Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Making The Rounds - Part 3

I went to the RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. It was a fabulous evening. RJ had Mighty Mike Schermer, Marc Carino and June Core in attendance. They played a fabulous first set before bringing up some fabulous singers.

Little Junior Crudup was in the house and sang a few songs. The place was packed and he really worked up the crowd. Birdlegg followed him (w/ Don Yonder on guitar) after a short break. Freddie Roulette dropped in and was sounding great. There were a number of performers and RJ was able to get everyone up on stage. JB Davis, Eddie B, and Chris Brown got up. There are a bunch of others people that played. I can't remember all of their names.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Making The Rounds - Part 2

I did something very rare for me. I went down to the jam at Murphy's Law in Sunnyvale. It had been a while since I had seen Dennis Dove and Mike Phillips. The smokin' hot Miller Girls were in attendance. When I walked in Rusty Sterling was being called to the stage. He lead a fine band of jammers. After a couple of tunes, Scott Miller and Russell Barber were called up to the stage to back LD. LD (of LD and Blues Redeption) is a fine harp player and singer. He plays some very nice traditional Chicago blues.

A fine singer named Leon replaced LD. I played a couple of songs with him, Scott Miller and Russell Barber. Jeff Ballard came up and did a few tunes. As always, it proved to be an interesting and action-packed evening.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Making The Rounds - Part 1

The infamous Double G and I hit the road and headed out to Half Moon Bay to see RJ Mischo and his Red Hot Blues Band at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. RJ had Anthony Paule, Vance Ehlers, Robi Bean and a sax player that I had never seen before. Due to unforeseen circumstances, we arrived a bit late, but still managed to catch a couple of groovy sets. There was a lot of drinking, dancing and carrying on.

After RJ concluded his fine show, we split and headed to the Old Princeton Landing hosted by the fabulous Stan Erhart. There were a bunch of familiar faces in the house including: Stan, Vince Caminiti, Norm Decarlo, Robert Gaustad, John Lull and other folks from the Redwood City Jam. It's was a really fun jam. Thanks to Robert for letting me use his fine Bassman for a couple of tunes.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Sonny Rhodes in Downtown Oakland

The Home Grown Blues Series is a free concert series that has been happening on Wednesday evenings during July and August. They've had a pretty cool lineup but for some reason, I had always forgotten about it. I remembered it this week. It featured two bands, RJ Mischo and Sonny Rhodes.

It was a pretty cool vibe in downtown Oakland. Ninth Street was closed at Broadway. The band performed under a tent in the middle of the street. There were a number of chairs set up in the street. By the time that I arrived, all of the seats were taken.

I've seen RJ quite a bit lately. Chris "Kid" Andersen, Vance Ehlers and Hans Bosse were backing RJ. They sounded good together despite some early problems with the sound system.

While I was watching the show, Little Junior Crudup snuck up behind me and scared the crap out of me. We talked for a bit. It was nice to catch up with him. I hadn't seen him in a while. He's been busy working on some projects.

Little Junior Crudup & RJ Mischo

When RJ came off the bandstand, he walked over to shoot the breeze. I got the two of them to ham it up a bit while I snapped a couple of photos.

Next up was Sonny Rhodes. I didn't recognize him without his trademark turban. The soundman worked out the problems with the sound system and the second second was off and running like a thoroughbred. It had been a few years, since the last time that I saw Sonny Rhodes. I had almost forgotten how great he sounded.

Sonny Rhodes

During the middle of the show, he switched to his lap steel quitar and demonstrated some fantastic slide work as he ripped through several Elmore James songs.

It was starting to get late and the kids were getting hungry. After the show, we dropped into the Pizzeria SFO in Jack London's Square for some fantastic deep dish Chicago-style pizza before heading home.

It was a great night.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam - 08/15 Edition

Tuesday, I went to the Mojo Lounge. It was a pretty cool night. The house band was RJ Mischo, Kid Andersen, June Core, Marc Carino and Dave Bernstein. There were a multitude of guests including: Spencer Jarrett, Eddie Davis (from Fluffer), a bad-ass guitar player named Myron, John Nemeth, Don Yonders, Chris Brown, Art Daugherty and a
multitude of people that RJ didn't have time to call to the stage.

As usual, John Nemeth tore it up and set the bar super high. No one could top his fantastic performance.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sid Morris @ The Poor House Bistro

Sunday, my wife and oldest daughter were headed to the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill concert at the Arena. I took the two little ones for an early dinner at the Poor House Bistro. Sid Morris was performing. While it was listed as a jam, they had one guest. He was a younger guitar player that was quite good. It was a very nice low key and low volume performance. It's another great option for Sunday afternoon music that is kid friendly. Plus, the food is awesome!

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Commercial Shoot @ The Mojo Lounge

On August 8th, I went to the Mojo Lounge. There was a television commercial shoot going on. It was pretty cool. There were several guys with video cameras running around for a good portion of the evening. It was a lot of fun and it was pretty energizing.

RJ Mischo had a phenomenally cool lineup in the house band including: Bob Welsh, Johnny Cat, Marc Carino and June Core. They sounded great. After a 45 minute first set, RJ brought Barrelhouse Solly and me up to the stage. Having the video cameras around was a pretty weird vibe. We played a couple of tunes and the jam was officially started.

You can see the video here. It is a 1.5MB download.

Monday, August 7, 2006

The Week's Blues Report

Tommy Castro

"Sunday @ The Fremont Festival of the Arts"

Sunday afternoon, I went to the Fremont Festival of the Arts to kill some time. I caught Tommy Castro in action. His music is not really my thing, but the guy put on a pretty good show and his band is tight. Despite being on the bill as a blues artist, he's not really a blues performer. It was an okay show and it was free.

"Saturday @ The Fremont Festival of the Arts"

It was a veritable Blues Festival that wasn't in Fremont on Saturday. The Dave Land Band was billed as a blues band. They weren't a blues band. They played a couple of blues songs, but that was about it. It didn't sound like Blues. They don't seem to pretend to be a Blues band.

According to their website, "The band brings the familiar combination of Rock, Folk, Country and Blues to the table resulting in their unique Country Rock sound." It was an okay show and it was free.

Next up was Leroy Bell. The city also had these guys listed as a Blues band. I hung out for a few tunes by these guys. It didn't really sound like blues to me. The guy and his band are certainly talented. I'd like to say, ""It was an okay show and it was free,"" but I thought it was kind of boring. I left after a few songs.

Needless to say, I shouldn't have been surprised or disappointed. In years past, they booked former Y&T guitar god, Dave Meniketti. He was labelled as a Blues act. He isn't.

"Friday - RJ Mischo @ the Main Street Brewery"

I dragged my wife to the Main Street Brewery in Pleasanton. We were celebrating the birthday of Don Yonder's lovely wife. RJ Mischo was there with Kid Andersen, Kedar Roy and Hans Bosse. Excellent microbrews. The Double IPA was awesome. My good buddy, Don Yonders sat in on a couple of songs. I had a killer time.

"Wednesday - Steve Freund @ JJ's Blues Lounge"

Steve Freund and his fantastic band consisting of Robert Welsh, Tim Wagar and his excellency, Robi Bean. Sid Morris sat in on a couple of tunes. He had severalfabulous guests waiting in the wings to join him on stage. Unfortunately, I had to be at work pretty darn early the next day, so I had to split before the beginning of the final set.

JJ's Blues Lounge is a pretty cool club. It reminds me of bars on Western Avenue in Chicago.

"Tuesday - RJ Mischo's World Famous Blues Jam"

RJ was on fire. The house band was Kid Andersen, Marc Carino and June Core. There were a ton of musical guests including: Johnny Cat, Don Yonders, Vince Caminiti, my fishing buddy Chris Brown, Scott Miller, LD (of LD and the Blues Crew), Double G, E-Rock, Tom and Frenchy from the Buzzy Dupree Band and others.

I had the opportunity to play a couple of tunes with Johnny Cat, LD, Frenchy and June. LD is a fine singer and harmonica player. It was a lot of fun as usual. RJ knows how to host a party.

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Super Chikan @ The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

James "Super Chikan" Johnson

I dragged the family to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company to see Super Chikan and the Fighting Cocks. It was a great performance. I had forgotten about the Boom Boom Room show and was bummed out that I missed it. The Sunday night show was a gift from God.

James "Super Chikan" Johnson is a super talented guy. Who else can play a fabulous slide guitar on a three string instrument with a cigar box body and a pool cue neck? He's very funny and about as cordial as a person can be. Hopefully, he makes it out this way a bit more frequently.

Saturday Night Blues

Saturday night was a really cool night musically.

"RJ Mischo @ the Poor House Bistro"

I dragged my family to dine at the Poor House Bistro. They just happened to have RJ Mischo and company performing on the patio. The weather was nice. The food was great. The entertainment was excellent. Half the people in the audience were musicians or related to them. RJ, Chris Andersen, Kedar Roy and Hans Bosse put on a great show.

"Phil Berkowitx & The High Rollers @ The Mojo Lounge"

Later in the evening, I went to the Mojo Lounge to see Phil Berkowitz and the High Rollers. Attendance was sparse. There were about 25 or 30 people in the bar.

There were three people listening to the music. I was one. One of the other two is a local harp player that sits in at people's shows and then leaves less than a microsecond after he gets off the stage. He couldn't have left faster, if he had been in the warhead of a North Korean missile on the 4th of July. The other person was his girlfriend. Phil should have made him sit for another set.

I hung out for a set and a half. Phil Berkowitz, Marvin Greene, Tim Wagar and Marty Dodson put on a really nice show of jump blues numbers including a bunch of Louis Jordan tunes. It was a fine time.

A Long Overdue Entry

It's been a while since I've written anything here. Life has been busy. Here are some recent photos.

"Hayward / Russell City Blues Festival"

Photos from Saturday's excellent performances.

Bobby Rush, his smokin' hot dancers, Carl Weathersby, Ronnie Stewart, Sahar Miller, Hollywood Jenkins, Gino Landry, Craig Horton, Big Bob Deance, Wille G, Wylie Trass, Fillmore Slim, Curtis Lawson, Bobbie Webb, Teddy "Bluesmaster" Watson, Pork Pie Phillips, Carl Green, Rob Gordon, Jeramy Norris and Wingnut Adams.

Photos from Sunday's equally excellent performances.

Billy Branch, Carl Weathersby, Kenny Neal, Roach, KC Kelsey Hill, Linda Shell, Ella Pennewell and Dale Heart Johnson.

"Steve Freund's 53 Birthday Bash @ The Ivy Room"

This was a really fun show. Steve had a bunch of musical guests joining in the evening's festivities.

Steve Freund, Carol Fran, Birdlegg, Mari Mack, Burton Winn, John Peterson, Sid Morris and Steve Kaufman.

"First Annual Redwood City Blues Festival"

Carol Fran, Kenny Neal, Fredrick Neal, Darnell Neal, Bobbie Webb, George Schoenstein, Jerry Cordasco, Madison Sink, Kerry Daly, Kenny "Blue" Ray, Ray Figueroa, Charlie Chavez, Steve Welch, Danny Denaro, Allison Paige, Greg Heumann, Phil Berkowitz, Stan Erhart, Norm DeCarlo, Amy Lou, JB Davis, Dolly Rappaport, Geoff Stich, Jim Moore and John Lull.

Photos can be found here.