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.

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