I had quite a dilemma on Monday night. My multi-talented friend Sam (aka Samantha Parks Bulls Daughter and @bullsdaughter) was teaching her inaugural yoga classes at Flow LBC, but Deja Nichole was scheduled to do a full 40 minute set at a venue called Beatnik Bandito in Santa Ana. At this stage of her career, seeing a full Deja set is still a rare enough treat that I chose that option. Sorry, Sam, but I am planning on doing your “Mellow Mondays” class next week, so I will see you then. Sounds delicious! For a small taste of the multi-talents that Sam possesses see my blog entries at Bedlam Lullaby and Speak It Easy. As for her yoga teaching talent, I am looking forward to experiencing that facet of Sam for the first time next Monday. If anyone else is interested please join me next Monday evening at Flow LBC from 8-9:15. This is a great time to take classes at Flow LBC. Ramona currently has almost more teachers than students, so there is a fair-to-middling chance that you may wind up with a private class for the price of a regular class! Best way to learn if you are a beginner.
Beatnik Bandito is a tiny self-described Music Emporium in downtown Santa Ana. By day it is “A finely curated conglomeration of all things music! A shop that is owned and operated by musicians, for musicians, and for all others that live to love music!” It is also available seven nights a week for very small-scale performances. The stage area can accommodate a four piece combo easily, and the house seats only about 12; there is room for standing, but the room is much deeper that it is wide.
From looking at their Events schedule it appears that they are very popular and have events scheduled pretty much every night. On this particular night the theme was Americana Music and the lineup was Deja Nichole (backed up on guitar by Tyler Curley, aka @vexedtonightmare), a three-piece combo The Fallen Stars (“Sounds like hanging out with Springsteen, Emmylou and Wilco in a dusty roadside diner somewhere on Route 66”), and a solo performance by Patty Booker.
First up was Deja, and I was very happy to see that Tyler Curley was there with guitar. I have blogged earlier about performances by both Deja in Deja at the Fox and Tyler in Tyler Curley at Fox Open Mic, and on each occasion they collaborated and did a wonderful job of supporting each other. The room was, unfortunately too dim (or maybe I am just too incompetent) to get any video. Deja sang a set consisting of mostly originals, including one that was created in a collaboration with Tyler. She is a very gifted songwriter and has penned songs on topics ranging from police brutality (Lion’s Den) to the joy she derives from the new friendships that she has developed as she pursues her nascent career in music (Friends). You can hear those songs and others on her page at Reverb Nation. Deja and her mom Joanne are becoming real road warriors; after traveling from La Palma to Santa Ana for this gig they left at about 9:30 so Deja could make it to another singing engagement in Brentwood at Il Piccolo Verde!
For one of her numbers Deja did a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams” and about a third of the audience joined her on stage! It turns out that Bobbo (guitar), Tracy (bass), and Matt (percussion) also made up the second act, The Fallen Stars. The Fallen Stars consists of Bobbo and Tracy Byrnes, plus whatever drummer they can rummage up–according to Tracy they have left a Spinal Tap’esque cavalcade of drummers across the country and beyond, although none have (yet) spontaneously combusted. They play a very fresh blend of Americana rock and, in Bobbo’s terms, are able to “country it up” when needed. From the OC Register, “Somewhere between the wide-open stretches of Gram Parson’s beloved Mojave Desert and the decaying cityscapes frequented by Bruce Springsteen shine the Fallen Stars”, and I think that captures them pretty well.
The final act was Patty Booker, and I apologize for the quality of the picture I took. The back lighting made it tough to get a good shot. I did not know of Patty before, but when I posted a picture of her on Instagram I got an immediate comment back from Ramona. She said that Patty was an icon of the honky-tonk music scene in Orange County back in the 80’s and was her dad’s favorite singer back in the day; she can remember him proudly parading around in a shirt with her picture on it! Patty said that she hasn’t been playing much in the past few years dealing with menopause, but now that is behind her and she is back and ready to rock again. She sang an impressive array of songs, most of which were either written by her or as collaborations with an impressive array of co-writers. A great show and a very pleasant evening out!