The Chris Vandercook Band performs West Side Soul in Atherton Studio January 4

Dec 30, 2013

Veteran musicians put contemporary twist on distinctive West Side sound

  Guitarist and singer Chris Vandercook and the Chris Vandercook Band pay tribute to the late Luther Allison and the other bluesmen associated with Chicago’s West Side blues sound:  Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins, and Freddie King. The concert is set for Saturday, January 4, 2014 at 7:30 p.m. in HPR’s Atherton Studio, and reservations may be made online at www.hprtickets.org or by calling the station (955-8821) during regular business hours. Tickets are $30 general, $25 for HPR members, and $15 for students with ID. The Atherton Studio is located at Hawaii Public Radio, 738 Kaheka Street.

Vandercook says, “Luther and his friends were a generation younger than blues stars like B.B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland, and they brought in their own set of influences, with shadings of Latin music, jazz, and James Brown. All were reflected in their “West Side” sound: raw and full of fire, with guitar as a running complement to – and comment upon – the vocal. Their music from the 60’s and early 70’s is a blues genre unto itself, with great songs and lots of rhythmic energy.”

The Chris Vandercook band includes Marshall Kaniho on keyboards; Billy Popaka (Billy P) on tenor and soprano saxophone; Edmund Canto (“Mundo”) on bass; and Scott Shafer on drums. The musicians will put a contemporary twist on songs associated with West Side blues, with several songs Chris learned from listening to Luther Allison in small bars throughout the Midwest many years ago.  Allison went on to belated international fame in later years, winning recognition (with W.C. Handy Awards in 1998 as Blues Entertainer, Blues Band, and Blues Guitarist of the Year), but he was still a scuffling young artist in those days.   “Luther and his band members were my extended family for many years, back in the day. “ Chris says.  “The band and I shared a house on the outskirts of Madison, Wisconsin – and it’s a good thing those walls can’t talk.  I have many happy memories of those times, and carry Luther’s influence with me in a thousand different ways.” The concert will be Vandercook’s seventh Atherton concert.

About HPR’s Atherton Performing Arts Studio
The Atherton Studio seats 75 people and is home to a magnificent Bösendorfer concert grand piano. The Studio is available for rent for musical performances, community group meetings, and lectures. It is located in the HPR office and studio complex at 738 Kaheka Street, across from the Honolulu Don Quijote. Metered street parking is available, as are paid lots at the First Hawaiian Bank (Kapi‘olani branch) and in the Pan Am building.