By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — An all-star assembly of San Francisco musicians Cocker Power comes together at the Chapel this Thursday to recreate music from the classic live album and concert movie Mad Dogs & Englishmen as performed by an expansive ensemble fronted by late rock legends Joe Cocker and Leon Russell.
The product of a hastily organized 1970 U.S. tour, British soul singer Cocker reached out to session player and musical director Russell to assemble the R&B big band featuring a full horn section and backing vocalists that was populated by such stellar players as Rita Coolidge, longtime Rolling Stones saxophonist Bobby Keys and Delaney & Bonnie/Derek and the Dominos rhythm section Jim Gordon and Carl Radle. Mostly comprised of cover tunes (“Honky Tonk Women,” “Feelin’ Alright” and a string of Beatles and Dylan songs), the rollicking double album has been reissued several times including a six-CD box set version documenting four shows at the Fillmore East in New York.
Cocker Power boasts a number of Mission District music veterans who have had a busy year paying tribute to passed musicians given the seemingly endless parade of important musical figures who died in 2016. Guitarist Doug Hilsinger (Bomb, Enorchestra), Tarnation singer Paula Frazer, Patrick Main (Oranger) keyboardist Justin Frahm, Dave Leonard (The Sermon) and a host of others first joined forces as Cocker Power in 2015 to back lead singer Bob Reed, who fronted ’90s noise-pop band Overwhelming Colorfast and currently sings with roots reggae act The Titan Ups. The band reunited to play show at the Great American Music Hall last spring and an encore gig at the Make Out Room in the summer.
The group reconvenes for this show at the Chapel Thursday night, joined by local band Mayya and the Revolutionary Hell Yeah! with a liquid light show provided by Mad Alchemy.
Cocker Power: A tribute to Joe Cocker, Leon Russell and the Mad Dogs & Englishmen Tour
Thursday, Jan. 5, 7 p.m. $12-$15