Vintage Fare Band
|The members of Vintage Fare are a a diverse group of friends, all brought
together by their mutual love for music of all kinds. We are
Dave, Wes and
The story of this band started about five or six years ago when Wes and
Cynthia began hearing wonderful music coming through a wall they share
with Dave, their next door neighbor. It was filled with amazing harmony
and great acoustic guitar.
Dave, Alan, and another friend, Paul Ponzelli (great keyboardist
and vocalist), were in a nice band,
"Rubber Soul," and rehearsing at Dave's. Wes and Cynthia invited
themselves over to listen.
Cynthia later asked Dave for some coaching on guitar parts for a
couple songs she wanted to perform at a niece's graduation. Dave
agreed, and when he heard Cynthia sing, he insisted she audition at
Rubber Soul's next rehearsal. When they heard her voice, she was
Some weeks later, Dave heard some harmonica coming from Cynthia's and
Wes's place. He knocked on the door and asked, "Did I hear
somebody playing harp?" Wes admitted to noodling around with some
of his favorite recordings, and Dave said, "You gotta come to the next
Rubber Soul rehearsal so the other guys can hear you."
Wes did. Paul said, "Man! Your harp sounds just like Bob
Dylan," and Wes soon joined Rubber Soul. (Wes: Apologies, Bob. No, I
don't sound just like you. Not in a lifetime. But I cut my
harp teeth on your songs, and maybe something stuck. And God bless you for
everything you've given to American music.)
We all had a great time in Rubber Soul; performing in churches,
private parties, and a disaster of a public concert.. Unfortunately, all good things
About a year and a half after the breakup of Rubber Soul, Vintage Fare formed in
July, 2008 as four fifths of the previous Rubber Soul - but with a new
On May 2, 2009, an amazing thing happened at our gig at the
Chuck Cole, of
The New Christy Minstrels was in attendance. He
approached us with profuse compliments and expressed an interest in
working with Vintage Fare.
Alan invited Chuck to jam with us at our rehearsal on May 14. Chuck
did, and we all finished that session walking on clouds. We heard so
many new possibilities that we couldn't wait for Chuck to join us at
July 11, 2009, Chuck made his first appearance with
Vintage Fare at
The Lido, and what a gig it was! Chuck's mandolin,
Dobro, and vocals totally filled out our "sound.' We had rave reviews from the
As a continuing member of The New Christy Minstrels, Chuck won't always
be available for Vintage Fare performances. When he is, expect something
Alan is, arguably, the "founder" of Vintage Fare. Invited to do a solo gig at
the Lido Bar & Grill , Alan asked the proprietors if
he could bring along a couple friends to help out.
The Lido management said "Sure," and Alan asked Dave, Cynthia and Wes if
they were interested.
The four of us had a lot of good times in Rubber Soul,
so we agreed, and Vintage Fare was born - too soon to even choose a name for the band.
Alan's been performing as a guitarist/vocalist since the sixties, starting
out in Kansas playing coffee shops and pubs.
Alan has an uncanny knack for pulling an arrangement out of songs nobody
would have guessed could be done acoustically. His acoustic arrangement
of Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" is impressive.
Alan's a darned good songwriter, too, and this summer plans to record a CD
of his original works. Naturally, Vintage Fare members will contribute whatever
Cynthia is a natural vocalist with a number of "voices."
At Rubber Soul's first gig, a private affair, a woman approached Cynthia
during a break.
"What kind of vocal training have you had?" she asked.
Somewhat abashedly, Cynthia replied,"None."
The woman then said, "Good!, don't! I'm a
professional voice trainer, and I'm here to tell you that any kind of coaching
could only mess up what God's given you."
We learned, later, that this generous, candid woman was one of the most
sought-out voice trainers in California.
Cynthia's vocals start in her heart, and make their way through voices crowds
Like Alan, Dave's been performing since God's dog was a pup. He and
Alan are also core members of another talented group, The Harmony Brothers.
Next-door neighbor to Cynthia and Wes, Dave was responsible for
getting the four of us together in Rubber Soul.
Dave brings unique guitar and vocal talents to our party. Like Alan, Dave
can do both great harmonies, and great lead vocals. Both Alan's and
Dave's vocal and guitar styles are unique, and amazingly complimentary.
Wes is Vintage Fare's "sound engineer" and sometime harmonica player.
Wes enjoys "filling in" Vintage Fare's sound with gentle chording, counterparts,
riffs, and the occasional harp solo.
He prefers to say he "plays at" harp, rather than actually claiming
to play the thing - and mostly drives a soldering iron to keep
everything in shape.
Wes started "learning" harmonica in the back seat of a '57 Cadillac Fleetwood.
It was '63, and the family was on a cross-country road trip. He'd previously
played saxophone, but a schoolyard incident smashed both his upper front teeth
and the vibrations of the sax mouthpiece became intolerably painful. (Lousy
His mom made him take piano lessons for a couple years. They didn't take.
Probably out of desperation, Mom gave Wes his first harp to fool with on that
road trip - a Hohner Marine Band in the key of C.
That was the beginning of the end. Wes soon began buying harps in different keys
so he could play along with his favorite recordings. He soon learned that
all harmonicas are not created equally, and now owns a collection of a hundred
or more. (Wes, here: Thank God harmonicas are inexpensive.)
For those curious, Wes has written a bit about
As it turns out, Chuck is another of our Carmichael neighbors, and he
comes to Vintage Fare with stellar credentials. As a member of
The New Christy
Minstrels, Chuck's fine work has appeared on numerous recordings.
Chuck plays guitar, banjo, mandolin, Dobro, bass, and harmonica - that
we know of - so far. He sings, too.
And if you think Wes's collection of harmonicas is excessive, you should see
Chuck's "instrument room!"
We are so thrilled to have Chuck join us - and just in time, too.
Chuck's contributions to the
Forever Young studio sessions really filled out our sounr.
the best year, yet, for Vintage Fare.
In addition to
our monthly appearance at The Lido, we've been:
- Invited back to perform the closing show for A Taste of Carmichael,
- Invited to return to the California State Fare.
As if that weren't enough,
last year we
finished our second CD, Second Time Around! At present, it's only
available at our shows, but watch for our web store coming soon.
Keep an eye on our calendar, much more is coming.
More detailed news on our