Valley stalwart Sir Harrison's blues band will have a new, improved sound for the new year when it adds saxophone player Jeremy DeCoster to the mix, coming out with a four-piece band adding funky blues to its usual rockin' blues.
"Jeremy is a longtime musician and a longtime friend who gives us a bit of the Motown sound," Sir Harrison says.
"We'll step up the music. We're going after improving the quality. The energy of our band is still a given and we always bring great dance music. We'll be a little more progressive."
Sir Harrison's band has been making its mark on the Valley blues scene since 2003, but it also hits the high spots in northern Arizona, with the Monte Vista in Flagstaff, the Spirit Room in Jerome, and more recently, the Bird Cage in Prescott. The band also performed at the first Flagstaff Blues Festival last summer.
Sir Harrison had particularly good things to say about a recent performance at the Monte Vista -- Tommy Dukes, Laura MacDonald, and drummer Bob Blazi joined in the fun. "The place was packed, and I love the Monte Vista because of the demographics, ranging from college kids to older folks. It's warm and personal."
Sir Harrison's band is the regular every Thursday night at the Dirty Dogg Saloon in Scottsdale. On the first and third Thursdays, Sir Harrison's band leads a jam session. On the other Thursdays they just rock the joint.
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The Dirty Dogg is known for its eclectic audience of bikers and professionals. Sir Harrison's band also performs periodically on the huge stage at The Tap House in Cave Creek.
Sir Harrison, one of the few Native American blues musicians in the state, leads the band with his wailing guitar and vocals. The full-blooded Navajo was raised in Tucson; he started playing when he was eight years old and was with his first band, Tulsa's Colorblind. He left a career in television in 2003 to get fully into his music.
His influences include Jimmy Hendrix, Albert Collins and Robert Cray.
Janet Daniel, who hails from Kansas City, is on drums. On any given night, Sir Harrison's band uses one of two bass players. Richard Neville played with Poco and Vince Gill; Jimmy Mack, whose in the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame, has also played with many famous musicians.