Tuesday, March 15, 2016


Talk about a funky good time!!! We definitely had it at this introductory outing in Riga, Latvia recently. I was totally surprised to make such a killer band in a stellar city. I was once in this town several years back when I got stuck in Riga on the way to Odessa, Ukraine for a festival performance. I have since returned and have to say to light a nice proverbial fire that apparently has been burning enough to warrant a return visit. This time in August of this year during a festival in the same city as was as the 2nd venue. Leipaja is the site of the a festival called The Fontaine Festival August the

We started with an The Wild Magnolias Staple "Party" as a icebreaker cover song Mardi Gras was in the house. We must have play it for about 10-15 minutes which was my intention. I wanted to make sure everyone there was aware of precisely what we there for. I would have had us play it for 20 minutes if needed be but the the time we did it was enough to get people good and bothered. I could see one guy in particular when groove hit him he screamed something in Latvian which I think must have been roughly translated as Dang Dat s¤%t is Fonky Fonky. So we had 'em up. Trick was how do we keep 'em up? 

Bass Solo ... There is old joke I used to hate.. it had something to do with natives killing people and all was lost because there was  bass solo. Man I always felt I had to rewrite that joke, Because I love the bass  and this young Italian brother in arms is just the man to change that dialog. Just 20 years old this cat is fresh and funky and gets into some bass lines that I thought no one who ever find interesting. His name is Daniele Lovato and plays with a kickin' band called Odd-Rey and hails from one of the coolest countries on the planet you guessed it ... Italy. At one point during the sound check he played a certain Diana Ross songs' bassline "My Piano" or one of these and I lost it

Guntis Veilands play keyboards and saxophone and kinda reminds me of Ray Manzarek with a kind of jazz awareness mixed with an understated respect for music that one finds a good bit with film composers its no surprise that he is one foremost film people in Latvia. His keyboard that night was a Rhodes going through a Fender amp "loved that"! Did I mention he plays Alto sax as well. Which to me was like bass and drum break down city a la Mardi Gras day baby!

What can I say about this drummer. John Marcley is truly a legendary cat from the underground New Orleans rock scene a la early, meaning before Katrina. One of my first New Orleans rock inspirations can you say (Billy Bones, David Starr, Niel Laney, Tabula Rasa, Four for Nothing, Better Than Ezra et al)  I lucked out big time as a band leader and found this man in Europe living here in Europe no doubt and holding down the fort in Riga, Latvia of all places. My man we doing it again in August of 2016.