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Style Magazine

Getting High Vibes

Jul 31, 2009 05:00PM ● By Wendy Sipple

Photo by Dante Fontana.

You may be feeling déjà vu, but really this month we have it right! In our June issue we inadvertently ran another area “Late for Dinner” band’s story, but pictured this band, the Late for Dinner band that has been playing in the foothill area for decades. Now, here’s the tale to go with these faces that you might recognize!

Twenty-five years ago, Dave Hamblen and Dick Lorig and a few other musicians were auditioning for a gig in Coloma, California. The restaurant owner loved the music, and said that they were hired, but he wanted to know what the band was called. The only problem was, the group had not come up with a name yet.
Lorig answered, “Well, you can call us anything you want, just don’t call us late for...” At that moment, they all knew what their name would be.

Ever since that interlude, Late for Dinner has been playing High Vibe, upbeat music. Their repertoire includes a diverse mixture of Rastamerican Blues, Caribbean Pop and their own blend of Reggae Rhythm and Fusion Rock – what Lorig and the band call “High Vibe” music. This is music with its own feel that really energizes the crowd. “Reggae is a very organic music,” Hamblen shares. “The music moves and flows with the musicians playing it and with the audience and the whole interaction between the two.”

Who is Late for Dinner? Well, other than Dave Hamblen, whose responsibilities include lead vocals, playing the congas and some stand-up comedy, the band is made up of Leanne Hamblen, the lead vocalist and “energy generation engine;” Bruce Bonello, rhythm acoustic and electric guitars, vocals and killer whistles; Rich Faircourt on keyboards and levity; Rob Brown on the bass (low notes, not the fish); Dick Lorig on the drums; Mac Rice on the Rhastamonica, vocals and wooden knocker thingies; Michael Lawrence on rhythm, and lead guitars; and Nick Franco, the in-house sound “artiste.”

In addition to the regular members of the band, you may well encounter any number of featured artists playing with Late for Dinner, including, but not limited to: Bob Hausen, Glen Harcourt, Craig Zangari, Karl Duncan and Kenny Bees.

If this all sounds like a late-night jam session, you are right. Late for Dinner is a group of enthusiastic musicians who truly love their work. You hear it in their music and feel it with their beats.

Although Late for Dinner is not Hamblen’s full-time job, he loves what he does with the band. Late for Dinner is happy to play any type of venue. They play fun gigs at wineries, as well as numerous private shows for private parties and benefits. As recently as July 30, they played in the Thursday Night Concert Series hosted at the El Dorado Hills Town Center. “We enjoy the series. They are casual and fun and we get in touch with a lot of the community there,” Hamblen says.

This month they will be playing at Madrona Vineyards and the Camino Winery. And this fall, you can catch Late for Dinner entertaining the Organic Growers at Apple Hill in Camino, and at the Lobster on the River event.•

For more information on Late For Dinner, visit