Saturday and Sunday, November 15th & 16th, from 10am to 4pm
Rancho Mirage Community Park (formerly Whitewater Park)
by Lisa Morgan
This is going to be the SUPER BOWL OF PET ADOPTIONS people, and you do not want to be that one guy or gal who missed out on meeting the love of your life! On track to be the largest Loving All Animals Super Pet Adoption Festival to date, the award winning local charity has set the lofty goal to find loving homes for hundreds of homeless, healthy, loving animals while promoting a “No Kill Coachella Valley”. Presented as “There’s No Place Like a Home” the Wizard of Oz themed event will be showcasing future fur babies, feathered friends and even a turtle or two. Loving All Animals is pulling out all the stops to reach new homes that need that extra dose of joy and love that only an adopted pet can bring. To do so, they have enlisted some of the desert’s most dangerously effective weapons of mass appeal and crowd control – local bands.
Slightly underhanded, yet ingenious, few people realize that each of these bands will leverage their individual fan bases, coerce them to come hear the music they love, enjoy the food and fun. Little will those fans know that before each band plays, an adorable little adoptee will be flaunted shamelessly before them. Just when the “Ooooos” and “Ahhhhhhs” begin to peak at deafening levels, the band member will hand the fur baby over to one unsuspecting audience member (probably the one with the most convincing “Oooooo”) saying, “Hold this for a minute while I go play some music.” It will be all over for that individual. They may have come there petless, but they will leave with a brand new family member. To stack the odds, Lorie Loftis, a not-so-evil genius and daughter of founder Lindi Biggi, has pitted each band against each other. The band whose fan base adopts the most animals will win a generous certificate to Musician’s Outlet. That, to a musician, is kind of the same thing as giving Augustus Gloop the golden ticket to Willie Wonka’s Chocolate Factory right in front of Veruca Salt. It could get ugly folks, but it’s for a great cause. So let the games begin!
Saturday, November 15th
12:00 PM – Long Duk Dong: For the second time in a row, Synth-Pop 80’s cover band, Long Duk Dong was voted Coachella Valley’s Best Cover Band, and after their performance at the Coachella Valley Music Awards, there was no doubt in anybody’s mind as to why. Long Duk Dong encompasses everything you ever loved about the dancing 80’s music scene, both in sound and personality. Their high energy, animated performances are unequalled, as they master the arrangements and sounds that transport you to a more carefree time and place. They’ve even begun integrating some of their favorite tunes from the 90’s. Vocalist, Chelsea Sugarbritches was nominated for Best Female Vocalist in 2014, and you will soon see why. She is also someone who has helped many a forlorn feline of the furry variety. I asked how she felt about supporting this event. “Well I am a crazy cat lady so it’s my nature to help the less fortunate felines. I could have an adoption event at my house right meow.” It is rumored that her husband, Johnny Sugarbritches, is concerned that his crazy cat lady may get even crazier at this event, considering her soft heart. And that’s just one more reason to watch this band Saturday.
2:00 – Hive Minds: “I grew up on a farm,” says front man, Derek Jordan Gregg. “My mother owns a dairy goat ranch. I’ve lived around animals all my life. She’d kick my butt if I didn’t support!” He may have gotten his compassion for animals from his mom, but he and his dad, Mark Gregg share the same passion for music (Mark Gregg will be performing Sunday).
This band’s ability to take a popular song and make it their own is amazing. But what is phenomenal about this band is their incredible supply of original, lyrically strong, contemporary rock songs that will leave you wondering, “Why isn’t this on the radio?” This fantastic trio includes Derek’s long-time friends Sean Poe on drums and Andrew “London” Bentley on bass. The three are busy in the studio finishing up their first LP, a project that their fan base is anxious to hear, myself included. Nominated for music awards and revered by their peers, if you don’t love them already, after hearing them at this event, you will.
3:10 John Stanley King – Talk about awards and popularity! John Stanley King has the market’s largest share of both and for good reason. The man is simply talented. With the ability to deliver many styles of music soulfully and with authenticity, with or without a band, King is one of the most hard working musicians in the Coachella Valley. You can find him at beautiful venues the likes of Vicki’s of Santa Fe, the Hyatt Regency in Indian Wells, The Cork Tree in Palm Desert, and the Blu Ember at Rancho Las Palmas to name a few. John comes from a legacy of local performers. In an interview with local award winning musician and CV Weekly columnist, Lola Rossi, King shared, “My Mom’s side of the family were all Jazz Musicians. My Grandpa Danchack lived in Beaumont and was a trumpeter and bass player. My mom met my dad when she was seventeen and he was eighteen, they got married and moved to Indio. My Grandpa and Grandma Danchack moved to Cathedral City where he was a butcher by day and performed in local venues and private parties at night. I learned all the Standards from him.” In regard to this charity, he says, “I spend a lot of my alone time with my Toby. He is a Maine Coon. He is somebody I rescued over 10 years ago. I couldn’t think of living this part of my life without him. Save a pet! They have feelings too.”
Sunday, November 16th
12:00pm – Mark Gregg: I was walking down and around Old Town La Quinta after dinner one night and could hear music and laughter streaming through the air. I followed my ears to The Grill on Main. Here, where other places were quiet and sleepy, stood a captivated, cheering audience surrounding the music’s source, Mark Gregg. Armed with a guitar and microphone, he took requests and played from his obviously full arsenal of musical experience, completely pleasing the crowd and singing them into a festive frenzy on what would otherwise be a quiet evening in this little desert community. I was impressed to say the least.
Gregg’s laid back, low key, likeable persona might lead you to underestimate the depth of skill and experience he has under his belt; that is if he didn’t play like the music was as instinctive as breathing. Come to find out, Mark has shared the stage with a number of well-known artists including Robert Plant and Jason Bonham of Led Zeppelin, Dee Snyder of Twisted Sister, Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot and Ozzy Osbourne, Peter Stroud of Sheryl Crow’s band, Slash of Guns and Roses, the band Foreigner, Slim Jim Phantom of the Stray Cats, Mark McGrath of Sugar Ray and many others. But he’s most proud of sharing the stage with his talented son, Derek Jordan Gregg. These days, you can find him performing at Sullivan’s Steak House in Palm Desert, and Pete’s Hideaway in Palm Springs, among others.
2:00 – The Mighty Delta Tones: According to a recent CV Weekly interview, the story behind The Mighty Delta Tones, as told by guitarist and vocalist Tom Edwards, is the kind of story that has roamed the Coachella Valley for years and has helped solidify the foundation of the current music scene we now enjoy. The band was formed by singer and harmonica player/slayer, Scott Stone in ‘96. Its current incarnation has been together for about five years with Tom on guitar. The Coachella Valley blues band plays a full scope of blues from early standards to Stevie Ray Vaughn. Joining Edwards and Stone is Rick Stephenson on bass and vocals, Mike Ruiz on guitar and vocals and Steve Maxfield on drums and vocals.
Many people talk about the Desert Rock or Stoner Rock scene here in the Coachella Valley that has given birth to internationally known bands, Queens of the Stone Age, Fatso Jetson, Yawning Man and Eagles of Death Metal. But steadily growing under the radar, are local blues bands that live and breathe the genre, creating their own scene, if you will, and The Mighty Delta Tones are among the leaders of that pack.
3:00 R Buckle Road: Winners of the 2014 Coachella Valley Music Award for Best Country Band, R Buckle Road is a local, eight piece band that has been winning people over up and down the California coast and as far as Nevada. An all original band, where almost every member contributes to their catchy, heartfelt, relate-able set list, they have been one of the few country bands featured at the Whiskey A’ Go Go in Hollywood. They made the Desert Sun’s top 5 in their Best of the Valley. They can be heard on Brad Mercer’s Bands and Fans on Kix Hot Country 92.1 and 96.3 Radio.
As a member of the band myself, I am honored to be among so many seasoned professionals, but the best part is, they’re just plain fun, good people. While it is true that not everyone loves country music, the numbers of people following this band are increasing with every performance. I don’t think we’ve played a single gig where I don’t have at least one person come up to me and say, “I don’t usually like country music, but I like you guys.” I think a lot of it is because underneath the honest, down to earth, themes, hooky lyrics and good-natured fun, is a whole lot of musicality – aka good old fashioned Americana rock and roll.
R Buckle Road is centered around charismatic front man, vocalist and guitar player, Greg Vincent. Backing him up are lead guitar player and background vocalist, Mike Pedersen, guitar playing, harmonica blowing, vocalist Larry Pedersen (Mike’s brother), Cat Pedersen on vocals and percussion (Larry’s wife of 40 plus years), Lindy Bingham on vocals and sax, and Bob Bingham on bass (Lindy’s husband). We have Carl “Shamus” Agnello on drums, and our honorary 9th member is Carl’s wife Carolyn who spends countless ours photographing our shows and making us look good. Then there’s me, Lisa Lynn Morgan. I sing and do my best to annoy the guys. I’m pretty good at it too. I’m also fairly confident that we will win the contest for the certificate to Musician’s Outlet.
The event costs a mere $5. It begins Saturday morning at 10:00am with the Boy Scouts raising the flag and the National anthem sung by the award winning, Lola Rossi. There will also be a blessing of the pets. So even if you have a house full of fur babies, come out and enjoy the music, food and fun. There will be a plethora of information and vendor booths all catering to healthy happy homes for pets.
For more information, go to lovingallanimals.org or call them at (760) 834-7000