Gus Garelick (violino e mandolino). Gus began studying classical violin as a child in Detroit, Michigan. But he soon discovered the beauty of the mandolin, listening to his relatives from Eastern Europe, and visiting Italian and Greek cafes in Detroit, New York, and finally San Francisco. Since the early 70s, he has been playing Bluegrass, Country Western, Cajun, and jazz violin with such diverse groups as Dan Hicks, Queen Ida, Jim Boggio, Hank Williams Jr, Tommy Thomsen, and many others. He was also a member of the Berkeley Mandolin Ensemble in the early 80s, where he revisited the joys of mandolin music and Italian Ballo Liscio. Gus works at KRCB Radio in Santa Rosa, an NPR affiliate station, where he produces programs about traditional fiddling, mandolin music, and accordions.
Dennis Hadley (fisarmonica). As a child in San Leandro, California, Dennis' two mentors were Frankie Yankovic and Hank Williams. But all that got swept away when Rock music drove the accordion and country music deep into the closet. Fortunately, Dennis discovered Cajun and Zydeco music and, before long, accordions were back with a vengeance! Dennis played with Soleil Zydeco in Sonoma and then joined the more traditional Cajun Coyotes in Santa Rosa, at the same time branching out into Italian and Gypsy and French styles of music. He plays a Bugari accordion and still likes Frankie Yankovic, but with a touch of Clifton Chenier and a dash of Italian flavors.
Don Coffin (chittara e mandolino) Don was raised in an Italian/Irish household in Petaluma, California. He has been performing music for international audiences for over 30 years. From 1971 to 1978, he recorded and toured with his wife, songwriter Kate Wolf. He traveled through Europe in the 80s with The Eclecticatz, an acoustic trio playing Celtic, Cowboy, Country, and Swing. Since then, he has organized many musical events, and handles bookings for several popular Sonoma County nightclubs. In addition to the Hot Frittatas, Don has explored his Irish roots in several visits to Ireland. Hopefully, the Frittatas will make it to Italy soon and Don will get reunited with his Italian famiglia. No telling what happens after that!
REVIEWS ABOUT THE HOT FRITTATAS' first cd, CAFFE LISCIO:
DIRTY LINEN magazine, October-November 2002:
"From San Francisco's North Beach cafe society comes the Hot Frittatas, with nary a smidge of egg on their faces as they play music they've gathered from years of listening to traditional Italian and Sicilian music. They've been inspired by New-World maestri, namely Matteo Casserino and the late Rudy Cipolla. The group, actually based in Santa Rosa, includes Dennis Hadley, who squeezes the accordion, Don Coffin on guitar, and Gus Garelick, switching between mandolin and violin. It's fun when Garelick cuts loose on the mandolin on polkas like "Napoli China e Femmine"and "Signora Fortuna." The selections re a lively mix of cafe tunes, tarantellas, mazurkas, and, yes, the obligatory "Funiculi Funicula" acting as the coda. You can almost smell the cappucino."
Santa Rosa Press Democrat (October 4, 2001 By JOHN BECK)
"Cornering the market on Italian and Sicilian instrumental music, The Hot Frittatas are guaranteed to serve up a heel-kicking, lip-smacking platter of polkas, mazurkas, waltzes, tarantellas, marches and paso-dobles at this year's Sonoma County Harvest Fair. Don't think of one-minute eggs, think of slow-simmering, skirt-flapping music cooked over a low heat. Locals might recognize mandolinist Gus Garelick, squeeze-box maestro Dennis Hadley and guitarist Don Coffin, but once they transform into The Hot Frittatas they become Augostino di Gorelli on violino e mandolino, Dionysius Hadjidakus on accordeon and Donello Coffino on chittara. As their latest album, "Cafe Liscio," boasts, the Santa Rosa trio not only showcases the Ballo Liscio style of Italian music, but also French cafe, Russian and East European, and Latin styles. And with a little encouragement, they've been know to dive into a healthy round of Cajun hoedown jamming. A sample of the CD proves the band's old-world range: The song "Tenebre Infinita" mixes candlelight chianti with Fellini's "La Strada," whereas "Parigina Polka" is a Parisian polka the trio picked up from Berkeley's Ellis Island Old World Folk Band. And "Speranze Perdute" spins lost hope in the tradition of great operas, condensing nearly a century's worth of longing into less than four minutes."
Check out the artist's website:
1. Bella Piccinina
2. Tango Delle Stelle
3. Noche De Ronda
4. Tarantella Medley
5. Autunno Senze Te
6. Polka Milanese
7. Jota Variata
8. Baciami Forte
10. Beaver's Tarantella
11. Cavaquinho Balada
12. Araby March
13. A Media Luz
14. Jim's Farewell Tarantella