The Sons of Champlin, led by Bill Champlin, former member of the American iconic band “Chicago” are always musically evolving. The Sons started in Marin County in 1965 and have stayed true to their musical roots since then. The music of the band is R & B and rock based with lyrical content that connects the audience with the band. The reason for the longevity of the band playing together for all of these years become obvious within the first few notes of the first song and becomes clearer over the next couple of hours. While the band has revolved around Bill’s singing and song writing, he distributes the spotlight throughout the performance to showcase the individual abilities of band mates. There is now a triple threat with the addition of Tamara Champlin and Will Champlin to the band.
As front man, Hammond organist, guitarist and lead singer, Bill Champlin was a member of “Chicago” (singer of ‘Hard Habit to Break’, ‘Look Away’ and ‘I Don’t Want to Live Without Your Love’ to name a few). Bill is also a two time Grammy winning song writer of ‘After the Love Is Gone’ by Earth, Wind and Fire and ‘Turn Your Love Around’ by George Benson. Bill said this year of the band, “The Sons have been a band that seems to connect with its audience on so many levels, lyrically and musically, that it’s (fun) to go to and either listen or dance or just to connect with friends who you know will be there. I’ve been involved in a lot of musical performance styles over the years but The Sons seem to affect the audience in a “we’re all together” kind of way rather than a “dig what I can do” way. It’s not that the music is simple, it isn’t, or that it’s performed differently than other bands, it just touches people on different levels. I’ve found myself drawn to The Sons for the “all together” feeling everyone comes away with.”
The addition of Tamara Champlin’s vocals and songwriting has brought even more depth to the band. Her credits run deeply from singing with Rita Cooli(d)ge to movie scores to fronting her own band to songwriting.
Will Champlin, Bill and Tamara’s son, sings, plays keyboards, bass, and guitar. Will is an amazing talent who has already co-written a Grammy winning song, ‘Ordinary Me’ on the 2009 Gospel Album of the Year for Heather Headley.
Geoff Palmer’s expertise with vibes and keyboards brings The Sons sound all the way back to when he joined the band in 1967. Geoff is a musician’s musican and his contribution to the band has been ever present.
Jim Preston has held the drum seat since 1972. Jim’s playing and singing is unmatched and makes him a sought after session player. He has played with Moby Grape, Maria Muldaur, Dr. John and Notron Buffalo. Jim is the drummer on Sheryl Crow’s Hallmark Christmas Album featuring Booker T.
On lead guitar and vocals is Carmen Grillo who played with Tower of Power from 1988 until 1997. Carmen owns and operates Big Surprise Music studio in Los Angeles. Jeff Lewis is on trumpet. Jeff has played and recorded with Kenny Loggins, Diana Krall, BB King, Huey Lewis and the News, The Temptations, Conjunto Cespedes and Pete Escovedo to name a few.
This year, 2012, Tim Cain, the band’s original sax player, horn arranger, and singer is back with the band and singing and playing as good as ever. “It’s been around 40 years since Tim and I have played together and it feels like it’s been a week; he’s still the most melodic musician I’ve ever worked with. I’m stoked to be playing with Tim again!” commented Bill Champlin about the addition.
The Sons of Champlin boast a career that spans more than four decades with over 12 albums to their credit. They are much more than a heritage or nostalgia act and have garnered a solid fan base that has loved and followed them for years. Always musically growing and keeping the audience moving to the soulful, funky groove of their music The Sons are as vibrant as ever and look forward to seeing you.
Don't Miss "Sons of Champlin" on Friday, December 7th. Show at 8, Doors open at 7.