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Red Lotus Revue - Blues Band Based in North Park San
A mix of musicians, The Red Lotus Revue is made up of Karl Cabbage on harmonica/vocals, Jimmy Zollo on guitar, Pete Fazzini on Guitar, and Kurt Kalker on drums.
These seasoned musicians have played all over Southern California, Memphis, and Chicago land areas.
Karl Cabbage began playing the harmonica at age 16. Some of his earliest influences were Jazz and Blues he heard during his childhood years in Chicago Illinois
On into his adult years, he honed his tastes and his craft as a traditionalist learning the harmonica riffs of mid-century giants such as Little Walter and Sonny Boy Williamson.
Karl became well known in San Diego for co-founding and fronting the band West of Memphis. For almost five years, West of Memphis held down a blues scene at the San Diego House of Blues on Friday nights and played many other gigs around Southern California as well. Karl also led this band to win a San Diego Music Award for Best Blues Band in 2009. He then reformed the band under the name, The Smoking Knights. Chosen by Blues Lovers United of San Diego, he then led that group to Memphis to compete in the International Blues Challenge (IBC) in early 2010.
Soon after his return from Memphis in early 2010, the Red Lotus Revue was born. Since then, Karl has returned to Memphis to compete in the solo/duo portion of the 2011 IBC with Jimmy Zollo, has played with Rod Piazza, Chris James and Patrick Rynn, and many other blues heavy hitters.
Karl also has two wonderful kids and works hard to support his family as
a bluesman and a defense contractor. With all that Karl has done, it's hard
to imagine why a guy like this could have the blues yet he continually blows
minds every time he sets foot on stage and is a master of his instrument.
"It's not every day you find four guys with good chemistry on and off stage that all have a common love for a certain style of music.
We've definitely found that with this band!"
Jimmy Zollo - Born and raised in Revere Massachusetts, just outside of Boston, Jimmy was exposed to a lot of great bands growing up.
"I could literally walk from my house to this club by the beach where I could sneak in and watch Aerosmith, Room Full of Blues and other local Boston bands do unannounced surprise gigs. I started playing guitar in high school and pretty quickly found a group of guys that had a band. We did a lot of gigs.
We ended up opening for a lot of national acts, but it wasn't until I saw Johnny Winter at this little club in Boston that I got the full picture of what I really wanted to do with my guitar.
Johnny rocked, but he had this down and dirty blues that floored me."
Jimmy's style of guitar playing is traditional with an edge.
"I love the the Delta slide, the Chicago electric, the T-bone Walker feel. But my all time favorite is the blues of Howlin' Wolf. Over the years I've been in lots of bands, played lots of one-nighters, but being in the revue with Karl, Pete, and Kurt has given me the chance to really play the music that speaks to me.
I'm proud to be in a band with such dedicated talented guys.
Keeping this music alive is our goal, and bringing it to the people is what we intend to do."
Pete Fazzini was born on the southside of Chicago in Chicago Heights, Illinois. He began playing guitar at age 13. At age 17, he saw Stevie Ray Vaughan on an old re-run of Saturday Night Live and it was the first time that he had an idea of the type of music he wanted to make on his guitar.
Years passed and as Pete grew up, so did his musical tastes. At age 26, he turned his focus to the source. He decided to devote his studies to the teachings of true Chicago bluesmen. Captivated by the raw electric slide work of Robert Nighthawk and Muddy Waters, the growl of Howlin' Wolf, and the harmonica prowess of Sonny Boy Williamson and Little Walter, these mid-century blues giants quickly became his main area of musical focus.
Today, Pete is a guitarist in the Red Lotus Revue. He has represented San Diego in the 2010 International Blues Challenge, sat in and/or played with various southern California artists such as harmonica giant, Rod Piazza, internationally known Chris James and Patrick Rynn, Billy Watson, and Nathan James, and has also played with non-local artists including the Sons of the Blues (The S.O.B.s) of Chicago, Illinois.
"I'm truly the luckiest guy in the world to be able to play this music with such talented guys that I also have the pleasure of calling my friends. Everybody in this band is more than capable on their instrument and we're all incredibly passionate about the music we make. I couldn't ask for anything more."
- Pete Fazzini
"Dirty Kurt" Kalker RN is a roots drummer and soundman in Southern California who moved to San Diego in 1991 from Chicago, Illinois southwest side.
At age 15, he inherited his older brother's drum kit. He played his first club date in Chicago at age 16 and started attending Chicago's Conservatory of Music on Michigan Ave at age 20. His first years of playing were full of loud Rock & Roll but through the years Kurt has played most types of modern music
His move to San Diego prompted several years playing Country music with colorful groups including, Thunder Express, The Mudpuppies, The Shadow Riders, Ramblin Rose, and many others. During that time he was nominated for the CCMA, California Country Music Awards Best Drummer. A few more accomplishments include winning 5 San Diego Music Awards, along with multiple nominations. After a few Alternative side projects, Kurt was reacquainted with his roots to Chicago and became a student of early roots blues. The award winning group The Fremonts was his break into the southern California Roots Scene. This propelled him into a world of real blues players who knew their history and were baptized into keeping roots music alive and well in the world of bad modern recreations of the originals. Kurt had found his home again and had never felt more alive laying old greasy grooves down.
Kurt is now playing with The Red Lotus Revue and can also been spotted
playing with various artists in Southern California such as, James Harman,
Billy Watson and the International Silver String Submarine Band, Nathan
James, Robin Henkel, Juke Logan, The Blue Four (Chris James and Patrick Rynn),
The Fremonts, Johnny Dyer, Johnny Rover, Lady Star, Len Rainy, Nena
Anderson, Anna Troy, Beth Ladwig and many others.
Multiple recording sessions and live show dates keep him busy most nights, but during the day Kurt feeds his other passion as a Pediatric nurse, working for the San Diego Children's Hospital. Kurt works hard to follow his dreams and his passion to live and play the blues shows in his music and personality.