In tribute to the genius of Ray Charles, a swinging sextet of outstanding Bay Area musicians offers their take on some of the highlights from Ray’s amazing songbook.
Tony Lindsay has 11 Grammy awards on his mantel after spending two decades as lead singer of Santana, and has recorded with such artists as Patti Austin, Aretha Franklin, Curtis Mayfield, and Steve Winwood. He moved from Albany, New York to San Jose in 1980, worked at Guitar Center, and joined the Danny Hull Quintet, which later adopted the name Spang-a-Lang. His friend Chester Thompson invited him to audition for Santana, and overnight he went from playing small clubs to huge amphitheaters. He comes to the Freight fresh off a stint with Santana at the House of Blues in Las Vegas.
Blues guitarist extraordinaire Chris Cain grew up in San Jose, studied music at San Jose City College, and over the next twenty years learned his way around clarinet, piano, bass guitar, and alto and tenor saxophone, not to mention developing fierce vocal chops. He’s played with such greats as Albert King and Albert Collins, Johnny Otis and Junior Wells, Boz Scaggs and Willie Nelson, and recorded ten solo albums, including his latest, So Many Miles, which the Chicago Blues Guide calls “a delicious blend of blues laced with jazz and rock.”
Rounding out this powerhouse performance is Glenn Walters. Born to professional musician parents in the Midwest, Glenn began his music career at age 14. After years of touring with many famous Big Bands, Glenn’s saxophonist father, Howard, decided to form a family trio with Glenn on drums and vocals and Glenn’s mother, Glenna, on Hammond organ. As “The Baronets Trio”, they toured most of the U.S. and Canada until Glenn started college in Kansas City, Missouri. While there, he joined “The Kansas City Emeralds”, a 14 piece soul band doing the current hits of the day by artists such as Otis Redding, Wilson Pickett, and James Brown. Then riding the wave of Psychedelia, Glenn formed “The Mystic Number National Bank”, which made one album before dissolving in a purple haze.
Bassist DeWayne Pate graduated from the Musicians Institute in Los Angeles, moved north, and has since worked with an array of top Bay Area talents including Huey Lewis and the News, Boz Scaggs, Maria Muldaur, and Robben Ford. He’s also a columnist for Bassics Magazine, and his instructional video, The Art of Tapping, his been widely popular. Reviewer Andrew Gilbert called his album Melting Pot “an impressive array of grooves.”
Deszon Claiborne is the dynamic drummer for Clockwork and the Tammy Hall Trio.