Ken Leighton 6 p.m., May 25
Lady Dottie & the Diamonds
Dan Guevara: Horns | Isaiah Mitchell: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric) | Lady Dottie: Vocals | Joey Guevara: Harmonica, Keyboards, Vocals | Stephen Rey: Bass guitar | Brian "Nucci" Cantrell: Drums | Nathan Beale: Guitar (acoustic), Guitar (electric)
Sound description: Drummer Brian Cantrell has described the band's sound as "a sloppy MC5 backing up a street-version Etta James."
RIYL: Betty Wright, Ella Fitzgerald, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Etta James, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters
Upcoming Local Shows
- Blurt: "I Just Want to Bang on This Drum All Day" · Aug. 25, 2010
- Of Note: "Lady Dottie and the Diamonds" · July 1, 2009
- Blurt: "A Vietnam Vet Walks into a Bar..." · April 16, 2008
- Blurt: "Black Naugahyde Chapel" · April 5, 2007
- Blurt: "Boys Hook Up with Blues Mama" · June 2, 2005
Current Status: Playing every week around town.
Influences: Big Mae Bell, Gladys Knight, Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Etta James, Ike & Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Muddy Waters, Betty Wright, Ella Fitzgerald, Diana Ross
Lady Dottie & the Diamonds -- including former members of GoGoGo Airheart -- perform covers of songs by Etta James, Muddy Waters, BB King, Buddy Holly, the Everly Brothers, the Staple Singers, Sam and Dave, Ray Charles, Howling Wolf, Danzig, the Rolling Stones, Leadbelly, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, the Sonics, Chuck Berry, Nazareth, Ike & Tina Turner, Billie Holiday, Little Richard, Guitar Slim, Otis Redding, T-Bone Walker, Skip James, Stevie Wonder, AC/DC, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Foghat, Sam Cooke, Robert Johnson, Bessie Smith, Huey Piano Smith, and the Clowns,.
Originally a gospel singer, Dorothy Mae "Lady Dottie" Whitsett's early career included performing with Kool and the Gang and Clarence Carter, among others. Back then, she called herself Miss Dynamite, moving around from residences in Alabama, New Jersey, Portland, Seattle, and Atlanta.
After moving from Atlanta to San Diego in 1984, she eventually formed a jazz duo after meeting keyboardist Joey Guevara in a local piano bar. They were joined by Guevara's bandmates from Operator X, Stephen Rey (bass) and Brian Cantrell (drums). Rounding out the band are two guitarists, Isaiah Mitchell and Nathan Beale (of Dirty Sweet), as well as Joey's brother Dan Guevara on horns.
The band won two 2007 San Diego Music Awards, for Best Blues and Best Blues Album, as well as landing Best Blues again in 2008. They earned another Best Blues Album award in September 2009, as well as winning Best Blues (again) in 2011 and 2012.
As of 2009, they are signed with Hi-Speed Soul Records, a label launched by local music store M-Theory Records.