Man the jam scene in Florida is great. Tuesday night the most excellent band Mudbone hosts a jam from 7:30 to 10:30 at Vodka Bar & Grill (formerly Weekend Willie's). They start calling people up to sit in at around 9. I've been going to that jam around 4 or 5 years, so they know me. The 1st few weeks this time, I was the only singer/guitarist/bandleader jammer showing up, so I was getting 8-10 songs, FTW. Later more bandleader types, including Guy Rienzi, started showing up, but I kept getting at least a few songs. Mudbone is a 5 piece band:
- David Carlton Johnson plays bass and sings (and plays keys, guitar and drums). He tours with the Aaron Neville Quintet.
- Mario Infanti plays guitar and sings (and drums). He played with Chuck Mangione for 4 years.
- Ricky Howard plays guitar (and bass) and sings. He also has a rockabilly band Rick Howard and the Speedbumps.
- Jerry Fiore plays harp and percussion and sings.
- Bill E. Peterson is the drummer. His kit is just bass, snare, high hat, and 1 cymbal.
They are all absolutely top notch musicians and good guys. Here they are doing Chick Corea "Spain" and Jeff Beck "Stratus".
One night jamming there I was playing with a bass player named Jimmy Allen. He plays a fretted bass left-handed and a fretless bass right-handed??? He invited me to a jam Friday nights 5-8 at the Beach Box right at Vanderbilt Beach. So I started going to that one too. Other musicians there are Justin Ross and Bob Lynch, both guitarist/singers, and Drummaboi Jordon Henry (Jimmy's nephew) on drums. I got a lot of songs and had a lot of fun. I also 3 times played Jimmy's fretless bass. I did OK as long as I remembered to look at my left hand - Fretless Bass Challenge, check!
I also played at the Tuesday jam with singer/harpist Guy LaForge, and he invited me to come sit in with his band, Big Buck and the Biscuit Boys, which I did twice. They were a 5 piece band - harp, guitar, keys, bass, drums - with 4 vocalists. Big Buck (Guy) is like 6'3" and 300# and is a great showman and a very nice guy. Sitting in with Big Buck and the Biscuit Boys is definitely one to check off of the bucket list.
I also got invited to play at a 3 hour superbowl pre-party at Pelican Bend Restaurant in Isles of Capri by Rick Cain, who is lead singer and harpist for The King Bees out of Louisville. His wife Patty played keys and sang (and played bass on the keyboard) and there was a drummer. The keyboard player from BB&TBB showed up and played, as did Big Buck and Owen Evans. We had a harpalooza, with 3 harp players at once. We were playing on a pier with a dolphin swimming behind us. I took my new amp out and had a good time and got to play some new songs, and got free drinks. Woo-hoo!
Here's a pic of Big Buck and Rick Cain and a couple of the Biscuit Boys.
Finally, I made some new friends in Owen Evans and his wife Sheila. They were snowbirds from Ottawa, Canada. Owen plays harp and was pretty much always out playing when I was. He was a big Muddy Waters fan and we worked up a song he liked "Crosseyed Cat". It was decent by the 3rd and last time we did it - here's a link to a video of that last time. I like that limping guitar/harp unison riff. Sheila was taking lots of videos of us playing - if you go to my facebook page, there's like 8 there. I had some seafood I needed to use up before coming back to Lexington, so they came over and we did some serious damage to some sashimi-grade tuna from Oakes Farms.
Meanwhile, back in Lexington, the jam scene is pretty blighted. I am trying a once-a-month jam at Backstretch Bar & Grill Sunday 3-7. I am told this is different, not much blues, more like a bunch of old rockers and lots of people I don't know. I am looking forward to it. Then I will go to Coralee's Open Mic which goes from 7-9 at the new location of Cosmic Charlie's on National Ave. and play with Steve.
On the music in side, here's the end of last year's new music.
- "Bob Dylan: 30th Anniversary Concert", many artists, 1992. Fuzzy lent this to me. 33 tracks. A lot of good stuff, but way too many tracks, so I gave it 3 stars. Steve and I have been playing Eric Clapton's very bluesy version of "Don't Think Twice It's Alright". This imported as 2014, I guess when it was remastered, but then I heard Johnny and June Carter Cash singing and I said, "Hey, wait a minute ..." Dylan comes on for the last few songs and is in particularly bad, nasal voice.
- Norah Jones, "Day Breaks", 2016. Ms. Jones continues to produce most excellent music. She has a voice you don't get tired of. 4 stars. Here's "Tragedy".
- Nine Pound Hammer, "Bluegrass Conspiracy", 2016. This is a local band. The lead guitarist Earl Crim I've played with a few times - he is an excellent guitarist and a very good guy. This album is very well done and engineered - but way too brash for my tastes at my age. 2 stars.
- Todd Rundgren, "A Wizard/A True Star", 1983. I was discussing Todd Rundgren with the sound guy at Willie's Locally Known (Matt?) and he recommended this album. It is all over the place, like an experimental album with lots of drugs involved. 19 tracks, 9 shorter than 2 minutes, and including a 10:35 medley of 4 soul songs. 4 stars for the 7 tracks that sound like Todd Rundgren songs, 3 for the rest. Here's "Does Anybody Love You" - all 1:31 of it.
- The Animals, "The Best of The Animals", 1965. Loaned to me by Fuzzy. One of the best of the 1st wave British invasion groups. Lead singer Eric Burdon stayed around in various incarnations for decades. 4 stars, except for "Ballad of Bo Diddley", which I found a little annoying, 3 stars. Here's "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", which I've been playing lately, but with more of a Reggae beat. Nina Simone also did this song.
- John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival, "The Long Road Home", 1969-2005. 19 tracks. Loaned to me by Fuzzy. I was never that much of a Creedence fan - I'm still not. We played "Lookin Out My Back Door" back in the day. 3 stars.
- Coralee and the Townies, "Criminal Pride", 2014. A very good local singer/songwriter and group. Coralee has been running an open mic for several years. This album is well done but a little countryish for my taste. 3 stars.
- Pavo Pavo, "Young Narrator in the Breakers", 2016. The kind of light poppy indy rock that I like. From Brooklyn, of course. 4 stars. Here's the 1st track, "Ran Ran Run".
- Leon Russell, "The Best Of", 2011. I have always really liked his work, but it took his death last year to prompt me to get some of his music. I worked up "A Song For You", I think my favorite of his, it is fun to play and sing. He does it in Dm, I moved down to Am. 4 stars.