I made it back, and as you can all see from the photos of my mother’s house and the view, ‘twas not easy leaving. I spot-welded to the terrace, relaxing in the sun and eating. A lot. No really, I love Turkish food and I ate pretty much non-stop. Kokorec, a stuffed sheep’s lung sandwich, is one of my favorite dishes, and I managed to eat a few of those. I even brought a serving home with me and put it in the freezer for my birthday lunch in December. When it comes to food and my birthday, I think ahead.
I know I missed some great music while I was gone, but all the wonderful music we have coming will help make up for it. This week we have Lethal Lisa on Thursday night, and this chick knows how to rock a house. Johnny O Band returns Friday which means Ladies’ Night! That band knows how to draw the feminine energy, and the dance floor gets crowded. Saturday night the Rhythm Allstars return, with the talented Russ Musilek at the helm. They put on a great show, so join us.
Next week is a biggie. Monday night is a special show with 2009 solo/duo IBC winner, Little Joe McLerran, and for those of you who missed him last time, don’t make the same enormous mistake twice. I think the best description for him would be that he’s a young Johnny Long (who’s also coming back soon!). He was recently in the Persian Gulf, and apparently made quite an impression. I found this BEYOND wonderful news both for the Blues and for U.S./Middle East relations:
There is an Arabic expression that David Berntson picked up on his recent tour of the Gulf States: Insh'allah, "if God wills it." The blues musician from Tulsa, Okla., found himself making use of it frequently in the run-up to a concert at the King Fahd cultural center in Riyadh last April. Public concerts are virtually unknown in Saudi Arabia—let alone performances for mixed audiences of men and women—and here was the Little Joe McLerran Quartet, an American band specializing in an upbeat and highly danceable form of the blues, on a tour sponsored by the U.S. State Department. Up to the last minute, the musicians were told there was a 90% chance the performance would be banned.
"On the day, they called and said the show will go on," Mr. Berntson, the group's harmonica player, recalls. "The audience was supposed to be segregated, but they mingled toward the end. Because of the bright lights we couldn't see them, but we were told some of them even got up and danced." Mr. Berntson says the significance of the event struck him only later. "Afterwards, when we were up in Oman, some diplomats said we accomplished more in a week than they have in years."
(Continues Next Column)
Thu 7/22 Lethal Lisa and
Fri 7/23 Johnny O Band
Sat 7/24 Rhythm Allstars
Sun 7/25 Blues Jam w/ Lionel & Mark
Mon 7/26 Little Joe McLerran ($10 Cover)
Tue 7/27 Blues Jam w/Gretchen Troop
Wed 7/28 Debbie Davies and
Robin Rogers ($10 Adv/$15 Door)
Thu 7/29 Big Bill Morganfield ($10 Cover)
Fri 7/30 Teresa Lynne
Sat 7/31 The Informants
That’s high praise, indeed! Can’t wait for their fantastic music and to hear more about the trip. You can all find more here: CLICK
Wednesday is a day I’ve been awaiting literally for years. I’m going to meet and hear Debbie Davies live for the first time! Yes, me! That’s right! Ok, if any of the rest of you want to crash my party and meet and listen to her and Robin Rogers (a twofer!), I suppose I can’t stop you, but I might just be a tad territorial with Debbie. Ok, I’ll admit something to you. The first time I received an email from Debbie, I nearly peed myself with excitement. Coupled with the fact that she was writing me at the suggestion of My Tommy Castro simply made the moment all the sweeter. I love her music and have heard so many tremendous things about her from some of the musicians whose opinions I hold in high regard, that I find myself in a wonderfully agitated state of excitement (either that or I ate too many stuffed sheep’s lung sandwiches). Here’s what a couple of other publications (not as important as this one, obviously) think:
“She wields an electric guitar as if it were a wand.” - Los Angeles Times
“Davies playing is extraordinary - full of propulsion and energy and melodic invention…” People Magazine
I’m finally going to meet Debbie Davies! Woo hoo! Yay me! Do yourselves a favor and read her bio: http://debbiedavies.com/bio.html. It’s fascinating. Here’s a taste:
Davies cut her teeth playing in blues and rock ‘n roll bands in the San Francisco Bay area before returning to Los Angeles in 1984, where she landed the lead guitar spot in Maggie Mayall and the Cadillacs, an all-female band led by wife of British blues pioneer, John Mayall. In 1988 she was recruited by Albert Collins to join the Icebreakers, and for the next three years she was a featured guitarist performing behind one of the most innovative bluesmen of all time. “I stepped through a door into the real blues world when I joined Albert’s band,” Davies says. “It’s one thing to listen to the records and pull off the licks, or sit in the audience watching these artists play. But actually going out and touring with one, turned the blues into something completely three-dimensional for me. I knew then what a special opportunity this was, but I know it even more now.” During her tenure with Albert, Debbie was invited to perform on John Mayall’s 1990 album, A Sense of Place, and in 1991 she recorded with Albert Collins and the Icebreakers on the Grammy nominated self-titled release for Point Blank/Virgin Records.
And that’s just the first half of next week. Stay tuned for the rest!