Wednesday, May 28, 2008

California Blues Festival

Bobbie Webb

On Memorial Day, I headed down to beautiful Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Golden Gate Park is the home to a multitude of homeless derelicts. It is also the home of the California Blues Festival. This year was the 14th or 16th annual festival.

This year had featured several of the same performers that appear on an annual basis like Bobbie Webb and Fillmore Slim. This year, Willie G, Pat Wilder and Tia Carroll were added to the bill.

One thing that never changes is that there were way too many performers to get onstage in the five hours of the festival. I arrived at about 1:30pm. Bobbie Webb was in the midst of a nice set featuring some fantastic Junior Walker instrumentals.

There is always a surprise act. This year, the Kelly Richey Band from Cincinnati made a surprise appearance. Thankfully, it was an abbreviated performance. It wasn't a performance that moved me.

I ran into some longtime friends that I hadn't seen in a while.

At about 3:30pm, we realized that there were still five acts to perform. Fillmore Slim delivered a solid performance. Willie G did a short set and sounded great. There was a female singer that sang a couple that I had never seen previously. Unfortunately, I didn't get her name. Tia Carroll did a nice version of Matchbox Blues. The show wrapped up with a nice tune by a singer named McKinley.

The show wrapped up about ten minutes late. Overall, it was a good day featuring good music and good friends.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Hummel and Freund at the Mojo Lounge

Mark Hummel & Steve Freund

Mark Hummel dropped into the World Famous Tuesday Night Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge hosted by Steve Freund. Mark joined Steve midway through the first set and played some killer tunes. (See above and see more of the evening's festivities on my youtube channel.).

The place was jam packed last night. There was a group of people from Norway. There were a bunch of local folks that dropped in including:

Gil DeLeon, Eddie B, Russell Barber, Don Yonders, Esat Bay Wes, Double G, Scott Miller, Scott Duncan, Cornelius, Mark Hummel, Mick Kilgos, Jon Lawton, Wendy Dewitt, Jimmy Johnson, Earl Smith, Beth Kohnen and a whole bunch more people that I'm forgetting.

Steve proved that he is a very capable juggler. I think he got
everyone up that stuck around.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Metro Fountain Blues Festival

This past weekend, I went to the Metro Fountain Blues Festival to catch Koko Taylor and the Blues Machine. When I arrived Sonny Landreth was doing his thing which was not my thing. I ran into a few friends and talked some trash before Koko Taylor took the stage.

As one might expect, she put on a fabulous show. In fact, it was probably the best set of music that I have seen this year. After an awesome set, she was given an achievement award by the city of San Jose.

Afterward, while the sound crew was setting up for Robert Cray's set, it was announced that Mr Cray was only allowing photos during the first song of his show. I stuck around during the first tune and shot some photos. After the second song, I left.

Photos of Koko Taylor, the members of the Blues Machine and Robert Cray can be found here:

2008: The Bay Area Blues Scene - A Year In Progress.

Mojo Lounge Blues Jam

This past Tuesday night, Kenny "Blue" Ray hosted the Mojo Lounge blues jam. It was a really cool evening. Lots of great performers showed up including: Johnny Cat, Junior Morrow and Kid Andersen.

I captured the some video of one of Junior Morrow's fine performances. This one features Junior (vocal/guitar) leading an very talented group through the ZZ Hill classic, "I'm A Bluesman". Joining Junior is Kid Andersen (guitar), Kenny "Blue" Ray (guitar), Tumbleweed (harp), Ray Figueroa (bass) and Norm Decarlo (drums).

Unfortunately, the lighting the bars isn't really conducive to videography, but the quality of the performances outweigh the quality of the lighting.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Little Junior Crudup and the Mojo Lounge Jam

It's been a while since I've been here. This past Tuesday, the World Famous Tuesday Night Blues Jam at the The Mojo Lounge was hosted by Steve Freund. The rhythm section on this fine evening was anchored by two of the most solid guys around Marc Carino and Robi Bean.

It's a fun place to hang out. Not only does this place attract some good local talent, you never know who is going to drop in for a visit. The past several weeks, one of the most entertaining singers in the Bay Area dropped by for a visit, Little Junior Crudup.

Little Junior is a dynamic singer. He writes some really cool tunes that represent today's society. He's also related the the legendary Arthur "Big Boy" Crudup.

This video clip was captured on April 29, 2008 at the Mojo Lounge and captures Little Junior in fine form performing an original tune called 30 Pieces of Silver. He is joined by: Steve Freund (guitar), Marc Carino (bass) and Jimmy Mulleniux (drums).