“Getting high” – Bodleys quartet returns to Mt. Baldy Resort for outdoor patio gig on June 12

As Asher St.Pierre wandered around like … a wandering minstrel … , he snapped this image of the other players (left to right: Max Komine, bass, John Stradley, percussion, and Mat Summers, guitar) at Mt. Baldy Resort’s Top of the Notch restaurant June 12. Image by Asher St. Pierre

The Bodleys quartet of Max Komine, John Stradley, Asher St. Pierre, and Mat Summers performed open-air at the 7,800′ Top of the Notch restaurant’s patio-with-a-view on June 12, 2021. Rhythm guitarist Wasyl Bodnar was traveling.

In the ensemble’s years-long association with “southern California’s highest venue,” this was the first time that the group has played its eclectic set of blues, country, folk, and rock outside. Sheltered from the high altitude winds and sun, the lads played for the assembled hikers, day trippers, and patrons who would be staying the night in the many tent cabins on the property.

The set included multiple songs by The Doobie Brothers, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the LBC’s Sublime. The two-hour set concluded with a blistering lead-out of Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” – an impromptu suggestion of St. Pierre, which pressed Stradley into service for the lead vocal and allowed he and Summers to trade leads, much to the delight of the patrons.

Negotiations will be underway shortly to book additional performances at the resort, as Summers was overheard to say, “I always have a great time playing here.” – TB

Cheers! The full Bodleys contingent returns to Ten Mile Brewing Company for first gig in 15 months

The entire five-player contingent of The Bodleys performed at Signal Hill’s Ten Mile Brewing Company Saturday, May 22, in an early-evening, three-hour set of classic blues, country, folk, and rock. Freed from “safer at home” orders, with vaccination rates on the rise, and more venues entertaining the prospect of hosting live music, the ensemble relished playing before an enthusiastic audience after 15 long months of pandemic.

The set included a few new-to-the-band tunes: Steeler’s Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You” and Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Who’ll Stop the Rain. Both tunes were honed at two jubilant rehearsals in the weeks leading up to the performance.

Playing outdoors before an unusually large Saturday afternoon crowd, the ensemble kept the assembly in tunes and the”ear candy” of its soloists’ traded leads while TMBC kept the pint and Pilsner glasses filled with fine concoctions of the brewer’s art. The TMBC management is eager to have The Bodleys return and began negotiations for another appearance shortly thereafter. Details can be found on the “Upcoming Performances” link above when they are solidified. -TB

The Bodleys trio reunites for first performance in a year at Syncopated Brewing Company on April 25

Strung along Guitarists Wasyl Bodnar and Mat Summers (left to right) in pre-pandemic performance at Dutch’s Brewhouse in Bixby Knolls. On April 25, 2021, Syncopated Brewing Company, billed as “A Dutch’s Brewhouse Joint,” hosted The Bodleys trio (including percussionist John Stradley).

The Bodleys trio of Wasyl Bodnar, rhythm guitar, John Stradley, percussion, and Mat Summers, lead guitar, performed at Syncopated Brewing Company – A Dutch’s Brewhouse Joint (formerly Timeless Pints), on Sunday, April 25. This reunion was the first Bodleys outing since pandemic closures and safer-at-home orders preempted a year of booked gigs in March, 2020.

The venue, under new management and aesthetic, coincidentally, affords a homecoming of sorts, as Saint Billy Bodley, the original incarnation of The Bodleys acoustic ensemble, appeared on site frequently on Sunday afternoons during its early years.

In its two-hour plus set, the trio performed its eclectic blend of blues, country, folk, rock from the 1960s to the 1990s. Patrons heard a few “new” songs to the trio: “Lying Eyes” by the Eagles, “Who’ll Stop the Rain” by Creedence Clearwater Revival, among others.

After The Bodley’s set concluded, singer/songwriter Elic Evans, who hails from Lakewood, performed a solo set for the brewing Company’s patrons. Evans performs with Mr. Good Day, a local band, and his missus provided fine harmony vocals at times during his set.

Syncopated Brewing Company tuns, kettles, and tanks fueled its tapline with an impressive array of in-house produced ales, witbier and stouts. The venue offered both indoor and outdoor seating options.

Bodnar and Stradley, as a duo billed as free*dom, performed occasionally during the past year as health department directives allowed, yet they were delighted to be reunited with Summers, who added his undeniable virtuosity, energy, and humor to the Bodley mix. All players look forward to the return of the full reunion of the ensemble in the coming months. – TB

The Bodleys (and everyone else) feels effects of the worldwide COVID-19 health emergency; bookings now through return to normalcy marked tentative (with few rare exceptions)

The Bodleys have joined the populace in reeling under the effects of the COVID-19 health crisis; consequently, all full-contingent bookings from now to the foreseeable future have either been cancelled outright, marked tentative, or otherwise postponed.  While the notion of live-streaming a performance has crossed our minds, the abundance of caution has moved us to suspend all-band rehearsals until public health authorities deem the emergency over and done.

Suffering COVID fatigue and itching to make music for an audience, rhythm guitarist Wasyl Bodnar performed a solo set at SteelCraft – Long Beach on Saturday, September 5.  Joined by percussionist John Stradley, the intrepid rhythm guitarist provided an acoustic soundtrack for an intimate Celebration of a Life event at a Bixby Knolls home on September 20.  The now-duo has since performed in the Bixby “Allery,” a shared outdoor dining and imbibing space on Atlantic Avenue and at Steelcraft’s Long Beach venue repeatedly.

This is not to say that other members of The Bodleys are inactive individually, for Max Komine, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist, proposed virtual rehearsals in the early days of the crisis.  His thought was that we could work individually on promising songs with charts, harmonies, and arrangements worked out and agreed upon in advance.  The first prospective tune is Stealer’s Wheel’s “Stuck in the Middle with You.”

To that end, Mat Summers, lead guitar and vocal, recorded a five-track instrumental of the song with a click track and disseminated it to the band.  We have been individually working through our parts while adhering to the “safer at home” dictate of public health and governmental authorities.

Both Stradley and Summers are interested in the lead vocal of the song, but the decision remains to be made – unlikely until the full contingent can get together to rehearse.

Rebels that they are, Bodnar, Stradley, and fiddler Asher St. Pierre have met in Bodnar’s great room for socially-distant rehearsals several times since mid-March.  The focus of the rehearsals has been work on The Cure’s “Just Like Heaven,” The Black Key’s “Little Black  Submarines,” and perfecting The Band’s “The Weight.”

The Bodleys will continue to be in contact with its booked venues in anticipation of the eagerly-anticipated return to performance.  When this all has settled, The Bodleys plan to be ready, willing, and able to entertain venue patrons and staff with its eclectic set of blues, country, folk, and rock.

In the meantime, be safe, stay healthy, and keep the faith, for ” this too shall pass.” – TB

The Bodleys and SteelCraft join forces eight times since March 2019 debut performance in the LBC

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Getting comfortable – Assorted images from The Bodleys’ appearances at SteelCraft’s Long Beach and Bellflower locations attest to the solid relationship formed between the ensemble and the unique dining establishment. (Images by Emma Stradley, DJ Stradley, David Brown, and an unknown photographer)

SteelCraft, a unique gourmet food, craft beer, and wine venue composed of repurposed shipping containers, has hosted The Bodleys on multiple occasions since the ensemble’s March 30 debut performance at the Bixby Knolls, Long Beach location.  SteelCraft has expanded threefold since March with new locations in Bellflower and Garden Grove in Orange County.

The Bodleys were preferred to fete the Grand Opening of the Bellflower location (Bellflower Blvd. and Oak Street) on June 13.  Incredible hospitality and audience support has kept the band coming back time and again since March; between the Long Beach and Bellflower locations, The Bodleys have appeared eight times in the past six months.

The Bodleys quintet join SteelCraft-Bellflower’s Grand Opening festivities, Thursday, June 13

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Following up on its March 30 debut performance at SteelCraft – Long Beach, the quintet of Wasyl Bodnar, guitar, Max Komine, bass, Asher St. Pierre, fiddle, John Stradley, percussion, and Mat Summers, guitar, lent its sound to SteelCraft – Bellflower’s Grand Opening festivities on Thursday, June 13.  The unique venue, located at 16500 Bellflower Blvd., Bellflower, CA (at the intersection of Bellflower Blvd. and Oak Street), features a covered, open-court design.

The ensemble provided a blues, country, folk, and rock soundtrack as the Toronto Raptors took its first-ever NBA championship from the Golden State Warriors.  The gasps of Warriors fans in the final seconds were tended appropriately with The Bodley’s rendition of The Traveling Wilbury’s “Handle with Care.”

The spacious venue features a number of eclectic purveyors of gourmet foods, craft beer, and wine.  The ample performance space allowed the players to enjoy some much-appreciated elbow room, so guitar neck pokes and fiddle bow ear jabs were minimal.

For more information on upcoming June 30 and August 3 SteelCraft – Long Beach appearances, click on the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – TB

The Bodleys answer the call of the mountains with Mt. Baldy and Mammoth Lakes gigs in late May

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The Bodleys appeared at three high altitude venues in the final weeks of May with appearances at Mt. Baldy’s Top of the Notch restaurant and Mammoth Lakes’ East Side Bake Shop and Black Doubt Brewing Company.

The Mt. Baldy performance coincided with the popular Moonlight Hikes/BBQ event on Saturday, May 18.  The Bodley quartet of Wasyl Bodnar, guitar, Max Komine, bass/guitar, Mat Summers, guitar, and John Stradley, percussion, provided the soundtrack for hikers and scenic lift riders ascending to the 7,800′ Top of the Notch Restaurant for the first such event of the season.   Southern California’s highest venue has welcomed The Bodleys to perform many times for its spring/summer/fall seasons in recent years: the ensemble has appeared at several other Moonlight Hike BBQs, Battle of the Brews, and Sunday Sessions events

The ensemble’s 8th Eastern Sierra road trip over the Memorial Day weekend included back-to-back performances at East Side Bake Shop in McGee Creek, just south of Mammoth Lakes, and Black Doubt Brewing Company, Mammoth’s only nano brewery.  The Saturday, May 25, evening dinner service at East Side Bake Shop featured The Bodley’s eclectic blend of blues, country, folk, and rock.  ESBS has hosted The Bodleys ensemble annually for each year of its four-year existence.  The welcoming venue is known and appreciated for its sumptuous cuisine, for its warm and woodsy ambiance, and for its community-building ethos.

Black Doubt Brewing Company hosted The Bodleys on Sunday, May 26.  As with ESBS, The Bodleys likewise have a long history of annual performances at the BDBC tasting room.  The brewery’s patrons – locals and Mammoth visitors alike – have traditionally been among the most enthusiastic audiences for whom the ensemble has performed.  The Bodley players always look forward to their return to the beauty of the Eastern Sierra.

The Bodleys are set to return to the Eastern Sierra for the Labor Day weekend with similar Saturday and Sunday evening performances.  Additional information on future events can be found on the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – TB

SteelCraft- Long Beach hosts The Bodleys, 3/30

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SteelCraft, Bixby Knolls’ novel food, coffee, and craft brewing court, hosted The Bodleys quintet of Wasyl Bodnar, Max Komine, Asher St. Pierre, John Stradley, and Mat Summers on Saturday, March 30.  A seeming anomaly in this just passed, very wet winter, a comfortably warm temperature and a clear sky brought patrons out in droves.  The ensemble did its best to keep bodies swaying, toes tapping, and heads nodding in time.  The Bodley players greatly enjoyed the crowd, the ambiance, and the fine hospitality offered by the SteelCraft staff.  Update:  The Bodleys are slated to return to SteelCraft – Long Beach on Sunday, June 30, 1:00 – 4:00 P.M. and Saturday, August 3, 6:00 – 9:00 P.M.  (Images by Emma Stradley and David Brown)

The Bodleys experiment at Long Beach Beer Lab

Let’s see … Purpose/Question, Hypothesis, Experiment, Analysis, Conclusion – An “audition”; they will be pleased; a great gig; all went well; subsequent gigs anticipated.  – Image by Miguel Samayoa

The Bodleys quartet of Max Komine, rhythm guitar, Asher St. Pierre, fiddle, Mat Summers, lead guitar/mandolin, and John Stradley, percussion, pooled their collective memory of the scientific method (while playing classic blues, folk, country, and blues) at the Long Beach Beer Lab Thursday evening, February 21.   Charter guitarist Wasyl Bodnar was abroad.

This performance was a first for The Bodleys, for while they have performed at many of the greater Long Beach brewing operations, the group had never performed in the Long Beach Beer Lab tap room.

The unusual two-hour, mid-week set included many of the songs that have endured The Bodleys to audiences from Long Beach to the San Gabriel Mountains to Carlsbad to the rarefied air of Mammoth Lakes.

The Long Beach Beer Lab is renowned for its contributions to the brewer’s and baker’s arts, as yeast is at the juncture of both art forms.  The menu is replete with craft beer concoctions and artisanal breads and pizzas. Like the Beer Lab itself, The Bodleys gave their best – after all, it’s the yeast they could do!

For more information on other appearances in the near future, see the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – TB

The Bodleys begin 2019 in earnest: 3 booked gigs

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The Bodleys began the New Year with three booked gigs in January: first on January 12, at Dutch’s Brewhouse, and then back-to-back gigs on Saturday, January 19 – initially for a private event at the Earnest Bors, M.D. Spinal Injury Center at the Veterans Administration Long Beach Medical Center and, later, at Ten Mile Brewing Company in Signal Hill.

The Bodleys quartet of Wasyl Bodnar, Asher St. Pierre, John Stradley, and Mat Summers returned to Dutch’s Brewhouse for its first performance of 2019.  The start of the set was delayed until the Los Angeles Rams secured their 30 to 22 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in the AFC divisional-round playoff game.  The set featured examples of Summers’ guitar prowess including the ensemble’s take on Pokey LaFarge’s “Central Time,” a catchy tune that Summers and his better half were astonished to hear performed by a pub band in Galway, Ireland.  Stradley began the set by reprising his rendition of Cole Porter’s “Ain’t Misbehaving,” a vocal cross between Hank Williams, Jr. and Leon Redbone.

The entire Bodley contingent: Bodnar, Max Komine, St. Pierre, Stradley, and Summers, performed two, two-hour gigs on Saturday, January 19.  The Bodleys most often perform as a quartet due to venue space limitations; however, with ample space, the ensemble was able to perform as a quintet on January 19, with Komine on bass.  The robust Bodleys sound was even more full with the multi-instrumentalist holding down the low-end groove.

Additionally, Summers  lent his newly-acquired subwoofer cabinet to the Bodley’s PA system, and it was employed at both gigs.  The speaker takes on the low-end frequencies, which allows the main speaker cabinets to handle high and mid-range frequencies more efficiently.

Booked to perform for two hours, the ensemble stretched its set to more to three hours for the appreciative Ten Mile crowd.  Once the planned set list was complete, The Bodleys acceded to a request from a bachelorette party group for Tom Petty songs and culled several audience favorites from its ample repertoire.

In late-October, 2018, The Bodleys were the first featured act to appear inside Ten Mile Brewing Company’s taproom.  The ensemble provided its soundtrack to the concurrent World Series game four between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Boston Red Socks.  After the Dodgers’ unfortunate 6-9 loss, the group offered musical consolation to L.A. fans and celebratory accompaniment to the revelry of the few Boston fans on hand.

Additional information on other appearances on the near horizon can be found on the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – TB