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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...

A Lifetime of Friendship and Music

When I met Ernie and the Emperors at the Dolphin Club in Solvang in 1965 I was only 14, but I'd already written a lot of songs and played a pretty damned good guitar. I may have looked like a little kid, but there was a whole lotta music inside of me.

The Dolphin Club was a members-only place that had a pool, dressing rooms, and a large dance hall that included a snack bar and tables. That year, the owners figured out they could make a little money by holding dances for the teens of Solvang, hiring bands from all over the tri-counties. Within the year it became a venue that a lot of bands vied for. There was nothing else for us to do in Solvang in those days; the closest entertainment of any sort was an hour's drive away and a lot of parents didn't like the idea of their kids driving the San Marcos Pass at night...