In 1996 and ’97, Lester Butler’s various European tours included residencies at The Chesterfield Cafe, a chain of clubs in three cities: Paris, Moscow and Madrid.
The three residencies are a timeline of evolving band under the “13” moniker.
Vince Jordan provided images of that first Chesterfield residency, in Paris in 1996.
“At the Chesterfield in Paris and I think it was 1996… the band was Alex Schultz, Yoshi (Shimada, drums), Gregory Boaz (bass), Andy Kaulkin (piano) and Hook Herrera sitting in on vocals and harmonica,” Jordan wrote.
Schultz and Kaulkin, of course, played on the original “13 featuring Lester Butler” album on Hightone (Kaulkin would go on to found ANTI- records a few years later). Boaz has played with a number of artists, most notably with Dave Alvin and the Guilty Men.
There isn’t much online about Shimada, and what is there is mostly in Japanese! We have been unable to find other shows that Shimada might have played with Butler.
Hook Herrera ended up onstage in Paris as his own tour crossed dates with Butler’s. A fan site puts at least one Hook gig at the Paris Chesterfield Cafe, on June 7, 1996. Without more info, that’s the date we’ll assign to this Butler show for the Timeline. (If a NoFightin.com reader knows better, please let us know!)
In a 2005 online forum post, Herrera offered more info on the gig:
that pic is from when our tours crossed in france and we were both playing at that chesterfield cafe in paris. that a bass player i played with forever too, greg boaz. hes so down home its a crime. we had a blast.
The whole post is worth a read.
Jasper Heikens also featured several images from the Paris gig on the original Lester Butler Tribute Site. It’s likely he received the pics from Jordan as well.
The Chesterfield Cafe in Paris is marked as “permanently closed” on Google, but more information is hard to come by.
In a bit of coincidence, California roots and blues singer-songwriter Kim Lembo covered “Goin’ To The Church” for her 2000 album “Paris Burning – Live At The Chesterfield Cafe.” That disc was recorded during her own two-week residency at the club.
Note: This is the first of three posts about Lester Butler performing at the Chesterfield Cafe chain. Watch for upcoming stories about the Moscow and Madrid gigs.