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October 21, 2007

Little Johnny Taylor/Blues Bud Lenny. By:Mo (9/07)

I was at my blues buddy, Lenny's, house the other day. I visit him every now & then. I should more often, no excuse really, but I promise to more often from this point on.
You see....this guy has turned me on to so much blues I would of never discovered on the national blues scene.
Locally? I think I've done pretty good. I keep him updated on that scene for he doesn't get out at all anymore. Health problems and disabilities, seclusion, you know....life.
I just love this guy and take his friendship for granted.

He's full blood Italian, grew up in South Philly, 50 something years old, you get my point. Hard core blues fan. Some thrills from Doo-Wap too.
First time I met him, maybe ten plus years ago, he was workin' the production line, I was workin' the cafeteria.
I'm down doing something behind the counter, he's walkin' in with the lunchtime crew singin' "Boom, Boom, Boom..." and I pop up and respond, "Gonna shoot ya right down..." and that was all she wrote.
At that time I was dabblin' in the blues gettin' my feet wet on the local scene and he introduced more national stuff. He had subscriptions to all the blues magazines at that time, buys lots of CDs, religiously listens to what blues radio shows he can get......That's Lenny.
Sure wish he had a computer!!
Man, a whole new blues world would open for him.
Oh my god.....look out. You think I'm bad!
He's the one that made me what I am. It's all Lenny's fault. As a matter of fact...Lenny was the one to turn me onto Nick Moss for the first time. You want to talk about a Nick Moss fan??!!

We sometimes swap CDs, usually me loaning him all the local ones I pick up. He would never hear of most of them if it wasn't for me bringing them over and telling him about the shows. He don't get out anymore.
I asked him if he had any Little Johnny Taylor and I never ask him to borrow CDs.
I don't like the whole responsibility thing..... I don't know.

He looked at me strange and said, "I don't know, Mo. I don't think you'll like him. He's too soulful, a lot of R&B for you, I bet."
Kinda feeling insulted, I said, "I don't know, I just love his singing and I'm in that mood I guess".

We went back & forth about it for a few and he tried to give me Johnny Copeland and John Littlejohn saying that I would like them better. Sure I like Johnny Clyde and can't wait to become more familiar with John Littlejohn, but I was just in the mood for that voice of Johnny Taylor. There was no talkin' me out of it, although he tried.
So I got out of there with Little Johnny Taylor's Greatest Hits, (Galaxy years) and two each of Johnny Copeland and John Littlejohn. Seems to be a lot of "Johnny's" in this piece for some reason. Weird.

I don't think I've listened to the others but for a minute just yet, because I can't seem to get away from that Little Taylor. Some tasty horn arrangements and the guitar work on some of those numbers is just down-right twitter-pating!
According to the linear notes by Lee Hildebrand, who's playing on the songs is obscure. Arthur Wright, a studio guitarist, is on many I guess. Never heard of him but he's great if it's indeed him.
I'm glad I finally got the message about Little Johnny Taylor. Come to find out about him, he sang in church for many years before recording as a blues artist and playing clubs. Thus the reason I felt the need to submerge myself into his music, I guess.
For I have seen the light when this guy wails and it was healing!

Yep.... just in the mood I guess.
Funny how one's taste in the blues is forever evolving. So many shades and flavors.
I'm outta here. Gonna go read this piece on Little Johnny Taylor by Lee on the sleeve a bit better, give Little Johnny a break and blast some old Nick Moss while I paint.


Posted by Mo at 07:43 PM | Comments (0)

Just Some Ramblin'.....by:Mo (10/21/07)

It's been a few weeks since going out to hear some blues. Lots of stuff came up but mainly, I just tire of the blues scene sometimes and need to take a break. I think I tire mostly of the baby-ass whiners that always complain about what I say but yet, I don't see them writing anything or attending any shows. No, I haven't gone away "forever" as one person requested in an anonymous hate email I received. It was such a chicken shit act to sign up under a fake yahoo user name (loser MO) and then close it out after sending me their regards. Yes, I would've emailed them personally, and tried, but it came back. That wouldn't be the first of those sort of things and I'm sure it won't be the last. So here's to you and all you whiners......GET A LIFE!!!
There....I'm done with that now.

I have been listening to lots of blues while working around my house fixing it up. I've got a big push going on to finish the boy's old room before he gets back from Iraq. Major over haul in there. And talk about going crazy with colors!!! I am getting brave through out the house.
I can't wait till he gets home, stateside, in the good ol' U.S.of A. I wish they all could come home right now. Maybe then, I can relax a bit. I tire of the worrying.

While at work the other day....I was changing the tapes on the boombox and my co-worker, Shorty, yells out, "Mo, play me some of dem down-home blues, babygirl"
Of course, she knew that that's all I play so I popped in the mystery tape of misc blues and the first song that came on was "I'll Play the Blues for you" by Albert King. How fitting that was.
I think I have them conditioned to the blues now at this job. Out of all the 150 or so cassettes we've accumulated over the last few years, I'd say a forth are blues. Anybody can put on anything they want at any time but mostly it's me playing DJ since no one wants to take the time to walk over there and put something on. I will only play nice for a short bit by playing some R&B, oldies, country, R&R and such before it's....BLUESTIME BABY!
Shoot....I could listen to the blues all day, and we do most the day, but I do try to mix it up a wee bit to keep the masses happy.

So, the blues scene......it's just dry these days. I seldom travel down to the city anymore for just any ol' show. I need to save my miles for my vehicles are getting old and I can't afford a new one right now. I have to work to survive and that's a priority. I'm staying close to home for the blues mostly and not much of it up here. Not any big shows anyway with dancefloors and such. Lots of jams and cover bands though. Last Day Saloon is about the only place that has big blues shows these days and usually it's only one to two times a month on a good month. I do appreciate that. Tradewinds has some local blues, and a new jam going on Tuesday's now. I just tire of the whole jam mentality. Even when it's not called a jam, it turns into a jam. Whatever happened to putting on a real show. I'm bored I guess is what I'm trying to say.

I did go to the Tradewinds last Friday for a great blues show from Bluestate. They are really good. I love their song list, arrangements, everything about them I love. I just wish I wasn't so fried on that night. I had to leave after the second set, for I couldn't stand on my feet anymore or keep my eyes open. I crashed when I got home. I didn't even make it to the bathroom to brush my teeth, I was so fried.
I was wondering why I was feeling this way and then I thought back to the work week I had, and all the work around this house I did, and it was then I realized....I was just plain ol' tired!

Great, great band this Bluestate. I wish I wasn't so out of it so I could've enjoyed them more. Gregg Heumann.....you can sing me the blues any ol' time! Man, I love his voice!
And Vince's guitar work is amazing, the keys, the rhythm section, the whole band...tight!
One thing I would love to see though and that's that they step up and stretch out a bit more. Bring it up just one more notch and it would be even more exciting.
Each of the front guys, the keys, the guitar, Gregg's singing and playing harp & sax, they are each very talented individually. It would awesome to hear let's say....Gregg featured a whole song on just his awesome vocals and harp. Or maybe just let the keys really stretch for a whole song with no interruptions- the guy is incredible in dem keys!
Vince got to stretch a bit more this time on guitar and it was great! That guy can play some blues guitar, no doubt.
Thanks guys for coming all the way up here to play for little or no money. Although it was pretty quiet in downtown Cotati on this night, the small but appreciative crowd loved ya.

The Last Day Saloon has a couple back-to-back blues shows coming up this next week that I'm really lookin' forward to- Mark Hummel on Thursday and Volker Strifler on Friday. This is exciting!!
Guitar Shorty will be there too next month with The Aces opening. That one is very exciting as well. Nice and close to home too.
There is one show down at Biscuits and Blues I'm gonna try to attend and that's Smokin' Joe Kubek this Wednesday night. It's been a few years since seeing him and want to talk about some searin' blues guitar! I just love Bnois King's singing too. Now, that's a show!!!

Well....that's all I've got to say for now. I've got a fence to tear down so a new one can go up next weekend. This should be fun.
Thanks for lettin' me ramble.

Posted by Mo at 07:38 PM | Comments (0)