It's in the Can
The party always ends up in the kitchen - the Soul Kitchen. Check the menu - blues, R&B, soul, with funk on the side. Once the R&B starts cooking and you've heard their wailin' and moanin' blues, you'll know why area musicians watch for our gigs and call our versatile vocalist 'Queen Doreen.' This band loves to play and it shows. In addition to their originals, the Kitchen's menu covers dance numbers made famous by Wilson Pickett, B.B. King, Etta James, the Allman Brothers, Wild Cherry, Eric Clapton, Aretha Franklin, Koko Taylor, Average White Band, Albert King, Coco Montoya, and many others. And, of course, there's Mustang Sally, the number that never fails to get 'em movin' and groovin' (and the song Doreen 'owns' in Northwest Ohio, Kitchen fans insist). But the secret is the sauce cooked up by the men in Kitchen. Leads by guitarist Denny Harrigan are finger-LICKIN' good. Sax man Jeff Kopmanis sends riffs into the air like the aroma of a savory sauté. Mmm-mmm-MM! And Lord knows the rhythm boys Buddha and Al Michaud keep things stirred up ALL night long. * * * * * * * Denny Harrigan carries lead riffs and rhythm on guitar with the acumen of 30+ years of experience. He also backs the group on harmonica. When he's not working as an electrical engineer or playing out, he frequently can be found climbing the walls - literally. (We used to think it was the band that drove him to it, but he just does it because he likes it.) * * * * * * * He's Digital Man by day and Sax Man by night. That's Jeff Kopmanis, sax to the max for Soul Kitchen. After many hours at his real job (managing computer services for the University of Michigan Mathematics Department), Jeff often can be found with his telescope, gazing at the starry, starry night . . . when he's not generating soul-scouring solos with Soul Kitchen. Jeff joined Soul Kitchen in 1999 after many years of playing with concert and big bands, including the Monroe Big Band (1989-present), the Monroe Community Concert Band (1996-1999), and the Don Waywright Big Band (1982-1985). * * * * * * * Ed Malone, the big boss on bass, has been playing music since age 12. He began on drums at 14 and moved to bass three years later. Buddha also plays guitar and performed with an acoustic trio called Loose Change. He moved to San Francisco at 28, playing bass and recording with the bands Living Color and FRANTX. Since returning to the Midwest, Buddha has played reggae with Ras Riddim and blues and folk music with Calvin 'Fuzzy' Samuels. When you meet him, don't get sucked in by the shark story . . . * * * * * * * After packing away his sticks many years ago to launch a sales career and raise a family, Al Michaud started back in percussion just a few years ago. After a 25-year hiatus, SK found him and he's back on the throne. Al is a very important sales representative for Nestle-Purina (that's what he tells us, anyway). Between business trips and sailing races, he's usually itching to practice. Al also plays with an alternative group, Van Slam. * * * * * * * Doreen Robideaux started singing the blues after years of singing with choral groups and the Toledo opera chorus (yikes!). Doreen hooked up with Soul Kitchen through it's original lead guitarist, Steve Gray, who heard her sit in with a jazz group and offered her a band a few days later. (She tells people he picked her up in a bar.) Doreen's opera experience provides the power behind the belting vocals. She also is active in the Blues in the Schools program through the Black Swamp Blues Society. By day, Doreen masquerades as a freelance writer.