There are many reasons I moved to southern California, but the L.A. Music Scene certainly figures prominently. After arriving to Hollywood Burbank Airport Saturday night July 22, 2017 with my two mighty felines, I have hit the ground running! I should note this was fresh off an iconic performance two nights earlier at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, featuring none other than my beloved Guns N’ Roses. What a send off!
Thanks to a terrific new friend and industry mentor, the brilliant and very cool Jeff Gray, Music Supervisor and Copyright expert, I have found my musical home in the land of music and sunshine! I kicked off the musical trifecta Monday night July 24, 2017 at The Mint in West L.A. for Hot Tub Johnnie’s Hunnypot Live, a live Artist showcase and Music Industry talk show. Frequented by some terrific and veteran musical industry people, some of whom are now friends, the Hunnypot Live stage features talented performers across a wide variety of musical genre. I’d like to highlight two in particular. On my first visit, I had the great pleasure to meet Sarah Rogo, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist from New England, who has taken the west coast music scene by storm, earning a nomination for Best Singer Songwriter at the 2017 San Diego Music Awards. Her first CD, “Sarah Rogo Live at Lestat’s West” was just released by the terrific team at Funzalo Records and she returns to The Mint Wednesday night November 8, 2017.
On October 2, the incredibly talented and full on personality of Addison Scott electrified the Hunnypot Live stage with a funky style R&B groove that absolutely commanded my attention! Hailing from New York, with clear energy and determination, this guy has definitely reeled in a new fan! Featured Artist Addison Scott.
On to the Ultimate Jam Night at the iconic Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood. When I say I have found my musical home, this is it! Every Tuesday night, some incredibly talented LA based musicians, that starts with the house band, who I’ll get to in a minute, then rotates in a vast line up of emerging and known Rock&Roll talent. Their largely unrehearsed, theme driven performances will blow you away! Talk about commitment and excellence in the Arts, I think we need a new Musical Award Category! The Ultimate Jam Night is broadcast live around the world on Zinna.tv.
As to this incredible house band, I have to start first with Paul Zablidowsky, aka Paulie Z., lead singer, guitarist and regular host of the Ultimate Jam. A passionate and charismatic artist, his leadership and musical talent is awe inspiring! I should tell you, that at my first night at the Ultimate Jam, the Whisky was at capacity for a tribute in honor of Paulie Z.’s 38 year old brother David Zablidowsky, who had been killed a few days earlier in a fiery motor vehicle accident while on tour in Florida. Despite the incredible pain and anguish he must have been feeling, he was front and center, passionate as ever as the evening’s Host, and performing some epic ballads, including Foreigner’s “Jukebox Hero”! I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. Stars showed up to show their support including Twisted Sister’s Dee Snyder and current solo artist Sebastian Bach of Skid Row fame. As Paul and David both hail from Brooklyn, NY, a music scholarship fund has been set up in David’s Name through the Brooklyn College Foundation. David Z Fund
I should note that the Ultimate Jam Night consistently stands up to support important causes. Paulie Z. was there once again at the hosting mic, for a benefit to raise money for the victims of the Las Vegas mass shooting. Other themes have included “Hot” to show support for California firefighters, who have been inundated with the worst fire season in the history of the state. All songs performed that night had the word “hot” in the title and included such classics as Rod Stewart’s “Hot Legs” and Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff”!
Artist Kacee Clanton brought down the house for her riveting performance of Janis Joplin on the Ultimate Jam Night’s “Woodstock” night. In her seventeenth year performing hits from this iconic legend gone too soon, she just wrapped a month long residence of “A Night With Janis Joplin” at Princeton’s McCarter Theatre Center and announced her retirement from the show. We look forward to her new musical adventures! Equally impressive was a seven piece instrumental collaboration that included a two piece brass section performing classics from Carlos Santana. Remember, these are largely unrehearsed performances. WOW!
Of course my final entry for the Ultimate Jam Night fall update, is Guns N’ Roses Night October 3, 2017, including a very special performance from original GN’R drummer Steven Adler! The Ultimate Jam Night and Whisky management pulled out all the stops to bring in the very best talent to perform some of Rock&Roll’s finest, yet very challenging musical masterpieces. They did not disappoint! Steven Adler came out to full on zeal from a packed and exuberant audience, to first pay tribute to Whisky and Rainbow Room founder Mario Maglieri, who passed recently. Joined by the very talented Patrick Stone on lead vocals, Jacob Bunton and Colin Reid on electric guitar, and L.A. Guns Johnny Martin on bass, they kicked of a formidable four song set with “Welcome To The Jungle”. Epic classic “November Rain” featured the magnificent voice of Jenna Syde of Paradise Kitty fame, Quiet Riot’s Alex Grossi on lead guitar, and regular Ultimate Jam Night bassist, the very cool and talented Sean McNabb from Lynch Mob, who just released their eighth studio album Brotherhood September 8, 2017.
Rounding out the musical genius of the Ultimate Jam Night house band regulars is UJN founder Quiet Riot bassist Chuck Wright, Mitch Perry from the legendary Edgar Winter band on the electric guitar, keyboardist and multi instrumentalist Walter Ino from Survivor, and Joe Travers from Duran Duran and Billy Idol on drums. This is a very special group of talented musicians. If you’re looking for me on a Tuesday night, this is where I’ll be!
Before I segue to my final new favorite musical hot spot, I must give a shout out to a very talented singer songwriter Jags, who I have not yet seen perform live, but had the great honor to meet. His newest EP release, “I AM”, is awesome! Title cut “I AM” features Matt Sorum of Guns N’ Roses and Velvet Revolver fame on Drums. My favorite though is “Are You Listening”. You definitely want to check this guy out!
To round out my first quarter musical trifecta here in the land of music and sunshine, we now depart the Sunset Strip and travel up and over the majestic hills of Laurel Canyon to the Federal Bar in North Hollywood, for Gary Calamar’s Mimosa Music Series. Hailing from incredible music pedigree, as the daughter of legendary songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin, Louise Goffin brought down the house on September 17 with an impressive performance all around, ably supported by a full ensemble band! Check out her new hit Revenge and you’ll begin to understand my excitement! This wildly talented singer, songwriter, recording artist, and multi instrumentalist is definitely a force to be reckoned with!
I’ll wrap with an absolutely incredible Mimosa Music performance, all the way from Australia, led by the amazing vocals and songwriting talent of veteran performer Paul Kelly, infused with the powerful and soulful R&B vocals of Vika and Linda Bull, accompanied by veteran talent Ashley Naylor on the Electric Guitar, Bill McDonald on Bass, Cameron Bruce on Keyboards, and Peter Luscombe on Drums. Oh my goodness I haven’t been this excited about a Rock&Roll band since I discovered Slash Featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators! Their 2017 album “Paul Kelly – Life is Fine”, distributed by EMI Australia, debuted at number one on the ARIA Charts and is Kelly’s first number one album in Australia! Well done! Their six week U.S. tour culminated at The Roxy in West Hollywood with a mighty performance to a packed and very engaged crowd Sunday night October 22! They returned home to Australia the next day and are now performing to sold out stadiums in their native Australia. I can’t wait for them to return to the U.S.!
I’ll leave you with Paul Kelly’s epic new ballad Rising Moon, filmed at a live performance September 27, 2017 at The City Winery in Atlanta. Enjoy!
Feature Image Credits: Ultimate Jam Night at the Whisky A Go featuring Paulie Z. on Vocals, Sean McNabb on Bass, Mitch Perry on Guitar, Walter Ino on Keyboards, and Joe Travers on Drums.