Saturday, April 30, 2005

Eddie Taylor Jr @ Biscuits & Blues

Eddie Taylor Jr @ Biscuits & Blues

I went down to check out Eddie Taylor Jr with the Steve Freund band down at Biscuits & Blues. When I walked in, I immediately ran into the Byrd of Paradise sitting at the bar. I sat down right when the music started. Steve Freund and his band played a few songs before calling the star of the show up to the stage, the great Eddie Taylor Jr. For the remainder of the evening, Eddie Jr weaved a tale rich in the Blues tradition. He played a number of traditional songs that some consider to be standards. However, it's important to point out that the music he was playing was the music that his father made famous while working with the likes of Jimmy Reed, Elmore James and a multitude of other bluesmen based out of Chicago during the 1950's. To demonstrate that he isn't just his father's son, he also tossed in a couple of his compositions.

At times it was downright creepy, how much his guitar playing and vocal styling sounded like his father. Matching his style with Steve Freund's band was a great idea. Steve's band is probably the most true-to-the-form blues bands outside of Chicago. Robi Bean and Randy Bermudes laid down some fantastic grooves. Steve kept the rhythm going and contributed some fantastic solos. Scott Brenton contributed some great Big Walter-influenced harmonica solos.

It was a fabulous evening of music that was a throwback to a time long since passed. It was a great evening of deep, deep Blues that you just don't hear very often anymore. A couple of times, he almost brought a tear to my eye. I feel sorry for those that weren't able to attend the show. I felt sorrier for those that were there and just didn't get it. Eddie Taylor Jr really delivered some top shelf Blues that was true to the Blues tradition laid down by his father.

Some photos from this show can be seen at my 2005: A Year in Progress Blues Photo Gallery.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Tuesday Night @ The Mojo Lounge

I spent Tuesday night hanging out during the Blues jam at the Mojo Lounge in Fremont. This week, the jam was hosted by local guitar players, Chris 'Kid' Andersen and Johnny Cat. Rounding out the band was Marc Carino and June Core. It was a fantastic way to kill an evening. When I arrived there were about two dozen people there. Four of them were in the band. Six were signed up on the list to play. Within about an hour, there were a total of about twenty people there to play.

Johnny Cat and Kid played the first set. It was filled with some incredibly high-intensity Blues. There were some excellent local players that showed up. Some of the regulars included: Scott Miller, Jerome Engleberts , Greg Greenspan, James 'Loose' Reed and Don Yonder. There were also some new faces that I hadn't seen before.

Next week, the jam will be hosted by R.J. Mischo who has just returned from a tour of the Midwest and Norway.