Saturday, April 21, 2007

Steve Freund @ The Mojo Lounge

Man! Last night, we had a ball at the Mojo Lounge! Steve Freund, Tim Wagar and Robi Bean showed up and playing nothing but the natural, down-in-the-alley kind of Blues. Spencer Jarrett was in the house. He played a few tunes and sounded fantastic.

I've been seeing Steve for a long time, much longer than I care to admit. He always manages to throw in one or two tunes that I hadn't heard him do before. Last night, he played a bunch of stuff that I had never heard him do before. He turned several of us on to some seriously deep music.

If you were there, you saw a great show. If not, you're gonna have to wait until next time. However, in this case procrastination will not guarantee high quality entertainment by one of the finest Blues bands the West Coast has to offer.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Andy Mazilli

When I first moved to California, I didn't venture out to many Blues clubs. Andy Mazzilli was one of the first local guys that I had seen in the Bay Area. He was a really talented player. During the next twenty years, I would see him sporadically around the area.

One of the last times that I saw him was at Christmas in the Park in downtown San Jose a few years back. He was playing Christmas tunes on the violin or harmonica. He was playing for tips on the street. I talked to him briefly.

It's sad to see someone so young pass away. I hope he rests in peace.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Steve Freund & Pete Crawford

I left work a bit early today, My wife and eldest daughter were going to the Cow Palace to see Montgomery Gentry.

My phone had been ringing quite a bit throughout the course of the day. The questions were similar. "Where are you going tonight?" With Steve Freund at the Poor House, John Nemeth at JJ's and Mark Hummel at the Mojo Lounge, the choices within a short drive from the house were plentiful.

Since, I had a pair of five year olds with me, I was planning on setting down roots at home and catch a flick with my younger daughters.

Then something cool happened...

The phone rang again...

To quote the great Lefty Dizz, "it was Chicago Calling!"

The fantastic Pete Crawford was in town and was going to be appearing at the Poor House Bistro with Steve Freund. Pete's a fantastic old school guitar player that is well versed in the traditional Blues going way back to the 1930's. Joining them would be former Chicagoan, Willie Riser and Robi Bean. It was going to be an old time Chicago Blues jam and that I should get down there.

Dizz also said, "Don't Send For Me Because I Might Show Up..."

Who am I to argue with Lefty Dizz, so I took his advice. I packed up the kids and went down there.

It was a righteous evening of down home Chicago Blues. I hadn't seen Pete Crawford in almost 20 years. I think the last time that I saw him, he was playing with the Bad Boys Blues Band led by a fantastic harp player, Scott Bradbury.

Steve and Pete dug deep. They played a bunch of material that I hadn't heard in years. It was clear that they had worked together a zillion times. They played all sorts of Blues. It was stuff that you don't hear often and songs you certainly don't hear on the West Coast. Floyd Jones. Eddie Taylor. Robert Jr. Nat King Cole. Elmore James. Sunnyland Slim.

Willie Riser and I killed a break talking about the real deal Blues. For those of you not in the know, that's the history of Chicago Cubs baseball.

Steve called me up to play a few tunes, but the girls were starting to crash out and it just seemed wise not to rock the boat, since the were acting peacefully.

It was a fun night filed with fantastic music played old school style. If you were there, you most likely had a great time. If not, you missed some really good shit. It was blast!