Meet the Combo:
The music scene in Albuquerque is sort of like musical chairs. Most players know
each other and have played together at one time or another. Bands are formed
through a metamorphosis, and some are always changing. COMBO SPECIAL morphed
right out of Albuquerque's mid 90's blues scene. Larry Freedman, Melvin Crisp and
Bob Barron first began playing together along with Dave Fuller (one of New
Mexico's finest harmonica players) in Sean O'Conner's band, Vibralux. When Sean
left to form the band Dem Bones, Larry, Bob, Melvin and Dave recruited Chris
Dracup and became the Rattlecats. Meanwhile, Joanie Griffin was singing with her
band, the Mooncats. Joanie is best known for being a Rhinestone, along with Cathy
Gutierrez and Denise Brissey in the band Cadillac Bob and the Rhinestones (who still
have their annual Cadillac Bob Christmas party).
It must be noted here, that multi-talented instrumentalist, singer and song writer,
Dennis Soto took the helm of the Rattlecats for a brief period of time and produced
the only Rattlecat CD.
When Melvin quit the Rattlecats to play drums with the Sultans, Chris's friend,
Alex Moralez, became the Rattlecat's drummer. A couple of years later, when
Chris disbanded the Rattlecats, it was Alex who said "Let's get Joanie Griffin, (we
don't need no stinking guitar!)" It was Al and his Dad who thought of the name
COMBO SPECIAL, (yes, while sitting in a local eating establishment). But a year
later, when Al left to go play in Austin, Texas, Melvin was the first choice to be
back on drums, and so it goes.
Like the name suggests, COMBO SPECIAL plays a combination of styles. Hear jazz,
blues and rock as well as classic Motown and some originals that'll make you want to
move and groove.
MEET THE NEW "JOANIE AND COMBO SPECIAL"
~our first CD~
2009 brought two big changes to the Combo Special Band. Joanie Griffin legally
changed her name to Joanie Cere; therefore the band is now called, "JOANIE
AND COMBO SPECIAL"!! AND Albuquerque's favorite little band without a guitar
("we don't need no stinking guitar") finally figured out that they did, and asked
Ed Schultz to join the band on guitar and back-up vocals. You've heard Ed's
guitar on our CD and now he's playing with the band live at every performance.