The Cheek to Cheek Allstars are getting to be as regular to Washington summers as 4th of July fireworks and Beltway traffic jams. The Allstars are a good-humored gathering of some of Washington's best-known rockers (while their bands take a bit of vacation) and include Catfish Hodge, Bill Holland, Tom Principato (now working with Geoff Muldaur), Pete Ragusa and Jimmy Thackeray (of the Nighthawks) and Steve Wolfe. The musicians get together and work up a scintillating evening of rock, soul and blues tunes. "Most of the tunes this year will be songs we haven't played together before," says singer-guitarist Thackery. "Part of the fun is to work out songs we usually don't get to play in our own bands."
"Cheek to cheek/for just a week" used to be the band's theme song (though this year they'll only play Wednesday and Thursday nights at Desperado's in Georgetown). One of the few Cheek to Cheek originals achieved notoriety when it ended up as a Random Note in Rolling Stone in 1977: Holland's "Smokin' Dope at the White House." There are no songs about the current administration, Holland says, because "they cut my budget, so I had to lay off my muse. I think she took a job with Donny Osmond."