Friday, May 16, 2014

Michael Dees, David Ring and Danny Flahive Perform Wonderful Music at the Purple Room

Michael Dees, Danny Flahive and David Ring
Michael Dees
Michael Dees

Danny Flahive
Michael Dees and David Ring
David Ring
The Purple Room is a new supper club re-born in a room that has deep historical musical roots in Palm Springs.  The old Purple Room established in 1960 was famously the home to Sinatra's Rat Pack.  During the 1960s, the Purple Room was the rallying spot for Sinatra and his famous friends. They sang, they played and just had fun there.  Now the Purple Room under new management has transformed the Purple Room into it's former self.  The owners of "Trio Restaurant" have applied their capital and restaurant skills to create a great new supper club with live music 6 days a week.  On Tuesday nights starting at 6:30 pm Michael Dees sings and plays the drums with David Ring and Danny Flahive who was sitting in tonight for Larry Holloway. Michael Dees is a relatively new singer in the Desert, but he has already added to the music scene with his beautiful voice, impeccable timing and Sinatra-like phrasing. Michael is one of the most impressive singers I have heard in many years.  In addition to singing some of the greatest songs from the Great American Songbook, like "My One and Only Love", "I'm Old Fashioned" and the "The Way You Look Tonight",  Michael also sings some of the songs and lyrics he has written.  His songs are stunningly beautiful and stand up perfectly against the classic songs listed above.  He is a brilliant musical talent and I highly recommend that music lovers in the Desert get to the Purple Room to hear him sing.

David Ring was playing Keys tonight and every time I hear David I gain more and more respect for his musical talents.  David plays Jazz that is new and inventive unlike any other of the currently playing in the Desert.  He supports Michael's voice and phrasing perfectly!  Danny Flahive was a joy to listen to on Bass.  Danny has a huge following of supporters in the Desert and for good reason.  Danny always plays with emotion that supports the message of the lyrics.

The Purple Room has an early bird dinner from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM that includes a 3-course dinner for $19.95.  This is the best deal in the Valley,  the great sounds of Michael Dees, David Ring and Larry Holloway and a 3-course dinner for about the cost of a tip at many other restaurants! 

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Exceptional Musicians Name Their Top 10 Favorite Songs, Chapter 5: Ron Kalina

Ron Kalina
Ron Kalina is very special to most of the musicians and Jazz lovers here in California because he is one of the absolute best harmonica players in the country. He performs every week at many of the local venues in the Desert. Ron also plays piano and sings but his sweet spot is playing the greatest ballads out of the "Great American Songbook" on harmonica.  Recently I was with some of my  some friends,  and I asked them if they liked harmonica music?  They answered quickly that the sound of a harmonica was not something they enjoyed. I can understand this because until you hear a musical genius like Ron Kalina play ballads, you really can't appreciate how incredible he makes a harmonica sound.  I played a couple of songs from Ron's "Odd Couple" CD and they were stunned.  Audiences hearing Ron play for the first time are many times taken by surprise at how adept he is at playing and the sound he produces.

Ron plays at the Indian Wells Resort Hotel every Monday from 6pm to 9pm and I encourage all my Jazz loving friends to go to hear him!

                                Ron Kalina Shares His Top 10 Favorite Songs

1.  "Lush Life"
2.  "Round Midnight"
3.  "It Never Entered My Mind"
4.  "Do Nothing Till You Hear From Me"
5.  "Laura"
6.  "Body and Soul"
7.  "Sophisticated Lady"
8.  "If You Go Away"  (Ne Me Quitte Pas)
9.  "Emily"

Friday, May 2, 2014

CD Review: "Soul Changes" By Dave Keller

Dave Keller

Dave Keller is one of the finest young soul and blues players of his generation.  He  is releasing his new CD, "Soul Changes" on April 29, 2014.  As soon as I played the first song on this CD, "Searchin' For A Sign" written by Dave, I knew I would love this CD.  It has a comfortable feel and connection with traditional Blues of the past, and, yet, still sounds fresh and new.  Dave Keller is a remarkably talented singer/guitarist and songwriter.  Dave wrote the first 6 cuts on this CD.  The CD's producer, Bob Perry, arranged to have the first 6 tunes written by Dave recorded at Willie Mitchell's Royal Recording Studio in Memphis.  This is the studio where Al Green recorded all his major hits.  There is something about recording in a studio that has produced legendary recording stars.  It has a tendency to connect the past with the present.  Perry also arranged to include on this CD two of Green's original recording backup group, Leroy Teenie and Charles Hodges who are known as the  "Hi Rhythm Section" and Stax stars Lester Snell on Keys and Bobby Manuel on Guitar.  

On this CD, Keller gets to put all his remarkable talents on full display.  His guitar playing is as good as any blues guy I have heard and his songwriting is without question soulful.  While the first 6 songs on this CD were recorded at the Royal Recording Studio in Memphis, the additional 5 cuts were recorded in Brooklyn backed by the "The Revelations".  The remaining cuts were chosen from Blues treasures from the glory days of Soul including gems by "The O'Jays, Bobby Womack, Candi Sation, Otis Clay and the Patterson Twins.

All and all this CD will thrill any Blues fan looking for traditional Blues sung by a singer with a soul voice and backed by some of the most experienced Blues playing today!


1. "Searchin' For A Sign"                                        2. "17 Years"

3. "Old Man's Lullabye"                                         4. "I Wish We'd Kissed"

5. "Lonely And I"                                                     6. "One More Time"


7. "It's Too Strong"                                                  8. "Back In Love Again"

9. "Don't Look Back"                                              10. "Heart On A String"

11. "Is It Over?"


CD Review: Clairdee Releases Her Forth CD, "A Love Letter to Lina"

San Francisco based Vocalist Clairdee has admired and been a fan of Lena Horne since she was four years old.  Clairdee was not just in...