| Redbone:Cajun Funk with a Touch of Latin Soul
Redbone was a funky band whose music was a mixture of r&b, Cajun, Latin, and tribal elements. They were founded in the late 60s by brothers Pat and Lolly Vegas, born Pat and Lolly Vasquez. Lolly is actually is the diminutive form of the nickname for the name Eduardo, which is Lalo. The name Redbone came from a derogatory Indian slang term meaning half-breed. However, they chose to bear the name with pride and a touch of humor. Although the heritage of the band members was a mixture of Chicano and Native American, they emphasized the latter with their name and image. They dressed in full Indian regalia; buckskins, moccasins, and headdress.Redbone signed with Epic Records in 1970 and went on to have two top forty hits, the biggest being their million seller Come and Get Your Love in 1974. They performed on the major television shows of the day and toured extensively in the United States and Europe.
Pat and Lolly Vasquez, Mexican-Americans who grew up in Fresno, California, started their professional music careers in the touring band of Jimmy Clanton.Pat played bass and Lolly guitar. Clanton had scored hits with Just a Dream and &Venus In BlueJeans. After leaving Jimmy Clanton in 1961, Pat and Lolly headed for Hollywood, where they secured the services of Bumps Blackwell as their manager. Bumps was best known for his work with Sam Cooke and Little Richard on Specialty Records.Due to the racial discrimination at the time in the clubs on the Sunset Strip, Blackwell convinced Pat and Lolly to change their surname for easier access. The name Vegas was chosen because they had an uncle with that name and they enjoyed the reference to the gambling town in Nevada. Over the next ten years, Pat and Lolly shared the clubs on the strip with such legendary bands as The Doors, Buffalo Springfield, and The Byrds.On one occasion they jammed all night with the Rolling Stones. They also became in demand studio musicians and worked alongside Dr. John, Leon Russell, Glen Campbell, Johnny Rivers, and many others. A major break came in 1964 when they became regulars on the hit ABC-TV series, Shindig. was the biggest pop music show of the era, which featured the major rock and pop artists of the U.S. and Britain. In 1966, their first album, Pat and Lolly Vegas At the Haunted House was released by Mercury Records (Mercury They also got into the hot rod music scene as part of the Deuce Coupes, who recorded an album for Bob Keane's Del-Fi Records. As songwriters, Pat and Lolly (with Jim Ford) wrote a hit for P.J. Proby called Nicky Hoeky, which led to other covers by artists such as Bobbie Gentry, Aretha Franklin, and Tom Jones. (Tom Jones covered The Witch Queen of New Orleans, which earned him a gold record in England.)
Pete DePoe, who s considered by many to be one of the worlds funkiest drummers, has an offer to play drums for an all star band that plans to record a new CD at the end of the year (2003). It's called the Alumni. It's a musical project comprised of individuals with commonality, namely the San Francisco Bay Area. The bay area has influences which cover a wide variety of musical styles jazz, blues, funk, as well as Asian and Latino music.The band will be made up of musicians who have played with well known groups and Artists. Their target is the adult contemporary market. This means the music will have a jazz flavor without being elitist. The influences they will tap into include the Crusaders, Horace Silver, Tito Puente, James Brown, The Meters, Sly Stone, Santana, Hiroshima, Art Blakey, AWB, and Tower of Power they will also employ a Native American rhythm with a King Kong beat, which Pete DePoe has been credited with creating. The band will be flexible allowing for subs and'outside projects will be encouraged. The Alumni's goal: To have a uniquely recognizable and distinct musical style that is musically rewarding.