Saturday, April 29, 2006

Friday Night Frolic

Friday night was a boatload of fun. I headed down to historic Watsonville to shoot photos of a band called the Nightcreepers. After filling up several memory cards, I went down to a barbecue joint called Hungerfords. Nice place. Excellent food. Friendly people working there. It was nice to see some people that I hadn't seen in a while like Marc Carino and to meet some new folks. They were kind enough to let me sit in on a few songs with their fine band along with Kid Andersen.

Afterward, I dropped the Kid off at the Fog Bank in Capitola. Swing Shift was playing there. I hung out for a set and a half. Peter Brown, Johnny Cat and Screamin' Ian sounded great. It was getting late. I had to get up relatively early, so I split. I was glad that I did. The drive through the Santa Cruz Mountains was pretty foggy and traffic was creeping along.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

The Pleasure Kings in Milpitas

I caught the Pleasure Kings at Brandon's in magnificent Milpitas, CA. Brandon's is a very nice club in the Beverly Heritage Hotel. The Pleasure Kings (Johnny Cat, Bob Welsh, Mike Phillips and Dennis Dove) work through a variety of Blues and R&B classics. Their repertoire is wide ranging running from the down home Blues of Eddie Taylor to the modern uptown style of the great Tyrone Davis. Bruce Ferrell from the Kaye Bohler Blues Band and Sid Morris dropped in an played a couple of tunes.

The Pleasure Kings will be performing at Brandon's again on May 11th. They have a number of special guests planned, plus you never know who is going to drop in.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam - 04/25 Edition

Last night was a fun night at the Mojo Lounge. RJ, Bob Welsh, Kedar Roy and June Core were the house band. As is customary, RJ kicked off the evening's festivities with a great first set consisting a few Sonny Boy Williamson (both John Lee Williamson and Rice Miller) and Little Walter tunes. He turned over the stage to Bob Welsh for a tune. Bob played a killer instrumental version of Memphis.

There were a truckload of guests in the house and RJ started to call them up. The first guest brought up before the break was the fabulous Wendy Dewitt. Wendy was sounding great as always. A harp player named Gino Bambino played a couple of tunes as well.

There was a short break.

Kid Andersen, Ryan Eric, Ray Figueroa, Artie Chavez (sporting a new pony tail and his lovely better half), Barrelhouse Solly I, Gino Baronelli, Bree, Don Yonder, Linda Martinez, E-Rock, Double G, Danny Denaro, Charlie Knight and a few others were all present and accounted for.

It was a very fun night.

I snapped a few photos. I captured some rare video of the enigmatic Double G being backed by the New Kingpins.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Birdlegg @ Dotha's Juke Joint

|It was a wild night in Oakland on Saturday. I went to Dotha's Juke Joint and caught Birdlegg with Steve Freund and a new rhythm section that was nothing short of excellent. Birdlegg was at the top of his game last night. The man is an old school entertainer.

There was a 26 year old female saxophone player in the house. She played most of the second set. Alvon dropped by for a bit and played three or four tunes. Little Willie John Jr was celebrating his birthday. He sang three or four tunes including a Johnny Taylor and ZZ Hill tune. Tia Carroll also sang a couple of numbers. She's a fabulous singer.

There were a few more performers in the audience, but I was dead tired and needed to get home. For those in attendance, it was a great time. For those that weren't there, you missed a great show!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

The Blues Phantoms @ The Mojo Lounge

Last Friday, I caught Phil Harmonica and the Blues Phantoms at the Mojo Lounge. It was an enjoyable show. It was nice and low key. Perfect after a long week at work. Phil Harmonica was in fine form. Kenny "Blue" Ray and Scott Miller sounding like their normal excellent selves. The lovely Amy Lou dropped in and sang a couple of tunes.

There was a good crowd. It was nice to see Robin, Chris and Dennis. Overall, it was a really good night.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam - 04/19 Edition

Tuesday night was a great night at the Mojo Lounge. RJ had returned from his most recent European tour. The house band for this evening consisted of RJ Mischo, Kenny "Blue" Ray, Kedar Roy and Hans Bosse.

I think a busload of harmonica players on some sort of field trip must have stopped outside. There were at about a dozen in attendance including:

Scott "Phil Harmonica" Hickman, Barrelhouse Solly, Birdlegg, Phil Berkowitz, James Reed, Dennis Carelli, Kevin Walker and the enigmatic Double G. Other performers were the electrifying E-Rock, Scott Duncan, Gino and JB Davis.

Blue Ray could have produced a video last night on how to back a harp player. He was in the zone and had those subtle Robert Jr Lockwood runs working overtime.

The highlight of the night had to be Birdlegg. It had been a while since the last time that I had seen him. He sounded better than ever. Off the hook, if you will.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Steve Freund @ The Mojo Lounge

Friday night, I dropped by the Mojo Lounge and caught the Master Blaster, the man of the hour, too sweet to be sour, the prolific Steve Freund. When I walked into the Mojo, the joint was jumping and people were having fun. Fortunately, the blue coat man never came in with his big gun, so no one had to jump and run.

It was a good crowd. There were numerous musician on hand to catch the show. Chris "Kid" Andersen, Peter Brown, Jerome Engleberts and several others were in attendance. Steve was joined by Bob Welch, Burton Winn and Robi Bean. The band is one that feels like it's straight from Chicago. It's super tight, yet feels loose at the same time. When he kicks off a tune, it's nothing but pure deep Blues featuring an amazing tone that cuts like a razor. They plowed through a multitude of classic blues tunes borrowing from the songbooks of BB, Albert and Freddie King. He also mixed in more than a few Steve Freund tunes. He played three long sets with very short breaks. Like always, Bob sounded great on piano. He tickles the ivories in the old school way conjuring up the almost forgotten sounds of Sunnyland Slim and Otis Spann. Burton Winn and Robi Bean lay a foundation that is so solid, you could build a skyscraper on it.