Archive for san francisco music

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.

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

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

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

To learn more about the Sausalito Cruising Club go to

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

Saturday Evening At The No Name Bar

Posted in Bay Area Music, Night Beat, Sausalito After Dark, Sausalito night life, ukulele music, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 27, 2011 by joetatesblog

This Saturday we welcomed Jerome Phillips to the No Name bar for the first time. Jerome is a first class pianist who can play bass with his left hand while doing all the other stuff like melody and vocals. With Joe Tate on guitar, the sounds of New Orleans rang out like the French Quarter for the first set. Lot’s of blues and rock followed and Jerome sang some nice country stuff.

It was one of the coldest nights this year and the Irish Coffees were moving. Joe’s usual friends were there along with some new people who showed up to see Jerome. Also in attendance were numerous unsuspecting passers-by who stopped in for the warmth and grog.

Unfortunately, Lonnie Walter of the bongos, didn’t show. He has been pretty down since Johnny Nitro died and we can only hope that he can get over the hump soon. We missed his wonderful rhythms though. But we made do with what we had. Fortunately, our audience didn’t care and we sailed through it all with jovial ease.

The missing Lonnie Walter, Joe Tate and Jerome Phillips

Learn more about Joe Tate at

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

For booking call Joe Tate at 415 385 1606 or write to

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

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


There is also a nice clip of the Redlegs playing at

Sunday at the Sausalito Cruising Club

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 Tatedsc01097


The Sausalito Cruising Club 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.

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.

Today the band is a very tight ensemble with Charley Hickock on keyboards, bill Belasco on drums, John Hunt on trombone and Curtis Lindberg on trombone. Lindberg is substituting for Yolanda Nickell tonight. Nickell usually plays alto saxophone for the group. Bass is also supplied by Hickock who plays it left handed on a separate keyboard. Sturdevant doubles on chromatic and blues harmonica.

A small retinue of singers, all members of the choir at Plymouth Church in Oakland, are also present. These include: Steve Randolph, Yvonne Dawes, and Mwanza Furaha. Vocals are also provided by Sturdevant, Hunt, Hickock and Lindberg.

Hickock, from Cleveland Ohio, joined the group in 1980 when they had a steady gig at Clancy’s Irish Pub in San Francisco. It was here that the main repertoire was worked out between Sturdevant and Hickock.

Herb Caen was a patron at Clancy’s where he often sat in with MBB on drums. Though occasionally mentioned in Caen’s column, MBB has never been reviewed. At this time, the situation will be corrected.

Bill Belasco, who handles the drums, has been with the group on and off since the 80’s. He also played many years with the Pickle Family Circus. He is a native San Franciscan.

John Hunt, the full time trombone, is from Baytown, Texas and has been a member of MBB since 1982.

Lindberg, tonight’s special guest, has had a long career playing with the likes of Dr. John, Dave Bromberg, Lou Rawls, The Beach Boys and even Tommy Dorsey.

The program starts with Honeysuckle Rose with Hunt on vocals. This rendition is mostly instrumental with interesting trombone harmonies that are interspersed with groups of “fours,” little sections where each member plays four bars. This gives each instrument a little showcase that lends variety to the overall sound.

Next is “Sunny Side of the street,” with Hickock on vocals. This old standard really comes to life when Sturdevant plays a solo on chromatic harmonica. The sweet harmonica strains give this an old world flavor that is at once sophisticated and continental.

Sturdevant next treats us to his version of Fats Domino’s “My Blue Heaven.”  The trombones let loose on this one with a little Dixieland fervor. One realizes, this isn’t your average club band.

Sturdevant and Hickock harmonize on George Jones’ ”The Race Is On,” before calling up the singers.

First up is Steve Randolph with “Satin Doll.” Randolph, who has over six years with the band, has a smooth tenor voice that drips with professionalism. Sturdevant assist on this one with his melodic harmonica to provide a truly enchanting effect.

Yvonne Dawes steps up with “Bye Bye Blackbird,” the Ray Henderson mystical standard that has delighted audiences for more than 80 years. Dawes voice is made for this song, which she delivers with seemingly no effort.

The band gives us an instrumental groove with “Rosetta” before bringing up the heavy hitting, Mwanza Furaha.

Furaha, formerly with Pharaoh Saunders, has been with MBB for about four years. She sings with a powerful yet sublime voice that lifts each song above the ordinary. Her laconic improvisations give “Georgia On My Mind” a Cab Calloway feeling which blends with the mood here as the sun sets over the bay.  She sings “My Funny Valentine,” with a samba beat, adding little scat sections that are applauded by the audience.

Many other exciting things happened including when Hickock picked up the melodion, a small breath powered keyboard, and marched through the audience with the rest of the band following. The drummer switched to tambourine for this. The electric guitar is hooked up wireless so Sturdevant was also in the parade.

For more information about the Medicine Ball Band go to

The Sausalito Cruising Club can be reached at 332 9349 or go to