artists & venues

The Powell Street Blues Band
Yoko Arimichi

37 years young

The Powell Street Blues Band
Yoko Arimichi

-- in our 38th year! --

y, August 23
The Saloon

most last Tuesdays of the month at The Saloon


PSBB 36 years!

Powell Street Blues Band 2013

Yoko Arimichi with Greg Wyser Pratte on drums and Burton Winn on bass
Catch The Powell Street Blues Band at The Saloon on September 23

-- photo by Majid Samir --


Powell Street Blues Band
That's Yoko Arimichi on guitar, Franck Daude on drums, and Burton Winn on bass in Robert Livingston photo

and here are some pictures from the band's 32nd (!) anniversary show at The Saloon on September 28, 2010    
Powell Street Blues Band 32nd anniversary at The Saloon
more Powell Street Blues Band photos, by Robert Livingston  


photo by Franck Daude
more Powell Street Blues Band photos,
by Robert Livingston

photo by Greg Stathes

photo by Robert Livingston

photo by Greg Stathes

photo by Robert Livingston

Powell Street Blues Band
poster photos by Franck Daude
new photos of the band by Robert Livingston chez Flickr

Yoko Arimichi Flickr

(page updated December 29, 2008)

Christmas at The Saloon -- Yoko and friends

at The Saloon in North Beach
December 26, 2007
photo by Robert Livingston

Yoko Arimichi and bassist Burton Winn on June 28, 2005 
this photo and others by Greg Stathes

Yoko & Burton
May 24, 2005

Yoko Arimichi

Yoko Arimichi is a native of Okayama, Japan. Displaying musical talent at a young age, she learned to sing and to play a variety of instruments; piano, percussion, mandolin, flute and guitar and was exposed to a broad spectrum of music from classical and marching band to rock & roll, folk, country rock and hard rock.

While still in Japan, Yoko formed her first 5-piece rock & roll band with her junior high classmates in 1966. She moved to Kobe for about six years in the 1970's and played music there too, mostly folk and rock.

Sailing to the United States in 1977, yearning to play with American musicians, Yoko landed first in Texas. After traveling around the States, including California, for several months, she decided to hit the road with her guitar and suitcase and moved to San Francisco.

Yoko started out her musical life in San Francisco as a street musician. She was soon picking up blues styles by jamming with such street artists as The Jazz Street Theatre and the original six-piece Powell Street Blues Band, which she formed with other street players in 1978.

Today, Yoko still leads The Powell Street Blues Band with her bass player Burton Winn and drummer Dick McDonough. The band plays old blues standards, urban blues, rhythm & blues, rock & roll plus Yoko's original compositions. She has been playing at The Saloon in San Francisco
since 1979.

Yoko's early influences
Beatles, Ventures, Neil Young, Bob Dylan, The Band, Eagles, Michael Schenker and David Gilmour . (Yoko worked with and for Neil Young in 1978 and 1980 on his movie, "Human Highway". Yoko is in the movie.)

Yoko's influences in Blues
Freddie King, B.B. King, Otis Rush, Elmore James, T-Bone Walker, Koko Taylor, Julia Lee, Eric Clapton, Johnny Winter, Peter Green and Roy Buchanan

Yoko Aramichi
May 12, 2006
February 28, 2006

photo by Cheryl Holzmeyer


Bass player Burton Winn and Yoko Arimichi herself in the hands of drummer Dick McDonough.

Photo taken September 30, 2003 -- the 25th Anniversary of Yoko's Powell Street Blues Band's regular monthly gig at The Saloon. She is The Dean of The Saloon -- senior even to Johnny Nitro!


bigger anniversary drawing (watercolor?), and a new one

Yoko Arimichi might seem an unlikely name for a Strat-slinging blues artist but when you hear her play you forget all that. Named for street shows at the Powell & Market cablecar turnaround plaza dating from 1978, The Powell Street Blues Band has been playing at The Saloon since 1979. Repertoire includes but is not limited to songs by Freddie King, B.B. King, Otis Rush, KoKo Taylor, Julia Lee, Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Johnny Winter, Roy Buchanan and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. These days Yoko has Burton Winn on bass.

See this surprising high-energy band about once a month at The Saloon.

Yoko Arimichi and the boys on February 8, 2005 -- photo by Greg Stathes

The Powell Street Blues Band has been performing as a trio lately. Says bassist Burton, "PSBB works well as a trio.
"No guest artist to fool with, Myron's happy and we make more money, plus with everyone on the same page, the music is better."

Yoko Arimichi e-mail

photo by Franck Daude  photo by Tsuyoshi Horiki

Yoko Arimichi and Yoko with once and current members of The Powell Street Blues Band. Former guitar Willie Perez, Wilf Murray on drums, Burton Winn on blue bass (below too) at the band's 20th Anniversary bash at The Saloon.

It must have been Christmas! (actually the evening after)
photo by Rich Piellisch

Yoko Arimichi e-mail

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