The Bongodogs' Viva Caliche. A little over ten years ago, in an empty high school band hall in the mid-valley, drummer and songwriter Joey Tamayo, along with bassist David Cassady, trombonist Cathi Quick, and trumpeter Mario Casanova began an experiment. They reformatted some of the songs that Joey had been writing for the Connector's power rock trio, distilling them down to the bare essence of bass, drums, and voice, then added horn lines developed by Cathi and Mario. The result was a new sound and a new creative platform for Joey, and thus the Bongodogs were formed. As the band progressed, new voices were added. The sound, and the group, continued to grow. Over ten years and a few changes have gone by but the experiment is still going strong. What has developed is the big, bold, bouncy sound we now call Caliche Music, and it is as fresh as ever. The emphasis is still on the pure essence of the song. The bass lays down a groove, the horns state the theme, and Joey pours the verses over the top. The sound is like the valley, an explosion of life influenced by it's proximity to Mexico and the Caribbean, our love of Texas-bred blues, and our fascination with jazz. The songs are of the valley. They tell of valley people, valley places, and valley events. Viva Caliche is the Bongodog's second CD. It was recorded live at the South Padre Island clubs that the band calls home. Viva Caliche includes all the spontaneous solos, lyrical side roads, and banter that the band is famous for. The eight tunes are all Bongodogs classics, yet have not been previously recorded. From the opening Cuba Libre to the Alcohol Song closer, the CD comes closest to the high energy fun that is a Bongodogs live show. The BONGODOGS' current line up consists of: JOEY TAMAYO - Singer and Songwriter The former drummer with the infamous Connectors, Joey is a native of Brownsville from a very musical family. Oddly enough, he got his start playing clarinet in high school. He attended Notre Dame University, where he played (what else?) bass drum in the marching band. Joey is the artistic and spiritual center of the Bongodogs, and the genesis of the CALICHE sound. Joey continues to write and guide the Bongodogs musical journey. CATHI QUICK - Trombone and Vocals An oil field brat, Cathi grew up in Canada, the Phillipines, Ecuador, and Austrailia before coming to Texas. She holds a Masters Degree in Music from Texas Tech University. Cathi works as a band director in Sharyland, gigs throughout Texas, and also holds down the second trombone chair in the Valley Symphony Orchestra. Cathi lives with David and their three cats in Harlingen. DAVID CASSADY - Bass David came to the Valley in 1983 from Chicago, where he trained classically at the American Conservatory of Music. David works as the Orchestra Director at Harlingen High School, and is on the faculty at the University of Texas at Brownsville. He teaches bass privately and, when not out howlin' with the 'dogs, he is the principal bassist of the Valley Symphony Orchestra and can be seen freelancing with big bands, orchestras, and shows throughout the Valley and South Texas. David lives life as the luckiest man in the world in Harlingen, married to Cathi. ERIC HINES - Steel Drum and Percussion Eric hails from Chicago, Illinois and currently teaches percussion at Los Fresnos High School. Eric adds a incredibly exciting and unique dimension to the band with his virtuoso 'pan' solos! STEVE PHILIPPUS - Trumpet Steve received his degree in Music from UT Austin, where he was Lead Trumpet in the Jazz Ensemble and played in the Longhorn Band for six years. He is a Band Director in Los Fresnos, and he also plays freelance gigs around the Valey. We have yet to discover an instrument that Steve does not play. His wife Donna is also a Band Director, and they have two children who are multi-talented musicians. He also dabbles in bay fishing and woodworking. DR. TOM SMITH - Trumpet Tom is a Florida native and currently professor of trumpet and jazz studies at Barry College in Georgia. Tom now spends his summers on the Island, playing with the Bongodogs. TERRY TOMLIN - Sax Terry is the director of the University of Texas at Brownsville Jazz Band. He is a gifted performer and educator. We've known Terry for many years and appreciate his contribution to this huge family of a band. DAVE (SUGAR DAVE) LOHRY - Guitar and Vocals Dave is a native of Janesville, Wisconsin. He spent ten years in Colorado as a ski-bum guitarist and moved to the Island in 1980. We love his easy going style. He is a talented singer and songwriter himself and leads the popular Island band Sneak Attack. Dave appears to be going for the world record for amplifier ownership. He never seems to play the same one twice, but they're all vintage. How does he do that? PHIL HILL - Drums By day, Phil is a fishing charter captain and the sound and lighting tech for the Harlingen Municiple Auditorium. As a drummer, Phil has been a fixture on South Padre for years and we welcome him into this crazy group. You'll probably see Phil's son Brett, the youngest Bongodog, playing along with Dad most nights. Hang on tight, Phil!!! TOMAS RAMIREZ - Saxophone Tomas, A.K.A 'El Jazzmanian', has returned to the Valley after a successful career as a sax soloist and sideman from Austin to LA. Tomas is featured on the cut Arroyo Colorado on our Viva Caliche CD. These days, you can catch Tomas relaxing and playing with jazz musicians around the Valley. His latest CD release is titled No Mas Tomas.
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