Friday, October 31, 2008

The End of October

It's been far too long, since I wrote anything here. What can I say? I've been busy.

"October 29 - "I caught my friend Russell Barber at the Redwood City Blues Jam. It was a fantastic night. Russell put on a great show. There were some fabulous performers dropping in to perform like Kid Andersen and Little Jonny Lawton. I got called up and played with Kid Andersen and Scott Miller. It's needless to say, it was a great time.

"October 28 - "I dropped into the Poor House Bistro to catch John Nemeth and his band. He performed a bunch of material from his upcoming CD that will be released in January on the Blind Pig label. During the last set, John called up some guests which included Johnny Cat, Mike Phillips and me.

Now onto November...

Monday, October 27, 2008

It's Almost November

Not much time left in October. There are less than two shopping months left until Christmas. Here is the activity report for the past month.

"October 7" - Steve Freund hosted the World Famous Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. It was a very pleasant and mellow evening that I can't remember at this moment. The only thing I remember is that the music was excellent.

"October 8" -Terry Hanck was the host band at the Redwood City Blues Jam. It was their first Bay Area show in several months. It was great to see the guys. They sounded fantastic. Here is some video:

The Terry Hanck Band

"October 11" -Terry Hanck and his band performed three fantastic sets at the Mojo Lounge. This evening marked the return of Michael "Fly" Brooks. I had a great time jamming with Scott Miller who was in the midst of an Excello Records phase. He sang a couple of Lazy Lester numbers.

"October 14" - Papa Juke was hosting the jam at Ziggie's Saloon in Denver. Ziggie's Saloon is a historic Blues bar. Although, it's recently changed hands, it remains a pretty cool place. I was in the area on a business trip, so I thought I would drop in. Papa Juke was working on their show in preparation for the International Blues Challenge.

"October 15" - The Shuffletones were hosting a new Blues jam at Q's BBQ in Denver. This was a righteous jam. The house band is very tight with some really nice material. They called me up for a couple of sets. It was an excellent time. I'll be back there on future trips. I also met Mike Lynch hanging out. He's an excellent harp player from Seattle.

"October 18" - This show marked the return of King Arthur and the Round Table Rockers. It was their first appearance at the Mojo Lounge in several months.

"October 19" - The Sacramento Heritage Festival sponsored another great show at the Horseman's Club. Elmore James Jr, Eddie C Campbell and Ronnie Baker Brooks w/Joe Louis Walker were playing for a paltry $20. Elmore James Jr and Eddie C Campbell were backed by Cadillac Zack and his fine band from L.A. Those sets had a nice relaxed feel to them which fit in well with a lazy Sunday afternoon. The Elmore James Jr set had a nice Maxwell Street feel to it. Eddie C Campbell played some really nice Magic Sam styled stuff.

Ronnie Baker Brooks and Eddie C Campbell

Ronnie Baker Brooks has a super tight band with some very wonderful material. I had only seen him working with his father or sitting in with other people. He puts on a excellent show. Some of it was a little too "rock blues" for me, but he's one of the few guys that works that genre of music that can play Blues with fire, intensity and most importantly, soul. He mixes it up nicely. Joe Louis Walker did a few songs. He appeared to be under the weather, but he still sounded good. Eddie C Campbell joined them for a tune prior to closing out the day's festivities. It was a fabulous day.

"October 21" - Steve Freund hosted the World Famous Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. Jan Hagge came down and added some fabulous Hammond organ work to the house band consisting of Marc Carino and June Core.

"October 25" - Mighty Mike Schermer performed at the Mojo Lounge with an absolutely fabulous band. Mike has worked with a who's who of the West Coast Blues during the past decade or so. He's got some great material which spans almost every American musical genre, except Country. Although, I suspect he could play that too. He was kind enough to let me sit in during the last set.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The Year Is Flying By!

It's already October. Some cool stuff happened in September.

"September 2" - Steve Freund hosted the World Famous Tuesday night Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge.

"September 3" - I dropped into the Redwood City Blues Jam on the way to pick up a friend at the airport. Daniel Castro was the host. I caught his opening set. It was quite enjoyable.

"September 9" - Kenny "Blue" Ray hosted the World Famous Tuesday night Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. The place was packed with a multitude of Blue Ray's students.

"September 10" - I went to see Steve Freund tear it up at the Redwood City Blues Jam. He was joined by the lovely Jan Fanucchi. Juce Garcia sat in with them. It made for an interesting evening.

"September 16" - Steve Freund hosted the World Famous Tuesday night Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. It was a killer evening. If you're in the Bay Area, it's a show not to be missed.

"September 19" - Began a string of nights out that I am still attempting to recover from the lack of sleep. I caught Little Jonny and the Giants at the Poor House Bistro. I shot a bunch of video of Jon. He puts on a very righteous show, but the video shall speak for itself.

In this clip, he performs he Elmore James classic, "Talk To Me Baby." Little Jon Lawton (vocals/guitar), Marty Dotson (drums), Mark Fenichel (harmonica), Eddie B (bass) and Sid Morris (keyboards).

More videos can be seen here:

Later in the evening, Jon called Scott Miller and me to the stage for a couple of tunes.

After this show was over, everyone headed north to the Mojo Lounge to catch RJ Mischo's show, which was already in progress. He was joined by Kid Andersen, Kedar Roy and J Hansen. He put on a fantastic show. Half of the audience were musicians. He asked Frank Bey to join him for a few tunes and he blew the roof off of the place with some fine vocals. RJ also asked Jon Lawton to the stage for a few.

"September 20" - Saturday night, we returned to the scene of the previous night's crimes and caught RJ Mischo at the Mojo Lounge. I dragged my wife down there with several of her friends. We had a blast! There were several fantastic performers lurking in the audience like John Nemeth. By the time, the night was reaching it's conclusion, I was starting to run out of gas.

"September 21" - I spent Sunday evening on the coast. Don Yonders, East Bay Wes and I headed out to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. We saw RJ Mischo with a radically different band featuring Steve Freund, Kedar Roy and Marty Dotson. It was a very nice evening of straight Chicago Blues done the old fashioned way. RJ was kind enough to ask me up to play a couple of tunes. The Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is a cool venue to see music. The atmosphere is laid back. The beers are great. The food is excellent.

"September 23" - I rested on Monday. Tuesday night, Jimmy Dewrance was hosting the World Famous Tuesday night Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. He was joined by Russell Barber, Eddie B and Hans Bosse. It was a pretty busy and crazy night.

"September 24" - RJ Mischo was hosting the Redwood City Blues Jam. He was joined by Steve Freund, Anthony Paule, Randy Bermudes and June Core. I shot a couple of video clips. First up, RJ performs the title track off of his most current CD, The King of a Mighty Good Time.

More videos can be seen here:

"September 26" - This was the final night of RJ Mischo's west coast trip. He was at the Poor House Bistro in San Jose. One of the cool things about seeing RJ is that he hires all sorts of different musicians which makes for a completely different show every time you see him. This was no exception. He had Kid Andersen, Mike Phillips and Hans Bosse with him.

He had a few folks sit in like Frank Derose, Big John Stokes, Jimmy Dewrance and me. There was also a 13 year old girl that sat in. She had a huge voice. If we don't see this girl on American Idol in the future, I would be shocked.

Here is a video clip of them performing the Muddy Waters classic, "Forty Days and Forty Nights" at the Poor House Bistro.

"September 27" - I stopped on the way to Gilroy Gardens and caught the first set of the School of the Blues Summer Concert. I shot a some video of my friend, Rich Fell's first performance on bass.

"September 30" - Steve Freund hosted the World Famous Tuesday night Blues Jam at the Mojo Lounge. I sat in with Steve, Marc Carino and June Core. It turned out to be a very interesting evening. Former Bay Area resident, Twist Turner dropped in for a visit. It was nice to see a familiar face from Chicago.