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

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 role 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, rhythm guitar, St. Pierre, fiddle, Stradley, percussion, and Summers, lead guitar.

The performance was likely the final St. Patty’s Day appearance of fiddler St. Pierre, as he joined ranks with Killian’s Bridge, an 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, rhythm guitar, Komine, lead guitar, St. Pierre, fiddle, and 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 in Signal Hill.

After serving The Bodleys well for many a gig, Summers’ Carvin powered PA head/mixer died 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.  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 hope that additional Willmore performance opportunities might be found in 2019.

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.

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 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 first 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 still find joy while making music together, and we look to 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

 

 

 

 

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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

Ten Mile Brewing Company hosts The Bodleys acoustic quartet as its initial taproom act

Going the extra mile – The Bodleys (left to right: Wasyl Bodnar, John Stradley, Asher St. Pierre, and Mat Summers) acceded to patrons’ demands for “one more song” repeatedly at the end of the ensemble’s first appearance at Ten Mile Brewing Company on October 27. (Images by DJ Stradley and Ten Mile Brewing Company)

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 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 with Wasyl Bodnar on rhythm guitar, Asher St. Pierre on fiddle, John Stradley on percussion, and Mat Summers on lead guitar.  Guitarist Max Komine sat out this appearance.  The performance featured the ensemble’s first 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.

While booked to perform between 7:00 and 10:00 P.M., the ensemble – urged on by an enthusiastic crowd – played 30-minutes longer – adding the Marshall Tucker Band’s “Can’t You See,” Loggins and Messina’s “Your Mama Don’t Dance,” and others to the three-hour set.  Sundstrom’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.

Ten Mile Brewing Company’s taproom is a warm and inviting space that pays tribute to the grandeur of the King’s Canyon region of California’s Sierra Nevada range.  The space features a grand 23 foot counter, made from a drought-fallen tree gathered from the Sierra, which naturalist John Muir deemed the “Range of Light.”  Ample interior seating, complemented by a new outdoor space, provides patrons with options to enjoy The Bodley’s musical vibe and the brewery’s fine tap offerings in a fine ambiance.  An eclectic variety of food truck cuisine is available nightly.

See the “Upcoming Performances” link above for more information on other appearances in the near future. – TB

Happy sunny solstice! “The Bodleys” get an act together for summer, 2018, with 14 assorted gigs

The Bodleys Font

“The Bodleys,” the acoustic ensemble which was until quite recently known as “Saint Billy Bodley,” worked through summer, 2018, in earnest with 14 booked gigs ranging from elevations near sea-level to the astral heights of the San Gabriel Mountains and Mammoth Lakes.  In various configurations and frequencies this summer, the LBC-based ensemble was booked to perform at Bixby Knolls’ Dutch’s Brewhouse, at the Mt. Baldy Resort’s Top of the Notch restaurant, and at three Mammoth Lakes venues on their second 2018 Eastern Sierra road trip; a private shindig or three rounded things out.  

The Mt. Baldy Resort’s Sunday ” Battle of the Brews: Sunday Sessions” provided three opportunities for The Bodleys to bring their eclectic repertoire to the Top of the Notch restaurant’s patrons.  The “Moonlight Hike” event on September 21 was one of the venue’s longstanding hike/ride the lift and BBQ evenings.  The ensemble has figuratively “gotten high” at the 7,800′ venue many times in its four year existence.

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

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 also feted the 50th Wedding Anniversary of Ted and Terri Furlow, friends of the ensemble and fellow parishioners, at an August 19 private celebration.

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

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 other appearances on the horizon. – 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