By Lola Rossi-Meza
Kal David sings the Blues in The Purple Room at Club Trinidad
For the next several weeks, Kal David will perform every Thursday, from 7 to 11 p.m., in the Purple Room at Club Trinidad located at 1900 East Palm Canyon Drive in Palm Springs. (760) 327-1877 ext. 230. He is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 17, at 7 p.m. in the Palm Desert Country Club located at 77-200 California Drive in Palm Desert. (760) 345-0222. Hamilton’s at 79-255 Highway 111 in La Quinta, (760) 698-8303, has also accommodated him with a few dates, Saturday, August 4 and August 11. Come see and enjoy the Valley’s own Bluesman himself, while you can, before he starts touring again.
Why would this super star listed as one of Bruce Fessier’s top ten guitarists play gigs in a few local venues? The answer is simple. He is a very smart musician, who keeps up his chops while resting at home with his very talented wife, vocalist Lauri Bono. Together, Kal David and the Real Deal featuring Miss Lauri Bono, tour the East Coast and Europe, and have been for years. Relaxing while keeping his fingers moving, and entertaining his fans on his home turf, is the life that keeps him happy.
He recently learned that his CD, released last year, is still #2 on CD Baby. Released on Crytone Records, “Crossroads Of My Life” was also #86 on the 2011 Hot 100 for radio air play, according to the Roots Music Report. “We got a lot of air play on Sirius/XM Radio, which is satellite radio, lots of people have it in their cars, but you need to subscribe to it,” said David. “They have Howard Stern, and one of their channels is called ‘B.B. King’s Bluesville’. They picked up our CD and were playing two cuts almost everyday, the title cut “Crossroads Of My Life” and “I Idolize You” which, was one of the only covers on that album. The song is kind of an obscure Ike Turner composition he wrote for Tina, probably about himself. It is the only cut Lauri sings on this album. They chose those two.”
“Crossroads Of My Life” was written by Eric Kaz, a songwriter friend he knew from the Woodstock days. Kaz also wrote “Love Has No Pride” for Bonnie Raitt, along with many others. Most of the songs on the album were written by Kal and Lauri, and marks the fact that he has been recording for 40 years. “It celebrates by re-visiting some of the songs I wrote while touring with Illinois Speed Press, a band I had in the 1960s. I did a couple of songs from the Fabulous Rhinestones, a band I had in the 1970s,” said David. “ Then there were a couple of songs we wrote specifically for this album.” Cut one “Say Yeah”, and his favorite cut on the record, “Heartache,” is more of a bluesy R&B song.
He and Lauri went into LA to meet with Hammond B-3 player Mike Finnigan to record the song “Crossroads Of My Life.” David had every intention of playing guitar on the cut, however, “What Finnigan did on that song was so good, we made a production decision. Lauri said to me, ‘Maybe you shouldn’t play on this cut.’ So it is only my voice with Finnigan, but what he did was brilliant.” The rest of the album was recorded with his band The Real Deal, keyboard player Adam Klipple and drummer Mike Nappi, who both live in New York City and are the musicians he tours with.
In June, they went to Bonn, Germany to perform at a private party and will be returning to Cologne, Germany for another private party in October. He and Bono sent the band home and took the bullet train to Paris, France, where they celebrated their 35th Wedding Anniversary. “Lauri and I are together all the time, we write together, we perform together, we produce together and she was very involved in the selection of songs for the new album. She was the brains behind it. I love having her in my life,” David proudly stated.
Although they did not perform in France, they did a couple interviews and may do a Singer/Songwriter event when they return to Europe. They stayed in an apartment on “Boulevard du Reuilly” and met up with one of their fans, Jean-Paul Ribes, who has every album David has made since the 1960s. He took them to see some of the tourist attractions and promoted them in France by getting their music played on the radio.
For Kal David’s background, you can visit his web-site, KalDavid.com. This is also the best place to purchase his CD or digital downloads. There are lots of videos on YouTube, as well. “In a world where everyone has a movie camera in their pocket with the new cell phones, you have to be aware of what you are doing when you perform. Who knows how many people will see the video clip. My video of ‘My Guitar Gently Weeps’ has had over 11,000 hits, probably because it was written by George Harrison, but people always request that song, so I perform it in every one of my shows. I am very proud of it,” shared David.
He was recently asked to put together an 11-piece band at The Joint in LA, because the owners want to re-create the vibe of The China Club, an establishment where David was the musical director during the 1990s. “I conducted a 15-piece band at that time. We had everyone from Stevie Wonder, Brian Wilson, Paul Young, Skunk Baxter, John Entwistle to Rick James. It was a lot of fun. They are calling it The China Club Pro Jam at The Joint. I’ll be doing that probably once a month. On Friday, August 3, I am performing at The Arcadia Blues Club with Armando Compean on bass. He played with me a few times at Blue Guitar, the night club Lauri and I built and owned from 1998 until we sold it in October of 2004. My West Coast Real Deal drummer Rena Beavers will also perform with me.”
A while back, he was asked to teach at the National Guitar Workshop, a well- known program where kids and adults spend a week with various teachers and guest artists. While writing the curriculum for this appearance, David was inspired to produce a project close to his heart, the Kal David Blues Guitar Master Class DVD Series, available on his web-site. It is like having Kal David with you anytime, 24/7. “It is all about what I have learned over the years performing, finger exercises and various songs. It will help guitarists play faster, have more confidence on stage, and learn to improvise,” said David. As a result, he was contacted by Berkeley College of Music in Boston to do several seminars.
Congratulations Kal and Lauri for 35 years of marriage. You have a lot of fans worldwide who love and respect you. Keep on making music!