Guitarmageddon Blues Ball | San Francisco | Pics

Words by: Dennis Cook | Images by: John Margaretten

Guitarmageddon Blues Ball :: 02.24.11 :: Slim's :: San Francisco, CA

There was something appropriate about the weather the evening of the inaugural Guitarmageddon Blues Ball - a wet stormy night in San Fran. One doesn’t associate sunshine with the blues, a music of dark skies, wind and rough seasons. That said, there’s something uplifting about the blues, a joyful engagement with hard times and raw deals, and Guitarmageddon, now helmed by Poor Man's Whiskey's Eli Jebidiah, nailed both the low swinging comfort and bruised joy of the genre in a night that showcased almost too much amazing Bay Area talent.

By its very name, Guitarmageddon is a paean to shredding but done so intelligently, particularly in this past year with Eli steering things, that one comes away feeling enriched and not just by the solos (of which there were MANY). It’s more about a love affair with what the instrument can do and how flexible it is. The core lineup for the night was anchored by ever-fabulous drummer Daria Johnson, New Monsoon bassist Marshall Harrell and guitarists Eli Jebidiah and original Guitarmageddon founders Sean Leahy (perhaps THE most under-appreciated axe god in the region) and Tea Leaf Green’s Josh Clark, whose birthday was also celebrated this night. In all, over 28 musicians participated including ALO’s Dan Lebowitz, Steve Adams and Dave Brogan, Four Year Bender’s Ryan Smith, Newfangled Wasteland’s Chris Haugen, Tracorum’s Mark Calderone, The Waybacks' James Nash, Tea Leaf Green’s Trevor Garrod and New Monsoon’s Jeff Miller. In addition to two electric sets, New Monsoon’s Bo Carper led a tweener acoustic blues set that had the lively crowd stomping and clapping along. While tradition was honored, it was the outside-the-box choices like Robin Trower’s “Too Rolling Stoned” and Tom Petty’s “Stop Dragging My Heart Around” that set this assortment apart. What one came away with was a huge appreciation for the blues, for the wealth of musical talent banging around the Bay Area, the camaraderie and community they share, and the great promise for future Guitarmageddon gatherings, whatever subject, artist or genre they choose to tackle.


Set 1:
Palace of the King (Vox: Josh; Gtr: Josh Clark, Sean Leahy, Lebo, Eli; Keys: Trevor Garrod), Rollin and Tumbling (Vox: Sean; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Jeff Miller, Eli; Harp: Dave Nanstad), Come On, Part 1 (Vox: Eli; Gtr: Josh, Simon, Chris Haugen; Double Drums: Scott Rager), Stormy Monday (Vox: Lebo; Gtr: Josh, Lebo, Jeff, James Nash; Organ: Josh Brough; Double Drums: Dave Brogan), Testify (Gtr: Josh, Jeff), Stand Back (Vox: Ryan Smith; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Lebo, Ryan Smith; Organ: Josh Brough; Double Drums: Dave Brogan), Cold Shot (Vox: Ryan Smith; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Lebo, Ryan Smith), Ain’t Nobody’s Business (Vox: Josh; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Lebo, Ryan Smith; Organ/Keys: Trevor Garrod), Why Don’t We Do it in the Road (Vox: Lebo; Gtr: Josh, Lebo, Jeremy Korpas; Keys: Jeff Coleman; Bass: Murph; Double Drummer: Scott Rager), See See Baby (Vox: Josh; Gtr: Josh,Sean,Lebo,Simon, Jeff; Keys: Trevor Garrod)

Set 2:
Too Rolling Stoned (Vox: Eli; Gtr: Josh, Jeff, Eli), Change It (Vox: Sean; Gtr: Josh, Sean, James Nash; Organ: Jeff Coleman; Bass: Mark Calderone), Further On Down The Road (Vox: Lebo; Gtr: Josh, Lebo, Simon; Keys: Jordan Feinstein; Bass: Steve Adams; Drums: Dave Brogan), Sky is Crying (Vox: Jeff; Gtr: Josh, Jeff, Lebo), Hideaway (Gtr: Josh, Jeff, James Nash; Keys: Trevor Garrod), Stop Dragging My Heart Around (Vox: Ryan/Leslie duet; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Lebo, Ryan; Keys: Josh Brough), The Road of Love (Vox: Ryan; Gtr: Josh, Ryan, Sean, Chris Haugen; Organ: Phil Ferlino), Sitting on Top of the World (Vox: Sean; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Jeremy Korpas; Keys: Phil Ferlino), The Stang (Vox: Lebo Gtr: Josh, Sean, Lebo, Eli; Double Drums: Dave Brogan), Rock Me Baby (Vox: Jeff; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Jeff, Eli; Double Drums: Scott Rager)

E: Going Down (Vox: Josh; Gtr: Josh, Sean, Lebo, Simon, Jeff + whoever else fits on stage; Bass: Marshal, Steve, and Murph; Keys: Trevor Garrod; Double Drums: Scott Rager)

Dave Nanstad
Eli Jebidiah & Chris Haugen
Jeff Miller
Ryan Smith
Ryan Smith
Mark Calderone & Ryan Smith
Josh Clark & Mark Calderone
Josh Brough
Sean Leahy
Scott Rager & Lebo
Sean Leahy & Josh Clark
Josh Clark
Bo Carper

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