Local Music Vibe

Local Music Vibe


Wednesday Night Ramble with Luvplanet @ Empress Theatre in Vallejo

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Wednesday Night Ramble with Luvplanet @ Empress Theatre in Vallejo
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Empress Theatre

330 Virginia St
Vallejo, CA 94590
(707) 552-2400
About this show

Luvplanet Heads To Empress For A Pre-Thanksgiving Wednesday Night Ramble!

Thanksgiving cooks will have somewhere to send their relatives while they try and dress the turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. The next Wednesday Night Ramble is Thanksgiving Eve and organizers will be host to Luvplanet’s Nicole Sutton and Mark McGee and fellow Luvplanet band mates Tommy Sisco and Cedric Wilmott.

Making special appearances will be singers Shiloh Hobel and Loralee Christensen.

Singer/Songwriter/Guitarists and founding members Nicole Sutton and Mark McGee take their musical vision and crossover appeal to new heights with Luvplanet. Their fresh, persuasive sound blends many styles with lush vocal harmonies, soulful guitars and irresistible rhythms. With four studio releases Luvplanet (2003), State of Mind (2005), Lucky One (2008) and Luvolution (2010), their loyal fan base and reputation as a world class, arena ready rock group continues to grow. Songwriters Nicole Sutton and Mark McGee continue to deliver exciting rock anthems filled with fresh hooks, meaningful lyrics and genuine emotional depth.

Everyone keeps asking…. What’s a “ramble?” The organizers aren’t exactly sure how to define a “ramble,” but one thing is clear, the monthly event is hugely successful with audience traveling from all over the Bay Area to attend.

The North Bay All Stars will host the gathering of musical friends in the latest installment of The Wednesday Night Ramble at the historic Empress Theatre in downtown Vallejo with Don Bassey on bass, T. Moran on drums, Matthew Silva on guitar and Mike Emerson on keyboard.

The Wednesday Night Ramble at The Empress was the idea of bass player Don Bassey. Bassey was inspired by the spirit of the Midnight Ramble created by Helms. When Helm was diagnosed with cancer he held concerts in his barn in Woodstock to raise money for his medical bills.

Bassey describes the “by invitation only” pro jam as an evening of organized chaos as unannounced guests take the stage and join the North Bay All Stars in a freewheeling extended jam session inspired by Levon Helm, founding member of the influential roots rock group The Band.

This show’s special guests are already putting together their song list for the house band on the historic Empress stage, and surprise guest musicians invited by Bassey promise to take the evening on different musical paths. But, one thing is for sure, the music will be good, the musical camaraderie of the musicians on stage will be infectious, and the audience will be delighted by this celebration of Americana and roots music.

Previous Ramble performers have included Lynn Asher, Willy Jordan, Mike Rinta, Lisa Battle, Tracy Blackman, Paul Branin, Danny Click, Steve Freund, Willy Jordan, Timm Walker, Kevin Hayes, Ian Lamson, Jesse Brewster, Zoe Ellis, David Ellis, The Sargent Tucker Band, The Wasted Rangers, Allyson Paige, Bonnie Hayes and Cedricke Dennis just to name a few.

About Nicole Sutton:

Nicole Sutton was born in Detroit and raised on rock ‘n roll and Motown. While she was classically trained on violin at age 6, it wasn't until she moved to Southern California as a teenager and got her first guitar that she began writing her own music. Songwriting and guitar were almost one and the same for her and at age 13, after performing her first original song, her teachers eagerly asked if she had any more material. She would continue to write but would not discover her voice until later.

By the time she graduated high school and moved up to Lake Tahoe, she began cutting her teeth performing original music in clubs in the duo You-n-Me and later the You-n-Me Band. In 1999 she reconnected with a friend who was running San Rafael Studios in Marin County and he invited her to come down and do some recording. It was through this connection that she would meet guitarist Mark McGee who was hired to come in and contribute some guitar tracks on a few of her demo's. Soon, pre- production began with Mark, Stu Hamm and Jeff Campitelli but after almost a year of traveling up and down the mountain from Tahoe to the Bay Area, she decided it was time to move off the hill and relocate. Nicole's chemistry with McGee grew and it became clear through the music that something bigger than both of them was brewing thus the songwriting team was born. While Nicole had worked in recording studios in the past, this is where her body of work would begin. Nicole and Mark formed Luvplanet in 2001 and it was clear that the next step was to record their debut CD. 'Luvplanet' was released in the Spring of 2003 and Nicole and Mark were now on the search for a permanent rhythm section. In 2004, after auditioning many musicians, bassist Tommy Sisco and drummer Scott McKenzie would complete the line up. The combination of energy and artistic freedom was evident and the band felt unstoppable!

With each new release 'State of Mind' in 2005, 'Lucky One' in 2008 and 2010's 'Luvolution' the strength of the band continues to grow. "Nicole's songwriting, her beautiful vocals and her very essence are integral to Luvplanet, she is absolutely irreplaceable" says McGee. Luvplanet has developed a signature sound of soul-shaking music with rich vocals, soaring guitars and a solid, fluid foundation of bass and drums. At the core of everything are the songs and the heart with which they are conveyed. With Nicole's wide range of influences, her music has emerged into an unmistakable force that crosses genres and connects generations. "So many people want to put you in a box and try to figure out who you are or who your 'target market' is and I tell them that we are Luvplanet and our target market is EVERYONE".

About Mark McGee:

By age 11, Mark's love for guitar and dreams of the big time had completely taken over. Driven and determined, his passion for music propelled him through the years gaining him much respect in the music world. His appreciation for all styles of music is key in Mark's continuing search for new ways to develop his talents.

By age 15, Mark was performing shows in all the top clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area with his bands Overdrive (1980-1983) and Now (1984-1985). They opened for acts like Metallica, Ratt, Y&T, Randy Hansen, Loudness and Quiet Riot.

In 1985-86 Mark joined the famed prog rock band Starcastle. In the seventies, Starcastle played arenas touring with Jethro Tull, Rush, Boston and many others. Led by founding member Gary Strater who sadly lost his battle with cancer in 2004, Starcastle's music was a fusion of rock and classical styles and with layers of harmony vocals. During this time, Mark also began studying with famed vocal teacher Judy Davis who worked with Streisand, John Waite, Eric Martin and many others. It was with Starcastle that Mark first began playing music with drummer Scott McKenzie. This band was a very special time in Mark's music career and was very experimental in it's approach with an artistic side rarely seen in the music of today.

From 1986 to early 1995, Mark was busy making records and touring the world many times over as lead guitarist for the Bay Area metal band, Vicious Rumors. Mark and VR toured in 20 countries, enjoyed video rotation on MTV's Headbanger's Ball (USA & Europe) and were nominated for "Outstanding Metal Album" at the 1992 Bay Area Music Awards for their 1991 Atlantic Records release, "Welcome to the Ball". Some highlights were performing at the famous 'Hammersmith Odeon Theatre' and 'Marquee Club' in London. Since then Mark has made guest appearances on VR's 2001 'Sadistic Symphony' release and their newest due out in March 2011. Mark will also appear at the Keep It True Festival in Germany with Vicious Rumors in April 2011 for a special one off show paying tribute to former lead vocalist Carl Albert. Vicious Rumors performed shows around the world to crowds as big as 30,000 people and performed with acts such as Paul Stanley (Kiss), Blue Oyster Cult, Badlands, Paul Dianno (Iron Maiden), Savatage, Testament, Danzig, Zakk Wylde, Metal Church and many others.

In 1995, Mark was asked by the Alameda All Stars to do some shows.The All Stars were all members of Gregg Allman's band and when an audition came up Mark got an invite and in turn Mark was asked to join the Gregg Allman and Friends band where he stayed as lead and slide guitarist for more than 10 years. This makes Mark the longest running guitarist in Gregg's 30 + year solo career. From 1995 to 2004 and again in 2007, Mark toured throughout the US, Europe, Canada and Japan as lead & slide guitarist for Rock n Roll Hall of Fame's Gregg Allman. In G.A. and Friends, Mark's fiery style and wicked slide playing added an exciting edge and intensity to the band's sound. With Gregg, also came the opportunity to work alongside legendary producer Tom Dowd (Clapton, Aretha Franklin) for the recording of Gregg's 1997 "Searching for Simplicity" release. Mark also appears on Gregg's 2001 "No Stranger To The Dark/The Best of" cd. Gregg Allman & Friends shared the stage with acts such as Jeff Beck, Derek Trucks, Govt. Mule, The Spinners, Wilson Pickett, David Crosby, Bad Co., REO Speedwagon, Ted Nugent, Joan Jett, Kansas and Cyndi Lauper to name a few.

The Wednesday Night Ramble with the North Bay All Stars
Special Guests: Mark McGee and Nicole Sutton of Luvplanet
Wednesday, November 21, 2012 7pm-10pm
The Empress Theatre
330 Virginia Street
Vallejo, CA 94590
All Ages Venue
Cover $7/advance and $9/door
Full bar
707.552.2400 tickets and information
Sponsors: 851 Music Studio, A-1 Guaranteed Heating & Air, NHT, Studio 41 and Team Chevrolet