Monday, April 17, 2006

10 Questions for Big Chief Tom Vanoy of the Siskiyou County Homewreckers

Who are you?

 We are The Siskiyou County Homewreckers comprised of:  CHIEF (guitar and lead vocalist), LITTLE PETE (lead guitar and bass),  BIRDMAN (lead guitar and bass), THEO (drums).

  Where are from?

 Chief is originally from Cleveland Ohio and now resides in Siskiyou County.  Birdman is originally from Pittsburgh PA and now lives in Siskiyou County.  Little Pete was born and raised in Siskiyou County and continues to live there.  Theo grew-up in the Santa Rosa area and now resides everywhere including Siskiyou County.

 What do you do? 

 We do originals and rock-n-roll/blues covers.

  Why do you do what you do?

 We all come from diverse musical backgrounds but all share a love for rock-n-roll and blues music.  Since Chief has joined the band we have expanded our repertoire to include original songs that he has written.

What are you working on? 

 We are working towards becoming a band that plays only originals in order to establish our own sound, relying less and less on cover tunes.

  What’s next?  

 Possibly an all original CD as our original song catalogue expands and of course more live shows!

  When will you be here? With who? 


  Who's that? 

 SLAP SHOE FLY is  a hillbilly duo that plays high energy, acoustic, original songs.  Johnny Callahan is from Siskiyou County and Jason is originally from West Virginia.  They just released their first CD titled: Decades In the Grain.  They are just coming off a tour in Nashville, TN. in support of their CD.

  Website? MySpace page? Anything like that?

 Nothing like that.

  Anything else you want to add?  

 Two of the band members (Chief and Birdman) also have side projects that they are currently involved with.  Chief is a singer/songwriter from Cleveland who moved to California six months ago in an attempt to expand his solo career.  Many of his songs explore the current state of our world as well as the many personal trials and tribulations of his life.  Chief is currently working on a CD project that should be out in the fall 2006.

Birdman has an alter-ego personality known as AFRO-YT.  AFRO-YT is a rap artist who enjoys making people laugh with his sarcastic wit and intrinsic ability to rhyme.  He currently has released two CD singles entitled; un-FRO-gettable and A Goofus One.

The Siskiyou County Homewreckers live a remote mountain community along side the Salmon River.  No one in this community is on the grid.  We rely totally on alternative sources of energy (solar/water).  We practice in a poleshed on the second tier that is only accessible by a 20 foot ladder relying on a small propane heater for warmth.  Our shows are high-energy, with music geared towards those who like to dance and have a good time.

Monday, April 03, 2006

7 Questions for Brass Menazeri

The Brass Menagerie (or Menazeri) is one of the Bay Area's premier Balkan Brass bands specializing in Serbian brass repertoire, and performing what they describe as “high-energy, sometimes stretchy, always exciting music of Serbia, Greece, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Balkan Roma and friends.

They are one of many bands playing this weekend’s Arcata Folkdance Festival Friday and Saturday, April 7 & 8, at the Arcata Grange. I sent e-mails to a couple of members of Brass Men... I think you'll figure out who is who...

 Who are you?

Eric Oberthaler

I'm Peter Jaques, a clarinetist & trumpeter playing Balkan, Turkish, Arabic, klezmer & Greek music.

 Where are from? (originally/now)

Bethesda Maryland/Oakland, CA

I'm from Oakland now. Originally Memphis.

 What do you do?

Compose, Direct, and Perform music.  With the Brass Menazeri I play trumpet.

Music. Performance, composition, recording.

 Why do you do what you do?

I love music.

It's the most beautiful thing I have to offer the world.

 What have you been working on?

In addition to this brass band, I am also the director of a group by the name of Gamelan X.  Please visit for more information.

Aside from the Brass Menagerie (which is my main project), I also play with a hybrid Balinese processional gamelan, Gamelan X ( which is directed by our other trumpeter, Eric Oberthaler. I also perform & record with Stellamara (, a Middle-eastern influenced ambient music ensemble.

 What’s next?

Both Peter Jaques (the leader of the Brass Menazeri) and I are in both groups (i.e. he plays in Gamelan X as well).  With Gamelan X we are planning a summer full of festivals and concerts as well as a recording.

more. We have lots of gigs coming up, see our website <> for an updated list.

 Why this music?

It is exciting, full of life, at once alien and familiar, bittersweet.  A real sense of community.  Rhythmic vitality, sinewy melodies.

It balances ecstasy & transcendence.