Saturday night, I took my lovely wife to the Boom Boom Room to see Carl Weathersby. The ad for the Boom Boom Room in the Guardian had him incorrectly billed as Albert King's guitarist from 1979 - 1982 and as the pianist in Willie Dixon's Big Three Trio in the 40's and 50's.
Outside the Boom Boom Room, I ran into Pork Pie Phillips. He and the Bay Area Blues Society rode picked up Carl from the airport. We talked outside for quite a while. When we walked into the Boom Boom Room, Carl saw us and immediately said, "Hey Joe, how come you never told me you play harmonica?" I asked him, "I don't. Who's telling you those stories?" He responded, "I rode over with some of your buddies." Liz had a good laugh at my expense, she said that I had a deer in the headlights look on my face.
For this show, Carl was being backed by the Bay Area Blues Society's Caravan of All Stars including: Ronnie Stewart (Guitar), Donnie Kountz (Drums), 'Funky' Rob Gordon (Keyboards) and Chuck Trujillo (Bass). Featured vocalists included: Wylie Trass and Pork Pie Phillips.
The Caravan of All Stars opened up the show with a couple of really cool R&B numbers featuring the voice of Wylie Trass. In the middle of the song, Carl walked on stage to play along with the band. Wylie Trass cut out after getting the dance floor filled to capacity. For the remainder of the set, it was pretty much all Carl Weathersby. He started off with a couple of up tempo numbers to keep the audience moving. He walked off the stage and took an extended solo walking the audience, playing the guitar behind his head, playing with his teeth never missing a note.
He slowed it way down playing a very wicked version of the Albert King classic, Sun Gone Down. During the course of this particular tune, he continually brought the volume down until he was playing acoustically. The room was silent, except for his guitar playing. You could hear a pin drop. It was very impressive. Other than Albert himself, Carl plays the most intense and true to form Albert King style guitar around.
During the fourth of fifth song, the sound coming from his amplifier stopped. All of a sudden the smell of electrical smoke could be smelled throughout the club. He burned up the house Mesa/Boogie combo. They continued along with Carl diplaying his very deep and soulful vocal style. The club staff wheeled in a Fender Twin and they were back in business.
He learned a great deal from Albert King and his influence is very apparent in his playing style. With the Bay Area Blues Society backing him, they tore through song after song with an incredible amount of intensity that words can't describe. He also did a very nice tribute to Howlin' Wolf. He also tossed in a couple of Tyrone Davis tunes.
They played two incredibly long sets of nothing but incredibly deep blues. Those who stuck it out until closing time saw one of the most incredible shows that I've seen in a long ass time.
When we were leaving, for the second time this weekend I would say, "this may have been the best show that I've seen all year long."