HowellDevine, Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing
Saturday, June 17
Doors @ 8:00 PM MDT
Show @ 9:00 PM MDT
Ages: 21 and Over
Sexy, Shack-Shaking Music HowellDevine, the massively talented NorCal trio became the first blues band Arhoolie Records (Fred McDowell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Big Mama Thornton) signed in 27 years. Triple threat talent Joshua Howell (slide guitars, harmonica, voice) and percussion savant Pete Devine (drums, washboard) plus snappy doghouse bassist Joe Kyle Jr. deftly mix sinuous Delta/country blues with wildly syncopated rhythms to create a rollicking present day sound from the past. HowellDevine breaks from the norm, providing rich and complex textures integral to the music rather than simple backing for a soloist. The result is a sound which stands in stark contrast to the typical blues heard in bars these days and would more likely be shaking the floors of a Southern juke joint some 70 years ago. â€‹ Joshua Howell (Vocals, Guitar, Harmonica) Within three years of starting harmonica at the age of 14, Joshua was sitting in with many of the San Francisco Bay Area’s blues bands. He quickly became the desired house harmonica player in clubs such as Eli’s Mile High and Your Place Too, though his under-age status limited his exposure to only those clubs that could circumvent the age restrictions. During this period, he took up guitar, intently focused on learning the techniques of the Mississippi greats such as Fred McDowell, Bukka White, Robert Johnson and RL Burnside. While living in Santa Cruz, Joshua pursued a successful career in guitar making, developing the Howell & Forsyth Guitar Company. Though he continued to focus on playing music and gigging locally, music as a profession took a back seat to lutherie. It wasn’t until he moved to Thailand that he dedicated himself entirely to musicianship, taking on over 15 gigs a week as a solo artist. After three years playing professionally in Thailand’s mountainous north, Joshua returned to the U.S. and continued to perform in the San Francisco Bay Area. When he crossed paths with drummer and percussionist Pete Devine, they recognized their similar influences and musical sensibilities. Their common approach effortlessly generated a powerhouse combo of inspired and unaffected blues. Pete Devine (Drums & Washboard) Originally from Maine, Pete started playing drums when he was six years old. Since his move to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1989, he gained a national audience while playing with bands such as Bo Grumpus and Devine’s Jug Band. From one of the founding members of Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers to a 20-year stint with the Mal Sharpe’s Jazz Band, Pete’s musical range is extensive. He also kept busy as drummer for the Jug Town Pirates as well as the gypsy jazz band, Gaucho, for nine years, the latter voted “SF’s Best Jazz Band of 2009” by the SF Weekly’s reader poll. His ongoing recording career spanning the last 25 years has yielded over 35 records, including a recording with Maria Muldaur’s Garden of Joy Jug Band, an album that was nominated for a Grammy Award. Pete’s unique ‘old time’ drumming and jug blowing styles have taken him around the country, performing at venues such as SF’s Great American Music Hall, SF’s Davies Symphony Hall, The Danny Kay Theater in NYC for the JVC Jazz Festival, The Louisville Kentucky National Jug Band Jubilee, The LA Classic Jazz Festival, The SF Jazz Festival, The Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Missouri, and the famed Astoria Hotel in NYC, just to name a few. Joe Kyle Jr. (Upright Bass) It was during the Great Swing Wars of early-1990s San Francisco, when gigs were plentiful, public cigar smoking was legal, and vintage clothes were still cheap, that Joe was fortunate enough to have been drafted into musical service. Since that time he has become an in-demand player known for his superb feel, musical agility, and adaptability. Joe has been touring and recording with the Waybacks since mid-2001, and in such capacity has shared the stage with a host of notable roots music heroes including Bob Weir, Sam Bush, John Cowan, Joan Osborne, Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, Danny Barnes, Gillian Welch and David Rawlings, Grace Potter, Mike Marshall, Darol Anger, Jim Lauderdale and Bela Fleck. He might be the only bassist to have played with Martin Denny, Al Kooper AND Pinetop Perkins, although not at the same time, sadly.
Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing
Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing is a 3-piece Organ Trio consisting of Little Charlie Baty on guitar, Lorenzo Farrell on organ, and Jason Hansen on drums. The organ trio came into popularity in the late 1950â€™s and early 60â€™s with such stars as Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Groove Holmes leading the way. Baty, Farrell and Hansen played together for several years as Little Charlie and the Nightcats (along with vocalist/harp player Rick Estrin) and often played jazz and jump instrumentals in this group. Lorenzo Farrell played bass in the Nightcats at that time. The LCNC recordings featured instrumental performances of this group within the group. After Baty left the group in 2008, Lorenzo Farrell began exploring the Hammond organ as a means of musical expression. The trio of Baty, Farrell and Hansen continued to rehearse together and expanded the organ trio motif to include gypsy jazz and Brazilian choro music. Their 2016 release â€˜Skronky Tonkâ€™ on the Eller Soul label received a lot of critical acclaim, including a 4 star review in the prestigious jazz magazine Downbeat. Little Charlie continues to play blues and jazz in a variety of settings, and Lorenzo Farrell and Jason Hansen have played with Rick Estrin and the Nightcats and with other Bay Area groups. This special project Little Charlie and Organ Grinder Swing enables the trio to explore a wide variety of music in an instrumental setting and consists of 3 members who have toured the world as part of Little Charlie and the Nightcats. Swing, bop, blues, Latin, gypsy jazz are all components of their repertoire. Improvisation, humor, dexterity, and the jazz spirit decorate their performances. All with a heavy dash of blues. Catch this exciting organ trio soon! Charlie Baty was born in Alabama in 1953, moved to California at the age of 8, and began playing harmonica at the age of 12. Charlie soon formed his own blues band and began to perform at high school and community events. He soon also picked up guitar and eventually became intrigued with blues and jazz guitar. By the age of 18, while attending UC Berkeley, Charlie was performing in Bay Area blues clubs and happened to meet Rick Estrin through a mutual friendâ€”harmonica player, Gary Smith. A few years later (in 1976), Rick Estrin telephoned Charlie and suggested forming a musical union and â€˜Little Charlie & the Nightcatsâ€™ was born. Charlie switched from harmonica to guitar and Rick took over the singing and harmonica playing. During the early years of the Nightcats, Charlie & Rick fronted house bands at the Sacramento Blues Festival and University of Oregon Blues Festival, appeared in many regional festivals, and slowly developed a loyal following. In these early years â€˜Little Charlie and the Nightcatsâ€™ backed up Big Mama Thornton, Tiny Powell, Charles Brown, Sonny Rhodes, Albert Collins, Floyd Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Gatemouth Brown, Pee Wee Crayton, in addition to performing their own shows at festivals. In 1982 the band recorded its first record, a 45 of a Rick Estrin original â€˜Homely Girlâ€™ backed with â€˜Run Me Downâ€™. Little Charlieâ€™s guitar playing was recognized by Robert Cray in an early interview he did with Rolling Stone Magazine, and eventually the band signed with Alligator Records and released â€˜All the Way Crazyâ€™ in 1987. Charlie Baty has continued to grow as a guitarist, playing blues, jazz, western swing, and other types of music and combining these styles to form a unique voice. Charlie has recorded 10 records with Alligator, 3 records with John Hammond on Point Blank (all 3 nominated for Grammies), and appeared as a guest on records by Joe Louis Walker, Kid Ramos, J.W. Jones, Mark Hummel and others. In 2008, Little Charlie decided to leave the Nightcats (which continues on as Rick Estrin and the Nightcats) to pursue other musical interests, such as gypsy jazz, traditional jazz, and Brazilian choro music. Little Charlie abandoned retirement to play blues with harp player Mark Hummel as a special guest guitarist, recording a live CD â€“Remembering Little Walter â€“ on the Blind Pig label. This CD features Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Boy Arnold, and other notable blues harp players performing songs recorded by the late Little Walter. The Remember Little Walter CD was nominated for a Grammy and won two Blues Music Awards â€“ Best Blues Record of the Year and Best Traditional Record of the Year. Little Charlie toured with Texas-based guitarist Anson Funderburgh and Mark Hummel in a format called the Golden State/Lone Star Revue for several years from late 2012 until late 2016 and recorded 2 CDs with this project on the Electro Fi label. Golden State/Lone Star Revue has been nominated for blues band of the year in 2016 by the Blues Music Awards and their latest record was nominated for Traditional Blues Record of the Year. Little Charlie Baty decided to leave this combo at the end of 2016 and concentrate on other projects, including his Organ Grinder swing project. His new release on the Eller Soul label, Skronky Tonk, has received critical acclaim and earned an impressive 4 star revue in Down Beat magazine. Little Charlie has recorded 2 CDs with artist Big Harmonica George. Additionally, Little Charlie has performed many times with Canadian guitar star J. W. Jones, jazz vocalist and pianist Dawn Lambeth, and continues to pursue his interests in gypsy jazz by heading up the Little Charlie Caravan. He continues to develop and define his guitar style and his many influences have resulted in a truly unique voice in the music world.