Website Review: DavidWhiteman.com

Every now and then, I Google myself just in case I became wildly famous and somebody forgot to tell me. Most recently, the ever-helpful search engine took my request, and asked if what I meant to type was “David Whiteman.”    

Well, I don’t know — maybe I did, especially if this guy whose name is one letter different from mine is fabulously wealthy and keeps his money in a casually secured bank account. When I investigated further, I was able to stumble upon what is the subject of today’s Website Review.    

DavidWhiteman.com is a bare-bones site that promotes David and his Texas band. The combo plays the “widest range of songs around,” including R&B, hip-hop, Latin and dance music, and is apparently one of the most versatile and entertaining bands in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.    

When David brings together his ten or more musicians, they are known by two different names: there’s the “David Whiteman Experience” and “The Love Chocolates.” It’s not clear what the distinction is between the two. I also have an “experience” under my name, but it includes a lot more typesetting and proofreading, and a lot fewer Chaka Khan covers, than are happening in dance clubs throughout the Lone Star State’s second-largest metropolis. But there is one thing we do have in common — I too love chocolates.    

The home page says the band consists of male and female vocals, a horn section and a very experienced rhythm section of bass, drums, keyboards and percussion. Among their performance credits are “Oasis at Joe Pool Lake, Nine Fish in Frisco, the Glass Cactus at the Gaylord Resort, and the Dallas Arboretum.” I know that last location suggests they are very popular with plants, but I can’t for the life of me guess what those other locales hint at. The group also performs for private parties, weddings and corporate events that included a concert for the Chamberlain Ballet, where I would’ve loved to see the ballerinas trying to keep up.    

According to the Calendar section, it seems these relatively low-profile shows make up a big part of the David Whiteman experience. For example, there are seven days in the month of December alone that are jam-packed with dates. Tonight at 6:30, you can catch the gang at “Pappadeaux in Arlington Big 12 Championship Weekend.” This is a seafood kitchen off the interstate in the midst of the Metroplex that offers fried gator along with its David. The rest of the December shows include two performances at Reflections (where the band will share top billing with new wide-screen TVs, pool and darts), three private parties, and the annual Firefighters Christmas Jam.

It’s pretty obvious the big money happens at the parties, because the calendar warns “any club date may be replaced by a private function with advanced notice.” I guess you have to first get your name out there with the fish diners and the EMTs in order to secure those lucrative Dallas Geological Society gigs.    

Under the Band pulldown, we get a chance to learn more about the individual members, or at least those who have a life capable of being described in writing. (Four members — drummer Steve “The Big Bo” Richardson, percussionist Otis “The Big O” Tarkenton, keyboardist Gary Wooten and trombonist Gaika James — have bios “to come soon.”)    

David is “widely becoming known as one of the finest vocalists in the Dallas/Fort Worth area,” a description so broadly worded that I think it also could include Oliver Cromwell and Sandy Koufax. Both of David’s parents were musicians, allowing him to develop an early vocal style he claims was reminiscent of Barry White, a little hard to believe for a ten-year-old, but whatever. His skills in piano, vocals and guitar led him to spend 14 years working as a fireman with the Dallas Fire Department, where “he fought fires, saved lives, delivered infants and experienced the worst in death,” contributing to his “positive and upbeat attitude” that has translated so well to the stage, or at least that small tiled area in the corner of the barroom that serves as a stage.    

Bassist Narcisco Carballo is originally from Havana, Cuba, bringing a distinctively communist flavor to the group’s sound. He pursued a career in aviation for 13 years before joining “the Weekend Warriors program sponsored by Brook Mays Music where he brushed up on his chops” and, presumably, other select cuts of meat. He occasionally defects from the David Whiteman Experience (typical Cuban) to join others bands such as Chill Factor, the Right Time Band and Tejano Passion. His biography oddly includes the equipment he owns — various guitars, amps and cabinets.    

The group’s female vocals are handled by the soulful CiaMar. You can tell she’s a professional singer by the fact that she goes by a single name that includes a capital letter in the middle of it. (If she’d add an accent mark, maybe an umlaut, and perhaps a couple of punctuation marks, who knows how far she’d go?) She made her very first recording at age seven, though it may have been the greeting message on her parents’ answering machine. Since then, she’s been among the 25 finalists on the TV series Pop Stars, made an appearance on Good Morning Texas and sang the national anthem at several sporting events. Rave reviews that are quoted include “she will be incredible when her time comes” (from 1996), “you have great potential in this industry” (from 2000) and “waiting patiently is a mega-hit song!!!” (from 2003). I think it bears repeating that it may be time to consider some semicolons.    

Everybody else in the list looks a lot less charismatic. DeAnthony McGee was first chair alto saxophonist in the eighth grade, was nicknamed “Sax Man” in high school, and made the top lab band at Texas Tech. Trumpeter Corey Wilson worked in healthcare in Oklahoma and played with the Disney All-American College Band. Sound engineer Stephen Adkins is always smiling, formed a flag football team while working at the fire department and “keeps the dance floor packed mixing on the wheels of steel.”    

The Music section of the website carries two lists of songs that the band is capable of playing, one a mix of blues, ballads, jazz and dinner music, and the other strictly for dance. Most are covers of hits performed by better-known artists, or their poorly spelled counterparts. There’s Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone by Bill “Whithers”, Treat Her Like a Lady by the “Cornelious” Brothers, Billy Jean by “Micheal” Jackson, and It Ain’t Over til It’s Over by “Linny” Kravitz. Some of the dance tunes haven’t quite made it to my iPod yet, including Doin’ the Butt, Ms. New Booty and My Humps, though I’m confident they’ll appear soon enough. There are even several pieces by “ZZ Hill,” the legendary Texas boogie trio with not quite the prominence of ZZ Top, but certainly more elevated than ZZ Knoll.    

Finally, I’ll mention the Gallery of photos showing band members banging and blowing and otherwise abusing their instruments, and one where the guitar fights back, appearing to electrocute the unidentified axeman. There are 23 pictures in all, and I’ll leave you on your own to enjoy these if you like.    

All things considered, it’s an attractively designed website, not terribly full of worthwhile content and therefore reflective of its subject matter. There were some audio feeds that would’ve given me some idea of what the DWE sounded like, but of course these failed to work. Probably, not unlike the band itself.    

Experience the David Whiteman Experience

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4 Responses to “Website Review: DavidWhiteman.com”

  1. planetross Says:

    Another fine expose. I’d hire them if I go to Texas … just for the experience.

  2. wrjones Says:

    I wanted to play in a band and have all those groupies. But then I went to a music “gig” by an older musician and sat next to one of his aging groupies. Now I think I want to be a gardener’s assistant.

  3. tychy Says:

    aw for months I’ve suspected that i was reading the wrong website, now everything is clear…

  4. Kareen Steindorf Says:

    I usually dont post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful Kyou can check my watch live

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