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Todalo Shakers

Fri, Mar 24 2017, 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


The Todalo Shakers play vintage jug band party blues and old time rags & stomps which sound like they are lifted right out of 1928 in Memphis, Tennessee. The band features lots of harmony vocal arrangements, making for a rich and funky palette of vocal blends and a great feeling of camaraderie; the exuberance and fondness that the musicians feel for their material and for each other is unmistakable. Mix in hot ragtime tunes on fiddle and mandolin plus virtuoso bass slap solos, and the party really gets going!

Suzy Thompson has long been known for her bluesy fiddling and powerful vocals; she is the fiddler of choice for Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur; Del Rey, and has also worked with Maria Muldaur, Dave Alvin and Peter Rowan. Eric Thompson (playing mostly mandolin in the Todalo Shakers) began exploring the country blues in the 1960s with Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions (with Jerry Garcia) and more recently in his work with such artists as David Nelson, David Grisman and Jody Stecher. The Thompsons are based in Berkeley, California. Guitarist/vocalist Frannie Leopold (Mendocino) has toured and recorded the Delta Sisters and the Balkan Kafe Orchestra, and is a perennial favorite instructor at many West Coast music camps including Lark in the Morning and California Coast Music Camp. Bruce “WB” Reid (Seattle) sings and plays a rare vintage 6-string banjo-guitar (affectionately known as “the enforcer”) with the Todalo Shakers. WB spent part of his twenties hanging out in San Diego with bluesman Sam Chatmon, of the legendary string band the Mississippi Sheiks. He has toured and recorded with the Tallboys (Seattle’s hottest oldtime string band), with the Carolina Jug Stompers and with his wife, Bonnie Zahnow. Upright bassist Matt Weiner (Seattle) boasts a distinguished resume including stints with the Asylum Street Spankers, Hot Club of Cowtown, Wayne Horvitz, Danny Barnes and Becky Kilgore. His slap bass solos are always a highlight of a Todalo Shakers performance!

Todalo Shakers Performances (partial list)
Live Oak Festival
Santa Fe Bluegrass & Old Time Festival
Festival of American Fiddle Tunes
Portland Old Time Gathering
Berkeley Old Time Music Convention
Seattle Folklore Society
Freight & Salvage, Berkeley CA
Lagunitas Brewery, Petaluma CA
Quimper Grange Hall, Port Townsend WA
Numerous house concerts in many cities and towns up and down the west coast
Lark in the Morning
Festival of American Fiddle Tunes

What exactly is a “Todalo”? First of all, it’s pronounced “TOE-dah-low.” It’s closely related to “diddy-wah-diddy”, and crops up occasionally in obscure old blues songs: “I’m satisfied, satisfied, my todalo shaker by my side” is a line from the Memphis Jug Band classic “You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back” and references to “todalo” turn up in songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Eubie Blake, and Bessie Smith.

Refreshments benefit Community Center of Mendocino, including a no-host beer/wine bar sponsored by North Coast Brewing Company and Greenwood Ridge Vineyards, and various edible treats from local kitchens.


Fri, Mar 24 2017
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Frannie Leopold


Community Center of Mendocino
998 School Street
Mendocino, CA 95460 United States
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