Claremont Voodoo Society

Posted December 30, 2010 in Music


Jerry O’Sullivan (guitar, vocals); Bill Barrett (harmonica, vocals); Lazy Brad Lewis (guitar, banjitar, mandolin, vocals); Mike Krevis (guitar); James Bellis (bass guitar, vocals); Dan Berens (drums, percussion); Wyman Reese (keyboards, vocals).

Claremont, Rancho Cucamonga, Anaheim.


“Crawfords Hill” (song on HT Records compilation See Who We Are, 2010)


“Way too many to list,” says O’Sullivan. “Having said that, the Pogues, The Band and John Lee Hooker.”


While some claim to reign over Pomona, we’re not sure if there’s a queen of the city. But we’re pretty certain of the Pomona Queen. Upland-based beer brewery Dale Bros. offers an American Amber Lager of this name, which according to their website has won gold medals from the L.A. County Fair in 2007 and 2008.


So, what’s this have to do with a band that shares part of its name with Pomona’s northern neighbors? Rest assured, there’s a connection forthcoming.


Cue the Claremont Voodoo Society, a year-old, seven-member ensemble. Blending folk, blues and gospel, the Society lists an experienced roster, including Wyman Reese (from Chris Gaffney & the Cold Hard Facts), Lazy Brad Lewis (of the Lazy Brad Lewis Band), Bill Barrett (who plays with Marc Ford and tours with Hazmat Modine) and Jerry O’Sullivan (leader of The Streetcleaners and Rex Holmes).


The “Pomona Queen” also happens to be one of the Society’s songs (which you can hear via their Facebook page), penned by O’Sullivan.


“My old band, The Streetcleaners, put out a CD in 1995 called Pomona Queen although I wrote the song years later,” he says. “Local brewery the Dale Bros. named a delicious beer after the song and you can find it at fine establishments all over the IE”


You can also find the Society performing at fine establishments all over the region.


“I meet a lot of musicians [and] bands and there’s definitely a scene in the IE,” he says, noting that the Society has performed in Pioneertown, Redlands and even L.A. “But really, we could play a couple times a week just covering Claremont, Pomona and Upland.”


Fittingly, the group is playing New Year’s Eve at Claremont’s The Press. “I expect pure joy and to be put in a trance,” says O’Sullivan of the upcoming event. “The audience should expect the same.” (He adds that concertgoers should not drink and drive, and says they can park their cars overnight behind the venue.

And what should be expected after they’ve rung in 2011? “New songs, new haircuts, better paying gigs, release an EP or full-length,” says O’Sullivan of the band’s plans. And, of course, “have lots of fun.” 


The Claremont Voodoo Society at the The Press Restaurant, 129 Harvard Ave., Claremont, (909) 625-4808; Fri, 9PM.


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