The Westside Sheiks are purveyors of Alternative Tin Pan Alley for The New Weird America.

Taking as their spiritual forefolk the sounds of Leroy Carr and Scrapper Blackwell, The Mississippi Sheiks, and the quixotic melodics of The Old Weird America, this nouveau vintage duo features Jon "Captain Ahab" Dryden on Acoustic Piano and Christopher "Preacher Boy" Watkins on Guitar and Voice. 

Imagine Lemmy singing with Art Tatum for a set of ragtime jazz, vintage blues, and original Americana. 

“While we may live in a world much diminished by the loss of both Dr. John and Leon Redbone, we can take some comfort that—in The Westside Sheiks—we have a kind of new Tin Pan Alley where ‘swingin’ rhymes, in double time’ percolate down the highways and byways of a still-weird America powered by a steady fuel of rolling piano, sliding guitar, and a growling croon.”

Jon Dryden


Jon Dryden is a graduate of The Berklee College of Music and San Jose State (MA in Jazz Studies). He is now a University Professor and Lecturer at San Jose State in the Jazz Studies program. He has been a professional musician for over three decades—with nearly 20 years spent living and performing in Brooklyn, NY. He has performed and recorded with: Norah Jones, Regina Carter, Paula Cole, Natalie Merchant, Lenny White, Jesse Harris, and many more. His most recent album as leader is Momento Mori by The Jon Dryden Trio, released in January of 2020.