Friday, March 18, 2011

Boogie Woogie Virtuoso Carl Sonny Leyland

My friend and Red Paint bandmate Tony and I were looking for a fun place to go for St. Patrick's Day--but were avoiding the likely hysteria of a real Irish pub. So, we ended up at Speisekammer, a fine German restaurant in the heart of Alameda last night. What a great time we had--because we got to hear the incredible Carl Sonny Leyland play the keys off a piano in a stunning and exciting performance. (Note: Photo is from a different show).

For the price of two fine German beers (on tap) in their own uniquely configured mugs, Tony and I heard Carl play and sing Scott Joplin rags, old blues numbers, stride piano in the Fats Waller style and even a couple of his original tunes. We sat close by, and before and between his two sets we got to chat with him. He's very friendly and low key--and looks very cool with his neatly coiffed pompadour, long sideburns and clear plastic glasses.

Carl, who lives in Southern California, makes occasasional visits up north, and plays not only solo, but also with a trio and even has a radio show. See his website for all the information, and some great YouTube clips.

Test Driving Life is about getting out and experiencing something new--musical, automotive and more. I only wish I had sampled some German cuisine while I was there. I'll return to Speisekammer again for dinner soon--and let you know about it!

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