Hot Club Sandwich
More than twenty years ago, hot-jazz string band Hot Club Sandwich formed in Olympia, WA after a chance meeting on a front porch. Each band member offers compositions and arrangements, with instrumentation featuring guitars, bass, violin, mandolin and drums. Everyone in the band sings. The fifth Hot Club Sandwich recording, No Pressure (2018), features a guest appearance by master mandolinist David Grisman. Joseph Mascorella delivered an outstanding performance on No Pressure, see our page devoted to Remembering Joseph Mascorella.
In 2023, Hot Club Sandwich is still led by four core founding members who have played together for over 20 years: Kevin Conor on guitar, James Schneider on bass, Matt Sircely on mandolin, and Tim Wetmiller on violin. In performance, the ensemble often grows to include members of the band’s extended music community, and Hot Club Sandwich is always happy to furnish a quintet or sextet.
We congratulate Ray Wood on his retirement after 70 years on the bandstand. Ray joins us in mourning the tragic passing of Joseph Mascorella due to unexpected illness in October, 2022. Joseph’s salient vocals and brilliant drumming continue to shine our most recent recording . We hold his memory in our hearts every single day.
Ray Wood Retires After Nearly 75 Years on the Bandstand
Ray Wood’s first radio performance was in Bremerton in the late ’40s at the age of six. Now, nearly seventy-five years later, Ray is retired from performing at eighty years of age. As a child, Ray was present for the rehearsal of Arkie Shibley and his group in the living room of Ray’s parents’ house (his parents were big country music fans). The following day in Seattle yielded the famous recording “Hot Rod Race No. 1”, cited in “Hot Rod Lincoln” as the precursor song.
With his late brother, Chuck, Ray was a founding member of the Rhythm Rockets, one of the Northwest’s first rock and roll bands in the 1950s. In 1959, Ray lied about his age to a recruiter to tour USO halls in the Far East, backing up touring artists like the Delmore Brothers and Sir Lancelot in places like Taipei, Seoul, and Okinawa. Returning at the end of the 1960s, Ray held standing residencies over the years, such as on Bourbon Street in New Orleans and in Northeast Portland at a country music club (when he departed, he was replaced by Jimmy Bryant). Ray is literally a walking archive of music.
You can still write to ask Ray about chord inversions or applications of modal theory. In addition, we are compiling a “Ray List” of songs which Ray loved to sing. It’s in the hundreds. Please send us a message if you remember one of his favorite songs, and we’ll add it to the “Ray List”. Feel free to send an email to hotclubsandwich [at] gmail.com.