Last year, I’d had the pleasure of hearing the debut CD of Dave Stuckey and The Hot House Gang — expertly jubilant — but the San Diego Jazz Fest this November afforded me my first chance to meet Dave (a warm, funny, swinging fellow — truly a solid sender) and to hear The Gang in person . . . thrills indeed. For this Saturday-night dance party, the Hot House Gang was Dave Stuckey, guitar, vocals, leader, moral guidance; Dan Barrett, cornet / trombone; Corey Gemme, trombone / trumpet; Nate Ketner, reeds; Carl Sonny Leyland, piano, vocals; Katie Cavera, string bass; Gareth Price, drums.
A word about the video that follows. I had had some anxiety about trying to video this most adorable band, not because of them, but because of the situation: a dance party in a large room. I love the dancers I know as people, but en masse they are not conducive to my videoing, because they are supposed to be there, in motion, as opposed to a rather slow-moving person with a camera and a tripod who wants to stand stock-still in the midst of things. But I was drawn by the music (Dave always swings!) and by the challenge . . . so I approached timidly from the back of the room and started shooting in the spirit of “What the hell!”
When the band started to play, it sounded so very good that I thought, “If this is visually terrible, at least the sound will be preserved.” As it is. The dark shapes passing in front of my lens are dancers, and my camera takes a second to readjust, but just keep listening and watching.
Thus, I present to you a rocking version of the 1917 SHIM-ME-SHA-WABBLE:
More orthodox videos will follow, some with guest vocalist Dawn Lambeth, a special pleasure. And for my own sardonic pleasure, I will see how long it takes one of the armchair experts out there to “dislike” this video on YouTube. Everyone’s a critic. But not you!
May your happiness increase!