WHO WE ARE
Chuck Gardner, Guitar & Vocals; John Ray, Bass; Nigel Bates, Drums & Vocals; Jim Milone, Vocals, Guitar and Harmonica
Second Street Band Bios
Jim Milone, Vocals, Guitar, & Harmonica
Chuck Gardner, Guitar & Vocals
With the great blues revivalists for inspiration, Chuck spent several years in the vibrant Seattle music scene opening for acts such as Willie Dixon, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Otis, Charlie Musselwhite and sharing the stage with “The Ice Man” Albert Collins. But it wasn’t until joining the group Mojo Hand, that Chuck got his first experiences with large outdoor concerts.
With Mojo Hand, Chuck toured with and opened for Journey, ZZTop, REO Speedwagon, Aerosmith, B.T.O. Rare Earth and more. As he says “Great experiences and too much fun!”
The management agency for Mojo Hand, hooked Chuck up with the recording-concert act Dixon House Band. After recording and releasing an album, produced by Mike Flicker, on MCA/Infiniti, the band headlined a tour of the SouthEast and SouthWest. That tour was followed by another across Canada, opening for Heart, Peter Frampton and Eddie Money.
Fast forward: Following a multi-year a career change to high rise construction (where he could earn a respectable living!), Chuck retired from his “day Job” and hooked up with the Second Street Band, playing his hot licks for audiences in the SF Bay Area and beyond. As he says, “that day job is now in the rear view mirror and I am once again having a blast singing and playing guitar!!!”
Nigel Bates, Drums & Vocals
Born in Oldham, England, Nigel picked up drumming as a young boy. Then he got into race car driving and by his early 20’s, he’d won National USAC races, competing against the likes of Mario Andretti, AJ Foyt, and Bill Vukovich, Jr. Nigel also tested for the World Champion Lotus Formula 2 Team at Thruxton Circuit in Hampshire, England.
Later, upon turning his focus fully to music, Nigel pursued it much the same way as he did racing. He studies under the likes of Forrest Eldritch, session player for Sonny & Cher and the Fifth Dimension, and also with jazz greats, one of which was the late Dave Black of The Duke Ellington Band.
He went on to play jazz, rock and blues, and successfully toured the nation with Southern Flight Ankh Band and The Rhythm Dogs. His bands have opened for Ike & Tina Turner, Jefferson Starship and Tom Fogerty. Other bands include Gill Cadilli and His Jazz Trio, The Koz, The Mark Harvey Band, and the Gail Chase Bien Jazz Group. In addition, he’s done session work in the studio – even laying tracks on the Superman movie score! He’s also wrote radio jingles for the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, and the Bay Area radio station KSJO, 92.3 FM.
John Ray, Bass
Hailing from St. Louis, Missouri, on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi River, John grew up with the blues, R&B, and rock ‘n’ roll. Classically trained on trumpet, John started out playing in orchestras and small jazz dance combos. He took up the bass in high school and soon found himself striving to emulate many of the great bassists of the era, such as Donald “Duck” Dunn, Barry Oakley of the Allman Brothers, and the immortal James Jamerson, king of the Motown bass. After playing in rock and blues bands for college audiences and in clubs around the Midwest, John migrated to the vibrant Seattle music scene where he played with the Rhythm Method and was a founding member of the popular club band “Kittyhawk”. In his long run with Kittyhawk, John played throughout the Pacific Northwest, and shared festival stages with the likes of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry and Robert Cray. He recorded with regional artists such as Pat Garvey of “Lovin’ of the Game” fame.
John put his music aspirations on hold while he pursued a successful career as a senior executive for several large health care companies on the West Coast, during which time he moved to Northern California. In 2002, John got a call to play a reunion festival in Seattle. He dusted off his trusty ’63 Fender Jazz Bass, and as he got his chops back, it reignited his love of playing music, and he eventually retired from his "day job" to devote himself to making music with other talented musicians. John initially held down the low register for the West Coast Blues Review. Then, in 2015, with drummer Nigel Bates, he founded the Second Street Band. Following several iterations, he and Nigel teamed up with Chuck Gardner and Ji Milone, and the rest is history to be written, the unfolding story of the Second Street Band.