Werner "Siep" Siepenkothen
Werner Siepenkothen (Siep) accomplished violinist and teacher, was born in Brooklyn, New York, and graduated from the New
York High School of Music and Art. After graduation, Siep shocked his family by leaving New York, moving to Colorado and joining
the Denver symphony. Here he met and married his wife, Jeanne, a classical cellist. In 1950 Siep was drafted and assigned
to the Army Band Strolling Strings, entertaining at the White House. In 1959 he transferred to the newly established Air Force
In 1972 Siep and Jeanne moved to Reno where they performed with many entertainers including Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr.,
and Johnny Mathis. They were also part of the Reno Symphony, Reno Chamber Orchestra, and the String Beings.
After the death of Jeanne, Siep began a new career as a music teacher. He had many promising students and was always on the
lookout for new recruits. He also began to perform again with an interest in jazz violin, connecting with old friends and
new. He is survived by his daughter Chessie and cousin Elsa Keene.
A Celebration of Life will be held Fri Aug 1 at Great Escape/RENO (Mt Rose st at S. Virginia St) at 6:30p
|Lin Phillips (1956-2009)
|Laure Jean (LJ) Lawrence
Laurie Jean "LJ" Lawrence, former bassist of the Reno/Lake Tahoe groups "Cool Black Kettle", and her own
"Sierra Blues Tribe", died Sept 2, 2006.
By E. "Doc" Smith Copyright © 2005 Beyond Chron.org. All rights reserved.
LJ, had been bringing great blues to the Bay Area, Reno and Lake Tahoe, for well over a decade. One of the hottest female
bass players on the scene today, she was a wonderful singer and front person, bringing energy and enthusiasm to the stage,
while sharing the limelight with a talented and creative band. Her first recording, a collection of songs she wrote and recorded
with acclaimed guitarist and long time music partner, Don Evans, was entitled "Heart Of The Tribe." Ranging from
full-force funky to hauntingly introspective, their CD embraced open-souled expression while showcasing her unique talents.
Originally from the East Coast, LJ came to Reno from the San Francisco Bay area where she'd been the bass player for the
Bay Area Blues Society out of Oakland, CA, backing up artists such as the late greats Bobby Day and Cool Papa, as well as
playing with what was to evolve into the Caravan Of All Stars. Previously a guitar player and more of a rocker, she'd always
enjoyed the blues, but developed a deep appreciation of the blues audiences and tradition in the Bay area. LJ studied privately
and majored in music at Laney Community College and the Contra Costa System where she studied with D'Amante and pianist Ed
Kelly and received an Associate Degree. She toured Japan, Korea, Canada and the Western United States playing a wide range
of music with various bands before landing in Reno.
There, her band initiated the original jam sessions at the old Hacienda in 1991 before she left to tour Alaska. Seasoned
guitarist Evans wound up in the Hacienda's house band while she was gone. Upon returning, she and Evans teamed up, and together
reformed a group which evolved into the Sierra Blues Tribe. The two also formed a hardworking commercial band and played all
kinds of music. During this time period, Evans and LJ were inseparable, working six and seven days per week, and offstage,
working up harmonies, exchanging music, going to shows, stockpiling equipment, backing up other artists, and both were very
involved with different aspects of the music community. In addition to playing countless clubs, festivals and concerts, the
Sierra Blues Tribe continued to host one of the most successful jam sessions in the region.
Largely defined by musical camaraderie and love of the blues, the band was influenced by the variety of musicians they
came in contact with as well as their own diverse taste. In addition, Evans, already a successful recording engineer in Los
Angeles and Reno, was still involved in mixing projects and doing live sound. This contributed to the band's already eclectic
mix. One night, while Evans was recording some tracks for Kim Wilson's "That's Life" CD, Wilson took a break and
demonstrated harmonica techniques for the two of them while discussing his Texas musical days. "Baby, Please," a
song from "That's Life" remains one of Evan's signature covers. LJ & Evans also became fans of the group, the
Subdudes, after hearing a broadcast over Idaho while on the road. Back in Reno, Evans was actually hired to mix the band at
their Hacienda concert and 'All the Time in the World' turned up in their repertoire.
Considered by many, one of the most sought after and respected female bassists in the area, LJ's recent and victorious
battle with thyroid cancer, makes her untimely death, all the more tragic. Her voice had returned, and her bass playing was
better than ever. LJ's heart, and the warmth she displayed both on stage and off, was a rare commodity in today's music world.
Her death sadly, is another in a long line of absolutely senseless crimes against women. LJ was one of the most beautiful
and sensitive persons I have ever known, a true friend, and a fantastic bassist. I will miss her terribly.
E. "Doc" Smith is a musician and recording engineer who has worked with the likes of Brian Eno, Madonna, Warren
Zevon, Mickey Hart, Jimmy Cliff, and John Mayall, and many others. He is also the inventor of the musical instrument, the
Drummstick. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
LJ Audio LINK:
|HERB Loved his RENO Fans! We will miss him!
September 27, 1948 - June 29, 2005. He was a singer, songwriter, composer and lead singer in The Herb McQuay
Show, popular in the Reno/Tahoe/Sacramento area. Herb was born in New York City, started singing at age two, and began his
singing career in church and school glee clubs. Soon after, he performed doo-wop with his vocal group, The Telstars, on Harlem
street corners. This experience led to appearances at The Apollo Theatre, The Cotton Club and various other New York venues.
McQuay studied music education at Shaw University in Raleigh, N.C.
As a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, he entertained troops around the world in Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, and Germany.
After the service, Herb entertained throughout Europe. In New Zealand, he recorded singles plus his first album "You Are the
One." Since returning to the United States in 1986, Herb had been touring this country with his band "The Herb McQuay Show."
In addition, the Hey Herb television show was being shown locally in Reno and Sacramento. Herb McQuay, 56, died suddenly on
June 29, 2005 while on tour in Reno, NV.
Herb is pre-deceased by his beloved wife Thomasina McQuay and is survived by his mother, Omega McQuay, son Shareem Jones
and his fiance Jozee, son Herbie McQuay and his wife Jessica, grandchildren Malik Jones, Dajanera Jones, Kyran McQuay, Maliyah
McQuay, friend Mary Sullivan, relatives in the New York City area and a host of friends around the world. Herb will be deeply
missed by all who had the spirit-filled fortune to cross his path, and he is now singing with the angels!
Published in the Sacramento Bee on 7/6/2005.