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photo by Jim Orsetti

Hi everyone, this is Bill Champlin writing to you on Sept 3, the day after another great Labor Day Sons' gig at Rancho Nicasio in Marin. If you were there you probably had a good time. Some cool things happened: Angela Strehli sang with us for a song. She's a great singer and the wife of Bob Brown, who owns and runs Rancho Nicasio. He is responsible for the Sons doing these barbecues every year. Angela tore it up and the guys in the Sons got her song down really well. She's awesome; she also threw a verse and a chorus over to Tamara and the two of 'em killed it. I'd do that again in a NY minute. Terry Haggerty came to the gig just to hang out, and we talked him into coming up and playing a tune with us. He and Carmen Grillo traded solos for a while and it was a "how to do this" clinic. They're both Baaaaaaad to the bone. Always fun playing with Hag. I've loved that guy's playing since the late 1800's. As my friend Mike Finnegan said, "I've known him since Jesus was an altar boy".

photo by Bruce Fish

So just some news: Tamara and I went up to WA state and did two shows with just the two of us. Hmmmm, sounds like a song, huh? Anyway, we played at Muk Cafe at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters on Whidbey Island for Gary Smith and his whole family; they've been doing small shows there for a long time. I think the first time we did it was with a solo band in 2009. Gary and Beth have been great friends for at least that long. Hey, Gary is also a great singer and I always make him sing something with us. He did a version of "Colour My World" and, of course, nailed it. Tamara and I had an extra day off and some hang time in Langley, on the island, and ran into Jack and Molly Blades. Jack is one of the founding members of Night Ranger. I've known Jack and Kelly from that band since I did some vocal stuff on a movie song that they did: "Secret of My Success". We took up an aisle in the local grocery store and people had to go around 'cause we were having a ball hangin' out.

So Tamara and I checked out and drove into Seattle to do a Monday night gig at Triple Door; I think we did ok for a Monday night. The PA System in there was really great and the guys who worked there are really cool. Lisa Walters booked both of these shows and hung out on the gigs. She's an old pal who's booked us before for some things here and there. We had a ball playing these songs, although we had to rehearse them on our off times for almost a month. We were singin' it all ok but I had to brush up on my piano playing. It's been all organ and guitar for a good while. When you live around as good a piano player as my son, Will Champlin, you pretty much ask him to record keys for you. Just makes sense but my hands just get sloppier all the time. Anyway, "Back to the Woodshed"

The Sons are doing a gig on Dec 7 at the Merced Fairgrounds, not a real bad drive from the Bay Area. Tickets are now on sale @

photo by Lauri Reimer

We’re working on a new Wunderground album and the material is awesome. If you haven't heard the "Bleeding Secrets" album you're missing out on some great stuff. The new stuff is even better. Still gotta' lotta' work to do on it, including a few new songs, and I'll keep you in the loop as to how that's coming along. If you wanna' check that band out just try either CD Baby or Very cool record. A lotta' other stuff is available at that address, too--t-shirts, Sons’ re-mastered CD's, all sorts of stuff. Check it out.

The new CWF CD is coming soon. I know it's usually available in Scandinavia and Europe ,but I'm sure you can find it somewhere. The last one is awesome and the new one will be great. It's more of a "West Coast" thing, but Peter gets the mixes right and me, Joseph Williams and Tamara sing great arrangements on the vocals. Peter Friestedt is a great guitarist also. Always some great surprises on those CD's, so worth looking for. When it's finally done I'll make sure we bring some to Sons or Wunderground gigs.

So, after the drive from Marin last night I'm pretty "toasted", so I'll jump off. Love you guys forever. Be good, bill

Tarzana, Los Angeles, CA, USA

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