If the Feds was the best keyboard-oriented band that I ever played with, then certainly Trailer 8 was the best pure blues band. Trailer 8 was formed after the breakup of the Feds, with P. J. Pauly on drums, myself on bass and vocals, and a bonafide gunslinger named Tommy Raye on guitar. Also in the mix were Preston Campbell on EWI and Fred Milani on Hammond organ, along with periodic appearances by jazz pianist Bob Mamet.

With P.J. Pauly on the drums, you can expect thunder, texture, and extroverted skill that few can match. Naturally, I gave it my usual 110% of effort, but the star of the show was clearly Tommy Raye. To look at him, you would never suspect that this older little man would possess the furious ability that was his stock in trade. I can say without challenge that he was the most skilled guitarist that I have ever worked with, and there have been a few of them over the years. His style was Jimi Hendrix meets Robin Trower; his lead ability was stellar, his chording was top notch, and his timing was brilliant. He could handle anything with equal ease, although the preference of the group was to do blues covers.

When I moved to San Diego in 1996, I eventually had to leave the group, because the commute was too much to handle. However, we have a few of those performances on video (including my legendary encounter with Queen Kong), as well as a recording done in the studio on what was purportedly my last day with the band. Ten months after the recording, I appeared with them one last time before moving to NYC in late 1997.

Unfortunately, I have not spoken with anyone from that group in at least four years, but my understanding is that they are still performing in the beach cities of LA. If any of you guys read this bio, give me a shout. Id'd love to hear from you.

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