Friday, April 23, 2010

The Duck and the Wolf

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Jeff Constance and Doc Antny's Gal Jen getting blued

Jim Davis, hangin with the Duck at the Wolf.

We are not sure of what will happen at this point with the name, but nothing will change if it does. Well, that ain't necessarily true, the Wolf always changes.

One thing is for sure, the vision is intact. We continue to prepare food that is abundant, healthier than not, interesting and reasonable on the pocket book. We are museum like, a wide variety of things to look at, to ponder, to consider yourself "doing". Like a blast down a mountain side on the Geezers Pugsley, or a 12 mile an hour float in a Surfski, the same boat that won the 2008 Surfski Championships on the West Coast. Maybe you want to get on your soapbox? No problamo, just ask. You can have the stage.

Or maybe its the music, the cultural events, the O (oxygen)-sport promotions?

Lone Wolf has positioned itself as West St. Louis Counties newest music venue, The Blackhawk Room and formed a band, The Brown Dog Blues Band, a group of musicians who play music for the sake of expression, for the feeling they get from expression and for what it does for the community. The Brown Dog is playing out this summer at a concert in the park near you.

Note the Signed Stratatone, a purchase from Fenton James put to good use.

Maybe its just plain community. Lone Wolf is the cornerstone, the place where people meet and share ideas, there are speaker events, fertility experts, adventure travel speakers, self help specialists, Fly tying, knitting, bible studies, all sorts of cultural events taking place. I can't even keep track any more. They run themselves, the people in the community doing their thing.

And out in the community we promote health and wellness events, O-sports, the use of our local natural resources to promote active living and that which embraces an active lifestyle. We promote bicycle races, Wolf Howl Midnight 5k runs, Dog Jog races, Eco bike rides, anything enhancing our communities perspective on active living and sustainability.

The Lone Wolf continues to evolve and make a difference in an industry that changes by the month. Consider your traditional coffee house, your bread company, your tavern and your community center packaged up just right on the cornerstone of the community, a civil liberty perspective amongst the community, yep, that's what I said. Its a place that changes, evolves and remains unique within the community where it resides, the walls adorned with the heroes of our active living community and their accomplishments.

Full house for the Duck

So last night was a milestone. Peter "Cornbread" Cohen, bass player of the Brown Dog Blues Band, hooked me up with Jeff Konkel, a local PR guy and writer, movie producer dude. He owns a record label called Broke Hungry Records. Jeff wanted to bring what I consider one of the most authentic music cultural events to west St. Louis County. Jimmy "Duck" Holmes came in by train from (because he doesn't fly) to the Wolf for a three hour show, his distinct style of music, Bentonia Blues.

Jimmy "Duck" Holmes is one of the most celebrated rural blues musicians performing today. The 62-year-old guitarist has lived his entire life in Bentonia, Mississippi. He is the owner of the Blue Front Cafe, the oldest juke joint in Mississippi.

So I asked "Duck" (because if makes him feel younger when you call him Duck) what the hell is a Juke Joint? I really had to pay attention, because the dialect in Mississippi, along with a distinct cultural shift, well, it was on me to make sense of every word. The dude was 100% authentic and a very warm sensitive man. I made a friend and will go down to Bentonia to see him, hopefully get to play the harp with him someday.

Anyway, he looked me in the eyes and said, "a Juke joint is just like ya'lls Honky Tonk's, not trying to be prejediced or nuthin". He said "in a Juke Joint you got women, you got wiskey, you got music and you got for sure one more thing....fightin".

"A Honky Tonk is White Folks listenin to Country, a Juke Joint is Black Folks listenin to Blues". He said it don't matter what color you are, the fightin starts".

I thought that pretty well sums up how the cultural differences ain't really all that different. Ducks style of blues captivated the audience for a solid three hours. I will have him back, you can bet on that, said he'd drive up or jump on the train any day for the folks in West St Louis County. And I would do the same to go and see my new friend and new hero, Mr. Jimmy "Duck" Holmes.

Lone Wolf is now the oldest Juke Joint in Ballwin, ifyouknowhatimtalkinbout.

1 comment:

Trail Monster said...

Thanks Ralph! The Lone Wolf sure knows how to make a great evening.
$5 bucks got me me that I had imagined. Easy rain fallin' outside, crawfish all curled up from hot tubin' with taters and corn all washed down with 2 buck schlaf, and then the music, ahh the music!
BDBB set the stage for a true blues treat. I don't think it get's any more real than Duck, unless you're sittin' on the front step at Blue Front.