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Steamin’ Stan Ruffo…

Posted by on February 22, 2014



Our friend Stan wearing his “Sunday best.”

FEBRUARY 22, 2014

Our friend Stan is a very talented musician and a hell of a nice guy!  He sings, plays guitar, sax and harmonica and probably other instruments he’s not mentioned to us. We saw him last night at Hooley’s Irish Pub in San Diego and had a great time. It’s fun “being with the band” at a place like Hooley’s.

From his days in the school orchestra, playing clarinet and then saxophone in marching band, Stan has always been passionate about music! Although Stan spent many years as a long haul trucker, he knew it was inevitable that he would eventually play music for a living. And that’s just what he has been doing for more than 20 years.

Along the way, Stan has shared concert billing with B.B. King, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, and Eddie Money, as well as performed at pre-concert parties for Bonnie Raitt and Joe Cocker. Stan has also been blessed with the profound opportunity to perform and record on countless occasions, (for well over a decade), with legendary British guitarist, Martin Pugh. Stan’s other studio and stage encounters include Bob Newham, Hank Van Sickle, Jr. Watson, Rick Holmstrom, Henry Carvijal, San Pedro Slim, Kid Andersen, Vance Ehlers, many other dedicated, and gracious musicians.

Stan has also spent considerable time behind a microphone ‘on air’, having produced and hosted his own radio programs, Bastille Blues Party (’91-’93), and Blues On Tap, (’95-’98), both on KIOO 99.7 FM in Visalia, and also on the Internet at


Stan on the sax at Hooley’s in San Diego, playing with “The Little Kings.”
February 2014

Unforgettable performance experiences:
Stan’s most bitter-sweet gig was when he went to see William Clarke at Club Fred in Fresno. A message eventually came in that Clarke had become ill. Clarke’s band mates, bassist, Rick Reed, and guitarist, Henry Carvijal, (unaware of the severity of Clarke’s illness), approached Stan, and asked him to fill in for Clarke. The next morning Stan got the news that William Clarke had passed away. Stan could barely get those word’s out of his mouth when, later that evening, he had to tell ‘Blues On Tap’ listener’s of Clarke’s passing.

Stan produced a number of ‘special’ episodes of Blues On Tap, which featured interviews with great blues artists, like Johnny ‘Clyde’ Copeland, Fred Kaplan, and Barry Levenson. One show featured a live, in studio, interview with Mississippi bluesman, Robert ‘Bilbo’ Walker. As a result of that show, ‘Bilbo’ insisted that Stan accompany him as his harmonica player on a tour of the southeast. The highlights of which included Stan performing with ‘Bilbo’ at the Sunflower Blues And Gospel Festival, and at the Crossroads in Clarkesdale, with Ike Turner, Frank Frost, and Sam Carr, in the audience paying close attention to the performance.


He can really play the harmonica!

In many of Stan’s performances, he sings and plays a broad variety of tunes from the world of blues, jazz, soul, and rock’n roll. However, Stan is most at home playing blues. While he still plays sax, he is best known for his incendiary harmonica playing! Stan has written more than two dozen songs, and has three CDs to his credit, including Live At The Bastille, Blues On Tap, and No Pork Tonight, all which are blues. Stan can be heard playing harmonica on CDs by Delaney Bramlett, John Ussery, and Bob “Pacemaker” Newham.

Stan’s extensive performance experience, his unique ability to lead a band on a moments notice, and his demanding performance schedule, keep him well tuned and poised to present a truly exciting, and entertaining performance any time you want the best!




UPDATE. MARCH 19, 2014. We keep learning cool things about this dude, Stan.  He’s a very talented guy. Now, recall that I am good at lots of things, I’d even say very good, but electronics, computer software…things of that nature: don’t hold your breath waiting for me to understand, repair or discuss these topics with you. I joke that I’ve always had “people” to handle all-things computer related. Pretty close to the truth! I am becoming pretty good at using a computer and myriad programs but don’t understand how to create a program or even what that means. I’d always say to important employees in the past: “Don’t talk to me about the storm, just bring in the ship!” Well, Stan is one of those guys who can not only bring in the ship, but have it washed, waxed and fueled for you at the dock before you even get there to welcome it back home! If it’s computer related, he can handle it.


Stan’s internet signal sucker. We call it ET for short.

INTERNET ACCESS. IF YOU DON’T GET IT, JUST INVENT A WAY TO MAKE IT HAPPEN WHILE CAMPING!  No kidding. Here’s the deal. If you’ve been following my blog or if you have even a passing interest in serious RV things, you understand that having internet access on the road is very important. It’s not as if you can get the daily newspaper delivered to keep up with what’s happening in the world. It’s not as if you can bring or buy on the road a scad of books…there’s no room.  If you look at my “Travel Tips” page, you’ll see that there are only a limited number of ways to get internet access when your home is on wheels. Plugging in to a socket or having a cable run from your computer to someplace (wherever cables “go”), is not one of those limited ways. Whatever method one uses is expensive and the amount of “internet time” you get is very limited. For example, we pay about $60 per month for 5 gigs. I don’t know what a gig is, but I can tell  you that 5 of them is not a crowd! So, as to the expense part: Stanley has figured out how to build an ET looking contraption that legally “sucks” internet reception from a source to which you’re entitled to receive it at no charge. For example, here at Emerald Cove there is free wi-fi internet.  It’s “free” because part of your nightly fee covers it. Swell. But you can only “get” that signal and enjoy the free internet access if you’re right near the clubhouse.  I don’t know about you, but traipsing to some unfamiliar place after dinner in order to “read the news” isn’t all that appealing. So, using “ET” gives me internet access without “spending” any of those gig things for which I contribute $60 bucks a month. Such a deal. Here’s a picture of the gizmo. Stan’s going to build us one next week. If you’re interested and for a small fee (LOL) I can hook you up with this guy Stan so you can get one of these for your very own self.

BETTER THAN A VISIT TO THE GENIUS BAR:  So here goes about another talent this guy has, and then we’re done. (If the dude ever reads this he’ll get such a swelled head he’ll probably stop hangin’ out with me.) OK:  I use an iPhone 5s, an iPad and a PC laptop. I’ve known for years that “stuff should sync” automatically between these three pieces, so that no matter which you’re using at one time, it has the same information as the others. For example, calendars, “contacts,” reminders and pictures taken from my phone or iPad all should be on all my devices, right? Yep, right for most folks I suppose but not for me. Doesn’t matter how much money I pay for a geek to help me or how often I do so, I’ve never been able to achieve this “sync” capability. Even Florence hasn’t been able to understand it, as her devices…just like mine…sync perfectly. I mentioned all this to Stan a day or two ago and within a couple of hours he had it all working like a Swiss watch! Can you believe it? Oh, and “while he was there” he made my Microsoft Outlook program work as it’s intended to do work. I can’t even tell you how cool this is! So again, for a small fee I can give you some contact information if you’d like!

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