Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Meet my friends from The Mighty Groove

That New Year's Eve birthday jam that I went to in the San Francisco Bay Area last year was quite the occasion.  People poured into a modest home in Petaluma to wish my old friend Baron Chase a happy birthday, have fun, and just jam until the new year arrived.

Neil St. Andrew on keys (Photo By John G. Miller)
Chick Petersen was there to play some smooth guitar.  Neil St. Andrew set up his keyboard and threw some nice curves into the mix, like the time he launched into a riff out of Led Zeppelin's "Rock N Roll" and ended up singing it country style like Dwight Yoakam, straight from out of left field.

When Baron took a break from playing the bass to chat with friends and later sat in on the drums, Jim Cervantes unleashed his bass to help keep the party going.

Baron Chase on drums and Jim Cervantes on bass.  (Photo By John G. Miller)
One of my most memorable moments from that birthday jam, however, was when I had my back turned to the musicians who were playing away, fiddling with some camera equipment of mine that was underneath a futon.  For the first time that night, Lyn Carpenter-Engelkes opened her mouth to sing.  The first thing that went through my mind when I heard her soulful style of vocals was, "Who invited Joss Stone to this party?"

Lyn Carpenter-Engelkes (center) sings, with Lester Chambers, Steen Berrig, Chuck Steed, and Linda St. Andrew on New Year's Eve.  (Photo By John G. Miller)

The house was rockin'.

It was hard to meet everyone personally at the party that night and get to know them, but the next day I asked the hosts to suggest people who were there as friends on Facebook.  I put out requests for them, and I got acceptance.

Acceptance is always nice.

I also got invitations once those friendships started coming in to a gig by a band called The Mighty Groove.  It turned out a few of those players from the birthday jam -- Chick, Neil, Jim, and Lyn -- were in the band.  I had to fly back home to Utah a couple of days later, so me getting to see a gig by The Mighty Groove in California wasn't going to be possible.

But I did get to know a couple of those people a bit better in the weeks and months to come.

Chick Petersen was also part of Lester Chambers' Blues Revue, now known as The Mud Stompers.  Lyn got to sing along with Lester and The Mud Stompers in a couple of live shows on, knocking 'em dead on a cover of the Bill Withers tune "Use Me."

These are just a few more examples of people with musical talent that's dying to be heard.  It gets heard in live venues locally.  It's the kind of talent, though, that ought to be heard by a bigger audience.

It's the kind of talent that needs to "get out there."

The Mighty Groove home page

The Mighty Groove on

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