The Sons will be performing at Biscuits and Blues in San Francisco, California on Saturday, July 12, 2014. We are looking forward to the music and to seeing our fans. We are grateful for all the love and support given to us for almost fifty years. We hope to see you at the show.
Left to Right - Geoff Palmer, Tamara Champlin, Bill Champlin, Dick Mithun
Front Row Left to Right - Jeff Lewis, Carmen Grillo, Tim Cain and James Preston
Anyway, we’ve been doing a few Sons’ gigs with a few “New” additions to the band. We’ve got Dick Mithun on bass and we’re knocked out that a guy who co-produced a Sons’ Live album in the 90’s was able to pick up his bass and jump right in, a great friend of the band and a kickin’ player. We’ve also got Tom Cain on Sax and Vocals. Tim is the original sax player and singer who left the band around 1970 and hasn’t played with us for all that time. It was like he’d been there all along. He still has the tone that all other sax players are compared to. We’re all tickled to have Tim back in the ball game.
We also have the usual line up of guys, and girl, for Sons’ gigs: Jim Preston on drums and vocals continues to contribute his soulful vocals and solid drums, having been a member of the Sons family since 1972. Geoff Palmer on Keys and Vibes; Geoff has always been and continues to be the most natural musician I’ve ever known. He can take you with him on a solo like nobody else does. Jeff Lewis on Trumpet and Percussion, Jeff is an awesome musician and great friend of the band and we’re always knocked out to have him, a great addition. Carmen Grillo on Guitar and Vocals. I absolutely love playing with Carmen. He’s as good a singer as it gets and his guitar playing, both rhythm and lead, is awesome. I love his soloing a lot; it always starts kinda’ bluesy and then goes to the “chops” that you’ve come to expect from him. Great player. Then there’s Tamara Champlin on vocals. Tamara may be one of the best singer/songwriters I’ve ever worked with and she grew up on the same music we all did and when she lets it fly people are awestruck. Anyway, I think that’s it. If anybody isn’t here please raise your hand.
I’m hoping to see the joint packed so we can come back and play on a regular basis in a good room that is more comfortable than a lotta’ gigs we’ve played. I think that Yoshi’s in Oakland and the Uptown Theater in Napa would be great little “Homes away from home” for us. The Sons don’t play all that many gigs and we try to add a few surprises every gig for the people who come to all the gigs; we did “Sing Me A Rainbow” at Napa in December; how rare is THAT? l
The Sons of Champlin 2014...
The Sons of Champlin, led by Bill Champlin, former member of the American iconic band “Chicago” are always musically evolving. The Sons started in Marin County in 1965 and have stayed true to their musical roots since then. The music of the band is R & B and rock based with lyrical content that connects the audience with the band. The reason for the longevity of the band playing together for all of these years become obvious within the first few notes of the first song and becomes clearer over the next couple of hours. While the band has revolved around Bill’s singing and song writing, he distributes the spotlight throughout the performance to showcase the individual abilities of band mates. There is now a triple threat with the addition of Tamara Champlin to the band.
As front man, Hammond organist, guitarist and lead singer, Bill Champlin was a member of “Chicago” (singer of ‘Hard Habit to Break’, ‘Look Away’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Live Without Your Love’ to name a few). Bill is also a two time Grammy winning song writer of ‘After the Love Is Gone’ by Earth, Wind and Fire and ‘Turn Your Love Around’ by George Benson. Bill said this year of the band, “The Sons have been a band that seems to connect with its audience on so many levels, lyrically and musically, that it’s fun to go to and either listen or dance or just to connect with friends who you know will be there. I’ve been involved in a lot of musical performance styles over the years but The Sons seem to affect the audience in a “we’re all together” kind of way rather than a “dig what I can do” way. It’s not that the music is simple, it isn’t, or that it’s performed differently than other bands, it just touches people on different levels. I’ve found myself drawn to The Sons for the “all together” feeling everyone comes away with.
The addition of Tamara Champlin’s vocals and songwriting has brought even more depth to the band. Her credits run deeply from singing with Rita Coolidge to movie scores to fronting her own band to songwriting.
Geoff Palmer’s expertise with vibes and keyboards brings The Sons sound all the way back to when he joined the band in 1967. Geoff is a musician’s musican and his contribution to the band has been ever present.
Jim Preston has held the drum seat since 1972. Jim’s playing and singing is unmatched and makes him a sought after session player. He has performed with Moby Grape, Maria Muldaur, Dr. John, Lydia Pense and Cold Blood, The John Farey Band, Jon Hammond and the Late Rent Session Men, as well as the late Norton Buffalo. He has recorded with the Sons, Bobby McFerrin, The West Texas Millionaires and Sheryl Crow to name only a few.
On lead guitar and vocals is Carmen Grillo who played with Tower of Power from 1988 until 1997. Carmen owns and operates Big Surprise Music studio in Los Angeles.
Jeff Lewis is on trumpet. Jeff has played and recorded with Kenny Loggins, Diana Krall, BB King, Huey Lewis and the News, The Temptations, Conjunto Cespedes and Pete Escovedo to name a few
Dick Mithun on Bass Guitar. Dick has been a friend and family member forever and is now performing with the band. His superb bass playing has given the band a steady bottom end this man does his homework!
The Sons of Champlin boast a career that spans almost five decades with over 12 albums to their credit. They are much more than a heritage or nostalgia act and have garnered a solid fan base that has loved and followed them for years. Always musically growing and keeping the audience moving to the soulful, funky groove of their music The Sons are as vibrant as ever and look forward to seeing you.