Saturday, January 31, 2015

"COUNTRY DICK MONTANA'S RULES OF THE ROAD"

Stacks Image 2515
Stacks Image 2516
 This first appeared in the book "Alt-Rock-A-Rama" circa 90's
Hi! I'm Country Dick Montana and I get paid to act like I'm eleven! I just finished a six-week tour of Canada and the Midwest and I can't wait to get back out there in those un-air-conditioned vans full of hung-over Beat Farmers filling the air with involuntary responses to the outrageously violent ride (bad roads, worse shocks) while constantly arguing about some music you hate that's distorting the crappy little speakers that cut out on every bump after zero sleep 'cause we had to leave real early to be interviewed on the radio by some dickhead that got stuck covering for the one guy who's ever heard of us who split 'cause his dog was havin' puppies and he's got the only copy of our product that anyone's ever seen so we climb back in the van and Joey snaps the base of the passenger seat in half which inspires a cry of "I told you that would happen, you fuck!" and most of my fresh whopper to miss most of his face and splatter 'cross the driver's side of the van Jerry washed just this morning as we head down to the border to enjoy our four-hour momentum break while the bastards rifle through every square inch a few more times than they need to make us miss the sound-check for where we star tonight as the only "non-local heavy metal" band but Rolle, seeking more distinction, takes so much Valium he can't remember pushin' me into the black hole at the side of the stage where they were on the other side but luckily the corner of the monitor board stepped in to break my fall and crack a rib which I knew bummed out my kidneys 'cause they were workin' the first two weeks of this tour but had finished passin' the stone two days before I met this rib that just 'bout cried thinkin' of how much fun they all coulda had workin' me together in that van...Ahh...But enough about me...Let's get you packed!

Crack open a beer. Grab that suitcase and listen up, 'cause this is important: always assume that whatever you take you out there will be lost, broken, or stolen. So leave all your precious items buried in the yard (and don't forget where). All right, toss all your medical supplies, vitamins, lotions, sprays-whatever's in the bathroom-into a suitcase. Be sure to include every single pain killer you can get yer hands on! Don't ask-take! Trust me, it's worth the bitching out.

You will also need:


1 million cassettes and CDs (124,712 for misplacing; 91,039 for givin' away; 380,000 for thieves; 250,000 for breakage; 197,457 for throwin' out windows; 4 for playin'; rest for layin' 'round the floor)
All your clothes
1 cheap camera that your roommate probably won't even miss
2 rolls of duct tape
Most of a roll of somebody's stamps
1 rabbit's foot, 1 mojo bag, and 1 suitcase full of good luck candles
2 comfortable shoes
Everybody's sedatives
A copy of the "Beat Farmers' Bowl Report" - a detailed rating of North American rest rooms in categories ranging from acoustics to seat condition and water temperature. It'll become your best friend.
1 Swiss army knife
4 skin mags
An ice chest
2 pairs of sunglasses, 1 to hunt around for several times a day and 1 to replace the ones that just blew off when ya stuck yer dumb head out the van window
1 "Do not disturb" sign
5 international symbols for radioactivity
A condom
Some Super Glue and an
extra large, all-purpose rock-solid alibi.
Bonus tip-if you're flying, pack a load of liquor into your carry-on
before arriving at the airport!
 
Do:
  • Remember which states currently hold "immature" (under seven years of age) warrants for your arrest.
  • Drink the local brew-and love it!
  • Practice peeing in Bud bottles and shitting without sitting.
  • Know how to say "rest room," "bar," "taxi," and "hospital" in the tongue of wherever the hell you are.
  • Have the front desk refund you the $1.80 you may lose to that vending machine, now that you've got it.
  • Be in a country and western band whenever you get pulled over. It also helps to have an older brother suspended from the Chicago force for driving around town with his partner's suspected killer cuffed to the back bumper, and dig this: in the South, you can drink and drive naked in a carved ivory convertible with SATAN LOVES YOU painted on the sides and a senior citizen tied to the hood if you're related to the quarterback. So be that.
  • Save your receipts.

Do not:
  • Write any songs about being "on the road."
  • Even think about getting laid in England.
  • Open the mini bar.
  • Order spaghetti at Denny's.
  • Pee on toilet seats (I will find you!)
  • Tell Mojo Nixon your room number
  • Direct morning rush-hour traffic in Omaha with your pants around your ankles.
  • Leave your crack pipe on the dash.
  • Take souvenirs from the crypt of a voodoo queen-remember that zombies are even worse drivers than drunks.
  • Ask a cop where the nearest drive-thru liquor store is, what it's gonna take to get a message through his thick skull, how long the Village People have been broken up, or for change back from your five dollar bribe.
  • Use someone else's bus sock.

Random advice:
  • Harness the power of the guest list! It can cover your forgetful ass by being stocked with celebrities ("Of course, I put you on the list! Just tell 'em you're Nancy Reagan and John Wayne Bobbit!") and save your money ("How much would it be if I put you + 2 on the list?").
  • The party's in the roadies' room.
  • The sketchier you are, the better you'll look in artist's renderings.
  • You should be able to see more than just your face in the rearview mirror.
  • Onstage only play half of your most popular song and act all compromised about it in an English accent that's regularly dropped, and be clear about nothing except your genius and worshipability.
  • In interviews, remember to drift off in mid sentence, avoid eye contact by three to four inches, go to the bathroom for half an hour at least once, refuse to answer questions concerning your name, place, and date of birth, weight, height, and one more thing selected at randomand emotionally produce a photo of a dog that died when you were four. In England you should be from Texas and animatedly hostile towards these "tea-timin', sync-lipped lard feeders" that won't let you have a gun 'cause they're "wimpy-whiny-wipers of royal weenie-wackage that couldn't handle a drive-by drum machine memory bank trashing!" In the rest of Europe, just be from Texas.
  • For a duration-length, maid-free environment, combine surprise and high volume with a pottymouth tizzyfit highlighted by aggressive nudity.
  • Even if you don't drink and hate tomato juice-start each day with a bloody Mary! You'll see.
Dealing with your accommodations: Always demand a room on the top floor, and quickly establish yourself as the biggest problem in the joint (minor and even major problems mean nuthing to a total disaster!). If you are not the biggest problem on the premises, then you're probably up against a preexisting condition of considerable nastiness.
It is
wrong to purposely damage your room or anything in it. However, if management and staff are evil, or you realize that your room sits above violated burial grounds, then what you need is a project of untraceable origin to keep your mind clear of "bad things." (Note: Do not try this at home!)

March to the market and pick up a zip-lock baggie and one whole, uncleaned fresh fish. Now, return to your room and place your uncleaned and securely zip-locked tight aquatic bomb behind the grill of the Time-Release Natural Disaster Storage Unit (a.k.a. the Heater Vent). Mother Nature will take over from here, as she proves that although Fishy may be quite
dead, he's still not quite done!. And sure enough, after a feverish week or so of super-natural gas-accelerated frenzy, the highly pressurized action becomes uncontainable in a dramatically explosive manner so sensorialy devastating that even evil gets the hell out!

Of course,
you'll be long gone by that time, or at least you'd better be! It's checkout time, so haul ass!!


These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"
www.ViralMediaArt.com

Thursday, January 29, 2015

2015 - NOTABLE VENUES OF SONOMA COUNTY

2015 - NOTABLE VENUES OF SONOMA COUNTY

 
  1. 39 North - Petaluma
  2. 755 After Dark - Seb
  3. Aubergene (aka After Dark) Seb
  4. Bear Republic (Healdsburg)
  5. Black Cat (Penngrove)
  6. Brixx- Petaluma
  7. Brothers - Forestville
  8. Bull Moose tavern
  9. Cabaret Sauvignon
  10. Cafe This
  11. Checkers - in RR Square
  12. Christy's on the Square - SR
  13. Clo's Creamery - SR
  14. Club Jess - SR
  15. Coffee Catz - Sebastopol.
  16. Cotati Coffee Roasting Company - Cotati
  17. Epiphany Music - SR
  18. Flemings Way - Windsor
  19. French Garden Restaurant - Sebastopol
  20. Garbos - Gurneville
  21. Gaia's Garden - SR
  22. Henry's Bar and Grill - Pet above McNears
  23. House of Atreus
  24. Jasper O'Farrells - Sebastopol
  25. Hot Spots - SR
  26. Joe Froggers - SR
  27. John Barleycorns - SR
  28. Kelmer's Brewhouse - Santa Rosa
  29. Kodiac Jacks - Pet
  30. KRSH Back Yard Parties - SR
  31. Lagunitas Tap Room - PET
  32. Los Coballos (Santa Rosa)
  33. Magnolias - RR Square
  34. Mama's Royal Cafe
  35. Marty's Top Of The Hill -
  36. Masse's - SR
  37. Miramar on courthouse square SR
  38. Molly Malone's, Healdsburg.
  39. Mudds
  40. Murphy's Irish Pub - Sonoma
  41. Negri's in Occ
  42. Old Mexico - Petaluma
  43. Papas Tavern - Hwy 116
  44. Penn's Edge (Penngrove)
  45. Polka Dots - Santa Rosa
  46. Redwood Cafe - Cotati.
  47. Rio Nido Roadhouse
  48. Rosie's Cantina-Cotati
  49. Rossi's - SR
  50. Russian River Brew House - SR
  51. Santa Rosa Brewing Company - SR
  52. Sebastian's (Hacienda)
  53. Shooter's West - SR
  54. SoHo - Pet
  55. Sourdough Rebo's - SR
  56. Spankys - Pet
  57. Steamer Gold - Pet
  58. Studio E - Seb
  59. Stumptown in G-Ville
  60. Tamale Malone's
  61. The Arlene Francis Center - SR
  62. The Aquarium - Petaluma
  63. The Belvedere - SR
  64. The Big Easy - Pet
  65. The Blue Heron
  66. The Blue Note - Pet
  67. The Boogie Room
  68. The Cotati Caberet - Cotati
  69. The County Vets Hall - SR
  70. The Daily Planet - RR Square
  71. The Eggery - Pet
  72. The Flamingo Resort - SR
  73. The Forestville Club - Forestville
  74. The Grapevine - Cloverdale
  75. The Highland Dell - Monte Rio
  76. The Hop Monk - Sebastopol
  77. The Inn of The Beginning
  78. The Johnny Otis Market
  79. The Last Day Saloon
  80. The Last Record Store - SR
  81. The Moonlight - SR
  82. The Mystic Theatre
  83. The Music Box - SR
  84. The Old Grist Mill - GE
  85. The Old Vic - SR
  86. The Onion - S
  87. The Pink Elephant - Monte Rio
  88. The Phoenix Theater
  89. The Powerhouse Brewing Company - Santa Rosa
  90. The Red Barn
  91. The Rosewood Forest - SR 70's
  92. The Russian River Club - Guerneville
  93. The River Theater - Guerneville
  94. The Sonoma County Fair Grounds -
  95. The Sonoma Plaza Theater - Sonoma
  96. The Studio KAFE
  97. The Sundance Saloon - SR
  98. The Sweet Spot (SR)
  99. The Tradewinds - Cotati
  100. The Transient Lounge (Santa Rosa)
  101. The Trophy Room
  102. The Twin Oaks Tavern - Penngrove
  103. Valley of the Moon Saloon (Agua Caliente)
  104. TK Mining Company - SR
  105. Toad In The Hole - SR
  106. Uncle Sams - Seb
  107. Union Hotel-Occidental - Santa Rosa
  108. Vella's on the square in Sonoma.
  109. West of the Laguna - Seb
  110. Zebulons - Pet
  111. Zerbino's - Sebastopol
  112. Ziggurat - Guerneville
  113. Zodiacs - Pet

2015 - NOTABLE BANDS OF SONOMA COUNTY

By Randy Teaford on Saturday, January 3, 2015 at 10:15am



  1. 20 Minute Loop
  2. 26 miles per hour
  3. $27 Snap On Face
  4. 5AM
  5. A Euphonious Wail
  6. Aaron Harris and the Farm Band
  7. Achilles Heal
  8. After Shock
  9. After Tayste
  10. Aircastle
  11. Allyson Paige
  12. Always Elvis
  13. American Drag
  14. Amoonra
  15. Animal Farm
  16. Army of Ants
  17. Atom Zapple
  18. Aqua Nett 
  19. Bad Boy Eddie
  20. Band Camp
  21. Bang Theory
  22. Big Ed
  23. Benton Falls
  24. Black Ghost
  25. Black Zeppelin
  26. Blair Hardman Jazz Parties
  27. Blind Spot
  28. Blue Cheer
  29. Bluegrass County Line (mid 70s)
  30. Blue Ribbon
  31. Bobbie Jo Valentine
  32. Bohemian Highway
  33. Boston Auto
  34. Boys and Girls.
  35. Boys Night Out
  36. Bracket
  37. Brandywine
  38. Bristlecone
  39. Broken Ties
  40. Brothers Comatose
  41. Brothers Horse
  42. Bronz Hog
  43. Bucc Nyfe
  44. Burnside
  45. Burnt Noodle
  46. Cainan
  47. California Redemption
  48. California (the California band) 1980-1986
  49. Camp 1
  50. Cannonball
  51. Case of the Willys
  52. Catalyst
  53. Caustic Velocity
  54. Charlie Mussellwhite Band
  55. Charley horse
  56. Chick-a-Luma
  57. Chomp Hard
  58. Choppin Broccoli
  59. Closing In
  60. ClusterFolk
  61. Coffee & Donuts
  62. Cohesion
  63. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
  64. Country Rose (1979-1980)
  65. Contrabandtiempo
  66. Counterbalance
  67. Creation (evolved from i-World)
  68. Cropduster
  69. Cross Eyed Indian
  70. Crossfire
  71. Crystal Wind Ensemble
  72. Cunning Stunts - 70's
  73. Dave Chavoya & the Dynamites
  74. Dead Bird Family Tree
  75. Dee Wills and the City
  76. Dellawat Squatti*
  77. Delta Designee
  78. Derivative
  79. Derailed Freight Train
  80. Derek Irving and His Combo
  81. Detectors
  82. DFFH
  83. D'Gin
  84. Diesel Boy
  85. Don Coffin's trio
  86. Dorsoul
  87. Dr.Obvious
  88. Dylan Chambers and Midnight Transit
  89. Eagle Ridge
  90. Edaline
  91. Elders
  92. Electric Avenue
  93. Electric Funeral
  94. Elvis Duck
  95. Engage
  96. Enslaveour
  97. Epitaph
  98. Eric Lindell and the "Young" Blood Blues Review
  99. Eric Lindel and the Reds
  100. Ernie Small’s Big Band
  101. Euphoria
  102. Family Soul
  103. Feather
  104. Flat Lonesome
  105. Floydian Slip
  106. Fluid Drive*
  107. Force
  108. Freestone
  109. Frankie Boots and the County Line
  110. Free Peoples
  111. Freefall (with Hoytus Rolen, Pat Britton, '70s)
  112. Frobeck
  113. Gitano
  114. Gator Beat
  115. Glass Babble Radio
  116. Grand Junction
  117. Green Day (Tre is from Windsor)
  118. Groove Instinct
  119. Groove Juicy
  120. Groundation
  121. Gypsy
  122. Hall Of Mirrors
  123. Hangman’s Daughter
  124. Hard Knox
  125. Heidi Newfield & Trick Pony
  126. Hertz Rent-Band
  127. Hidden Pictures
  128. Hillside Fire
  129. Hook Boog
  130. Hopped Up
  131. Horn Dogs
  132. Hot Chakra
  133. Hot Karma
  134. Hot Pants
  135. Hot Spur
  136. Ice
  137. Inkwell
  138. Insanity Puppets
  139. Intense
  140. i-World International Rockers
  141. Jack Killed Jill
  142. Jay Blue
  143. Jayne Russell
  144. Jetstream
  145. Jewel (the band)
  146. Joanne Rand - The Little Big Band
  147. Joanne Rand - The Rhythm of the Open Hearts
  148. Joel Rudinow and Rude Notes Galore
  149. John Courage Band
  150. John Reese and the Open Hearts
  151. Johnny B and the Stingers
  152. Johnny Tsunami & the Hurricanes
  153. Katie Ketchum Band
  154. Kay Irvine Band
  155. Kevin Russell and his So Called Friends
  156. Kevin Russell Band
  157. Kid Dynamo
  158. Kokomo - Debbie Davies
  159. Landsdale Station
  160. Laughing Gravy
  161. Lazyman
  162. Levi Loyd and the 501 Band
  163. Lickidy split
  164. Lisa Iskin and the California Band (1980-87)
  165. Little Tin Frog
  166. Loose Gravel
  167. Lovecraft (part of HP Lovecraft)
  168. Lovetribe
  169. Luvplanet
  170. Makka
  171. Mambo Sun
  172. Maribou
  173. Mark McDonald Band
  174. Mason Lane
  175. Midnight Sun Massive
  176. MIRV
  177. Modern Hicks
  178. Moron Project - 97-99
  179. Mr. Bungle
  180. Mercuryville
  181. Mystic Roots
  182. Natasha James
  183. Never Say Never
  184. North Coast Underground
  185. North of Malibu
  186. Northern Expansion Joint Company
  187. Norton Buffalo and The Knockouts - LATE
  188. Norton Buffalo and the Stampede - EARLY
  189. Nubuugalu Express
  190. Nuclear Rabbit
  191. Nuisance
  192. Ocean Breeze
  193. One For The Road
  194. One Horse Town
  195. Osage
  196. O-U-NO-U
  197. Out of the Blue
  198. Pacific Coast Hwy
  199. Page One
  200. Pamela Rose and the Eights
  201. Paralax
  202. Paulies Garage
  203. Pat Jordan Band
  204. Patch
  205. Patchwork Orange
  206. Pepperland
  207. Petty Theft
  208. Phatty
  209. Phil's Harmonic Orchestra
  210. Physicadelic River Chickens
  211. Pinocchio Vampire
  212. Poorman's Whiskey
  213. Poor Man's Whiskey
  214. Popcycle Love Sponge
  215. Prime Suspect
  216. Propeller
  217. Public Sector
  218. Pulse
  219. Raw Juice
  220. Realistic
  221. Redwood Cafe Coffee House
  222. Relentless Jones
  223. Renegades
  224. Rhythm in Flight (with Fran Carbonaro,)
  225. Rhythm Town Jive
  226. Ricky Ray Band
  227. Ritchie Blue
  228. Rockin' Robin & the Backbone
  229. Rotten Tomatoes
  230. Roy Rogers and the Delta Rhythm Kings
  231. Runnin On Empty
  232. Saffell
  233. Sarah Baker Band
  234. Savannah
  235. Scanner
  236. Second Wind
  237. Seeds of Hate
  238. Setchko & Meese
  239. Seventh Day Rototiller
  240. Shadowfax (not the Windham Hill one)
  241. Shag Nasty
  242. Shanna Morrison
  243. Shed Your Blues
  244. Sheik Vasolino and the Zealots
  245. Shot Gun Wedding
  246. Shut Up Donny
  247. Silverado
  248. Sirius
  249. Skiffle Symphony
  250. Skitzo
  251. Sky-I
  252. Smack Rabbit
  253. Smokin Mary
  254. Snag
  255. Sneakers
  256. Sol Horizon
  257. Solid Air
  258. Sonoma Mountain Road
  259. Soul Vine
  260. Sparks
  261. Split Decision
  262. Spydells
  263. St Peter Built
  264. Star Fire Express
  265. Stark Raving Mad
  266. Steamin' Freeman
  267. Stereo Flyers
  268. Steve Pile & Lazyman
  269. Stickily Roots
  270. Stiff Dead Cat
  271. Stomach
  272. Stork
  273. Strangewood
  274. Strikes Twice
  275. Stu Blank & His Nasty Habits
  276. Stupid White People
  277. Subject To Change
  278. Sweet Leaf
  279. Synergy
  280. Tattooed Vegetables
  281. Tasmanian Devils
  282. Teaser
  283. Texas w/Doyal Bramhal ll
  284. The Accidentals
  285. The Aces
  286. The Always Elvis Band
  287. The Bill Decker Band
  288. The Billy Love Express
  289. The Blame
  290. The Blue Grass Irregulars
  291. The Blues Hawgs
  292. The Brand New Heavies
  293. The Burdens
  294. The Buzz
  295. The Cardiff Reefers
  296. The Caribbean Allstars
  297. The Castells
  298. The Chefs of Heaven
  299. The Chosen Few / The Few 
  300. The Coolers
  301. The Conspiracy
  302. The Country All Stars
  303. The Crux
  304. The David Luning Band
  305. The Defectors
  306. The Detroit Disciples
  307. The Disciples of Ed - DOE
  308. The Dubalites
  309. The Easy Leaves
  310. The Edge
  311. The Ego Slaves 
  312. The Elders
  313. The Electric Toys
  314. The Fans
  315. The Feud
  316. The Frankadelics
  317. The Garden
  318. The Grady Sisters
  319. The Grain
  320. The Gypsy Trio
  321. The Harvest Band
  322. The Heavies
  323. The High Forehead Boys
  324. The Highway Poets
  325. The Igniters
  326. The Impostors
  327. The Incubators
  328. The Jami Jamison Band
  329. The Jay Blue Band
  330. The John Courage Band
  331. The Johnny Otis Band
  332. The Kyle Martin Band
  333. The Lee Ryan Band
  334. The Legendary Bronze Hog
  335. The Lincolns
  336. The Linda Ferro Band
  337. The Listening Group
  338. The Lost Boys
  339. The Louies
  340. The Michael Barclay Band
  341. The Mix
  342. The Moonlighters
  343. The Moron Project
  344. The New Trust
  345. The Nomads
  346. The Old School Country Band
  347. The Pink Section
  348. The Portables
  349. The Poyntlyss Sisters
  350. The Props
  351. The Pulsators
  352. The Rhythm Rangers
  353. The Rob Roys
  354. The Round
  355. The Rounders
  356. The Ruminators
  357. The Savoy Swingers
  358. The Schellville South Side Blues Band
  359. The Sorentinos
  360. The Spindles
  361. The Stragglers
  362. The Suspects
  363. The Tearaways
  364. The Tony Lonely Band
  365. The Trailer Park Rangers
  366. The Tresspassers
  367. The Tudo Bem Band
  368. The Velvet Teen
  369. The Wimps
  370. The Wobblies
  371. Thrash
  372. Three Legged Sister
  373. Tin Circus
  374. To Flew
  375. Toast
  376. Tommy Thompson Band
  377. Tribal Hippie Under Ground
  378. Tsunami Bomb
  379. Twang
  380. Un Deux Trois
  381. Uncle Wiggley
  382. Under the Radar
  383. Under the Radar w/ Kevin Russell
  384. Undertoad
  385. Vain
  386. Vendetta
  387. Vicious Rumors
  388. Vickie Guillory and the Sugarcats
  389. Victims Family
  390. Volkler Strifler Band
  391. Voodoo Court
  392. Waking Eve
  393. WBBH
  394. Weekend At Bernies
  395. Why?
  396. Wild Brides
  397. Wild Life
  398. Windfall*
  399. Wisdom
  400. Yogi Phlegm
  401. Yo Pizza Face
  402. YY ME

THE STUDIO KAFE - "Buck Naked and the Bare Bottom Boys"

This story is for the ones who are no longer with us...

It was the late 80's and after the return of my 1st National tour with "Crystal Wind" I was contacted by Bill Bowker from KVRE radio. Bill has been the voice of Sonoma County for decades and was now the man in charge of a new little thing called a cable radio station/night club in downtown Santa Rosa. Bill and his partner Doug Smith (RIP) made a formidable radio team and when pared up with other owner/partners John & Randi Duran (RIP) the restaurant and business concept really came together.

The Studio KAFE was in my opinion one of the most revolutionary nightclubs in Sonoma County.
Not only was it a fully functioning night club and cable radio station, It was also a bar with a great restaurant right in downtown Santa Rosa. A lot of great bands came through those doors, bands like
NRBQ, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Robben Ford, Jellyfish, Mojo Nixon and Adam Duritz before Counting Crows with his band The Himalayan's.

I designed in conjunction with my mentor Phil Salisbury from Sound Expressions the live sound aspects of the club and worked with Allen Suddeth who designed the cable radio and recording sections. For me during any given show, It was like working 2 or 3 jobs at once. Not only would I be responsible for the shows house and stage sound, I would also be responsible for the broadcast and recording mix in the radio booth. I would get a good 5 minutes to get a good house mix going, check with the band on monitor levels, thumbs up, head behind stage to the radio booth to get a show mix up for the cable audience, set my recording levels and joke with the DJ before heading back to the board in the house to mix the show. I had the system set up so I could monitor all of the house, stage, radio feed and recordings from the house console... an early English 28 channel Soundtrax console I believe. It was always a juggle for the first few minutes of each show and sometimes right in the middle when least expected... but once dialed I found that I could not only mix a great show there, but enjoy one as well.

BUCK NAKED AND THE BARE BOTTOM BOYS

They'd load-in about 4pm. You'd never know these guys were about to tear the roof off of the place! They looked like your average guys on the street, no funny rock hair cuts or quirky thrift store apparel, just... "Buck Naked and The Bare Bottom Boys" reporting for duty.



I say that only because I always found Buck and the band super pro's at what they had designed as there "Act", even though there were some fairly outlandish gimmicks to their show. On the technical end of things Buck's (Philip Bury) vocal (SM58) ran directly into a classic Echoplex tape delay set at a short rockabilly slap and his acoustic guitar was short 2 strings and tuned down to be more of a bass. Buck Naked performed on stage wearing only cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, a guitar, and a strategically placed toilet plunger. Filling out the band were Buck's brother, Stephen Bury on guitar ("Hector Naked") and David Wees on drums (known on stage as "Stinky LePew"). With songs with names like, "Teenage Pussy From Outer Space", "As long As You've Got A Face, I've Got A Place To Sit"and "Uncontrollable Flesh" it was all in all a pretty risqué show, especially for the women who seemed to make up about 80% of the typical audience.

It wasn't just the songs and subject matter that made it an adult show, you had to add Buck's persona himself. Standing about 6'2" and taller in his boots, wearing nothing more than those boots, a tall cowboy hat and that toilet plunger bobbing up and down to the beat, Buck and the Boys were an amazingly tight and consistent band and Buck's (RIP) presence is greatly missed. He was unfortunately shot in 1992 in San Francisco where he lived walking his dog late at night along the panhandle. His trademarked brand of "PornoBilly" lives on...

Watch "Teenage Pussy From Outer Space"


note: I will be adding more Studio KAFE stories as I go...

These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"
www.ViralMediaArt.com

Sunday, January 25, 2015

THE SOUND SOURCE FLOAT - "The Santa Rosa Rose Parade 1985"


I was informed that as a business owner in Downtown Santa Rosa and a Chamber of Commerce member you are entitled to have a float representing your business or cause in California's 2nd largest parade, The Santa Rosa Rose Parade. I took this as a personal challenge as a creative downtown businessman and especially since I frequently stood at odds with the rest of the members of the Downtown Business Association, I saw it as an opportunity.

When I say "frequently at odds with" I mean I occasionally butted heads with some on the board that were not advocates for live music venues downtown... and I stood strongly against the demolishing of the downtown landmark, The California Theater to construct the Mall. At one for our Association meetings we were asked to submit our personal suggestions for the new motto for Santa Rosa, after all Rohnert Park had "The Friendly City" and we needed something that would capture the essence and warmth of the community. All of the entries were put into a hat and then pulled and read to all of the attending members. Some suggestions seemed silly, others just not right... it wasn't until my entry was read that we saw how silly the process really was... "Santa Rosa, The City Behind The Mall."



A float in The Rose Parade, what a great opportunity I thought to myself, I can get a flat bed truck and a generator and I'm half way there. I began the process by gathering all of my good friends and fellow musicians from The Sound Source and Stanroy's Music Center to join me on this big flat bed trailer pulled by a truck. My initial musical vision was a kind of twisted calliope sound, something like the old circus wagons used when they rolled into town... Omm bop bop... Omm bop bop...
I worked up a sample in my studio's Ensoniq EPS keyboard of a circus snare drums and a twisted calliope sound and tweaked it so it had a bit of a wobble to it and looped it. I believe we had one rehearsal and I remember passing around a few cassette tapes of the parade calliope loop that we would be playing to, but I really looking for something live and spontaneous, especially when it was our turn to stop in front to the judges stand for our parade routine.

The day of the parade came and we all met at the float. There must  have been about 20 to 25 people all wearing bright colors and with instruments in hand! Snare drums, Sax's, clarinets, trumpets, cymbals, bells & whistles. I only had 2 instructions for all of the participants on this little moving artistic statement, the 1st was to have fun and play along with the loop that was playing from 4 speakers on each corner of the float. The 2nd instruction... the statement, was the magic moment that I had imagined from the start... I asked each person to think of a musical note or rhythm, keep it in their head, don't tell anyone else and when I hold up my baton and ask you, then recite this note or rhythm for approximately 30 seconds... watch for my baton cue to stop and then we'll resume our music parade route like nothing ever happened.

We had a great time playing along with the calliope loop as we made our way past all of our friends in the crowd who pointing and laughing just because of the spectacle I imagine. Still, the best part came when we slowly pulled up in front of the parade judges stand and stopped... I held my baton up and then gave them the signal to play that personal musical note or rhythm and hold it until I told them to stop. It was an amazing clash, a multi-note cacophony, a sound that commanded that you  look and listen and say... what the fuck?... a bit of a raspberry really!

As quickly as we made that joyous noise we were done and back on our way, the judges looked bewildered (perfect) the crowd was confused and loving it. It was just a brief stunt in the middle of a holiday parade, but it was an excellent opportunity to make a very simple statement.... what that is remains to be seen, but the ? has always been good enough for me.





Saturday, January 24, 2015

THE MYSTIC THEATRE - "Dick Dale A Force Of Nature"

We had a small tradition at The Mystic that was extended to a few of our guest performers, just a great way to kick off the show and get the audiences attention. I guess it's only right to mention Dick Dale in this family of performers because in my opinion no one commands the stage like Dick Dale!



Dick was returning to The Mystic Theatre for another great night of surfed tinged rock& roll. I think that Dick loved to play The Mystic because he found that could fly his plane in and out of the Petaluma airport and it was always just a quick flight back to his home in Palmdale Ca. I have a deep respect for any man that can carve his own future out of his own hands and especially one that can tell Walt Disney Productions to "Go Fuck Themselves" for not renegotiation his licensing fee for the theme ride music to "Space Mountain" at Disneyland, Dick Dale is a man in charge of his own future! I've had the pleasure and the pain of the house mix for years for Dick and the band. It's really more of a love hate relationship because Dick always had a few tricks to keep the house Engineers on their toes. He never traveled with a Band Engineer that I know of and always commanded the complete attention of his guest House Engineers at all times. We'd worked together for years and I only wish I still had my "Dick Head" T-shirt, I'd always said that Dick Dale isn't just a great performer, he is a "force of  nature!"
On one particular show at The Mystic, Dick had his son Jimmy Dale as his guest guitarist. The feeling was that Dick was grooming his son for a career run himself and you could see that he was intensely sincere in that road time college of knowledge. As I mentioned, we had a little tradition for our "Friends of the Mystic"... a stage entrance from the load-in lift at the rear of the stage, this time with a twist for us. If you've been to enough Dick Dale shows you've probably noticed that Dick is rarely introduced, rather he chooses to let his guitar introduce himself. At any given point before he takes the stage you'll hear his wireless Stratocaster guitar come blasting out of his 2 Fender Dual Showman amps and then quickly up in the house system. Earlier that day I had suggested to Dick that we do a swap on the intro that I had suggested and have Jimmy come down on the lift instead to have him kick off the show. He loved the idea as any proud father would and It was the perfect set-up to introduce his son Jimmy to a Mystic Theatre audience.

At 9pm, right after the support had played (typically The Pyronaughts) and we completed the set change, I'd sit at the console and wait for a screaming guitar at roughly 110db to burst into the room and we'd be off and running. Our time came and the set-up worked flawlessly, we hit off all of the house lights except for 1 up-light that I had positioned on the floor near the load-in lift gate and 1 of our fog machines kicking out a light mist just for the effect of sinking into the fog. The audiences attention was turned immediately to the stage as the screaming guitar was heard and the load-in door burst open. Jimmy Dale step through the door in the up-light and stood on the lift and as we slowly brought the lift gate down into the fog. Jimmy looked like he was ripping up the solo until he through his hands in the air and let the audience know that he was not the one really playing at all! We brought the lights up as Dick stepped on stage and tore into one of his classic guitar surf rock songs with Jimmy by his side. The audience screamed like crazy when they realized the trick that had been played on them and he had them on his side for the rest of the show.

Over the years I've mixed quite a few Dick Dales shows... and I've gained some very valuable insights to how to work with him. I've learned no matter how loud his guitar amp is never turn off his vocal mic, even though it's amplifying his already louder than god volume... it's not worth suffering the onslaught of his public comments and ridicule as he scrutinizes your qualifications as a sound engineer when he turns at any given moment to use it and finds it not on. Dicks manner of stage set-up I always thought was brilliant for a 3 piece rock band and I later tried this very same set-up with Jim Thomas and The Mermen. Dick's band would set up in an arch with 2 Fender Dual Showman's (4x12's) on the outside of the stage and the bass player would run 2 Dual Showman's (2x15's) on the inside of the arch, on each side of the drummer. It made perfect sense to me, the kick drum in the direct center of the stage with the bass radiating from each side of the center and the guitar throwing sound around and over the bands stage volume... hell, it actually was a surf wave theory!

On one of the other visit's to The Mystic Theatre Dick pulled off the most amazing guitar solo's that I have ever witnessed, and it wasn't so much as what he played but how he played it. Earlier in the day Dick shared his latest guitar me, it was a Fender Strat with his name ... "Dick Dale" pearl inlaid into the neck of the fret board and as if that wasn't enough it also had a tuner with LED lights that lit up and down the neck to help him tune his guitar to correct pitch. (Jimmy Dale had one just like it!)
That evening as Dick was heading off stage into the crowd and launching one of his extended guitar solo's he did one of the most remarkable things that I've ever seen.

As he strolled through the audience screaming on that wireless Stratocaster, I saw him head up the stairs to the balcony towards me and give me a smirk of a smile and a "watch this" kind of head movement as he headed back down the stairs. I left the house console and followed him down the stairs and through the lobby and out the front door, all the time he was just wailing on his guitar. Some how the band inside was keeping time or at least trying to keep up or maybe it didn't even matter what Dick was playing at some point, but when I saw what he did next it blew my mind. He stood on the curb under the theater marque continuing to play his lengthy solo, held up his hand, hailed a cab and as he continued to play one of the security guards open the cab door and he climbed in. The door was closed the cab drove off around the block and Dick's solo never skipped a beat. I ran back up stairs and found the band still pumping away that back beat and Dick still ripping his solo... The cab pulled up behind the theater and Dick headed back in through the stage door and eventually back on stage to join the band.

I've said it many times and I'll repeat myself self once again Dick Dale is more than just a guitar player he is a force of nature! For the official history of Dick Dale you may follow the link below!
Surfs Up!



These stories consist of rough drafts that will be proof read and finalized
before being included in "Another Day Another Decibel"
www.ViralMediaArt.com



Wednesday, January 21, 2015

THE INN OF THE BEGINNING - DAVE HENSLEY - Yah Inn of the Beginning!!!!

Dave Hensley: Reflections on The Inn of the Beginning - Cotati Ca.
Oohh man - who did not get a heavy sexy vibration once inside the place,sumpthing had gone on there along w all the Family and great musicians of the 60-70's-80s (listed below). or maybe you just felt so in the pocketgroovesexy, It had something to do with me performing there ???? I have a Theory about rooms now. As musicians, artists creators, we all feel vibes. Now think about when you get good, bad or mixed feelings about a thing ----- lets say, 'Venues. 'Venues resonate a humm or multi dimensional vibration, or something along those lines, im telling you that, myself 'YES--_(((((((((((o))))))))))_ i TUNE INTO THE VIBRATIONS at a gig for sure, then the real magic the REAL connection is WITH the dancers or slammers or watchers, as your playing reflects, and bounces through all the rising vibe and you feel RAD.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

"THE JAZZ ELEPHANT STORY" An Original Mythology


by Lastas Palas / copy write 2015 - VMA#1082015


We got to travel way back to get to this tale. Way back to a more universal time. Talkin’ about a time steeped in the precious. About a time when the creatures of the planet actively courted this planet as a lover. Talkin’ about that pre-zoo time. That old pre-circus time. That time before the force of man had gone against the grain of flow.
 
Talking about that time when water flowed like smiling eyes. Talking about a time when there was genuine air up in the skies. I'm talking about a signature distinguished I just how well the elephants were able to languish oh yeah elephants! Having no natural enemies he could relax with the changes and dally through life's youth… and there was one who did just that. While all the other germs were packing around in there heard consciousness there was one who stole the part, acknowledging some rhythm of the tree or of the sky, a muted trunk tone reflecting the pulse of sweet scales. Now there was an understanding in and amongst these creatures that populated this back then habitat. An unspoken code of balance. An uncontractual sense of proportion, for outside the killing of each other for the purposes of perpetuating the food chain cycle struggle, all these creatures had a good time in this well-oiled land of abundance.


"The Jazz Elephant Suite."


Now while all the others would throw quantities of dirt on their tough skin backs, strip bark from trees, Bath in them old mud banked rivers to, and generally do all those things the ivory creatures are prone to do. But, there was this one, jazz elephant. One who without a doubt stood out. Knowing that distinction he would be for all who desired his taste, or tasted his desire of joy.
He was not bedecked with ill eloquence. He had chosen his heart carefully. He was defiantly priority. He had to have that syncopated rhythmic response to all things, at all times, in every way. So, he leaves his traditional pose, interested only in the facts of total gladness’s. Born to quench others by way of his unending thirst and inexplicable liquid eyes. He was a myth in search of reality, to unleash the muse upon the earth. You must know who we be talking about by now. He was as immediate as slang. We been talking about that loan, full-grown jazz chromosome. One who never counted the quips on the lips which followed his desires as closely as Cabernet is to Sauvignon. Alas, that old jazz elephant was on the verge of enlarging is already larger than life self into life for the lust of it, and lusting for the life within. Oh yeah you know we be talking about that jazz elephant. Epitomizing all who could load a phrase, because he was youthful power, a source natural and free enough to become legend and to unleash the muse upon the earth. He was the pulse well-tempered. Why, he was as fragrent as your recognition of acceptance. Flagrant as that smile you never knew you had, other than in that yearn fantasy.

"The Water Hole."


But, now the time has come for the introduction of that jazz elephant. He sure was something wasn't he? But, we don't have to be formal any longer and from now on we shall refer to our hero as Jazzelli, which is what he was fondly nickname by his contemporaries.
But, as you often must know, life wasn't and isn't always accelerative, and these contemporaries didn't always have unabated fondness in their hearts for him. No, not at all! For the way I hear it was that even elephant prodigies have to see themselves sooner or later… so, what happened at the waterhole was just such an illumination to Jazzelli, such a turning point in his young improvisational life. Now, he had come down to the water hole in seeing how well the desk was collecting. He felt his love well up inside causing him to unrestraine a tune beyond measure, a tune beyond compare. Well, what had begun as innocent expression soon proved to be the catalyst of big change… Check what happened!

Now, while Jazzelli crooned his tune other specific creatures of the domain were involved in a task completely oppositional to song. They were hunting for their daily sustenance, their usual euphemism as if their very lives depended on it. So, when this measureless tune connected, something unheard of snapped… How like an overwhelmed mind buckles. Jazzelli's fusion was of such magnetism that all who heard it were transfixed by it, suspended by yet, mesmerized by it, dazed and confused by it. But, I want you to check what really happened… Now, in this dinner our part of the day, the predators having already heard Jazzelli's suitable yearns, soon were to become suspended in mid action from the objects of their voracious appetites, some of them had been in various postures of the pounce and kill. So persuasive was Jazzelli's musical feeling that these unlikely partners, the victims of prey, gazelles and other like types, as well as those aforementioned hardend stalkers of throats… Both of these representatives fell into spell encircling the water hole in serpentine, hand-in-hand, trancing their way to the source of the mesmeric sounds, spelled out, flowing with each others energy's unprejudiciously… mesmerized.

But, in the back of all their minds still seized in uncharacteristically swoon; they were stunned at what they found themselves doing. They were horrified beyond their limits of control.
Now, Jazzelli had gotten into it enough by now that his eyes began to roll up in sweet surrender, and when he finished returning to focus all the creatures experienced the shutter together. They all realize the fume which had consumed them, that place them in this unreasonable situation, and they were disgusted by it. Naturally, the first to react were the victims of prey who scampered away bewildered at the mirage of life. All of the remaining eyes had turned on Jazzelli, Some of them would go hungry tonight because of him. They have been made fools of this one time too many. Too far he had gone this time. That jazz elephant had become disproportionate to his peerage was obvious, and it was on this pivotal occasion that the syncopated one became taboo and thus expendable. He was crestfallen when they denounced and cursed him. You know one would think that at least the gazelle types would show some gratefulness for their rescue, but no such response was given. They had even later said that they would have rather been devoured furiously them to re-experience any like brotherly love occurrence again.

Jazzelli becomes saddened in his loneliness. He walked down that long road, headed hung in dejection. But, after a while he thinks to himself, why should I have to keep going through all this, all the time? He would not tolerate obstruction any longer. He knew he had procrastinated long enough. No longer would he be restricted to any one realm. It took the dream state of a toss and turn feverish sleep to weigh his forces ever so carefully, and to unlock the sequences of this new outlook.
He awakens bright eyed! A brand-new elephant, cleansed of depression and self-determined. He accepted that if his timing and finally arrived to be responsible for, if he was indeed the one who does, well then he would not be degraded for that pulse, but propelled into the breath of song, bruteless and well formed.

Well alright. I admit it. I confess it. If anything was done, he done did it. So what do you think of that jazz bone now? Let me tell you, he packed his trunk, slicked his hair back. He memorized his international datelines, and left his traditional pose a large enough dose to find himself perhaps into your own review of the lethal creativity's. To unleash upon us the cleen of his peak, and thus become museness his own self.

I Am

You see, it's all or nothing for me, for…
I am my own extinction to endure and I don't need help from me or yours...
I am not alone or abscessed… I consist of all the atmospheres worn on full of dreams weaned by the long ear hours of music burning for the sake of love spiraling majestically above the dawns of hope… I am symmetry with abandon… I am many lagoons warmer than persuasion… I am the children testing their powers of innocence at an early age… I am the universal juiceness, the ripeness of moist… I am the curiosity beyond ennui... I am not like you or me… I am as song illustrates color fibers… I am in any season of exchange ability, never insurance against ecstasy… I am my own extinction to endure… For nothing suits me better than to walk my talk down the passion avenues of glibness. Knowing nothing can replace the sky or that pie, on the sill cooling down the hatchness of it all. An original mythological story by Lastas Palas 85'

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

"THE ACES EXPOSED" by Derek Irving - 1/7/15


Derek Irving - It was 1994, I just left Mitch Woods and His Rocket 88’s after a four year tenure playing guitar with Mitch and his band.  I was 24, been on tour for four years, been to Europe a few times, toured the States countless times and recorded Mitch’s record Shakin the Shack at Fantasy Studios.  I thought I had the blues world in my hands and Sonoma County was there for me to take.  So fresh on the local scene, I put together a trio with, Steve Wolf on bass (who was playing bass for Mitch Woods and left the band when I left) and Mike Rosas on drums. Mike was also in Mitch’s band during my stint but left Mitch’s band abruptly two days before a five week US tour some time in 1992. I called the band “Derek and The Aces”.  We’d play local gigs at John Barleycorns (Santa Rosa), The Tradewinds (Cotati) and Blues on Lombard in San Francisco.  Unfortunately one night after a gig at Blues on Lombard in San Francisco, Mike who’d been drinking Crown Royal and smoking pot failed to make it home that night.  He crashed his car in a ditch on Highway 116 between Petaluma and Sonoma after falling asleep on the drive home.  He was within 10 minutes of his house leaving behind a wife and two children.  I remember getting the call in the morning from his brother saying Mike passed away.  I was in shock and it felt a bit like it was my fault (even though he was an adult and I asked if he was ok to drive home and he said yes).  The funeral was especially tough seeing his wife and two kids.  One of his children was about two years old.

Soon afterwards I recruited Reed Baldwin to play drums and shortly after that Chris Marvin would come in on drums.  This combination of the band (Steve Wolf, Chris Marvin and myself) would play around Sonoma County.  Playing the Ale Works on Fourth Street and then getting a residency (before they were popular) every Tuesday night at The Tradewinds in Cotati, this was around 1995-1996.  At the same time some of my other friends and fellow musicians were on the scene most notably Stu Blank and Richie Blue.  I used to go see Stu Blank, Richie Blue and even Steve Wolf when he was in the band while they played in local blues band Texas w/Doyle Bramhall II.  My band was still called Derek and The Aces and Tuesday nights at The Tradewinds could be decent where we’d each make $50-$75 or it could be not so decent where we’d be lucky to walk with $10 each.

I was persistent though and kept at it.  Shortly afterwards Sky O’Banion would start coming by sitting in with the band playing some of the most authentic blues harmonica I’ve ever heard. Not to mention Sky has a great knack to have lyrics that flow like streams of consciousness.   I was singing and really didn’t want to do it, so I’d encourage Sky to sing.  He was coming by so much; I said why don’t you just join the band.  So he did and eventually he was singing all the songs.  I was about 25 by this time and he was a few years younger.  When Sky joined I changed the name from “Derek and The Aces” to just “The Aces”.  We were starting to build some good local momentum, playing around locally but primarily Tuesday nights at The Tradewinds still.  Mooka Rennick who owns Prairie Sun Recording Studio was one of the regulars and was a good friend of my drummer Chris Marvin.  Shortly afterwards we were over at Prairie Sun recording a bunch of songs.  However to this day, I don’t know what happen to the two reels of tape we recorded there.  In the same year, my ‘67 Chevelle would be stolen with Sky and my equipment in it (my two guitars, my amp, Sky’s vintage amp/mics, his harps and my PA). A month later my car was found abandoned 5 miles from where it was taken with ALL of our equipment still there.

Then one night in 1997, we were playing in Santa Rosa at Masses Billiards Sports Bar on 4th Street. Out of the blue Mooka shows up and who was with him? Tom Waits!  That’s right Tom Waits. I knew who Tom Waits was but was not super familiar with his music.   They stayed for a bit then left.  The next day Tom faxed Mooka saying “The Aces were HOT last night, thanks for a great show ! Tom” .  To this day, I still have a copy of that fax.  Then about a week or two later Tom asked the band to play at one of his kid’s last day of school events in Freestone.  Of course we took the gig.  Then a bit after that, I got a phone call to my home phone.  After saying hello, a gravely voice said “This is Tom Waits, I’m over at Prairie Sun do you want to come by?”  Yes I said, he said “ok come by tomorrow”.  I called Sky excitedly saying that Tom Waits had called me but this did sit well with Sky.  Sky yelled at me, curse at me, etc. I chalked it up as frustration/jealousy and hung up.  I believe Tom was recording the Bone Machine record. I only did the one day there (kind of a tryout I guess) but I was not familiar with Tom’s music and was not prepared.  So I missed this opportunity but had a learning experience.

Now I’m always prepared. By late ‘97 Chris’s demons got the better of him and I excused him from the band but recruited Mike Gutsch to play drums.  By this time the only other blues band I felt competition from (and jealousy towards) was Eric Lindell and the Reds.  Eric’s band would pack local clubs and we’d still struggle at The Tradewinds and anywhere else we could play.  Eric’s brand of “funk blues” seemed to connect more than our “traditional chicago style” blues did. Also in 1997 Stu Blank would approach me about wanting to book gigs for The Aces.  Stu was a hustler, loved by everyone, a huge teddy bear and someone I looked up to musically and musical business wise.  I said if you can get the gigs, you’d get your percentage. Which I think was either 10% or 20% for any gig he could get us.  Stu was well connected and was able to get us gigs.  He did this for a short while until bassist Steve Wolf decided he couldn’t make a living doing my gigs and what ever other gigs he could get locally so he left to play bass for Mark Hummel and the Blues Survivors.  This ended the run for this incantation of the band.

So in early 1998 Sky, Mike and myself sat idle until Mike had the brilliant idea of adding second guitarist, David Burke.  I was hesitant at first.  I knew Dave and respected his playing but didn’t think two guitars and no bass could work.  Boy was I wrong.  The first time we got together we sounded like a sledgehammer.  Loud, raw, mean and in your face – we had a sound!  We’d go on as The Aces and had a 12 year run.  We’d open for The Paladins, Tommy Castro, Arc Angles and Charlie Musselwhite.  Also around ’98-‘99 there were more local blues bands around but I was not in the right mind to want to be fellow musician friends with them.  It was just The Aces way.  We had attitude and we were cocky to the point of isolation. Looking back I’m sorry for not recognizing this and I’m sure I missed some friendships along the way.  In 2000 Bill Bowker asked The Aces to play the Sonoma County Blues Festival.

Problem was, Sky was incarcerated.  So Mike, Dave and myself wrote letters to the judge asking that Sky be released for the day to play the Blues Festival. We said it would help his esteem, help his road to recovery and good citizenship.  It worked and they granted him a six hour release (day pass).  He showed up to the blues festival in “Blues Brothers” fashion.  In an unmarked cop car, with two armed officers in street clothes and handcuffed.  We did the show and it was great.  By 2001 we were playing San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Casper and anywhere else we could.  In 2008 The Aces entered into the International Blues Challenge.  We’d win the Sacramento Blues society competition as a trio because Dave had a toothache and did not drive to Sacramento two hours before we went on stage.  After winning in Sacramento, we’d get Danny West (of the late 80’s early 90’s SF band Vain fame and all around great guy) to play second guitar with The Aces because Dave did not want to travel. The Aces headed to Memphis TN to compete against 120 other blues band from around the world.  In Memphis, we’d end up being a top 10 finalists and got hate mail from people saying we disrespected the “original Aces” which was Little Walter’s name for his band (though that’s not why I named my band The Aces).

In 2009 The Aces would sign with El Toro Records out of Barcelona Spain and release No One Rides For Free. By this time Dave was back in the band but our best years were behind us.  We’d struggle to get gigs, had personality conflicts and so I decided to put The Aces to rest in 2010.


LISA ISKIN - "My introduction to the world of live acoustic music" - 1/7/15

My introduction to the world of live acoustic music began at McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica when my father took me to see Doc Watson.  I was just eight years old.  By the age of 16, I was part of the music scene there, making connections, helping to lay the groundwork for a musical career that now spans five decades.


In 1973 I relocated to Sonoma County where I was a solo artist.  I also formed duets with other musicians, and created bluegrass, folk, and country bands.  During this time, I found I was acquiring a large following of fans.  At the same time, I forged professional connections with major players in Northern California, such as Pee Wee Ellis, who played saxophone on “Every Heart,” a song he heard me write, helping to turn a country song into a pop/crossover song.

In 1980, I was approached by a band called "California," a progressive country band, which had its own brand of original "blue jean" music.  I stayed with them as we grew in popularity, successfully toured Northern California, and recorded together.  My friend Fred Catero (CBS and Columbia Records) mixed all of our recordings, helping us to get just the right sound, a sound that captured the attention of BMI in Nashville.  Bruce Crosby, the main songwriter and I were writing together and engaged at the time.  In 1986 our artist manager Phil Gram of BMI, asked us to move to Nashville.  Just as we were winding down the band here, and were packing up to relocate, tragically, Bruce was stricken with leukemia.  Sadly, he passed away before we could realize our dreams together.  It had a profound influence on the direction of my music.

Devoting myself to the healing powers of music for the next eighteen years, I became a part of peoples' lives by providing spiritual music for important events such as weddings, births, and other celebrations of life; co-officiating with Buddhist senseis, Rabbis, Catholic priests, ministers of all ilk, and officiated on my own at many "life-cycle events."

In the summer of 2009 while recording for my first time in over two decades at Robert Lunceford's studio in Sebastopol, he asked me to accompany him on guitar for some of his French-flavored, original compositions.  I fell in love with this new-to-me style, and in early 2010 we formed the trio "Un Deux Trois" with bass guitarist Josh Fossgreen.  In June of 2013, when Josh moved to L.A. to pursue his music career, Jan Martinelli joined the group, adding her own flavor to the "Un Deux Trois" sound, a sound we call "French Music with a Twist."

I noticed that I have written the word "helping" in the first three paragraphs.  This is significant.  Without help, without each other, not one of us would be where we are today.  I am so grateful to everyone who has helped me along the way.

I sign off with the name of my current solo album, "From Lisa Iskin With Love."