Monday, January 30, 2006

Tuesday Night Blues Pub Crawl

Last Tuesday night (01/24/2006) was a really fun evening. I met up with the infamous Johnny Cat and we hit the road.

Part One

We dropped by the Mojo Lounge for a moment. RJ Mischo was holding down the fort running his World Famous Tuesday Night Blues Jam. We only hung out for about a half hour or so. In that half hour a lot of really heavy duty stuff was happening.

On the stage were Ron Thompson, John Nemeth, Marc Carino and June Core. Ron and John were ripping it up exchanging extended Earth scorching soloes.

The PA system was broken. RJ and Kid Andersen were attempting to rig up a makeshift PA by connecting the PA speakers to a Fender Twin Reverb. Once they got things connected up, John sang a few songs. It had a real vintage vibe when the quality of PA systems sucked and were heavily distorted, but it sounded kind of very cool like Robert Nighthawk's live performances on Maxwell Street.

Part Two

After a few songs, we took off and headed North up the Interstate and we didn't stop until we reached the Ivy Room in Albany. The Steve Freund Blues Band were in a real groove playing the natural Blues that were reminiscent of 1950's South Side Chicago.

Steve and his band are great. They have this super tight feeling from performing together for the past several years, yet the feeling of the music is really loose and has room to breathe. The band includes: Scott Brenton (guitar and harp), Randy Bermudes (bass) and Robi Bean (drums).

Everytime I have visited the Ivy Room on a Tuesday night, there have been some great musicians hanging around at the bar. Tonight was no exception. Marvin Greene and Rontu Karr were hanging out at the bar.

During the first set, there were a couple of songs which featured some tremendous guitar work and interplay beetween Steve and Scott. This was really demonstrated during an instrumental version of "You Were Wrong." After playing several tunes from Steve's Delmark releases, the band took a break.

In the second set, Steve asked Johnny Cat to join him on stage. They played several classic tunes together. They exchanged some great soloes which made people dizzy. They asked a singer named Lloyd Meadows up to the stage. He can be seen performing with the Zydeco Flames. During the third set, Steve invited me to play a couple of songs with his band and then he asked Rontu onto the stage. As can be expected when Steve is performing, it was a really great night, as usual.

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