Happy sunny solstice! “The Bodleys” get an act together for summer, 2018, with 12 assorted gigs

The Bodleys Font

“The Bodleys,” the acoustic ensemble which was until quite recently known as “Saint Billy Bodley,” has begun summer, 2018, in earnest with 12 booked gigs ranging from elevations near sea-level to the astral heights of the San Gabriel Mountains and Mammoth Lakes.  In various configurations this summer, the LBC-based ensemble is booked to perform at Bixby Knolls’ Dutch’s Brewhouse on June 30 and July 28, at the Mt. Baldy Resort’s Top of the Notch restaurant on Sundays, July 22, August 12, and September 16, and once again at Mt. Baldy on Friday, September 21.  The  Bodleys will also appear at three Mammoth Lakes venues on their second 2018 Eastern Sierra road trip; a private shindig or two will round things out.  

The Bodleys will return to Mammoth Lakes to close out the summer with three back-to-back performances on the Labor Day weekend.  The Saturday, September 1 performance at the East Side Bake Shop will be the final seasonal dinner service at the warm and woodsy venue.  Black Doubt Brewing Company, Mammoth Lakes’ only nano-brewery, will host the ensemble on Sunday, September 2.  To round out the road trip, Shelter Distilling in the Village at Mammoth will feature The Bodleys in a rare early-afternoon appearance on Labor Day, Monday, September 3.

The Mt. Baldy Resort performances are part of the venue’s newly-inaugurated “Battle of the Brews: Sunday Sessions,” which feature local craft brewers, with the exception of the “Moonlight Hike” event on Friday, September 21.  The ensemble has figuratively “gotten high” at the 7,200′ Top of the Notch restaurant many times in its four year existence.  The August 12 appearance will feature the contingent of Wasyl Bodnar on rhythm guitar, Max Komine on bass, John Stradley on percussion, and Mat Summers on lead guitar.

The ensemble provided musical entertainment for the Los Cerritos Neighborhood Association’s “Speakeasy Alley,” a Prohibition-themed ticketed event, on August 4.  As longtime St. Barnabas choir members, The Bodleys will also fete the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Ted and Terri Furlow, friends of the ensemble and fellow parishioners, at an August 19 private celebration.

The ensemble was the de facto house band of Dutch’s Brewhouse for much of 2017, and these recent bookings are the first since management chose to scale back the band’s former twice-monthly appearances to monthly 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.

Click on the “Upcoming Performances” link above for more information on these summer appearances. – TB


Saint Billy Bodley makes its 5th Eastern Sierra road trip Memorial Day weekend for two performances

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From the year following its inception, Saint Billy Bodley has had an affinity for the Eastern Sierra.  These images document the ensemble’s Memorial Day weekend venture up Highway 395 to share its eclectic blend of blues, country, folk, and rock with Mammoth Lakes locals and visitors.  Images by Judi Jeffreys, Black Doubt Brewing Company, East Side Bake Shop, and a kind passerby

Building on the established rapport between the ensemble and two solid venues in the Mammoth Lakes area, Saint Billy Bodley appeared twice on the Memorial Day weekend in the Eastern Sierra.

The Long Beach-based ensemble performed at the East Side Bake Shop in Crowley Lake on Saturday, May 26, 2018.  The venue, located in the historic McGee Creek Lodge, 15-minutes south of Mammoth Lakes, is renowned for its sumptuous meals, its community-building ethos, and its eclectic live music offerings.  The ensemble provided the soundtrack for the venue’s seasonal Saturday dinner service and served up SBB’s first public performances of Tom Petty’s “Wildflowers” and Jack Johnson’s “Sitting, Waiting, Wishing.”

The following evening, Saint Billy Bodley returned to Black Doubt Brewing Company, Mammoth Lakes only nano-brewery, for a Sunday evening performance. The intimate brewing and tap room space has offered up not only exceptional samples of the brewer’s art, but also SBB’s most enthusiastic audiences.  After the ensemble’s three-hour set had concluded, patrons insisted that the players serve up more music, so the group obliged by offering Wilson Pickett’s “Mustang Sally,” the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” and reprise performances of two crowd-pleasers (Sublime’s “Santeria, which became a sing-along, and Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues”).

The ensemble is slated to close the summer on Labor Day weekend (September 1-2, 2018) with encore appearances at both venues: again, East Side Bake Shop on Saturday evening, and Black Doubt Brewing Company on Sunday evening. Both performances share a 6:00 to 9:00 P.M. time frame.

In addition to annual engagements at BDBC and ESBS, the ensemble once graced the entertainment center stage at the Village at Mammoth for its 2016 Fourth of July Celebration.  That appearance was the direct result of a spirited Black Doubt Brewing Company performance the prior Memorial Day weekend.

Saint Billy Bodley’s Wasyl Bodnar, Asher St. Pierre, John Stradley, and Mat Summers each love the mountain town vibe of the communities of the Eastern Sierra, and they enjoyed offering SBB’s energy, passion, and effort.  See the “Upcoming Performances” link above for more information on other appearances on the horizon. – SBB

The LBC’s Saint Billy Bodley concludes its year-long stint as Bixby Knolls’ Dutch’s “Brewhouse band”

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Assorted images of Saint Billy Bodley’s year as Dutch’s “Brewhouse band” are a 12-month blur of great music, fine tap offerings, sumptuous pizza, and good times.  The ensemble will continue its association with the Bixby Knolls establishment through monthly performances into 2018. (Images by Jenn Branch, Emma Stradley, and John Stradley)

The acoustic ensemble Saint Billy Bodley nestled amid the kettles and other brewing paraphernalia at Dutch’s Brewhouse, 4244 Atlantic Avenue, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, CA. on May 12, 2018.  The quartet line-up for Saturday included Wasyl Bodnar, rhythm guitar, Asher St. Pierre, fiddle, John Stradley, percussion, and Mat Summers, lead guitar.  Max Komine sat out this gig.

The set list began with SBB’s “Southern Suite,” a collection of classic rock and folk tunes by southern bands and/or with southern themes. The ensemble rehearsed a St. Pierre selection, Old Crow Medicine Show’s “Wagon Wheel,” the Thursday night prior, and the Tennessee-based band’s song had its first public SBB performance in this set.

The taps at the brew house feature a variety of the craft brewer’s art, and the your-brew-to-you venue also books brewing sessions in the very space where the band has set up regularly on the second and fourth Saturdays for the past year.  While pleased with the music, vibe, and energy (not to mention patrons) that the ensemble has brought to the brew house, management has decided to scale back SBB’s twice-monthly appearances to regular monthly performances.  This move, assures management, is to offer Dutch’s patrons a variety of musical styles and acts.

Information on future Dutch’s bookings and other appearances on the horizon can be found at the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – SBB

House band Saint Billy Bodley graces Bixby Knolls’ Dutch’s Brewhouse Saturdays, April 14 & 28, 2018

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The Saint Billy Bodley ensemble continued in its house band role at Dutch’s Brewhouse, 4244 Atlantic Avenue, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, on Saturdays, April 14 and 28, 2018.  Saint Billy Bodley has made itself quite at home amid the copper brew kettles and other brewing hardware of the your-brew-to-you venue.  Audiences were large and appreciative of SBB’s vibe, effort, and set.

The April 14, appearance featured Wasyl Bodnar, rhythm guitar, Asher St. Pierre, fiddle, John Stradley, percussion, and Mat Summers, lead guitar.  Summers debuted his new mahogany-topped Taylor T-5 acoustic/electric hybrid guitar that evening.  In addition to selections from SBB’s repertoire of tunes from the 1960s to the 2000s, the set included the ensemble’s first public performance of the Kinks’ “Lola.”  Requests were played as well: Eric Clapton’s “Lay Down Sally,”  John Denver’s “Country Roads,” and Neil Young’s “Old Man.”  Guitarist Summers multi-tasked rather well in the latter part of the evening as he played leads with one eye trained on the big screen as his beloved Anaheim Ducks fell to the San Jose Sharks in game two of the National Hockey League playoffs.  The evening’s tap selections included “Dark Star,” a bourbon-barrel aged stout from Fremont Brewing Company.  Deemed “a whale” by beer connoisseur St. Pierre – an homage to Melville’s Moby Dick – the beer, he said, was a rare and wondrous thing.

The April 28 performance again featured the quartet of Bodnar, St. Pierre, Stradley, and Summers.  The ensemble used the occasion to run through its set list for its upcoming Memorial Day weekend appearance at Black Doubt Brewing Company in Mammoth Lakes, CA.  Stradley generally puts the SBB set lists together, but this spirited set was Summers’ doing; it featured many classic rock staples that are well suited to the trading leads of fiddle and guitar.  St. Pierre dedicated Neil Young’s “Old Man” to his father who was in attendance accompanied by Mrs. St. Pierre.

Additional information on the upcoming  May 12, 2018, appearance at Dutch’s Brewhouse may be found at the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – SBB

BK’s Willmore hosts Saint Billy Bodley, April 26

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“And the band played on …” – Saint Billy Bodley again graced the bay window of Willmore Wine Bar on Thursday, April 26, 2018.  These images culled from many Willmore performances speak to the affinity the ensemble feels for the Bixby Knolls establishment.  (Images by Emma Stradley, Priscilla Summers, Velika Turner, John Stradley, Cheryl Leach, and Willmore Wine Bar)

Saint Billy Bodley returned to Bixby Knolls’ intimate Willmore Wine Bar, 3848 Atlantic Avenue, Long Beach, on April 26, 2018.  SBB in a quartet configuration featured Wasyl Bodnar on rhythm guitar, Max Komine on lead guitar, Asher St. Pierre on fiddle, and John Stradley on percussion.  Mat Summers sat out this gig.

Willmore Wine Bar has been very supportive of SBB during the ensemble’s four years.  The quartet offered its eclectic blend of blues, country, folk, and rock to the patrons of the venerable establishment.  The set featured the ensemble’s take on Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath,” a number that found it’s way into SBB’s repertoire by way of the Henson Family Hymnal (a binder of the resident chief sommelier ‘s favorite tunes).  Stradley was reminded of the song one afternoon as he thumbed through the binder that rests upon the venue’s upright piano.  The set also featured Komine on Eric Clapton’s “Crossroads.” St. Pierre offered the lead vocals on Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” and, by request, the Beatles’ “You Can’t Do That.”

See the “Upcoming Performances” link above for information on other appearances on the horizon. – SBB

SBB provides acoustic soundtrack for Dramatic Results Street Art Festival & FUNdraiser, April 7

Dramatic Results Fundraiser

The Saint Billy Bodley quartet of Wasyl Bodnar, rhythm guitar, Max Komine, lead guitar, Asher St. Pierre, fiddle, and John Stradley, percussion, 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 at the Dramatic Results Studio, 3310 Lime Avenue, Signal Hill, CA.  Lead guitarist Mat Summers was traveling and missed the gig.

The set included a rare full rendition of Simon & Garfunkel’s “Scarborough Fair,” the ensemble’s second public performance of Loggins & Messina’s “Watching the River Run,” and a spirited rendition of Donovan’s “Season of the Witch” featuring fiddler St. Pierre on vocal.

In addition to Saint Billy Bodley’s lively performance, the ticketed, family-friendly event  featured interactive art installations, an outdoor pop-up gallery, and, for the foodies, sample food and drink from a local mobile purveyor.  While the forecast called a slight chance of rain, the skies over the LBC were alternately sunny and lightly clouded, and nary a drop of rain was felt all afternoon.

Dramatic Results is an award-winning, non-profit agency that solves educational challenges by building collaborative learning environments that integrate hands-on artistic experiences with STEM and other curricula to help students and educators become creative problem solvers. Dramatic Results’ focus is on under-served and at-risk youth, particularly in Title 1 schools throughout Los Angeles County.  To learn more and to support this noble and worthy organization, visit Dramatic Results.

Information on other appearances on the horizon can be found through the “Upcoming Performances” link above. – SBB


Saint Billy Bodley fetes patrons St. Patrick and St. Valentine at Bixby Knolls’ Dutch’s Brewhouse

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This montage of images from Saint Billy Bodley’s January 27 and February 10 appearances at Bixby Knolls’ your-brew-to-you venue Dutch’s Brewhouse attests to the mutually-beneficial relationship that the group and management have enjoyed for nearly one year.  (Images by Emma Stradley)

Saint Billy Bodley in a quartet configuration continued its house band role at Dutch’s Brewhouse, 4244 Atlantic Avenue, Bixby Knolls, Long Beach, 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,” Elvis Costello’s “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love, and Understanding,” 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 Max Komine, rhythm guitar, Asher St. Pierre, fiddle, John Stradley, percussion, and Mat Summers, lead guitar.  Guitarist Wasyl Bodnar was abroad.

The line-up of St. Pierre, Stradley, and Summers lighted up Dutch’s Brewhouse on Saturday, February 24.  This trio configuration was identical to the TPBC appearance in June, 2015, that first brought Summer’ talent and repertoire to Saint Billy Bodley.  Some of the songs from that 2015 set list found their way onto the set.  The trio did its first public performances of R.E.M.’s “Man in the Moon” and Tom Petty’s “Listen to Her Heart.”  Patron requests were the order of the night: Van Morrison’s “Brown Eyed Girl,” Otis Redding’s “(Sitting on) The Dock of the Bay,” and Sam Cooke’s “Another Saturday Night” – the latter two were first-go-rounds for the ensemble.  Wasyl Bodnar and Max Komine sat out this gig.

The February 10 performance featured the quartet of Bodnar, rhythm guitar, St. Pierre, Stradley, and Summers.  The set featured a “Southern Suite” of songs by southern acts or featuring southern themes/settings.  The works of various artists ranged from the Marshall Tucker Band to Creedence Clearwater Revival to  John Prine to Kenny Loggins.

Saint Billy Bodley is booked to return to Dutch’s Brewhouse on Saturdays April 14 and April 28, 2018.  See the “Upcoming Performances” link above for more information on these and other appearances on the horizon. – SBB