Chico’s jam band, Chingus
Mark “Gonzo” Gonzalez, guitarist/lead singer/songwriter for popular local jam band Chingus can now add “manager” to his list of band duties. The affable Gonzalez says that since the band has let go of its full-time manager he is now the man responsible for getting Chingus back into its usual busy school-year gig groove playing parties and clubs, both local and out-of-town.
Gonzalez and his band mates—Glenn Keithly on keyboard and organ, Marcus Schmidt on electric bass and vocals, and Zack Bowden on drums—are also Chico State students, three of them in the music department and one—Keithly ("the brainiac,” as Gonzalez fondly refers to him)—in engineering. They’re all four back in town fresh from the summer break—Keithly just finished an internship in Vallejo and Schmidt spent six weeks in Europe—and eager to get crackin'.
Chingus, with its jazz, funk and bluegrass-influenced original sound, has developed a reputation for being a fun band to go hear, and dance to. Anyone at the band’s Butter and You Like It CD-release party at LaSalles last October can attest to that. The place was packed with fans of various ages—from college students to old-guard Chico hippies—and the dance floor was moving.
Fans of Chingus can look forward to more of the same, and more new stuff. “One of the things I love about this band,” Gonzalez shared, “is that it keeps coming up with new material. It’s a forward-thinking band.”
Look for Chingus around town at LaSalles and Off-Limits (as well as in Davis, Tahoe and San Francisco), and expect to see the band’s horn section, Tu Madre, featured more often.