The Dirty Cello Band – From Jimi to Jimmy

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The Novato, California-based Dirty Cello is one of those bands that you cannot prevent your toes from tapping and your head from bopping as they wail through their amazing repertoire. Now this is not your usual cover band. Oh no. They play covers of everything from Jimi Hendrix to Jimmy Page and everything in between including their own songs. And they do it with a vibrant, pulsating, electronic cello.

Rebecca Roudman, a classically trained musician, plays the electric cello and the electric violin. Roudman is one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most exciting crossover cellists and is a member of both the Oakland East-Bay Symphony and the Santa Rosa Symphony. Her husband Jason Eckl, who plays guitar and does a fine job entertaining the audience, is a superb musician who can play everything from foot-stomping blues, bluegrass, and rock.

Dirty Cello typically plays at small, intimate venues that bring the audience up close and personal with the band. Their energetic approach to each song will overwhelm you with their vitality and dynamism. But even more so, you will be impressed with their musicianship, which is terrific.

Above, the State Theater in Auburn, California

Roudman and husband Eckl make up the core of the band which sometimes comprises of four members and at times up to seven (and even a full back-up orchestra at times!). Rounding up the band is Greg Studley on keyboard, Jeff Wheeler on drums, and the debonair Colin Williams on bass. Back-up vocals are handled by Ms. Mana, who hails from India and does an amazing jazz scatting with her smooth, expressive intonation.

Move over Jimi cause Rebecca’s taking over, doing an outstanding version of Purple Haze, Sweet Child of Mine, Sweet Dreams, Jolene, Proud Mary, Black Betty, Johnny B Goode, and an amazing ultra-hyper version of Orange Blossom.

As a budding musician (for the last 50 years!), and one who loves all sorts of music, I find myself drawn to the smaller theaters and musical venues than the larger stadiums where once I found great entertainment. Seeing a band, especially one so tight and engaging with the audience, I find it to be a much greater appreciation of the performers.

How often do you see a musician strolling down the aisle as they engage their audience to participate in hand clapping and foot stomping? Not often I would bet! If you love good music and an entertaining live performance, the band Dirty Cello is not to be missed. It will certainly add another drop in the bucket.

All photographs are the copyright of Jim Jackson Photography. Please contact me with any questions, comments, or authorization to use photos or for signed, high-resolution prints.

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