Bay Area quintet shakes things up at Ted Falasco

By Thaddeus Miller / tmiller@losbanosenterprise.comNovember 3, 2012 

Audience participation was the name of the game Saturday at the Ted Falasco Arts Center.

Talk of da Town, a San Francisco-based quintet, performed an a capella dance number, serenade and sing-along of pop hits from decades gone by.

"We actually got started on the street corner, singing under the light post," said Andrew Lockwood.

While they spent most of the show in the 1950s, '60s and '70s, the bandmates opened up by reaching back to the '40s with "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy."

Carl Douglas, the soprano, asked for a dance partner and got one in Los Banos resident Yo Rodriguez. The two twisted to "Shake, Rattle and Roll," a Big Joe Turner cover.

"Things are going to get kind of interesting, because we're going to get up close and personal," Douglas said. "Now we're going to loosen up."

Douglas also left the stage to serenade another Los Banos resident, Lillian Mendes, with Lenny Welch's "Since I Fell for You." It was her first serenade, she said.

Lockwood, Douglas, bassman Doug Stepney, and baritones Rodney James and Chase Ruffin also covered Jackie Wilson, Smokey Robinson and Otis Redding. For good measure, the fellows threw in a Rolling Stones cover and did their impressions of Elvis' gyrating hips while singing "Return to Sender," "Heartbreak Hotel" and a run of other songs made famous by the late pop icon.

The quintet split the audience of about 120 into thirds for a Drifters cover, "Under the Boardwalk," to see which portion would most exuberantly sing "boardwalk."

Talk of da Town is preparing for a gospel tour of Europe, and so sang a couple of ditties usually reserved for a house of worship.

"It's been great, but it's getting late," Lockwood said, eliciting laughs. "It's been fun, but we gotta run."

To see footage from the concert, got to

The next concert in the Los Banos Arts Council series will be Dec. 1 and feature the James Robinson Trio, purveyors of Latin, jazz and world fusion.

Enterprise reporter Thaddeus Miller can be reached at (209) 388-6562 or by email at

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