Friday, June 23, 2017 This Week's Paper

Arts & Entertainment: The Fat Tones bring smokin’ hot rhythm and blues to Tacoma Cabana

As their passionate fans already know, and as many new ones are continuing to discover, The Fat Tones are a great bunch of guys. Not only do the band mates – Bobby Patterson (guitar), Bob Ehrgott (bass) and Zach Cooper (drums) – play some of the most rockin’ blues party jams around, on June 20 this Spokane-based trio will be using their power of attraction to fill Tacoma Cabana for a live show and thus help support a fresh T-Town business. The Fat Tones never fail to put on a fantastic, high-energy performance and given that the band is a Maurice the Fish Records artist, the Tones have a strong kinship with our fair city and this Tacoma label.

There’s a lot happening in The Fat Tones’ lives these days, including the writing of new songs for their upcoming seventh CD. Cooper said the band has two to three songs completed and two to three in the works, so things are moving along nicely for an anticipated release in spring of next year. One of their new songs, “Hot Mess,” will be on the playlist for their Tacoma Cabana show.

“We really want to get the crowd in there,” Cooper said. “We’ll do a couple of newer songs and some from the ‘Sounds Like a Party’ album… We really focus on our originals and sprinkle in a couple of covers.” He named “Sultans of Swing” and Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” as examples, but at a Fat Tones show you never know what they’re going to pull out.

Tacoma Cabana opened this past fall at 728 Pacific Ave. and has very successfully brought a good dose of South Pacific island life to the Pacific Northwest, along with a new live music venue to the downtown core. This tiki-themed bar and grill is the place where patrons can kick back in their own, personal “Margaritaville” and wrap their lips around authentic and exotic tropical drinks with freshly squeezed juices, hand crafted flavorings and secret ingredients that can’t be rivaled anywhere else in these parts.

On the menu, complete with vegetarian and gluten free options, is a wide selection of appetizers, or “pupus” in the Island vernacular, and entrees made with hand picked and locally sourced ingredients.

As for entertainment at the Cabana, it’s becoming a venue of choice for performers and audiences alike. The Fat Tones will fit right in to the Cabana’s “leave your cares at the door” vibe. Their music is so much fun and always with the right amount of harmonies, guitar riffs and instrumental jams to get feet tapping and spirits high. There is world-class talent in this trio all wrapped up in a tight and professional package. Even their look has been elevated thanks to razor sharp duds courtesy of Leroy Men’s Wear in Seattle. “It’s been fun scaling up our wardrobe,” Cooper said, dropping suit-n-tie label names like Stacy Adams and Armani. Looking good is part of the image the Tones want to project to match their A+ music, which is now receiving the expertise of Fame Walk Productions and top-echelon engineer and sound technician Dan Humann. Humann has worked with greats like virtuoso guitarist Allan Holdsworth, American jazz musician and guitarist Stanley Clark and fusion, funk and rock keyboard legend George Duke, along with having contributed to movie soundtracks for “Boyz in the Hood” and “Romeo Must Die,” among others.

“We’re using him for several of our larger shows we’re doing. He’s got an incredible ear and has been a real shot in the arm for us in our live shows,” Cooper said.

The Fat Tones’ first concert DVD is just about to be released as well, just in time for the Mount Baker Blues Fest on Aug. 2. Filmed during a show last May in Sandpoint, Idaho, Cooper said the band is excited about this latest project.

“In our mind, this is going to be a real cornerstone product for us, something we’ll send to all the major labels and help put The Fat Tones more on the world stage. It will be a very professional looking and sounding product. We’ve gone to great lengths to capture and encapsulate how band looks and sounds today.”

The Tones have been working with sax master Dewey Dorough who played for many years with the Oak Ridge Boys and Charlie Daniels Band, and he will appear on the DVD as well.

There’s no place to go but up for The Fat Tones – see for yourself on June 20 at Tacoma Cabana, 9 p.m. The band has a lot of concerts scheduled in the coming months. Find details on their Facebook page and at