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September 08, 2005

Hot Damn...Mark McGee!! By:Mo 9/3/05

Did I forget to mention a show in all this madness??
Forgot that I went down to the Tradewinds for some Alameda All-Stars last Saturday, Friday, or whatever day that was, and now that things are somewhat calming down, all those other things in life are coming back to me now. Yeah I know, I think too damn much but hey, what can I say?

Yep, the Alameda all-stars. I could've swore that it was listed earlier in the month on the calendar as Detroit Deciples but what do I know???
No matter anyway cuz half of AAS is in the Deciples anyway. They sure are soundin' good these days.
So, even knowing it was AAS instead I was gonna go anyway. It had been awhile since I'd seen them and come to find out....this would be their "virgin gig" at the Tradewinds! I would've never known. They had always played at Spancky's and that was always well worth a visit to that place when they were there.

So, this made it all the more fun. The place started out real dead and it built up through out the night. I love when that happens. I actually like walking into an empty gig in the beginning. Half the fun is watching the people come through the door and the floor starts filling and the energy level rises, and depending on the crowd..... it is a real blast to be hootin', hollerin', and dancin' for that energy from the stage.
So, that's what happened on this night.
I was REALLY lookin' forward to seeing and hearing Tommy Miller singing again but he wasn't there on this night doing the bass duties . BUT....Don Bassey would be there and it was just one big happy Alameda All Star Family!
That Don sure gets around. As well he should. His enthusiasm and love for the music is contagious.

Tommy Thompson was there layin' out the more funky and bluesy songs on vocals and keys.
Preston was there on drums and it was real great to see and hear him again!

And here we go.....
Mark McGee would lay out the rock guitar that was absolutely the best I've heard of him...well...since the last time I saw him!
They have an almost new songlist which includes many I can relate to thanks to my son, Brian.
Some 90s rock that is tasteful and melodic and the band did the breaks and all the arrangements beautifully!!
I was in awe just listening to this guy!
And the band too!!

Of course, we all know that Mark McGee, and the band for that matter, is no stranger to the blues...no siree. He did some real great blues including that slide work he does so well.

Real great night and lots of different genres mostly focused on Rock, Blues, and Funky R&B covers.

Hot damn....Mark McGee!!!
It's almost classical guitar- not that I know much about classical guitar. No shreddin' but fast. Chaotic yet intricate. Loud but soft.

I know there were other highlites of the night but we're talkin' daze ago.
it was a great night at the 'winds. Across the street was the Stragglerz and they were classic rock cover band.

It would be great have these guys back- The Alameda All Stars!!


Posted by Mo at 09:47 AM | Comments (1)

September 07, 2005

RX for the Soul- Freund style! By:Mo 9/6/05

I needed some lowdown blues on this night. I felt like I just wanted to crawl into a corner, lounge, and be alone with some blues and bud (weiser;-).
Getting to be incognito was gonna prove to be difficult but it all worked out. I think.

Undecided 'til 9pm, if I was gonna go out at all, I left the house at 9:30pm and still made the first set of Steve Freund and band at the Ivy Room.
I wanted to hit the Saloon in North beach for Lisa Kindred but I really wasn't in the mood for dealing with parking and North beach traffic on this night.

The Ivy Room is a great place, one of my favorites to go to hear blues, and easy access. Only a short 45 minute drive compared to an hour for the city and dealing with the traffic and parking keeps me away more often than not, unfortunately. Besides....I was really in the mood to be alone and crawl into a dark corner and hear some real lowdown blues and who else can deliver that type of blues other than..... Steve Freund.

Man, it felt great to crawl into a cave and just get numb on bud/weiser and blues. It was really quite enjoyable.
I found a quiet table in the corner, put my feet up, and pretty much stayed there all night. Sometimes it's nice to go hear some blues at a place where nobody knows your name. This is getting harder to come by.
View was not obstructed much for I had a straight shot of the band and all their amazing blues antics; it was a real treat.

The place was quiet and for no good reason-Freund and band are awesome!!

Randy Bermudas-what can't that guy do on that bass?
His bass leads were strong and forceful. He was putting out some of the best basslines I've heard in a long while. I love the way he can get that 'stand up' sound on those jumpy numbers.
He is absolutely one of the best in the biz, no doubt.
After the last two songs, which is where he really shined on this night, I wanted to go up and grab his hands and just rub them and kiss them. Nuthin' weird or anything kinky but it was just that amazing!!
To watch him play that fret like a piano was incredible. His hands were all over that thing. Just a glidin' and then for those real low tones on the jumpy numbers he was a pickin' dem strings way down low.
I'm sorry, you know I can't explain music being inarticulate person I am. Just go see for yourself sometime.

Randy Bermudas- Man of the hour!!

Robi Bean back on the drums is another one of those that is easily taken for granted until he's not there. Amazing!

Freund just kept layin' it down soft and low, guitar and singing, for awhile and it was exactly what I was wantin' to hear. I slouched in my chair, gettin' more comfy when he invited "Sir" Charles Wheal, The "English Gentleman" up for some guitar.
There they were....two of my favorite guitarists up there on stage together but why wasn't I up and dancin' with excitement? I did appreciate it and was very much enjoying this moment.
Charles, so sweet, subtle and a real gentleness and then Steve adding an edge to it, it was a perfect combo.

John Peterson got up and blew some real nice harp. He was really soundin' great on this night. Never steps on others and never over plays, he is a real treat to listen to these days.
His solos were in real tune with the rest of the band and a perfect fit.

It was a quiet night in the joint. Waiting for the last set, I was enjoying the house music. You just know when Bill's around, you're gonna hear some real great old blues on the house system. I was glad I came in and waited inside this time. Thanks Bill for the great tunes. "Bring Me My biscuits....."

There was but two of us sitting there, waiting. The band got up and played as though the place was packed. The others trickled in to finish off the night.

I felt much better and numbed with blues-lowdown blues-and then it was over. I was ready to camp out and listen to that stuff all night but it came to an end.

Stopped for coffee, a pastry, and some cash for the toll, and I was on my way home. It was great to be alone for awhile. It was even better to be able to slip into incognito although it proved difficult at first.
I do believe that it's a person's right to go into a venue without the hassles of social ills and that was what I was tryin' to do.
If Freund wasn't delivering what I am craving and need every so often, it would make things a whole lot easier not to go to his shows but he's just so damn good and Freund delivers much relief for the soul, with that music of his. And he's always backed by the best of the best!

I got to sleep in again and this vacation is just what the Dr ordered. I already feel MUCH better! Aside from all the emotional turmoil going on, I feel physically better.
The van is going in tomorrow for a lengthy list of routine maintnance stuff. This is a good thing. Finally I'm able to put it in the shop.
I am planning on staying home tonight to hang out with our "baby girl" and chill.
I do want to check out Sonny Lowe's thang on Thursday but I have a feeling that Burke won't be there.
I might take advantage of this time off and go down and FINALLY hear Stan Erhart at Lou's on Thursday. Assuming I get my van back the same day.
I've heard great things......

Love to all!

Posted by Mo at 12:49 PM | Comments (1)

September 06, 2005

More Blues Relief Payne/Edmonson Style! 9/5/05

I almost called and backed out of this one. I'm feeling like, how can I go out and try to have fun with such a catastrophe going on?
I want to be down there ripping roofs off houses or something!!
There are still some that need and want, rescuing, water, food and medicine right now, not money, blankets and promises. What is going on here??!!

I'm pacing the house not being able to focus on nuthin', irritable, crying, just being unbearable to the family, I decided (and my husband too) that it was best that I get out. I kept apologizing to him thru out the day after each 'bursting out" moment. He said not to worry about it.
He's my rock and he keeps me grounded. And so do my friends.

We picked up Terri and headed on down that corridor to that Ivy Room for Jackie Payne and Steve Edmonson's Birthday Party! Although it wasn't suppose to get out, it was Bill Singletary's Birthday too.

Happy Birthday to all three and thanks for the invite!

We got there at 5pm only to find it didn't start 'til 6 or so.
We went out for coffee. As we pulled past we waved to Jackie, Steve, and others out in front as they were inflating a BIG WHITE BUNNY!!
I mean BIG.
It even lit up as night came. Still not sure what that was about and I forgot to ask.

The music was great!
Jackie and Band were joined by a guest keyboardist and Steve Freund on guitar. John Peterson would sit in on harp, Burton Winn on bass, A couple of singers including LISA KINDRED!!
I just love her.
I'm thinking of going to see her tonight at the Saloon if anybody wants to go ;-)

I wasn't sure why Freund was there for the night, the only reason I could think of was so Edmonson could cut loose on his birthday, and not have to commit to the stage but he pretty much stayed up there all night!! He's so good. I love the way he and Jackie just flow together. The whole band is nothing short of top notch, professional and a real classy show!!

Jackie will pull you right into the show. His voice was what I was needin' on this day. Then that guitar of Edmonson's working in there, It was all so relieving.
I couldn't forget about the worries, not this time, but the music worked it's way into them and every song was related in some form or another. It was comforting.

Thank You Jackie, Steve , and gang!
Nick Otis on drums(oops! Did I say Lucky?)
Bill Singletary on bass.
Carl Green on sax.
John Middleton on trumpet.
Guest keyboard player who recorded with them (?Sorry)
Steve Freund on guitar and all the others!
It was an amazing day and it all ended too soon. It always does with Jackie.

I picked up a CD from Judy since I have none with Jackie and Edmonson together.
I figured since I didn't get them a present may as well buy one for myself from them!
It all worked out for all somehow.

The highlite of the evening for me was getting to tour the TOUR BUS!! That's right, Steve showing off their tour bus and he took a few of inside. I won't tell you what goes on inside there but I will say we got to watch Albert Collins on the screen and hear lots of cool stories!!

I felt like a pathetic fan and I was in awe that I was sitting inside JACKIE PAYNE'S and STEVE EDMONSON'S tour bus!!

I tell you what though... as hard as they work, they should have a full size bus with all the works!! They are amazing! All great people and ask them to tell you about their trip to Thailand sometime, it's a treat.
Thanks for the tour, Steve.
It was a real treat for this pathetic blues fan.
And a big Thank You to Bill for the stories of Thailand. I want to go.

The food looked great although I didn't have any. I had eaten before I left and besides...I think Dee took our share ;-)
I did get some of the guitar cake, the chocolate part, and it was great! John Peterson's wife made it and it was really cool lookin', shaped into a guitar and it was delicious!

I got to sleep in a bit this AM and was Thankful to awake to a new day.

Love to all!

Posted by Mo at 04:17 PM | Comments (1)

Blues Relief w/Coco/Roy 9/2/05

So, here it is Friday and I'm still recovering from RJs show. I am feeling very drained as well from all the emotional turmoil going on, the ups and lots of big downers, but Dee called and nudged me to go out.
I feel guilty for even thinking of going out and trying to have some fun at this point. I feel guilty for having so much while others are suffering even though we have little compared to 'American' standards.
I fill up the van at a cost of $50 bucks and hear the complaints of others while yet so many are suffering.
I am thankful to be 'able' to fill up the van and be 'able' to go out and hear some blues.
Shoot, I am thankful to have clean water to brush my teeth and I cherish that every day!
It gets too be too much sometimes, all the needless suffering in the world, and Katrina just drove it right on home.
Some things we can't control but most suffering we could ease.
Aaaah.... Humanity.
Will we ever learn or will we just continue to destroy ourselves?
I know I won't live to see the day but will the Human Race ever see it?

So, heart filled heavy, Dee shows up and we're walkin' out as a kid shows up cryin' on my doorstep. A family friend since he was 10 months old, his life is falling apart and he misses us he says. I have been seeing it go down for him for some time but other family things have kept me from jumping in. Animosity among my other two at home with him but I know for a fact it's trivial. This is it and I think he's moving in. The poor guy.
How can I turn my back on him?
My husband told me today that he would've let him in a long time ago but didn't say anything to me. He's such a big-hearted guy, shoot, he would have all the wayward teens in the house!
Now, I feel real bad. I just couldn't go against our kids but dammit, he is one of ours! They all are. So, wish us luck.

Get on the road and headed towards Petaluma and my mind is going a mile at minute with all this 'stuff'.

Thank goodness Dee and Teri kept me grounded.
Walked in and there was Mike Bundock in the lobby with a custom guitar he made.
He was raffling it off and all the proceeds are going to the Red Cross. It was a beauty. Don't ask me any "specs" cuz I don't know.
It was a real sweet thing he was doing and he said he had to do something because he felt helpless for the people.
He ended up raising $500 and that was great considering that not many people showed. Just think if it was announced thru-out the night!!
Real nice of Mike.

We paid $20 and I would say we definitely got our moneys worth. We had three bands and the first would be John Corbitt.
I know, I know....I never heard of him neither. But let me tell you....they were great!
Rock based everything!
Four pieces and all talented and tight.
John played acoustic and he had a guitarist who was killer!!!
Bass and drums.....all great.
And the songwriting is wonderful. All sorts of stuff and worth seeing again.
Not sure where they're from and what their story is but a real great band.

Now for Coco Montoya.
He opened with "Can't Get My Ass In Gear" and it was like old times!
I was happily singing along with that one.
He has a different keyboardist, and I really miss Benny, but this guy is good although I have forgotten his name.
Randy Hayes on drums and Steve Evans on bass.
What a great band.

"Let's stick to the blues here Coco" was what I kept saying to myself.
He went into some of his more rockish ballads but every so often he threw in some killer blues.
But it didn't matter because he would end almost every song with that guitar he plays so well.
He's still doing the talkin', cryin', pissed-off guitar bit so some things are still the same. I just love his old songs. He did several. Didn't do 'Dyin' Flu' or 'Am I Losing You' but did lots of other great "Coco classics'.

Next set was Roy Rogers and his Delta Rhythm Kings.
Aaaah Roy...Roy...Roy!
Where in the heck does he come up with this stuff?
He is amazing!
His band was Steve Ehrman on bass and a drummer by the name of....I don't know.
I am sorry for that because he was introduced and very worthy of mentioning.
This was the trios of all trios. I couldn't believe all the sound coming from that little ol' band.
Roy tore it up and the final song, "3220" was the best!!
I wish I was in better shape physically on this night, to get down to that stumpin' stuff, but my body is tore up and worn out right now.
My legs and back are ready for this much needed two weeks off.
I tried though. Every once in awhile Coco and Roy would reach right in there and push all them buttons. I was jumpin' with euphoric excitement and Coco had me pullin' my hair out at one point.
I love when it gets to the point where I don't know what else to do but jump up and down, pound on the stage, crawl on the floor, beg them to stop, it just gets to be too much. Every so often that happens and it's what I'm on the prowl for when I go out to hear that blues guitar I love so much.
Aaaah...it felt great to let it all out!!

So, we were done and all of us hungry. Stopped for some nourishment and I was thankful we were able to sit and eat a meal.
Slept in a bit and awoke to a new day. I was Thankful for that too.

I am rearranging my budget and cutting back on a couple of things that I can live without, such as a blues show here & there, just so I can donate to the people of the south.
I urge all to do the same if you haven't already.

Seeing the military in there makes this one of the rare moments where I'm proud to be an American. Thank You troops. This is what we should be focusing on - Humanitarian causes.

Love to all!

Posted by Mo at 11:49 AM | Comments (1)

September 03, 2005

It's All RJ Mischo's Fault! 8/31/05

So, after much debating on whether to go down to the city on a schoolnight, and not wanting to put too much more wear & tear on da van until I get it maintanced, I found a ride and a few of us ventured down to SF's North Beach to the funkiest, smelliest, best damn blues joint anywhere- The Saloon!

RJ Mischo was there and man.....I just love this guy's style! I wasn't sure who was gonna be with him, as far as the band is concerned, but it never matters. RJ always has some of the best players with him....... All The Time!

There is something about his style that just rubs me the right way. His playing, his voice, his presence, it's all there. So smooth and a real genuine person.
His songs are fun, funny, and funnier. Great song writer.
I wish I could describe it better but I really don't have a way with words ;-)
I'm not a huge harp fan ( Gimme dat bluz gitar ;-) but I could listen to him play all night and day.

We get there and walked in, and who should be on guitar but none-other-then......
This was a real surprise!!
Vance Ehlers on bass and Hans so & so on drums!!
What a band!
As I was standing there in front, sort of dancing, I was watching the band and thinking to myself, "What we have up here are four players and all of them playing leads!"
It was amazing!
RJ blowin' that harp and singing (Blow Baby, Blow), Bob doing his awesome guitar work, and Vance just thumpin' out some real nice bass leads. Then Hans pulling it all together with some real tight drummin' that accented and highlighted in all the right places.

It was incredible. All three were standing up there in a row and I couldn't decide which to watch or "tune into".
To watch Vance play a stand up bass is a real treat.

Bob I have never seen do a whole night of lead guitar. It was killer! He really gets into that Luther Tucker, fluttering stuff. That souletting picking that's real fast. He is so precise and clean. He was really cuttin' lose.
This guy here is a genius. He can do it all. But when those fingers glide on them ivories and playin that Chicago blues piano, it's orgasmic!!
I never realized his guitar style was heavily Tucker influenced.
Bob Welsh....what doesn't he play??

So we stayed for the whole night. Rolf asked if I wanted to go after the second set because I did have to get up at 4am but RJ would announce John Nemeth being in the house and he would sit-in on the third set. The group that I was with had never seen, or heard him before, so it was a must. I especially wanted Teri to hear since we're going to his show on the 25th in Napa.
He made a few new fans on this night.
I'm not sure who's gonna be with him on the 25th but it don't matter.
Oh yeah, he plays a pretty darn good harp too but the highlite of his shows is definitely his voice.
Can't wait for the 25th!!!

So, the lights go on and it's time to leave. I'm wiped but damn....what a show!!!
Did I mention that Kid Anderson sat in??! He is so damn good.
He did a couple including "Rock Awhile". I think that was the song.
If you haven't seen the Kid and his own show, it's a must!!
His Cd, "Rock Awhile" is real fun and always a pleasure to listen to.

I finally picked up a Cd of RJs. Yes, I'm embarrassed to say I didn't have any up to this night. Bob was on stage selling them and I had him pick one out for me and he picked "West Wind Blowin'. I have listened to it for two days straight on my commute. It has Steve Freund and Rusty Zinn on it and it's pretty darn good. I want to try his others too. He introduced a new one recorded live in ...what was it..... Montreux or Montreal, I can't remember.
Walter Shufflesworth is all over "West Wind" on them drums and I was wonderin'....what ever happened to Walter?
Haven't heard of him for awhile.

So, we left and I nodded a bit on the way home since I wasn't driving.
Got home at 3am and I had an hour to sleep. I awoke at 6am! Yikes!
Late again??
I walked in work, fried but with an ear to ear grin of satisfaction all day!

"Damn, Mo. Maybe we should give a courtesy wake-up call?"
I said, "It's all RJ's fault. Don't blame me".
They just looked at me without asking why, or who RJ is.
The whole day was a fumbling, blundering day.
I dropped a few things and I got some help cleaning up the pureed mess all the while telling them, "I'm sorry man but it's really RJs fault". Still, no questions, they just looked at me strangely.

I was wiped and obviously looked it and a few said, "Damn, Mo. You look like shit".
I said, "It's all RJs fault, really".
Still no explanation needed.

I was processing something in our commercial tabletop food processor and it was missing three of it's rubber feet and the damn thing 'walked" right off the table!! It was history. I have NEVER destroyed equipment like that!
I told the supervisor and apologized and said, "It's really not my fault, it RJ's fault".
STILL, no explanation needed.
We're talking a few thousand dollar piece of equipment here!
He's so cool our supervisor.
So, I fumbled through one hellish day all the while with a smile. Finally someone comes up to me and says, "You went out to hear blues lastnight, didn't you?"
I hung my head for a moment and then said, "How did you know?"
They are on to me and my bluesin' antics already.

I made it through the day, came home, took my daughter out to dinner in celebration of her acceptance to UCDavis next fall, watched a movie, and called it an early night. I can't believe I made through the day but at least I got to sleep in til 6am.

I hope you don't mind me putting the blame on you RJ. I usually don't blame other's for my mistakes and always own up to them, but if you weren't so damn good, I would've stayed home like any other normal human being and slept before work.
Thanks for one awesome night!
Thank You Saloon for having the blues, all the time.
Thank You Rolf for driving.


Posted by Mo at 12:50 PM | Comments (0)