Local Band Spotlight: Filibuster

Filibuster was founded in Sacramento, California in the early 1990s. Playing a unique blend of ska, rocksteady and Northern Soul, mixed with turntables and hip-hop influences. Though the line up was at times a revolving door of players, the band stayed true to their street music roots throughout their existence, earning them a loyal following.

They started touring the West Coast in their beloved school bus, “Belle”, back in 1995 and didn’t stop through eight national and two European tours, the latter with the venerable band, The Skatalites.

The band’s signature “Streetsteady” sound became an influence for many other bands and musicians but there were several casualties along the way. Guitarist Curt Cottrell quit the band after battling alcohol abuse for many years, with his departure prompted by a disastrous appearance on Italian television.

Despite all the touring Filibuster found time to record three albums:

Their self-released debut, “New Ruler and the King”, was recorded in Sacramento and released in 1995.

Filibuster's, "new ruler & the king"

The band signed with Long Beach, California label Skunk Records (home of Sublime) and released their second album, “The Means…” in 1997 via it’s subsidiary label, Cornerstone R.A.S. (and had Belle on the cover).

Filibuster's album, "The Means..."

Filibuster hit “the big time” when Skunk Records sent the band to Electrical Audio studios in Chicago to record with legendary producer/engineer, Steve Albini. The resulting album, “Deadly Hi-fi”, was released in 1999.

Filibuster's, "Deadly Hi-fi"

No other studio recordings were made but the constant touring continued and it finally wore the members down, with the group finally disbanding in 2003.

Where Are They Now?

A couple of the members went into the culinary arts with Jason “Chinbone” Boggs, vocalist and saxophonist, now co-owning several Sacramento area restaurants and bars, including The Shady Lady Saloon, while DJ Rob Venditti, AKA Rob Rossi, became executive chef at Pangaea Bier Cafe, also in Sacramento.

Trumpeter/vocalist Kenny “Papa Scully” Beasly is still playing locally, leading the Sacto Storytellers reggae/dub band, while bassist Ben McClara is President, Artistic Director & Founder of Sacramento Preparatory Music Academy.

Help Document Further

If you’d enjoy knowing more about the local music scene in your town or sharing the knowledge you already have, consider helping us at Local Bands Wiki – the site for all those beloved local bands not considered “famous enough” to get a page on Wikipedia.

– Editor Simon

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MCZ Earworm: Tim Tucker “Waterfall”

Six Nine Records, based in Newcastle, England are a small company specializing in funk and soul, releasing limited edition 7-inch vinyl 45s of independent artists from around the world.  Their latest release is from the vastly experienced California singer, Tim Tucker.

"Waterfall" Limited Edition 45rpm vinyl
“Waterfall” Limited Edition 45rpm vinyl

Tucker delivers silky, smooth vocals over a super tight backing track that’s bound to get late night motors running. Written and produced by the American, this is his second release on Six Nine following, “Ain’t That a Groove Thang U&I”, earlier in 2018. That track also featured vocalist, Daniel Wiley, who has collaborated on many of Tim Tucker’s projects.

Here’s an excerpt from the new track, “Waterfall”.

You can get a digital download or one of the limited edition 45s (while they last) direct from Six Nine Records website.

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F1 Future Watch: Neil Verhagen

The first in a new series of articles profiling young drivers from around the world, as they progress through the ranks to a possible seat in a major series and future stardom.

Neil Verhagen was born in Ridgefield, Connecticut and like most young drivers cut his teeth in karting. After starting at an indoor track at the age of 7, it became a family operation as his parents took both he and his brother, Alex, to events all over the USA. As Neil got more successful his grandparents became part of the operation, too.

In 2011 the brothers attended the Indycar race at Baltimore and a meeting with Will Power (who incidentally took the win, pole and fastest lap at that race) convinced young Neil that he wanted to be a professional driver.

A couple more seasons of karting followed before Neil entered the 2014-2015 Skip Barber Winter Series, then competing in both F1600 and F2000 events. For 2016 the youngster, still only 15, signed on with the K-Hill Motorsports team and won the F1600 championship taking 9 wins, 15 podiums, 4 pole positions and 6 fastest laps in 21 races.

Enter Red Bull

This got the attention of the Red Bull Junior Team and he was invited to contest the final round of the Asian MRF Challenge series in Chennai, India alongside Dan Ticktum (who recently won the Macau GP for a second time). His performance there led to Red Bull Junior Team offering a spot in the program starting in 2017. This meant a huge transition as he moved to the Netherlands and drove for MP Motorsport in the highly competitive Euro Formula Renault 2.0 series, as well as contesting a couple of rounds in the F.Renault 2.0 Northern European Cup, winning his first race at Assen. The 2017 Eurocup was more of a struggle but Verhagen scored a podium at the Hungaroring on his way to 11th in the standings.

Photo credit: Red Bull/Markus Berger

The young American moved to the Italian Tech 1 Racing team for 2018, again competing in Formula Renault 2.0. As well as all the rounds of the Eurocup, he also contested 5 of the 6 Northern European Cup rounds, but the season was frustrating. After a promising start Verhagen had a run of 6 races without scoring points, though he did bounce back strongly at the final two rounds to again finish 11th in the standings.

His plans for 2018 have yet to be announced with a move to Formula 3 or another season of Formula Renault 2.0 being possibilities for the American. We’ll be following his progress here at MCZ F1.

Neil Verhagen’s Official Site

Red Bull Junior Website



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