Thursday, December 1, 2005

RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam - 11/29 Edition

Freddie Roulette & Nick Moss

It was Tuesday night and time for another exciting edition of RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam hosted in the ballroom of the renowned Mojo Lounge in Fremont, CA. RJ was out of town and was unavailable to perform his hosting duties. In an American tradition, he outsourced the task to Nick Moss & The Flip Tops. Nick did an outstanding job. His band consists of some great musicians that are strong multi-instrumentalists. Nick Moss (guitar, harmonica, bass and vocals), Gerry Hundt (bass, mandolin, guitar and vocals), Piano Willie (piano and bass) and Bob Carter (drums).

Nick and his band opened the show with a fabulous version of Johnny Littlejohn's "Bloody Tears" and we were on the express train to Chicago. Nick spent a great deal of the first set playing slide guitar in a variety of styles demonstrating influences by Elmore James, Houng Dog Taylor, Muddy Waters and others.

Midway into the first set, Gerry Hundt picked up a mandolin and Nick picked up a harmonica. They played a couple of Johnny Young tunes that would have fit in really well on a 1960's Vanguard recording. Nick's harmonica playing was strong and displayed a nice Big Walter Horton influence with a big fat tone.

Afterwards, Piano Willie took a break. Gerry picked up a guitar and Nick played a few Hound Dog Taylor tunes that were simply breathtaking and were probably the highlight of the first set. After a few more songs...

There was a short musical break.

Nick called to the stage the first set of people to kick off the jam. Gerry Hundt played the guitar and sang a few songs with Felix Bannon (guitar), Wild Bill Pruitt (bass), Travis (drums) and me (harp). We played one tune together before Chip and Ray, the Sax Maniacs joined the stage for a couple of songs.

There was a short musical break.

Barrelhouse Solly led the next group of people with his fine vocals, harp and kazoo playing. Joining him was my twin brother by different mothers, Scott Miller (guitar), Ryan Eric (guitar), Sneaky Pete (bass), Donnie Kountz (drums) and the Sax Maniacs on horns. Solly took advantage of the horns and sang an old school Big Joe Turner tune utilizing the horn section to full effect and adding a trumpet-like solo using his homemade kazoo.

There was a short musical break.

Next up on stage was Nick Moss (bass and vocals), Stan Erhart (guitar and vocals), Don Yonder (guitar), Freddie Roulette (lap steel guitar) and Greg Greenspan (harp). These guys were joined by a variety of drummers including: E-Rock, Artie Chavez and another guy whose name I didn't get. This was a really nice set consisting of some great music. Throughout the set, Stan and Don traded some fabulous guitar licks. Greg provided some very sympathetic harp playing.

There was a short musical break.

The Flip Tops returned to the stage along with Freddie Roulette. Nick started the final set off with a very nice version of the Jimmy Rogers classic, That's All Right. The next tune up was simply awesome, Earl Hooker's Blue Guitar. Nick used a wah-wah pedal on this tune and it featured some incredible slide guitar playing by Nick and Freddie Roulette. This song was can only be described as jawdropping. The remainder of this set they did with Freddie Roulette was pure gold. That may have been the best that I've ever heard Freddie Roulette sound.

This concluded the evening's musical performances and another edition of RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge was nothing but a memory. For those of us that were present, at least, we have that. Those that weren't there just have this crummy report and the feelings of jealousy wishing that they had been there.

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