from: The Keelers and

In the hardcopy issue of the miniRAG, the band schedule is shown here on page 1. On this web version we ask you to click here band schedule, or better yet, at the end of this issue, to see the updated band schedule page. To return to this newsletter from the schedule page, please click the BACK button on your browser.

Please scroll down to read the other 3 pages of the RAG.

DEVIL MOUNTAIN RAG (from the tune of the same name, composed by Jean Keeler in 1982) is published by:


5480 SELLERS AVE., OAKLEY, CA 94561-3612

tel. 925-625-2707 fax 925-625-9403 e-mail:





Please Note:

Happy New Year from the Keeler's and Devil Mountain Jazz Band. We hope you all had a fine 2000, and that 2001 includes some of our music. Welcome to the second edition on the internet, of the DEVIL MOUNTAIN RAG, which will continue to be published only on this web site. (A hard copy short form of our newsletter has been land-mailed to those for whom I do not have a current e-mail address - encouraging those folks to get on line.) Always on the web site, is the band's current schedule, updated whenever a significant change occurs. Elsewhere on the site, you'll find bio's of the band members, photos of the band and Friends of Jazz, articles from earlier DM RAG's, tune information and order form for our recordings, links to other informative trad. jazz web sites. These features are available by links from the home page. I will be adding more archives from the DM RAG, including the history of the band and Friends of Jazz, with photos. Further along the way, who knows what - features and information I could not possibly publish in printed format. If you wish an e-mail alert when the next newsletter or significant schedule change is published on the web, please say so in an e-mail to: Also, please add to the list of "favorites" on your web browser, so you can get to our site without the hassle of typing it in every time. I welcome your comments and suggestions about the newsletter or other sections of the Jazznut web site.

2000 was an enjoyable year for the band. Some of the highlights are detailed in the Travelin' section, further downstream in this issue. DMJB was honored by a feature article and front page photo, in the August, 2000, Mississippi Rag. It's a fine history of the band by Bob Byler, with some old (I mean "really old") photos - including the first photo ever taken of this band in 1982. A recent photo of the band's founder, Pete Main is shown on the right. You can obtain a copy of the issue by contacting the Mississippi Rag at their web site, through the LINKS page on this web site.

We're sad to note the passing of a few of our friends of jazz, including Bill Lanam, who we knew for over 20 years. He printed the artwork for one of our early albums, DMJB with Wally Rose; Emil Waldteufel, a loyal follower of our Walnut Creek dance series; Robin Wetterau, partner with Charlie Sonnanstine in producing the chart collection of tunes from the 20's that are a major part of our repertoire.

The band will be less "accessible" in the local area in 2001. The Friends of Jazz schedule has been reduced from 13 to 7 events this coming year - dark during the summer. We typically perform for three or four of the dozen jazz societies in our region each year. At this writing, we have no club invitations. But, you can hear us at several "Hot & Cool" festivals in 2001, including Silicon Valley, first weekend in March; Modesto, fourth weekend in March; and Santa Cruz in July. The Silicon Valley event features one of my top five all-time favorite contemporary trad bands, the New Black Eagles, from Boston. Be there! Check our schedule page every so often to see if anything has changed. Again, y'all have a great 2001....... Ken Keeler



Several changes in our monthly dance series will occur in 2001. We took a survey among some of our regular attendees, to see if we needed to make some changes in how we present the series and to increase attendance. The crowd has always been diminished during the summer months, due to vacations and travel, so we will not hold our sessions from May through September (September is always a problem because of the Walnut Festival parade, which clogs the streets near the Vets Hall). Also, we will start and end the sessions earlier on third Saturday evenings, October through April. Effective January 16, Friends of Jazz convenes from 7 to 10 PM plus a tune or two depending on the crowd. Admission fee will be increased to $12, still the best entertainment buy in town!

We've already tried our first experiment from the survey results, by holding our holiday party on the third Saturday (Dec 16, 2000). We could not have our usual New Year's Eve party for many reasons, so it was decided to produce one holiday event on our regular third Saturday, but with all the fancy stuff of our New Year's Eve party. It was a grand success, thanks to the wonderful food, including appetizers and deserts by our committee members, and the Ragtime music of Marty Eggers and Virginia Tichenor, both of whom played several tunes with the 8 piece Devil Mountain regulars. We got a jump on the real new millennium, with champagne and Auld Lang Syne(anyone know how to spell that?) at 11 PM, fifteen days and one hour ahead of the real thing. We will probably do the same thing again next year. In the meantime, please attend the other six dance/concert parties we'll have this year.

We need to be able to notify Friends of Jazz regulars, in the event we get a short notice that the Vets Hall is no longer available. It's inevitable, we just don't know when the city fathers will tear down the old building and put up something newer - but possibly not better - a giant multiscreen theater complex is going to be built right across the street. Please keep your e-mail address current with us, so we can get word to you in a hurry, if our event is canceled or moved to another venue.





Many who have heard the band lately, consider the past year's player lineup the best we've ever had. Actually, there are two lineups, depending on where we play, locally or out-of-town. We're fortunate to have in the SF Bay Area, a select few trumpet players who can handle our tune book: Noel Weidkamp is our usual lead horn man (see the April 2000 DMRAG), with either Andrew Storar or Frank Davis, and sometimes Tom Brozene on the second horn part. Jim Maihack plays most of our local gigs on trombone, with great backup on occasion by Steve Drivon or Gene Isaeff. All of these guys are in demand in other groups and other music, so it's necessary to have a "stable" of brass men to keep our gig commitments. When we travel out of our home territory, we can fly in two long time band regulars, Tom Cantrell on cornet, who lives in southern CA and Jim Lee on trombone, from Iowa to join the regular six members of the band.

With this array of talent, we've introduced some new stuff to our shows. Our THREE TRUMPET feature at some festivals is a thrilling sound, with the music of Louis Armstrong, arranged by Eric Holroyd. The photo on our home page was taken during a 3 trumpet special, at the Sacramento Jubilee, "The music of Lil & Louis Armstrong." We also present special band arrangements, original tunes and Ragtime piano by Jim Maihack. Jim's show, Maihack's Mayhem, debuted at the Sonoma County DixieJazz festival last year and will be a part of future festival gigs when Jim is with DMJB.

For grins, I do a couple of tunes from the 1929 Jimmie Rodgers collection - I just can't escape from my country roots! If you haven't heard the band in some time, check us out in 2001.




The 2000 Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, the daddy of them all, was the usual fun and musically rewarding time for DMJB. The band played at the usual trad sites, and performed a special salute to the music of Lil Hardin and Louis Armstrong, which included some of the three trumpet work mentioned above. Other events featuring members of Devil Mountain included the Scott Anthony/Ken Keeler banjo duo on the Delta King, the world famous Washboard Concert in Old Sac. on Sunday, plus Keeler and Maihack in the Margery Thompson Birthday Band set. Some of these specials, plus the Jim Maihack Show may be on the schedule for the 2001 Jubilee. A complete DMJB set schedule will be posted on our web schedule page, early in May.

Above right is a photo from the 1999 Jubilee, one of many times when Spiegel Wilcox guested with us.


Our fourth annual event at the Cline Cellars Winery in Sonoma in July, 2000, was a continuation of the old Oakley Wine & Jazz Fest. held in the 1980s. The picturesque setting was just great for this small trad festival, featuring San Francisco Bay area's finest Dixieland musicians. Returning on July 28, 2001 are: Black Diamond Blue Five, Devil Mtn. JB, Golden Gate Rhythm Machine, Jazz Salvation Company, Natural Gas JB; other entertainment by Virginia Tichenor, and the Grapepickers (Anthony/Keeler). More information can be had by calling 707-935-4310, or click onto the schedule page of, then click on the links to the festival and the winery web pages. Flyers will be available from the bands early in 2001.


The usual gathering of the best trad bands in the west in Rohnert Park. Also the greatest jazz fans in the west (and the east) were there. It's always fun to see the folks from the east coast out here - they don't get enough of the west coast style trad festivals back home. Note that the 2001 event moves to the second weekend of November. We hope to again present the Jim Maihack Show, and if the schedule permits, a reunion performance of the Gee Whiz Boogie Band, led by Bob Pilsbury. Bob will be there with the Alamo City JB. The third essential band to have members of the original boogie band, Grand Dominion, is in the festival lineup.


This was the high point of 2000 for us musically, with the usual great lineup of bands. We had our "old band" guys, Jim Lee and Tom Cantrell with us, and borrowed Jim Maihack on occasion for some of his special stuff(pictured without permission to the right!). The cruise left New Orleans on the last day of September, 2000, when the hurricane season is supposedly on the decline. We spent most of the week avoiding two storms, keeping us out of some ports of call. No one seemed to mind, as this event is really a floating jazz festival, with incidental shore excursions to exotic locations, when weather allows. Bill Blythe's #17 will sail on the third weekend in September, 2001, again embarking from New Orleans. Due to an unfortunate stroke of fate/communications, DMJB will not be sailing - we had contracted with the Sisters, OR, festival, and had to turn down Bill's invitation. Sisters canceled their event a few days after Bill had filled his lineup, so we'll be home toasting you all who are aboard. Fear not, the lineup is stellar as always, including Uptown-Lowdown, Black Swan, and a reunion of Professor Plum's Jazz, long time friends of DMJB. So call Bill at 800- 528-1460 for the full details.




For latest updates on DMJB's performance schedule, check the Devil Mountain band schedule. If you would like to know when a new RAG or significant band schedule change is posted to the web site, send an e-mail to:

Recordings and Red Suspenders for sale:

We still have items for sale by mail or at the bandstand: A complete tune listing on all the DMJB recordings can be found elsewhere on the Jazznut web site - Band Recordings. We also have a supply of Devil Mountain Red Suspenders, which were made for our '99 New Years" Eve party participants, and for those who have been asking for them since stock was depleted a few years ago. We are nearing the end of our stock of older recordings, particularly, "DMJB & Wally Rose," and "You Asked For It." We hope to have a new recording within a year.

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