Saturday, July 18, 2009

Backbeat Village US debuts at Green Valley Ranch

Well, this was certainly nice. 10 piece lineup, 4 piece horn section. Everybody reading charts. It's a fine book, too. This was their first gig after about 6 weeks of startup rehearsals, I am told. While the repertoire is pretty much straight-ahead classic R&B (repertoire list here), there's a nice, fluid, and fairly sophisticated edge to the book. One tune in particular was way (and delightfully) counter-intuitive: the "Play That Funky Music, White Boy" chart was, well, Santa Fe & The Fat City Horns-ish nasty and innovative. And I wouldn't make that allusion were it not accurate. They slammed it quite nicely. Santa Fe fans woulda dug that one seriously.

Female lead vocalist Staci Wilson is a new Vegas emigre from NYC. She told me this was her very first band gig. She's a mainly a theatrical musical stage actress by training and experience. Chick can throw it down.

Very, very good band all around, solid players. Doesn't hurt one whit to have Jozef Bobula on bass. Great story, he is.

A few more shots for now...

Above: as they were ending, I tried to get them to do a post-show bow (for PR purposes), but some of the cats kept playing, LOL. I hardly know these peeps yet. Maybe now we can fill that thus far empty photo page on their website (I got about 90 shots altogether, I'm just gonna give 'em all to the band).

Tonight's debut lineup:
  • Trumpet & Vocals - Mike Robb
  • Alto - Alex Jackson (Music Director)
  • Trombone - Randy Crawford
  • Bari - Beau Fleming
  • Guitar - Carlos Guerrero
  • Bass - Jozef Bobula
  • Keys - Vita Corimbi (sub)
  • Drums - Shawn Elsbernd (sub)
  • Female vox - Staci Wilson
  • Male vox - Anthony James (AJ)

Yeah, little brother.

OK, tomorrow, recall (see prior blog post), UNLV Theater, our Nathan Tanouye Conducts the Las Vegas Jazz Connection Orchestra doing John Williams' "My Fair Lady Swings." Clint Holmes and Cyndie-Lee on vocals. 2 pm. I will be doing pics.

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