Wednesday, February 07, 2007

A Blow away nite of R&B at UVA's Downtown Napa

Copyright by John M. Olney February 5, 2007

Well, all I can say is that Sean Pramuk Owner/Manager and Giovanni Guerrera Owner/Chef of Uva Trattoria & Bar have struck Platinum once again. Last Saturday, February 3rd, they presented “The Smoking’ Jaze,” a fantastic R&B group consisting of the following musicians: Smokin Joe Herrschaft: Harmonica & Vocals (If you happen to recognize “Smokin’ Joe, that’s because he is also one of the very popular host/servers at Uva Trattoria) and Danny Hukill: Guitar & Vocals also plays drums with the rocking blues group VOODOO Cats. Both of these have collaborated on writing a number of pieces, which they played on this the first night I experienced their music. Other members of the group include: Dave Duport: Bass, Malcolm Granger: Keyboards, and TracyRose: Drums

I arrived at UVA’s in time to watch them set up. I swear I thought they were going to blow a fuse box. I counted three (3) mixer/amplifiers, eight (8) speakers and all the wires running to mic’s and instruments. They completely filled the small stage such that they literally had to crawl over each other to move around. And as is usual when I go there about 8:30 pm, there was standing room only in the bar and dining waiting area for both bar bibbers and restaurant diners. The wonderful staff kept them happy and all gladly waited to be seated which the staff always seems to be able to accomplish.

Included in the trade dignitaries I found in the restaurant were Bartender extraordinaire, Mason and his party, off duty from Cole’s Chop House, Napa and a later in the evening in came Cuvee Napa Restaurant General Manager, Aaron and his party.

Just listening to the warm-up music of these band members, it was easy to see that attendees were in for a roof rising, foot stomping R&B experience. Once they began, you would think that B.B. King, Johnny Ace, Elvis, Barry White, and so many others had blown into the place! They played three sets with the first featuring acoustic emphasis in their selections and the other two featuring an electric influence. They played a number of the original pieces written by Joe and Danny, the hottest of which I simply believe is a winner was titled, “Blues in Santa Cruz.” Another original I definitely liked was “Wakin’ Up With The Blues.” In the category of just plain Hot were “Little Red Rooster" sung by Joe, “T-Bone Shuffle,” “Mailman,” and “Linda Lu.” Probably the most sensual tune was “The Wrong Track.” The keyboard was especially will featured with the piece titled, “Killing Floor.”

“The Smokin’ Jaze” will be playing at Uva Trattoria & Bar Uva Trattoria & Bar on the first Saturday of each month. Their schedule, along with other groups/soloists to be playing in the future months can be reviewed on the UVA Web site (Click above).

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