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(Click on photo for larger image.)
Blues Bar-BQ dishes out over 150 years of combined musical experience, blended to cook up some smooth and tasty blues for you. Each player brings something different to the table with him, and the combination is a finger-lickin' good musical feast. (Click on photo for larger image.)
lower left in
Piano, Organ: Craig Libuse
Guitar and Lead Vocals: Geoff Gurrola
Harmonica & Lead Vocals: Bob Landgraff
Bass and Vocals: Brion Munsey
Drums and Vocals: JoJo Hughes
Here's a bit about each of the current band members. These guys are the individual ingredients that flavor what you hear when you come to see us live. But like the mixture of ingredients in a good recipe, you have to hear them all together to get the overall flavor. See how they play off each other; how each one affects what the other does. The result is more than the sum of the parts. Start with good ingredients and let them simmer, and you get something really special. You get Blues Bar BQ. (Click on the photos to see larger or additional pictures.)
To learn more about some of the previous band members who played on the Blues Bar BQ CD, see the page on the CD.
(Alex Borden Photo)
Rockin'" Bob Landgraff
Harmonica, lead Vocals
Formerly with Good Rockin' Daddy, Bob now calls Blues Bar-BQ his musical home. He's a dynamite harp player with over 30 years of experience under his belt, a great singer and entertaining front man for the band. Over the years Bob has played with Walter Trout and some other big names in blues. He has also written a number of songs which are being incorporated into the BBBQ repertoire. Bob's major early influences were Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Big Walter Horton and Paul Butterfield.
Bob has shared the stage with Rod Piazza, Willie Nelson, Koko Taylor, Corky Siegle, Danny Timms and Tommy Castro and has opened for BB King, William Clarke, Buddy Guy, Etta James, Junior Wells and Marcia Ball.
Upright bass, Bass Guitar, Vocals
Brion is a big man that brings a big bass beat with him. Brion started out playing tuba and trombone through middle school, high school and college before stringing up his first bass in the late 80's.
After the usual garage band stint, Brion played the local Orange County and LA club scene with classic rock bands Dick Citizen, No End, and Steve Malloy’s Impact during the 199o's. After years of “duplicating” the sounds of the famous rock bands and bass players, he decided to explore other styles of music that allowed for more freedom of expression during live performances. Blues was a natural choice.
During the late 90s he played live and recorded the blues for several years with Blind Alley, a band that would later splinter off into other groups. They still perform occasionally. Since then, Brion has played with a wide range of blues acts including Raging Sun, LA Jones, Elnora & Somethin's Cookin, Blue Vision, King of Clubs and many others.
Brion's biggest influences are Willie Dixon, Big Ernest Crawford, Larry Taylor, Mudcat Ward, Tommy Shannon, Buddy Guy and more. Main axes are a Swingmaster upright and '93 Fender Custom Shop jazz bass. He plays through SWR amplification, mostly the Black Beauty 1 x 15” combo.
Piano, organ, backup vocals
“The Boogieman” has been playing boogie woogie piano for over 40 years starting at the age of 12. He’s no stranger to the 88’s. Craig plays in a spare but authentic style grounded in 1930's and -40's boogie woogie and blues.
Craig has played locally with The Southside Blues Band, 2000 Pounds of Blues, Cryin' Shame, Hank Deluxe and has backed up L.A. Jones, Joe Houston and Johnny Dyer. He has also opened for longtime friend Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers on several occasions. With Blues Bar-BQ Craig has opened for Walter Trout, Tommy Castro, Marcia Ball and Kim Wilson and the Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Influences: Hugh "Blackie" Murray, Pete Johnson, Albert Ammons, Little Brother Montgomery, Mary Lou Williams, Otis Spann, Ray Charles, Johnny Johnson.
Craig bought his first beat-up upright piano at age 16, which went in the family garage so he could play Boogie Woogie whenever he felt like it. (Mom's good piano in the house was reserved for "proper" music.) Several years ago he restored a giant mahogany upright from the 1920's that now resides in his living room, but he plays a Kurzweil PC88mx on stage. Craig recently added a Roland VK-7 to the stack to get a better Hammond B3 sound for some of the songs. The old upright was used to record "Bar-BQ Boogie," the title song from the third and latest CD.
|Joe "JoJo" Hughes
Joe grew up in a musical family. His mother played in her own jump, boogie, swing band, and all of his brothers also have their own bands at this time. he recorded his first record at the age of 16 and has played with numerous projects such as big band, country, rock and blues. He has played at the Original Crazy Horse, BB King’s, Irvine Meadows and in a number of television appearances. JoJo was honored with a nice writeup in the November 2003 issue of the national publication Modern Drummer on their "On the Move" page. See the PRESS page for details.
Recently Joe has backed up blues legends Finis Tasby and Deacon Jones (both longtime John Lee Hooker sidemen) and Johnny Tucker. He also played a benefit for the late Darryl Reynolds where he had the privilege of backing up Bobby Blue plus members of the Platters, the Drifters, the Coasters, the Ink Spots and the Marvelletes. Joe’s diversified drumming compliments his fellow musicians, and you are guaranteed a good time with the swing, jump, blues and boogie they will unleash.
Blues Bar-BQ's newest and youngest member hails from Southern California. Geoff has spent the past 15 years actively playing his own brand of blues and rock on the Southland club circuit as well as spending some time in the Lone Star state. As far back as he can remember the sounds of B.B. King, Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Paul Butterfield, Cream and Hendrix were the sounds that would eventually cause him to pick up the guitar and start playing at 8 years old. With the introduction of Stevie Ray Vaughan, The Fabulous T-Birds and Robert Cray in the eighties Geoff was attracted to the new energy in the blues and would start researching and committing his time to playing the old and new school blues that influenced this hot new generation of guitar slingers.
Some of the bands that Geoff has played for over the years include, Cactus Handle and the Love Hold Guarantee, Suicide 69, Brotherhood Exchange, Flirt, the VibeRiders, and more recently fronting his own original trio as Buck Wildstar. Geoff has shared the stage with Rod Piazza, James Harman, Marcia Ball, Tinsley Ellis, Anthony Gomes, the Paladins, David Hildago of Los Lobos to name a few. In addition, he has sat in and played with some of the modern blues greats like CoCo Montoya, Sam Myers, Hash Brown, Kirk “Eli” Fletcher, and B.B. Chung King .
At the gig, Geoff brings influences like Albert Collins, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Jimmie Vaughan and Buddy Guy. When he plugs his Fender strat into 2 Fender Vibrolux amps he makes a sound all his own. Geoff believes “you should play straight from the soul. When you've got that you don’t need gimmicks and all that other funny stuff”.
Blues Bar-BQ can play for any crowd from hard-core blues fans to diners or swing dancers. The upbeat rhythm and driving boogie woogie beat gets crowds of all ages on their feet and dancing. They are always willing to work with management to get the right mix of volume and music to suit the crowd at hand.
To arrange for Blues Bar-BQ to play at your event, club, party or wedding, call:
(714) 334-6476 (L.A., Orange, Riverside Counties)
(760) 727-2001 (San Diego County)
(Click on any of the photos below to see the full-size images.)
|Bob jams with Pat Boyack, a great guitar player on his own and Marcia Ball's guitarist when she's on tour. 1/04|
|Here our harp player Bob Landgraff jams with Tommy Castro and friends. 1/04|
|Another shot of Bob with Tommy Castro. 1/04|
|The original band on stage at the Topanga Canyon Blues and Heritage Festival put on by the Southern California Blues Society June 23, 2001.|
|The man behind the big beat. Joe flashes a grin at a recent Martini Blues gig. He must have tried the "Martini's Special" for dinner...the food's great here! (Alex Borden photo)|
|The Boogieman rocks Martini Blues. (Alex Borden Photo)|
|Geoff, Bob and Brion on stage in Central Park, New York City at the finish line of the 2004 ING New York Marathon. We also played at the starting line earlier that morning. 10/04|
|Why do guys play the blues? It ain't just the big bucks. A little audience appreciation always brings the best out in a band. (All five guys in the band said "She was looking at me!" when they saw this picture.) (Alex Borden photo)|
|Front man Bob Landgraff hard at work on stage at Martini Blues. (Alex Borden photo)|
|No, the photo's not backwards, Brion is a lefty. Looks like he's having a devilish good time and so will you.|
|Craig gets ready to don his coat and head out on stage at the Galaxy Theatre before opening for Tommy Castro. 6/02|
|JoJo backstage at the House of Blues in Anaheim with (R to L) Kim Wilson, Jimi Bott and Troy Gonyea of the Fabulous Thunderbirds after opening for them in December, 2003.|
|JoJo and Brion relax outside the Oasis in Garden Grove during a break between sets. Ya gotta love a bar that opens at 6 AM!|
Just for laughs...
© 2000, Patric McDonnell
© 2002, Zits Partnership
© 2003, Dan Piraro
© 2004, Mort Walker
All other photos and copy, © 2003, Blues Bar-BQ