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February 10, 2005

Nothin' But the Brothas at Tradewinds 2/3/2005

"I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people
I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people

Everything is everything

I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people
I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people

Everything is everything"
(D. Hathaway)

Arriving early at the ‘Winds I was able to get almost the last of Rasta Dwight’s delicious stewed Creole chicken with flavorful gravy and mashed potatoes. Thanks to Levi for having him save me a plate. Somehow that fit that Dwight and Levi hatched the original idea for "Nothin’ But The Brothas" one night at the Tradewinds bar some years ago: "We should have a show for Black History Month that’s only Brothers".

Nothin’ But The Brothas at Tradewinds 2/3/05

I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people
I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people

Everything is everything

I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people
I hear voices, I hear people
I hear voices of many people

Everything is everything
(D. Hathaway)

Arriving early at the ‘Winds I was able to get almost the last of Rasta Dwight’s delicious stewed Creole chicken with flavorful gravy and mashed potatoes. Thanks to Levi for having him save me a plate. Somehow that fit that Dwight and Levi hatched the original idea for "Nothin’ But The Brothas" one night at the Tradewinds bar some years ago: "We should have a show for Black History Month that’s only Brothers".

Dee Wils was setting up the sound system and checking the mics and monitors. Commuting back and forth from board to microphone to monitor he checked ‘aliveness’ and sound levels, sorted out the spaghetti of all the cords, labeled the circuits and looked for dead lines.

Willy Jordan, his drums and cymbal stands already set up talked about being just back from New Orleans. He was resplendent in a "Tipitina’s" T-shirt (Damn, he played there!) and had a pile of "Off Beat" N. O. music magazines. Willy didn’t get much sleep there: too much happening. "I went stone cold wild there. I’d get three hours sleep after playing and wake up to a street parade." He received certain Mardi Gras invites that he had to pass up to return to Sonoma County and his scheduled gigs. I could sympathize, every time I went to N’awlins I never wanted to leave.

Keyboards extrordinaire Ron Lacy was quietly setting up his rig. I’d seen him before but couldn’t quite place where. There sure is a lot to unfold and plug-in with keyboards.

Bassist/guitarist Larry Jones manouvered in the door with an upright bass and put it against wall and went back and got his electric bass rig from his car and set up the large amp, and plugged in.

Levi walked in with two guitars and a small amp, set the amp on a chair, plugged in, checked his tuning, draped a mic across the front of his amp, and went off to talk to friends.

The doors to the ‘Winds were open on a cold dank night and the temperature indoors was about right for hanging meat. I went and got my Mardi Gras beads from Shorty’s stash and circulated the house. The faces were of mostly regulars and musicians. This show’s a music hound tradition. Suddenly in the door joining us came two parties of celebrating young women in party clothes.

Levi warmed up playing some chords and the rest of the band joined in behind him and the jam evolved into a funk groove with Willy introducing the show over it, and then became "Voices Inside (Everything is Everything)." It was massive funk with great solos by Ron Lacey and Levi Lloyd.

The two parties of young women informed the band of the birthdays they were celebrating and the band did their duty. Happy twenty-first Birthday Dana! One group of five crazy girls was from New Orleans; they loved the music.

"634-5789" received the full treatment with Levi doing some great playing. A massive groove and a long evolution of the rhythm led into "Sex Machine" and a really long funk extravaganza. Part way through the song Glenn Sullivan (trumpet) and Dave Schrader (Tenor Sax) walked through the back door and were put to work. Dave did a great solo.

Song after song flowed, with first Carl Bowers joining on trombone, and then a conga player (I asked for his name and nobody knew, he was good. Somebody email me.) Suddenly it was a full orchestra. Ron sang something about "Everybody hates me, but I just—" I had trouble hearing Ron’s mic. Then Walking the Dog became a wild horn driven song with Levi soloing on top. They kept alternating power with delicacy. Magic Sam’s "I Just Want A Little Bit" went into Marvin Gaye’s "What’s Going On" with a full orchestral sound and an ethereal feel.

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some love in here today

Oh what's going on,
Tell me what's going on
(M. Gaye)

Doug Clifford switched with Dave Schrader on Tenor Sax and the horn section quickly traded cues as Willy named them the "Nothin’ But The Others Horns."

The Whole band filled the Tradewinds with a celestial soul sound from another time:

"I guess you wonder where I've been
I searched to find the love within

I came back to let you know
Got a thing for you
And I can't let go

My friends wonder what is wrong with me
Well I'm in a daze from your love you see
I came back to let you know
Got a thing for you
And I can't let go

Some people go around the world for love
And they may never find what they dream of
What you won't do, do for love
You tried everything
But you don't give up

In my world only you
Make me do for love
What I would not do

My friends wonder what is wrong with me
Well I'm in a daze from your love you see
I came back to let you know
Got a thing for you
And I can't let go

And though I only want the best it's true
I can't believe the things I do for you
What you won't do, do for love
You've tried everything
But you won't give up

In my world only you
Make me do for love
What I would not do"
(Bobby Caldwell)

Now they really had me and I was in a time warp. I was back to those parties and dances in Oakland and Berkeley and San Francisco when funk was young and I was too. The poetry and excitement of those times was on me. Funk grooves and songs, A full horn section version of "What Is Hip", "Use Me Up" with the whole house singing along, "Gonna Have a Funky Good Time" ("’D’, Down ‘D’, Funky ‘D’).

"Gonna Take You Higher" is the last song I remember for sure. I was dancing a lot and the music took me away. This show is an annual event, you need to be there; it’s like no other show. It funks harder than almost any other show, but it is also somehow filled with softness and longing.

Posted by Rolfyboy6 at February 10, 2005 03:30 PM

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