By day, they are ordinary citizens, blending seamlessly into the Wisco-Americana landscape of the Fox Cities. They have jobs, families and they might even be your neighbors.
However, when night falls and the call from Commissioner Gordon – or a booking agent – comes in, they immediately don superhero identities and lead the on-going fight against the boring, the mundane and the ho-hum. Their vast array of weapons includes guitars, drums, saxophones, infectious enthusiasm and a strong commitment to fun, good music and the American Way.
Other collections of would-be heroes and extraordinary gentlemen have attempted to achieve the same synergy, but as de facto leader Marbs Giles explains, it requires a deep understanding of chemistry and the olde family recipe.
“Toss into a big pot,” Marbs explained, “one monster drum master, a rock-solid bassman, a right-on rhythm player, a smooth, guitar bluesmaster, a lights-out sax player, add heat and stir.”
The result? A tightly-knit group with roots in the blues, R&B, rock and soul with just a touch of dreadlock that makes Tin Sandwich a most nutritious and tasty musical meal.
Marbs plays some of the finest and exquisite lead guitar you’ve ever heard as well as handling a lot of the vocal leads, but he is just another citizen of the band’s “democracy.”
“I think there is a bit of a similar back story that sort of binds us together,” he said. “You see, over the years we have all played in so many different bands, in so many different genres, at different stages in our lives, that now we are at a stage where coming back to the blues feels in a way, like coming home.”
He is both grateful for and very appreciative of the unusually high level of talent that the super heroes bring to the cause.
The one code named “Stix,” is out of Fond du Lac and has played drums for over 39 years.
“He is a highly-regarded jazz drummer, and really brings that sophisticated sensibility to our blues,” Marbs said. “Having worked on projects with him over the last 20 years, I should mention that he is also an excellent vocalist. In fact, we are working on a project now that will inject his soulful voice into the band’s sound.”
On bass guitar, “Buffalo” has held down the big notes for different rock groups for over 35 years.
“He also has the technical abilities to integrate the highly technical side of the spectrum into the needs of today’s digital music world,” Marbs marveled. “An excellent vocalist, Buffalo takes us on intriguing journeys both vocally and emotionally.”
On guitar is singer/songwriter/luthier “Hacksaw.”
“He is known for his handmade string instruments of un-rivaled craftsmanship,” Marbs recalled. “So, of course, the day he went to the hospital after cutting his finger on a band saw while building a guitar, the guys in the band immediately changed his name to “Hacksaw.” Honestly, the blood had not yet dried, but that’s what are friends are for.”
The latest hero to join and play for the cause is saxophonist Danny G.
“Danny G on saxophone is the most recent addition to the band,” Marbs said. “He’s been with us for about a year now. His extensive work with big bands, jazz ensembles, swing bands and his workshops, brings a bit of be-bop/swing to our more ‘Chicago Style’ blues.”
Tin Sandwich will be playing at “one of our favorite places,” Becket’s in Oshkosh, on Saturday, April 18th at 8:30 p.m.
Planet-Harmon Benefit Fox Jazz Fest
John Harmon and Janet Planet have a very special evening of music scheduled as part of a benefit concert Saturday, April 11th, at Perry Hall at UW-Fox Valley. The festivities will start at 7:30 p.m.
Susan and John Toussaint, two of the most generous supporters of jazz in the Fox Cities, are adding to the special nature of the evening.
“At this event, we are announcing the new fund at the Community Foundation to support the Fox Jazz Fest,” Susan Toussaint said. “All proceeds from the concert will go to the newly established fund, and we are hoping that others will join us in supporting this ongoing fabulous annual event.”
“The Jazz Fest has been a free event for over 20 years,” Planet noted. “John Harmon, who continues to give of his time and also continues to give to this community artistically, continues to lead the efforts to keep it alive, thriving…and free.”
“An evening with Janet Planet and John Harmon is also about supporting the Fox Cities jazz community,” she continued. “An Evening with John Harmon and Janet Planet” is one more way that the artists who live here continue to give and attempt to sustain the quality of the arts in our community.”
Harmon and Planet are looking forward to the event in part because it presents an opportunity for them to express their gratitude and appreciation for the community support that enabled them to travel to and perform in Kurgan, Russia as part of the Fox Cities-Kurgan Sister Cities program. While the set list is still a work-in-progress, it may include one or more of the songs in Russian that Planet learned and which brought Kurgan audiences to their feet.
Planet may express additional personal gratitude as well.
“John Harmon is an exquisite composer, pianist, educator and friend,” she emphasized. “I’ve been lucky to have him in my musical and personal life. He has written music for me and we have collaborated on some great projects. Whether we’re performing on stage or spending hours together in a creative mode, I’m always learning from John, a master in music, life and friendship and I’m blessed to have him in my life.”
“Please join us for some great music.”
Please contact Lori Lacey for further information and/or to buy tickets at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the Fox Jazz Fest website.