Booker T. Jones at Applegate Lodge
Booker T. Jones, along with his band the MGs, created the 1962 hit soul instrumental "Green Onions." The Hammond B3 organ player and his group were the studio band for Stax Records, making music with artists such at Otis Redding, Ray Charles and Wilson Pickett. Jones also produced hit albums such as Willie Nelson's "Stardust" and Bill Withers' "Just As I Am," featuring the long-running hit "Ain't No Sunshine."
"He's got a very impressive rap sheet," says Duke Davis, saxophonist and music director at the Applegate Lodge. For sure. Jones is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Musicians Hall of Fame and a recipient of a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
But Jones has opened another chapter of his musical career with the release of a new album, "Potato Hole" on Anti-Records, in April. On this album, Jones worked with Southern rock band Drive-By Truckers. Neil Young also made contri-butions to the work. It features a mix of new songs by Jones and some intriguing covers, such as Outkast's "Hey Ya!" Tom Waits' "Get Behind the Mule" and the Truckers' own "Space City."
Jones and a full band — not the Drive-By Truckers — will perform at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 12, at the Applegate Lodge, 15100 Highway 238, Applegate.
"It's possible that I'll get to play music with him," Davis says. "I haven't done a show here at the lodge that I didn't get to perform with the artists."
Davis plays all saxophones — soprano, alto, tenor and baritone. His band credits include State of Jefferson and Apple-gation. He and his band mates, including Mikey Stevens on trum-pet and guitar, Brett Clay-tor on keys and Mic-hael Forney on drums, have presented dinner shows on Wednesdays and Sundays for the past 11 years at the Applegate Lodge.
Davis is one of four family partners that have operated Applegate Lodge for almost 18 years.
"We moved here from Santa Maria, Calif., when I was 7," Davis says. "Last September, we created a concert series called Live at the Gate. Since then we've had many groups play here every week, such as Melvin Seals and the JGB and Moonalice with Barry Sless, Pete Sears and G.E. Smith."
Duke was invited to sit in with Seals when he and his band performed at the Gate, then joined Seals for another show in February at the Red Fox Tavern in Eureka, Calif.
"We did The Temptations' "The Way You Do the Thing You Do" and the Garcia Band's "Don't Let Go" for a videotaped set in Eureka," Davis says. "Seals's got such great energy, he's just great to be around."
Duke and his family began looking for ways to better utilize the lodge when the local economy started to slump. They saw the fact that many bands touring between Seattle and San Francisco was an opportunity.
"We'll bring lots of music to the area," Davis says. "It will stimulate the local music scene while providing a venue for touring musicians. We'd also like to bring arts and crafts fairs to the lodge."
The lodges hosts seven rooms, a restaurant with decks overlooking the Applegate River and a full bar.
Concerts slated for this summer at the lodge include the Seattle-based jam band Flowmotion in June and a solo show by American guitarist David Lindley in July.
"We'll be working with Denizen TV of Ashland to videotape the Flowmotion concert," Davis says. "We'll do a full audio recording and a four-camera video shoot to produce a DVD. And we're looking forward to a two-day show in July with Melvin and his band."
Jones and his touring band will be playing some of the old hits as well as new songs from "Potato Hole" during their show at the lodge.
Tickets for the show cost $30 in advance and $35 at the door.
Call 761-9394 for tickets. See liveatthegate.com for a full show schedule and music videos.