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The Unique Sound of Spike Sikes and his Awesome Hotcakes

Spike Sikes, is originally from El Paso Texas and he started his band twenty years ago in 2004. This band, deliciously named Spike Sikes and his Awesome Hotcakes played in Sonoma at the Sebastiani Theater. At this performance they were an eight man band. Spike also performs solo, four piece and seven peice depending on the venue and requirements of the show. The kind of music this band plays is kinda hard to pin down. It's a bit R&B, a bit blues, jazz, swing, jump and an overall 'old timey' vibe. My dad would've loved this gig. I also loved this gig. It's not the style of music one sees everyday. It feels like it's not the type of music that is made and/or played any longer.

It felt to me like this audience follows Spike, and most of them have probably seen them before. They were dancing and singing to the tunes. In fact at one point after a song was finished, the audience continued it and sang for the next few minutes. What a lovely thing to witness. The last time I saw this happen was when BottleRock turned off the power during the Foo Fighters set as curfew chimed and the audience finished the song.

I loved the vibe of the music and the appreciation that came from the audience. For this performance in Sonoma on this big stage at the Sebastiani Theater, The Hotcakes consisted of Tracy Rose drums, Ray Fernandez saxophone, Mark Milazzo bass, Rick Clifford saxophone, George Humphreys keys, Tony Davids trombone, and Harry Gale guitar. And Spike Sikes was featured on piano, guitar, harp and flute.

At one point during the show I closed my eyes and listened, as Spikes voice sounded so familiar. It dawned on me that his voice sounded very similar to the voice of Van Morrison. Needless to say Spike Sikes has a certain authentic soul, and his ability to probably play any instrument he picks up. Couple the pro musicianship with getting the audience up and moving is always a success. This may have been the first time I saw this band but I have a feeling it wont be the last. If you fancy a low key, joyful evening of music and swing dancing you may want to check this band out next time they come to a venue near you. I know I will!

© Cheryl Alterman Photography 2024


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