SHOCKED is the least that can be said about how we felt when we were at The Dip (in downtown Redding, CA) last night (Monday, Sept. 11th), waiting to watch an evening of modern instrumental musical fusion with The Mark Letteri Trio (Guitarist Mark being part of the GRAMMY winning band Snarky Puppy!!) when we looked up and saw Uriah Duffy! First of all, getting the opportunity to see The Mark Letteri Trio alone was reason enough to be out on the town and so, our night was already a hit, that is, until Uriah Duffy walked into the room with his bass on his back as he made his way to the stage!
Backstory: Years ago, Wade and I were at NAMM 2012 as NorCal Bassix with the intention of providing opportunities for some bad ass bass players to visit our FAR northern neck of the woods in California. Therefore, going to NAMM for us was like traveling to a new and heavily populated planet in order to achieve this! But that’s where we both met with Uriah Duffy for the first time. At the time, he didn’t know anything about us but he stopped in his tracks, listened to what we had to say and was extremely polite. His Mama raised him well!
He never did make it to Redding for any NorCal Bassix events but obviously, he’s a busy guy!
So, back to Monday night in Redding: Imagine our surprise last night to see him exactly where we always hoped he would be; that is, right here in front of us and our friends (in Redding, CA) and about to play some bad ass bass!
I went straight to him and Wade was not far behind to take this picture:
I reintroduced myself and he immediately made the pretense that he remembered us completely. When we asked him why on earth he was here, he explained that he was part of the opening band, “Points North” with guitarist, Eric Barnett and drummer, Kevin Aiello. Drummer Kevin was a great guy too and when we had the opportunity to meet and greet with him before the show, he revealed to us that Points North was Uriah Duffy’s first “original” project and that he’s always excited to play bass in it to his fullest extent. Now, we all know that Uriah is THE bassist for hire for many, well known bands and musicians but we can definitely appreciate the desire that such a talent might have to do his own, original music. Therefore, we were looking forward to what they had to offer and the second they started we were NOT disappointed! They were fast, furious, tight, sensational and absolutely flawless! The guitarist, Eric Barnett, was a real force to be reckoned with on stage and could have clearly stolen the show but had no problem sharing the wealth up there with his talented band mates. Later, he turned out to be just as nice to us as the rest of the band when we had a chance to speak with him one on one.
I literally couldn’t believe what I was hearing during their performance because their sublime talent and enthusiasm was almost too much for this Redding crowd!
My Cellphone Footage:
However, these days, The Dip is churning out a surprising line-up of musical talent that this town desperately needs in order to become a REAL destination for these world renowned musicians to perform. That is why we tried so hard with NorCal Bassix during those years to change that by bringing a new caliber of bassists around and now we are thankful that others in town feel the same way about creating a new palate of entertainment for the locals to digest.
So, thanks to The Dip for an awesome show on Monday, September 11, 2017!
After the show, Uriah was sure to get the crowd psyched up for the main act, The Mark Lettieri Trio. However, after “Points North” blew us all away with their performance, it was hard to fathom that there was still a main band to take in!
So, our excitement to be standing with Uriah Duffy and taking in the next band that dominated the stage that night, The Mark Letterieri Trio with drummer, Jason “JT” Thomas and bassist “Wes Stephenson” was surreal! It was also evident from the beginning that Uriah was a huge fan of this band and has enormous respect for the bassist, Wes Stephenson, saying this in his Instagram post from Sept. 10th:
I’m having a hard time finding the words here- of how inspiring this guy is. Every element of his bass playing is full and rich, executed perfectly and dripping with feel. Big. Great lessons in how a bassist can make the songs their own while staying in the pocket. I’m in awe every night on these gigs our bands are sharing together- on this 5 show ‘Jazz Millions’ tour. I knew he was good, but damn. I’m proud to have a new bass brother. Ladies and gents- Wes Stephenson (Mark Lettieri/Funky Knuckles). #funkyknuckles#marklettieri #pointsnorth #bassist #5string#givehisbandalisten
So, it appears that we have spent years traveling long distances for the opportunity to meet and greet some great musicians only to find out that you can also find what you want in places closer than expected! We couldn’t have asked for a better evening in Redding, CA (unless we put it on ourselves)! So, thanks to The Dip, The Mark Lettieri Trio, Points North and a special thanks to Uriah for always being kind and respectful of his supporters, fans and other musicians alike!