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Christopher Leigh Band

The Boogie Chillens

The Boogie Lounge
CD's & Merchandise
Christopher Leigh
Booking & Contact Info

…& His Boogie Chillens
 The name comes from the combination of Chris’ love of John Lee Hooker’s music, and his nickname “Boogie Chile”,  and a line from the first Blues Brothers movie. “Chillens” is a misspelled southern slang meaning children on the same level as “chile” means child. 
The first ‘Chillens group in 1989 consisted of 2 guitars, bass, & drums and sometimes keyboards. They all met each other at a jam session hosted by Cathy Davis at the Attic Bar in Hamtramck MI. Chris sang and played guitar, on second guitar was Billy “William Roberts” Shefski from the Louisiana Heat Band, on bass was Dwayne Larkin who now plays bass for the Blue Cat Band, on keys from time to time was Nick “Danger” Tsucolas, and on drums was Kenny “Kendonia” Navaroli.

Boogie Chillens Promo Shots - Look how young!
From left to right: Billy, Kenny, Chris, Dwayne.
Chris, Dwyane, Kenny, Billy.




Chris’ intention was to practice in the basement at Billy’s house till he felt more confident with singing. The boys in the band had different ideas. Without Chris’ knowing the boys went out and booked the Chillen’s first gig at an after hours club on Third Street in Detroit after 2 rehearsals. Chris didn’t know till 2 days before the gig and felt he wasn’t ready, the boy’s thought he might back out if he knew any earlier. The ruse worked! They played the gig it went off without a hitch and didn’t look back.
Always looking for different places to play The Boogie Chillens saw that the vacant property across from Billy’s house was in need of sprucing up. The Neighbors next-door to the property fenced it in; the ‘Chillens built a sound stage inside the fence and held a jam session every Sunday afternoon throughout the summer. They called it the Super Sunday Jam and boy did they ever! Chris & Cheri served ribs with their famous BBQ sauce; the boys grilled hot dogs hamburgers and such, and a keg of beer and viola! Instant Sunday Jam. People came from all around every weekend and all ages. Boy what a time it was.

Super Sunday Outdoor Jam
Showin' the next generation of blues men how it's done.

Late in ’93 the Chillen’s went through a change. Bill, Ken, and Dwayne were working long hours at the day gig, too much to get out and play. Disappointed but now hooked on fronting a band Chris found Paul Marvin from the Paul Marvin Blues Band on bass, and the great Timothy Mysek, Jr. on drums. Chris found the power trio to his liking. Paul’s strong bass style and Tim’s in your face percussion style brought Chris to greater heights. With a rhythm section this good backing him he could play nothing wrong. In ’94 Chris & Paul & Tim started a jam session at the Madison Club in Madison Heights MI. The gig lasted through to the summer of 1999 a full 4 years, longer than any day job Chris ever had. All of Detroit’s talent came to jam with the trio as well as many national artists. The Chillens name was getting around. Playing throughout Michigan and the Midwest this lineup stuck together till 1999.
1999 marks the year that Chris completes his first solo recording. Again with a few changes. Paul Marvin was getting too busy with his own band to play enough for Chris’ liking and Tim was always on a national tour with some rock band. Chris formed the third Chillens band with Albert Rudeman on bass, and his Brother Karl Rudeman on drums.

I Don't Know CD cover shot

Finishing the recording in late 1999 the band turned national soon after. When Chris’ received his first booking at the Mount Prospect Roadhouse in the Chi-town area, it really helped the band get over the edge! Booking shows in the Midwest, West, and Northeast there seemed to be no stopping the Chillens now. Chris’ demanding schedule required musicians to be available nonstop so he added more to keep up with demand. On bass he added Eddie Washington, Tim Tucker and, Andy Lloyd, on drums; Tim Mysek, Billy Reyna and Matt Kelly, on Harp; Mike “Red Dog” Fletcher, and a new addition later on – vocalist extraordinaire – Nina Silki! Chris used whoever was available and stayed busy as ever.
Nina’s style rounded the Chillen’s sound. Some die-hard Chillen’s fans didn’t think this was so good, but overall the Chillen’s fan base expanded. Chris & Nina wrote many songs together but never had a chance to record them. Nina is now happily married and busier than ever with family life. Maybe in the near future they will get to record them, one can only hope!
So these are all of Chris’ Chillens, and forever they always will be to him. Many memories and good times have been shared between these musicians and they will always be remembered. Chris hopes one day to gather all of his Chillens on one huge stage for a Mega Chile recording and reunion. Again one can only hope. But here’s to the future and all the Chillen’s of the world.

Click pic to go to No Cover

Now in 2005 the Chillen’s are still going strong. Chris’ first recording I Don’t Know has more than 10,000 copies in cassette tape format in circulation. And now it has been signed to the No Cover record label and re released in Cd format in September of 2005! Chris is planning time to release another Boogie Chillens Cd around July of 2006 with a new line up of great Detroit area musicians. On the drums veteran blues and jazz player Gary E, and on bass, Wolfcastle. Another great group of musicians to carry on the blues tradition!
Peace to you
From Christopher Leigh & The Boogie Chillens