The Orange County Original!
Got a hankerin’ for some down-home roots music? We’ve got just the remedy. The simplest, tastiest recipe you’ll find on the Internet:
Take equal parts West Coast, Texas, and Chicago blues; mix in a dash of old-school Rockabilly; a quartet of skilled miscreants with a penchant for good times and high adventure; distill it all under the heat of the Southern California sun… and you’ve got Drew’s Blues Band. We’ve been packing dance floors across the Southland since The Great Recession.
The story, and all that…
It all started back in 2007 when Drew Todd wandered into Richard Hassebrock’s blues jam at a tiny Newport Beach rehearsal studio. Drew was a nice guy with a Telecaster fetish and a decent T-Bone Walker impersonation, and Richard was a sonic engineer who played the hell out of anything with six strings. That — and subsequent — jam sessions would go on to become Richard’s famous Orange County Blues Players: The biggest, most open-arms blues meetup in Southern California.
Fast-forward a handful of years and Drew, Richard, and the OCBP were playing at a funky little venue called Boscoe’s in Lake Forest. And for this, we need a brief sidebar into to the arcane regulations of open-mic jammery:
Jam rules work in such a way that sets are random; you never know who, exactly, you’re going to be onstage playing with during any given set. As such, there is no opportunity for rehearsal or pre-planned organization. As you might imagine, this can be a wonderfully enlightening experience in cosmic synergy. Or a horrible trainwreck. This is the thrill of the open-mic jam.
On the stage that evening, in addition to Richard and Drew, were Gil Frazee on the P-Bass and Paul Crews on drums. It was, given the previously described perils of jammery, a decidedly good set. Gil was a powerhouse; Paul was remarkably versatile. Cosmic synergy and a bag of chips. As we ended the final tune, Gil looked around and declared, “Sounded like a real band!” Mr. Frazee’s powers of observation were considerable. And so, Drew’s Blues Band was born. So to speak….
Hailing from all corners (and a bit outside the lines) of Orange County, California, Drew’s Blues Band consists of these four gents. To wit, we are:
Guitar and vocals
Born in Illinois, Richard moved with his folks to California in 1960, and settled in Orange County where he experienced first hand the excitement of southern California through the 60’s and 70’s. The beach scene, Hula Hoops, skateboards and motocross, hot rods and muscle cars, and most of all, Rock and Roll. Influenced by the “guitar gods” of the American music scene and the British Invasion, he picked up the guitar as a young teenager. Playing first with friends, he then joined a succession of bands based in Fullerton during the late 70’s and early 80’s playing at a variety of venues that are mostly closed today. Richard stop playing out for a couple of decades to raise a family, but re-entered the music scene with a new found love for the music that served as the base for the classic rock that he loved so much, the Blues. Joining, then eventually taking over the helm of a group of musicians known as the Orange County Blues Players, Richard has been hosting blues jams in Orange County for over 5 years, and has been playing with various blues musicians in venues all over the southland. Joining Drew’s Blues Band is like the good old days, playing with friends once again.
Bass and vocals
A forty-year veteran of the southern California music scene, Gil’s life-long involvement in music began with The Megatons, a garage band in 1964, hoping to become the next Beatles. He has played a number of different styles of music from bluegrass, to country, country western, rock, and finally, settling in to his true passion, the blues. He has been playing bass since 1978 and his instrument of choice is either a Fender P-Bass or a Fender J-Bass, because he believes that “Leo just got it right.” For Gil, hooking up Drew, Richard, and Paul is not only musically satisfying, but just a whole lot of fun! Hailing from Ontario, in addition to laying down swingin’ bass lines, Gil represents DBB’s ancestral link to the Inland Empire.
A veteran who got his start in the Summer of Love (that would be 1967, for you youngsters), Paul’s earliest gigs paved the way financially for a college degree. He originally hails from Birmingham, Alabama and landed in Orange County back in the days when Elvis was the king and Rock and Roll was proclaiming its immortality, and intention of staying put on the American pop music scene. As the muscle and brains behind such Orange County staple acts as Cadillac Hubie and a seasoned veteran of the recording studio, Paul brings a steady hand and a taste for fine haberdashery to the band. Paul currently lives in Costa Mesa.
Guitar and vocals
A guitarist and vocalist with 25 years in his back pocket, Drew’s eclectic musical preferences (and, to a large degree, his patchwork guitar style) can be traced to his formative years bouncing around the country, growing up in such esteemed environs as Gainesville, Florida; Birmingham, Alabama; and Detroit, Michigan, before his family finally settled in the fine city of Cleveland, Ohio. Upon picking up the guitar at 17, he promptly burned his snow boots and headed out West, as any common-sense-bearing young man should. Settled in Orange County, he bounced from group to group for a dozen years, until at last, he realized that playing one more Bad Company song was going to drive him into the abyss. Drew reemerged a few years later with harmonica player Laguna Slim and focused all of his energies toward their rightful application: playing the Blues. Since then he’s backed many OC groups, playing with the likes of Mighty Flyers stalwarts Bill Stuve and Paul Fasulo, as well as enthusiastically holding court with the many fine and talented members of the Orange County Blues Players. Drew’s Blues Band is the realization of his dream to finally be allowed to play with the cool kids.
Good time music
Impressed? Of course you are! So why not book Drew’s Blues Band for an engagement at your venue, party, or other event?