Andy McKee Smothers Theater Pepperdine University Malibu, CA 1/10/2014

Pepperdine is a beautiful campus and this is a great theater.   I got kind of lost trying to find this place, but it all worked out. 

Parking is easy.   You can park right next to the venue or  take a shuttle up to the venue from the lower lot. 


There’s not a bad seat in the venue.    It’s a big room with high ceilings and good sound and lighting.  


He had two guitars on the stage and that was about it. 


There were some parents with a baby at the show.   That’s a lucky little kid right there!!!



Andy started his show a little after 8:00 PM.    This was my 3rd time seeing him play.    This was the best since he was the solo headline performer and put in almost two hours of playing. 

His playing style is very unique combination of percussion, technique and creativity.   He slaps, taps, and does all kinds of neat guitar work to achieve his incredible sound.      He plays many great musical styles and often sounds like 2 guitar players and a drummer at the same time all by himself. 

He played his popular original tunes including “Drifting”, “Rylynn”, his  arrangements of 80s songs “Africa”  by Toto and “Everybody Wants To Rules The World” by “Tears For Fears”.     He also played part of “Never Going Back Again” by Fleetwood Mac as well as performing songs from his upcoming EP.  They sounded fantastic.   His guitars are tunes so differently from song to song.   He even sounds good while he’s tuning up.     He even did guitar picking on one song like normal people would.   It was weird watching him play in a conventional manner for a minute or two.    His bass lines and low playing on the new tunes were really cool. 

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His jokes and stories in between songs were entertaining.   He talked of touring with Dream Theater and told funny stories about his time touring with Prince.   He has a cool sense of humor.    Andy posted a video of himself playing a Dream Theater song on electric.  It was awesome.   I’d like to see him open for himself playing electric guitar in a hard rock band.  


There was a driver’s license /sobriety checkpoint on PCH on the way out.  As the police officer was checking my license, he said that several people in the cars in front of me were also leaving the concert.  The police officer asked me what concert it was.    He didn’t know who Andy McKee was.      He asked me what kind of guitarist he was.  I told him he was a mostly finger-style guitarist with hundreds of millions of views on YouTube. .    He even made a comment that YouTube makes people into stars these takes He was impressed.   He said that  I clearly hadn’t been drinking and I told him that the on campus  venue doesn’t even serve alcohol.   I said that he’s so good in concert that people don’t really need alcohol to enjoy his show.  Ha ha.     By the time he waved me through at the end our conversation, he seemed rather interested in Andy McKee.  Maybe he went home and watched some of Andy’s YouTube vids.



DRUM CHANNEL – Curt Bisquera Satnam Ragotra Toss Panos MAN OF STEEL/ Galactic Booty Co. band STUDIO SHOW 1/9/2014


It’s always cool to get to hang out with the world’s greatest drummers.   This was the 165th Drum Channel show and is now simulcast on their YOUTUBE channel and via all mobile devices.


“Galactic Booty Co.”  is a new band that features three drummers did sound track work for  “Man of Steel“.    The band consists of Curt Bisquera, Toss Panos, and Satnam  Ramgotra – three truly remarkable drummers.


They started off playing as a trio with “Kirkee B” on a cocktail kit, Toss Panos on a traditional DW kit, and Satnam Ramgothra on a tabla, cajon and a DW woofer  (Satnam credited Toss with the set up).



The first song was just drumming and then the  Galactic Booty Co. was in full effect when they were joined by Matt Rohde on keyboard and Dan Lutz on the bass  .



The drumming trio was also interviewed on the couch by Don Lombardi, as they discussed their friendship, their band, working on the Man on Steel soundtrack with Hans Zimmer, the fact they all attended PIT, they shared drumming stories, discussed auditions and more.




There was even some footage of Kirkee B skateboarding and playing on top of a tour bus cruising past Hollywood and Highland, which is part of Curt’s new video available at the Drum Channel

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The Galactic Booty Co. with Don Lombardi and Dean Zimmer:


With new media outlets in the works, along with  new features on the DC shows and the upcoming Rock Science Drum Channel game, Don Lombardi has some big things in store for the Drum Channel in 2014.



ALBERT LEE 70th Birthday Celebration/ All-star Concert The Canyon Club 1/9/2014


When I was a kid, I got an instruction guitar video by Steve Lukather on VHS  from a company called Hot Licks.

Included with the guitar lesson on the video were trailers of other instructional videos.   That’s where I discovered the guitar wizardry of Albert Lee.     He kind of looked like Martin Short to me and he did things on the guitar that I had never seen before.   His style of guitar playing was just so clean and fast and good.   I must have watched that intro hundreds of times.   


After saving up for months (these tapes were about $50 each), I bought Albert’s instructional video.   From there, I found out about a bunch of other guitar players and other musicians who ended up being part of the show tonight to celebrate his legendary career and his 70th birthday.     This show reminded me that I am much bigger fan of country music than I had ever really thought I was.


The Canyon was completely sold out and the event drew an incredible all-star line-up for a memorable 3 1/2 + hour show.

Some of the participants:

Denny Laine
Peter Asher
Hot Roux
Biff Babies
Laurence Juber
Jack Shit
John Jorgenson
Jerry Donahue
Emmylou Harris

Rodney Crowell
Desert Rose Band

Jay Dee Maness, Herb Pedersen, Bill Bryson, Steve Duncan and Clem Burke


I once saw Emmylou Harris in concert with Mark Knopfler at the Gibson Amphitheatre (RIP – it’s a flat pile of dirt right now) and she was extraordinary.   She was great tonight as well.



Truly incredible guitar work with 2/3 of The Hellecasters (john Jorgenson and Jerry Donohue) and Albert  – it was a definite highlight of the show seeing three of my favorite guitar players together.  The recordings the Hellecasters have done are some of the best guitar albums in existence.


Laurence Juber He also played a week ago as a guest with the incredible tribute to Paul McCartney and Wings with the Wings Band    Playing solo  for “Raining In My Heart” and then doing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”  was a huge treat.   What a great guitar player.   And he was really cool after the show last weekend.    I hope he keeps playing out around here.


Ramblin’ Jack/ Scarlett Rivera – good times and great violin playing.


The show ended with a rocking version of Country Boy.    A great end to a wonderful evening of music.

Partial Set List:
I’m Ready
Two Step Too/ Runaway Train
When Will I Be Loved
Something you Got
Six Days in New Orleans
Lucy Lucy
Too Much (w/ Clem BUrke on drums)
Long White Cadiallc
Well Alright
Let It Be Me
World Without Lovee
Go Now
Hi How are You/ Devil in Disguise
Tiger By The Tail
Coming Home
Raining In My Hart
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
No One Can Make My Sunshine Smile

Leave My Woman
Country Boy







WINGS BAND (Paul McCartney. Wings Tribute) THE CANYON CLUB January 4, 2014 1/4/2014


I saw an insane number of tribute band concerts last year.   Out of every tribute band I’ve ever seen, The Fab Four from Season 2 of AXS TV’s The World’s Greatest Tribute Band was by far the best act I’ve ever witnessed.


I was very excited to hear that the Wings Band, which has several members of the Fab Four (the ultra-talented Ardy Sarraf and Ron McNeil), is going to be on Season  of the show and I had to catch them before their big TV date performing at The Canyon Club. 

The band, complete with horn section, came out and did a 90 minute set of incredible Paul McCartney and Wings tunes.  Everyone in this band is a phenomenal musician.  The guitar work, the horn section, the songs were all great. 

This show was easily on par with the Fab Four, which makes them at least the second best tribute band I’ve ever seen.      It’s quite interesting (and very impressive) that Ardy Sarraf, although born right-handed, learned how to play the bass left handed for his role as Paul McCartney.    What a great performance by the entire band.   I’m floored.



As a special surprise, Laurence Juber, Wings’ lead guitarist from 1978-1981, came out during the encore and rocked some tunes with the band. That was a huge treat for everyone in attendance.



And, The Fab Four are also playing at the Canyon next month, so that’s another show to really look forward to.  

From Wikipedia:

Formed by Ardy Sarraf, Wings band is a Paul McCartney and Wings tribute act that covers many of McCartney’s biggest, post-Beatles hits. The band features Ron McNeil, Michael Amador and Rolo Sandoval, plus a horns section led by Wendell Kelly (who has performed with many music acts, including The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie and Whitney Houston, to name a few), and singer/songwriter Christine Rosander as Linda McCartney.



p>Wings Band will be appearing LIVE on AXS TV’s Worlds Greatest Tribute Bands on March 10, 2014. Hosted by Katie Daryl from Whiskey A  Go Go Hollywood, CA.