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.

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