The Zerbe Strut Band
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The Zerbe Strut Band

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | SELF

Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States | SELF
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Have to be seen live to be believed...The singer had to finish a slow Blues number without a P/A, a la Robert Plant. Still managed to choke me up. This gal's a cross between Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin. The guitar player's better than anyone I recall either of them sharing the stage or studio with.
Well worth the look. I checked out their studio cuts and was pleasantly surprised. Real tight rhythm section, tasty hammond organ, great guitar leads, and the gal can sing. Dynamics, stops, tone - they've got it all. - mylespaul.com


Who’s Taxi Dancer? How you guys met and started this band?

Exploding out of Albuquerque, NM, Taxi Dancer is a five piece, super blues band, fast becoming a force to contend with. Don’t let the word blues leave you with a misconception about the music. Taxi Dancer Band plays them like you’ve never heard before. Rousing renditions of Chicago/Kansas City-style blues with a little Louisiana gumbo and funk thrown in, defies anyone to just sit still and remain in their seats. Already high in demand, TDB is taking audiences in the Southwest by storm.

In mid-summer of 2011, music director, Bill Zerbe (Hammond B3/Piano) hailing originally from Kansas City, contacted long-time friend and associate, Gail Gordon (Lead Vocal) who relocated from Colorado, about finally forming the unique blues band that had been a shared vision for many years. A project that would focus on the “not so often heard” blues tunes not being played by most traditional blues bands. Tunes designed to get folks up off their butts, dancing their tails off. Music that would inspire people to have a really good time. Immediately getting down to business, the two began formulating a plan centered around Gail’s dynamic, powerful vocals and Bill’s incendiary keys. They drafted another friend and former band mate, Joe Ford (Bass) an Alaska native, to contribute the vital bottom end groove. They came upon Greg Woods, an experienced, highly credentialed lead guitar from New York via Phoenix, Arizona, whose grasp of the shared vision was instantaneous. Eventually they hired drummer Carlos Cortez, a seasoned player from Los Angeles, and the group was complete. So, while all the band members call Albuquerque their “home base”, really, they are all outlanders, hailing from other areas across the US with a sound that is thrilling audiences everywhere they perform.


What’s the meaning behind the band’s name?

During the 1920s and ’30s when taxi dancing enjoyed its peak popularity, patrons in a taxi dance hall would typically buy dance tickets for ten cents each, giving rise to the term “dime-a-dance girl”. When a patron presented a ticket to a taxi dancer, she would dance with him for the length of a single song. The taxi dancers would earn a commission on every dance ticket that they collected from their dance partners. Typically half the price of the ticket went to pay for the orchestra, dance hall, and operating expenses, while the other half would go to the taxi dancer. The “ticket-a-dance” system was the centerpiece of the taxi-dance halls where the taxi dancers worked. During the 1920s, taxi dancers, while only working a handful of hours an evening, frequently made two to three times the salary of a woman who might work in a factory or a store


What are your music influences?

Answer by Gail Gordon (Lead Vocals):
All the accomplished women vocalists, regardless of genre, and ALL the Blues guitar gods!

Answer by Greg Woods (Guitar):
Like a lot of players of my generation, I was lead to the great blues players by John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Dave Van Ronk, Rick Von Schmidt, Taj Mahal, Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield. Through them I discovered the Kings (BB, Albert, Freddy), Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Albert Collins, Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Hooker and Elmore James. Later influences include Stevie Ray, Tommy Castro, Tab Benoit and Michael Burks.

Answer by Bill Zerbe (Hammond B3 and Piano):
I came up in the late 60’s so I had a lot of influence from Al Kooper, Gregg Rolie and Jon Lord. Later I was turned on to Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Captain Jack McDuff.

Answer by Joe Ford (Bass):
As a baby boomer growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, my greatest influence from that time were and still are the Beatles. Watching them for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show and seeing all those girls screaming – well that did it for me so I picked up a Silvertone guitar and began. Changing to Bass Guitar along the way, Motown taught me about g - Vents Magazine


Who’s Taxi Dancer? How you guys met and started this band?

Exploding out of Albuquerque, NM, Taxi Dancer is a five piece, super blues band, fast becoming a force to contend with. Don’t let the word blues leave you with a misconception about the music. Taxi Dancer Band plays them like you’ve never heard before. Rousing renditions of Chicago/Kansas City-style blues with a little Louisiana gumbo and funk thrown in, defies anyone to just sit still and remain in their seats. Already high in demand, TDB is taking audiences in the Southwest by storm.

In mid-summer of 2011, music director, Bill Zerbe (Hammond B3/Piano) hailing originally from Kansas City, contacted long-time friend and associate, Gail Gordon (Lead Vocal) who relocated from Colorado, about finally forming the unique blues band that had been a shared vision for many years. A project that would focus on the “not so often heard” blues tunes not being played by most traditional blues bands. Tunes designed to get folks up off their butts, dancing their tails off. Music that would inspire people to have a really good time. Immediately getting down to business, the two began formulating a plan centered around Gail’s dynamic, powerful vocals and Bill’s incendiary keys. They drafted another friend and former band mate, Joe Ford (Bass) an Alaska native, to contribute the vital bottom end groove. They came upon Greg Woods, an experienced, highly credentialed lead guitar from New York via Phoenix, Arizona, whose grasp of the shared vision was instantaneous. Eventually they hired drummer Carlos Cortez, a seasoned player from Los Angeles, and the group was complete. So, while all the band members call Albuquerque their “home base”, really, they are all outlanders, hailing from other areas across the US with a sound that is thrilling audiences everywhere they perform.


What’s the meaning behind the band’s name?

During the 1920s and ’30s when taxi dancing enjoyed its peak popularity, patrons in a taxi dance hall would typically buy dance tickets for ten cents each, giving rise to the term “dime-a-dance girl”. When a patron presented a ticket to a taxi dancer, she would dance with him for the length of a single song. The taxi dancers would earn a commission on every dance ticket that they collected from their dance partners. Typically half the price of the ticket went to pay for the orchestra, dance hall, and operating expenses, while the other half would go to the taxi dancer. The “ticket-a-dance” system was the centerpiece of the taxi-dance halls where the taxi dancers worked. During the 1920s, taxi dancers, while only working a handful of hours an evening, frequently made two to three times the salary of a woman who might work in a factory or a store


What are your music influences?

Answer by Gail Gordon (Lead Vocals):
All the accomplished women vocalists, regardless of genre, and ALL the Blues guitar gods!

Answer by Greg Woods (Guitar):
Like a lot of players of my generation, I was lead to the great blues players by John Mayall, Eric Clapton, Dave Van Ronk, Rick Von Schmidt, Taj Mahal, Paul Butterfield and Mike Bloomfield. Through them I discovered the Kings (BB, Albert, Freddy), Buddy Guy, Otis Rush, Albert Collins, Big Bill Broonzy, John Lee Hooker and Elmore James. Later influences include Stevie Ray, Tommy Castro, Tab Benoit and Michael Burks.

Answer by Bill Zerbe (Hammond B3 and Piano):
I came up in the late 60’s so I had a lot of influence from Al Kooper, Gregg Rolie and Jon Lord. Later I was turned on to Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and Captain Jack McDuff.

Answer by Joe Ford (Bass):
As a baby boomer growing up in the late 60’s and early 70’s, my greatest influence from that time were and still are the Beatles. Watching them for the first time on the Ed Sullivan show and seeing all those girls screaming – well that did it for me so I picked up a Silvertone guitar and began. Changing to Bass Guitar along the way, Motown taught me about g - Vents Magazine


If you like the blues check out this website (www.taxidancerband.com) where you’ll find their schedule of appearances. Believe me you’re in for a treat if you can make it out to see them perform. - Idalia Road Marketplace Newletter Mar 2012


If you like the blues check out this website (www.taxidancerband.com) where you’ll find their schedule of appearances. Believe me you’re in for a treat if you can make it out to see them perform. - Idalia Road Marketplace Newletter Mar 2012


"We really enjoyed your music and look forward to seeing your band play at Doc & Eddies on the 17th of February! Excellent music!" - ABQ Venue


"You guys are awesome! Best band we've had so far." - Vanessa - Owner The Cube BBQ, Albuquerque, NM


Discography

Keep On Struttin' (2013)

Playing on Jango.com

Photos

Bio

“One of THE best funky bands in Albuquerque."

Booty shaking party music best describes the sounds of the Zerbe Strut Band, one of the most successful funk bands to come out of Albuquerque. Always in search of the groove, they find themselves improvising in ways that takes the listener to new heights.

The Zerbe Strut Band has gathered the individual talents of its members into one unique sound, but still retains the initial energy they had in the beginning when they formed their first band that was more traditional blues-based. “While we still throw in some blues sounds, now we try to make our songs and our groove all our own,” and it shows in both their original and cover material.

The band plays shows all over the southwest and midwest each year for its growing fan base. Covering New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Texas, Colorado and Kansas, the Zerbe Strut Band brings their blend of groove-based tunes to both festivals and high-end music venues. No matter where they play when they announce, "We're the Zerbe Strut Band and we're gonna bring you soulful funk, cool blues and hot jazz," the crowd goes wild.

The Zerbe Strut Band
Bill Zerbe - Hammond organ, keys and vocals
Greg Woods - Guitar and vocals
Joe Ford - Bass and vocals
Ted Gunther - Drums

The Zerbe Strut Band performs at many regional and national venues and events. Here are just a few of note:

Festivals
16th Annual 'Mountain of Blues' BluesFest (2013) - Ruidoso, NM
Avi Resort & Casino Music Brews & BBQ Festival (2013) - Laughlin, NV
Wildwood Sounds Music Festival IV (2013) - Del Norte, CO
5th Annual Music Brews and BBQ Festival (2013) - Lake Havasu City, AZ
Tall City Blues Festival (2012) - Midland, TX
Tour De Beers Festival (2012) - Las Cruces, NM
Sky's The Limit BBQ Festival (2012) - Garden City, KS
Enchanted Circle Music Festival (2012) - Taos Ski Valley, NM
14th Annual Crestone Music Festival (2012) - Crestone, CO
Kokopelli Jazz & Blues Festival (2012) - Alamogordo, NM

Music Concert Series
Wildwood Sounds House Concerts (2013, 2012) - Del Norte, CO
Taos Plaza Live (2012) - Taos, NM
Flickinger Center for the Performing Arts (2012) - Alamogordo, NM
Carrizozo Music in the Parks (2012) - Carrizozo, NM