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Sons of Champlin & Lydia Pense and Cold Blood

Saturday

Apr 1, 2017 – 7:30 PM

1013 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814 Map

  • Sons of Champlin

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$35.00 - $55.00
Sons of Champlin: The Sons of Champlin started in 1965 in Marin County, California rising from the wreckage of the Opposite Six, a locally popular R&B band from the pre-Beatle era. "Six" members, Bill Champlin and Tim Cain, added Terry Haggerty and the first of a series of drummers and bass players, and the new band was named for the "front" man, Bill Champlin.

For a couple of years the Sons played as a five-piece band, working the college and high school dance circuit and the various clubs and bars in the Bay Area. Their playlist was mostly covers, some R&B such as Midnight Hour," some commercial pop such as "Shades of Gray."

The Sons' first record release, on Trident Records, was a single called "Sing Me A Rainbow," and it got a little local AM radio airplay. In 1967 the Sons of Champlin became a seven piece band, adding a trumpet, and more importantly, Geoff Palmer on keyboards, alto sax, and vibraphone. By this time the San Francisco scene included the Fillmore and Avalon ballrooms and as the Sons joined that rock circuit, they earned a reputation as a group of R&B and jazz musicians far above the caliber of the electrified folk-rockers who formed the core of the scene.

Not only did the Sons boast a horn section, their philosophical themes, R&B and jazz tempos and arrangements were far ahead of any in rock music, and set the Sons apart from the guitar-dominated bands playing the San Francisco ballrooms.

Because nearly every other major San Francisco band signed a big record deal before the Sons did in 1968, they have sometimes been referred to as a "second wave" San Francisco band, although the Sons predate most of the fixtures in that scene. Between 1968 and 1977 the Sons of Champlin released seven albums. Despite developing a fanatic fan base in a number of regions, the national breakthrough never arrived, and in 1977 the members dispersed to other projects.

However, their fans never forgot the Sons of Champlin and continued to spread the word and the music. And after a twenty year hiatus, the Sons reunited for a series of successful reunion gigs in 1997, with two of the earliest being in April at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium where it all began. Several more concerts were held in July, followed by more in the fall.

Then on January 24, 1998, the Sons recorded their first ever "live" CD. It was released on July 28, 1998, in cooperation with Grateful Dead Records. The Sons earlier studio releases never quite captured the magic of their live shows. Quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Grateful Dead's Mickey Hart said of those earlier shows, "they were breathing fire... they were the most talented of all the bands."

More concerts followed whenever schedules permitted over the next few years, including some that were promoted by fans, some that were sold out, and all that were great, according to those in attendance.

In the fall of 2001, original guitarist, Terry Haggarty, left the band to pursue other musical endeavors. He also introduced the band to his replacement, Tal Morris, who is a great guitarist and blended into the Sons’ line up very well.

Early in 2002, in an extraordinary partnership with the Expression Center for New Media, located in Emeryville, CA., the Sons were back on stage and back in the recording studio. This collaboration resulted in the release of a live CD and DVD, titled "Secret", which captured the magic of the Sons at their best, not just live ... but Alive. Dave Duncan, the Sons manager, had this to say, "This is not a nostalgia act. This is the real deal."

The Sons of Champlin have continued to tour as their schedules have permitted, mostly on the West Coast and in the Pacific Northwest. And there have been more personnel changes, with Tal Morris, as well as the horn section, leaving the band to pursue other musical opportunities. Carmen Grillo, formerly of Tower of Power, and a close friend of Bill Champlin, became the newest member of the Sons in 2005.

The Sons first studio album in 28 years, "Hip Li'l Dreams" was released by Dig Music on August 23, 2005 to great reviews. This was a labor of love and includes great guest artists Tom Johnston, Bobby Kimball, Will Champlin, Tamara Champlin, Steve Madaio, Billy Ward, Carmen Grillo, and Bruce Gaitsch.

In 2007, Acadia Records released a compilation of three Sons' Ariola albums, "The Sons of Champlin", "Circle Filled With Love" and "Loving Is Why". The title of this two-CD set is "The Ariola Years".

Between October of 2007 and February of 2010 the Sons were on hiatus, due to scheduling conflicts. However, in March of 2010 they toured the West Coast again, to rave reviews. Another tour was scheduled for the summer, and fans were overjoyed.

New concerts have been scheduled for this spring, with more dates to be added.

There have been additional changes in personnel for the Sons of Champlin. Bill Champlin's wife, Tamara, has been added as a featured vocalist. Bill & Tamara's son, Will, a talented singer, songwriter, and keyboardist, also joined the band. Curtis Olson is the current bassist, and Doug Rowan (sax) and Jeff Lewis (trumpet) make up the horn section.

Please keep checking back for more information.

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