Tradewinds, Cotati

December 4, 2004
By Maureen Hayes, Da Blues Traveler

I drug myself out for Levi Lloyd and the 501 band last night.  They were at the Tradewinds.  I really haven't even been able to get inspired lately about bluesin' and this worries me.

But I forced myself out last night and I'm glad I did.  Levi and band were ON FIRE last night!!  The 'Winds was packed most the night and that meaning a dancin' crowd.  It was great!

After the first break, Levi came up to say hi and I congratulated him on his nomination for best guitarist for the WCBHF (West Coast Blues Hall of Fame Award) and he said..."Best what??!!"  He didn't even know.  He was flabbergasted and just kept sayin, "Best what?"

He knows Ronnie Stewart (of the Bay Area Blues Society) well and said he'd call him to find out more since he has no computer.

Yes, Levi has some deep roots in the Oakland Blues scene.

Well, he was lit up after this news and just couldn't believe it.  It really made his night so I guess there's much to be said about such an award.  Congratulations, Levi!!  His playing really came up a notch or two, or three, or four...after the news so I rest my case.

The band consisted of:
Adam Bernie on keys and vocals
Big Louie on bass
Some new guy on second guitar.  He added a rockin' touch to the band and filled in somewhat so Levi was able to cut loose more.  Still ain't nuthin'like that seasoned, raw sound of Levi.  Ain't no rock, just raw string bendin'.

Steve Guerro on drums.  Wish he'd tone it down just a bit, this guy is loud.  Great, but loud!!

Dee Wills-The Soulman of Sonoma County, was singin' some and just adding all that soul rhythm with shakers and what-not.  Dee also is one of the best sound guys around!!  Real nice job he does with them knobs.  Too bad he can't turn down the drums ;-)  He would also celebrate a birthday last night. Happy Birthday Dee!!

I did notice one thing...Levi's guitar is much louder and this is a good thang!  He was always drowned out by the band but not now.  Looked like the same amp so I'm not sure what happen but it was great!!!!!

The band was awesome.  All the blues regulars were in the house, the real blues lovers that actually listen to the music, and it was so much fun.  We were all looking at each other in amazement and agreed that this was the best this band has sounded in a loooong while.

Thanks Levi and 501 for a much needed night of blues, funk, R&B, soul, and such.  But one thing, Levi...please take back "Little Red Rooster.?  No one but YOU should be singing it.  No one but YOU should be wailin' guitar for that song.  That has always been a favorite of mine that YOU cover but you shared it last night and it just didn't do a damn thing for me.  Sorry.

I forgot to mention that to him last night but will next time I see him.

...da Blues Traveler