THE COTTONTAILS are one of San Francisco's most exciting musical groups. Well-versed in American musical styles from the 1920s to the 1960s, they will belt out some old gin-house blues, riff on a Charlie Parker tune, and rock out on a Smokey Robinson song, all in a single set.
THE COTTONTAILS feature Karina Denike on vocals, Ralph Carney on horns and lap steel, backed up by the hardest-working rhythm section in show business — Michael McIntosh on piano, Sam Rocha on bass, and the irrepressible Randy Odell on percussion. The Cottontails play jazz clubs, dance halls, cabarets, art events, weddings and parties. The Cottontails have played The Legion of Honor, Yoshi's, Amoeba Records, Bimbos, 111 Minna Gallery, The Great American Music Hall, Montalvo Arts Center, The Palace Hotel, The Claremont Hotel Ballroom, The San Mateo Central Park Music Series, The Norwich/Norfolk Festival in the U.K., and many other venues around the world. They have played with James Hunter, Richard Cheese, Veronica Klaus, and other musical luminaries, and hold a popular residency at The Riptide, a friendly tavern near the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco. The Riptide is still one of the best places to see the band let loose.
PRESS from The Bay Bridged .The Boulevard Ear - by Todd Wanerman
"The Cottontails are the freewheeling super-group of several very busy local music titans: Michael Groh and Ralph Carney from Gaucho; Singer/songwriter Denike, also of The Bluebelles; Sam Rocha on bass; Randy Odell on percussion; and a pianist whose talents and accomplishments can hardly be captured by the written word, Michael McIntosh. Carney was part of the 70’s Ohio art-rock band Tin Huey, and toured with Tom Waits for many years. That boiled-down resume, however intriguing, does not convey his command, artistry and exuberance on virtually every wind instrument extant. It is impossible not to enjoy oneself when he performs. Groh, who plays lightning fast runs on a gypsy-style acoustic in Gaucho, prizes his Cottontails gig for the chance to peel out his electric Gibson and channel T-Bone Walker and Gatemouth Brown.
But our spotlight falls this month upon pianist and bandleader McIntosh. Scion of a San Francisco music family, ....McIntosh has contributed to the bedrock of our fertile musical community in ways too numerous to count, too weighty to measure. His solos can evoke everyone from Jelly Roll Morton to Herbie Hancock, and he is known to pound out liturgical music on the pump organ in his spare time. He epitomizes the pluck and spirit of The Cottontails – ... versatile, virtuosic; a light-fingered role player where called for, but a spine tingling soloist when he chooses"
The Cottontails Band’s tracks