Wednesday, May 27, 2009

This Sunday's entertainment: buy produce, dance the day away

Getting us started in the morning: Richie "King Juju" Bean 
Bean started playing guitar in the late '70s in his hometown of Reno, where he and his bass playing and drumming buddies Mike & Mark had a teenage band called "The Forbidden Blues Band." Richie had to learn to sing, since he was the chief songwriter. They played house parties, casino lounges, Moose lodges and anywhere else that would let them set up and play. They didn't play any actual blues, but it was an image that interested them. Instead they played original music, mostly written by Bean.  "Headlights" and "Ain't No Middle Ground" are two of Richies early songs first performed by the FBB. 

After a short stint in California in the mid '80s, he landed in Portland, Ore., where he got married, started a business, and started bands called "Hidden Agenda" and "The Legends" with singer Louanne Jolly. When they broke up, he began studying blues music, and started "The Roseland Blues Band" with Mickie Will and Vern Williams. He was a founding member of "The Hudson Rocket Band," where he stayed for more than five years, before moving on to lead "King Juju & The Beats" & "The King Juju Trio" for several years. 

Along the way he has opened for Walter Trout, Smokin' Joe Kubek, Little Charlie & The Nightcats, and jammed with or sat in with Lee Oscar, The Party Kings, Kinzel & Hyde, Jim Mesi and many others. In 2007 Richie decided to start a new band which played a larger variety of retro style music as well as originals, and the Catillacs were born!

...and in the afternoon spot: Michele van Kleef!
Michele has been singing for as long as she can remember. After piano and voice lessons, theater and musicals through high school, she went to Oregon State University and minored in Vocal Performance.

Soon after graduating, she joined the very successful, NW-based Indie band Calobo. They started out playing the NW Colleges, house parties and local bars. After everyone was done with school they decided to go full time in 1994 and toured the country for the next 6 years. They played the Wetlands in NYC, House of Blues in Chicago, The Great American Music Hall in San Francisco, and the epic music festival, Bumbershoot, on the Stadium Stage in Seattle. When all was said and done, Calobo released 5 full length records, the final being recorded Live at the Crystal Ballroom in our hometown of Portland, Ore.

After Calobo, Michele joined up with LazyBones Recordings as Mackabella in Seattle. They released the self-titled album Mackabella in 2001. Many of these songs have been placed in the TV/Film Industry. Willing has had the most placements: a movie trailer for the Johnny Cash story Walk the Line, and spoof of the same film, Walk Hard, among many others. Additional recent song placements includes VH1, Fox, NBC, T-Mobile, 90210, Lifetime, MTV, South of Nowhere, and Roswell.

Michele took some time off to start a family, but is thrilled to be playing music again. She's been focusing on her own songs that are true from her heart, sometimes funny, and she is more than ready to share them.

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