We'll get back to that
I really couldn't say now
just how many times I've gone to
see Gino play. But many OF those times
he'll have a special guest or two. Gino grew up
in East LA, and while hovering only around the age
of 30, he's been playing and touring for some 15 years.
He knows some people. He'll bring 'em on stage. Gino
will treat you with the music of someone else,
when he could easily be staying
at the forefront.
NO help needed to provide
soulful, moving entertainment, but he stays humble.
He had some
fan-tas-tic talent on stage this night.
This was at The Hip Kitty - in Claremont, California.
May 10th, 2013.
The band to open this night
was The Firethornes. This is the band
that Jade Bennett (now Matteo) played with
some 2 years ago. It was a NICE reunion, and just
as when you see her now'days...
Some covers... some originals...
With everything stellar! Especially,
I think, this night.
then Gino took the mic, and announced they'd
be back shortly, with several SPECIAL guests. Gino
came back in a bit with his oldest friend and
regular drummer, Trevor Monks.
Always good to see Trevor,
and this night - well, as soon as it hit Midnight - we were toasting his birthday...
...in addition to a great night
that had us all pumped
full of energy.
James Breker has been
playing bass with Gino for a
couple of years now, and is a wonderful addition.
James and Trevor provide more than the driving beat,
though they truly are responsible FOR this. Listen a
little bit closer. There're some complex rhythms
going on. More than you'd expect.
Drake Munkihaid Shining. Real name?
Don't know (doubt it), but with Drake, there IS a
sense of humor along with great support
and the occasional leads.
Jade came up for
a buncha backing vocals,
and Joey Delgado was also there this night.
BUT - while he was introduced as a special guest,
he didn't just pop up for a few tunes. This night he was
more like a second guitarist with the band.
The Delgado Brothers
are an East LA band with some thirty-five
years of playing. Between Los Lobos, Tierra, or
the Delgado Brothers, if you're from East LA... some
of these guys PROBABLY played at your first wedding.
(I'm sorry, but that joke does not get old - and I
heard it FROM (one of) Los Lobos).
Joey's another guitarist who
just blows me away EVERY time!
Soul, funk, SIZZLING and HEARTFELT runs
along the fret board, while quietly fading into the
background when others take the lead. I was there one
night in Riverside when Joey sat in for a few numbers.
At one point as he was playing, if you caught a glance
at Gino, he was there with his elbow propped on the
neck of his guitar in awe of what he was seeing and
hearing. Jason Ricci, on harp that night - same
thing. His arms were at his side, barely able
to take in the feeling that was flying from
those notes and bends and
GAWD knows what else!
is what you get
when you're fortunate enough
to see Joey play. And in this case, it went
on through most of the night. But again with Joey,
what you get onstage or off, is another
humble, friendly man.
just as Joey served
as mentor and influence to Gino,
the next guest brought up served as
such to Joey - Danny Diaz.
Danny served as example
to Joey some 40 years ago. And is quite
possibly the man responsible for Joey's sound today.
I don't know this, mind you.
But there's something there. Not a copying
of notes or favorite riffs or anything like that.
More... feeling that exists when the notes are hit.
Feeling that seems apparent when you get that
combination of seeing AND hearing.
Especially when you get to see all three;
Gino, Joey, and Danny - together
on one stage.
And Danny... he's just SO
expressive when he plays.
There's a face
that goes with the hitting of certain notes...
...and the bending of others.
One thing is certain - both Gino
and Joey were CLEARLY having just as much
fun as the folk in the audience.
They even stopped playing
to take photos and video of Danny
while HE played.
pretty damn cool.
One more feature of the evening.
One more generation to include. Chase Walker.
At the time of this performance, Chase is a mere fourteen
years old. He's done (and is doing) quite well as a performer. He was even at one of the last gigs I was raving about -
The 2nd Annual High Desert Music Festival and
Barbecue Showdown. He was on just a couple of
acts before the groups I was helping
to MC around.
Chase is another player
who FEELS what he's playing.
He's got some riffs, that's for sure,
but the improvisation is flowing as well.
And it's not like he's relying on the same solo
or two that he picked up from Gino. Gino? Yeah.
Chase was one of Gino's students for a time, and
continues to shine.
I think we all look forward
to seeing him grow as a player, but really,
there's so much there right now. Just LOOK at
that smile on a proud teacher's face.
Danny influenced Joey,
who influenced Gino, who taught Chase.
We got to see, quite literally (in a figurative kind of way) FOUR generations set-ting-that-stage-on-fire! A fire
kindled by passion. And exuding of feeling.
I find myself drawn to doing a writeup...
really be moved to go see what I just described.
CAN be so inspired to
go see Gino ANY time he plays
Any time you catch notice of her playing,
make some time on your calendar! And chances are,
where Gino's playing, Jade will be backing, and
where Jade is laying out passion
in full-voice, Gino...
Oh, and Mike, is this last photo one of yours?
I think so.