Thursday, August 08, 2013

Summer 2013 Sort Of Musical Update (Janeen Leah Band & Cold Planet)

Hi all groovy guys, groovy girls!  Here's a quick update of my musical endeavors of the past couple of months.

As I had hoped, I got to play several shows this summer, not only with the Janeen Leah Band, but also with rockers Cold Planet!  I officially joined Cold Planet as rhythm guitarist and backup vocalist after the April 20, 2013 show at the Red Devil Lounge.

--- Part 1 ---

As a bit of background, I sort of joined an earlier version of Cold Planet a few years back as, get this... keyboard player and backup vocalist just as that particular project was being put on hold.  Fast forward a couple of years later, the project was brought to life again and was asked to be a part of it.  The revamp was major since only Michael Burke (guitar) and J.D. Chilton (bass) remained from the original band (former drummer Scott Acridge was on board earlier on, but decided to bow out shortly after the "relaunch" but not before playing a blistering set with the guys at the Red Devil Lounge!).  The lineup was completed by lead vocalist Chris Zundel, Art Williams on drums and yours truly on guitar and backing vocals.  Michael also sings backup.  Yes, your keen sense of observation is correct!  3/5 of the Janeen Leah Band also make up 3/5 of Cold Planet; which works out great when we're both on the same bill!.  After very little in the way of practice time, we took it to the road and such road has taken us to several Bay Area cities such as Hayward, Oakland, San Francisco, Alameda and Danville to name a few.  I hope as many of my loyal readers (ha!) can come see the band at one of our upcoming shows.  The band's website is .  And there is also a fun Facebook page!

Cold Planet Rocking it at The Stork Club in Oakland on July 17, 2013

For your viewing and listening pleasure, here's a video of Cold Planet performing a scorching version of the blazing original "Mercy Me" at The Stork Club in Oakland on July 17, 2013.  Of note is that as awesome as this performance was, the occasion marked the very first time that this lineup took the stage!  Can you believe that?!  You can't see me too well, but I'm there!  :)

--- Part 2 ---

The Janeen Leah Band has also been tearing it down all over the place this summer!  We've played a variety of shows including acoustic solo Janeen, almost-acoustic shows with Janeen, Michael, Mike and me, partial band shows and full band shows.  We have added new songs to our repertoire including originals and covers and sound tighter than ever!

We were part of a California tour with excellent Scottish artist Scott Cowie.  The tour also took Janeen and Scott to Southern California for a series of successful shows.  Scott is an excellent guitarist/singer/songwriter and it was great to meet him and share the bill with him (btw, there was no hidden track on my CD Scott!  :)

By the way, if you want to see a whole bunch of pictures and videos of the tour, plus pictures and videos of most shows be it solo, full band or collaborations, be sure to "LIKE" Janeen Leah in Facebook!

In addition to Scott, we have also made more new friends including San Jose band Sweet HayaH with whom we've played a number of shows.  Sweet HayaH is made up of four wonderful, talented musicians and human beings: Nehal Abuelata (vocals & keyboards), Aaron Marquez (super massive bassist), Devin Moreno (lefty guitarist dude & vocals), and Josh Gardner (drums, gongs and vocals).  Sweet HayaH are well on their way to making it big and I so totally encourage you to check them out!

Last Friday night (8/2), we played another gig at the venerable Bistro in Hayward.  This was the first time we played with no other band(s) on the bill, and it made for an exciting evening.  Janeen and Art kicked things off with a short acoustic set, and then we brought the house down with the whole band.  Many friends (including Eric, Kelly, Yasmine, and many more!) came to see us and the crowd was hot!  Here's a picture from that night:

The Janeen Leah Band at The Bistro in Hayward, Friday August 2, 2013

I will leave you with a video of the Janeen Leah Band playing fan favorite "Like A Fool" at Alameda's High Street Station Cafe during the Janeen/Scott Cowie tour.  Mike could not make it to this particular show, so we went at it as a four-piece.  To me this was very interesting because almost one year ago, we played the same venue for the first time as a band.  It was an early band gig and Mike had not joined yet.  It was also my second or third time playing in public since my decade and a half break from playing music.  There is video of us playing this song back then also (I'm sure you can find it if you want to watch it! :) ).

So now I'm a bassist AND guitarist!  Go figure!  It's been a fun, great, interesting ride so far to say the least!

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