Performer Spotlight: Shorty @ Red Car Trolley News Boys

“Maybe we’re ragged and funny…”

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He may not be the tallest one of the Red Car Trolley News Boys in Disney California Adventure, but don’t overlook Shorty when it comes to entertainment value!

Consistently one of the funniest of the News Boys, this guy has kept me laughing whenever I’ve seen him in the show!

Whether he’s standing on his head or kicking his feet up high, his limber antics always add to the fun going on!

Kick it!

Kick it!

And I always enjoy those extra comic bits that only he adds – whether it’s a yell during the handstand or wandering lost with his vest over his head afterwards, it always amuses the crowd – and me! Continue reading

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Performer Spotlight: Tacks @ Red Car Trolley News Boys

“That’s why we can hardly wait…”

Well, hi there Tacks!

A grin from Tacks!

Okay, yes, I’m always sold on a smile. And this guy has a great one!

Whenever I approach a Red Car Trolley News Boys show at Disney California Adventure, just getting a glimpse of him singing and dancing there makes my day better!

If the Disneyland Resort is defined by its ability to make you forget your troubles and leave the cares of the world outside, then this guy is an ambassador of that cause!

He totally exemplifies that positive Disney outlook whenever I see him. There’s such good cheer and exuberance in every performance he gives. And this is combined with an air of sweetness and gentleness that matches so well with the bygone era of dreamers that he represents.

And yet, this charming guy is never afraid to look silly and always adds little moments of goofy interactions with his fellow News Boys – whether that’s holding his baseball bat wrong or playing around with their newspapers.

I know you can’t see his face, but I’m sorry, I just LOVE this photo. It pretty much perfectly defines this guy’s sense of humor and what he’ll do to amuse the crowd. Plus Shorty and Kip’s expressions are priceless!

I know you can’t see his face, but sorry, I just LOVE this photo. It pretty much perfectly defines his sense of humor and what he’ll do to amuse the crowd. Plus Kip and Shorty’s expressions are priceless!

Anyone having this much fun being silly makes the crowd watching have an enjoyable time, too! Continue reading

Performer Spotlight: Baby @ Five & Dime

“Go, Baby, go!”

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One of the many performers jazzing up Buena Vista Street is this guy!

Baby is the drummer of Five & Dime at Disney California Adventure and his jovial personality and ear-to-ear grin are as irresistible as his catchy percussion!

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This guy always seems to be in motion and it’s rare to see him standing still – it’s like he’s just run by the rhythm and it pours right out of him! Continue reading

Downtown Disney Mousertainment – Tim Gill @ Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – Flambeaux’s Jazz Club

And I seem to find the happiness I seek…”

Tim Gill and the Gin Mill Grifters

Tim Gill and the Gin Mill Grifters

What is Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen – Flambeaux’s Jazz Club?

This little corner of musical heaven is in a bright airy room just off the main Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen restaurant in Disneyland Resort’s Downtown Disney. The room serves as both a bar area with some high tables to sit at, as well as plenty of regular tables to sit down and enjoy a meal with some live musical accompaniment!

The musical offerings at this location tend to be smaller groups simply based on the stage space. For today I’ll focus on the two different performances that Tim Gill does regularly here, as he and his musicians are always the draw for me to make the walk over there!

Who are the performers?

You may recall I’ve mentioned Tim Gill before when discussing the Royal Swing Big Band Ball. There he plays with a full orchestra and singing accompaniment. But at Flambeaux’s Jazz Club he performs with two different configurations of musicians…

First is when he plays with the Gin Mill Grifters:

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This is a trio of musicians (on upright bass, horn and drums) that perform while Tim sings. He also plays many musical instruments – I’ve seen Tim on everything from trumpet to guitar to banjo here!

Happily for my musical tastes, he often plays standards from the American Songbook such as “All of Me” or “Pennies From Heaven”. One night while I was there, he took a request for “Minnie the Moocher” that got everyone in the crowd singing along!

But I also really like seeing when it’s just Tim and his virtuoso piano-playing accompanist (seriously – this guy is awesome on the keys!). Continue reading

Mousertainment’s Favorite Bands: Faultlines

Faultlines in their element.

Faultlines in their element.

Sometimes all you really need are some smooth tunes to help you get through a rough day. And in that case, it’s time for some Faultlines.

This amazing trio has been performing together for a while and has had gigs in Southern California, Northern California, New York and more. They are a real treasure just waiting to be discovered and I’m excited to watch where future opportunities will take them.

Faultlines is made up of two lead singers and a guitar player who also sings with them. They perform both incredible unique versions of familiar hit songs (their take on Aerosmith’s “Dream On” brings down the house every single time) and continue to add in their original music as well.

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Fans of this group (and I’m one) love their pop-folk style original tunes and joyfully sing along with these new songs just as loudly as with the cover songs they make fresh again in new interpretations.

You’ll find some very talented songwriting as well as singing here! Seriously, their songs are just addictive – “Me & New York City” and the heartbreaking “February” are truly wonderful! Their new single drops this coming week and I’m excited to hear it! Continue reading

Mousertainment’s Favorite Bands: The 80z All-Stars

The 80z All-Stars!

The 80z All-Stars!

Hopefully you recognize these guys from their many years playing at Tomorrowland Terrace in Disneyland Park, but the 80z All-Stars are still out there rockin’ a ton of great 1980’s music all over the U.S. – most often in Southern California.

As a big fan of this totally awesome cover band, I recently went to see them perform at their monthly scheduled show at M15 Concert Bar & Grill in Corona and as usual, I was not disappointed!

Previously featured favorites lead singer Nigel and bassist Devo 2.0 were joined by regular guitar player Jamie Starr and drummer Karate Kid.

Nigel and Devo 2.0 keep the party going all night long!

Nigel and Devo 2.0 keep the party going all night long!

I was happy to see that Nigel’s fabulous fashion sense has not altered since his time at Disneyland Park! And happily, the outfit changes that happened between sets there also happened here!

But one extra perk of seeing these M15 shows is that the guys in the band often have a fantastic female guest singer with them – whether that’s ‘Sheena Cold Medina’ or ‘Dawn Johnson’ or in the case of the night I went, ‘Candy Spandex’ – these gals are all tremendously talented performers and they spice up any show they participate in! Continue reading

Mousertainment’s Favorite Bands: LIGHTS – The Premiere Tribute to Journey

“I’m forever yours… faithfully…”

LIGHTS in concert!

LIGHTS in concert!

It was at the Disney Parks and Resorts that I really started to fall in love with cover bands.  Whether I was at Disneyland or Disney California Adventure or Downtown Disney or at EPCOT at the Walt Disney World Resort, my own musical world was opened up by seeing these groups perform.

So it’s probably no surprise that with so many cutbacks in entertainment happening at the parks and resorts lately, I’ve started to go to outside locations more often to see some of my favorite local cover and tribute bands. And since several were discovered thanks to performers at the parks, I thought I’d share a few of them with you!

Today we’ll start with a band that I’m a major fan of: LIGHTS – The Premiere Tribute to Journey.

Mousertainment Memo: Just to distinguish – a cover band plays songs from many different groups, whereas a tribute band usually just plays music from the one group they’re dedicated to honoring.  Either way, you can find some great music being played!

I started following this group regularly about three years ago and they have rocked my world ever since!

They play a lot around the Southern California area – I’ve seen them everywhere from Calabasas to Chino to San Dimas – but they also have a lot of regular dates in Las Vegas and Laughlin, Nevada.

They can handle everything from smaller club gigs to larger stage performances with lights and video screen backgrounds…

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Like many tribute bands, they can also be found on the summer concerts in the park circuit.

Now, when going to see a tribute band play, you really want to experience a few things:

First of all – do they sound like the band they’re paying tribute to? Continue reading