Wednesday, November 16, 2005

RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam - 11/15 Edition

Jesse Brown

Last night, I head down to the Mojo Lounge with the intention of having a beer and checking out R.J. Mischo's first set. The plan was to go home early and get to bed at a decent hour. Needless to say, things didn't go as planned and I ended up hanging out until the evening's music came to a conclusion.

I arrived a little bit late. RJ and the band were already going strong. The tables in front of the stage were crammed with people, so I grabbed a seat at the back of the bar. The house band for the evening was: Chris "Kid" Andersen, Marc Carino and Hans Bosse. Joining the band for the first set was guitarist, Kenny "Blue" Ray. RJ played a four or five tunes prior to turning over the bandstand to Kid Andersen and Kenny "Blue" Ray for a couple of really nice guitar instrumentals. The interplay between the two guitar players was really great. Classic postwar Texas-influenced blues.

The first guests called to the stage were Don Yonder and me. RJ sang a really nice Sonny Boy Williamson tune and a swamp-infused composition of his own. He asked singer, Jesse Brown to the stage. Jessie sang a superlative version of what was once called, ""Everyone's Favorite Bobby Bland Song"", "Stormy Monday". It was a fabulous time playing with these guys. It was a boatload of fun.

There was a short musical break.

RJ kicked off the second set with Kid Andersen and a student of Kenny "Blue" Ray's named, Matt. Matt displayed some fabulous guitar work on several tunes. Eventually, he swapped spots with Ryan Eric. RJ turned over the microphone to Phil Berkowitz of the High Rollers. Phil sang a great version of the Willie Mabon classic, "Poison Ivy" followed by a very nice version of the Big Walter Horton chestnut, "La Cucaracha", before concluding with a very obscure Muddy Waters tune, "Deep Down In My Heart." RJ rejoined the festivities and replaced all of the guitar players with two players that I hadn't seen before. After a few tunes,

There was a short musical break.

For the last set, RJ called the NC Blues Connection to the stage. This band consists of some fine artists including Jesse Brown, Wild Bill Pruitt and a couple of fabulous guitar players. They began the last set of music with an excellent version of the Temptations classic, "Papa Was A Rolling Stone", which was followed by the performance of the evening. The George Jackson classic made famous by the late Johnnie Taylor, "My Last Two Dollars." That song really showcased some excellent guitar work that isn't heard too often outside of the Deep South and the amazing vocals of Jesse Brown. They played a couple more tunes before:

There was a short musical break.

RJ asked the house band and Don Yonder back to the stage and turned over the stage to Arthur Daugherty of the Swamp Coolers. He performed a few tunes and displayed some excellent acoustic harmonica tone on several tunes, before transferring vocal and harmonica chores to Mr Mojo Madness,James Reed. The Mojo Man sang three love songs.

There was a short musical break.

Technically, the music and the evening of fun concluded. Afterward, I had the opportunity to briefly talk to Mr. Reed about the debut of his new website featuring an entire line of Mojo Madness merchandise which is just in time for the holidays.

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