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It’s the 12th post of the new local music blog I’m producing in collaboration with AM 1220 KHTS and the Santa Clarita Valley’s award-winning, No. 1 website, www.hometownstation.com.
We’re online every Friday morning with hot SCV music news, reviews, features and photos right here at www.peeplesplace.com, with an on-air preview on the KHTS morning show each Thursday at 8:10.
This week, we have an exclusive Q&A with local hip-hop artist Brian Bell, whose latest single is an inspiration. We have news about the winners of last Sunday’s SCV Blues Society competition, Brave New World’s second annual Main Street Zombie March benefit for the SCV Food Pantry, this weekend’s free Wild Beast concert at CalArts, and more.
I’ll have some notes and and photos about last week’s memorial gathering marking the 40th anniversary of Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer Gene Vincent’s death and burial in Newhall, which yours truly was invited by its organizers to emcee.
We’ll get a preview of SCV bluesman T.J. Sullivan and West Ranch High pop singer Ariana Sloan guesting on “House Blend” on SCVTV Saturday night, find out what new music is hot at our local record store, and see who’s playing live this weekend around town and nearby.
But first, we’re going to lead off with our current trivia question, which still needs an answer and a winner!
SCV MUSIC TRIVIA: MELTDOWN! — What artist headlined Summer Meltdown at Golden Valley High’s outdoor amphitheater in 2007? If you know the answer, email firstname.lastname@example.org (KHTS employees past and present are not eligible, sorry!). We’ll toss all the correct entries into a hat and randomly choose a winner who’ll receive two Restaurant Row certificates and a CD from our swag vault.
OK, now Peeples Place at KHTS rocks the SCV music news.
Big ups from us to Sherry Jackson Pruitt and the Delgado Brothers, who took first place in the Band category, and pianist Ron Tanski, who won top honors in Solo. They will go on to represent the SCV at the 2012 International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., for a chance to win prizes and worldwide recognition.
Lightnin’ Willie & The Poorboys and Paul & Bull won second place in Band and Solo/Duo, respectively.
Other local bands competing included Toni Dodd & Southbound Blues, Lombardi & Mox, The Scorch Sisters and Bryan Chan.
The event was emceed by T.J. Sullivan, who won Solo/Duo the previous two years with harmonica ace Greger Walnum.
By the way, T.J. and Greger rocked “House Blend” on SCVTV in July and are back for an encore Saturday night; read more about them below.
KOCH ROCKS GUITAR CLINIC AT KEYBOARD GALLERIA — As part of the ongoing Hal Leonard Guitar Clinic Tour, renowned blues guitarist Greg Koch stops by on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at Keyboard Galleria Music Center to talk technique, tone and other topics with a dash of humor. If you’re a guitarist looking to polish your craft, you don’t want to miss this.
Doors open at 6 p.m. and the free clinic starts at 6:30. Seating is limited; to RSVP, call (661) 259-5397 or email email@example.com.
Keyboard Galleria Music Center is located at 21515 Soledad Canyon Road, Suite 120, in Santa Clarita.
Learn more about Koch at his website, www.gregkoch.com.
REMINDER: BRAVE DEAD WORLD’S ZOMBIES RE-ANIMATE ON MAIN STEREET — If you missed the Senses zombies’ takeover of Main Street in Old Town Newhall last night, you have another chance to play dead tomorrow.
Promptly at dusk or 6 p.m., whichever comes first, local zombies will re-animate for the second annual Main Street Zombie March staged by the Brave New World comics and pop culture emporium on Lyons in Newhall.
As was last year’s, the march and related events are to raise donations of food and cash for the SCV Food Pantry, and provide a convenient, fun way for the dead to give back to the living. More than three tons of food was donated last year, according to Portlyn, BNW owner/operator and MZM perpetrator.
Registration starts at the store at 10 a.m. Saturday. Get more info by calling (661) 259-4745, or visit BNW online.
REMINDER: ‘DROWSY CHAPERONE’ WAKES UP AT PAC — The award-winning comedy musical “The Drowsy Chaperone” takes the stage at the Performing Arts Center tonight and runs through Sunday, Oct. 30. Our spies in final rehearsals this week say it’s really, really funny.
COC’s Theatre Department will celebrate opening night with a raffle — come dressed up in your best Roaring ’20s costume for a chance to win a door prize.
Performances are set for 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow, and Friday and Saturday, Oct. 28-29, with 2 p.m. Sunday matinees Oct. 23 and 30.
Tickets run $12 for adults and $6 for COC students and seniors. Call the PAC box office at (661)-362-5304 or click here.
REMINDER: CALARTS’ WILD BEAST POUNCES ON ‘FOUR PIANOS AND A WEDDING’ — California Institute of the Arts’ Wild Beast Concert Series presents two avant-garde classics from the dawn of the Roaring ’20s tomorrow night: George Antheil’s “Ballet Mécanique” (1924) and Igor Stravinsky’s “Les Noces” (“The Wedding,” 1923).
Expressing the exuberance and futurist yearnings of the post-World War I era, both works are scored for four pianos and an array of percussion; “Les Noces” includes vocal soloists and a large chorus, while “Ballet Mécanique” blends the mechanical sounds of airplane propellers and electric bells with multiple pianos.
Virtuoso pianists (required for these technically demanding scores) — recent graduates of the CalArts piano program — will be joined by faculty vocal soloists, the CalArts Choir and an impressive lineup of percussionists.
Admission is free, but advance registration is suggested. Find CalArts at 24700 McBean Pkwy., Valencia 91355. For more info call (661) 253-7816.
SPOTLIGHT Q&A: BRIAN BELL’S SECULAR, SPIRITUAL SIDES RING TRUE — A friend suggested I check out a local hip-hop artist and entrepreneur named Brian Bell, and after doing so I liked his music and especially his message, which was uplifting without trying to jam a particular point of view or belief system down the listener’s throat. I wanted to know more about Bell than I could find online. We spoke by phone Wednesday afternoon.
Stephen K. Peeples: I was checking out your website at brianbellrocks.com, saw you were a Santa Clarita local and thought your music and video were interesting, so thanks for getting back to me. Please tell me a little about yourself, what you and your crew are doing and what you intend to do in the future.
Brian Bell: Well, first of all, Stephen, thank you very much for taking the time out, I really appreciate it. I was born in Los Angeles and as a kid was deeply, deeply involved in sports. But I blew a few opportunities and was hanging around with people who weren’t that great. Eventually, we channeled that energy into a music and entertainment career, and after about 6-7 years independently, we finally signed a (record) deal (with Epic). We had probably played about 300 shows up until that point, pretty much throughout the Western region. We did do some shows back East and across the nation.
We’ve released two EPs in the last year, the first being “Revelations,” which is more of a Christian record, and the major release, “Here for a Reason,” which we are grateful to say that is now getting some radio play on college stations here on the West Coast. And we are embarking on a tour in January, which will take us to about 30 cities.
On Dec. 3, we’re going to do something here in the city of Santa Clarita, part of my hometown community — a toy drive/fundraising event at the Sports Complex Activities Center. It’s just to get the community involved, let people know who we are and what we’re doing, and give them a free show.
Peeples: I want to get more info about that in a minute, but first, when you say “we,” who is that?
Bell: I’m the lyricist, writer, part-producer. My drummer/producer is Cory Yothers. He’s been in the industry his whole life. He was a child actor, he’s produced for some of the biggest names in the hip-hop and pop world.
Peeples: As in Tina Yothers’ brother?
Bell: Yes, and then DJ Sway, DJ Swaye Rayes, is a 21-year-old prodigy. Just an amazing talent. We actually linked up a few years back, and he’s just started performing with us, and done about 20 shows, so now he’s part of the band. So that’s the Brian Bell project. (They’re pictured instage at the Key Club in December 2010.)
And then my Christian band, William Cooper, consists of the same three, plus a singer, Matt Yoakem.
Peeples: William Cooper — what’s the story behind the band name?
Bell: He was a Christian patriot who sacrificed his life for the greater good of the world. He’s someone I deeply admire. Our first single, “Rolling Stone,” is actually being mixed by Randy Armotta, and he’s worked with people like Britney Spears and Usher. We’ve got a lot of music coming out, and I’m really excited to see how the fans respond.
Peeples: The William Cooper single — when’s that going to drop?
Bell: “Rolling Stone” is going to be out Nov. 22 from our Good Karma Music label.
Peeples: That’s Bret Lieberman’s outfit, right?
Bell: Essentially, yeah. When Bret and I met and linked up, I became part-owner of Good Karma. And over the last probably a year and a half, we’ve built it up so that now we’re functioning independently as a label.
Peeples: I understand you’re also an author.
Bell: Separate from my music career, I’m a children’s book author. My full name is Brian Allan Bell, and I use Brian Bell for music and Brian Allan for books. I have a book coming out Dec. 3, the same day as the Sports Complex toy fundraiser. We’re actually also going to do a book signing there. Kids can come and meet Wally the Walrus.
Peeples: How many books do you have published?
Bell: I have one previously, like a decade ago. We self-published it and ended up getting a publishing deal, but I consider this one to be my first major release.
Peeples: Got it. How old are you now?
Bell: I’m 30, still in my prime.
Peeples: Now, where do you want to take all of this? What’s your goal?
Bell: First, we’re going to take this tour from regional to national to worldwide. When I linked up with Bret, it was the perfect opportunity. I basically had had the opportunity to, for lack of better words, sell my soul for some money to someone better connected in the music industry. But when Bret came along, he gave us the foundation to do it ourselves. So, we decided to keep (control) of our masters and keep reaching out. We also have a couple songs getting placed in a couple movies and TV shows coming out.
Peeples: Cool — what tunes, what films, what TV shows?
Bell: The company we have a contract with lets us know it’s going to get placed. Sometimes we don’t even know until we see it on TV what episode it’s in or what show it’s going to be.
Peeples: So basically, you have an agent that reps your stuff to film and TV soundtrack people.
Bell: Exactly. But we’re really just going to build up this regional fan base. I’ve lived all over Southern California, but I grew up in the Antelope Valley, Santa Clarita, so we’re going to do a lot around the community here before we hit the road, just to build a solid home foundation. We’re going to high schools. We’re partners with SOS Entertainment, and they’re pretty prominent in Santa Clarita and throughout California as far as being involved with high schools and junior highs, and just really spreading positive vibes around the community.
Peeples: You mentioned earlier you were signed to Epic, which was part of Sony. Did you have any singles or EPs or anything released by Sony?
Bell: Risk It All Records was a sub-label of Epic, and that was in 2007, and we actually started getting some radio play. Then there were some internal label issues and it took us about two or three years to (recover).
Peeples: Back to the now. The song that’s on the radio now is…
Bell: “I’m Leaving,” a song about cancer.
Peeples: Tell us the story.
Bell: Well, my childhood hero growing up…my senior year, um, my grandpa, he was… wow, it’s deep. He was my number one person in the world. He died from cancer, pretty suddenly. Then as I got older, a few other loved ones died, then my stepdad passed, and about a year ago, a good friend of mine my age, with two kids, was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I just stayed up one night and wrote this song, and it worked out okay, sounded really good, and… here we are. It’s on iTunes right now.
Peeples: I can appreciate there’s a lot more to it than you’re telling me…
Bell: There is a lot more. I have a feeling we’ll be talking in the future.
Peeples: And the Dec. 3 toy drive/fundraiser and show — who else is involved with that?
Bell: SOS Entertainment will be involved. My man over there, [Derrick Sage], shout-out to him. We have a couple of choice organizations and bands for sure. And we also have a very prominent foundation we really believe in that’s very big, the Living the Dream Foundation. They’re one of our sponsors.
I believe we’re all spiritual beings and that we need to help our community and spread love. On Dec. 3, we’re going to have a free show and a nice toy drive for people to share with others who are less fortunate. So we ask everyone to please come out and support it.
Peeples: Brian, sounds good. That’s a good place to end it for now. Do appreciate your time. You’re doing a good thing. Wish you the best.
Bell: I can’t thank you enough. I appreciate it.
SCV LOCAL MUSIC ROUNDUP — For the latest on what’s new and hot in local music, we checked in with our friends at Rock Candy Music & More, the Santa Clarita Valley’s only retail record store, at Bouquet and Plum Canyon in Saugus. Staffer Ryan Corbett gave us the update on what’s new on the local shelves.
“Meletov Records brought in this Dangers album — two Dangers albums, actually,” Corbett said. “One of them is called ‘Anger’ and the other one is called ‘Messy, Isn’t It?’
“And then there’s a new really cool vinyl — a collaborative three-way split called ‘Beau Navire.’ The lyrics are etched into the B-side of the vinyl.”
We also asked him what other cool stuff just came in.
“There’s Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ re-release. It’s $29, but it’s really nice — a very limited run,” he said. “Also, we got ‘The Queen is Dead’ and ‘Meat is Murder’ by The Smiths on vinyl.
“We got Joy Division’s — I was really excited to see this — ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ 12-inch single. It’s really cool and it’s only $12.99. It’s gonna go fast.
“And the new Tom Waits album just came out, ‘Bad as Me,’” Corbett said. “I can’t wait to listen to it.”
Then we asked him what he thought of Tom Waits’ music and his new release.
“I like Tom because, at least conceptually, all of his albums have different stories — like ‘Frank’s Wild Years’ is a concept about nightmares, ‘Alice’ is a take on ‘Alice in Wonderland,’ ‘Blood Money’ is about mobsters. And he does all kinds of great things with his voice,” Corbett said.
“The new album is just stripped-down Tom Waits kind of stuff. His last album had a little bit less of his musical character, and this one is really a follow to that. Also, he works with all kinds of cool people — he worked with Les Claypool (of Primus) and Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers) on this record. It’s really cool and really, really good.”
Rock Candy Music & More presents live shows by local artists on most weekend nights; tonight’s show at 8 p.m. features A Basement Rendezvous and Face Painting. Next Saturday, Oct. 29, Diego Hodge and psychedelic rock band Nacosta and will perform.
SCV MUSIC ON TV: ARIANA, T.J. & GREGER BRING IT ON ‘HOUSE BLEND’ — “House Blend” hosted by yours truly on SCVTV Saturday night at 10 features an encore broadcast of a great show featuring local teen pop singer, songwriter, actress and dancer Ariana Sloan, and funky bluesman T.J. Sullivan accompanied by hot ‘n’ nasty harp player Greger Walnum.
Accompanied by guitarist Jon MacLennan, Sloan, a 14-year-old West Ranch High cheerleader, sang unplugged versions of two originals, “That Way Again” and “Everything’s Gonna Change,” and chatted with me for a few minutes between songs.
Both tunes come from Sloan’s six-song debut EP, “Day One,” produced by Bryan Todd and Gary Stober, which also includes the title track, “Different Story,” “In Hollywood” and “No Apologies.”
Through the marvel of multi-tracking, Ariana handled all the lead and almost all backing vocals on the tracks. Todd and Stober’s production is tight, punchy, and bright; the duo wrote or co-wrote most of the songs, and Ariana and her mom, Kim, contributed to “In Hollywood.” The songs are geared to teens, with themes of first love, first heartbreak, friendship and betrayal, and thinking independently.
Sloan, who credits her parents and family as her most important boosters, has studied with vocal coach Valerie Morehouse-Wilde and at the Rock Nation Music School in Agoura. She does them all proud on her first outing, which displays serious potential as she keeps working on her vocals and developing her songwriting.
In the second half of the show, we segue from the sublime, squeaky-clean innocence of a super-talented high school cheerleader to the sublime grit, wisdom and wit of a veteran bluesman — singer, writer and guitarist T.J. Sullivan, AKA Thelonius James.
The card-carrying member of the SCV Blues Society (who’s worked with artists like Big Joe Turner and Delaney Bramlett) played his trusty Taylor and a 1938 National Duolian on a pair of songs, accompanied by Greger Walnum, one of the raunchiest Chicago-style harp players I’ve ever heard. The duo has won top honors from the SCV Blues Society two years in a row.
You have got to see and hear these two get funky on T.J.’s “Nothin’ Matters” and “Is That a Monkey You’ve Got.” If you dig the blues, it’ll make the little hairs on the back of your neck stand up. If you don’t, this might just win you over.
“House Blend” airs Saturdays and Thursdays at 10 p.m. Pacific Time on SCVTV (Time Warner Cable Channel 20 in the Santa Clarita Valley, and AT&T U-Verse Channel 99 in Los Angeles and Orange counties), and streams live everywhere via the Web at www.scvtv.com. The show’s archives are also available 24/7 on demand at www.scvtv.com/html/housebl end-current.html and www.scvhouseblend.com.
REMINDER: BET YOUR BOTTOM END, BASS PLAYERS SHOULD ATTEND — Bass Player Magazine hosts its annual bass expo, Bass Player LIVE!, in Hollywood tomorrow and Sunday, Oct. 22-23.
It’s two days packed with exhibits, hands-on clinics and live demos catered to bass players, plus a concert at the Key Club on Saturday night.
The events start at 10 a.m. both days at SIR Studios on Sunset Boulevard. A one-day pass costs $30; two-day passes $50.
More than two dozen top-name musicians are expected to perform and host clinics, including Jack Cassady, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Alphonso Johnson, Lee Sklar, Abraham Laboriel, Daryl Jones, Anthony Jackson, Hadien Feraud, Janek Gwizdala and “Tonight Show” Musical Director Rickey Minor.
The Key Club concert kicks off with Lifetime Achievement Awards presented to Larry Graham (Sly & the Family Stone), Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane) and the late James Jamerson (Motown). Acoustic Hot Tuna with Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, the James Jamerson Tribute Band, and Larry Graham with members of Graham Central Station will perform, followed by an all-star jam. Doors open at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $30. Click here to purchase tickets for this show.
MORE SCV MUSIC LIVE — Who else is playing in the Santa Clarita Valley this weekend, or spreading the local musical love outside the valley?
Musician and singer/songwriter Melissa Kaye plays free sets every Friday at La Toscana Trattoria Grill in Valencia. Catch her tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tae Muhl, Odaal and Bridge perform at The Vu Bar and Lounge in Newhall tonight at 8:30 p.m.
Aja Kim performs rock, funk and blues at Valencia Wine Co. and Jay Bolan performs at Salt Creek Grille tonight, both starting at 9 p.m.
Blue Baron returns to Valencia Wine Co. and Jay Bolan plays again at Salt Creek Grille at 9 p.m.
And The Grateful Dudes keep traditional bluegrass alive and pickin’ in the SCV at Vincenzo’s Pizza on Lyons in Newhall from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Meridian plays two sets at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall, 5 p.m. They’re celebrating Halloween early with a special performance of “Thriller.”
Tuesday, Oct. 25
Mr. Vic and Friends play classic rock at Valencia Wine Co. at 7 p.m. It’s free.
Wednesday, Oct. 26
The Shoemaker Brothers, rock music transplants from Washington to L.A., play a free gig on the patio at Mixers Lounge on Bouquet Canyon Road at 7 p.m. (check them out on “House Blend” last year).
Friday, Oct. 28
The Babylon Social Club — featuring Herman Matthews, Sara Niemietz, Bennett Salvay, Leslie Smith, W.G. “Snuffy” Walden and Terry Wilson — rocks Cafe Cordiale in Sherman Oaks. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. and it’s free.
Friday, Nov. 4
“The Music of Dirk Fischer,” a special tribute to the musical dynamo who headed the jazz department for 27 years before retiring (sort of) in early 2005 and the age of 81, will be presented by the COC Music Department at the Performing Arts Center on Friday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are now on sale at the PAC box office for just $10, or $5 for students and seniors.
EPIC-LOG: VINCENT MEMORIAL GATHERING ROCKED — Gene Vincent’s family, friends and fans had a rockin’ good time at the Oct. 12 gathering at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill in Burbank, marking the 40th anniversary of the first-generation rock ‘n’ roller’s death at Inter-Valley Hospital in Saugus and burial at Eternal Valley in Newhall.
Christian Bouyer, a Newhall resident originally from France and a longtime Vincent fan, co-organized the 40th anniversary get-together with Lee Loo, another die-hard fan who runs the Lonely Street Gene Vincent International Fan Club. She traveled from her home in France to attend the gathering, and visited Vincent’s burial site for the first time the day after.
It was my honor to serve as emcee the three-hour-plus rave-up, which packed the house from 9 p.m. to about 11:30 p.m. and went on till about 1:30 a.m. Thursday.
More than two dozen Vincent classics and a few other chesnuts from the era were faithfully recreated by an all-star lineup of performers including Ray Campi, Rip Masters, Ronnie Mack, Joe Finkle with Johnny “Spazz” Hatton, Russell Scott, Karen Tobin, Mark “The Torch” Tortoricci and Ron Kakabeen of Ronny & The Classics.
Joe Finkle and Hatton performed with guitarist Sean Cohan and Nick the Drummer, while the rest of the crew was backed for their spotlight songs by a red-hot five-piece house band — John Palmer (drums), Ron Finn (rhythm/lead guitar), Stephan Franck (lead/rhythm guitar), Mark Goodman (keyboards) and Paul Marshall (bass).
Making the soiree even more special was the Craddock family’s enthusiastic participation. Tina Craddock, Vincent’s sister, along with Brandi Stollack, her daughter, took the stage to reminisce a bit and sing a couple songs. Vincent’s granddaughter, Chantiel Craddock, who’s launching a singing career under the name Chantilly Lace, also attended and rocked the house with four tunes.
Click on an image to open a larger view. Gene Vincent’s memory lights up the stage at Joe’s in Burbank. Lonely Street Gene Vincent International Fan Club’s Newhall-based West Coast rep Christian Bouyer and France-based founder Lee-Loo take a breather at the bar. Rip Masters, Ray Campi and Chantiel Craddock represent three generations of rockabilly performers. Tina Craddock gets the celebration started with a colorful invocation her oldest brother often used. All photos: Stephen K. Peeples (except far right, by Jimmy the Videographer).
So why did these people care enough to put on such a show, take over a club for a night, perform for free, reach out to Vincent’s family? Why do rock fans worldwide care? Why do his life and music resonate with people who were born years after he died?
Simply put, without Vincent, rock ‘n’ roll as we know it would probably have become something else, and everyone at Joe’s that night, performers and audience alike, appreciates his contribution to the music and its wild early history.
Click on an image to open a larger view. Sean Cohan shreds a solo as Joe Finkle holds down the rhythm. Chantiel Craddock joins Finkle and band for a song. Stephan Franck, Rip Masters and Ray Campi rip it up. All photos: Stephen K. Peeples.
All the performers idolize Vincent and The Blue Caps, know the songs inside and out, and in addition to family members, a few of them are connected to Vincent’s legacy.
A posthumous inductee of both the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, Virginia-born Vincent Eugene Craddock’s “Be-Bop-A-Lula” was an international hit in 1956 for Capitol Records, which signed him as its answer to Elvis Presley. But Vincent’s greased-up curls, black leathers, gimp from a 1955 motorcycle accident, and manic onstage performances were even scarier to teenagers’ uptight parents than Elvis. Vincent was rockabilly and rock ‘n’ roll’s original bad boy with a bad attitude; he lived hard and died young, at age 36, of a ruptured ulcer. Musically, his influence, and that of his band The Blue Caps, in particular original guitarist Cliff Gallup, on the next generation of rock ‘n’ rollers was enormous, especially on the budding British Invaders of the mid-1960s like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and The Who.
Click on an image to open a larger view. Stephen Franck, Rip Masters, Ron Campi and Ron Finn rock out. Ronnie Mack burns it on a couple of songs. Chantiel Craddock and the emcee jump onstage for a photo during the band’s break. Stephen Franck, John Palmer, Russell Scott and Ron Finn get funky. All photos: Stephen K. Peeples.
Masters played piano on “Rose of Love,” one of Vincent’s last recordings. Campi is a rockabilly legend who shared a stage with Vincent in 1958 and recorded the tribute album “Forever Gene.” Mack is an L.A. rockabilly pioneer and mentor and host of the long-running Barn Dance showcases at The Palomino back in the ’70s and ’80s and now at Joe’s the first Monday of each month. Finkle and his band with Johnny “Spazz” Hatton from Brian Setzer’s band on bass rock like The Blue Caps did 55 years ago. Kakabeen leads popular L.A. retro-rockers Ronnie & The Classics; Scott fronts Russell Scott & His Red Hots, a hot new trio on the L.A. rockabilly scene; singer-songwriter Karen Tobin is a veteran of the L.A. country music scene who’s recorded for Arista Records and Atlantic Records Nashville. And singer-harmonica player-bandleader Mark “Torch” Tortoricci hosts the regular Wednesday night rockbilly rave-up and various “Dance at Joe’s” events at Joe’s Great American Bar & Grill.
Click on an image to open a larger view. Stephan Franck, John Palmer, Karen Tobin, Paul Marshall and Ron Finn head “Over the Rainbow.” Chantiel Craddock leans into it. The Torch blows a hot harmonica, as Marshall and Finn back him up. The grand finale shows how the circle is unbroken. All photos: Stephen K. Peeples.
Thanks to all the players, fans and organizers who made the night one to remember, and for inviting me to play a small role in celebrating Gene Vincent, one of my first rock ‘n’ roll heroes.
Here’s a rundown of what was scheduled to be played that night (but note there were a couple of changes on the fly; we’ll update the set list after reviewing all the video):
Joe Finkle & Band (Joe Finkle, guitar, vocals; Sean Cohan, lead guitar; Nick the Drummer, drums; Johnny “Spazz” Hatton, bass)
- Be Bop A Lula
- Five Days
- Hold Me Hug Me
- (Race with The Devil?)
Rip Masters (with House Band)
- Rose Of Love
- Race with The devil
Ray Campi (with Rip & House Band)
- Lotta Lovin’
- Rocky Road Blues
Ronnie Mack (with House Band)
- Lucky Star
- Important Words
- Say Mamma
- Dance To The Bop
Ron Kakabeen (with House Band)
- Pretty Pretty Baby
- Blues Stay Away From Me
- You told a Fib
Russell Scott (with House Band)
- Woman Love
Karen Tobin (with House Band)
- Baby Blue
- Blue Jean Bop
- Unchained Melody
- Over the Rainbow
Tina Craddock with daughter Brandi
- Mom and Dad’s Waltz
Chantiel Craddock (with Joe Finkle band)
• Gene and Eddie
Chantiel Craddock (with House Band)
- Pistol Packing Mama
- The Day the World Turned Blue
- I Sure Miss You
Mark “The Torch” Tortoricci (with House Band and Rip)
- Bird Doggin’
- Frankie & Johnnie
- Jump Back Honey Jump Back
- Where Have You Been All My Life
Finale (House band with Rip, Mark, Ronnie and Russell)
- Medley: I Fly Away/Will the Circle Be Unbroken
PISTOL-PACKIN’ MAMA SEEKS TOP GUNS — Carrying on her grandfather’s tradition, Chantiel Craddock aka Chantilly Lace is putting together an all-female rockbilly band she calls Pedals and Pistols. That’s nice, except she lives in Northern California. But if you’re really interested and are up for a little road trip, she’s auditioning female musicians at No Capital Records in Gilroy every Tuesday at 7 p.m. Call her at (408) 427-2255 or visit the “Pedals and Pistols: The Making of a Rock-a-billy Band” Facebook page for more info.
THE WRAP — Hope you enjoyed the 12th journey through Peeples Place at KHTS! You can always visit us right here at www.peeplesplace.com, and at our under-construction Peeples Place Facebook page. Please share the posts and “like” the page and help us build our online community of SCV music-makers and music-lovers. We also invite you to sign up for the weekly newsletter.
If you have a new album to review or music news you’d like us to include in an upcoming post, shoot an email to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Special thanks this week to all the artists, managers, media relations reps, families, friends and fans. Extra special thanks to Kaitlin Craft for her invaluable production assistance, and to Nadine A. Peeples for her invaluable encouragement and support.
With a face perfect for radio, I’ll see you on SCVTV Wednesday evening at 6:04-ish with the weekly SCV Entertainment Minute, and on AM 1220 KHTS Thursday morning at 8:10 when I preview the NEXT edition of…Peeples Place at KHTS.
Stephen K. Peeples is a Grammy-nominated record producer (“Monterey International Pop Festival,” MIPF/Rhino, 1992), an award-winning radio producer (“The Lost Lennon Tapes,” Westwood One, 1988-1990), an award-winning online editor (The Signal website, 2007-2011) and former music and entertainment columnist (The Signal, 2004-2011). He is host, writer and co-producer of the “House Blend” music and interview show on SCVTV (www.scvhouseblend.com), and drummer with on-hiatus SCV jazz group RainTree (www.raintreejazz.com). For more information, visit www.stephenkpeeples.com or email email@example.com.