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

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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

Hitting stride in year four: “The Bodleys” get a new name and compete with the Irish for one fiddler

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Retrospective images from 2018 show a group of music-making friends regularly receiving musical therapy – all the while prescribing audiences healthy doses of blues, country, folk, and rock.  – Images by various photographers 

The Bodleys (Wasyl Bodnar, guitar; Max Komine, guitar/bass; Asher St. Pierre, fiddle/ukulele; John Stradley, percussion; Mat Summers, lead guitar/mandolin/ukulele) began 2018 in the same way it closed out 2017:  appearing at Dutch’s Brewhouse, 4244 Atlantic Avenue, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach.  For much of the year prior, the ensemble was the de facto “brewhouse band” for the your-brew-to-you venue; however, in May, 2018, management scaled back the twice-monthly appearances to monthly performances.  The reason given was the desire to have a variety of music represented each month.

The Bodleys in a quartet configuration continued its house band status at Dutch’s Brewhouse, on Saint Patrick’s Day, Saturday, March 17.  The finalized set list featured the ensemble’s first public performances of Loggins & Messina’s “Watching the River Run,” Van Morrison’s “It Stoned Me,” and the Cranberries’ “Just My Imagination” featuring special guest vocalist (and band photographer) Emma Stradley.  Aside from the “from Ireland” aspect of the Cranberries’ tune and five of Van Morrison’s iconic numbers, the ensemble performed the traditional “Lily of the West” and James Taylor’s arrangement of  “The Water Is Wide,” a nominal English/Irish tune.  The Saint Patrick’s line-up featured Komine, St. Pierre, Stradley, and Summers.  Bodnar was abroad, undoubtedly crooning “Green Fields of France” as the hour of the gig neared.

The performance was likely the final St. Patty’s Day appearance of fiddler St. Pierre, as he joined ranks with Cillian’s Bridge, an Orange County-based Irish pub band in 2018.  St. Pierre’s moonlighting from The Bodleys has presented a few scheduling conflicts this year, and the days leading up to and including Saint Patrick’s Day are a lucrative time for Irish bands.  We do not expect to see much of “the ute” in mid-March.

The Bodley’s quartet of Bodnar, Komine, St. Pierre, and Stradley provided an eclectic acoustic blues, country, folk, and rock soundtrack for the Dramatic Results Street Art Festival & FUNdraiser on Saturday, April 7, 2018. The afternoon-to-evening festival was held outdoors at the Dramatic Results Studio in Signal Hill.  While the forecast threatened rain, nary a drop fell on the intrepid quartet.

After serving The Bodleys well for many a gig, Summers’ Carvin powered PA head/mixer gave up the ghost in 2018.  Bodnar filled the sound void by purchasing a Harbinger LP9800 powered mixer, which features 800 watts with nine channels and auxiliary inputs.  Bodnar’s head was purchased for use at rehearsals at his Lakewood home; moreover, Summers was impressed enough with the unit that he purchased his own for his studio. Stradley followed suit, and now The Bodleys are a three-PA ensemble.  The availability of identical units for rehearsal and performance is sure to foster more competence among the audio neophytes in the ensemble.  While Summers and Komine’s audio technical prowess is sound, Stradley is becoming increasingly comfortable with cable routing, EQ, and level-setting; he served as sound tech for the trio’s Labor Day weekend road trip to the Eastern Sierra (and there was no unfortunate feedback whine heard during any of the three gigs).  The group has come a long way from its initial use of individual boutique amps for performance.

Willmore, Bixby Knolls’ venerable wine bar, hosted The Bodleys only once in 2018.  The April performance at the intimate venue, as have been all Willmore performances, was greatly enjoyed by the ensemble.  The Bodleys are pleased to announce the ensemble’s return to Willmore on Saturday, March 16, 2019, from 7:00 to 10:00 P.M.

Summer for The Bodleys – 16 gigs, half of the performances of 2018 – was a busy time! Between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, the ensemble in various configurations appeared locally and in the distant recurrent haunts of Mammoth Lakes and Mt. Baldy.  Appearances at Mammoth’s Black Doubt Brewing Company and the East Side Bake Shop book-ended the summer (with Shelter Distilling, a new-to-the-ensemble Mammoth Lakes venue added on the Labor Day weekend).

Mt. Baldy Resort welcomed the ensemble four times over the summer:  the “Battle of the Brews: Sunday Sessions” provided three opportunities for The Bodleys to bring its eclectic repertoire to the Top of the Notch restaurant’s patrons, and the “Moonlight Hike” event was the group’s return to the popular BBQ event that runs throughout the summer and fall.

Three private events, a backyard birthday party, a 50th Wedding Anniversary party, and Speakeasy Alley, a ticketed event of the Los Cerritos Neighborhood Association, kept The Bodleys busy between its venue performances.

Known for four years as “Saint Billy Bodley,” an amalgamation of the names of charter band mates  St. Pierre, Billy Traber, Bodnar, and Stradley, the ensemble truly needed a new name with the quick exit of Traber and the eventual additions of first Summers and later Komine.  This led to a spirited and contentious debate on potential band names:  “Saint “Butch” Bodley,” “The Strads,” “Switched at Birth,” “The Hymnknots,” “The Pink Straddlac,” “The Cool Guys & Also John,” “Ashkom Sumbodley and the Lime-Lighters, “”The Piekomers,” and many, many other ribald (and downright gross) monikers were floated, but the ensemble has, it seems, settled upon “The Bodleys,” an appellation close enough to the original to not be too problematic.

Initially booked as the early evening opening act for a country band, The Bodleys were rescheduled as the Saturday night headliner for Barnafest!, the Saint Barnabas Parish festival, which was held on the grounds of the venerable California Heights church on October 20.  St. Pierre sat out the gig, yet the ensemble was well represented with all other players.  Each of the band mates are or have been associated with the parish’s 9:00 A.M. Sunday folk choir, so the appearance provided The Bodleys an opportunity to show its appreciation to its musical “genesis.”

Bodnar’s Kahakai Outrigger Canoe Club booked The Bodleys for its end-of-year party at a boathouse on the LBC’s Marine Stadium on October 26.  The facility provided a most scenic venue, for great nighttime views of passing pleasure craft and the Marina Pacifica complex complemented the group’s soundtrack.  The quartet of Bodnar, St. Pierre, Stradley, and Summers represented.  As Komine was unavailable, a veteran gigging musician (and one of Bodnar’s paddling teammates) sat in on bass for much of the evening.

Since its opening a little more than a year ago, The Bodleys have frequently patronized Ten Mile Brewing Company, Signal Hill’s only craft brewing enterprise.  An amendment to the venue’s conditional use permit to allow live music was granted this past summer, and on Saturday, October 27, 2018, The Bodleys were honored as the first ensemble to provide live music for the patrons and staff inside of Ten Mile Brewing Company’s taproom, located at 1136 E Willow Street, Signal Hill.

Initially competing with the World Series which ran concurrently on the taproom’s twin large screens, The Bodleys appeared in a quartet configuration. The appearance featured the ensemble’s second public performance of Stick Figure’s reggae number “Out the Door,” featuring Bodnar on lead vocal.  The set list also included a healthy measure of the ensemble’s old-school blend of blues, country, folk, and rock.  The performance coincided with the birthday of Ten Mile Brewing Company Co-owner/Brewmaster Dan Sundstrom.  The honoree’s take on the evening was positive, and many patrons voiced their appreciation for the ensemble’s effort, energy, and vibe.  Odds are good that The Bodleys will again lend its sound to the ambiance of Ten Mile Brewing Company.

The ensemble ended its 2018 as it had began with performances at Dutch’s Brewhouse in November and early December.  Guitarist Bodnar dedicated The Youngbloods’ “Get Together” to to victims of The Borderline Bar & Grill shootings in Thousand Oaks.  A sad testament to the times and climate in which we live, this was the ensemble’s second such dedication, as the lads likewise performed immediately in the aftermath of The Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida.

On a far lighter note: the November gig was a “stand out” evening, for the night began with St. Pierre having to make a return trip to his home to retrieve his forgotten music stand.  Conversely, Stradley forgot his beloved music stand on the sidewalk outside Dutch’s after the 11:00 P.M. load-out.  He returned hopeful the following morning and found the stand exactly where he had left it.  One has to give humanity some props.

In its four-year existence, The Bodleys have now performed more than 100 times.  The ensemble continues to add to its repertoire, to rehearse regularly, and to delight audiences in the greater Long Beach area and beyond.  We five still find joy while making music together, and we look to the promise of the New Year with enthusiasm and eagerness.

As always, we thank our significant others and our families for their patience and support of our musical friendship.  We also thank our “faithful,” the regulars who come out to our various performances.  We remember and appreciate the venues and event coordinators who time and again welcome The Bodleys into their establishments.

We wish you the merriest of Christmases and the most joyous of New Years!  The Bodleys will see you in 2019. – TB

The Bodleys return to Dutch’s Brewhouse, 11/9

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Various images depict The Bodleys in performance amid the kettles and brewing paraphernalia at Dutch’s Brewhouse in Bixby Knolls.  … and John Stradley’s music stand rests for the night on the sidewalk outside Dutch’s, only to be retrieved the following morning.  (Performance images by various photographers; stand image by John Stradley)

The Bodleys quartet of Wasyl Bodnar, Max Komine, Asher St. Pierre, and John Stradley returned to Bixby Knolls’  Dutch’s Brewhouse, 4244 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, November 9, 2018.  It was the ensemble’s first appearance at the your-brew-to-you venue since early September.

The set list featured Komine on Fleetwood Mac’s “Never Going Back Again,” a technically challenging number from the band’s 1977 Grammy-winning Rumours album.  As guitarist Mat Summers sat out this gig, his vocals on the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See” were offered by Stradley.  Guitarist Bodnar dedicated The Youngbloods’ “Get Together” to to victims of The Borderline Bar & Grill shootings in Thousand Oaks.  A sad testament to the times and climate in which we live, this is the second such dedication, as the ensemble likewise performed in the aftermath of The Pulse nightclub shootings in Orlando, Florida.

On a far lighter note: it was a “stand out” evening, for the night began with St. Pierre having to make a return trip to his home to retrieve his forgotten music stand.  Conversely, Stradley forgot his beloved music stand on the sidewalk outside Dutch’s after the 11:00 P.M. load-out.  He returned hopeful the following morning  and found the stand exactly where he had left it.  One has to give humanity some props.

The Bodleys are booked to return to Dutch’s Brewhouse on Saturday, December 1.  See the “Upcoming Performances” link above for more information on this appearance. – TB