It was a magical night at Toby Keith’s Bar & Grill in Folsom, California as singer, songwriter Rachel Steele and country band Road 88 were joined by the venerable rocker Jeff Keith, lead singer for the rock band Tesla.
Keith joined forces with Steele and her band to celebrate the release of his new CD “Jeff Keith and Country Music Friends.” The Album is the result of a side project Keith’s been working on with friends Kent Goodson and Pat Boone from The George Jones band. Pat Boone is not the really old guy who likes to drink milk, but the not-so-really old guy who likes country music.
When Steele was halfway through her set Keith, donning a cowboy hat and blue jacket, jumped up onstage singing several songs from his new album. As if that wasn’t enough to get everyone on their feet, Tesla’s Troy Luckketta (drums) and Frank Hannon (guitar), who were there in support of Keith, joined him to perform Tesla’s hit “Signs,” followed by a fantastic rendition of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama.” Only Brian Wheat (bass) and Dave Rude (guitar) were missing from Tesla.
Road 88’s guitarist Billy Haggard and Hannon brought the house down with a killer battle of guitars, with Hannon finishing off the battle playing the guitar using a beer bottle up and down the neck of the guitar.
It gave more than a few people the goosies!
Road 88’s members include Scott Prentice (guitar, vocals), Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), Todd Prout (bass), Paul Southerland (lap/pedal steel, dobro) and Maggie Keith (backup vocals).
So how did Keith get mixed up in all things country?
Apparently Goodson and Boone met Keith after a Tesla concert in Canada and the next thing you know, the three of them are paddling around in a pontoon boat somewhere in the middle of Nashville, slamming down sasparillas, and singing country songs – go figure.
The album is solidly in the country genre with song titles like “Same Ol’ Cowboy,” Oklahoma Bound,” and my favorite “Oh Hell.” You can read the complete review here.
Keith also wants to assure all of his Tesla fans that he’s not quitting his day job – or would that be his night job? He remains with Tesla and they are currently planning out their 2013 schedule, including the Monster of Rock Cruise in March.
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!
Kicking off the night was Road 88 led by Rachael Steele, whose vocals reigned supreme. Starting their set off appropriately with “Attitude,” followed by “Two More Bottles of Wine,” they were hitting on all cylinders.
Joining founding members Rachel Steele (vocals), Scott Prentice (guitar/vocals) and David Phelps (guitar) were Billy Haggard (guitar), Charlie McGimsey (drums), and Todd Prout (bass).
Road 88 was voted Best Local Band in Sacramento for 2011 by local television station KCRA’s A-list. At the time they had been together a couple of years and already had a hit climbing the charts in Europe with their song “Not Gonna Happen.”
Since that time there has been some shuffling of band members resulting in the lineup above. The move appears to be successful with some great guitar playing throughout their set, and a new level of energy, with Haggard bouncing around the stage, going from one performer to the next saying god knows what, but apparently making everyone laugh. The only question is – Were they laughing with him or at him?
Road 88 continued with a few of their original songs including “Drive” and “Child of Innocence.”
Prentice soloed with “That’s How They do it in Dixie,” followed by Steele closing their set in style with their original hard-driving “Faultline.”
After a quick set-change the Marshall Tucker Band took the stage with 64 year old founding member Doug Gray singing “This Old Cowboy.” As soon as the flute kicked in I was reminded of why Marshall Tucker’s music has stood out for all these years.
The Marshall Tucker band members included Marcus James Henderson (flute/sax/keyboards), Pat Elwood (bass), Chris Hicks (guitar), and B.B. Bordon (drums). The guys were the true stars of the show playing extended versions of their hits like “Hillbilly Band,” “Fire on the Mountain,” and “24 hours at a Time.”
Henderson was non-stop, playing the flute, on to the sax, over to the keyboards and then back again. He did an awesome job, earning him several well deserved standing O’s.
Gray, being the southern gentleman that he is, talked to the crowd in between songs, joking about his age and how the band has been around for 40 years. Focusing on one of the younger ladies in the front row, he joked about her not understanding what Winterland meant, referencing their legendary performance at Bill Graham’s Winterland auditorium in San Francisco back in 1973.
For their finale, “Can’t You See,” Gray had the audience singing “‘Can’t you see, can’t you see, what that woman has been doing to me,’ providing one of those “goose-bump” moments.
While Gray’s voice isn’t what it used to be, he still has that wonderful soulful sound, although a bit rough at times. The instrumentals were to die for, with soaring flute solos and hard driving guitar riffs. All executed with perfection.
The Marshall Tucker Band is truly an awesome instrumental group bursting at the seams with talent, making for a memorable performance and reminding me of a entire orchestra rather than a handful of performers.