Shades of Emilio & Doc in the House!

Johnny Burrolla's TOWER of POWER Tribute Band "Hip Street" is an all-out success on Super Bowl Sunday

By Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor
Published on LatinoLA: February 8, 2012

Shades of Emilio & Doc in the House!

?íOrale, Mi Gente!

If brother Al Carlos Hernandez de Oakland was here in L.A. last weekend, he would have probably thanked me and picked up the tab for taking him to the Fiesta Hall in Whittier on Super Bowl Sunday.


Although I'm not a big sports fan who can spend a whole day in front of a TV drinking discounted beer while wearing a sports jersey with somebody else's name on it, there was nonetheless some outstanding live music to be heard and appreciated on this holiest of all holy days for football sports fans around the world for those of us who didn't need a football game as reason to step out on a Sunday evening.

While I'm not very well known to jam post-Medieval European inspired Classical music or classic Spanish Flamanco guitar music at bar-b-ques or nightclub gigs, I'm in awe at the artistic musical genius that created it almost 500 years ago in the "Old World" and its popularity to this day. Almost every major city in the USA has a philharmonic orchestra to brag of.

Listening to Montebello's famed WISEGUYS 1940's style Big Band can make most 70 year olds and older sit up and take notice with a smile & memory, and lets everybody younger than that hear what was happening back in the 1940's when the world was at war with itself.

Nobody I've heard comes close to Ray Carrion's EUROPA Band, which is one of the more faithfully true sounding original SANTANA tribute bands around that reminds baby boomers of their first exposure to the original late 1960's Latin-Afro rock sounds from San Francisco now known around the world.

Rick Ortiz & company have done wonders with promoting some very realistic 1970's hard rock and heavy metal tribute bands throughout L.A. for music lovers who can't stand the current redundant kiddie caca known as Rap & Hip-Hop.

...so where does Al Carlos de Oakland, the Super Bowl, me, and talk of tribute bands fit into this piece?

Well! By all accounts, there isn't any bigger TOWER of POWER music fan in Oakland than brother Al Carlos Hernandez, and I'm one of the bigger ones here in L.A...so if Al would have been here on Super Bowl Sunday, and he would have cruised along with me to the Fiesta Bowl in Whittier just after the big game, he would have enjoyed the exciting and amazingly faithful live tribute sounds of Johnny Burrolla's new HIP STREET Tower of Power tribute band...and he would have said, "Damn, Frankie! These guys are good!"

Feauring a 5 piece fresh and sassy~brass horn section that includes JOHNNY BURROLLA on sax, ALLEN MASCARI on sax & vocals, DAVID REYES on baritone sax, Tierra's JEFF LEWIS at trumpet & vocals, JEFF MUSGROVE on trumpet & trombone, and a hard hitting rhythm section that includes BOB LUNA on keyboard & vocals, MAURICE RAMIREZ on guitar & vocals, VICTOR BARRIENTOS on drums,TONY BANDA of the Poncho Sanchez Band at bass guitar, and a sizzling new singer from San Fernando named MARK PRUDEAUX that you swear went to the Lenny Williams school of TOP performances, HIP STREET is definitely Tower of Power circa 1973 reincarnated.

Covering the sound scene action was one of L.A.'s best sound engineers, Phil Reyes of SOUVINIR ENTERTAINMENT, so you know it was all the way live wall to wall.

The place was almost aglow in perfect nostalgic Tower of Power sound waves as I entered the crowded Fiesta Hall on Philidelphia Street in old town Whittier, where people have been enjoying the art of music since the 1930's. (Of course it was named something else back then)

Hitting all the favorites, and a couple of the rare ones including "Clean Slate", 'Get Yo Feet Back on the Ground", 'Soul Vaccination", " Knock Yourself Out", "Still Diggin' On James Brown", and of course "You're Still a Young Man."

HIP STREET was truly in "da zone" on this night, turning football fans into dancers & party people, all enjoying that "East Bay Grease" soul sound that has traversed the World and helped put the Oakland Bay Area on the music map for over 40 years.

I could just see ol' Al calling for another round of Coronas, as you could close your eyes and imagine sitting at a Tower of Power concert over 35 years ago, the sound was that amazingly true and authentic.

Everybody in the house was visibly impressed.

"This is somthing I've dreamed of doing for years, and now with all the talented musicians & singers I've assembled, my dream has come true, and the Tower of Power sound stays alive for yet another generation," Johnny told me between sets. Of course. he plans on continuing to take this great band on the road.

And so...with that...

LatinoLA is proud to announce the arrival of HIP STREET to the Land of 1000 Dances...and we hope they come to your hometown soon!

...you ready for them, Al?

Like Hip Street on Facebook here.

About Frankie Firme, Contributing Editor:
Frankie Firme is heard daily on World wide Internet radio station www.eastLArevue.com, and lives & loves life in the Land of 1000 Dances
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