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DANCE HALL PIMPS
Created in 2009 in the Los Angeles underground cabaret scene, the Dance Hall Pimps are a genre-bending show band, playing original music that ranges from rootsy, garage rock with a haunted swamp vibe to New Orleans-inspired rags and romps and a neo soul genre the band calls Gothspel. No matter how dark or twisted the subject matter, the Dance Hall Pimps sound exuberant. With inspirations including the Kinks, Elvis Presley, Electric Flag and early Rolling Stones, the Dance Hall Pimps prove they are anything but cookie cutter when it comes to music, fashion and performance.
Playing off the unconventional direction, when finding a name lead singer RJC took to The Dictionary of Underworld Lingo; the Dance Hall Pimps’ persona synthesizes the band’s retro but uniquely pimped out sound and showy Victorian/goth/punk fashions. This is not a simple jeans and tee shirts band.
After recording a 5-song demo and playing only a handful of gigs around Los Angeles, the Dance Hall Pimps were signed with Lakeshore Records in 2011. The band’s debut album, Beast for Love, will be released on March 6, 2012. Beast for Love was produced by Grammy Winner Matt Hyde (Porno for Pyros, Cypress Hill) and Rob Hill (Korn, Xzibit, Cypress Hill).
After seeing the Dance Hall Pimps perform at the legendary Viper Room, the owner of Nightbird Studios at the Sunset Marquis Hotel, Jed Lieber (son of legendary lyricist Jerry Lieber), and the hotel’s owner, George Rosenthal, encouraged RJC to record Beast for Love at the famous Nightbird Studios. Although recording time at such a world-renowned studio would ordinarily be beyond the band’s budget, George and Jed were able to work out an arrangement, and the lead vocal tracks were recorded there. It truly was a one-in-a-million break for the band.
The Dance Hall Pimps are RJC (lead vocals/plectrum banjo/guitar), Jeff Jourard (lead guitar), Bruce Mann (keyboard/trumpet), Eddie Fish (bass/vocals), Vic “Baron” Migenes (drummer) and Steve Carr (saxophone/flute/clarinet).
MEET THE PIMPS
RJC is the band’s charismatic front-man. He created the Dance Hall Pimps and leads the band on-stage and off. RJ’s music passion comes from three wildly different directions, starting when he was a young boy singing in church. His mother was a big band singer in the late 40’s and 50’s and taught RJ the great American songbook. His father was into bluegrass and gospel music, which sparked RJ’s interest in the banjo. Elvis Presley and Lux Interior taught him the rest.
Jeff Jourard is barely used to the gravity on our planet. His distinct and undeniable guitar skills are truly out of this world. It was Jeff’s third grade talent show that sparked his continuous love for music. He played the guitar for the class, and received a screaming reception from the girls. Hook, line and sinker; Jeff was determined to make music his life. Jeff left Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers to form the New Wave sensation The Motels. Thirty years after leaving the The Motels, Jeff is back making music with the Dance Hall Pimps.
“Brother” Bruce Mann was born in Britain and now lives in sunny California. He has played the horn and organ ever since he was a child but his passion developed when he heard John Fogerty singing “Have you ever seen the rain” during a road trip with his father. Bruce claims, “Well I don’t know about the rain, but I certainly saw the light . . . and damn the light was loud.” Bruce has since worked in more bands, orchestras and sessions than he cares to remember.
Eddie Fish was born into music, his father being a music professor in Seattle. He started playing jazz professionally at the age of 15, studying with the great Gary Peacock. At 17, he was seduced to the dark side by a whisper of a woman who screamed rock & roll. Eddie then studied with Tim Bogart for a bit and played with many different bands over the years when, by chance, he stumbled upon the debauchery of the Dance Hall Pimps. Seeing kindred spirits in the wickedness of thought and talent, he’s home.
Vic “Baron” Migenes was once a drummer for the extended dysfunctional family of The Bay City Rollers, although gratefully never officially inducted. Accomplishments include movie soundtrack work for Madonna’s “Who’s That Girl” and studio/ghost drumming for acts signed to Sire and Metal Blade Records. Vic’s earliest musical inspiration came from the great R&B artists of the 60’s and mimicking them in his room. However, it was the track “Sorrow” by David Bowie that made him never look back.
Steve Carr has worked with many notable composers including Lalo Schifrin, Charles Fox, Benny Carter, Lenny Neihaus, John Parker, Buddy Collette, John Cacavas and David Rose. A personal highlight was playing tenor sax on the Benny Carter Band’s Japan tour with Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Griffen, Marlena Shaw and Phil Woods. He was a featured soloist on Buddy Collette’s 2001 Grammy nominated “Big Band in Concert” album. Why an accomplished life-long jazz-cat like Steve enjoys playing with the Dance Hall Pimps is becoming one of the great mysteries of Jazz legend and mythology.