Sometimes it's necessary to take on a challenge when it comes to songwriting. Not to become too philosophical, but this was like an old college class assignment in music theory: Write a specific song, on a specific subject, to a specific event, for a specific purpose. All those specifics tends to crush creative thinking, so when I was asked to write a song about a Christmas Tree from California, well, it did present some WTF?????? moments as to how this was going to work... and it had to be written, rehearsed and recorded in two weeks! Hmm-mm, let's see, California's Stanislaus Forestry Service was selected to harvest and donate a sixty foot spruce this year to Washington D.C. for this year's Capitol Christmas festivities. The overall theme for this event is "California Shines" and the tree will be known as "The People's Tree from California". OK, move the words People's Tree from there and repeat it here and proclaim how California Shines on Washington D.C. and how maybe, JUST MAYBE, they can get there act together (rather than fight all the time while the country goes down the tubes). Add a little bit of history and salute our military men and women, give shout-outs to our teachers and working people... then make it as freaking' optimistic and hopeful as possible. Lets give it that "California here I Come..." swing and play it as a throwback to the Hootenanny days of V-necked pullover sweaters and high social platitudes and maybe we'll create something that pays tribute to a very special occasion. Schmaltz without making anyone throw-up! The Capitol Christmas Tree event send off is scheduled for November 5th, 2011 at the Motherlode Fairgrounds, Sonora CA. For more info: http://www.capitolchristmastree2011.org/ Although submitted for the statewide sponsored song search, our contribution "The People's Tree from California" was not picked as the official title. However it was selected for the compilation CD of the best songs of the bunch and I'm very proud of it! Its style is very different than The BBBB's usual sound and who knows, we may do more of this folkie stuff. In any case we will be posting our song, "The People's Tree from California", as a single download in the next few days with the intention of bringing together the glitter, inspiration and some sunny patriotism during this holiday season. It is upon us. Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all our fans, friends, and family, for all your support this year. This is dedicated to all of us as proud Californians and Americans, "...accept this tree as a precious gift and never be afraid!"... Bless you all!
Big thanks to all our friends, family and fans who came out to see The BluesBox Bayou Band on our great Motherlode zydeco run. Great turn outs at Twain Harte's Concert in the Pines, Sonora's Magic of the Night and our newest gig for the Friends of Columbia, Hot Summer Street Dance! Big fun! Great food, great dancers and good times in the mountain towns we call home, see you all next year! ROADTRIP!!!! The BluesBox Bayou Band will now hightail it out-of-town and head north to one of the most beautiful amphitheaters along the coast, Azalea Park, Brookings Oregon, Sunday, August 28th! Seems like we know quite a few Cal transplants up there, as well as a bunch of new BBBB fans, so our return engagement, after a two years, is expected to set an attendance record for their American Music series of community concerts. This is a great trip and I can hardly contain my appetite for razor clams, chowder and other assorted North Coast sea food! It's A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! So long to summer time! We're getting to our fall closers. Make plans now to attend the Blazin' Hog BBQ Festival in Mariposa, Saturday Sept 17th featuring headliner Lisa Haley and the Zydekats and also a Sept 10th flash dance at Lozanos Pacific Avenue Bar & Grill, zydeco in Stockton of all places, coming up, check our schedule!
The biggest compliment I get about my band is whenever someone from the south land says something like...
“CALIFORNIA? Man I thought y'all was Cajun as Crawfish! Excellent work, I love it. You can take the word of a Texan in Indiana! love that Cajun trill, thanks ” or
"C'mon now ... you guys are not from California! Y'all've GOT to be from Louisiana. Mais, y'all can't fool dis ole Cajun."
Now that music can be distributed all over from the cozy comfort of my computer, I receive these e-mails from all over the world! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now comes an opportunity to take our music back to another American landmark which inspired us, Austin, Texas. As much as New Orleans, Austin has long been a hub of Americana and home to many of the major zydeco and roots players in the world. We are proud to be part of it. Next April 9th The BBBB will perform for the Louisiana Swamp Thing & Crawfish Festival in nearby Buda Texas. Rarely do we get a chance to play such a major musical showcase town as Austin or Buda. One of twelve bands selected by ReverbNation to perform on stage with the likes of George Clinton, Doug Kershaw, Keith Frank, Jeffery Brousard.... we hope to check out the landscape and take it ALL in! Come show your support of Modesto's most unlikely musical legacy, The BluesBox Bayou Band, Saturday night, March 26th for their official CD release party for "Family Bayou" at the Eagles Hall, 126 Camelia Way Modesto. Dance lessons with Zydeco Ted and libations at the best little tavern in town, music at 8:30 PM. And don't forget about that "world famous, spring-loaded dance floor"! Thanks everyone for your support see you soon!
Welcome 2011, greetings to all our new friends and fans of The BluesBox Bayou Band! Thanks for all your support and good wishes, we're looking forward to another year of fun, music and mayhem... the new 2011 Schedule is now posted up on our official website with new dates posted weekly and we're just getting started! Big news is we have another CD titled "Family Bayou" on the way, it will be our best set of original, traditional and cover music yet and sets the stage for nothing but CD release parties all year long! Release date is set for March 1, 2011 so stay tuned in to actual release parties coming up at the Eagles Hall in Modesto and anywhere else we have a habit of showing up at throughout the season! Again Happy New Year to everyone, special thanks to the Stage 3 folks and the sold out show in Sonora. A lot of music is on the way, see you all soon!
Thanks to all the new BluesBox Bayou Band fans who have just recently signed up! We're reaching a new milestone every month, thanks to social media, so please keep in touch and keep spreading the word! The BBBB is very excited to announce our New Years Eve show at Stage 3 Theater at 128 Green St. Sonora. This will be the ticket for a unique live concert and dance at Sonora's premier performing arts theater. Food, dancing and live music are all included in the ticket, but get them early... only so many in circulation. This will be a great time and great way to close out 2010 and bring on 2011! Thanks again to everyone for your support and proclaiming yourself a BluesBox Bayou Band fan! We're honored.
Bye bye nice weather... need to get out the winter coats! This time of year tends to depress the heck out of me but I'm determined to take it in stride. No time to feel blue, The BBBB always has something cooking! Brother and guitar player Frank is celebrating his 60th birthday this month at JAX on H street Monday, November 22. Could be a lot of surprises, band reunions, old friends, and a rare, special Modesto, BluesBox Bayou Band appearance. Good mornin' SON-OR-AAAA!... We've got our annual Serventes Grocery, Bar & Grill, Christmas Party in downtown Sonora on Dec 18th, the Zydeco breakfast starts in at 8:30 AM 'til whenever.... Thank you Motherlode! Also a very special New Years Eve event planned for Stage 3 Theater on Green Street Sonora! They will be opening up the big theater for music and dancing and Zydeco Ted will be there too for some dance lessons and fun. This will be one heck of an exclusive party so get your reservations early! Call the theater for details and ticket prices. Thanks again to everyone for a great 2010!!, next year will be even better!
There goes another summer and outside music time is getting scarce, everybody might be booking late but they're keeping it fun! Six Flags has asked us back for another Cajun Fest weekend at the Discovery Park Vallejo 10/3... and this is our umph-teenth time we have been to the Sonora Sunrise Rotary Cajun Fest 10/16 for some great food and harvest rituals... and Saturday back to partnering up with the Eagles Hall in Modesto 10/23 for a Zydeco Dance Party! Finally joining our friends on Sunday at the Ironstone Amphitheater for a private BBQ event for their volunteers.... It'll be great way to round out the fall!
We won't be gone this winter, we got some plans... so keep in the loop!
Welcoming our old "new" drummer back to the fold, Peter George DeMattos takes the main back beater position as he replaces heavy hitter Mike Farris. No worries, Petey "knows the music as well as anyone in the band!" He is one of the founding members way back when, in '96 when everyone thought I was crazy and with no taste. Now I'm not so crazy and still have no taste... but that's why I have had the best drummers around to keep me in line. The great Rudy Knight legacy lives on! But wait till you hear the band now that it's all back in the family, where it belongs. Welcome Petey D, what took you so long to come back?????
Great leapin' lizards a BIG trek down to the land of sunshine and movie stars! Our first major foray into the City of Angels massive market. The last time we were in So Cal we were invited to be on Lifetime network's Wife Swap. A real life Cajun woman was traded to an L.A. family? Go figure? Her new family were planning a surprise backyard fais do do for her, which we were to play. But, as I could have told them, she wore out her welcome a lot sooner than expected. I got a call from the producer early that morning waving us off. The host family threw her out of the house by 3 AM that morning, albeit to say no party, no Wife Swap no big TV debut for The BBBB. Well maybe this second time is a charm...
What the ???? Number 3 band on Reverb Nations Modesto Blues Chart? Has hell frozen over? Yes, in terms of social media buzz, The BluesBox Bayou Band keeps on keepin' on. The new newsletter and fan reach options uncovered a lot of enthusiasm out there for The BBBB that actually exists! Hurray for you! Fans, friends, event planners, promoters... you made a difference by not having to do very much at all but to stay on our e-mail list! Thanks again.... Was great to get back to the Eagles Hall Modesto, see all the new and old faces there. Quite a few from over the years that I missed, (all though some I didn't miss at all) ahem... Z Ted did a great job on the dance lesson front working with an early crowd of steppers. Full house crowd. The Eagle members have the best hospitality and old time club vibe and ghosts still hang out in those hidden stair wells hidden by drop doors. love that place! See you next time, private party this weekend. on your feet, pete g. thebbbb