Tuesday, January 24, 2006

INAUGURAL POST: The Crown Jewels of Las Vegas Music

This weblog has been started to serve as an online watering hole for fans (and soon-to-be fans) of the stunning Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns of Las Vegas, an utterly explosive 14 member funk/fusion/salsa/soul band comprised of some of our town's premier players, cats that play all week in some of the best shows on the Strip, and then convene at 10:15 pm on Monday nights in the Sound Trax lounge at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino (I-15 & Sahara) to let it all hang out in a spirit of loose, irreverent fun for the pure love of music. Six-piece blazing horn section. The charts are CRAZY good. The unreal rhythm section makes it difficult for you to stay in your seats, the killer lead and harmony vocals leave you shaking your heads.

And, most important of all, they are the nicest group of people you'll ever meet. The mutual affection in the room is a blessing to behold. These dudes make the world a better place. As bandleader Jerry Lopez says, "Let the Healing Begin."

For some live CD mp3 audio cut samples, click here, and for some Windows Media Video (wmv) format video clips from their live DVD, click here. Turn the sound up LOUD!

We also encourage knowledgeable players and fans to chime in here about all topics musical, 'cuz we support live music and the dedicated performers and writers who so enrich our lives. Let us know what you think, and share with everyone what you know about other hip stuff going on in music.

UPDATE- re: some other hip stuff FYI. Here are a couple of mp3 cuts from my long-time drummer/writer/singer friend and 70's bandmate Kurt Kolstad of the Seattle area, [1] Steely Dan's
Night by Night (w/his band "Type-A"), and [2] a live bar gig cut of The Commodores' Night Shift, a 4-pc group (Kurt on lead vocal and tubs, keyboardist throwing down big-time on left-hand Rhodes bass). Kurt is MY MAN! Kurt's been having some really tough health times lately. Say a prayer and send some healing energy his way. He's a beautiful and necessary cat.


Anonymous said...

Dude you write some cool stuff. I am a member of the Santa Fe Band and have been for over 30 years. Never has any one person written so much nice stuff about us. Thank you,

BobbyG said...

LL -

You bet. I simply write the truth about what I observe. I think [1] my long prior background as a gigging musician and [2] my inspired (and humbled) reaction simply as a fan (one of a rapidly growing number) to what I see and hear account for it. Inspiration is often in short supply in our world. You guys provide it by the truckload.

Anonymous said...

For the past three months, since hearing about Santa Fe, I've become a "devote". I never miss a Monday. Why? The quality of playing and vocals, arrangements and choice of tunes blows me away. Even though the tunes repeat weekly, I love the stuff anyway. Dynamic and energy driven. Nonetheless, and as a fan of jazz, blues and latin since 1957 but preferring the contemporary harmony and music of the 70's, let me suggest the following cuts in case new material is being considered:
1. City Life by the Blackbyrds
2. After the Love is Gone by EW&F
3. Soul Vibrations by Kool & Gang
4. I'll write a song for you EW&F
5. Brazilian Rhyme EW&F
6. Serpentine Fire EW&F
7. Let's Groove EW&F
8. What's Hip - Tower of Power

If you already do any of these, it just shows you that I'm becoming familiar with your work and still learning about it.

I realize this is audacious...just want to "stretch" the song book a bit and challenge the arrangers. I love you guys...you charge my battery for the week.

BobbyG said...


Thanks. Yeah, I bet we all have our songlist recs, 'eh?

BTW- They already do EW&F "After The Love Is Gone." I was sittin' there with Joel Richman Monday night during that tune, and Rochon was playing some nuanced line that was SO outa the galaxy cool and perfect. Joel and I looked at each other, and he said 'yeah, it's ridiculous, man...'

Anonymous said...

Babe1941 checking in to comment...

Huge fan of Jerry & Santa Fe for about 5 years now. Their show at the Palace Station kicks ass! I fly in from NJ every chance I get to see them. I first saw Jerry perform in STORM and fell in love with the passion in his voice. Went on a mission to hear more!

LL... how's it hangin'!!!

Got the CD when it came out and just got the DVD! WOW! These guys are tight. Jerry on that Alhambra blows me away when he plays that intro on Canta Con Migo!

Anonymous said...

Knowing more about each guy i.e., his background, who he's played with, musical schooling, where he's playing now, his private life and a few of his own thoughts...we'd all like to know more about each member since they are becoming so important in our lives. So important, that we go out of our way to follow them wherever they go and even tap into our sleep time. It would be my honor to interview each one on a Monday night during intermission, and eventually put the info here on the site. Would that be agreeable? One from the group let me know after you take a poll OK?
Micki Jay
Jazz fan & independent writer of important local and world issues

BobbyG said...

Hey, Micki -

They have some individual bio stuff up on the main band website, but, yeah, it'd be cool to do new interview stuff with each of them on the blog. Run it by some of them on Monday (I'll be in Florida tending to ailing parents. Leaving on the red-eye tonight).

Anonymous said...

Bobby, will do. Hope your folks are OK...I know they will be glad to see ya. mj

Anonymous said...

Interview with Lenny Lopez, 2/6/06


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" & 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 LV & now lives in Henderson and Teasdale, Utah. He's got 2 daughters, 22 & 21 as well as 2 sons, 9 & 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 Vandros & Louis Miguel. Pertaining to percussion, it was Hermando Peraza who 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" & a Xmas album with Dave Richardson called "Let there be peace on Earth".

Bell Music Prod's calls on Jerry and Lenny to do jingles...i.e. McDonalds. They do a lot of them. Did we realize that?

He's concerned about protection of cold water sheds in N. America and considers conservation essential for the future of the planet. He teaches children about the eco system, trout and salmon protection and preservation/restoration of the habitat.

He suggests checking out http:www.SNCTU.org and http://www.TU.org.

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



BobbyG said...

Thanks for the props. They ARE fabulous, 'eh? Hard to believe.

I forwarded your message to to Jerry Lopez. You might also want to make an eny in their website guestbook. I don't think they've arranged for online sales yet.


Anonymous said...

Are you gonna ask BC to sit in? I've read your comments about Bill
looking fwd. to your show

BobbyG said...

Yeah, and I bet Champlin would sit in in a heartbeat if he's ever here on a Monday night. Google "Champlin MayDay".

They did a CD together, Bill and some of the Santa Fe guys.