Polka Casserole

Big Lou an band_043_RAD.jpg Big Lou the Accordian Princess and her lovely band. Photo taken on 7/1/06, in San Francisco, CA.

Big Lou’s Casserole is always the life of the party.  Polkas, waltzes, cha-chas, tangos, western swing, you name ’em, we play ’em (unless you name disco, in which case, shame on you.) The band has been together for more than ten years. 

They play family fairs, polka festivals, nightclubs, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, senior centers, music festivals, beer festivals and Oktoberfests.  Based in San Francisco, they have played as far afield as Milwaukee, Pittsburg and New York City.  The band always entertains.

The band personnel is:

Big Lou (accordion and vocals) – Lou has played with such bay area notables as the Melotones, the Stir-Ups, Thee Hellhounds, and Polkacide.  She founded Those Darn Accordions.  Lou cut her musical teeth playing country-western piano in Austin, Texas.  She loves most music, but has a soft spot for the ethnic variety, especially Eastern European polkas and French waltzes.  A native of Hollywood, she also treasures movie music, and loves to play songs from the wide screen.

David Golia (bass and vocals, also known as “Dave the guy who carries the accordion”) – David has played everything from heavy metal (Holy Mary) to blues (The Hurricanes) to C&W.  His favorite musical experiences were his stints with Dino Valente and the Rayons.  David is happiest when wearing a funny hat.

David Phillips (steel guitar) – David is as versatile as a steel guitar player can be.  He has played jazz, calypso, blues, rock, folk music and oh yeah, Country and Western. He has played with such notables as Tom Waits, Peter Rowan, Shelby Lynne, and almost everybody else.

Gene Reffkin (drums) – Gene Reffken has a BA in music from New York University, thus making drummer jokes no fun at all for the rest of the band.  Gene also plays with the Paul Dresher Ensemble and has played Carnegie Hall.

Greg Stephens (trombone) – Greg plays with Tango Number Nine, and is a veteran of the Extra Action Marching Band, the As Is Brass Band, and the Berkeley Opera, among others.  Greg took his trombone with him on a pleasure trip to Morocco.  He carried it with him on the back of a camel so that he could jam with local musicians.

Annelise Zamula (saxophone) – Annelise’s background is jazz, swing and classical.  She plays with Noertker’s Moxie, the Montclair Women’s Big Band, and the Moodswing Orchestra.  Annelise, like Imelda Marcos, is fond of good shoes.