FAIRFIELD — Hot dogs, hamburgers, salads and chips may be the traditional fare for the Fourth of July.
This year, Mixed Nuts are being thrown into the day that celebrates the nation’s birthday. The East Bay Area-based band will perform twice on Friday in Suisun City.
The revelers can expect a variety of music and musical genres, said guitarist Bill Garvin.
“We mix it up, stylewise,” he said. “Decades wise as well. We do everything from the (19)40s to current stuff.”
Getting the crowd involved is a high priority, so the five-piece group may just pull out the “Hokey Pokey” and “YMCA.”
Dancing is encouraged. Singing along with tunes is also welcome, Garvin said.
Garvin fell in love with the guitar early in life. Lonnie Mack, on the radio and doing an instrumental version of “Memphis,” was enough to get him to pick up a broom stick, play air guitar and wail along.
There was no turning back.
He went on to work with legendary artists such as Chuck Berry, The Coasters, The Drifters, The Platters, Del Shannon, Peter Noone (Herman’s Hermits), Mary Wells, Little Anthony and the Imperials, Percy Sledge, Sam Moore (Sam and Dave) and Bo Diddley.
One artist he would have liked to work with was the late Wilson Pickett, the man behind “Mustang Sally.”
If, for any reason, Ron Wood would leave the Rolling Stones, Garvin would gladly step in and fill his slot.
He’d also welcome the chance to play with Paul McCartney and/or Ringo Star.
The Stones and The Beatles are among the varied groups on the Mixed Nuts song list, which Garvin guesses it contains about 150 tunes. The band has recently added a few more tunes, including Pharrell’s “Happy,” for the busy summer season.
Garvin is the founder, and only original member left, of the band which formed about 20 years ago under a different name.
The moniker, Mixed Nuts, comes from the fact the band plays a variety of music and the different member’s personalities.
“We do like to be kind of nutty on stage,” Garvin said. “We like to have people sing and clap along with us.”
Keeping a keyboard player in the lineup has been the biggest challenge.
“They are in so much demand,” Garvin said. “We have gone through quite a few.”
A few years ago, Deborah Del Mastro joined the group, giving Mixed Nuts their first female singer. Her vocal range has given the band the opportunity to add songs from artists such as Boston, Kansas and Journey, Garvin said.
Garvin has made his living in music. He also teaches guitar.
“Once I saw The Beatles, I knew that’s what I wanted to do,” he said. “I just went for it.”
Other band members are keyboard player Mike Davis, bassist and vocalist Paul Feia and drummer Tony Odello.
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