Blonde Toledo... What the heck is that?

A forgotten burlesque dancer, and porn star, shoved off the pages of history by her more famous friend Betty Page.  A potent drink made in Spain of a mix of Orujo and Rum. A music group from San Francisco accused of playing Tejano with a Turkish tinge, or  Klezmer Prog Reggae. 

"I swear it's a rock band, but nobody believes me"
                        Jesse Walkershaw, bass player

"It's not a rock band, but we absolutely rock"
                        Connie Walkershaw, saxes

Like Big Foot, and the Lock Ness Monster, there are more questions than facts about the band, as only those who have seen them live have much of a clue. There is a unity of opinion about Blonde Toledo playing energetic music thats good on a long drive, or keeping you motivated while cleaning the house. Some saythat Blonde Toledo's music has that quintessential smarts and beauty, not unlike that favorite band from back in the day. Whichever day that might have been, as BT is pulling from all the music they ever heard. 

Yet this music is very straight forward once one is lucky enough to actually listen to it. It’s full of melodies,  strangely familiar,  but none that you’ve ever heard.  It passes the American Bandstand test of having a good beat and danceability,  although the rhythms come from a plurality of backgrounds.It’s full of surprises,  yet firmly based in the traditions of Brill Building Pop,  Colombian Cumbia,  Yiddish Theatre,  Post Bop Jazz,  British Invasion Rock,  and whatever else falls to hand.

The band is lead by Double Sax Godess (yes she sometimes plays 2 at once Rashaan Roland Kirk style) Connie Walkershaw, who has developed a unique style, more melodically based, rather than riff oriented. If the music was not so bouncy, entertaining, storytelling, danceable fun, you might think the two horn aspect was just a flashy gimmick (and its pretty amazing and surprising when it’s happening).  But her writing has the resonant quality that draws the listener in, and when she solos on just one horn (did I mention she is adept and adroit on Tenor, Alto, and Soprano), the heaven seem to open and shine down golden light.

Acting as her comedic foil, bass player Jesse Walkershaw writes the half of Blonde Toledo's material that has words. Somehow his upside down worldview, and soap opera scenarios fits with the mix of musical ideas served up by Connie, latin percussionist Joe Chavez, art rock to hard rock drummer Rick Kennon, and the classic twang of Guitarist Andy Charmatz.

The band has just released their first LP "Where's That Sound" on The Laryngitis Label.


"My mouth flew open when I saw Connie play two saxophones. It wasn't just that she did it, it was that she did it well."Paul “Dr”. Striker 
Doctor Striker

  "They will teach you what you already know, but that you don’t know that you know."
Ted Savarese
The TedTones, Octomutt