Thursday, May 31, 2012

2012 Doheny Blues Festival

In January I always look forward to receiving the email from Omega Events telling me that the early bird tickets for the Doheny Blues festival are on sale. This is an amazing event held for 2 days every May at Doheny State Beach in Dana Point California (Usually the 3rd week). The first time I attended this event was in 2005. I've been hooked ever since. There have been some amazing performances on each of the 3 stages in this incredible beach from setting. Performers such as B.B. King, John Fogerty, Jonny Lang, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Black Crowes, well, you get the idea.I would recommend making plans to attend this event. Nothing better than great music in a great setting. This year was no exception with headliners Greg Allman on Saturday and Steve Miller on Sunday, about 21 bands over the 2 day period. A few others on the bill this year were Johnny Winter, Los Lonely Boys, Joan Osborne, Otis Taylor and Buddy Guy.

Those that got there in time to catch the opening set for 12 year old Ray Goren were in for one of the biggest treats from the weekend. I've seen Ray on 2 previous occasions at The Coach House when he sat in with Coco Montoya (click here for a sample) and I was fortunate to have been there when he played 2 songs at a sound check prior to Leon Russell's last visit. I was blown away both times so you can imagine how excited I was to see that Ray was on the bill for Doheny. He played an amazing 1 hour set and totally blew away those that gathered around the stage to see this amazing young talent. I can safely say that the future of blues guitar is in good hands.

This year I was able to cover the festival as part of the Orange County Register team featuring writer Robert Kinsler and fellow photographer Drew Kelly. Please check out Robert's review of the weekend and also the photo slide shows featuring our photographic work.

It seems like it takes forever form the time that the event is announced till it arrives. Then the day arrives and in a blurr it's over. The good news is that Omega brought back Doheny Days in the fall last year. It's a bit different event from the Blues Festival but it is held in the same location. A nice shot of fun that holds me over until May rolls around again! Check more photos from this years Doheny Blues festival at the links below and please "Like" the Bob By Request Facebook page! Until next month.... Keep on Rockin'


Monday, April 30, 2012

Laura Wilde Performance At The Coach House 04/26/2012

I had been waiting to see Ted Nugent at the Coach House since the show was announced a few months ago. I'm Detroit born and raised. We're talkin' Terrible Ted. The Motor City Madman. Playing to an audience of about 500. Yeah baby!  I'm there!! Over the past year I have attended over 30 shows at the Coach House but I have never seen the place fill up as fast as this night. Long before show time the place was packed. When attending concerts I usually devote most of my attention to the headliners. Hey, that's the reason we came to the show in the first place. Every now and then I see an opening band that blows my socks right off my feet. Please send some socks. Maybe a pair of shoes too because Thursday was one of those nights.

Opening for Ted tonight was Laura Wilde. Wow! No. Double Wow!! If she ever tires of the rock & roll thing she could always fall back on a modeling career but don't let this young lady's good looks fool you. She came to rock! From the opening notes of "Nothing Back" to the closer "Tragedy" she let the audience know that she meant business. If you weren't here to rock pack up your stuff and go home! Backed by Keith Robert on guitar, Frankie Sil on bass and Matt Starr on drums, Laura and the band blazed through their all too short but sweet 30 minute set mostly drawn from her current CD "Sold My Soul". They played 2 songs penned for her next album (Kiss/Kill & Tragedy) along with a screamin' version of AC/DC's "Jailbreak" that would have made her fellow Australian Angus Young proud!

If I had to compare Laura Wilde to someone off the top of my head I would say that she has the vocal talents of Joan Jett and the guitar playing ability of Lita Ford. The highly energetic rhythm section of Matt and Frankie along with Keith and Laura's scorching guitars made this one of the most entertaining opening acts I have seen at The Coach House this year. The best advice I can give you is do not miss the chance to see Laura Wilde live.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

March Madness - My Version

Wow! March came and went in a blink of an eye. When you talk about March Madness most folks think of college basketball. My version has to do with seeing and shooting 6 shows at The Coach House. When I looked at the Coach House Schedule earlier I figured that I would get to about 3 shows during the month. Little did I know that things would work out the way they did.

March 2nd - Javier Colon
For those that do not know, Javier Colon was the winner of "The Voice" last year. I was fortunate to see him perform at the Taylor Guitars Booth during Winter NAMM so when I saw that he was performing at The Coach House I was anxious to see how he would do in a true concert environment. First thing to note. When the warm up acts on the bill go from 2 to 3 it usually means the show isn't selling well. There were maybe about 250 to 300 people that showed up for the show that night. I was really expecting a better turn out but sometimes that happens. I had a hard time sitting through all 3 opening acts. None of them stood out or got the crowd really pumped up for the headliner. What a relief it was when Javier finally came on. He was warmly received by the audience. This particular night he seemed to have the chorus from the Taylor Swift song "Mean" stuck in his head which they performed for us several times throughout the show. The band backing him up was top notch. The bass player was the most fun to watch as he mouthed and wiggled to every bass line he played. A show in itself. Although Javier has a great voice, the "Wow Factor" just wasn't there for me this night. I enjoyed the show but when it was over I didn't have that "Can't wait to see him again" feeling. Check out the review that appears at this link and also features photos I shot that night. Click here to check out photos from this show.

March 3 - Lee Rocker
Lee Rocker. Former Stray Cat. Current Laguna Beach resident. What more can I say? First check out Robert Kinsler's  review of Lee's new CD. Lee and his band totally ripped up the Back Porch stage during the 2011 Doheny Blues Festival. I was really looking forward to seeing him play at his home away from home, the Coach House. The openers tonight were Space Rocket and Graceland Mafia. I think that Space Rocket was a bit more rock than rockabilly. Quite a bit of energy came off the stage during their set. I really enjoyed them and I think based on their response, the audience did too. I would love to have a bit more information to give you about this band but I didn't ask them at the show and when I did a little research the only thing that came up was their Faceebook page. All I can say is that they rocked it pretty hard and I hope that they get booked again soon as an opening act. Next up was Graceland Mafia who bill themselves as "The Undisputed Kings Of Non-Rockabilly". This band is high energy entertainment and just pure fun! This particular night the lead singer Melvis Dupree (yes Melvis) proposed to his long time (30+ years) girlfriend during their set.  They were a perfect fit as an opener. This brings us to the main course. Lee Rocker. I have seen the Stray Cats several times and have also seen Brian Setzer with the Nashvillians. I can say that I am really glad to have seen this show. The band with Buzz Campbell, Brophy Dale (on Guitars) and Jimmy Sage (Drums) was just incredible. Throw the slap bass style that Lee Rocker plays in that mix and KABOOM! The crowd was up on it's feet from the beginning to the end of the show singing and dancing anywhere space permitted. He played all of those old Stray Cats songs along with a mix of his own current and past songs. This show was so much fun it's too bad it had to end. Click here to check out photos from this show.

March 15 - The Young Dubliners
Pre St. Patrick's Day Party!  Hard to believe that this band was formed in Southern California in the late 1980's.  I heard so much about them over the years but, now it is 2012 and I'm just getting my first look at them. Opening for them tonight are Sam Smith and Sixstep. Sam is a local 19 year old female singer song writer. My first exposure to her was back in December when she opened for Dick Dale. Sam's voice has a soulful purity reminiscent of Taylor Swift & Sarah McLachlan. I thought it was a bit odd that she would open for someone like Dick Dale, however she managed to hold the crowd's attention and they seemed to enjoy her set. The Young Dubliner's audience was a much better fit for her style. Click here to check out some tracks recorded at The Coach House. Sixstep is another local Southern California band. These guys are interesting to say the least. Along with their musical talents they bring a bit of comical satire to their show. Their style is pooled from many resources among them Frank Zappa, King Crimson, Pink Floyd and Radiohead. Click here to learn more about Sixstep.
When the Young Dubliners took the stage and their music started to fill the room I was immediately whisked back to a local Irish pub back in Michigan we would sometimes hang out at. I fought back the urge to order several Guinness and shots of Jameson and immersed myself in the music.  What a great show these boys put on. It is really a shame that it wasn't St. Patrick's Day, but after looking around the room it really didn't seem to matter. Although I only recognized 2 songs during the entire show, I was so blown away by their talent it really didn't matter. I am looking forward to the next time I see the Young Dub's!!  Click here to check out photos from this show.
March 23 - John Waite
John Waite. Former front man for the Baby's and Bad English. He had a big hit in the 80's with a song called "Missing You". My wife Karen is one of his biggest fans. Too bad she wasn't feeling well that night because I know she would have loved this show. The opening bands for this show were Waldo Bliss and my friend Connie Rae. I'm not quite sure what to say about Waldo Bliss. I've always been told that if you can't say anything nice then it's best not to say anything. Waldo plays acoustic guitar and sings. That's all I can say. Click here for information about Waldo Bliss. Next up was Connie Rae. She's a veteran of the Coach House stage opening for some huge folks over the years. She sings rock, gospel and blues. She is a very talented lady with a great voice. She did a real nice job getting the crowd ready for John Waite. Click here to get a little taste of Connie Rae. 
Every time I have seen John Waite perform I have never been dissapointed. This show was no exception. John always seems to surround himself with such high quality muscians that are able to perform his songs with their original passion. He also has quite a fanatic fan base. I met several people at this show who had attended the previous night's show in San Diego and were going to see him again in the next night in Corona. He played a good mix of his own material entwined with songs from his time with the Baby's. The only thing that he left out were songs from the Bad English period. When it was all said and done it was a high energy rockin' 90 minutes. Click here to check out photos from this show.
March 29 & 30 - Jonny Lang
Since January 2010 I have had the chance to see Jonny Lang 5 times. 6 if you count meeting him at Winter NAMM. I will gladly see him every chance I get. Opening the show for Jonny Lang both nights was The Michael Williams Band. Sometime I do a little research on the openers just to have an idea of what I'm in for. The Michael WIlliams Band totally took me by surprise. This band could easily headline their own show. From the first notes I knew I was in for something special. Michael Williams style is a bit of Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Santana, and Buddy Guy all mixed together. I might have missed a few but I think you get the idea. He put on a phenomenal show. I will say he was the best opener I have seen so far this year. Next was this kid named Jonny Lang. It's hard to believe that he's only 31 years old. He's been around for about 15 years or so. This kid still blows me away every time I see him. He's had the voice of an old blues man since the first time I heard him sing on his "Smokin" CD released in 1997. He only seems to get better with age. He not only has the voice but he is a great guitar player. He is the total package. I have never seen anyone who puts so much energy and emotion into his entire show. Start to finish. Two hours non stop. There is nothing like it. His band is one of the best I have seen. This year he brought a little surprise with him. His little sister came along to sing backup vocals. She is just as amazing as her brother. It must be something in the Lang family gene pool. During the second show Jonny let a 19 year old guitarst from San Juan Capaistrano get up and play with him during the song "Rack em Up". (Click here to check it  out) The kid was pretty good. I talked to him after the show. He said that he wrote Jonny Lang a letter and gave it to him after the show on Thursday night. The next afternoon he got a text asking him to come down and play with him that night. How cool is that? If life was like the movie "Ground Hog Day" I would gladly choose to relive either of these two nights.
March was awesome! 
On deck for April Squeeze on the 11th and Ted Nugent on April 26th
Who knows what might pop up in between - Stay tooned!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

I would have never thought.....

Hello to all. As I write this I am posting the last of the videos that were shot at Winter NAMM. I didn't realize that I had so much footage until I sat down to do the editing. I could have easily shot more but I was devoting my time between the the Flip Video camera and the Nikon. Of course the Nikon won. I really wound up with some amazing images from both devices.  What is really mind blowing is how many views the Bobsteshetz YouTube Channel started to get after the very first posts from NAMM. When the last video finishes uploading I will have 22 that came from the 5 days at NAMM. The one that totally blows my mind is Doyle Dykes playing a medley featuring the U2 songs "With Or With Out You", "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and ends with the old standard "Amazing Grace". I usually check the viewing activity of the videos. On Super Bowl Sunday it had been up for about a week and had about 50 views. The very next morning it had 260. Crazy. If you haven't already done so please check out the Bobsteshetz YouTube Channel maybe even take a minute to subscribe.

On another note. It looks like March will be a busy month for shows at the Coach House. Friday night (3/2) I will be checking out last years winner of "The Voice", Javier Colon. I got a sample of his live show at the Taylor Guitar booth during Winter NAMM. He put on a pretty good show there. I'll let you know how he does in a bit larger venue. Saturday night (3/2) will be former Stray Cat Lee Rocker. I caught part of his show at last years Doheny Blues Festival. What little I saw was fantastic. My friend Robert Kinsler got to interview him last week. Click here to check out his review. Connie Rae will be opening for John Waite (former front man for the Baby's) on March 24th. Last bu not least Jonny Lang plays 2 shows (3/30 & 3/31) to close out the month. I know I will attend at least one if not both of those shows. His voice is just amazing. This is my version of "March Madness".

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Nothing Says I Love You Like ........

When I mentioned to a friend that I was going to see Big Head Todd and The Monsters on Valentines Day they responded "Nothing Says I Love You Like Big Head Todd and The Monsters". After seeing the show last night I might have to agree with them. I wouldn't normally be attending any event without my wife on a Valentine's Day but she was kind enough to give me a hall pass for the evening. A local band and my friends Anderson Hall opened the evening with a short but sweet 30 minute set. This is the third time I have seen this band and so far I have not grown tired of hearing them live. They are a good combination of rock and blues with a tad of pop thrown in for good measure. The recently landed a somewhat permanent gig on Friday nights in the restaurant at the House of Blues in Anaheim. Click here for more information about Anderson Hall. You can find some videos of Anderson Hall on  my YouTube Channel.
Also on the bill was Roger Clyne. Roger normally performs with his band The Peacemakers but tonight he was solo. Being an Arizona native, much of Roger's music revolves around life in southern Arizona. His set was well received by the audience. There were several folks who seemed to know every song word for word along with those that chose to get up from their seats to dance in the isle.

Next up was Big Head Todd. I had seen The Big Head Blues Club perform an amazing set at the Doheny Blues Festival May of 2011. Last nights set was just as amazing. Todd and the band turned in a set that fell just short of 2 hours. They were firing on all cylinders as they ripped through songs like Bittersweet, Resignation Superman, Boom Boom, and Rocksteady to name a few. The highlight for me was when drummer Brian Nevin came back out to accompany Todd during a slide guitar version of LMFAO's Sexy and I Know It for the encore. I think that he should consider recording and releasing it. Fantastic! What a way to spend Valentines Day. Click here to check out photos from last night's show.

To my wife.... Karen, after 25 year of marriage I can say I love you as much if not more than the day we got married! Thanks for the hall pass. I owe you one. ;-)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NAMM 2012 - As the dust finally settles....

It's hard to believe that it's been over a week since NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants) 2012 ended. I'm finally catching up to myself. I've posted most of my photos and videos and sent emails to the contacts made. Just a few more things to tidy up and I can put this baby to bed.  I thought I would post these links so that you can see how busy I actually was at this years' convention. Here's the links.

Youtube posts from NAMM

My photo albums on my Facebook page. - Taylor Guitars loves me!

Here's links to my "By Lines" for photos relating to NAMM

I got a few more things yet to post........stay tuned!