A band can practice a song and learn the chords, but unless there is a type of synchronicity that brings a band to a place where they are jamming and locked into a mode where they are all on the same wave length, it just won’t create the same spark.
Deja Vu, a tribute to Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, is such a band. If in doubt take a listen to their rendition of “Ohio” and then tell LA Music Scene how much they remind you of the original act doing “Ohio.”
Founded by Jim Wootten, Deja Vu has a very capable assemblage of fine musicians that very concisely emulate the original members of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. The intricate harmonies that are their trademark are beautifully reproduced as well as the musical arrangements that replicate the “dueling” guitar work between Stills and Young. Deja Vu was conceived in 2015. Wootten plays the keyboard and sings the Nash vocals.
Deja Vu is not Wootten’s first trip down the tribute band route though and some of you might recognize his name as belonging to the musician that plays John Paul Jones in the best Led Zeppelin tribute band Led Zepagain. All the remaining members of Led Zeppelin and Jason Bonham have come to see this band perform their legendary songs that Hint at another realm beyond the veil. Led Zepagain have been on “World’s Greatest Bands” on AXS TV more than once and have garnered critical acclaim. Wootten joined Led Zepagain in 2001 and the rest is history.
Other tribute bands that Wootten has played with are: Heart Of Gold which is a Neil Young tribute act, Taylor Made Tapestry which is a tribute to Carole King and James Taylor and In The Long Run which is an Eagles tribute band. Wootten’s performances in each act fits comfortably like a well worn pair of favorite slippers. His performances appear easy and yet well played with attention to his characters’ trademark traits.
Although Wootten’s favorite venue is the Saban Theater in Beverly Hills, he has played at North Hollywood’s El Portal Theater with Led Zepagain, The Long Run and Taylor Made Tapestry. The most recent performance was last November 5th with Taylor Made Tapestry. This gig also would have been his father’s 98th birthday.
Wootten’s father was Red Wootten who was a talented bass player in big bands such as Benny Goodman and Woody Herman. He also was Ol’ Blue Eyes himself Frank Sinatra’s Bass player. Although Jim Wootten plays bass in most of his bands, his focus is more Rock oriented while his father was more given to playing Jazz and Country music. But, there are subtle similarities in their stylings.
Jim Wootten began playing at age 12, but didn’t play in a band until age 16. His first tribute band was called Revolver and was a Beatles’ tribute band. He learned to play the piano and guitar so he could adequately play Paul McCartney. Learning to play piano and guitar would eventually lead him to Led Zepagain and the role of John Paul Jones.
As to why Wootten likes to play in tribute bands he states, “I love playing in tribute bands because of the challenge to replicate the original recordings exactly how they are performed on a record. That expectation doesn’t necessarily exist in a regular cover band.” LA Music Scene believes that expectation is why he is considered by many to be a leader in his chosen field…tribute bands. According to Wootten, playing in The Long Run, we are guessing that this applies to all his tribute bands, “the most challenging part of playing in The Long Run is keeping the harmonies tight and blended. Frequent vocal rehearsals are a necessity.”
As to how he’s been spending his Coronavirus downtime, Wootten tells us that he mainly is learning new material for the various tribute bands that he is in and keeping up with social media posts to keep the bands present online during this time of inactivity. This worked for Wootten as it was a video post of “Ohio” on Deja Vu’s Instagram account That made us stop and say wait a minute. A seminole song by Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young that bursts with the energy that made them great.
Also keeping busy during the Coronavirus quarantine is LA Music Scene favorite Julian Shah-Taylor who has figured out a way to keep present on the internet by having a livestream show via Facebook. Shah-Taylor’s David Bowie tribute act The Band That Fell To Earth: A David Bowie Odyssey is featured on Saturdays. This next show is #5 for him and seems to be doing very well. The next show will be a “Bowie Electronic Dance Party” and is set to begin at 4pm. This electric homage to the #electricduke is sure to tickle your dance bone so listen and cut loose like LA MusicScene always does when attending one of his shows.
The show comes to you live from Tardis Studio, Altadena, CA. Shah-Taylor has recently dropped The Singularity moniker for his soon to be released single “Living In A Dream.” The single is slated for a May 25th release on Spotify and your other digital platforms. “Living In A Dream” is an unencumbered tune that flows nicely and reminds us of a fun romp into the 80’s dance tunes.
Shah-Taylor was recently signed by Metal Maven Vicky Hamilton’s record label Dark Spark Music. Hamilton describes “Living In A dream” as a modern Psychedelic, New Wave, Electro Rocker. Kind of like Deee-Lite’s “Groove Is In The Heart” where they get all psychedelic and has a cool beat me thinks.