Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Santa Fe and The Fat Tuesday Horns

By the time the band kicked off "Just Kiddin'" to open the first set it was already Fat Tuesday in Louisiana. So, the Mardi Gras beads I brought back were somehow appropriate.

ABOVE: Phil Wigfall, on fire, as always. Y'all simply gotta buy his solo CD if you don't already have it. It is absolutely first-class (sample cut HERE). BTW- Mickijay posted a profile of Phil in the comments. I'll re-post it as an article ASAP. Below, Jerry Lopez kicks our butts on "Come Back Home." Oh, the harmonies!. Do you guys EVER sing off-key? I have yet to hear it, and I hear every little nuance. That's friggin' amazing. I told Jamie last night 'I'm sure you guys are in violation of some federal anti-trust law, for havin' too much talent on one stage.' LOL!

BELOW: Rochon solos. Yikes! What can you say? Man! Blaise was sittin' next to me flippin' out. We were both flippin' out, actually (BTW- come hear Blaise at Sedona Fri/Sat 10 pm w/Ronnie Foster, Jerry, Jamie, and Pepe. Nice, up-close venue, and the music is awesome).

UPDATE (below): a message from Jerry...

My friends,

Another friendly reminder about our therapy sessions out at Boulder Station starting at 10:30 and going till 1:30. The week has been long, or is going to be, and the doctor has prescribed an organic blend of funk, salsa and other natural and healing ingredients to heal whatever ails you!

This is a new room for us and we are trying to make it as comfortable as possible -- please give us your feedback. We are also considering other Station Casino Properties for our home. Do you have a suggestion?

ALSO: NEXT MONDAY NIGHT!! we will have TWO GUEST ARTISTS, from the renowned "First Family of Jazz" in the midwest...

Paul "St. Paul" Peterson, and Jason Peterson Delaire!! Both Prince band alumni, and outstanding artists in their own rights!! Resum├ęs too long to list!! Please check out their websites below for more info.

This is going to be a cookin' night!! Don't miss it!

- Jerry Lopez

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Laisse bon ton roulette

Feb 27th UPDATE: Laisse bon ton roulette le Nast'!!! Y'all come by Boulder Station and get (hit with) some genuine 2006 Mardi Gras beads tonight. I shlepp'ed a grocery bag of 'em back here from the rowdy Spanish Town parade in Baton Rouge on Saturday (see below). - BG

Dispatch from Louisiana

February 25th, 2006, Baton Rouge. It's cold, and raining like mad. But, we are ready. 10 a.m. and the beverages are in place. The air is filled with zydeco music and other swampy funk riffs (some big horn band playin' at the moment, the funk down here is a lot looser, jangly'er -- swampier). I can't believe we're into the sauce already. But, yeah...pace yourself, BobbyG, pace yourself...


ABOVE: Cheryl is in 10 a.m. major party mode. BELOW: Charlie Crawdad is about to enter the top of the food chain. Before & After pics.


I'll be bringin' a huge pile of Mardi Gras beads to the gig Monday night. Be interesting trying to squeeze all this stuff in my carry-on luggage (tryin' not to check any bags this trip).

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Playin' with PhotoDraw

This is from one of the pics I shot Monday night at the Boulder Station gig. Rendered it in Microsoft PhotoDraw (their now-discontinued PhotoShop knock-off). Click the image. Then right-click to save and/or send it. Pay it forward. Each one reach one (recursively, just for starters). Without YOU, we are nothing. Spread the word.
UPDATE, FYI- Tony Q just copied me on an email about a live radio segment featuring him and other artists in his management company's stable (Spank Management), being aired Friday, Feb 24th, at 11 a.m. on KLAV 1230am.
Tony wrote:
1) Click on the following link: http://www.klav1230am.com
2) Then click on "Enter site"
3) Then click on "on air" and listen live
Check it out.
Feb 24, 4:40 am update - outa here to Louisiana shortly: LAS -- > ATL --> BTR on Delta from some laisse bon ton roulette excess this weekend. Got my copy of "The War of Art" with me. See y'all Monday night. - BG

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Diff'rent night, same Nast'

February 20th, 2006: yet another night of the thundering excellence we are blessed to witness at the Monday evening liturgical services of the First Ecumenical Grease Gospel Church of Fat City Sauce and Salsa. AAAaaaaaaa-MEN!

Pepe's solo left us all shakin' our heads. Throw DOWN, dude! Below: close-up crop from the original shot. Mr. Hummingbird Hands!

BELOW: Ruben Laxamana rules the front of the house (seen here with Jerry about 15 minutes prior to Lights Up). How'd you like to come to the gig and have less than an hour to EQ and balance a massive, complex audio board and 6 foot rack of power and signal gear that gets used by all the other acts during the week and gets left for you to reset -- for a fully mic'd 14 pc band with 4 lead singers, a Sam Ash warehouse full of percussion, and a 6 pc horn section? Ruben Gits 'er Done, no sweat! Great work, Ruben.

BELOW: Don't try this at home, y'all; these men are professionals. (Is that one beautiful sight, or what?) We also gotta give props to Kelly of the Railhead crew for the great job with the lights.

GLOBAL NEWS UPDATE: Aviation adventurer Steve Fossett encountered severe stratospheric turbulence during his recent record-setting around-the-world flight. NASA meteorological scientists subsequently determined that it had been caused by Lenny Lopez's lead vocal on Toto's "Rosanna." The "Butterfly Effect" pales in comparison to the "Dr. Lenny Lopez Effect," LOL! (Hell, I could sing like that -- if I'd been intubated with a helium canister throat implant.)

Random thought I had: Listening to Santa Fe deep-funk-fry the James Brown "I Feel Good" tune last night, it occured to me '...y'know, these dudes are the only band on earth that could make the "Satin Doll" of funk - "Chameleon" - sound new and inspiring...' Hahaha...jus' take my word for it. We don't need y'all to prove it. (How many times have any of us jammed on THAT thing!!! LOL!)

UPDATE- Rochon is now also gigging Wed thru Sun from 10pm to 1am at the Hooters Casino (Trop, directly south of MGM Grand, just east of the Tropicana Hotel/Casino) in the 13 Martini Bar with an R&B group called "Level 8." Be sure to swing by and check it out. BTW- After they learned of Roch's recent car wreck (he got hit by a DUI driver), they've been gracious enough to send a Hooters limo to pick him up every night after he gets outa Clint's show at Harrah's.

ALSO- A bit off-topic in terms of genre, but, I was checkin' in at the Vegas Craigslist musicians site the other day, and ran across a post by an L.A. band called "Dog n Butterfly," a group that does a "Heart" tribute show. Very professional-looking website. Their stage photos make mine look pretty wimpy. But, I'm gonna catch up. Once I get a grip on high-speed film emulation w/sharp focus in low available light using my digital, BobbyG will be up to speed. (It'd probably help if I used a tripod and manual focus rather than just blazing away hand-held on auto-focus while trying not to knock peoples' drinks over.) I'm up for any suggestions from the more techno-photographically astute.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Rippin' at the Railhead

Monday, February 13th, Railhead Saloon at Boulder Station. A 14 Alarm Fire, as usual. It's a wonder they don't set off the sprinkler system. Great venue, beautiful decor. The stage lighting and sound system are first-class. (Though, to be honest, were it my room, I'd be hangin' some angled ceiling arrays of heavy theatrical valances to knock out the muddling low and mid-Hz standing waves. Lotta hard surfaces in Railhead. Just my acoustical physics $0.02. I'm just sayin'.)

BTW- We now own Google results ranking. This blog has been up now for a mere 3 weeks, but if you go to Google.com and type in "Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns" (w/the quotation marks) you'll pretty much always get this blog, the band's homepage, my recurrent Santa Fe Craigslist posts, and my Wikipedia entry all on page one of Google results. This is no accident. BobbyG is workin' the 'net; a meta-taggin', reciprocal-linkin' fool. We ain't payin' dime one for this "positioning," either.

In fact, that's one simple, clean, to-the-point I-15 billboard slogan marketing hook idea (...billboards...hmmm...I wuz drivin' up the 15 to the office yesterday...hmmmm...):

Google THIS!
"Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns"
When you gotta have your Grease and Salsa HOT!!!

Pay it forward, y'all...

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Let the healing continue

The following is a "blinded" copy of an email sent to Santa Fe's Gabriel Falcone by one of his musician friends. He agreed to let us post it on the blog. I took out any personally identifiable references out of respect for his privacy. I'd asked that we be permitted to share his important and relevant thoughts and feelings. They certainly reflect many of my own.

- BobbyG

_______________

Gabriel,

It was great to see you Monday at Boulder Station and yes, that venue is definitely a huge step forward - it was a pleasure. It's been a while since I've come out to see Santa Fe and I thoroughly enjoyed the band in its current form. Dave's arrangements are "the shizzle", the band is incredibly tight, Pepe sounded great, I couldn't believe how great EVERYONE was singing and man, I gotta tell you - your percussion solo totally took me by surprise. I was really impressed and excited to watch your performance.

I don't think I've seen you play like that before, so please accept my genuine respect and compliments, you sounded absolutely great and it was very uplifting and inspiring for me to see that. Thank you!

Since my house gig is ending on short notice after 2 years, I've battled a couple mood swings; from driven and motivated down to worried and somewhat depressed. I guess that's normal at first and even though I'm confident that I'll manage to keep working, I'm still somewhat nervous since I have a mortgage and obviously want to keep what I've built and worked my ass off for in the last couple years.

I'm glad to find myself maturing more into the positive, creative mindset though at this point and actually, seeing great musicians playing their ass off last Monday and feeling the joy that projected from that stage really helped me to focus my thoughts again and look forward to the opportunities ahead instead of dwelling on the problems.

I'm now actually kinda waiting to end that house gig and feel very excited to play different music again -- play with better musicians (without a computer), feel the joy of being a musician, the joy of being creative, be challenged and learn, evolve, grow, be inspired by the people I play with. All those things that make our lives as musicians so special and that sometimes don't quite materialize in a lounge band, being a sideman to a Mac G5.

In short - I know you guys are working 7 days a week also and sometimes it's hard to still pull off the Santa Fe gig, to find the strength and inspiration. So please know that this time around your effort and dedication has made a big difference for me at this particular time of change in my life. It gave me inspiration as a musician and lifted my spirit as a person. It gave me my spark back. It felt really f***ing good and I needed that.

Thank you! I hope to see you soon and send you my warmest regards,

Yours,

M
________________

Yeah, bro'. Bless you.

Throwin' down at Sedona with Ronnie Foster

Every Friday and Saturday at Sedona, starting at 10 pm, Jerry, Jamie, and Gabe of Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns, along with bassist par excellance Blaise Sison, get together to make great music with incredible keyboard master Ronnie Foster of the Clint Holmes show. Da boys wuz layin' down the jazz and funk last night! Man! I threw a little PhotoPaint watercolor effect on Jerry (below). Click on the pic.

My wife Cheryl, my blessed, ageless Main Squeeze of 32 years, arranged for my 60th birthday party at Sedona last night. What a fabulous evening. Thanks to all my family and friends who came. Thanks to Ronnie and the guys in the awesome band. I love you all. And, thanks also to the gracious Sedona staff for the wonderul service.

BTW- Runnin' Ronnie Foster is the only dude near my age I've found who is more of a total gym rat hoop-it-up maniac than yours truly, the orthopedic clinic regular BobbyG. Ronnie got serious 2-Guard Game, and can be found at 24 Hour Fitness Sport clubs and elsewhere around town at all wee hours, runnin' the homies into the floor. We hooked up on court in Henderson a couple of weeks ago, and left some young bucks scratchin' they heads (of course, to be honest, we had the MVP services of my one-man wrecking crew, everywhere-at-once 19 yr old nephew Chasley, makin' our Old School butts look good!). My good fortune truly runneth over.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

The War of Art

Just before I left for Florida on the February 2nd red-eye to yet again go take care of stuff for my severely ailing parents, Jerry Lopez recommended – no, insisted – that I get and read forthwith a copy of Steven Pressfield’s book “The War of Art.” So, I did.

My plane was an hour and a half late getting outa here, and I finished reading it as we rolled down the runway for take-off at 12:15 a.m. I wanted to whip my cell phone out and (illegally at that point) leave Jerry a huge, effusive "thank YOU, bro'..." message. This book explains perfectly the unshakable creative work ethos of our beloved Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns. Jerry calls it "Our Manual." I can see why. In fact, here's what Jerry wrote me in an email yesterday:

...I have given that book out to just about all of my friends and people that I care about that need a "kick in the ass." I was turned on to it by my brother in law who is the guitarist in "Mama Mia." I consider that book our "manual"...

I am certainly now the grateful recipient of my own recurrently requisite "kick in the ass." I conjure up this wild-assed vision of myself buying this book by the case and handing copies out on Monday nights at the gig, like some deranged evangelist street preacher handing out Bible tracts. LOL!

You gotta buy this book (no, I will not be bringing in a case of them Monday night to Boulder Station). Click on the cover graphic above; it'll take you to a way cool Flash a/v demo of Steve's book.

While in Florida, between the chaotic next-of-kin duty episodes, I headed straight for Barnes and Noble in Melbourne and bought every Steven Pressfield book they had. I read straight through his beautifully written novel "The Legend of Bagger Vance" and have started on two of the others. This man is one eloquent, inspiring writer, and has an amazing life story and right-on-the-pulse take on life. Check out his website in detail.

Pressfield 101: Just Do It. Do The Work. Now (and, it's always 'now'). Screw 'Healing'; Play Hurt. Don't be a "Victim" (a favorite American interpersonal soap-opera pastime). Never, Ever Give Up. Contribute your unique genius, we need it...

Just buy his book, OK? It hardly needs my spin.

I am so glad to be home (I keep one bag mentally packed at all times these days). Can't wait to see all of you Monday night. My Mom and Dad have been married 61 years now! Here's the "then," and here's the "now." Dad (89) is in a nursing home with severe dementia, probably not gonna live much longer -- they're now talkin' hospice (at least we got him to laugh the other day). He left a leg behind in Europe during WWII. My mother (84) has her own chapter in the hospital ICD-9 manual, but jus' keeps on truckin' -- bipolarity, hypertension, arthritis, thyroid stuff and all. She's a handful.

I gotta laugh: I have often recently thought, when watching parents with young kids fumbling around with the strollers and etc kid paraphenalia, 'man, I am SO over that, diggin' my empty nest...' Then it struck me the other day as I was fumbling around getting my Mom's hi-tech walker contraption and etc crap outa the trunk of the rental car at a restaurant...

LMAO!

UPDATE, 2/13 - Regarding Pressfield's "Screw Healing" observation (my paraphrase, BTW), the astute reader might ask "yeah, but what about Jerry's 'Let The Healing Begin' principle?" Steve would, I'm sure, say something like "look, life is a continual contact -- no, collision -- sport. You will either have to 'play hurt' much of the time, or you simply won't play." In other words, waiting around to "get healed" before Doing Your Work is simply giving in to Resistance, and passing on the realization of your potential. Doing Your Work is part of "healing." Just my $0.02. I'm confident both Jerry and Steve would concur. -BG

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Mickijay profiles Lenny Lopez

FIRST PROFILE IN A SERIES OF ALL OF THE MUSICIANS, ONE A MONTH -

By Mickijay

This man is really involved with life, as a family man, a musician and a conservationist! 31 yrs ago he co-founded Santa Fe with Jerry. They were called "Los Hermanitos Lopez y La Compania" and played latin sounds. He was 12! Now he does vocals and percussion but in the early years, it was other instruments. In 1972, he came to Las Vegas, and now lives in Henderson and Teasdale, Utah. He's got 2 daughters, 22 and 21 as well as 2 sons, 9 and 7. How about he's got 3 grandkids! He's newly married at 47 yrs (looks young huh?) and life is looking really good.

As a musician, he likes maintaining a high profile in the group and works with only the best, like Santa Fe but he's open to a special group, if it happens. In May, he's gone for 6 months as a guide in Utah as a First Cast Coordinator (must be a fishing thing). He attended North Texas State, where he played the trumpet but credits his dad for starting the brothers on guitar early in life. Most influenced by Stevie Wonder, Luther Vandross, and Louis Miguel. Pertaining to percussion, it was Hermando Peraza whom he enjoyed the most.

He's recorded with Louis Miguel on "Segundo Romance el Concerto", the original Santa Fe album and did 2 of his own, "Mia" and a Christmas album with Dave Richardson called "Let there be peace on Earth." Bell Music Productions calls on Jerry and Lenny to do jingles...i.e. McDonald's. They do a lot of them. Did we realize that?

He's concerned about protection of cold watersheds in North America and considers conservation essential for the future of the planet. He teaches children about the ecosystem, trout, and salmon protection and preservation/restoration of the habitat. He suggests checking out www.SNCTU.org and www.TU.org.

Working with Jerry is awsome, and there is no one he respects or trusts more that his older brother (2 yrs). Both are great fly fishermen (www.xstreamflyfishing.org) and they love all sports.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Opening night at Boulder Station

I am in Florida on next-of-kin duty tending to ailing parents, so I had to miss opening night at Boulder Station. My daughter shot this pic.

My wife told me the band was cookin' (surprise, surprise), and that Gil took one solo in particular that was off the scale. Likewise, Pepe fried the tubs during a solo.

UPDATE, Feb 9th: Got home late last night. I turn 60 today. Lots to think about. On one topic, FYI, Jerry Lopez hipped me to a wonderful book by acclaimed novelist
Steven Pressfield entitled "The War of Art." Buy it.

Jerry, I could not be more grateful for this heads-up.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

YEAH!

The new Home of Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns is the "Railhead" nightclub inside of the Boulder Station Casino! The address is 4111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas, NV 89121. This is a beautiful club that we know you are going to LOVE!! Click here to see the layout.

The band will be there EVERY MONDAY NIGHT starting at 10:30 and going till 1:30

See you there!

- Jerry Lopez and the guys

Jerry Lopez 2004 interview

The hands of the Master...

Also...a review of Phil Wigfall's wonderful CD:

"...“Cosmic Soul” is bona fide non-cosmetic jazz at its very best, complimented by an array of unfaultable influences making this record a must for serious contemporary jazz lovers everywhere!..."

I could not agree more. One fine piece of work, right up there with the rest of The Big Boys.