Welcome to my video page

Since the selection process was pretty personal, I thought I would present the commentary and descriptions here in my own voice.

The first two are from twenty years ago. Two others (the House Concert) are from 2015. All of the rest are from the Back Room, 2018 or later. Scroll down for solo, duo, and band material. And one of my favorite things about running The Back Room is the chance to spontaneously sit in with a lot of great musicians. There are some of those moments here as well.

Hurricane Sam & The Hotshots - 2002

This first group of videos features Sam’s old band, Hurricane Sam & the Hotshots. The band was active throughout California from 1990 to 2009. These first two videos are from 2002, and are the only ones here with broadcast quality, multi-camera production. Featuring Jeff Ervin (sax), Danny Caron (guitar), Steve Evans (bass) and Jimmy Sanchez (drums). It was an honor to work with such great musicians! (Scroll down for an up-to-date reunion).

Crazy Little Mama
(At My Front Door)

I always loved this song, from the El Dorados in '58...although I did add a verse.

Walkin' Blues

I had come up with this rhythm, and was jamming on it, wondering where it might take me, when Robert Johnson rose up out of the grave and supplied the rest.

Solo Performances

Going Up The Country

I used to do this Canned Heat favorite -- a hard-rocking blues -- with the whole band. Then I realized I liked doing all the parts myself.

Theme From An American In Paris

I am proud of this one. George Gershwin's American in Paris is understood to be Classical Music (to be played as written), as distinct from his many Jazz compositions (arranged, and usually improvised upon, by the performer). But it is also true that this famous, signature melody was designed in the form of 12 bar blues. So... as far as I know, no one else has ever treated this theme as a jazz/blues vehicle. I think George would have approved.

Jingle Bells

Did you know that this tune is also a bluegrass standard? Okay, not really. But did you know that piano is a traditional bluegrass instrument? Okay, not really. But did you know that mandolin legend Frank Wakefield once said that I was the only true bluegrass piano player in the entire world? Yes, really! And I choose to believe it.


Duo Performances

Charles McNeal’s powerful & passionate virtuosity can be attested to by all who have heard or performed with him — and that latter group includes McCoy Tyner, Wynton Marsalis, and Boz Scaggs.

That’s the Way
of The World

From a live concert featuring the duo of Sam Rudin and Charles McNeal. This is from the Earth, Wind, and Fire songbook.

Pennies From Heaven

This is a be-bop rendition of a classic swing tune that everyone knows -- which is why I forgot to teach Charles my fancy ending. Speaking of endings, stick around for a true and funny story.


Roberta Donnay is a fabulous vocalist who has made herself at home in the world of hot jazz from the ’20’s and ’30’s.  She usually performs with her band the Prohibition Mob, but we had great fun as a duo – despite a temporary eye condition that required Roberta to break out the sunglasses.

Exactly Like You

This is an up-tempo tune from 1930.

Ding Dong Daddy

And this one is REALLY up-tempo.

Sitting In

Blues - Nate Najar Trio

Nate Najar is an excellent all-around jazz guitarist, and his feel for this straight-ahead blues is just perfect, as is the understated support from his rhythm section.

HowellDevine - Baby What You Want Me to Do

These guys might well be the best blues trio in the country, so it is not surprising that they can make even this well worn Jimmy Reed classic sound fresh and exciting.

The Real Sarahs - Bei Mir Bist Du Shein

This song was composed for the Yiddish Theater, and later became an enormous worldwide hit for the Andrews Sisters. Since then it has stayed popular with all sorts of bands, including this wonderful Folk/Jazz/Americana group, The Real Sarahs.

Hot Club Faux Gitane - Take the A Train

This endlessly popular Ellington/Strayhorn standard gets an excellent treatment here from the Hot Club Faux Gitane -- which, by the way, may be the only jazz band you will ever hear with a bassoon in the lineup.

Noel Jewkes Quartet - San Francisco Bay Blues

Although written in the 1950's by Jesse Fuller, this evokes a Dixieland feel, and Noel, know for his be-bop prowess, surprised me by pulling out a clarinet and some old-fashioned licks.

Noel Jewkes Quartet - Yardbird Suite

It's always great when the legendary saxophonist Noel Jewkes comes to The Back Room - and even better when I can sit in for a couple. Here is one of Charlie Parker's best known tunes.




Nobody Knows You When You're Down and Out

This was a big hit in 1929 for Bessie Smith, and since then has been associated with Nina Simone and Eric Clepton. And me too, I guess, since, according to YouTube this is my most popular video.

Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean

This Boogie - Woogie classic was a big hit for Ruth Brown in 1953. That's Jeff Ervin wailing on Sax.


Hurricane Sam & The Hotshots - Reunion 2018

This reunion, was, of course, great fun. No guitar this time, and Jimmy Hobson takes over for Jimmy Sanchez on the drums.

Come Together

One of the most flexible Beatles songs, this one lets us get into some funky jazz.

Rip it Up

This is my favorite Little Richard song. It swings as hard as it rocks, and we use it as an excuse to get into some straight-ahead 12 bar jazz.