NICK GRAVENITES and DAVID LaFLAMME
It's not so easy to introduce Nick Gravenites because the man has done so many things.
Gravenites grew up on the southside of Chicago hanging out in the mid-50's with a coterie of misfit white kids - Elvin Bishop, Paul Butterfield, Michael Bloomfield - who went on to form that protean powerhouse of watershed white blues, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Learning their lessons first-hand from the southside greats - Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Howlin' Wolf, Jimmy Reed, Otis Rush - Gravenites & Co. burst open the seams of the scene with a feverish intensity and undeniable authenticity, redefining the blues with as much impact as the introduction of electric instrumentation had 15 years earlier. From the late 50's through the mid 60's, Gravenites gravitated between Chicago and San Francisco, establishing himself in the Bay Area in 1965.
In addition to authoring the classic "Born In Chicago" and the groundbreaking "East West" for Butterfield, Gravenites scribed hits for Janis Joplin and has his songs recorded by Big Brother and the Holding Company, Michael Bloomfield, the Electric Flag (of which Gravenites was a founding member), Pure Prairie League, Tracy Nelson, Roy Buchana, Jimmy Witherspoon as well as blues giants Howlin' Wolf, Otis Rush, and James Cotton. He has a couple of solo albums and has scored and played on the soundtracks for "The Trip", "Medium Cool", and "Steelyard Blues". He has appeared on some 40 albums as singer, songwriter, guitarist, and producer.
Gravenites worked extensively with John Cipollina, a connection that started with Nick producing the first Quicksilver Messenger Service albums and continued several years after Quicksilver's demise with the Nick Gravenites-John Cipollina Band.
Gravenites continues to perform regularly in the Chicago Blues Reunion with fellow band members and Chicago Blues legends, Harvey Mandel, Barry Goldberg and Corky Siegel.
David LaFlamme began his musical education on the voilin at the age of five, eventually going on to become a soloist for the Utah Symphony.
After serving in the army, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1962. There he became an icon in the underground scene performing with all the best known artists of the day including frequent collaborations with Jerry Garcia and Janis Joplin.
After his short-lived Electric Chamber Orkustra, LaFlamme co-founded an early incarnation of Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks before joining It's a Beautiful Day in mid-1967. A self-titled debut LP was launched on Columbia in 1969, scoring the hit "White Bird." After several albums, he left the group and since released several solo albums on the Amherst label.
Don't miss a unique collaboration between these musical giants 8 PM Thursday August 9th at the Rockfish Grill. Cover is $15 at the door.