Sunday, July 25, 2010
Saturday Afternoon Blues
Yes, I have joined Stlblues.net, and if you have not yet figured out what this thing does it would be best that you checked it out at http://stlblues.net/. David Beardsley, Craig Caesar, Steve Dettmers and myself have created a new partnership embarked on a mission to enhance the Blues community in St. Louis and other regions, by continuing to produce the killer Music Guide found in just about every venue and city space, as well as the Stlblues website with its Rock, Jazz, Soul, R&B and Blues music calendar. We are getting involved in the promotion of festivals and the talent that is required to put butts in seats.
Why the blues? Well, everyone has a blues "aha" moment that stays with them. It is the way that it works--that which creates that special connection with the blues and it never ever leaves the soul. Mine was in 1983 in Houston Texas, invited to play in a smokey bar called the Gin Mill, on stage with Joey Long and the Texas Brothers. I had played the harmonica a couple times on stage in a country bar in Kansas before moving to Texas. I knew how to play the Ozark Mountain Daredevils style and anything in the country/rock genre. It wasn't until I moved to Houston that I learned what Texas Blues was, a blend of southern rock and blues in their own style. ZZ Top lived right down the road in Sugarland, outside of southwest Houston. Their influence was everywhere. I never forgot the feeling when playing Stormy Monday for the first time with Joey and his band up on that stage. Joey in a wheelchair, a never healing stab wound from an ice pick at the hand of one of his former wives. Nor did I know how significant a person Joey was in the Texas blues music history until researching him recently.
So the blues ain't all that new to me, been in me for a while, since back in 1983. I picked up the guitar and harmonica a few years ago and started playing again, formed a band and now we play at my venue, Lone Wolf, in West St. Louis County. And Stlblues has been around for a while too, founded in part by one of my former band mates and bass guitar player, Peter "Cornbread" Cohen. Peter also gave me the nudge to play and I am very thankful.
Bottom line, I have much to learn about the history of St. Louis Blues and hardly stack up knowledge-wise among my contemporaries. But if I can help enhance what has already been started--that which has proved to have made a difference in this community. Hell, I will work hard to help in my own special way. Likely in the areas of logistics and organizational development, event management.
My band has gone through some changes too. Jimmyleg and the Browndogs will begin playing in August again at Lone Wolf after a break in the action due to another little logistics gig I have been doing called the Alpine Shop Short Track Dirt Crits.
The development of the Mountain Bike community has been the purpose of the series, developing a communication standard to the people who may want to embark on a new journey of fitness testing and culture. This has been a hoot with more than 400 racers and spectators showing up each Thursday night at Castlewood State Park. There will be more races, promoting the lifestyle, going in to the inner cities to help kids get on bikes and race.
The Browndogs will invite a selection of seasoned musicians to join us and I am busy going out and meeting some of the best in St. Louis. This past Saturday I tossed both Paul "Geezer" Krewet and his lovely wife Alissa (my bride had to work) into the car and headed down to Blues City Deli to hear some blues, thanks to the facebook post from Stlblues.net on Facebook. What a nice thing to do on a Saturday afternoon. Dave Beardsley was there, as he is at any happening blues show. Promoting Blues Week coming up in August/Sept
The Chris Ruest Blues Band (Austin TX) was on tap with killer harmonica player Greg Izor (Austin TX). Playing with local stand ins on the Bass and Drums, these dudes were on fire. Thanks Vinnie at Blues City Deli for hosting them.