This Friday is a special show. The Tommy Johnson Show will be headlining, but warming the night up will be Tasha Taylor. Tasha has quietly been building a following, but for those who just can't get out mid-week to see her on a Tuesday (she performs every Tuesday), Friday is a great time to check her out. Come early - her set will start around 9:00.
(l—r) Wes Smith, Will Artrope and Zane Musa are the horn section. The rest of the band is Tommy King (keys), Kunio Kaneki (drums), Kyle Bolden (guitar), Rick Taub (bass) and Jon Harrison Taylor (guitar)
Tasha and the band play every Tuesday night. Her CD Taylor Made is available at the gig and all the usual outlets.
Using a Canon G-10, I shot this clip of James Gadson on the drums playing one of the beats he "owns"; "Use Me", the Bill Withers classic that Gadson righteously layed down for the groove. Gadson used to sit in on Monday night at Harvelle's as part of blues guitarist Kirk Fletcher's residency. This particular session, the band approached the tune reverentially, but other then the original funked-up drum part, the jam lacks the beauty of the original. I have issues with the vocalist, but then again, Bill Withers was an exceptional singer and almost anyone would have trouble covering one of his tunes better than himself, however, props to the guy for trying and this clip is about James Gadson anyway!!
Recently this video reached it's 10,000 view!!
10,000 people checking out Gadson's grooves!!
The House Of Vibe AllStars is a collective of players, singers and rappers who get together every Wednesday night to stir souls and kick out the jams. Not all at once of course, but a night with HOVAS is like a cool party. It starts mellow but ends up a full-out bash. You never know who's gonna drop by!!
Shaunte and Sebastian
Chali 2na and LaidLaw
It's funk, it's hip-hop, it's soul and r&b. There's nothing like it anywhere else. Every Wednesday, Brew and the crew get down like it's the last day on earth.
Like it's 1999.
It must be experienced to be understood.
A HOVAS show is like surfing a giant wave on an inflatable ass. It's like getting yelled at for playing your drums too loud - and not caring. It's like winning at chess and selling the most candy bars. It's impossible not to have a memorable time.
Just Dave Band's Lessons Learned Vol. 1 sounds like a bunch of friends jammin' in the barnhouse, empty amber Bud™ bottles everywhere, vintage Fender™ amps buzzing deep into the night while the tape rolls. Spontaneous, inspired and rough around the edges, Dave testifies his heart-felt lyrics - sincere as Al Green - and full of So-Cal Holden Caufield angst and Gram Parsons narratives of traveling North of Ventura Blvd - (i.e. buying wine at Ralph's on Riverside Dr. in "My Old Crummy Life"). I can definitely relate to that!!!
At times Dylan-esoteric or Eagles-rockin' and others Steely Dan-shiny, Dave Bernal's (aka J.D.) strong song-writing skill-set and obvious joy at the performing of these songs makes for an enjoyable experience which has been accompanied by repeated listenings. Of course the star here is Bernal's harmonica playing! Innovatve, captivating and wholly musical, JD says a lot through that mouth harp of his.
The Burrito Brothers-esque "California Wildfire" bounces around comfortably full of sharp pedal steel and a sing-along chorus. Interesting thing about those California wildfires is that they can be witnessed from the basin of the San Fernando Valley; they can be felt (especially when those Santa Ana's kick in early in the fall), but they don't venture into the 'burbs of "the Valley". There's definitely a lot of heat there ("I been through hell" J.D. declares in "It's Only Life")!!
Just Dave (the band) is J.D.(vocals, harmonica, guitar), Johnny Stachela (guitar), Nelson Blanton (guitar), Lawrence Baulden (bass) and Dennis Pagano (drums)
Lessons Learned Vol. 1 is available at all the usual outlets including:
Every Tuesday night at Harvelle's, Tasha Taylor brings her "A"-game and gives us an evening of indelible soul with her incredible voice. [TashaTaylor.com] Feminine and knowing, her voice has a warmth to it, not unlike Gladys Knight's or Carole King's - comforting and deeply passionate. That voice, she owns!!
Her originals - culled mostly from her CD Taylor Made - are plush, radio-friendly bites of classic songwriting with some memorable lyrics; In What Difference Does It Make she manages to rhyme "high life" with "sunrise" and "Hawaiian islands" which is a great trick not many can do!
"I want to marry a man who meditates/ who asks me to slow dance in the middle of the day/ drive home ... just to see my face..." she sings in Somebody, listing the qualities she desires in a Prince Charming who hasn't yet shown up.
My fave track continues to be "Refund"; we can all relate when she - completely unsatisfied with her selection - demands "I need a refund for my lover!"; later in the verse she drives herself crazy trying to figure out what went wrong ("You WON'T (and) I CAN'T do the right thing...") - I just want to hug her and tell her it's going to be o.k. and not to listen to too much Alanis Morisette in the interim.
Some of Taylor Made's other standout cuts include "Wonder Woman", "Best Friend" and "Queen", although the song quality and craftsmanship is very consistent throughout. In her live show, she mixes things up with versions of R&B classics, often doing Eddie Floyd's "Knock On Wood", her father, Johnnie Taylor's hit record "Who's Making Love" and last week, in dedication to Amy Winehouse, she covered "Valerie" (see video below).
Her band is Tommy King (keys), Kunio Kaneki (drums), Kyle Bolden (guitar) and Rick Taub (bass). The horn section is Zane Musa (sax), Wes Smith (sax), and Will Artrope (trumpet). Tasha's brother Jon Harrison Taylor plays acoustic guitar, and Tasha herself boldly rocks the rhythm on a black Gibson SG.
Already extending it's run twice, Tasha's Tuesday night residency at Harvelle's is scheduled to continue through until the end of August. Tasha's CD Taylor Made is available at the gigs and all the usual outlets: CD_Baby + Amazon + iTunes + DigiStation
DJ Arthur Allblack representing Club Soleside, always spins a funky selection of rare grooves from the 1960s exclusively on vinyl 45's, keeping the crowd moving with smiles on their faces, until closing.
Mike - the Ultra Lover hisself - has a mutha-funkin' serious party at Harvelle's once a week every Monday!! Real talk!! It's a great time and there's plenty of young beautiful L.A. "10"s that the band attracts. What more do you need? Party goes off around 9 or so... and it's a really good time.
Ultralove is Mike "UltraLove" Wagner (vocals, guitar), Seth Murphy (drums), Douglas Showalter (guitar), Mike Gunn (bass), Adam Berg (keys), Jon Piazza (keys and rap) and DJ Paper (spins).
Ultralove brings his brand of soul and hip-hop flavored r&b to Harvelle's every Monday night.
Shaunte Palmer plays the trombone with House Of Vibe on Wednesday nights. Sometimes he and trumpeter Sebastian Legar come down to the Ultralove show and add some major brass.
Ultralove gives Saturday night style entertainment on a Monday.