Calendar of Events
March 18, 2017
Wil Taylor Messengers of Beauty
Wil Taylor Messengers of Beauty opens on March 18th, Saturday and will run through May 11th. Welcome back Wil and Kim! I am looking forward to seeing your work hanging on my walls again. I feel so relaxed and soothed when your art is showing at my place.
Joyce Luna Live Music
Joyce Luna Live Music at Delectables. Joyce blends expressive soulful singing with poetic songwriting, a romantic streak, a persistent belief that music can change the world, and a large dollop of whimsy. Based in Tucson AZ, she toured the US as part of a singer/songwriter duo. They sold 10,000 copies of their 2 independently released cds and promptly broke up. After an extended hiatus, Joyce has been wowing the Tucson scene. 2016 will mark her 3rd appearance at the Tucson Folk Festival.
At age 3, Joyce began her performing career singing her mother’s composition “Pledge for Peace.” She sang it as “Pledge for Peas.” Inspired by that early interpretive success, Joyce went on to be the primary songwriter as well as a vocalist/guitarist/dulcimerist in the duo “Justina & Joyce” for a decade. This popular duo independently released 2 albums that sold over 10,000 copies.
A mutual decision to part ways started Joyce’s journey as a solo performer. While preparing to record her first solo album, the plot takes an unexpected turn. A few months into the launch of her solo career, and just before going into the recording studio, unforeseen back surgeries forced her to take an extended sabbatical from touring and performing. She then took a side trip to graduate school, earning a degree in psychotherapy and specializing in crisis counseling and mediation.
Joyce was born the youngest of 5 children in Bronx, NY. Her musical gifts are genetic: Her mother Raquel, born in Casablanca, Morocco (really) of French and Spanish Jewish parents, was a singer…but “good girls” didn’t go on the stage in those days in that culture, so she became a nurse instead. It took marrying Joyce’s American father Rudy and coming to the U.S. in the 60’s for her mother to find the freedom to express herself. Rudy, born in Pennsylvania to Polish Catholic immigrants, left home at age 14 to escape following his father into the coal mines; instead, he became a boxer whose claim to fame was knocking out Frank Sinatra in a boxing match (really), then he became a welder who worked on many Manhattan skyscrapers. While working on Naval ships in Spain for a time, Rudy was injured. Raquel was his hospital nurse. Their eyes met across a crowded room, they married 6 weeks later, and they proceeded to have 4 kids in 5 years.They did not speak a common language for all that time and got along beautifully. Then they came back to the States, Raquel learned English, and things went a bit downhill from there….
Taking up the family torch (musical, not welding), Joyce blends expressive and soulful singing with poetic sophisticated songwriting, a romantic streak, a persistent belief that music can change the world, and a large dollop of unexpected whimsy. Her foray into behavioral health is not going to waste: her experience as a mental health counselor is proving helpful in dealing with the craziness of the music business.
Reviews of Joyce Luna and of her former duo Justina and Joyce’s 2 cds, “So Strong” & “Rhythms, Rhymes & Tides”:
“The complexity and polish will stand you still and stop you breathing just in order to get a better listen. I found it spellbinding, which I proved by driving through a stop sign (luckily without incident) while listening in my car! Joyce’s lyrics are surface lovely, poetic, yet are generally conveying volumes of underlying story as well…”—Shirley Cottle, Folk_Music
“Using guitar, dulcimer, & remarkable melodies, Joyce creates gentle, stirring & sometimes haunting acoustic folk music…Extraordinary.”—Gene Armstrong, Arizona Daily Star
“…Just about the closest thing to musical nirvana you’re going to encounter in this or any other life, unless you’ve been very, very, good indeed & have a major deity owing you a big favor.”—The Metroland
“Lovely words, sung as if directly from some exceptionally magnificent angelic choir. A magnanimous treat for us mere mortals!!! Highly recommended & NOT TO BE MISSED!”—Stavros Moschopoulos, United Nations FAO CASA Gazette, Rome Italy
“An amazing release… Do yourselves (& your listeners) a favor—this one is a keeper!”—Steve Jerrett, KOPN Radio, Columbia MO
“Once in a blue moon I hear something that stops me dead & leaves me staring dumbly at the speakers like a dog at a whistle. So Strong is a special record. You will not regret owning this.”—Paul Rapp, The Metroland
“This stuff is amazing. [Rhythms, Rhymes and Tides is] very different yet perfect for airplay. I had to catch my breath!”
—Woody Harris, WWGC Radio, Carrollton GA
“[Joyce] possesses exactly what the throngs of angst-mad modern folk singers only crave: originality, wit & style.” —Lahri Bond, Dirty Linen
“A recording filled with gorgeous vocal arrangements, gifted songwriting, & outstanding accompanying players… Listeners who find their way to [Rhythms, Rhymes and Tides] will play it over &over again.— Roberta Schwartz, Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
“It’s not just the romantic music… it’s also the sense that [Joyce] still believes when lots of folks have just given up on love, dedication, & equal rights.”—Taylor Caffery, WRKF Radio, Baton Rouge LA
FaceBook Page: Joyce Luna Music
YouTube Channel: Joyce Luna Music
Leila Lopez Live Music Delectables Fourth Avenue
Leila Lopez has been compared to Ani Difranco and Fiona Apple. Her original finger picking style and poetic lyrics have captivated listeners both locally and nationally.
Leila grew up in Tucson Arizona, surrounded by a musical family and slowly began to cultivate a passion towards music at an early age. Encouraged by her family, Leila began to play Guitar when she was eight, and eventually moved on to learn the bass guitar, piano, cello, drums, banjo and mandolin.
Leila’s music was recognized in 2008 during the Tucson Area Music Awards receiving an award for best female vocalist, and again in 2009 winning in both the female vocalist category, as well as an award for best folk artist. In 2010 she won best female vocalist, best songwriter as well as best new release for her newest album Fault Lines.
Leila has been working on a new album and playing out extensively in Tucson and the surrounding area.
Is a gentle, passionate soul whose inner rhythms manifest an assumingly gorgeous grace. In broad sweeping colors of folk, jazz, and Latin influence, Leila’s mellifluous voice, and quiet chords articulate a prayerful, joyful love of life, as if to remind us, “The universe is not made up of atoms, but of music.”
Bryan Dean Koko Live Blues
The frontman and electric guitarist for Bryan Dean Trio was 14 years old then, but his passionate affection for the Gibson — as well as his grandmother — has stayed with him throughout decades of being a musician.
“My grandmother raised me after my mom died,” Dean, whose mother passed away when he was three months old, said. “My grandmother was my undying support…One of the women who I owe my life to. She was a huge, giant influence on me.”
Dean had used some of his allowance to help with the purchase of his first LP, and his grandmother had paid for the rest. Since then, he has played on Stratocasters and hollow-bodied guitars. But to this day, the six-string that’s closest to Dean’s heart is the LP, the instrument his grandmother first handed to him.
Nowadays, you can find Dean rocking out on the heavy guitar – both in sound and actual weight – at various places around the city, including Boondocks Lounge and The Hog Pit Smokehouse.
Dean’s current band BDT, a three-piece blues rock group, was founded 10 years ago and remains a Tucson music staple. The trio won the Southern Arizona Blues Heritage Foundation Challenge in 2010 and made it to the semi-finals of the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn. in 2011. Adding to the accolades, Dean and drummer Ralph Gilmore were both inducted into the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame in 2010.
BDT began as an independent project for Dean. After playing in several different bands throughout his life, including a jam band called Deacon and one with renowned bluesman Sam Taylor, Dean broke off and formed his own group in 2004 with his wife Koko Matsumoto.
With axeman Dean and Matsumoto on bass guitar, BDT was born. The two first started performing regular gigs at both local branches of Sakura and hiring different drummers to accompany them on stage for each show.
Right before the release of their debut album in 2007, the pair found the steady drummer that they had been looking for in Gilmore, who has owned the same yellow Gretsch tubs for decades.
“Bryan and I were just blown away by his skill,” Matsumoto said. “He is an incredible drummer, and we were so happy to have him join us.”
The trio then recorded its first album together titled Pink Elephant, a 12-song CD composed of both covers and original tunes. Shortly after it dropped, BDT landed its long-standing weekly gig at Boondocks Lounge, and the band has been playing there on Mondays ever since.
“We love playing at Boondocks,” Dean said. “The environment is awesome, and we call everyone in the crowd a friend.”
In January of 2012, BDT came out with its second and newest album, Sobriety Checkpoint, which was whipped together in two weeks. Unlike its debut album, every song on the band’s 13-track sophomore release was written by Dean. The final cut “Piece of You” is a tribute to Dean’s mother, who passed away in August of 1963.
“Our first album was more rocked out and had more arranged tunes,” Dean said. “The second was made on the fly with a lot of improvisation.”
And improvisation is what BDT is all about, according to its members.
The band prides itself off of never playing the same show twice. All three members believe that strict adherence to exact tabs is against the purpose of music. So during its live performances, BDT’s audience will always see a different concert from the one before it.
“Music isn’t learned,” Matsumoto said. “It’s about intuition…feelings. It’s about being in the moment, and you’re never going to experience the same moment twice. So every time we play, it’s different.”
BDT performs every Monday at Boondocks Lounge from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., and every Thursday at The Hog Pit Smokehouse from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The band will also be playing at the Blues Fest pre-show in Bisbee, Ari. on Friday, Sept. 12.
“It’s wonderful playing with these two,” Gilmore, 58, said. “It’s been a Godsend, because it’s great to have a band that challenges you and gives you the opportunity to bring what you have to the table. I have really been able to grow as a musician rather than just being confined to play a part. I feel like this band has been my arrival.”
The current Bryan Dean Trio bassist’s love of bands like Guns N’ Roses and Aerosmith inspired her to jump hemispheres, as she yearned to be closer to that classic red-white-and-blue sound.
“No one played that kind of music in Japan,” Matsumoto said. “So I really wanted to go to the source. I wanted to come to the United States to immerse myself in that type of music.”
Neither of Matsumoto’s parents are musicians, but the now 39-year-old with no siblings said her mom and dad were really supportive of her journey overseas to pursue music.
“My parents are very Western-minded, so they loved that I wanted to come to America,” Matsumoto said. “A lot of Japanese parents are really serious and strict with their kids about music, but mine were never hard on me at all. My mom and dad have always encouraged me. They knew it was my dream to come to the United States, so they wanted me to follow it.”
As a Japanese teenager, Matsumoto began her journey in the U.S. by spending 10 months as a foreign exchange student at Amphi High School. She stayed with her local guardians and their two small children, including one who played the violin.
Initially, Matsumoto struggled heavily with the language barrier.
“I didn’t know English, so I was pretty shy,” Matsumoto said. “Japanese people often lack confidence and are always afraid of looking stupid, so I only really talked when I needed to. Like, when I was hungry, I had to tell the family that I was staying with, ‘I’m hungry.’ So outside of things like that, I didn’t really talk to anyone at first.”
But after six months, Matsumoto moved in with a second family and began talking a lot more, since there were other teenagers in the house. Her host parents had four daughters, two of whom were close to Matsumoto’s age. She spent the remainder of her abroad program with this family.
“I had a lot more conversations with the second family because of the older two daughters,” she said. “They taught me a lot of things.”
Lucas Biespiel Tour
Lucas Biespiel Tour live at Delectables on April 22nd. Lucas is soulful, passionate, and sincere are the words used most frequently when describing Portland raised singer, songwriter, and violinist, Lucas Biespiel. Wis his bluesy vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and wild fiddle playing, Biespiel has made a name for himself as a versatile musical force in the Rose City’s thriving roots scene. Whether it be as a folk and blues singer-songwriter, in front of his high energy, roots driven backing band the “Dangerous Gentlemen”, or alongside one of many country and folk bands around the Northwest, one can be sure that emotions will run high any show Lucas has a hand in.
Soulful, passionate, and sincere are the words used most frequently when describing Portland raised singer, songwriter, and violinist, Lucas Biespiel. Wis his bluesy vocals, heartfelt lyrics, and wild fiddle playing, Biespiel has made a name for himself as a versatile musical force in the Rose City’s thriving roots scene. Whether it be as a folk and blues singer-songwriter, in front of his high energy, roots driven backing band the “Dangerous Gentlemen”, or alongside one of many country and folk bands around the Northwest, one can be sure that emotions will run high any show Lucas has a hand in.Trained classically on the violin at a young age, Biespiel played his first show at the legendary Portland dive “the Satyricon” when he was just 14 years old. He fronted a blues band through the rest of his adolescence, performing several times at Portland’s Waterfront Blues Festival alongside the Backyard Blues Boys. He then spent several years attending Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music, studying jazz, and becoming acquainted with the modern musical world.
Upon returning from Boston, Biespiel has maintained a busy gigging schedule fiddling with a multitude of local and regional acts, while continuing to play regularly as a solo act. Lucas is also a part of local folk powerhouse King Columbia, which released it’s debut album, “Bad Water” in 2016. His most recent release is the, “Tired of Singing Love Songs” EP, the first act in a double EP planned for release in February 2017. Biespiel will be touring in support of the album beginning in March.
Mothers Day is a special day at Delectables and has been for many years. We pay close attention to the special people in our lives that make the world go round. This year on Mothers Day we will feature some new exciting entrees especially for your mom.