The Todalo Shakers (Eric & Suzy Thompson, WB Reid, Frannie Leopold and Matt Weiner) are getting ready to launch our third CD, celebrating our 20th anniversary as a band. We’re very excited about the sound of this new recording, a big step up from the other two (which were recorded direct to stereo in our living rooms).
We were fortunate to record at Megasonic Studios in Oakland, with the wonderful recording engineer Jeremy Goody. Now we’re finalizing the artwork (by the esteemed artist and fiddler Howard Rains) and preparing to send it to the manufacturer. Our $6,000 Kickstarter goal includes the costs of recording, mastering, publishing royalties, artwork, design, and manufacturing. You can help bring the new Todalo Shakers album into the world, by pre-purchasing your own copy, and if you want to be an even bigger help, we’re offering some cool rewards for higher levels of support. We thank you!
What's a Todalo? or, Who Are The Todalo Shakers?
The Todalo Shakers is a "super-group" of veteran acoustic musicians whose roots in the old music run long and deep. Together, they create jug band party blues and old time rags & stomps which sound like they are lifted right out of 1928 in Memphis, Tennessee. The band features lots of harmony vocal arrangements, making for a rich and funky palette of vocal blends and a great feeling of camaraderie; the exuberance and fondness that the musicians feel for their material and for each other is unmistakable. Mix in hot ragtime tunes on fiddle and mandolin plus virtuoso bass slap solos, and the party really gets going!
Suzy Thompson is nationally known for her bluesy fiddling and powerful vocals; the fiddler of choice for Jim Kweskin, Geoff Muldaur and Del Rey, she has also worked with Maria Muldaur, Dave Alvin and Peter Rowan. Eric Thompson (playing mostly mandolin in the Todalo Shakers) began exploring the country blues in the 1960s with Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions (with Jerry Garcia) and more recently in his work with such artists as David Nelson, David Grisman and Jody Stecher. The Thompsons are based in Berkeley, California. Guitarist/vocalist Frannie Leopold (Mendocino) has toured and recorded the Delta Sisters and the Balkan Kafe Orchestra, and is a perennial favorite instructor at many West Coast music camps including Lark in the Morning and California Coast Music Camp. Bruce "WB" Reid (Seattle) sings and plays a rare vintage 6-string banjo-guitar (affectionately known as "the enforcer") with the Todalo Shakers. WB spent part of his twenties hanging out in San Diego with bluesman Sam Chatmon, of the legendary string band the Mississippi Sheiks. He has toured and recorded with the Tallboys (Seattle's hottest oldtime string band), with the Carolina Jug Stompers and with his wife, Bonnie Zahnow. Upright bassist Matt Weiner (Seattle) boasts a distinguished resume including stints with the Asylum Street Spankers, Hot Club of Cowtown, Wayne Horvitz, Danny Barnes and Becky Kilgore. His slap bass solos are always a highlight of a Todalo Shakers performance!
No, Really: What's a Todalo?
No one really knows! First of all, it's pronounced "TOE-dah-low." It's closely related to "diddy-wah-diddy", and crops up occasionally in obscure old blues songs: "I'm satisfied, satisfied, my todalo shaker by my side" is a line from the Memphis Jug Band classic "You May Leave, But This Will Bring You Back" and references to "todalo" turn up in songs by Mississippi John Hurt, Eubie Blake, and Bessie Smith.
A few of the places the Todalo Shakers have played:
- Berkeley Old Time Convention
- Portland Old Time Gathering
- The Barn in Gilroy, CA
- Santa Fe Bluegrass and Old Time Festival
- Freight & Salvage, Berkeley, CA
- Live Oak Music Festival Festival of American Fiddle Tunes
- Seattle Folklore Society
- The Ugly Mug, Soquel, CA
And catch us during our March, 2019 Northern California Tour
- 3/14 Woodside
- 3/15 Walnut Creek
- 3/16 Cotati
- 3/17 Half Moon Bay (afternoon)
- 3/18 Santa Cruz
- 3/19 Oakland
- 3/20 Marin County
Risks and challenges
Getting the audio recorded, mixed, and mastered is always the most challenging part of a CD project. In our case that's already done or "in the can." All that remains is the relatively straightforward process of finalizing the artwork and getting CDs manufactured.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)