While it is necessary that the "Gator Beat" name be retired, our musical bond drives us forward as the great "Gator Nation Band". Looking back at the amazing 25-year history of Gator Beat, and its founder Richie Domingue, we are grateful to have created among ourselves and our many fans that which was, in the beginning, Richie's dream... a community. A community in which people of all walks of life meet on the common ground of music. To bring it all forward, Willard Blackwell has chosen to assume the great responsibility of continuing the sound you all know and love... and is extremely pleased, and honored, to continue working with the talented Gator Beat musicians: David Scott, Linda Hutchinson and Randy Quan. And we are all looking forward to continuing to work with Gator Beat's newest members; Dennis Hadley and Rick Cutler. So, to all you beat-lovin' people, past, present and future ...the BEAT goes on!
As we are about to close our year, I want to thank all our friends and Gator Nation fans who have made 2015 a wonderful year. We look forward to seeing you in 2016
Alas, this year we say goodbye to our longtime friend and bass player Linda Hutchinson. She has decided to semi-retire to spend some time traveling and playing music every now and then. But don't be surprised if you look onstage and, once again, see The Mighty Sparrow laying it down with Gator Nation. As I say to all former Gator Nation members, "We'll see ya 'round the block!
I would also like to acknowledge Mr. Rick Cutler, a wonderful drummer who held the drummer's chair for 2015. He is a consummate musician and a wonderful person. We are grateful for all his hard work and having shared his wealth of knowledge with all of us."!
And for our new additions to our lineup for 2016:
First, we are excited to introduce to you as our bass player Mr. Tim Haggerty. Having come from a family of musicians, Tim brings with him a wide diversity of musical talents. He is a multi-instrumentalist, fine-tunes recordings through his musical arrangement skills and, that's not to mention, his excellent stage performing abilities.
Secondly, we are very pleased to be welcoming Bobby "G" Gaviola as our new drummer. Bobby "G: has an amazing musical history having performed with some well-known artists including Stevie Wonder, Paul Simon, Herbie Hancock....the list goes on! When we first played with Bobby "G:, David and I looked at each other and said "He's got that thing!" "That thing" being the drum sound that will keep all you folks moving to the Gator Nation Band.....
"Cause the BEAT goes on"
Life is comparable to a river. It is a progressive moment, a successive series of different moments, joining together to give the impression of one continuous flow. And so ... the BEAT goes on.