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Embracing Change

One of the beautiful things of having the pleasure and honor of knowing Ernie through the years is what he has unwittingly taught me about life. I know he'll sort of cringe inside when he reads this and, although he'll probably not think it's true, he'll accept it in his usual humble and gracious fashion. But it is true. Probably his greatest strength is his willingness to go along with change and ride it through, having faith that all things work toward a greater good. From the early Emperors to today's Brian Faith Band, Ernie's career has been one of constant change--band name changes, member changes, repertoire changes--you name it. It hasn't always been easy to keep up, but Ernie is a strong and gentle man who instinctively understands it's music that always eases us along through life's changes. And that's what he's never failed to give us. Music.

This leads me to call your attention to the changes in this blog. Initially, I felt force…
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Hot Shot

Here's a great shot of Ernie playing at a recent gig. It was taken by the Brian Faith Band's booking rep, Annette Alexander. If you're interested in booking the band, please visit her website.

Makin' It is Now Available to View Online, Free!

If you haven't seen the Lillimar Pictures documentary, Makin' It, now's your chance! Just click the poster, above!

Celebrating Valentine's Day at The Sportsman!

Are you ready to rock Valentines Day early? At 8:00 on Saturday February 11, Ernie, headlining the Brian Faith Band & Friends, will be playing at The Sportsman, in Camarillo.

Put on your dancing shoes for our Twist contest! Prizes, dancing, food and drink! Bring the one you love or find a Valentine there!

A Unique Opportunity!

If you were at Santa Ynez High School sometime between 1964 and 1969, you’ll remember what an exciting time it was musically. There was the Royal Dolphin Club on Oak Street, where bands from all over the county played while we girls danced in our minis-dresses and go-go boots with boys wearing their powder blue cords and madras shirts. When the Dolphin closed its doors, the Barn in Santa Ynez opened theirs and, somewhere in there, we also danced at The Soaring Sun and all of the school dances. It seemed a live band played somewhere every weekend—and we were there!

In 1965 a band of four good looking guys in matching suits and dog collars performed at the Dolphin Club and took us by storm. That band was Ernie and The Emperors (the core of which was the three Orosco brothers, Ernie, Cory, and Brian) and they hooked us with their Reprise Records 45 “Meet Me At The Corner.” Do you remember going to Bob’s Appliances to buy your records? The Emperors’ single hit the Top 5 not only in that …

Ernie Joseph Will Rock Your New Year's Eve!

Ernie will be performing with the Brian Faith Band on New Year's Eve at The Sportsman in Camarillo, CA (4426 Central Ave, just off the 101). The show begins at 9:00 pm. Come on out to experience this amazing guitarist and performer!

Gary James' Interview with Ernie

Gary James of Classic Bands.com has just published a wonderful interview with Ernie. In it, they discuss Ernie's friendships with Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, Ronnie Van Zandt, Ed King, and a number of other music greats as well as the early beginnings and the popularity of Ernie and The Emperors. Most interesting is how it was Frank Sinatra who "discovered" the young, teenage band and signed them to his label, Reprise Records.

"He (Morrison) wasn't flamboyant. He wasn't ostentatious. He was a very down to earth guy. It surprised me. He was kind of vulnerable in my eyes." Ernie

Click or tap here to read the full interview.

Backstage at the Avocado Festival 2015

How often does this happen? Bands that grew up together; and yes, we have a special kinship between us. Love these guys! Keep rockin’ my brothers and sisters: Ernie and The Emperors, Brian Faith Band, Out Of The Blue, The Cowsills, Exit, The Pups, The Rincon Band, and thanks a mil to Roger Gilbert. It was a pleasure playing with you guys.

Ernie

A Note From Ernie

What a great show! Eric, Tebow, and Bobby, you guys are the best, man! Shades of Soul lead singer Luther Richmond's voice was on fire and Shades were as tight as ever! Out Of The Blue let me play with them, which was a dream come true. Bob Dolan from the Alice Cooper band was awesome on vocals and keyboards, as usual. The Groove Line were great and I really admire lead singer Becky's fight with cancer and that she still put on a great show! Pepe Marquez was fab on "There Ain't No Woman Like The One I Got." Wow! That was really hot. And Ray, thanks for the extra effort of making sure our sound system was up and happening. I also appreciated how fantastic you are on keyboards as well. We even got to play our original song appropriately entitled, "Good Times."

Love and gratitude from Cory Orosco and family. Thank you so much and may God bless.
Ernie (click below to see more great pix!)

Living in Love Valley

In the summer of 1970, the Love Valley Music Festival attracted a crowd of 250,000 people who attended the three day concert just north of Statesville, North Carolina. It had all the elements of an earlier Woodstock. The Allman Brothers, along with some of the Southeast’s top bands, were on the list of performers.

There are many references on the internet today where one can go search the history of the Love Valley Music Festival. You can also find photos of what Love Valley is today. It has always been an authentic western town, where visitors can enjoy riding the miles of trails on horseback. It even has a unique area where they staged rodeos, in the shape of a natural arena where the sloping hillsides converge on a central area. This was the stage area for the Love Valley Music Festival; the natural outdoor setting was perfect for a rock concert...

An Ebay Treasure Unearthed

In my internet snooping today, I came across this gem and, man, is it in perfect condition! If you're interested in acquiring it, visit RetroBloke's page...

Click below for more images.

Available!

An All American Emperor, Akarma Records (Italy), Ernie Joseph's first solo album is currently available on CD and vinyl at Music Stack!

Ernie Featured in Shindig! Magazine

Over the past few months Ernie and I have been communicating with Austin Matthews, a journalist with Shindig! Magazine, which is published each month in the United Kingdom. The happy outcome of all of the emails and interviews is a great article about Ernie and his thoughts on Ernie and the Emperors, Giant Crab, Big Brother Ernie Joseph, and the times these great bands were recording and performing. The current issue, August issue #28, is called the U.S. Psych Special and covers other bands including the Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Fallen Angels, and Clear Light, and also gives a list, 50 U.S. Psych Albums You Need to Hear.

To read this exciting issue and to become a subscriber, please follow this link. Below are other important links that you may like to visit: Shindig! Magazine's Blog / Shindig! Magazine's Facebook page

Ernie, on Success

Steve Dunwoodie (1950-2011)

(April 22, 1950 - January 1, 2011)

Fans of Big Brother Ernie Joseph are saddened to hear the news of the passing of the band's drummer, Steve ("Stevie D") Dunwoodie. Steve passed away at Renown Medical Center on New Years Day, 2011. Steve was a kindhearted and loving father who also had more than just a knack for playing drums. To everyone who knew him, he was the best in the business. After  touring the southern United States in 1969 and 70 with Big Brother Ernie Joseph, Steve eventually decided to settle down with a wife and family while pursuing a career in warehousing...

"Makin' It" Official Poster

Hey, Collectors!

Big Brother Ernie Joseph's epic LP, "Confusion", is available at Amazon.

1. Heart Full of Rain
2. Wake Me Up in the Morning
3. E.S.P.
4. Heavi Load
5. We Gotta Live Together
6. L.L.A. (Lubricated Love Affair)
7. Saint James Infirmary
8. Gravis Delictum

Summer is HAWT...

And so is Ernie! Don't believe me? Check out the latest uploads in the Music Pix Gallery!

There are also some gigs where you can catch Ernie with the Brian Faith Band this summer. Scroll down the side bar to find those. You don't want to miss the party this band takes with it everywhere they go!

Speaking of the Brian Faith Band, have you caught their new website? Here's the link. Go. Now!

Many thanks to Cathy, as usual, for the great, new pix, and thanks to Brian Faith for the one used in this post!

Ernie Smokes it in Oye Como Va!

Upcoming Gigs

Ernie has a number of gigs that I'd like to call your attention to; you know you don't want to miss seeing him! The first one is tomorrow. Yes, I said TOMORROW!  Sorry for the late notice, but I only just found out myself. Hey, if I could, I'd be there for this one for sure. Looks like it's going to rock!

Click below to see info on these gigs.


Memories of the Road - Part 2

Traveling through the South East as a touring musician in a band back in the day was more a way of life than a tour. The south was an experiential way of living, which probably cannot be compared to any other time or place on earth. At any level of playing colleges and some of the bigger clubs, what was important was the interaction with the real people.

ERNIE: We were a California band in the midst of the pre-southern rock phenomenon. It was like being in the middle of a hurricaine with all this musical energy and excitement, and so much talent around. The local southern acts deserve high recognition. They were talented and tight. They had roadies and huge rental trucks, which were then non-existent in California on a local level. They had tons of Marshall/Hiwatt stacks, double-bass kick drums, slamming like Zeppelin's Jon Bonham...

Memories of The Road, Part 1

Recently, Ernie sent me his memories of the years he spent touring. Every musician worth his salt has to pay his dues on the road and Ernie is no exception. Here is Part 1 of those memories. If you enjoy these entries, please let me know by leaving a comment. It's appreciated!

ERNIE: Bill Holmes, our manager, scheduled two performances on one ominous, rainy night. His idea was for us to play a late afternoon concert at Gilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina, then, hours later, take a private plane to the next gig in Richmond, Virginia. The show in Richmond was at an outdoor concert sponsored by local radio station WLEE 96.5 FM and the notable DJ celebrity, Shane. The plane was a single-engine Cessna.

Long Time, No See

Sorry about the lapse between posts. I've been pretty busy. Ready for a shameless plug? Well, here it is: I just published the first book of my Rock & Roll trilogy, Beyond The Bridge! Book One takes place in London during the height of the Sixties' British Invasion, and is full Rock legends, both imagined and real. I only mention it because the lead character was inspired by... Ernie! If you're interested in finding out more and watching the trailer, click here. It's available in both paperback and on Kindle.

Now, onto the next bit of news: You can catch Ernie, with Brian Faith Band, during the months of February, March, and April at Gigi's Cocktail Lounge, in Ventura. Ah, my home town... Just wish I was there to go see them! For those of you who are more fortunate, just click the link in the Gigs section in the side bar.

Hope your holidays were awesome and that you're staying warm!

Ernie's Tribute to Dale Steele

Thanks for getting behind our music.
We're going to miss you Big Brother Dale.

Love to Lynn Steele & Family
Ernie

Ernie Remembers the Love Valley Rock Festival

After Woodstock, there was The Love Valley Rock Festival. Some say it was inspired by a wave from the West Coast; the best of these beautiful times of brotherly love and sharing, where you could thumb a ride anytime. But that time had peaked just a few years before in San Francisco. "The Vibe" was now reaching into the Deep South, and rock was here to stay!

"It was during our extended tour, The South East Tour," Ernie said. "We were playing colleges tours and some of the bigger clubs in the Carolinas and Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and also Forida, and they love the family structure there in the South, the way they reinforce each other... "we're  together" attitude... the people invited me into their houses: 'Feast, Brother. Would you like to eat something?' and really friendly, you know. Just trusting. I've never seen anything like it."...

Gig Shot

ICU's Jimmy LeRoy, Jenny Zimmer, Big Bro Ernie Joseph and Kristy Doyle rock out at The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in Montecito.

Thanks to Joel Anderson at the Ojai & Ventura Review.

A Busy Autumn

I've been kept really busy this month with all of the pix I've received from Ernie via Cathy at CMS Productions. I can't even tell you how many there are. You'll just have to go see for yourself! My favorite is this one of Ernie on stage wearing some awesomely colorful bib overalls. Looks like the summer's gigs are spilling over into autumn, so don't miss an opportunity to go see Ernie live. You'll find his performance schedule in the sidebar. And do me a favor--take pictures!

New Dates for August & September

This summer is turning out to be a busy one for Ernie, which gives us a lot of opportunities to see him perform live!

Besides his ongoing gig at the Old Town Tavern, he's added two dates at Borders Books on State Street in Santa Barbara, where he'll be performing with Black Angel, an exciting, fun group that plays good time Rock 'n Roll. What better way to spend a Saturday and Sunday afternoon than hanging at the beach, enjoying a tall cold one in a sidewalk cafe, and then listening to some great music.

Plan to be there!

Once a Don, Always a Don!

We all know Ernie Joseph is a brilliant musician, but did you know that he was a football star?

Ernie began playing in the seventh grade and carried on through his freshman year of college. He became the Junior Varsity quarterback and co-captain under Coach Charles Sylvester. During the next couple of years the team at Santa Barbara High School, under the expert coaching of former the great San Francisco 49er Sam Cathcart, were fortunate to have several great quarterbacks, so Ernie, with his famous team spirit, changed his position to wide receiver and defensive back...

August Dates Are Up

If you haven't already caught Ernie with ICU's Jimmy LeRoy and the Brian Wise Project, you have a number of August dates to choose from. They're listed in the sidebar, along with directions to the venue. If you live in the area, make plans to go see and hear them. And tell Ernie you found out about it here on his tribute site!

Ernie Joseph: A Musician's Musician

It's one thing to build a musical career by turning out chart-topping hits, playing major venues around the world and amassing millions of fans. Nothing wrong with that, but unfortunately, these are the only musicians most people ever hear about. Most people have no idea how many talented people it takes to make a hit or perform a large concert. Nor have they any idea what truly good musicianship is made of. They listen to music based solely on if they like it or not, which is as it should be; a musician without a listener is only half of the equation. Music is about communication, after all...

Backstage with the Lovin' Spoonful

Growing up in southern California afforded me many opportunities to attend some incredible concerts. My older brother, Rick, and I were musicians, which opened doors to meet a lot of recording artists as well. Through our friendship with Ernie and The Emperors, we were part of something incredibly exciting, riding the tail of a comet. It was the Sixties after all, and music dominated every aspect of our lives from learning any instrument we could get our hands on to our clothing and hair, from our desire to make a better world through music and the joy it brings to the slang that peppered our speech. Man, it was an exciting time to be young!


I don’t remember how it came to pass that Rick took me to the Lovin’ Spoonful concert at Earl Warren Showgrounds in the summer of 1966. I don’t even remember him being there. All I remember is that he was wearing a Nehru jacket. Why did we go? I don't think we had tickets. Was I planning to buy one at the gate? Did I talk him into making the …

Ernie and Jimi

"We talked about music and, yeah, we realized we were both Sagittarians..."

Last month Ernie was interviewed by Joel Anderson of the Ojai & Ventura View about meeting Jimi Hendrix (Vol. 3, No. 3, Issue 27). It's a fun article and, for me, it brought back a lot of great memories, since I was lucky enough to be there!

To read it, click here and scroll down to where you'll read, June, Issue 27 online Free, and click. It'll open a PDF file. Once that has loaded, find page 18. But come on, take some time to read the View. It's a great publication.

Thanks Joel!

Opening Night at the Old Town Tavern

Dear SK,

The gig at Old Town Tavern went well. I opened with an all-originals set with Brian Wise. We did songs off his new album like EZ Going One, Callin' Out, Whisper In My Ear, and Call You Wednesday. We ended the set with Mr. Black, a song about Brian's cat...

Summer Concert Schedule

Hi Everyone! I just got off the phone with Ernie, who called to give me his summer concert schedule. If you live anywhere in the Tri-Counties area, I highly suggest you go. He'll have ICU's Jimmy LeRoy and special guest Brian Wise on stage with him and I can guarantee you won't be disappointed! You'll find the schedule in the sidebar. Lots of dates, lots of good times.

Ernie's Reaction to This Blog

Just received an email from Ernie:

This is really great - you blew me away. It's beyond cool. Love the web site!

LLLLOVE You, Sweet Thing!!!
BB EJ

Interview: April 2010

Many thanks to Ernie for taking the time to answer these questions. Please feel free to leave comments!

First of all, how did you get started in music?
My two brothers and I, and my sister, grew up with it. I remember my mom and dad doing their gigs up and down State Street in Santa Barbara, California. We were about six or seven years old. Eventually, when our sis was born, my parents gave up the live gigs and got behind our musical dream 100 percent...

Cool It...Helios

"A consistent follow-up by a late sixties soul-drenched sunny popsike (sic) crew... Except for the 1st narrated 'soundtrack' intro, the songs definitely sound chart-friendly and obviously bear strong hit-potential; some tracks should have been, some might have been, but most simply weren't, which is a shame because they're all compact and cleverly composed. The main themes emphasise won and lost love, and the obvious sikedelik (sic) escapism from it all. A big plus goes to the vocals which are crystalline clear, powerfully strong, and lavishly arranged. A professionally produced and remarkably fresh sounding album." (By Kula Shaker, My Generation)...

An All American Emperor

"Ernie Joseph and his first group, The Emperors, recorded these songs, but unfortunately, they were never released until recently. Akarma Records makes a reference to garage in their explanation of the group's sound on their website; I am afraid I must heartily disagree. I heard nothing that sounded even remotely like garage in this music. What I did hear was a singer that sounded something like Gary Puckett. This was pure pop pleasantry. The cover can be misleading as Joseph looks like the consummate rocker. It couldn't be farther from the truth. Later on in his career he may have had a harder edge on his music, but not when he recorded these songs with his group. It sounds no different than the kind of music that was popular at the time...

South East Tour

"A mix of blistering fuzzed rave-ups and bluesy melodic tracks. Ernie's lead guitar and soaring vocals are exemplary through out." (Malesch Records)

"The title and packaging certainly give you the impression this is a live set, but that's not really the story here. Half of the ten tracks are pulled from Joseph's earlier band, The Giant Crab. The other five selections are billed as previously unreleased efforts, but tracks such as Keeping the Faith and How Many Times don't sound like concert recordings to our ears. In terms of quality, the new stuff varies from ponderous boogie (Satisfied Woman) to mildly entertaining (Truthfulness).  To be honest, the Giant Crab tracks such as the fuzz guitar propelled Hotline Conversation and the blue-eyed soul-ish Save Me provide the highlights." (BadCat Records)

Reviews: Confusion

CONFUSION - Big Brother Featuring Ernie Joseph
"Influenced by the guitar sounds of Hendrix, Cream and Jeff Beck, The Bill Holmes produced "Confusion" is an incendiary classic of British blues style guitar rock. The band (not to be confused with the similarly named and of course more popular Big Brother and the Holding Company) made a name for themselves as a great live performance, often encouraging audience participation. Their on stage energy comes across well on the record, resulting in a loose charismatic album that only slows down long enough to sing a serenade on Wake Me In The Morning. The rest blisters through with searing guitar virtuosity from Ernie Joseph and an organ sound that shows no signs of prog's impending overindulgence. A rock record from start to finish."
(By Venenos Do Rock)...

The Night Ernie and I Met Jimi Hendrix

February 10th, 1968. Robertson Gym, U.C. Santa Barbara.

My friend Debi lived in Goleta, just a mile from the UCSB student village, Isla Vista. Despite the block-after-block layout of mid-century apartment buildings, the hippies hanging out at Peoples Park, the political activism, and the strip of coffeehouses, mod boutiques and head shops had earned "I.V." the unofficial title of "Haight-Ashbury South". It was a place that was cool enough that Edie Sedgwick spent the end of her young life there. Today it is best known for the riots of 1970 during which the Bank of America was burned to the ground. But before all that happened, Isla Vista was a great place to hang out, promenade in your hippie finery and frippery, enjoy a hot cider while listening to folk music at The Brazen Onager, or crash a party. I often spent weekends and school breaks at Debi's house, and we'd spend most of our time at I.V...