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Categorized as: Nightlife & Entertainment
Event tags: Live Music


"Country, jump blues and jazz"

Chris O'Connell - vocals/ guitar (Asleep at the Wheel)

Don Margraf - guitar

Alex Aspinall - drums

Lee Bloom - keys

Brandon Essex - upright bass

Chris OʼConnell and the SmartAlecks, a five-piece combo from the Bay Area, features Grammy Award-winning guitarist and vocalist Chris

OʼConnell, an original member of Americaʼs premier western swing band, Asleep At The Wheel. Chrisʼs song book is heavy with 1940s r&b and swing tunes, country music, western swing, jazz, and classic pop. Among Chrisʼ specialties is interpretation of songs written by some of todayʼs most prolific and intriguing songwriters, including Asleep At The Wheel alumnus LeRoy Preston, “Titan of the Telecaster” Bill Kirchen, and long time collaborator and pal Blackie Farrell. Any given musical menu might contain tunes by Amos Milburn, Dolly Parton, Clyde McPhatter, Ella Fitzgerald, and Hank Williams.

With over 150 collective yearsʼ experience playing music for friends, fans, and aficionados, Chris OʼConnell and the SmartAlecks bring range and mastery to every occasion. They illuminate! They commiserate! They celebrate! Come see how they do it!

Growing up in Virginia, Chris O'Connell learned melody and harmony from the radio hits of Detroit, Liverpool, Philly and L.A. At the footloose age of 18 she found work with an upstart country music band calling themselves “Asleep at the Wheel.”

This led to fifteen years on the road, nine albums, dozens of awards including a Grammy with “The Wheel.” As their success grew, so did the size of the band and the range of the music. They became the best western swing band in the country, touring with as many as 12 musicians. Chris constantly pushed the boundaries, singing blues, R&B, jazz songs backed by fiddles and steel guitars. She drove several incarnations of that band around the stage with steady, insistent rhythm guitar and vocals, but she became especially known for searing hearts with wrenching, soulful ballads.

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