Jungle Rocket Set For Atherton Debut on Sat., May 11th

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North Shore Ensemble Plays Blues, New Orleans Funk, and “A Little Country” 

       Jungle Rocket started life in jam sessions in the hills of Pupukea back in 2007. Guitarists Bill Howes and Larry McElheny invited drummer Jinbeau Walsh to join them, and the trio was the basis for what has expanded into a North Shore band that is heard everywhere. Gigs at Hank’s and The Dragon Upstairs, the Haleiwa Arts Festival and the now legendary “Farm Nights” in Pupukea have made them welcome in many venues, especially once Louie the Fish joined them one night on blues harp. Bailey Matsuda, piano, and “utility man” Larry Spalding (harp/uke/percussion) are also members of the group. And now this home-grown ensemble will make its Atherton debut on Saturday, May 11th at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $30 general, $25 HPR members, and $15 students with ID. Reservations at 955-8821. 

       Larry Spalding plays ukulele, harmonica, percussion lead, and sometimes background vocals. A 40-year Hawaii resident, he has played with most of the island’s groups, and is also a guest member of Dave Alvin’s Guilty Men, and the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band when they’re performing in Hawaii. A veteran HPR DJ of six years on Blues Review, he’s also filled in for Tim Vandeveer’s  Full Nelson

       Jimbeau Walsh is a composer, drummer and ordained minister who has lived in Haleiwa for over 20 years. He became a session musician as a teen growing up in Chicago, and worked there and in DNashville and Austin before arriving in Hawaii. He’s worked with Jim Schwall, The Contenders, Steve Earle, Walter Hyatt, Champ Hood and Leon Russell, among others. His musical compositions were featured in Edgy Lee’s “Ice – Hawaii’s Meth Epidemic” and he continues to compose with Jungle Rocket. 

       Larry McElheny plays bass and guitar. The California native is a retired Industrial Arts teacher with a Masters in Community Education from UH. Country, blues and early rock n’ roll artists like Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry, Johnny Otis, Ray Charles, Bill Haley, Buddy Holly, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash head a long list of favorites. 

       Bailey Matsuda, keyboards, is a composer, producer, arranger and performer who teaches in the Performing Arts Department at the Kamehameha Schools and is the founder of Ho‘omana Na Mele, a project/company that empowers lives through music. He’s composed, produced and performed for films, recordings, concerts and commissions, and has served as the resident artist for the statewide Cultural Program and the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts. 

       Bill Howes, an organic farmer and Permaculturist in Pupukea, has been playing guitar since he was 10 years old, and began playing in a bluegrass band in upstate New York when he was 16. He started playing blues shortly after that, and credits Swayne Allman, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix as his major influences. He co-founded the North Shore Country Market in Sunset Beach in 1994, and currently teaches permaculture and organic farming classes at his farm.

       Louie the Fish is a renowned blues harp player and storyteller. He holds a BFA from UH/Manoa and is a master bone carver and a trout fishing guide. He has lived and worked in Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, Niue, the Solomon and Cook Islands carving bone and shell pendants. Louis has jammed with the likes of Taj Mahal, Steve Miller, John Lee Hooker and Buddy Miles.