Who says the good old days of the blues are over? "This music isn't long gone; it's alive and happening right here and now in Northern California! " says blues guitar virtuoso Kid Andersen. He's talking about Tip of the Top, the San Francisco Bay Area band that has taken the blues scene by storm since 2009.
The band's musical style is reminiscent of the 1950's. Their live show delivers all the primitive pulsating rhythms, repetitive chord changes and gritty amplification that defines early American Rock 'n' Roll. But these bluesmen are no mere imitators. They feel this music to their core. They represent it with 100% authentic personal expression and deliver it with emotionally charged energy.
Tip of the Top's debut CD, Depot Street Blues, and their second release, Rock Tonight, received rave reviews from fans and blues critics alike. Their latest release From Memphis To Greaseland features some of the band's finest original work and their unique, spontaneous take on blues classics. Engineered and produced at the world-famous Greaseland Studios in Campbell, California, this album is a MUST HAVE for any serious blues afficionado!
Tip of the Top is:
Jon Lawton ("Little Jonny") - guitar/vocals
Frank De Rose - bass
Akarsha "Aki" Kumar - harp/vocals
Carlos Velasco - drums
Jon Lawton (guitar/vocals) has been a veteran of the California blues scene for over two decades. His blues influences included Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Johnny Shines, John Nicholas, Asleep at the Wheel, Elmore James, Robert Johnson and all the King family guitarists. Johnny also cites The Stones, Grateful Dead, David Bromberg, Bonnie Raitt, Pink Floyd, Buddy Rich, Count Basie, Frank Zappa among his early musical influences.
Prior to moving to the Golden State, Jon toured the mid-west with various popular regional blues/funk bands and backed up luminaries such as Luther Allison and John Hammond. Shortly after arriving in Santa Barbara, he joined its premier blues band The Pontiax, garnering rave reviews across the US, Europe, Canada. In 1990, Jon moved on to form Little Jonny and The Giants, which developed a solid SoCal following and performed at numerous venues and festivals with heavyweights such as Kim Wilson, John Hammond, James Harman, Gregg Allman, Koko Taylor, Fenton Robinson, Mighty Joe Young, Charlie Musselwhite, Magic Slim, Bob Dylan, Sista Monica and Anson Funderburg. Jon is now settled in the SF Bay Area where Little Jonny and the Giants continue releasing terrific CDs, performing all over California and collaborating with great artists such as Tom Ball, Paris Slim, RJ Mischo and many others!
Frank De Rose (bass), a fixture in the Bay Area blues scene for over 25 years, has collaborated with the who's-who of the area's top blues artists including: Gary Smith, Tommy Castro, Mark Hummel, Kenny Ray, John Garcia, Mike Shermer, Sid Morris. Over the years, Frank has also provided his bass playing skills to a long list of national touring blues acts such as Snooky Prior, Otis Rush, Johnny Heartsman, Little John Chrisley, Nick Gravenites, Andy Just, Chris Cain, Rusty Zinn, Jr. Watson, John Garcia, David Barrett, Jackie Payne, Larry Davis, Mississippi Johnny Waters, Johnny Adams, Luther Tucker, Andy Santana, "Might" Mo Rogers, Eddie Shaw, Mike Wheeler, Nellie "Tiger" Travis Curtis Salgado .. the list goes on.
A short list of Frank's notable performances include several San Francisco Blues Festivals along with several of the San Francisco Battle of the Harps, multiple performances at the Monterey Blues Festival, San Jose State Fountain Blues Festival, JJ's Blues Festival, Santa Cruz Blues Festival, San Jose Jazz Festival, The Legends of Chicago Blues at Villa Montalvo and the California Blues Legends show.
Born and raised in Bombay, India, but now settled in San Jose, Aki Kumar (harp/vocals) is an up and coming harmonica player on the Bay Area scene. He has been a devoted fan of the Chicago blues since 2003 and under the guidance of harp guru David Barrett, has studied and absorbed the styles of harp greats such as Little Walter, George Smith and Sonny Boy Williamson II. Aki seeks to take his music in new directions, while keeping alive the spirit of the old masters.
Over the last couple of years, Aki has shared the stage with numerous blues heavyweights including Rod Piazza, Lazy Lester, Terry Hanck, Mighty Mike Schermer, Gary Smith, Mark Hummel, Rich Estrin, Little Charlie Baty, Charlie Musselwhite, Andy Santana, Andy Just, John Nemeth, Rusty Zinn, Kid Andersen, Charles Wheal, Screamin' Iain, Sid Morris, John Garcia, "Little" Jonny Lawton, Kenny Blue Ray, Johnny Cat Soubrand to list a few.
Aki Kumar is a Seydel endorsed artist and plays Seydel 1847 Classic harmonicas at his shows.
Bay area native Carlos Velasco (drums) stumbled onto the local blues scene 8 years ago; that's when he first picked up a pair of sticks! Shortly thereafter, he joined forces with harpist Dennis Carelli who worked at Dave Barrett's School of the Blues in San Jose. It was through his association with the School that Carlos met many legendary and "up and coming" blues greats! He has had the good fortune to work with many local bluesmen, including Dave Barrett, John Garcia, Frank DeRose, Gary Smith, Kenny Blue Ray, Sid Morris, Ron Thompson, Screamin' Iain, Isis, and of course, Jay and the Po' Boyz, just to name a few. Carlos has been drumming regularly for the After Dark Blues Band, the KFB Blues Band, and now Tip of the Top!
Lately, Carlos has been studying with the phenomenal Wally Schnalle, a bay area drum master! Check Wally out at http://www.myspace.com/wallyschnalle. Among his main influences as a drummer, Carlos lists Dennis Carelli, F P Rose, Dave Barrett, and Wally Schnalle.
Jon Lawton: Guitar/Vocals
Akarsha "Aki" Kumar: Harmonica/Vocals
Frank DeRose: Bass
Carlos Velasco: Drums
Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Elmore James, Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley
What to Expect
Typical Gig Duration: 45 - 240 minutes
Tip of the Top is a dynamic band that can cater to a wide variety of event needs. For dance parties, we are able to dish out high-energy blues and Rock-n-Roll. For a more mellow occasion, we can just as easily lay back and deliver great Roots music for your listeners' pleasure.
Regardless of setting, we guarantee to entertain and your audience will be tapping their feet to our grooves in no time!
Our Stage Plot is available for download here: http://tipofthetopmusic.com/files/TOTT_StagePlot.jpg
Available for Your
Anniversary Party, Awards Night, Bar/Bat Mitzvah Party, Bar/Lounge, Birthday Party, Casino, Christmas Party, Club/Nightclub, Concert Venue, Convention, Corporate Event, Cruise, Dinner Dance, Ethnic Celebration, Fair, Festival, Fundraiser, Graduation, Grand Opening, Halloween Party, Holiday Party, Hotel, Launch Party, Luncheon/Tea, Parade, Private Party, Prom, Restaurant, Retreat, Reunion, Seminar, Sporting Event, Studio Session, Trade Show, Wedding Reception, Workshop
Blues Bands in San Jose, California Event not near San Jose, California?
Search a different location
When booking a Blues Band…
Whether you hire Tip of the Top or other Blues Bands in San Jose for your party, wedding, or event, Gig Salad makes it super-easy to book professional Blues Bands.
We strongly recommend that all communication be kept on the Gig Salad Booking Platform as you book your Blues Band. When you do, we’re able to offer numerous benefits that we can’t guarantee if you take communication or deposit payment off the Gig Salad platform. Our booking system is easy to use and handles secure deposit payments from you to the San Jose Blues Band of your choice.
Additionally, the quote/agreement sent from your Blues Band to you using the Gig Salad platform, should outline performance fees, extras, arrival and departure times, cancellation policy, insurance information and other details.