New Earth Rising
by R.J. Bianchino
The Blues Internet
Las Vegas Jazz n' Blues
Las Vegas Blues
You're at a blues club in Las Vegas. The band opens the set with Ode To Billie Joe ...
but this ode isn't the usual Choctaw Ridge riff. This is Charlie Tuna on guitar, sans singing. And it's very tasteful. Charlie has played with some of the greats, including B.B. King, Bobby Blue Bland and Keb Mo. The next song is a Lyin' and Cheatin' blues featuring Junior Brantley on vocal and keyboards. Junior's recording credentials are eclectic. He has played with Jimmy Vaughan, the BoDeans, and the Violent Femmes.
Doug Steigerwald follows with lead guitar and vocal on Crossroads. Doug's talent also runs the genre gamut, having played the NYC scene with members of Suzanne Vega’s, David Bowie’s, and underground rock pioneer John Cale’s bands. One of New Earth's strong points is how Doug's edgier guitar compliments Tuna's jazz n' blues licks.
Then it's Charlie Tuna front and center. Guitar talkin' and singin' "I'm gonna move my outside woman in, and my inside woman out". This is the first time I've heard the song and it fit Charlie's stage style like a glove. Junior again took the spotlight with a request for Jr. Walker & The Allstars' "Shotgun".
The entire evening went like this with New Earth Rising showcasing their versatle renditions of Blues and R&B. It's no wonder that award winning Canadian director Paul Jay has chosen the band to be part of a music documentary, Lost In Las Vegas to air on cable's A&E channel in April. You can catch NER live every Friday at the Sand Dollar Blues Lounge and the Charlie Tuna Band on Thursday nights.
Note New Earth Rising is now The Spellcasters. New name, same great band.
The SpellCasters consists of: Doug Steigerwald - guitar, vocals. Charlie Tuna - guitar, vocals. Kim Kesterson - bass, vocals. Junior Brantley - keyboards, vocals. And Lou Palmer - drums, vocals.
Photography by R.J. Bianchino copyright © 2001 Moondog Productions
bluesInteractive™ go to New Earth Rising: A Biography
SpellCasters: Official Website
Doug Steigerwald Profile