Whew...These last three days have been busy, but great, for this San Diego drummer! I've played everywhere from the nicest churches (First Presbyterian Church in Bankers Hill) to one of the most rock 'n roll dive bars there is (Shakedown Bar). That sort of diversity and fun is what makes me so happy to call San Diego home.
The first gig of the weekend was with Westside Inflection at the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art's event, Public2. On a whim, I wore my newly-aquired Gary Wilson pin, and brought a few extras. Of course, I ran into kindred spirits who appreciated and recognized the Outsider Music legend right away, which was fun. Westside played our usual mix of Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Nat King Cole, and Frank Sinatra-esque standards, and it looks like we might be back at MCASD again before too long, which would be great.
Immediately following the Westside gig, I had the pleasure of playing Mark Dzula's original music. Most musicians dislike hearing their music compared to someone else's, but I'm just going to do it: Mark's music reminds me of early Cardigans, and coming from this Swede, that's definitely a compliment. I hope to play with Mark many more times in the future!
Saturday's first gig was with Archie Thompson for Jazz Vespers at First Presbyterian Church in the San Diego neighborhood of Bankers Hill. Archie is an integral part of the San Diego music scene, and it's easy to see (and hear) why. He really is the consummate professional musician, consistently pleasing and entertaining audiences with his top-notch piano, vocal, and saxophone skills. A wonderful bonus to this gig is getting to play with bassist Jason Littlefield. Jason plays with Archie, the Heavy Guilt, and many others in town. His sound, intonation, and general vibe all justify his reputation as one of Southern California's best bassists. I definitely hope I get the opportunity to play with the Archtones several more times in the weeks, months, and years to come!
After Jazz Vespers, I hot-footed it to the nearby Gaslamp district, located Downtown o play the inaugural gig for Lady Dottie and the Diamonds at Café 21's new location (the former space of Croce's). What can you say about Dottie and the Diamonds? Drumming with them the last few years has been a great learning experience and a party! This San Diego Music Award-winning group brings the party every night, and I'm always glad to get this call. It's especially exciting that I'll be drumming for this band every Monday at the Hideout an every Saturday at Café 21.
The first gig today was at Shakedown Bar with Two Wolves (see previous post about this show). I love every show I play with Stephen Rey and this group. Today was especially cool, since we had friends behind the bar, manning the turntables (Brian Karscig from the Nervous Wreckords), and in the crowd. Awwwoooo!
What better way to end this San Diego music weekend than with Javier Escovedo? It is such a treat and honor to play Javier's music. I'm a fan of pretty much everything Javier has been involved with, including the Zeros, The True Believers, and his solo work, so it's really special to be able to play drums for him. Tonight's show at the Soda Bar (the Freeks and Jim Jones Revue also on the bill) was the perfect way to end a weekend of diverse musical exploration and fun in America's Finest City. Looking forward to many, many more shows with Javier!