Jerry Kaehele’s GoodTime Levee Stompers
Ken Keeler’s Devil Mountain Jazz Band was a very popular jazz band back
then (and still is!). In 1989, I went to Danville to see them and Ken asked
me to sit in. I played a few numbers and when I sat down, I was
approached by Scotty Baughman, a drummer. He invited me to sit in with
Jerry Kaehele’s Good Time Levee Stompers (GTLS).
I became their regular banjo player with dozens and dozens of gigs from
1990-1992. We played lots of jazz clubs, Festivals, Sacramento Jubilees,
radio programs and the like.
The July 1990 "West Coast Rag" reviewed a number of bands that
performed at the 1990 Sacramento Jubilee. The article said this about
"Only one word can describe Jerry Kaehele's Good Time Levee
Stompers - Authentic! They fully capture the true New Orleans sounds -
The relaxed tempos and the joyous ensembles. Jerry is a master at
selecting new Orleans tunes and tempos as well as playing the New Orleans
trombone. Tom Sharpsteen's ancient Albert system clarinet with
orchestra bell is a key element. His "Burgundy Street Blues" . . . reached
to the heart of the music."
The GTLS personnel listed on the 7 recordings I have are: Trombone
and leader: Jerry Kaehele; Cornet: Robert Young; Clarinet: Tom
Sharpsteen; Drums: Scotty Baughman; String bass: Marty Eggers, Mike
Fay, or Evan Dain; Banjo: Phil Cartwright
Over the years, we played dozens and dozens of songs from Jerry’s
extensive song list. Here are some of the less common tunes we played:
Ting-a-Ling, Why Should I Cry Over You, Faraway Blues, Wild Man Blues,
Roses of Picardy, Into Each Life Some Rain Must Fall, Blue Bells Goodbye,
Old Fashioned Love, Lower Light, When Your Hair Has Turned to Silver, A
Chicken Ain’t Nothin’ But a Bird, Royal Telephone, Martha, Everywhere You
Go, Tie Me To Your Apron Strings, How Long Blues.
Sacramento Dixieland Jubilee, 1991
Tom Sharpsteen, clarinet; Phil Cartwright, banjo; Evan Dain, bass; Robert Young, cornet; Scotty Baughman, drums; Jerry Kaelhele, trombone