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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Showing posts with label Evelyn the bluezy redhead. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Evelyn the bluezy redhead. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Review of Walter Trout's Performance at the Maui Sugar Mill in Tarzana, CA - the bluezy redhead - Guest Writer

The Southern California heat wave started last Monday night when the Sugaray Rayford Band took center stage (and left, right and rear). This past Monday night at the Maui Sugar Mill, for Cadillac Zack's Monday Night Blues Party, it was exceedingly hot outside - 100 degrees - with a 100% chance the inside of the venue would reach 120!! Reach it did... into every nook and cranny of the small dive bar. The A/C was flowing through the vents. The fans were moving in a circular motion. Both operational. When the headliner and his band hit the stage, the temps began to rise... and rise... and rise... to a sweltering surreal meltdown of blues/rock! Two words: Walter Trout. Two more words: Unofficial comeback. An abundance of more words: Walter was on death's bed waiting for a liver transplant not too long ago. He had lost 140 pounds, could barely speak and thought he was at the end of his life. His wife, Marie, constantly told him it was not his time to leave, so he held on to her words. The good news came that they found a liver for him. He had the surgery and recovered and now he is back to carry on his legacy as one of THE best blues/rock guitar slingers and vocalists; without a doubt... not even a shadow of one! This writer had the pleasure of seeing Mr. Trout once before in 2004ish at Humphrey's by the Bay in San Diego. Never having heard of him before, I was in utter disbelief by the talent that he exuded. I mean, come on, he is only one human being and since he doesn't wear a superhero costume or even a cape... how could he be who he was? He was born to play the blues and he will leave this earth playing the blues, as did BB King. With his new zest for living a brand new life, he has an even more impeccable and renewed sense of who he is and exudes it with a heightened stage persona. Dressed in a purple shirt (purple for empowerment) I knew the packed-to-capacity audience was in for a heavy-hitting set! Rounding out the band: Sammy on keys, Michael Leasure on drums, John on bass. First song in the set was "Can't do it by Myself" and what a great message that is... he couldn't have survived without the donor, his wife, the rest of his family, his friends and his fans. When he started performing "I'm Back" I got teary-eyed. He picked these songs to play for obvious reasons and it touched me deeply... the message and his performance. He plays the hell out of his guitar and sings as if it were his last song. He welcomed another legendary blues man, John Mayall, up to the stage; playing keys for several songs. They dedicated a song to BB King "Say Goodbye to the Blues", which was so poignant in its lyrics, yet sensually alive; a contradiction in a beautiful way! Other guests he called up to the stage were Bob Langreth on harp, his son John Trout on guitar and Jimmy Vivino of the Conan O'Brien show. The last song was a tribute that Walter wrote for his wife Marie. It was an instrumental that relayed, even without words, the beauty that he sees in her, the love that he has for her, and the gratitude he will hold in his heart forever. Beautiful. Haunting. This set could not have been more powerful in its delivery, its lyrical meaning, its sound, its visual. It was hot as hell; sexy as sin and as sensual as the purest sensuality. Thank you once again to my friend Cadillac Zack for bringing THE best blues to Southern California! Pasadena on Saturday. Long Beach on Sunday. Tarzana on Monday.

 the bluezy redhead

Monday, May 25, 2015

Simi Cajun and Blues Festival - Evelyn the bluezy redhead - Guest Writer

The site of the Simi Cajun and Blues Festival every Memorial Day weekend is a spacious park in the bedroom community of Simi Valley in Ventura County. This festival pays tribute to and honors the men and women who died during service in the armed forces and I applaud them for that! A lesser known fact is that they raise funds for a long list of local community, national and international organizations and activities, and should be commended for the enormous effort it takes to put on a festival of this magnitude!
There are two stages: Cajun and blues, as you might be able to surmise from the name of the festival! The only time I left the blues stage area or covered dance floor was to use one of the vast array of 'restrooms' lined up on the baseball diamond.
Speaking of thriving, the opening band was Reverend Tall Tree (not sure if he is an actual reverend, but he is tall, yet not as tall as a tree). Anyway, Mr. Tree has a voice and harp skills as solid as the trunk of even a short tree. Their set consisted of all originals, nicely arranged and delivered with diversity. The band set out to play a set of songs that the hundreds of festival goers would revel in, and revel they did. The band definitely did not bark up the wrong tree - they knew what they wanted to project and did what they came to do.
What can I say about the toughest girl alive? I could say that Candye Kane is inspirational, that she is a survivor, and that she is ecstatic to even be alive. She honored her commitment to be at this festival to deliver her message and her music, even though she was released from the hospital for cancer-related issues the day before. Goose bumps overcome me! I first saw her & band in Solana Beach when I lived in Rancho Santa Fe and I was blown away by her immense talent. She pens a lot of the band's songs including "I'm the Reason You Drink" and "Super Hero" and "The Toughest Girl Alive". They put on a set filled with mostly danceable upbeat songs with a couple of slow easy blues.
Guitar Shorty and his band "Triple Danger" were up next. I know Shorty, his bass player Crazy Tomes and his keyboard player Malcom Lukens. Unfortunately I do not know the names of the other two players in the band (guitar & drums). This band energized the crowd with their sensually searing sound. Shorty is truly a genius guitar player/singer and proves it every single time I see him. "The Thrill is Gone" was poignantly performed for his friend BB King; a heart-wrenching, bittersweet rendition of one the King's greatest hits. It rocked my soul to the core and touched me deeply.
Big brother was in attendance at the festival... in the shape of Big Brother and the Holding Company, a 1960s band led by Janis Joplin. The bandleader told us stories about his days with Janis and I think he is the only one of the founding members in the band today. On their first song, the female lead singer sounded EXACTLY like Janis! Throughout their set she showed us that she was not a Janis Joplin impersonator, but had her own unique voice to lend to the band. "Down on Me" and "Summertime" and "Take Another Little Piece of my Heart" were just some of the songs that rolled out of her lips and the musicians instruments, into the blue skies above us. Their last song was "Ball & Chain" written by Big Mama Thornton. The story was told that Janis heard it and really wanted to record it... and so goes history.
The Spencer Davis Group was another band in the 1960s, led by Spencer Davis, and that remains the same all these years later. Their newest CD is called "So Far" and they did a few songs from it. The musicians were all at the top of their game skill-wise and their harmonies were harmonious to this writer's ears. They did some of their early hits like "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "I'm a Man".
Now, normally I have heard of, and LOVE the headliner, and they are one of the big reasons why people go to music festivals. So, it was odd that I had never heard of the headliners before today. I had you-tubed them and was impressed, but not as impressed as I was when they were live in front of me!
The Record Company consists of old souls Chris, Alex and Marc - three 20 or 30-somethings who are 1) visually appealing; 2) audibly appealing; 3) just damn appealing!! I have never been impressed with a band at first sighting as I was/am impressed by these three men. An all original set of songs were energetically performed in a rapid formation one after the other, with the next one even more mind blowing than the last. Chris is the lead singer and also plays harp, lap steel, pedal steel and guitar. Alex is the bass player and also does vocals. Marc is the drummer and also does vocals.
How creative are they, you ask? I will tell you. One song was bass, harp and drums; no lead guitar... and it was brilliant! Oh, you want two more example of their creativeness? Okay, have you ever seen anyone play lap steel on an ACOUSTIC guitar or slide BASS? The crowd was in awe, as most had no idea what to expect from this unknown, yet highly successful band. You see, they have had their music in numerous commercials and tv shows. They have played with such phenoms as BB King, Buddy Guy and Robert Randolph & The Family Band. These guys get around, as word spreads like wildfire in the music industry, and rightfully so, as they deserve and have earned the respect of their peers and audiences world-wide.
Yes, we paid tribute this past Saturday and Sunday, and we did it with the universal language of music... on a perfect-weather day... in the bedroom community of Simi Valley.
If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”