Archive for boogie woogie piano

Wendy DeWitt and Joe Tate at the No Name Bar

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

Wendy DeWitt has an unbelievable left hand for the piano. While the left is playing a driving bass line, the right is drawing out a melody. All the while, the voice is singing and sometimes shouting. With Joe Tate laying down some guitar riffs, Lonnie Walter mends it all together with a rhythmic tattoo. Also sitting in was Kurt Harwood who brought his congo drums. These added a nice bass spectrum to the percussion. He also doubled on tamborine and some other small gadgets.

Wendy and Joe took turns on vocals every two songs. Starting off with some New Orleans sounds, the genre drifts to rock, country and a little Hawaiian. Joe sang “Over The Rainbow” while Wendy peeked over his shoulder at the chart. For this, Betty the bartender came out and stuffed money in the tip jar. Others followed her, though it’s not clear why except it’s clear people love this song.

It was a cold and rainy night and the tourists came in shivering. Quite a few Irish Coffees disappeared and there was quite a bit of merriment. There may have been some intoxication too. In spite of this the mood was upbeat with plenty of laughter.

DeWitt’s playing was spectacular as usual. Lonnie Walter played a few bongo solos that were extraordinary. Tate held the middle together as well as possible between the staccato drums and the piano orchestrations.

The evening ended with Joe’s rendition of Minnie The Moocher to which the audience sang along.

Myron Mu was there to pick up Lonnie and he told us that Johnny Nitro had died about an hour earlier. Lonnie, who was really upset, told us we would have to find someone else for March 19 when Nitro was schedule to play at the No Name bar.

Check out Joe Tate’s “Ukulele Baby Songbook” at

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

You can also download a PDF of “Last Voyage Of The Redlegs” from this site.

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


Boogie Woogie Piano

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

NIGHT BEAT on Rhythm Street       Joe Tate

Saturday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday

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

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

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

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

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

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

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