San Diego is a special city for many reasons. We have the warmest water and most pristine beaches on the West Coast. We have beautiful mountains and scenic deserts within driving distance. Everyone wants to take a vacation here in our backyard. San Diego is also one of the few cities in the United States where a blues band can live and work seven nights a week. America’s finest city has given birth to world class jazz and blues acts that started out in the Gaslamp and soon took their show to the world. Many of these bands have gone on to greatness and some of us can remember their names; Jimmy and Jeannie Cheatham. AJ Croce. The Paladins. But does anyone remember the name of the drummer??? The drummer is the guy who gets your foot tapping without you noticing. He’s the guy behind the scenes, keeping it all together. He’s the one keeping you on the dance floor all night long – yet most people don’t even remember his name. Night after night, you have seen Drummer Marcus Bashore keeping the beat alive and luring the swing dancers onto the dance floor. He is back there, behind the spotlight, so smooth and precision like, that you don’t even notice his fluid beat and easy rhythm. The best drummers rarely draw attention to themselves by dropping a beat. The best drummers propel the whole band to a higher percussive plane. The best drummers can make a bad band sound good. The best drummers are so good, you are infected by their groove all night long, without ever knowing their name. The best drummers are humble, self-effacing and kind hearted. Marcus Petronius Bashore is one of the best. A part of a San Diego blues family that blossomed in the early 80’s, Marcus’s resume is a virtual who’s who of California Blues Bands. He has appeared onstage with Big Mama Thornton, Bo Diddley, Pee Wee Crayton, James Harman, Smokey Wilson and Hollywood Fats (to name just a few.) For twenty-eight years, Marcus held down the backbeat in countless local bands, jam nights at Ponchos and recording sessions. A fixture in blues music, Marcus was a member of the Five Careless Lovers, the King Biscuit Blues Band, the Juke Stompers, the Blond Bruce band and Ruby and the Red Hots. In between late night gigs, recording sessions and days working as an expert cabinet-maker; Marcus and former wife, Etoile “Ruby” Presnell raised a beautiful daughter who is (graduated) in college. Marcus has been the driving force behind almost all of your favorite San Diego swing and blues bands at one time or another. He has recorded albums with soul great, Earl Thomas and veteran sax man Jonny Viau. Today you will see him taking the drum throne for The Swing’ N Kings and often freelancing for Sue Palmer, Billy Watson, Blue Largo, The Fremonts and Robin Henkel. So, the next time you are out for an evening of live music and dancing, take a look at the guy back there on the drums. Maybe go up and shake his hand during the break. Don’t forget to get his name. The odds are good it could be Marcus P. Bashore; keeping toes tapping in America’s finest city tonight, tomorrow night and all year round. - Candye Kane May 17, 2008 Oceanside, California.