Rock that boogie with Commander Cody at The Palms on Saturday April 20

Commander Cody, the piano-pounding frontman of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, returns to The Palms Playhouse with his current band of Western Airmen for a high-energy evening of old favorites and new fare on Saturday, April 20, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23.
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Boogie-rock pianist Commander Cody and his Western Airmen will return to The Palms Playhouse (13 Main St., Winters) on Friday, June 22 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22. Photo by Cristina Arrinani

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By KATE LADDISH Entertainment Correspondent   Commander Cody, the piano-pounding frontman of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen, returns to The Palms Playhouse, 13 Main St. in Winters, with his current band of Western Airmen for a high-energy evening of old favorites and new fare on Saturday, April 20, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $23 ($12 with student ID). In addition to Cody, the band is Sean Allen (Carlene Carter) on guitar, Tim Eschliman (Etta James, Jesse Colin Young) on bass and Steve Barbuto on drums. Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen formed in Michigan in the 1960s and then relocated to the Bay Area. They became an integral part of the burgeoning music scene, carving their niche with a combination of rock, country, boogie-woogie, jump blues and western swing. With the Commander’s blazing boogie-rock piano lines and a cadre of talented musicians, songwriters and singers in the band — including Bill Kirchen, Andy Stein, Bobby Black and Billy C. Farlow — CCHLPA busted open genres and the charts with hits like “Hot Rod Lincoln” and albums such as “Lost In The Ozone,” “Hot Licks, Cold Steel, and Truckers Favorites” and “Live From Deep In The Heart of Texas,” which Rolling Stone dubbed one of the top 100 albums of all time. “We had a great time,” Cody said, “and anyone could see there was something really going on here.” In his shows, the Commander draws from this deep catalog, and has a penchant for growling out arcane but juicy facts about some of the vintage blues and western swing covers and his band’s originals. Born George Frayne, Commander Cody left his position as an art professor in Michigan when the band moved west, but has remained a force in both fields. So much for needing “something to fall back on” if a hoped-for career in either art or music doesn’t pan out. Case in point: Some 45 years after jumping feet-first into the music world, some 30 years after jumping back into art, and innumerable hops back and forth, a few years ago he kept a foot in each world when Commander Cody released a fresh album and George Frayne published a book of paintings called “Art, Music, and Life.” As Frayne/Cody sums his dual careers in his book, “I have been painting for a long time. I have been rocking for almost as long. The tales of adventures in both cases run together, and in some cases, intersect. Here are the stories and the art of these moments.” Cody and his current band still fire up high-octane country/boogie-woogie/rock with Cody classics (“Lost In The Ozone Again,” “Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar,” “Midnight on the Strand,” “Riot In Cell Block #9,” “Seeds and Stems Again,” “Hot Rod Lincoln”) and songs from Cody’s newer releases. Cody and the Western Airmen have a new album, “Live from Electric City,” due out in June. Tickets are available at Armadillo Music in Davis, Pacific Ace Hardware in Winters, Davids’ Broken Note in Woodland, online via The Palms’ website and EventBrite, and at the door if not sold out. For more information, visit palmsplayhouse.com and commandercody.com.]]>

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