Valley Weekend : ROCKTALK : Another Pretty Fab Four Pays Tribute to Beatles : Veterans of tours with major rock acts aim to perform up to 50 selections on Tuesday nights in Calabasas.
With the release Tuesday of their first “new” song in 25 years, the Beatles are contemporary, again. And a group of music pros with extensive recording and touring backgrounds are presenting an all-Beatles show Tuesday nights at Pelican’s Retreat in Calabasas.
Brett Tuggle, Rocket Ritchotte, Ron Wikso and James Hunting collectively or individually have performed and toured with major rock acts such as David Lee Roth, Mick Fleetwood, Jimmy Page, Foreigner, Rick Springfield and Steppenwolf.
Calling themselves the Four Lads From the Valley, these musical hired guns will perform Beatles tunes sans mop top haircuts and collarless jackets, concentrating solely on the music. They’ll perform 40 to 50 selections from the Beatles’ complete catalogue, from “Please Please Me” (1962) to “Let It Be” (1970).
“Everybody seems to know these songs,” says Tuggle. “We know the stuff so well and we like them so much. We’re having a lot of fun with it.”
Although an all-Beatles show is a wise decision commercially right now, it’s not all business for Tuggle.
“They were the biggest musical influence on me,” he says. “They took us on an adventure with every album. They wrote over 200 songs and they changed the way pop music was recorded.”
The Four Lads from the Valley start at 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays, $3 cover. Pelican’s Retreat, 24454 Calabasas Road, Calabasas, (818) 222-1155.
Roomful o’ Blues: Maybe you’ve lost your job and you’re two months behind in your child support payments. Or maybe your Rolex is just running fast. Whatever the reason, you don’t have to just sit there alone in your room, come hear the music play. Maybe something to fit your mood? Maybe the Thursday night Blues Jam at the Classroom in Northridge? Whether you just want to listen and cry in your beer, or cut loose with the guys, blues man Tim Casey, who runs the show, says to arrive early because after 10 p.m. the place gets pretty crowded.
Crowded, that is, with listeners and some prominent blues players, including Coco Montoya, Joe Houston, Louisiana Guitar Red, Harmonica Fats, 10-year-old Brody Buster, Lee Oskar, Blind Joe Hill and Smokey Wilson.
Casey, who performs regularly at the Classroom with his band, the Bluescats, started the blues jam about 3 1/2 years ago. Casey has been a musician for 25 years and has played all types of music, but it’s the blues he loves.
“It’s the most emotionally charged music,” Casey says. “I feel best when I play the blues.”
If you want to play or sing at the jam, don’t be intimidated. A faint heart ne’er won fair lady, or for that matter, a blues mama. Sign-ups start at 8:30 p.m. The music starts at 9 p.m. No cover, but a two-drink minimum. The Classroom, 8333 Tampa Ave., Northridge, (818) 885-0250.
Sensible Songs: David Fortin and Bruce Gaims don’t want to be pigeonholed.
They obliquely describe their collaboration, Spyder Blue, as a country-swing-rhythm & blues duo.
“We don’t want to limit ourselves by writing a certain type of song,” Fortin says. “But hopefully we have a unifying sensibility no matter what we play, so that people [when they hear us] will say, ‘That’s Spyder Blue.’ ”
The duo has been performing their original material on the local club and coffeehouse circuit for the last seven years. A new cassette album that was recorded live at a local club is due out in January. It’s titled “You Should Have Seen Us--Live at the Iguana.”
At 9 p.m. on Friday, they bring their songs and sensibility to Common Grounds, 9250 Reseda Blvd., Northridge. $2.50 minimum. (818) 882-3666.
Not of This Earth: The band Life on Mars debuted at Club Dump at the Blue Saloon earlier this month.
The trio, which consists of guitarist Shane Stewart, drummer Sandy Chila and bassist Regis McNicholas, has been together since June, but two of the three are L.A. music scene veterans.
Stewart formerly performed with the local band Shane, and Chila with the group Loaded, while McNicholas is a recent arrival from Maine, famous for Edmund Muskie and countless lobsters. Stewart says the band’s influences range from David Bowie to Soundgarden.
Life on Mars is back at 11 p.m. Saturday at the Blue Saloon, 4657 Lankershim Blvd., North Hollywood, $5 cover. (818) 766-4644.