing weapon. The Flying V is just a little scary. At his request, Tate hung on to his old bat guitar and assisted with Coyote’s set.

Jamers: Mike adams, David Kemp, Coyote and Jim Presta

There were generous portions of wailing harmonica with Tom Barr, Scott Sherman and Diver Dave taking turns. Paul Seaward got in on the action too.

There was also some good horn action too. Ray DeFazio had his baritone sax and his friend, Bruce, played a really melodic trumpet. These guys came in real handy during “I Got A Woman.”

The second surprise was that four members of the Tickets showed up. Lead singer Debra Clawson dragged her crew down to the club after Monday Night rehearsal. Apparently they hadn’t had enough howling at the moon yet.

They had some new songs they had been working and we got to hear some of the stuff. Some of it was high energy rock with a kind of swing beat. Their drummer, Peter Herbert, has a certain touch that sets these rhythms off.

Some Tickets: Will Leidenthal,Peter Herbert, Debra Clawson and Oz.

Debra Clawson and guitarist Will Leidenthal do some really nice duets and of course she can belt of the blues like nobodies business. They were joined by their regular bassist, Jeff Suits and  drop in guitarist, John “Oz” Gordon.

Jerome Phillips

Near the end we were treated to some excellent funk led by pianist, Jerome Phillips. It is always a pleasure to hear Jerome play. He has been playing at Seahorse on Monday nights and showing up here near the end. He also plays with Joe Tate at the No Name Bar and will be there with him on the 2nd and 30th of april. Joe Tate plays the No Name every Saturday with various other artists. You can check out his show there in the early evening, starting at 6 PM.

To Learn more about the happenings go to

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

Video is at

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

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 March 8, 2011 by joetatesblog

Your regular host, Joe Tate, took the night off due the laryngitis. Jesse Kincaid ably took over for the evening with happening results.

There were over 15 musicians who signed up to play and everyone got a turn on stage. There were guitarists, pianists, drummers, bassists, vocalists and a couple of good harmonicas. Larry Seeger was also there with his “bones” which, surprisingly, can be heard above all the electric guitars and stuff. He holds two bones in each hand and, with a deft wrist motion, a staccato rhythm is produced.

The house band, consisting of Jesse Kincaid, Donny Kountz and Willie Riser, was joined by Gary Berger and Jim Presta on piano, Gabe Navarre, Ken Markowitz, Craig Caffal, Paul Bowan and Swanee on guitar, Ron Rosano and Ian Lee on drums, Linda Seabright, Gloria Lopez, Sana Hoffer, David Kemp, Suzie Olsen, Donna Dacuti and Sheila McEnary on vocals, Diver Dave and Scott Sherman on harmonicas all sometimes accompanied by David Kemp on bass.

Craig Caffal, Ron Rosano, Linda Seabright, Willie Riser and Gabe Navarre

Jesse performed a very nice set including some R&B standards like “Midnight Hour” as well as some good blues from Jimmy Reed to Chuck Berry. Gabe Navarre was first to join the jam and gave us some renditions of Stevie Ray Vaughn and Jimmy Hendrix.

Kempers and Sana rock out

Gary Berger and Jim Presta took turns on the piano while Scott Sherman and Diver Dave did harmonic harmonicas. That’s two harmonicas at once for a powerful blues motif. Suzie Olsen gave us a number of old rockers and also assisted on vocals for Jesse and Gabe.

Ron Rosano took over drums for a while and there were some great vocals from Donna Dacuti. We also heard from Sheila McEnary  and Linda Seabright. Linda dedicated her performance to her friend Herman, a drummer for Dr. John who had just died.

There were also excellent performances by guitarists Paul Bowan and Craig Caffal. These guys are great singers too so they were give a little extra time to unload.

Dueling harps, Scott Sherman, Ian Lee, Paul Bowan, Gabe Navarre, Diver Dave, Suzie Olsen and Gary Berger

The highlight of the evening was the singing trio “Daylight Again” with David Kemp, Sana Hoffer and Gloria Lopez. They sang three songs in perfect harmony starting with Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally”  featuring Kemp on lead Vocal. This was followed by the fifties rocker “Don’t Say Nothin’ Bad About My Baby” and finally a soulful “Long Time Coming” in which Miss Lopez stretched out her voice.

Center, Daylight Again, L, Jesse Kincaid, R, Gabe Navarre

The last performer of the evening was Swanee who gave us some swamp blues overlaid with grunge guitar with some extra nice backing from Jesse, Ken, Gabe and Ian.

The Sausalito Cruising Club is such a great venue for this stuff and the best deal in Marin for Musicians. If you play at the Blue Monday Jam you can have buffet dinner for a mere 5 bucks. It has a great deck area overlooking the bay where the smokers can usually be found. SCC also has a full bar with a wisecracking Quito mixing the drinks.

Swanee closes the show

The next Blue Monday is scheduled for March 14. Please call Joe Tate at 415 385 1606 if you would like to play or attend. If you play guitar or bass all you need is your instrument. You can bring your amp if you like though.

The Department Of Inhalation Therapy

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 23, 2011 by joetatesblog

Another great night of fun was had at the Sausalito Cruising Club Blue Monday jam session on Presidents day. The house band consisted of Joe Tate on guitar, Willie Riser on bass and Donny Kountz on drums. Don Bradley also assisted using a hand drum mad  from some weird plastic container. There was also some wonderful harmonica from waterfront local Diver Dave who assisted throughout the evening.

Jim Presta, Joe Tate Willie Riser and Donny Kountz

Also assisting was Jim Presta on the upright piano which was dragged over to the stage and had a microphone jammed between the sound board and the frame. This actually works pretty well and the piano can be heard along with the electric instruments. Jim lays down a mellow kind of New Orleans groove that works well with the mixed bag that Joe Tate plays.

The house band Don Bradley, Donny Kountz, Joe Tate, Willie Riser

Joe Tate played a nice set of songs culminating in “Tell Me Why You Like Roosevelt,” which recounted the life and death of our greatest president. This old song was written by Mckinley Peebles to mourn the death of FDR. The song also outlines the importance of Abraham Lincoln in freeing the slaves. Tate says we’ll be hearing more of this rockin number.

The jam session started with Ken Markowitz singing some standard blues with Cole Tate adding some scorching solos. Cole then did a couple of original songs that were captivating in their simplicity. Next, Jim Swanee sang something like “Peace and love” with Cole, Donny and Willie doing the backing.

Drummer, Ron Roscano took over the drums and Suzie Olsen sang “Love Potion Number Nine.” At this point, Scott Sherman joined in on harmonica. Diver Dave let him use his mic and amp. Joe Tate handed Diver Dave another mic and we were treated to dual harmonica solos. This sounds like a harmonica that never runs out of breath as it weaves in and out from one melody to another.

Ray DiFazio, Cole Tate, Donny Kountz

Ray DiFazio brought his baritone sax which added a whole extra dimension to the sounds. Ray has a group “Scary Larry And The Monsters” and they are playing at the Seahorse Restaurant on Friday March 4 at 8:30.

Donna Dacuti treated us to some fine blues vocals and threatened to sing “Georgia” but no none knew the changes in her key. She will bring the chart next time. Lastly we had John “Oz” Gordon on guitar then Joe Tate closed out the evening with everyone singing “The Last Time” an old spiritual that was remade by the Rolling Stones.

The Blue Monday flyer

Blue Monday at the Sausalito Cruising Club is held every other Monday. The next one will be on March 7. If you want to attend or play, please RSVP to Joe Tate at 415 385 1606 or joebtate@gmail.com

To learn more about Joe Tate go to

http://xrl.in/4y57

or

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

Here’s a new video called Sausalito Girl

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBFRSqqAi8w