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‘Sons Of Anarchy’ Music Spins Off New Album: The Reluctant Apostles Record Nears its PledgeMusic Goal

Katey Sagal Band Holds Successful PledgeMusic Campaign


The tough Sons of Anarchy spinoff band, The Reluctant Apostles, has put together a heartwarming debut record that has reached 75 percent of its PledgeMusic goal.


The Reluctant Apostles: Phil Shenale, Bob Thiele, Katey Sagal, Dave Faragher and Billy Harvey – Photo 2017 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles are Bob Thiele and with Davey Faragher on bass, Phil Shenale on keyboards, Billy Harvey on guitar, Michael Urbano on drums and Katey Sagal up front. The band is bringing audiences together all over Southern California.

The music can be described as Americana with an edge, as the band rips through some great classics and adds a modern twist. The guitar work, drums, keyboards and bass all work together, the harmonies are amazing and Katey’s voice is out of this world.

The Reluctant Apostles recently played sold out gigs at Don The Beachcomber and at their regular spot Molly Malone’s. See our continuous exclusive coverage of one of the best bands in LA here.

“We came all the way from Indiana to see them,” said Barbara Renfro who brought her whole family to a recent gig. “We love Katey and the band.”

Check out The Reluctant Apostles PLEDGEMUSIC campaign here.


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The Reluctant Apostles play a mix of famous as well as infamous covers and it’s done with style – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The talented musicians have a history of dozens of collaborations, hundreds of albums and thousands of concerts together.

The musicians trace their roots back to Sons of Anarchy band The Forest Rangers. They began recording covers and original songs for the hit series not fully realizing it was the start of something special.

Katey Sagal: Beautiful, talented and makes a fun frontwoman - Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Katey Sagal: Beautiful, talented and makes a fun frontwoman – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles Perform

The Reluctant Apostles have a good time performing. Their music is upbeat and fun and the covers they perform include “Crystal Blue Persuasion,” “The Candyman,” by The Grateful Dead, “My Love Is Getting Stronger,” and their new one, “Never Ending Love for You.”

With The Reluctant Apostles show you not only get great music, but a lot of conversation that runs the gamut with a lot of joking around thrown in. It’s a good time with talented musicians having fun.

See the YouTube Channel for more of The Reluctant Apostles.

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The Reluctant Apostles play a gig at Molly Malone’s on Fairfax – Photo © 2017 Donna Balancia

Talent Times Ten

It’s an impressive group. Faragher plays with Elvis Costello and Richard Thompson; Shenale works with Tori Amos and Jane’s Addiction; Harvey works with Patty Griffin and Charlie Mars, Michael Urbano has graced the stages abroad and in the U.S. with Cracker and Smash Mouth, and Thiele has worked with Bonnie Raitt and Mavis and Pop Staples. Katey has been singing all her life, with a range of musicians ranging from family members to superstars and she has built an incredible acting career.

Dave Way is the producer of The Reluctant Apostles debut album.

First Families of LA Music Play a Special Engagement as ‘The Lovable Mutts’ at Genghis Cohen

Don Was and Son Henry, Bob Thiele and Wife Amy, Give Classics New Sound


Bob Thiele said The Lovable Mutts have been around a while – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia


It was a musical family affair as The Lovable Mutts took the stage at Genghis Cohen to wrap up 2016 in style. The ‘Mutts’ aren’t just musicians, they’re also parents.

The Lovable Mutts band consists of Dillon O’Brian on keyboards and vocals, husband-wife team Bob Thiele and Amy Kanter up front, Don Was and his drummer son, Henry, and the great Billy Watts on guitar.

Lovable Mutts: Musical Parents and Friends

Bob said The Lovable Mutts band was formed about 18 years ago when his son, Owen, was in elementary school.  As kids do, they’ve grown up now with some even going into the “family business.”


Don Was with son Henry who slayed on the skins at The Lovable Mutts gig – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Lovable Mutts performed interesting new arrangements of some golden oldies, some great originals and they even used psychedelic lights to impress an already impressive crowd of fans that included one or two true superstars.


Psychedelic lights were in order at Lovable Mutts gig – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Amy took on the front woman duties for the night, performing a range of songs. Her beautiful voice singing a sweet version of  “Tammy” — in honor of the late Debbie Reynolds who passed away last week — could bring even the toughest to tears. “The Soft Spot,” performed by O’Brian, “Goodbye Ruby Tuesday” and “How I Got To Memphis,” were among the favorites of the night.


Billy Valentine and his wife visit with the Divine Miss M, Bette Midler and her husband – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

NEW VIDEO: Check out Billy Valentine and The Lovable Mutts performing “What a Wonderful World”

Billy Valentine, whose extraordinary voice is familiar to those fans of Sons of Anarchy, was on hand to sing a couple of tunes, including “What a Wonderful World.”  Billy is a favorite of the masses, working with The Forest Rangers, the Sons of Anarchy house band.  Billy told us he has a monthly gig at Herb Albert’s Vibrato Grill in Bel Air.

Watch Billy Valentine and The Forest Rangers sing “All Along The Watchtower” on the YouTube Channel.


Dillon O’Brian casts a light on the situation – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

“What a Wonderful World” has a special place in Bob Thiele’s heart. He told the crowd his own father, the prolific producer, Bob Thiele, Sr., wrote the famous and emotional “What a Wonderful World,” (albeit under a pseudonym). He said had the deal on the song gone in a different direction, today he might be living luxuriously on a beach in another country instead of playing gigs around town.  But it is fortunate for everyone that Bob is hanging around.

See The White Buffalo and The Forest Rangers VIDEO from The Troubadour: “Come Join The Murder”

Bass player Was showed his fatherly pride as college-aged son Henry took impressive command of the skins. It was clear he’s proud not only of Henry, but his entire family; his beautiful wife, Gemma, a former A&R exec at Virgin Records, was taking photographs.  Drumming appears to run in the family as Henry’s brother, Tony, is drummer for Eve 6.  Don was awarded The Les Paul Award by the NAMM Foundation at last year’s NAMM show and even his own father was on hand for that major award.

Henry keeping the beat for the Lovable Mutts - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

Henry keeping the beat for the Lovable Mutts – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

It’s a heady group with remarkable credentials.  Bob’s dad, Bob Theile Sr., was not only an arranghose coming to support the Lovable Mutts were The Divine Miss M, Bette Midler, the talented blues singer Jodi Siegel, and up-and-comer Phoebe Bridgers.



EXCLUSIVE: Reluctant Apostles With Katey Sagal Play Molly Malone’s

New Band By Bob Thiele and Pals Gets Attention

The Reluctant Apostles - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA – Living in Los Angeles the quality of cover bands is out of this world. A great example of that is the latest high-profile cover band in town, The Reluctant Apostles.

This band is comprised of Sons of Anarchy family and friends – series composer Bob Thiele, Katey Sagal, Davey Faragher, Billy Harvey, John Philip Shenale and drummer Michael Urbano.

These musicians are well-known aroud town as well as around the world.

**Support The Reluctant Apostles PLEDGEMUSIC campaign!**

The Reluctant Apostles are on the mark.  Katey is a compelling and fun front woman, playing bongos, guitar and even the ol’ drumstick on a music stand  — yes — but of course, it’s the way she smacks it.   And it’s clear with her Gibson guitar and nice ride that Sons of Anarchy and probably her extensive experience on the small screen has contributed greatly to her large life.

For the complete scoop on The Reluctant Apostles, go to their Facebook Page.

Leader of the Band

Bob is the leader of the band as the group continually pointed out good naturedly throughout their 11-song set — this band likes working together and feels very comfortable together.  The leader of the music department of Sons of Anarchy as well — he sports his iconic hat atop his mass of grey curls, cracking jokes and bringing out the best in his people.  He is really something special in music circles and has the lineage and genetics, as his dad was prolific jazz producer Bob Thiele of New York.

Keyboardist John is a true showman no matter what the tune; he gave us some insights into the possibility of more gigs, more original songs and some recordings up the Apostles’ collective sleeve. He is certainly one to know about talented music; as one of the most prolific producers and composers of our era he has contributed to at least 40 award winning records.

Bass player Davey brings his own style to the stage, singing and providing the support while Billy jams on lead guitar like Eric Clapton.  Of course, drummer Michael has played with some of the best musicians the world over as well, including a stellar gig with James Williamson at the Bootleg last year called “Re-Licked.”

Check out more Reluctant Apostles on

An impressive crew - Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

An impressive crew – Photo © 2016 Donna Balancia

The Reluctant Apostles’ style is Americana with an edge.  Particularly outstanding songs were Crystal Blue Persuasion; Jealous Kind, Candyman and Temptation Took Control of Me (Video)

On April 9 The Reluctant Apostles will return to Molly Malone’s – Highly recommended.

Setlist: When I Paint My Masterpiece; Crystal Blue Persuasion; Where Was You At; Holy Cow; W.S. Walcott Medicine Show; Jealous Kind; Candyman; My Love is Getting Stronger; Magnolia Wind; Temptation Took Control of Me; Blow Your Mind.

The Forest Rangers Take Audience Beyond Motorcycles

Billy Valentine and Forest Rangers by Donna Balancia

Billy Valentine and Forest Rangers rev up the audience – VIDEO HERE Photo and Videos by Donna Balancia

By DONNA BALANCIA in WEST HOLLYWOOD — For a bunch of tough motorcycle guys, the Sons of Anarchy house band, the Forest Rangers, really know how to make some beautiful music.

And music that people from all walks of life who came to The Troubadour Sunday night really enjoyed.


Not only did the multitudes of Sons of Anarchy fans who were on hand enjoy the show — about 80 percent of the audience knew all the SOA characters by heart — but it was an exciting performance for those who don’t own a motorcycle or love the Sons crew.

“I’ve only watched about one episode of the show,” one concert-goer said. “But I know the music is amazing and the guys in the band are great.”

Franky Perez and the Forest Rangers photo and video by Donna Balancia

Franky Perez and the Forest Rangers – Photo and Video by Donna Balancia

The musical director for the record-breaking FX TV show, Bob Thiele, worked with his partners on Sons of Anarchy to create the Forest Rangers, comprised of some very talented musicians.


While Sons of Anarchy just concluded its 7-year run for FX, judging by the number of die-hard SOA fans on hand at the Troubadour Sunday night, the legacy will definitely live on.

Until the wildly anticipated and long-rumored “prequel” series hits the small screens, SOA fans will be able to live vicariously through the music.  And The Forest Rangers band has captured that audience — plus more.

The group gave a good idea as to what we can expect on its new album due in February: A mix of new songs and some well-loved and well-known tunes, including everything from crooning ballads to screaming funk by some heavy-hitter names.


Franky Perez sings This Life

Franky Perez listens as the audience sings #SOA theme song This Life – Photos and Videos by Donna Balancia

On Sunday night, Billy Valentine and Franky Perez shared lead singer duties at the Troubadour show, calling up soulful renditions of the Rolling Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” Bob Dylan’s “All Along The Watchtower,” and new tunes including “Blue Angel,” that had the packed house jamming right along.

The band even awarded Bob Thiele a leather vest (?) with the name of the band emblazoned, along with signatures of the show’s cast and crew.

In the audience were some of SOA’s most beloved actors, including Emilio Rivera and Charlie Hunnam, who were swamped by screaming fans, mostly in their late-20s to mid-40s.

The Forest Rangers at The Troubadour

The Forest Rangers at The Troubadour – Photos and videos by Donna Balancia

Clearly the music on the hit show was one of the most attractive qualities of the production.  The other attractive qualities were all on hand — girls and guys — actors; fellow musicians, friends of the band, and longtime fans of the longest-running show on FX.

“We came to cheer them on,” said Tina, an actress on the show. “They’re doing a great job and we came to see them play.”


The Forest Rangers have what it takes to collect a wider audience than solely the fans of the TV show.  The appeal of the band is the diversity in the tunes, strong and unique performances of cover songs, and a great camaraderie that looks like it will last for the long run.

— Photos, videos and story by Donna Balancia

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