Emma Davis - vocals
Alan Heckle - guitar, vocals
Dave Youngman - keyboard, sax, guitar, vocals
Steve Boletchek - bass
Richard Gates - drums
To book Handsome Al and the Lookers, email Dave at Daveyoungman@earthlink.net or Alan at email@example.com.
Handsome Al and the Lookers featuring Emma Davis have proven to be one of the strongest bands in the Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill area. The nucleus of the band, Al, Dave and Steve, has a long and diverse musical history together in several different musical creations.
ALAN HECKLE: Back in 1972 Al “Handsome Al” Heckle was playing in the Durham, Greenville area in a band with Ed King of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Shortly after that Al moved to Texas spent time on the road playing with the late great Smokin’ Joe Kubek, The legendary Texas blues guitar player Bugs Henderson, The power house blues band from Dallas, Point Blank, Blues Rock band Django, and worked for Bill Ham, then manager for Z.Z. Top. After moving back to North Carolina in the late seventies formed a blues band with Scott Sawyer called Rocket 88. Another power house blues band that featured some excellent guitar duo work from Scott and Alan. In 1993 Al joined forces with Mr. Dave Youngman and Steve Boletchek in a band called Marie LeBleu and The Comitz. The band caught the ear of Mr. Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records. The band was given a glowing revue in Billboard Magazine. The Comitz, were doing jump blues and playing Jazz at the now defunct, Cappers jazz and super club. This band was a regular jazz group there and had the likes of Grady Tate who had played with George Benson, Wes Montgomery, was the Drummer for the Tonight Show Band, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, and many more, sitting in with the Comitz. After Cappers closed Al joined up with Richard Gates in a solid blues unit called The Heaters. The Heaters had a strong local following and were a tight harp driven blues rockin’ band in the vein of The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Robben Ford and The Blue Line, and Paul Butterfield Blues Band. During this time Al studied under Robben Ford also. Al continued to play with some heavy local players such as Mel Melton and the Wicked Mojos while sitting in with bands like Blues World Order. He and Dave Youngman then formed The Chicken Fried Blues Band that won best local blues band as voted on from readers of The Independent back in 2013.
Al, Dave, and Steve are back with drummer Richard Gates and the great Emma Davis in a tight, hard driven R.& B. band called The lookers. It is a strong unit of seasoned professionals that bring a lot to the table.
DAVE YOUNGMAN: is a Diverse and multitalented individual that is a welcome addition to any band. He covers keyboards, sax, as well as second guitar, and vocals for the band. Dave grew up in NYC ... started piano at 8, clarinet at 11, sax at 14, guitar at 16 and flute in his 20’s. He attended the High School of Music and Art in Manhattan. He was drafted after college and played clarinet and sax in the army band. After the army, he honed his marvelous talent while playing all over the Southeast in the 70’s. He has played with Adele Foster band, Jeremy Steig, Space Heaters, Mr. Sticky, Marie LeBleu and the Comitz, The Chicken Fried Blues Band and many more bands. His Jazz group, The Dave Youngman Quartet, was well received and enjoyed airplay on jazz stations. As of late in addition to being a big part of The Lookers he has been leading his own jazz group and working with his wife Lola on vocals.
STEVE BOLETCHEK: has been performing and playing bass professionally since the age of 19. In college he studied musical performance, theory and composition at Virginia Tech. In the late 80's and early 90's, Steve served a 7 year stint with the Washington D.C. based hard bop quintet 'The Big Beat'. He subsequently moved to central North Carolina and joined the rhythm section of 'Marie LeBleu & The Comitz. The indie jump blues and swing outfit that earned a write-up in Billboard magazine in 2002. He currently performs regularly in a variety of jazz groups in the greater Raleigh, NC area, including the Heart of Carolina Jazz Orchestra and the Jim McCann Jazz Project. He has performed with several distinguished Heart of Carolina guest artists, including Steve Turre, Dave Valentin, Virginia Mayhew, Eve Cornelius, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and Houston Person. He has also gigged with Dave Wright and Tim Smith, who are both former members of the Squirrel Nut Zippers. Steve is a welcome and strong addition and one of the strongest bass players around. He does a stellar job with The Lookers. he and drummer Richard Gates are a strong rhythm section that drives this band.
EMMA DAVIS: Is a Raleigh, NC native and has been singing in bands since high school. Her strong, powerful, and soulful voice drives Big Mama E and the Cool which has been her long term passion project. That wonderful voice is front and center in The Lookers and fits the bands R&B, Soul, and the Blues format to a tee. Emma has a strong and loyal local following which is well deserved. She and Al met on The Beatles 50th tribute show back in 2014 with both being big fans.
“I am very happy to get the chance to sing some of my favorite music which included Aretha Franklin, Delbert McClinton, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, and many other artists”
RICHARD GATES: Has a long and strong history of being a driving drummer and a driving force in every band he has ever played in. From his stint with Nantucket, B.J. Thomas, to The Heaters and now Handsome Al and The Lookers he has constantly pushed the bands and combined with Steve Boletchek to create a rhythm section that is strong and powerful.