Fire On The Mountain !!!
The RaveUps Meet The Yardbirds
Sun February 08, 2009
Another 60's British Explosion was heard far and wide last Friday night at Slim's in San Francisco. At "The Best Bar & Club" in the city, the sounds of 60's British rock echoed during an almost 4 hour show. With British Union Jacks adorning the stage and walls, and the music of the era playing, Slim's started to fill up early.
First on the bill was "Them Raving Animals", a new addition to the BIN Production stable of artists. It was their premiere performance, and it rocked. This Animals tribute band opened with "Don't Bring Me Down" and got things rocking quick. Followed by many hits including "It's My Life" and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place", the set never lost momentum. As an added treat they also did a few Them tunes including "Baby Please Don't Go" which closed the set with real fire.
Next up was an all female Kinks tribute band called "The Minks". Many fans in the crowd were wearing their Minks t-shirts to show support. Stylishly dressed in matching Union Jack miniskirts, they stepped up the pace with "You Really Got Me", All Day & All of the Night", and "Sunny Afternoon". They covered a wide variety of Kinks tunes closing the set with "Lola" and a rousing version of "Victoria".
The RaveUps blasted onto the stage with a 3 song medley of "Little Games, Shapes of Things, and Lost Woman". Barely giving the audience a chance to catch it's breath, they then launched into the hits " Heart Full of Soul, Over Under Sideways Down,and Happenings Ten Years Time Ago". The tones from the Vox amps and vintage guitars completely captured the nuances this band is famous for. For an added treat, The RaveUps asked friend and singer Alex Karlinsky (from Berkeley's iconic group The Psychotic Pineapple) to sit in on "For Your Love" to the delight of many fans. To close the set came the powerful pair " I'm a Man", followed by a blistering encore of "Train Kept a Rollin."
To finish the evening of British rock was the powerful sound of The Hoo. A long time staple of The BIN Production shows, they smoked the stage with all The Who hits from the 60's and 70's. From "The Kids Are Alright" to the synthesizer laced " Baba O Riley", the booming bass, crashing drums, and ringing guitar pulled us right back to those days when we first heard this music.
Four groups in one show covered a wide spectrum of the music from this era, not often heard live these days. Long live BIN Productions and the shows that they bring us.
60'S BRITISH EXPLOSION UN-PLUGGED 5/17/09
A new version of BIN Productions 60's British Explosion Night was premiered at infamous The Freight & Salvage in Berkeley Ca. This show of 60's British rock was done with all acoustic instruments or as it has been said..."unplugged ". This approach did not try to sound like the records of the famous 60's Brit groups, but gave each artist the chance to interpret the music their own way and provided the audience with a more organic earthy musical treat.
The show began with solo artists playing a guitar. Representing The Beatles music, Drew Harrison of The Sunkings played a delightful set of John Lennon tunes. His phrasing of words even his body language gave the impression that we were actually watching John Lennon perform for us. From the sing along hits of the Beatles to an amazing solo version of "A Day in the Life", Drew got a real emotional response from the audience.
Showing us the softer side of that bombastic rock group The Who, was Al Chan of the Rubinoos. With only one guitar and his voice, Al was able show us the power this music without amps or drums. "The Kids are Alright, My Generation, Substitute, and I Can See for Miles" were performed as well as later classics such as " Behind Blue Eyes ".
Next up was Steve Emerson doing the music of Donovan. As most of Donovans music was "Mellow Yellow" to begin with, the transition was fluid to make it an acoustic rendition. Singing " The Hurdy Gurdy Man", Sunshine Superman, Wear Your Love Like Heaven, and Catch the Wind", Steve evoked the breathy, vibrato laden quality of Donovans voice. As an added treat Chris Solberg and Bob Lewis of The RaveUps joined Steve for "There is a Mountain, and Season of the Witch" for an extended jam.
The RaveUps were next with a set of Yardbirds hits such as "For Your Love", "Heart Full of Soul" and included lesser known classics such as "I am a Man". Since The Yardbirds spawned great guitarists such as Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck, it was only natural that this show reflected more of the blues roots of this music than the records did. Admittedly a fuzztone was used on one song this night, but it was more a statement about the boundries this group stretched than about just sounding electronic. Many new fans were made this night that were not familiar with The Yardbirds music, and most plan to attend our 60's British Explosion show at Slim's next month.
Topping the bill, The Rubber Souldiers band (from Marin) offered a unique twist on Beatles songs that gave their interpretations an almost country bluegrass sound. Singing duties went to Lorin and Chris Rowan, along with David Gans. They enjoy rearranging songs, such as playing Norwegian Wood then swtiching to That Boy mid song and then finally playing them simultaneously. They similarly gave this treatment to "If I Fell Across the Universe" that starts out with the classic "If I Fell" and changes into "Across the Universe". On stage, they describe themselves as a Beatles jam band." Using acoustic guitar, mandolin, and a stand up bass, the sound was very reminiscent of The Greatful Dead playing Beatles tunes.
All in all a great evening with a fresh approach to the great songs from the British Invasion groups. Bravo to BIN Productions for taking a chance on this format!
January 17th 2009
Chris and Bob of the RaveUps flew to Anaheim Ca. for the 2009 NAMM show, to see old friends, and find new products for the band. Saturday while cruising the main floor, they ran into Seymour Duncan the guitar pickup wizard. Chris has known him for a while, and during the conversation Seymour's love for The Yardbirds and their music came up repeatably. For a long time "Heart Full of Soul" was a favorite of Seymour's as a teenager and he still loves their music to this day.
Seymour was also very kind to say " The RaveUps are my favorite band." He was so glad that this great music is still being kept alive. We did a group photo, and he was very amiable in discussing the RaveUps and the possibility of sitting in with us sometime. While many music executives were waiting for their turn to talk with Seymour, he graciously took the time to laugh and tell stories about how his interest in the Yardbirds began as a teenager. We look forward to the day when we can have a "raveup"with Seymour !
December 18th 2008- The Capitol, Sacramento, California
The RaveUps were in the state capitol playing for the veterans of the Vietnam war this day. Last summer we did a benefit for homeless vets playing all The Yardbirds hits at an outdoor venue called "Stand Down". It went over so well, that we were contacted by the head of Veteran Affairs to play at a rededication of the Vietnam War Memorial on the state capitol grounds.
The weather forecast was supposed to be windy, cold, with possible afternoon showers. Being an outdoor event under an open air tent, we were a little concerned. But on the drive to the show, it blossomed into a clear beautiful winter day. The color guard started the show, then many speeches, and finally a gun salute to our fallen men. Al done with military crispness, and quite moving.
Opening the music portion of the event was a fine local Who tribute band called " Who Dunnit". Like The RaveUps these guys have done their homework. Very professional with a quick moving set, they did all the hits. A few times I closed my eyes, and thought I was at a real Who concert.
Next came The RaveUps doing that Yardbirds music we all love so much. "I'm Not Talking" got people dancing right away, and then we followed with the bluesy "Rack My Mind" . Since we were playing a short set we stayed with the hits. Shapes of Things, Heart Full of Soul, Happenings, For Your Love, and Train Kept A'Rolling all had folks clapping along. Its good to see that The RaveUps are keeping this classic Yardbirds music alive in the hearts of todays youth, as well as the folks who heard these songs when they came out. Long live the Yardbirds music .
September 5th 2008- British Invasion Night # 4
Tonight The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco became a 60's dance hall in London for one night. This beautiful venue, built in 1907 right after the earthquake, was transformed with Union Jacks, Go Go girls, an English Bobby, and the music of the Birtish Invasion of the 60's. The night started with the bombastic musical assault of The Hoo. With full on energy The Hoo reminded us of the power this music held for us. No guitars or amps were smashed, but in the future, and if the budget allows, Hoo knows?
Next came The RaveUps, with " Train Kept a' Rolling" to get their part of the show started. For 45 minutes they played everything from British blues ( I'm a Man ) to psychedelia ( Shapes of Things). It was noted by the audience that the energy coming off the stage during this set, was overwhelming. Played with accuracy and passion, these tunes still hold the magic that makes rock music what it is today.
To close the evening The Sunkings treated us to all those Beatle songs we love to sing along with. If you closed your eyes, you would swear that you had been transported back in time. On the last song ( All You Need is Love ), the go go girls, the Bobby, and all the other bands got onstage to sing it together. A lot of love was truly in the room that night
August 24th 2008- Goodguys Car Show
Dave Morley of The Goodguys car show invited us to play at the Alameda County fairgrounds this weekend. Nice warm weather, and the biggest car show on the west coast made for wonderful day. What a fantastic event ! There are beautiful hot rods as far as the eye can see in every direction, and historical ones too. As the RaveUps played Yardbirds tunes for the crowd, the most fantastic cars would cruise by in front of the bandstand. It was hot and we rocked the stage with loud British blues, but no amps blew up today thank goodness !
August 16 2008- The Mystic Theater
Once again we paired up with our good friends The Sun Kings to do an all British flavored show. The Mystic Theater holds a special place in The RaveUps hearts. Last year while attending a show by The Yardbirds, we were approached by John Idan (of the real Yardbirds) while eating at the same restaurant as they were. It seems that their harp player was ailing, so our own Dave Seabury was asked to sit in for the whole set. Chris got the honor of introducing the band, and a magical evening was had by all of The RaveUps.
With the Sun Kings, we all got a chance to rock the house from the same stage. With John Cuniberti at the mixing controls once again, The RaveUps showed why they are the best Yardbirds tribute band around. The Sun Kings played almost 2 hours, as Sonoma county learned how the British rocked back in the 60's in a mini preview of BIN# 4.
August 9th 2008- Fire On The Mountain Sonora
For the second year, The RaveUps were asked to play at The Sonora Blues festival. This event has been going on for 13 years now, and has more blues fans attending than ever. We gave the audience an introduction to what " British Blues" is all about, and they we're on their feet dancing and singing along with all The Yardbird's hits. In spite of the heat ( both guitar amps blew up and had to be replaced during the set ) an energetic hour set brought the audience to their feet on our last song
" Train "Kept a Rolling".
Greg Kristapovich, of the local newspaper, wrote in his column " The RaveUps, a Yardbirds tribute band, sounded so much like the original band it sent chills up and down this writer’s spine!"
After our set we did a workshop for Yardbird fans in an air-conditioned pavilion (whew! it was in the high 90's ). We got lots of interesting questions from fans about equipment, and enjoyed the interactivity a lot.
August 8th 2008- East Bay Stand Down
For those of you who don't know what this is, Stand Down is an event that helps all the vets who haved served our country, and now need some help of their own. Whether it's job counseling, drug rehab, doctors, dentists, mental health, or just help filling out government forms, for 3 days volunteers help all the people who have served.
With help from our good friends The Sun Kings , we provided these folks with some sounds from the 60's that all thoroughly enjoyed. Many a soldier came up to us after the show, telling us how moved they were by hearing these 60's tunes again. It was a wonderful chance to do something for the folks who have given their all. To quote the founder and Executive Chair of East Bay Stand Down, Denver Mills, " Thank you so much for bringing such great music to our event. The veteran participants loved, and so did I !
July 18th 2008- Meeting Donovan
Well, we didn't meet the "real" Donovan, but we had lunch with a musical gentleman named Steve Emerson. As part of the "British Invasion Night" production, the RaveUps we're looking for more groups that fit the bill. After a nice chat and some discussion of logistics, we asked if he would want to be part of the upcoming BIN#4. The answer was a resounding yes ! This guy does a great job of playing Donovan tunes, and will be a great addition to the upcoming shows.
June 21st 2008- Great American Music Hall
This is simply the most beautiful venue to play in San Francisco. Built shortly after the '06 earthquake, it's ornate balconies and chandeliers are very classy. Tonight we opened for that power pop sensation The Rubinoos. With John Cuniberti at the mixing board handling reverb and blasting guitars, the crowd got a good dose of what the RaveUps are all about. Everybody was on board as the "Train Kept A Rolling" ended our set. Providing a great contrast with raw loud rock, the RaveUps set the stage for an acapella opener by The Rubinoos . With sparkling harmonies and a driving, dancable beat, they closed the show.
June 7th 2008- Kensington Circus Pub
Tonight was a real rave-up in Kensington ! A few times a year The RaveUps like to do "free" shows at Kensington Circus pub. With good food and beer, the place has a real european feel. There is a family type atmoshpere with kids welcome. Many good artists play here unannounced, so you never know who you might see. At the end of our set, we pass the hat and take whatever donations the audience wants to offer. It's a really fun challenge to play at a low volume in an intimate setting, and still "rock" the house.
May 24th 2008- The Studio
For the 3 day Memorial weekend we're all in the studio listening, mixing and fine tuning the shows recorded last month. With lots of help from James G. and the "Skillet", we worked hard on balancing what we captured live. Mostly 12 hour days, with breaks for great Thai food, it's taking longer than we anticipated. That's what happens when you're detailing every song for sonic quality.
Feb 4 2008- Bottom of The Hill
For a Monday night it was a really good turn out. The opening act was Spacebag led by a very talented young lady from Berkeley Ca named "T." Check out their myspace.com site and have a listen to some very original alt rock. The RaveUps were up second on the bill, and set the stage on fire. When the smoke cleared, we had some new fans who now understand what a rave-up is ! Headlining was The Minks, an all female Kinks tribute band. Lots of great tunes, and great stage energy. The audience was singing along to all the hits. They dressed in 60's garb, and it looked fab.