(HOLLYWOOD PRESS CORPS) — BURBANK — It was cool for a summer night on Thursday, June 27th when bass master Brandino debuted his new quartet at the legendary Viva Rancho Cantina in Burbank. Viva is one of LA’s best kept secrets. It features two stages and world class musicians. Thursday night was no exception. This event was a long time coming for Kevin “Brandino” Brandon. Known for being Aretha Franklin’s road bass player for more than a decade, Brandino is on a come back mission after a recent health scare. Thursday night was all about Brandino. He wouldn’t have it any other way.
On guitar for this supergroup, known as the New Experience, was Robby Krieger of the Doors. Robby is a founding member of the Doors and has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Dale Alexander plays drums for the New Experience. He has played with Prince and George Benson. Ed Roth plays keyboards and organ. Ed has a heavy jazz influence on the New Experience. Ed has played with many legends over the years.
The stage at Viva was set up with Brandino seated in the center of the stage. Robby was on Brandino’s left. Dale had his drum set near Brandino to his right and Ed Roth was on stage right. The glittering backdrop has a retro look. The band got right into it playing jazz and pop numbers. Each member took turns soloing. Brandino did a great bass solo that the crowd was really into. Robby soloed several times on guitar which was just fantastic. Ed Roth laid down a few of his epic keyboard solos and Dale had a solo as well. Dale’s real genius is his feel. He really holds down the rhythm without over doing it.
I was talking to a couple of Doors fans who had shown up in the hopes of hearing a few classics. They wouldn’t be disappointed. Several notable guest musicians stopped by. Franklin Vanderbilt is Lenny Kravitz’ drummer and an amazing presence on drums. Franklin was really the standout guest of the night. I wanted to hear more from Franklin. Brandino paid his respects to the legendary Phil Chin who is Jeff Beck’s bass player. Phil played Brandino’s four string electric bass with actor Dennis Quaid singing on Riders of the Storm. Dennis did a soulful rendition of Riders with Robby playing his iconic guitar solo.
Robby explained each song and its significance. The band kept get better as the night went on. Alternating between pop and jazz, it was a real treat to hear these legendary musicians playing together.
This was the first show for the New Experience. It was a great night of music. Everyone who came out seemed to really enjoy the songs, the musicians and the whole night. We look forward to the next performance.