Thursday, March 20, 2014

"Oh, THAT Vestapolitan....."

Bands with unusual names often use that as a gimmick.

But a band that makes you wonder about its name - AND plays great music - is OK in my book.

Brad Vickers and His Vestapolitans play good-time Blues, skiffle, ragtime, country swing and something really swell he calls Roots & Roll.

His travel band features Margey Peters on bass/fiddle and vocals and she earned this triumphant pose.

(Is that just odd lighting or do I see blood trickling down her upraised left arm?)

The traveling band includes Brad on guitar (I notice he strokes mainly with his right thumb!) and John Collinge on clarinet and sax.
Margey playing her fiddle and Andrew Guterman lays down the beat on drums.

Home Team is a rabid Blues supporter and fantastic music venue with great sound.

May I suggest you try the pulled pork (or chicken) plate with two sides. Dessert is a decadent moist brownie or banana pudding.

I went with the smoked beef brisket, smashed potatoes and BBQ beans.

Oh, and some tasty cold beers of course.

Local craft brewery Holy City has produced a fine Bowen's Island Oyster Stout.

Either  enjoy that or their equally fine Pluff Mud Porter.

Porter or Stout - I like both.

But, back to the music performers:
It was good timing for a Tuesday "school night" show, starting at 9:00 pm and going until midnight.

I've been to places (PoHo) where the music doesn't even start until 11:00 pm.

A few times even later. Yikes.

This is a good mix of great music and good food.

I didn't get a chance to ask Brad the origin - and meaning - of his band's name.

He was the only one wearing a vest so that wasn't it.

In an email, he responded to my question.

In great detail. Thanks Brad.

  • Brad Vickers What is a Vestapolitan?
    Well, you see...
    When Brad Vickers was looking for a "V" name for his group, he chose The Vestapolitans. Here's why:

    Back in the 1800s, refined young people were taught, among other skills, "parlor guitar". There was one popular piece called "The Siege of Sebastapol," whose title referred to a town that figured in the Crimean war. This instrumental was what was known as a "character" or stage bravura piece, with sections meant to emulate sound effects like a bugle call, stirring battle sounds, etc. This kind of piece was learned by advanced students for recitals.

    Most importantly, it was played in "open" tuning. This tuning caught fire and circulated among players almost at once, and though the piece itself did not become a standard, there must have been enough performances to get the name into circulation. By the 1920s "Sevastopol", as it was then spelled, tuning became very popular with players from all walks of life, both chord and slide guitarists. As the years went on, the name got bent into all kinds of shapes, Vestopol, Vestapool, Vastopol, Bestapol, etc. In fact, Bo Diddley said that he first learned guitar in "Vastabol" tuning. (Bo favored open E, and would use a capo to vary the key).

    Vestapol refers to the chord voicing—the relationship between the open strings—not necessarily the key. The most commonly played Vestapol tunings are D Major (where the tuning is: D-A-D-F#-A-D) or E Major (where the tuning is E-B-E-G#-B-E. ) Brad uses both of these tunings.
  • Chuck Boyd Yes, I thought it was something like that. LOL

(Click on the photos for more details.)

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