Friday, April 15, 2011

Save the Garberville Theatre Benefit Jam

Garberville Theatre Benefit Jam, today Saturday April 16!

The Garberville Theatre is having a benefit jam. Please click on the following links for more information. I tried to paste their poster into this page, but failed miserably. It is best if you click on the following links and brouse through their website.

 I asked Chris Brannan if he could provide me with a bio for "Twango Macallan." I'm not sure what I got, but he assures me that it is the true story of "Twango Macallan." Strangely, it fits very nicely on this Blog. Please read the following story for more info:

Twango Macallan was born out of the chance meeting between Larry Fries and Chris Brannan at a full moon party in Southern Humboldt County. Over several cocktails, Larry and Chris realized that they had a strange musical past in common with each other. Both had known and played music with the legendary and mysterious Twango Macallan at different times around the world. (Larry while running contraband in the South Seas and Chris during his short-lived and ill fated stint as a card shark in New Orleans.) As the liquor flowed and the stories began to unfold, it became clear that each held a key piece of information that would help the other solve a nagging question: Was Twango alive? And if so….What ever happened to him?

Over the next few weeks, Larry and Chris began to play music together and just about the time the boys began to figure out that Twango was indeed alive and living in the back country of Northern California, he showed up unannounced in rare form with a sparkle in his eye and smelling of ether and peaches, wearing only a loincloth and a cowboy hat. As the boys stared in disbelief at the spectacle before them, Twango, with nary an explanation said, “Let’s play boys!” And the Twango Macallan Trio was born.

Well despite the great times the three had playing in the gin joints and bordellos of the Pacific Rim countries, a consistent problem simmered to the surface of their particular brew of eclectic music. Namely that Twango himself was often either in the pokey or no physical condition to sing at gig time. It became clear that the new band needed a dynamic singer that could match the power and soul of the elusive and colorful Twango. So, naturally the boys suggested their spouses or girlfriends at the time. This is indeed a critical juncture that most bands must endure and if possible, survive. The wreckage of many promising bands have been tossed upon the rocks of “Hey my girlfriend can sing!”

Well by pure luck in this case, the Queen of Hearts smiled and granted our heroes the beautiful Brigette as their new lead singer. Her power and vocal clarity matched Twango’s vocal prowess, and persistent rumors about her supposed escape from a Harem in Tangiers fit the band’s rigid criteria for “colorful or questionable past.”

As the trio sharpened their collective skills at such venues as the Benbow Inn and the Blue Lake Casino, they felt that they had a great mixture of their favorite songs from a cross-section of musical palettes, such as rock, country and blue grass. Yet, something was missing. Then one night during a severe electric storm at the band’s secret practice facility, they heard someone fumbling with the security system outside. At that moment a tremendous bolt of lightening struck the short wave radio antenna sending millions of volts through the electrical circuitry and nearly killing Larry. Through the shower of sparks and smoke, the group witnessed a strange glowing phenomenon just outside the vault doors. After starting the emergency power system, they were able to depressurize the bunker and swing the great doors open. To their astonishment, the source of the blue green light was a devilishly handsome, yet unconscious person smoldering in the grass. “Is it dead?” asked Brigette. “Hey wake up! You’re trespassing!” Shouted Larry, “Wait a minute.” said Chris. “Don’t you guys notice something peculiar about his face?” “This guy is spitting image of Twango himself; it is a sign if I have ever seen one!!!” Indeed it was true, a drummer in the form of Mat, the illegitimate son of Twango, (Born out of a tryst in the upper Amazon Basin, thus fulfilling the band’s criteria.), had appeared as if by miracle, and was now lying there, smoking, on the front lawn. “Well, get some whiskey, and a funnel.” Said Larry “Let’s see if he can play like his Daddy.”

Over the years, Twango Macallan grew in popularity and began to open for such legendary acts as The Nestburys, The NPK and country great Marty Stewart. It was during the Marty Stewart gig that Twango showed up again this time in an eighteenth century horse drawn hearse. Naturally, he was riding in the back and as he arose from his casket, (which caused quite an uproar as one could imagine)…he announced that he had booked the band on a concert tour in Laos. The Southeast Asian tour was to be on a steamship that continually toured many of the islands throughout the region. A tropical vacation sounded wonderful to the band so they readily agreed. Mat was happy to be hanging out with his dad again after his long absence and the band eagerly made preparations for the long trip.

Even though Twango could wax poetically for days on the romance of the road, and expand ad nauseum of the wonders of Laos, there was a definite shortage of exact information concerning the details of the voyage. Sure enough, after nearly eight weeks of a storm tossed crossing on the U.S.S. Yankee’s Demise, (a 1924 four masted schooner with an undocumented registry.), the band found themselves on a decrepit dockside looking at a tramp steamer…Steampunk. They also learned that they were now wholly “owned” by Okimo Basterdly, the Steampunks’ captain. It seems that Twango had lost badly at six card snookems the season before and had been forced to sell the band lock stock and guitar amp to Captain Basterdly. Resigned to their fate, and with the encouragement of the heavily armed crew, Twango Macallan boarded the reeking, listing, and rusting steamship.

The Steampunk predominantly carried rum, ether, and tropical fruit to the mainland from the various islands, and diesel, Spam and fruit pies back from the mainland to the islands. Twango Macallan’s job was to entertain the captain, crew, and the steady compliment of undocumented travelers wishing to get from place to place with limited inquiry by government officials. So each evening for four years, they caroused with the smelly staff of the Steampunk and its’ passengers, then played music until the wee hours of the morning.

It was during one of the late night concerts when a large explosion rocked the ship, loosening much of the solid rust that was holding the steamer together and interrupting one of Larry’s solos. The vessel shook violently and a general alarm was sounded through the brass speaking tubes. As it turned out, the ship was under attack by pirates. Oh, and they were a frightful lot indeed. La Jumeau Mauvais, (Captained by Pierre La Grenouille), was crewed almost entirely by conjoined twins with a bad attitude. The battle lasted most of the next day when finally the dregs of the Steampunks’ began to gain the upper hand. Not because they were masterful swordsmen, (Heck most of them were three sheets to the wind during the fight!), it was just that the crew of twins weren’t an effective fighting force and tended to get in each others’ way.

The band had retreated to the crows nest far above and began alternately to throw fruit at the fighters of both sides down below, and place bets on the various sword duels and canon placements. Sometimes a well placed mango dealt the final blow to one of the crew and thus insured a winning bet much to the chagrin of the other betting band member. Through out the intense battle, as each side swung on ropes to the other ship, the band kept noticing a frightfully handsome pair of musicians that were joined at the back of the head. They were joined in such a way that neither could see each other. They however, since birth had been traveling minstrels playing for their daily meals. Their act consisted of both of them standing on a slowly rotating human sized turntable while Antoine from Marseilles played the guitar, and Damien from Toulouse played the Dolbro. Even though they played heavenly, soulful music together since birth, they had never been able to see each others face or explain how twins could be from different cities in Southern France. The crew of La Jumeau Mauvais had constantly marveled how each was better looking than the other as they rotated into view.

Well all of the members of Twango Macallan could not help but notice the pair who continued to play and rotate all through the battle. “Just look at that those guys” said Larry. “How the hell do you suppose they were able to train those monkeys to run in that squirrel cage to power their turntable? He asked. “Forget about that” added Brigette, “Just look at them, they’re nearly as beautiful as me.” Just as Chris was remarking on their musical dexterity, an amazing event occurred. A drunken member of the Steampunk was attempting to open a keg of rum from La Jumeau Mauvais’ storeroom with his large curving dagger when he slipped on a previously hurled mango and careened dangerously toward Antoine and Damien. As he hit the railing of the poop deck, he tumbled head over cart wheeling heals onto the turntable that the monkeys had just powered to the precise angle that allowed the large curving dagger to slice them apart for the first time in their lives. This stunned everyone on both ships…bringing the entire battle to an abrupt halt. “I am finished!” remarked La Grenouille “My muse is gone, I lay down my sword.”

The ensuing surrender negotiations were intense. La Grenouille was asked to list his most valuable assets on La Jumeau Mauvais. They were as follows: His trunk of gold bullion, his cargo of counterfeit Spam, and his beloved captured musical phenoms, whom he called Damn and Baritoni. Unbeknownst to the band, Twango had managed to start winning at seven card strumpet during the previous four years of the bands’ captivity and had worked himself into a position of relative strength for the settling of the reparations. Thus when it was all said and done…..Captain Basterdly got the bullion, Twango Macallan, (the band), got their freedom as well as Tony and Damien, and Twango Macallan, (the man), secured the counterfeit Spam.

The band was set adrift with their new found friends and the counterfeit Spam and proceeded to paddle back to Northern Caliwonder under the navigational wizardry of Twango himself, who was asleep most of the time dreaming of the absolute killing he was going to make in the Spam black-market behind the Redwood Curtain. The severed twins made a remarkable recovery and during the long struggle home, the band, having little else to do but eat Spam and practice became a very tight group. The bedraggle band washed ashore on Blacksands Beach just North of Shelter Cove eight weeks later. All they had left was their instruments, a keg of rum, and fourteen ounces of counterfeit Spam. Twango frustrated about his lack of marketable product announced, “Hell we started with one point five metric tons of my meat-like product how could you guys possibly eat so much in two months?!” “I’m off to my next adventure.” Thus Twango Macallan became a seven piece trio with six members…..

The rest of course is history. Twango Macallan now entertains millions in and around Humboldt County in Northern Caliwonder.
Artists Featured by Twango Macallan
Alison Krauss Tim O’Brian Natalie Inbruglia
Nickel Creek Hank Williams Kristen Hall
Bonnie Raitt Bob Dylan Amanda Marshal
Sheryl Crow Dolly Parton Creedence Clearwater
The Eagles Fleetwood Mac Ricky Skaggs
Darrell Scott Gene Autry John Hartford
The Beatles Dixie Chicks Jim Croce
The Stray Cats Don Henley Peter Rowan
Linda Ronstadt Nora Jones Merle Haggard
Mary Chapin Carpenter Allman Brothers James Taylor
Winnona Judd ZZ Top John Prine
Pure Prairie League Lonnie Mack Dan Fogleberg
New Riders of the Purple Sage The Band

Twango Macallan is currently writing and performing many original songs as well. Recording will begin in 2011 for the first CD project!

For Booking information contact:
Larry Fries (707) 943-1606
Chris Brannan (707) 923-1100
Bio Section
Chris Brannan was born in a log cabin in Arcadia California. He and his family moved up to Humboldt County in Northern California during the great 1964 flood. Chris’ Mother bought him his first bass in high school. It was then he became famous. He headed out to make his fortune in New Orleans as a riverboat gambler. Only to find much to his disappointment that the hey-days of this profession peaked with Mark Twain. Thus it became necessary to frequent the questionable Cajun back alleys in search of a game or opportunity. An opportunity came a knockin one day in the form of Twango Macallan. Twango took a liking to Chris because of his ability to play the bass while unconscious. This particular talent served Twango well when it came time for the band to get paid at the end of the night, allowing Twango to collect two checks. After a few months Twango hatched a scheme to “borrow” a few kegs of white lighting from a local gangster and sell it back to the same distiller a few days later. The money flowed in and the boys purchased a lavish townhouse in the French Quarter. All was well until the miscreant started to wonder why he was going broke. About this time Twango and Chris arrived with another shipment, which unfortunately was recognized by the dastardly rascal. Running for their collective lives through the swamps, they just started to think they had made it unscathed when a hot slug of lead found its’ target in Twango’s butt. He howled in anguish at his bad luck and the fiery sensation emanating from his hind end. Later that night at the gig they agreed it would probably be best to head out to California where there were less swamps and bullets.

Larry Fries was born in a log cabin in the Rocky Mountain area of Colorado. Raised as a rough and tough mountain gunslinger Larry was feared high and low. Not so much for his slinging of bullets as his actual ability to throw weaponry. Once while playing with the formidable Colorado Stump Jumpers, he sighted a lone cow poke slumbering in the back. He slung his 44 magnum pretineer one hundred and fifty yards dropping the man in a pool of his own drool to the cheers of an enthusiastic crowd. By a relatively young age, Larry had it all. He was playing semi-pro baseball during the days, singing and pickin with the best bands in Colorado at night and running his own still in his spare time. Yet wanderlust called him out to the seven seas. With his considerable savings from moon shining, he bought a Chinese Junk and toured the South China Seas. Late one night he was raided by pirates led by the one and only Twango Macallan. The ever-wagering Twango gave him one chance to live. “Convince me not to send you to the Mermaids.” Larry picked up a guitar and sang about the sweetest sea going ballad that Twango had ever heard. With tears in his eyes, Twango said, “Free this man for he is my new executive officer in charge of booze and music making.” Together they toured the world doing just that.

Brigette Brannan was born in a log cabin in Los Angeles California. It was clear she was a natural entertainer performing her first concert at the age of four with a three string guitar for a field of cows. After gaining notoriety and popularity in a host of Northern California bands, she decided to expand her career to Europe. All was going well until her shady manger suggested that her band be booked to a series of lengthy engagements along the Northern African coast. It was there that the band found out they had actually been sold to a minor Euwanian Sultan then living in Tangiers. As happens in any hostile take-over, the band was broken up and resold for a profit. Brigette however was to stay in as a “guest” of the Sultan within his kingdom walls. Tasked to “sing like a songbird” to the setting sun, among other duties, Brigette spent her days playing in the Mediterranean Sea and dreaming of escape. The Sultan, (known as “Frank the Simian” to the locals.), traveled often. Thus he felt that he needed a manager for his “guests” who happened to be all women, when he was out of town. The small kingdom was soon consumed with the nation-wide search for the royal host. One night a mighty storm washed a shore the remnants of a once fearsome Chinese junk flying the California flag. Out of the wreckage climbed Twango and his XO Larry. Twango managed to spin wonderful yarns which show cased his tremendous feats of bravery and adventure for the Sultan’s entertainment. Surely, the Sultan concluded, this was the right man for the coveted “Minister of Love” position. Thus the fox was given the keys to the hen-house and Twango threw himself wholeheartedly into his duties. All was well in the kingdom until Frank returned from a high altitude belly button worship seminar in Peru to find the lovely Brigette, (The fairest of them all.), hidden away in Twango’s private quarters. This of course did not set well with his Simianismo and the Castle exploded in confusion. Fortunately through the smoke and fire Brigette, Larry and Twango made their escape by pretending to be marble statues on a barge heading for Corsica.

Matt (Macallan) Hanf was born is a log cabin in Berkeley California. He started pounding on various objects at a very young age. Thus it was decided that all of his extra energy should be focused in a positive direction. (It was Berkeley after all.) By the time he was six years old he was head of the Drummer Underground Movement, president of La Battierra Liberacion and part time professor of Rhythm Technology at UC Berkeley. It was then he learned the truth about his lineage and became fascinated with the lore surrounding Twango Macallan. At eight years old, he set off to seek his fortune and his Dad by jumping on tramp steamers around the world and playing drums to make ends meet. When he finally caught up with Twango in the Virgin Islands, the encounter was much different than he had expected; in fact, he was met with a hail of gun fire. The ever suspicious Twango had mistaken Matt’s ecstatic exclamations as the glee of a delirious revenuer on the verge of a career enhancing collar. It was soon sorted out however and the two bonded together in the magic that can only be found in music or rogue scalawagery.

Damien Roomets (Nester) and Tony Nester, (Roomets) The identical twins were born in different log cabins in Southern France. Damien was born in Toulouse and Tony was born in Marseilles to different fathers. Their wondrous birth started in Toulouse, with Damien being born in his fathers’ log cabin. But when the attending doctor noticed that indeed the heads of the two future superstars were connected, they immediately left the cabin and raced for the hospital in the big port city of Marseilles. They had just approached the outskirts of the city when their mother announced…”C’est l’end of the line amours…Antoine is ready to vivre!” So they pulled the mighty Peugeot into the first log cabin they could find, which ironically, was Tony’s fathers’ log cabin. It was a great joy to all concerned to have the family all back together again for such a momentous occasion. Soon thereafter, Tony made his appearance and the assembled family marveled not so much at the unusual er, connection the boys had, but that; 1) They were extraordinarily handsome, and 2) Whenever they cried out, they did so in perfect harmony, 3) They could stand, leaning against each other, back to back pretty much from birth!

Since they always spoke and cried in harmony, it was natural that they started a singing duo at a very young age. They were soon famous all over France and certain parts of Canada. Unfortunately, they had also captured the attention of the evil Captain Pierre La Grenouille, who immediately made plans to intercept the two on their way to Canada for their first world tour.


Anonymous said...

That is bullshistory at its finest. I'm overwhelmed.

Ernie Branscomb said...

No, Chris had a very straight face when he said that it was "the true story". How could I not believe him?

omr said...

Gosh Ernie, that was an awful lot of typing for two comments... I hope you saved the theatre!

Ernie Branscomb said...

Well.... it was all cut and paste. I got the bio from Chris.

Then after all of that, I didn't get to go. We moved all of Janis' mothers furniture and posessions into storage... In the rain.

But. I understand that it was a great party.