Photo: T. Honles
Jim Potkey performing at The Coffee Gallery Backstage
Photo: T. Honles
We will always remember Jim Potkey for the friend he was to SongNet. Early in his involvement, he brought his talents as a singer/songwriter to our showcase nights. Later, getting more involved, he became SingNet's showcase director for a time, injecting energy and vitality as only he could to those showcase events. Eventually, Jim found a new musical niche for him that took off and brought him much success as a self-styled musical "Pirate" act, that together with his bandmates, entertained audiences wherever they went. Naturally, the touring and performing schedule meant that he had to resign his post as showcase director and hand the lines of the ship over to someone else.
This page remains here as a tribute to the great friend that we miss as a friend, and as a talent, and we hope that he is making some good music in the ever after.
For details on Jim's life, we couldn't do better than what was posted by his friends in tribute on Facebook and his memorial page. We link it here for as long as the link stays up.
Jim Potkey, on Facebook, Remembered.
Links and More Info:
Re-posted from "Tied to The Tracks", Acoustic Americana Music Guide:
Friday, June 3, 2011
Acoustic Americana Music Guide
NEWS FEATURES, June 3 edition
In addition to the NEWS that's right here, check out the latest edition of our SPOTLIGHT EVENTS at http://acousticamericana.blogspot.com/2011/06/spotlight-events-festivals-acoustic.html
“PIRATE MUSICIAN” JAMES POTKEY'S MEMORIAL IS JUNE 4th
Some have never had exposure to the musical “Pirate Community.” But many who have owe their awareness to a tuneful encounter with the late JAMES POTKEY, aka “Captain Bad Jack.”
Potkey, a lifelong musician, played on dozens of records for big rock stars. More recently, he took his rocker roots into a discovery of sea shanties and maritime music – in the wake of the popularity of Disney's nouveau pirate movies. Potkey was the founder and leader of the costumed show band PIRATES OF THE BLACK SWAN.
Potkey and the band were quickly a phenomenon, playing Disneyland and plenty of high-paying corporate parties and events. Still, they liked intimate venues, and the little Coffee Gallery Backstage was a favorite that they always sold-out. That venue's booker, legendary show-biz impresario BOB STANE, was crazy about the band, too, quickly choosing them for his own list of “favorite acts.” It was easy to see why. We enjoyed their performances many times.
On several occasions, we here at The Guide noted that the only use we ever liked of prerecorded backing tracks in a live performance were those crafted by Potkey for his pirate band shows. The guy was a master musician who could, and did, play anything. And he knew how to arrange the tracks he laid down, crafting-in just enough that the band's live performance was enhanced, and never diminished or submerged.
While much of his band's show (it was a show, not simply a repertoire) was based on classic rock, James was mindful of the nautical roots of the whole scene. The band includes acoustic players who are members of other nautical groups, and their shows routinely featured an opening set, or opening act, of traditional maritime music. It was a fine model for featuring traditional music for audiences that were ostensibly there for something more amplified.
We lost James Potkey rather suddenly, to a massive heart attack. Some of us had been riding him to quit smoking. But he was under far more than the usual amount of stress, since he and his wife had lost their home to a catastrophic fire in December.
The Memorial for James Potkey, aka: Captain Bad Jack, is this Saturday evening, June 4, at Pacific Sailing Yacht Club in Shoreline Village, Long Beach; www.shorelinevillage.com/pacificsailingyachtclub.html. Parking will be validated by the Yacht Club. The Yacht Club is atop a restaurant, which is accessible. Musician and facilitator CAPTAIN RON ELY adds, “There are great views of Long Beach Harbor out the club's windows and room for about 150 people. There will be musical performances, a full bar, and many of James' friends there.” It starts at 7 pm and, Captain Ron says, “will go into the evening, probably as late as you want!” Though, he adds, “not after 2 am.”
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