Bass player Rick Taub creates a night of jazz, blues and soul Sunday through Wednesday
at Seven Grand.
His ever-changing band, recently consisting of singer Gina Graham, guitarist Lester Lands, drummer Robbie Thompson, Steve Guillory and Wes Smith, perform sounds ranging from Dixie land to modern samba fusion.
As music genres evolve and become more commercialized, it is important to remember and celebrate the roots of today’s popular music. The revitalized nightlife Downtown welcomes acts that pay homage and expose a new generation to the blues and jazz that birthed today’s tunes.
“Blues is the essential music, everything comes from it,” says Taub. “It really touches people because everybody gets the blues. It’s cathartic.”
Taub became a fan of rock ‘n’ roll at a young age while growing up in Hollywood.
Well over 6.4ft, as a teenager he was well known publically for his skills on the basketball court becoming famous enough in the sport to be featured in an article published by the Los Angeles Times.
Away from the courts and with an ever growing thirst for music, young Taub realized that many of his favorite songs by the British and American bands were inspired by the blues songs.
Simply by reading the album notes, Taub dug deeper and found the original versions.
“’Hound Dog’ by Big Mama [Thornton] made Elvis sound like a cartoon,” said Taub. “I thought ‘oh, this is it!’”
Having no formal training, Taub “fell into the scene” at Babe’s and Ricky’s Inn, a legendary Los Angeles Blues club in Leimert Park he would frequent during his twenties.
The club was founded in 1964 by widow Laura Mae Gross and housed many greats such as Duke Ellington, Big Mama Thornton, Eric Clapton and Esther Phillips. One fateful night Taub got his chance to join the roster.
“It was kind of a rough era – late 80s, early 90s – and there was a lot of gang violence and crack everywhere,” said Taub. “The usually bass player was almost beaten to death the night before while stopping for gas, so they needed a bass player. The drummer looked at me with drunken eyes and said ‘you look like a bass player, get your ass up here and play!’”
And the rest is History?
Singer Tasha Taylor enjoys a live set with a friend before she grabs the mic. A second singer named.
The daughter of late musician Johnnie Taylor grew up next to the stage where she developed her talent, passion and love for music. A love she professes on her 2011 album “Taylor Made” through songs that echo the legacy of her father, but demonstrate her own prowess as a soul singer. Taylor has also toured both nationally and internationally; she played a Blues Cruise with Taub earlier this year and currently has a day gig with the Blues Brothers Band.
“I’m a whiskey girl,” said Taylor. “It goes with the blues.”
Rick Taub was also very close friends and playing mates Artwork Jamal who passed away last August of this year from complications of diabetes, heart disease and other ailments related to his weight. The man had a voice that echoed the muddy, pained howls of blues legends.
Blues talents like Jamal, Taub, Kirk, and Taylor live for the blues and honor its tradition.
The perfect mix of blues music and whiskey, cocktails and craft beer along with the talents of Rick Taub and musical guest pairs well with the cigars and billiards backdrop at Seven Grand.
When Taub isnt deep in the bass inside of nights filled with live music and vintage ambiance he’s working on a new project producing music events and programs at different venues.
Rick Taub’s new mission, producing all types of music events, has successfully developed live music programs for some of LA’s most unique venues. For more information about contacting Rick Taub for music events, visit www.lamusicbooking.com.