Old Lester's Speakeasy
Available at iTunes, cdbaby, & at Hobo's Vintage in Redlands, California
We're a three piece rhythm band that plays fun music. Fun for us, and fun for you if you like it. We play jazz, not be-bop, elevator, easy-listening math jazz. The hot jazz, Louis Armstrong singin' for his supper, the past-ripe-and-shouldn't-be-eaten jazz. We play blues, not the blues you hear in a crappy bar with loud guitars & bad words. We play the folk blues, the ragtime blues, the jazz blues, the 'damnit-how'm-I-gonna-pay-rent' blues. We play folk, not whiskey soaked strum anthems, no tight pants'd harmonies with the teddy bear in the woods. The folk that the folks play when they're just bein' folks.
Ok, picture this.it's 1927 & you've been invited to a rare performance of Louis Armstrong's Hot 5. After a chorus of 'Heebie Jeebies' up jumps Ledbelly in his prison stripes to wail a verse of 'Goodnite Irene'. Before he can shoot anyone, Louis Prima comes in to tell a joke about his girl that's long and tall. But as soon as he's about to throw the punchline, Hoagy Carmichael starts the intro to Stardust. People start daydreaming so Leadbelly steals their wallets. Earl Palmer walks in & sets up his drum kit while Bob Wills shoots Leadbelly in the shin bone. That's a Hobo Jazz show, in a sense.
We play what we like, we don't give much a damn about most things as long as we don't have to compromise our jolliness! You'll hear Matt Coleman's ass-clappin originals mixed with a chorus of Fats Waller. You'll hear some willy nilly scatin' from Marquis while his bass gets a few more dings & scratches & holes. You'll see Joe with a drumstick in his mouth & then realize that he's the one making everyone else sound so good.
Some might call us a skiffle band, or that we play blues, hillbilly, folk, jazz, whatever. We just say we're Hobo Jazz & dispense with all the fancy words. We play the music of the contemporary 1930's hobo country bluesman. This is part rail ridin' music, part field holler sonnet. Part rock-a-billy Cadillac, part 1929 Model-A. One part dirty hobo, one part hot jazz.
We're Hobos in the free & vagabond sense of the term. Hobos aren't bums, Hobos aren't beggers. Hobos want to earn their way with various odd jobs. Never staying in one place to long, hobos lived life their own way, much in the way jazz makes music it's own way. Our jazz isn't about a soothing horn over a mellow bass line, it's about jubilation & excitement. The syncopation feeds your jive hungry feet & the flirtatious melody makes your jeans wiggle. Hobo Jazz is our honest interpretation of this vintage joy that we feel is best not left to history.
We've played festivals, bars, coffee houses, theaters, street corners, burlesque shows, kids' shows. Some places you've heard of, many you haven't.