By Dave Pehling
SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — A Bay Area music hero and Mission District institution, Overwhelming Colorfast founder Bob Reed celebrates his birthday with two of his current bands at the Chapel Wednesday night for Bobfest One.
Reed first came to fame during the ’90s as the leader and sole constant in Antioch noise-pop outfit Overwhelming Colorfast. Crafting a tuneful, pummeling style of hook-laden punk that recalled classic Husker Du and Buzzcocks, Reed and company put out a string of acclaimed albums during the the first half ’90s. Both that band and Reed’s similarly minded subsequent group Oranger would become beloved local acts and staples of San Francisco’s Noise Pop Festivals.
While both bands still occasionally reunite for live performances, Reed’s main outlets have been a pair of celebrated tribute bands. Bobfest One will be headlined by his all-star ensemble of San Francisco musicians Cocker Power. The expansive ensemble comes together to recreate music from the classic live album and concert movie Mad Dogs & Englishmen 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 with Reed as Cocker Power in 2015. The band has played a number of headlining shows in San Francisco in addition to appearing at the Mother Hips’ annual camping festival Hipnic in Big Sur last month.
For this birthday celebration at the Chapel, Reed will also front his long-running rock-steady reggae cover band the Titan Ups featuring many of the same musicians, warming up the crowd with a deep selection of classic reggae cuts. DJ Swiftumz will spin tunes before and between the two bands.
Bobfest One: A Celebration of Bob Reed with Cocker Power and the Titan Ups
Wednesday, June 28, 7:30 p.m. $12-$15