Johnny Castle

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by permagrin, Sep 26, 2003.

  1. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    I was just out in the Washington DC area last night and saw Bill Kirchen and Too Much Fun, with bass player Johnny Castle. They play at the Sunset Grille in Annandale (?) VA, darn near every Thursday night (apparently they'll be on the road for the next two weeks). I was also out there several months ago and was blown away by these guys, and again but more so last night.

    They play a style of music that is very country oriented, rock and roll. Bill Kirchen has been around a long time, played on a hit way back when called 'Hot Rod Lincoln', and I believe the band were also nominated for a Grammy last year. Very professional, and being able to see these guys at a regular gig at a very small (btw smoke free) bar for a $4 cover is unbelieveable.

    Now I'm not a country kind of guy at all, but these guys transcend genre, they are simply 3 phenomenal musicians who together are even more than the sum of the parts. Johnny plays a '59 Fender through an Eden head and Genz-Benz 4x10, thick tone. He has such solid fundamentals, a terrific style that is rooted in simple I-V-I kind of playing but goes way beyond that and is so competent, using every inch of the fretboard. Makes me think 'I could play like that' and 'I wish I could play like that' and 'I could never play like that!' all at the same time. Very inspiring.

    I strongly encourage anyone in the Nothern Virginia area to check out this band.

    BTW, he also let me play his awesome vintage P-bass for a minute after the gig, that's the only c-neck that I've ever felt comfortable on - he told me he doesn't play that bass, it plays him - and I believe it.
  2. permagrin...........Bill Kirchen is best known for his work in the '70s with the rebel band Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen. Leading the way, this gang of rock & roll honky tonkers cut a wide path through country and rock, creating an intersection where both could meet and meld together their many guises effortlessly,he convinced the rest of the band to move to the West Coast, where they took off and became legendary outlaws, lauded by Waylon Jennings and Willie Nelson as well as the Allman Brothers and the Grateful Dead.

    :smug: Treena
  3. permagrin


    May 1, 2003
    San Pedro, CA
    Thanks for the background Treena, and fyi they'll be playing somewhere in northern California in December (but not coming down here, bummer :( ).
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