Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been bringing the big band era music to the masses for over 20 years. Their music takes the listener back to the days of old, when gangsters weren’t quite as scary, and a flapper was a young and trending woman, not something found in a toilet. Some say those were the good ‘ole days.
Mixing their roaring twenties attitude and big horns, the band of all things swing, fuses together some of the most prolific sounds of swing, jazz and contemporary classics to create an original and exciting array of sounds that put the likes of Cab Calloway to shame, well almost. Nobody can put Calloway to shame.
Kicking off their set with “Come On With The ‘Come On’” and “Calloway Boogie,” they had the audience dancing in their seats from the start. That was a bit strange, because at most concerts fans would be standing up in the front row dancing. Apparently this was a more subdued and polite crowd.
Thunder Valley missed out on an opportunity to provide a dance floor for the many fans wanting to get up and boogie. While a number of people were dancing off to the side, the carpet just didn’t cut it.
Still in holiday mode, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy went on to play a few of their songs from their Christmas album including “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Mr. Heatmeiser.”
As the band started up with Cab Calloway’s “Minnie the Moocher,” lead singer Scotty Morris led the crowd through the ho-dee ho-dee ho’s and the Hi-dee hi-dee hi’s. During the song the audience jumped in at the appropriate times as well.
This was an extremely fun concert with a high energy band. While some people may never give Big Bad Voodoo Daddy a listen due to their roaring twenties label and swing sound, others are quickly realizing that this is a band that has a sound all its own, with some very catchy tunes.
Band members include Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums and percussion), Dirk Shumaker (double bass and vocals), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone and vocals), Glen “The Kid” Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet), Joshua Levy (piano and arranger), Anthony Bonsera Jr. (lead trumpet) and Alex Henderson (trombone).
You can catch these dapper fellows on The Tonight Show on Jan. 9, where they will perform “Why Me?”
Come On With The “Come On”
Merry Christmas Baby
Mr. Pinstripe Suit
The Reefer Man
Minnie the Moocher
Diga Diga Do
We Three Kings
Zig Zaggity Woop Woop
You and Me & The Bottle Makes 3
I Wan’na Be Like You
Go Daddy O
So Long Farewell-Goodbye
This was a stripped down version of his regular show, although this format is becoming his regular show. In 2011, McKnight set out to let America get to know more about him as he embarked on his Just Me Tour, which included his brother’s band, Take 6. During the show McKnight reflects on growing up and provides anecdotal information about his songs and life.
This being the stripped down version, it was completely solo with only McKnight playing a grand piano, guitar, or keyboards.
As the show began, the lights dimmed and the stage was deserted as a signal spotlight lit up the piano. Off stage McKnight started singing “Should’ve Been Loving You,” slowly working his way center stage, making for a very dramatic entrance.
After following up with “Home,” McKnight went on to explain the format of his show saying, “I write these songs, but I produce them too, and sometimes you got to produce them to be on the radio, and I don’t necessarily get to perform them the way I want to, so tonight, I’m going to give you the music the way I want to.”
McKnight continued with a medley of songs of people who most influenced him in his early years, including Nat King Cole’s “L-O-V-E,” Michael McDonald’s “I Keep Forgettin,” and Jeffrey Osborne’s “On the Wings of Love.”
Working just the right amount of humor into his show, McKnight explained why he doesn’t serenade his “ladies.” Because his mother warned him about using his god given talents for his own personal purposes, and God will take those talents away, referencing erectile dysfunction commercials. That’s when he asked audience member Elsa Greco to come up on stage so he could serenade her with “Crazy Love,” as he played guitar.
This was pretty much an unplugged set, at least until his last song “Fall 5.0” when he played to a soundtrack. “Fall 5.0″ is off his new album due to be released in February.
The format just didn’t work for the testosterone laden guys in the audience, but it did work for all the ladies who were captivated by McKnight’s good looks and his smooth vocals as he belted out one love song after another.
For those fans of McKnight in the ‘90s and who have not kept up with his music, they were ultimately disappointed due to the unplugged format. At times it was difficult to determine what song he was singing.
As one of those testosterone laden guys, I’d rather have seen more standup comic routines from McKnight.
Should’ve Been Loving You
The Only One for Me
Medley “L-O-V-E,” “I Keep Forgetting,” “On the Wings of Love,” “Overjoyed,’’ “A House is Not a Home,’’ “Rock With You”
Can You Read My Mind
6, 8, 12
Find Myself in You
Let Me Love You
Still in Love
Do I Ever Cross Your Mind
You’re Like a Dream Come True
Back at One
One Last Cry
Prior to Koy coming out onstage, DJ John Magic entertained the crowd with some tunes. He asked several audience members onstage to dance and earn a prize. Audience member Stephanie was first up, as Magic told her that there are certain songs for certain dances, and that she had to dance in the style of the song that he played. As “Gangnam Style” started up, Stephanie did her best Gangnam Style dance, earning her a Jo Koy t-shirt.
Audience member Kara won Jo Koy’s Lights Out DVD and audience member Tom failed a couple of times, but finally won a t-shirt.
Following Magic was comedian James Ponce as he warmed up the crowd joking around about everything from pot smokers to his car’s “oh shit” handle.
As Koy took the stage, the crowd was on their feet welcoming the 41 year old to Thunder Valley as they clapped and cheered him on. Koy wanted to let everyone know that he he’s finally made the big time since he’s playing in a tent at an Indian casino.
The Chelsea Lately regular immediately went after the various nationalities in the audience, especially the Filipino community and his mother, who he’s friends with on Facebook. Every time a fan loads a picture of him with a drink in his hand on Facebook, his mom yells at him that he’s going to get roofied.
He continued on with a number of topics including how Mexicans can cook great Chinese food, as well as how women laugh so hard they cry and “pee” their pants.
Proving to the audience that he was more than just a comedian, Koy ended the show with several songs as he had audience members helping him out through the chorus.
This was a fantastic show with Koy bringing down the house with his off color and racially charged show. DJ John Magic and James Ponce were the perfect openers as Koy put on a fantastic show, bringing the house down with his off color and racially charged show.
Bobby “Blue” Bland and his band performed to a stellar crowd Sunday in Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Pano Hall.
The Blues Hall of Famer was greeted with a standing ovation as he was escorted center stage. Bland remained seated throughout his performance, but was quite interactive with band members as each would come up and play next to the legendary singer – with the exception of the drummer – duh!
The 82 year old Bland struggled on a few songs such as “Members Only,” as his vocals are not what they used to be. However, that did not take away from the audience’s undying love for the singer as after each song fans were on their feet cheering.
Bland’s unique ability to provide a sense of despair, along with his occasional phlegm clearing grunts were quite evident as he continued playing his multitude of songs.
The 7-piece band did a fantastic job with the horn section stealing the show (list of band members to follow).
While Bland struggled through some songs, the old Bland shined through on a number of songs, reminding everyone why Bland was and continues to be such a great blues performer.
The Placer County 10-35 Foundation’s Thunder in November charity drive took over Thunder Valley Casino’s Pano Hall on Saturday as the Chris Gardner Band, Road 88 and special guest Jeff Keith performed to a charitable crowd.
The Placer County 10-35 Foundation was created in 2011 as a non-profit charity designed to assist the men & women of Placer County law enforcement. The Foundation is a fraternal & benevolent association chartered to assist Placer County peace officers in times of great personal and organizational tragedy.
10-35 is part of law enforcement’s 10-code which means officer needs assistance.
Road 88 opened the show with lead singer Rachel Steele belting out Gretchen Wilson’s “All Jacked Up” and Emmylou Harris’ “One More Bottle of Wine.”
Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals) and Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).
Road 88 was flawless in their delivery as one would expect from a band that was voted #1 in the Best Local Band category for the second year in a row on KCRA’s A-List.
Towards the end of their set Steele brought Tesla’s lead singer Jeff Keith on stage to sing a country song.
Yes pardner you heard right! Jeff Keith comes strutting out looking cuter than a junebug in a jumpsuit, donning, of all things, a cowboy hat. Y’all wouldn’t have believe it.
After some wild applause and a collective gasp from the audience, Keith went on to explain that he was still with Tesla and all was good with the band, but he was pursuing a lifelong dream of singing country music. His new CD Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends, is due out on November 9th, featuring Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band.
With his best country voice, Keith went on to sing George Jones’ “Grand Tour,” as the crowd cheered him on.
As one would have expected, Keith’s chops were flawless and, surprisingly, he sounded like a genuine country star. Who’d have thunk it!
Stay tuned for a complete review of his new album.
In between sets Jim Hudson with the Placer County 10-35 foundation announced the winners of their silent auction for an autographed guitar signed by REO Speedwagon (Katie was the winner), and an autographed guitar signed by Road 88 and Jeff Keith(Diana was the winner). Katie insisted that she get a picture after the show with Chris Gardner and her newly acquired guitar.
The Chris Gardner Band kicked their set off with Alabama’s “Mountain Music” and Luke Bryan’s “Rain is a Good Thing,” as droves of people made their way to the dance floor.
Lead singer Chris Gardner was joined by Dwight Hogan (bass), Aaron Shively (lead guitar), Joey Gonzales (drums), Nikko Vargas (rhythm guitar), and Shawn Holiday (keyboard).
While Road 88 had a solid set, the Chris Gardner Band was able to pack the dance floor as they continued playing “Something Like That” and “Dixieland Delight.”
This was a fun and successful event. Expect to see Thunder in November II next year!
For more information on Placer County 10-35 please visit them at http://www.placer1035foundation.org
Y’all don’t forget to checkout Jeff Keith’s alter ego at Jeff Keith Country!
Thunder Valley Casino Resort along with World One Presents, Maita Honda, and local radio station V101.1, brought Naughty by Nature, the Sugar Hill Gang, and Kool Moe Dee to Thunder Valley’s Pano Hall for a hip hopping Halloween Friday night. Emcee for the night was V101′s Big Al.
A number of fans dressed up for what turned out to be an awesome show as Bay Area artists Rory and Reed opened the show with a brief 10 minute set.
The crowd went crazy when Kool Moe Dee took the stage. Moe Dee brought along Special K and L.A. Sunshine as they sang hits like “They Want Money,” “Rise & Shine,” and of course “Wild, Wild, West.”
By the time Sugar Hill Gang took the stage the crowd was in full party mode with most fans gathering around the catwalk and dance floors.
Sugar Hill Gang consisted of original band members Wonder Mike, Master Gee, and Big Bank Hank. Keeping the audience completely engaged with their past hits “Apache,” “Eighth Wonder,” and “Rapper Reprise,” they seemed to just be hitting their stride when they finished their set.
As Naughty by Nature stormed the stage the crowd went wild as they all started bouncing up and down to the beat of the music. Original band members Treach, Vin Rock, and DJ Kay Gee, put on a great performance as they played “Everything’s Gonna be All Right,“ “O.P.P.,” and “Hip Hop Hooray.”
The Outlaws formed in 1967 and have been playing off and on since that time.
Founding members Henry Paul (lead singer/guitar) and Monte Yoho (drums), were joined by Chris Anderson (guitar), Randy Threet (bass), Dave Robbins (keyboards), and Bill Crain (guitar).
Kicking off their set with “Tomorrow’s Another Night” and “Love Song” it was evident that most of the audience was made up of diehard fans as they started singing along with the band.
They played quite a few new songs from their latest album It’s About Pride.From my past experience when older bands start playing their newer “stuff”, they tend to lose the audience, but that was not the case. Their fans remained engaged throughout their set with most of them on their feet.
There was a problem with Crain’s amp when halfway through “Love Song” his guitar shutdown. After several frantic minutes of changing out the amp, he was able to resume once they started “Hurry Sundown”, one of their newer songs.
Tomorrow’s Another Night
Hidin’ Out in Tennessee (new)
Born to Be Bad (new)
Last Ghost Town (new)
Right Where I Belong (new)
It’s bout Pride (new)
Trail of Tears (new)
Terry Fator is a ventriloquist with a twist, actually a couple of twists. Not only can the 47 year old command all things wooden, but he also has a knack for singing, and not just any singing, he can impersonate damn near any singer out there. From Dolly Parton to Lou Rawls he can belt it out just like the real thing.
Prior to the show the crowd was entertained by DJ Ben Harris and his exceptional dance moves. As he played a medley of songs, Harris was dancing from one end of the stage to the other.
Fator came out singing “Feeling Good,” to start the show as the mostly older crowd was clapping and cheering. Following up with “Phantom of the Opera,” Fator brought out Winston complete with his own phantom mask.
Winston called to Christine (the mighty fine assistant) saying he was her angel of music. That was up until she took his mask off and she ran off stage screaming.
As he continued, Winston informed him that he was auditioning for the Phantom of the Opera. Winston said he was qualified since he did win America’s Got Talent for Fator.
Walter T. Airedale came out singing Big and Rich’s “Save a Horse Ride a Cowboy.” Walter told everyone that he was running for president and was being attacked because people were saying he wasn’t a U.S. citizen. When Fator asked him if he had a birth certificate he said he sure does, and that was when a Home Depot receipt was shown on the big screen. Right away Fator said “So I see you got brass balls.” To which Walter replied, “Every President should have a pair.”
Fator was on fire as he continued with Duggie Scott Walker (an annoying neighbor), Wrex (the crash test dummy), Julius (the soul singer), Emma Taylor, Maynard Thompkins (an Elvis Presley impersonator who doesn’t know any Elvis songs), and Vikki the Cougar (a perpetual 49 year old who likes younger men).
There was a touching moment as Fator explained how a young boy, through the Make-A-Wish Foundation, wanted to go to Las Vegas to see Fator’s show. The young boy passed away several weeks after meeting Fator. Fator regretted not playing a song he wrote called “Horses in Heaven.” Management decided that the song would not play well in Vegas, but since the boys visit Fator has put it back into his show. After playing “Horses in Heaven,” he informed everyone that the proceeds of the song goes towards Saint Jude’s Children’s Hospital.
At one point Fator singled out a married couple Addie and Rob asking Rob to come up onstage. Placing a mask over his face Fator turned him into a human puppet and starting committing to his wife that he hates sports, and she can take control of the remote.
Winston came back out onstage and they closed the show with an extremely well done rendition of “It’s a Wonderful World.”
This was a great show and I would definitely go out of my way to see him again. Since Fator is often compared to Jeff Dunham I have to say while Dunham can be hilarious, he tends to be pretty racial and at times crude, where Fator’s show was good clean fun. Now that’s not to say Fator’s show at the Mirage in Las Vegas is clean, I wouldn’t know, but what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
As Thunder Valley Casino Resort’s Summer Concert Series heads into its final stretch, it’s only fitting to have one of the most popular traveling bands of the 80’s lead off the last month of the series.
Styx, like most of their fans, has gone through a number of changes throughout their existence. Most notably was the death of founding member John Panozzo in 1996, followed by the departure of founding member Dennis DeYoung in 1999.
Much like their fans, Styx consists of young and old including founding members Chuck Panozzo (bass) and James “J.Y.” Young (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar). Longtime member Tommy Shaw (vocals, lead/rhythm guitar), and the latest members Lawrence Gowan (vocals, keyboards), Todd Sucherman (drums), Ricky Phillips (bass).
Due to health issues Chuck Panozzo only occasionally plays with the band. We were lucky enough to have him come out and play a few songs towards the end of the night.
While not quite a sellout crowd it was still pretty packed, especially for a Thursday night. Let’s face it, anyone who’s a fan of Styx from the 80’s is getting along in years, and may find it difficult to get out on a Thursday night, and then turnaround to schlep off to work the next day. The worst part is, at some point we became responsible, gone are the days of calling in sick the next day. What’s up with that?
As Styx kicked off the show with “Blue Collar Man” and Grand Illusion,” the mostly older crowd was on their feet and cheering.
Styx was firing on all cylinders as they continued with “Too Much Time” and “Lady” as most of the crowd started to settle down in their seats. The front rows remained on their feet the entire show. Not sure how the old geezers did it, must have been a miracle drug from the 70’s or 80’s – I’m just saying.
Everyone’s vocals were crystal as they went from one hit to another. In particular were Shaw and Gowan. Gowan really stole the show with his vocals and his antics on his famous spinning keyboard, as he twirled in circles jumping onto, and off of, his keyboard throughout the night’s performance.
It was a very high energy, and highly entertaining, show as the veterans weaved their way through their numerous hits from the 70’s and 80’s.
The highlight for me was when Gowan came out performing solo on his spinning keyboard. He played a melody of songs including Elton John’s “Pinball Wizard,” the Eurhythmics “Sweet Dreams,” and then Gowan would shout a part of a song, point to the audience for them to finish the verse, and they did, on command. As he started to sing “Come Sail Away,” the audience sang their part and then he started playing the song on the keyboard with the band jumping in at the middle of the song. That’s about the time Panozzo joined the band onstage playing bass.
For their encore they blew the crowd away with “Rockin the Paradise” and “Renegade.”
These guys are pure entertainers and a great bunch of guys as some of them stayed behind to sign album covers that fans had brought to the show.
For all of those that haven’t gotten off of their sorry old ass to see Styx, I would highly suggest you do it before you get any friggin older. The last thing you want to do is make your way to your seat – in a walker!
Everyone knows them as REO Speedwagon.
Playing to an almost full house at Thunder Valley Casino Resort Saturday, 66 year old founding member Neal Doughty was the first to make it onstage. Leaving their walkers behind the rest of the crew slowly made their way onstage – I know they didn’t have walkers, quite the contrary these guys were in great shape.
As for the name REO Speedwagon, Doughty named the band after a flatbed truck he studied in college called Ransom E. Olds Speed Wagon, commonly referred to as Reo Speed Wagon. Doughty decided to call the band R.E.O. rather than Reo.
Joining Doughty onstage were Kevin Cronin (lead vocals, guitar), Bruce Hall (bass), Dave Amato (lead guitar), Bryan Hitt (drums). They warmed up the audience with “Don’t Let Him Go” and “Music Man,” then kicking it up a notch with “Take It on the Run,” as the audience provided supporting vocals.
At some point during the show the 58 year old Hitt decided to take his shirt off. Most of the audience cheered, but come on!! He’s 58 ““ dude give us a break! At least Steven Tyler stopped the practice some time ago (at least for the most part).
Continuing on with “Keep Pushin’,” “Golden Country,” and “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” the audience became somewhat subdued, but remained engaged throughout the concert, just not on their feet cheering on the band.
As the band left and came back for their encore, they lost quite a few fans as they headed for the exits. Their encore included “Keep on Lovin’ You,” “Ridin’ the Storm Out,” and ended with “157 Riverside Avenue.” Even more fans started filing out after “Keep on Lovin’ You.”
During their encore the audience was completely engaged with “Keep on Lovin’ You,” but once they started “157 Riverside Avenue,” most of the fans were back in their seats, or headed for the doors. They really should have ended the night with “Keep on Lovin’ You.”
Cronin did an excellent job with vocals and sounds much like he did all those years ago. While his voice is a bit more gravelly, I believe it’s enhanced his sound.
All in all it was a good concert. There were some rough spots in the middle and they could have ended on a better note, but Cronin and crew did a great job keeping the audiences attention with plenty of picks flying through the air.