RSS

Category Archives: blues

The Saenger Series

215px-saenger_theatre_mobile.jpg

I’ve been fortunate enough to attend several concerts over the last few months at the beautifully renovated Saenger Theatre in Mobile. Living a scant three miles from Downtown Mobile has certain benefits and I consider the Saenger at the top of the list. Built in 1927, The Saenger served Mobile as its’ premier movie theater. On the eve of its’ slated demolition in 1970, the University of South Alabama rescued the structure and turned it into a performing arts center for the university. In 1999, the City of Mobile purchased The Saenger and the privately funded Centre of the Living Arts raised over $6 million to exquisitely refurbish the gem that narrowly escaped destruction.

Over the last year, The Saenger has landed some great musical acts for performance and I’ve been in attendance at several. It started in June, right before my unfortunate bar stool incident, with the incomparable B.B. King. Likely the last time I’ll get to see ole B.B. light it up and front row seats were worth every penny.

In December, we were treated to a glorious Christmas concert by Aaron Neville, that was fronted by the local LeFlore Preparatory Choir. From the fourth row, my camera caught the evident sorrow of Aaron Neville over the recent death of his wife, Joelle.
Started my new job in January and it’s been keeping me mighty busy (but a good busy), so I haven’t had the chance to really sit down and compose a post about seeing The Indigo Girls in late January.

indigo-girls.jpg

The Indigo Girls crowd was a bit “different”, NTTAWWT, and very emotional. Perhaps it was because of the Mardi Gras Parade season that was in full swing just before the concert, but it was packed and very rowdy. Again, we had great seats, on the third row, center.

Admittedly, I didn’t know much about The Indigo Girls other than they were acoustic, but I wanted to experience some new music that I hadn’t before and this seemed a good place to start, considering I had such good tickets. They were good. Both were sick but you really couldn’t tell. It really wouldn’t have mattered as the crowd continually out-sung them.

Closer to Fine

The crowd particularly got into Power of Two:

At the end, much of the crowd rushed the stage, so Mr. D and I decided to head out. The newspaper indicated that some fans actually ran up on stage and tackled da girls. I dunno, just a very strange vibe.

However, by far, the best thing of the whole night was the discovery of my new musical obsession in the opening act. But, I’ll cover that in a dedicated post so that I make sure to give it its’ due.

Lastly, on this past Friday night, I had 2nd row center seats for the great Keb ‘Mo.

keb-mo-mm1.jpg

Keb ‘Mo was divine and as mentioned in my previous post, so was my new find, Kevin So. He, too, rates a dedicated post, so I’ll save that for later. Now, Keb is one tall drink of water and he has a very charming wit that endures him to the crowd. In short order he had this wonderfully Southern crowd eating from the palm of his hand.

He played wonderfully and sang favorites like Shave Yo’ Legs:

and the wonderful Angelina:

But what had caught my eye since we sat in our seats was the beautiful resonator guitar. When he grabbed the slide, I was near giddiness.

keb-mo-bandw.jpg

As an aside, I took some really great pictures and will try to get my Flickr tool up and running with these and other concert images soon.

Keb is a premier blues guitarist and harp player. He did not disappoint. It went something like this:

It Hurts Me Too

Such a delightful artist. I’d pay double to see him again.

keb-mo-smile.jpg

I’m looking forward to more great shows at The Saenger. Jackson Browne will be there on St. Patrick’s Day but I’ll be out of town. Perhaps some more greats and some more new artists will grace the grand old theatre, and maybe…just maybe, I’ll be in one of those front rows again.

mosacadt1.jpg
 
8 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2008 in acoustic, blues, Reviews

 

So What?!?

Drive-by post, but I’ll have much more later…

Last night.  2nd Row.  Keb ‘Mo.  Awesome.  Hot new artist found.  Kevin So.

Brighter Day

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 23, 2008 in blues, Emerging Artists, music dudes

 

Memphis in the Meantime, Baby.

John Hiatt & The Goners

Today is a new day. A new year.

I’ll be up in Memphis for my new job for the rest of the week, but I’ll be checking in.

Working on some thoughts on the music biz that I hope to get up before Friday. Until then, have a great start to ’08, and say a little prayer for me in sub-freezing temps.

YIKES!!

 
1 Comment

Posted by on January 2, 2008 in blues, Memphis

 

Ike Turner 1931-2007

iketurner.jpg 

Another musical icon is gone.  News came last night that Ike Turner, egnimatic ex-husband of Tina, died at his home in California yesterday.  Cause of death has not been released, but Ike Turner suffered from emphyshema for years.

Much maligned for his tempetuous relationship with the beloved Tina Turner, much of Ike’s contribution to modern day Rock & Roll as been ignored.  He was a pioneer of the electric guitar and one of the first to introduce distortion as a technique.

Hailing from the infamous Blues Capitol of the World, Clarksdale, MS, Ike began his career with the infamous Rocket 88 — considered by many to be the first Rock & Roll song.  While it was formally credited to Jackie Brenston on vocals, the rockin’ music was all Ike Turner & His Kings of Rhythm.

 ike.jpg 

Of course, Ike’s real fame came when he groomed and made his wife, Tina, the lead singer of his very talented band.  Her long legs, sultry voice and powerful performances showcased his music in perfect sync.

At the height of their fame, Ike & Tina released the world renowned Proud Mary.  It was the beginning of the end.

Ike admitted to extended drug use and making a myriad of mistakes in his life, but always vehemently denied abusing Tina Turner, as portrayed in her autobiographical movie, What’s Love Got To Do With It?  Perhaps it wasn’t as bad as Tina said but more than Ike wanted to admit, but regardless he was “shunned” by the business for many years.

However, in the last few years he did receive some critical acclaim, most recently winning a Grammy this year for Best Traditional Blues Album, entitled Risin’ With The Blues.

Like many influential artists, his offstage demons can’t overshadow the profound contribution his talent and music had on defining the dominating music genre of the last millenium.  So, today we give a nod and a thumbs up to Ike Turner, musician extraordinairre.

Footnote:  What is it about the “ides of December”?  It seems that so many great Rock and Soul influences pass away in early to mid-December:

Sam Cooke  12/11/64

Otis Redding 12/10/67

The Barkays  12/10/67

John Lennon  12/8/80

Marty Robbins  12/8/82

Ian Stewart (Rolling Stones)  12/12/85

Roy Orbison  12/6/88

Frank Zappa  12/4/93

 

 
5 Comments

Posted by on December 13, 2007 in blues, music legends, rock, Soul

 

Stormy Monday

t-bone_walker_album_cover.jpg

Yeah, it’s a Stormy Monday here…in more ways than one. We need the rain, so I’m not too disappointed in the storms that we’re having. Yet, facing a rainy Monday after a long holiday weekend is excruciating pain. A pain that can only be captured by the Blues.

T-Bone Walker (The Original)

Stormy Monday was written and recorded by T-Bone Walker in 1947 , reaching #5 on the R&B Charts in 1948. It was one of the first hits to feature the electric guitar and has served as a pre-requisite for every great blues guitarist. Even the great B.B. King has said that hearing Stormy Monday lit the spark in him to be a guitar man.

The song appropriately captures that Monday feeling. You know, the “you’d rather be dipped in honey and lay down in a bed of ants” feeling? The Allman Brothers re-popularized the song in the ’70s, but I couldn’t find their version. You’ll just have to be satisfied with these other fine performances.

Stevie Ray Vaughn & Albert Bell Eric Clapton

Eva Cassidy

John Mayer

Now, you’re going to tell me that a man that “gets” and can play Stormy Monday like THAT, seriously thinks Justin Timberlake rawks?

1 + 1 <> 3.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 26, 2007 in blues, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, weekdays, work

 

Thankful

 

 

stained-glass.jpg

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!” —Psalm 100:4

The first time I heard this song, over a year ago, I completely identified with it. Jonny Lang shows his versatility and sincerity in this wonderful tune.

ThankfulJonny Lang

Someones standing in a welfare line
Or off the freeway with a hungry sign
Someones stressing bout to lose their mind
I gotta be thankful, thankful

Someone just became a single mother
Someone just lost a sister or brother
Its so important that we love each other
And be

Thankful, thankful
Ive gotta take the time to say, that Im
Thankful, thankful
For every single breath that I take
Ive gotta be thankful, thankful

Someones sitting in a prison cell
Wasting away in their own personal hell
Everybodys got their own story to tell
Ive gotta be thankful, thankful

Man, I used to think I didnt have a lot
Now I realize just how much Ive got
Now every day Im gonna take the time and stop to be

REPEAT CHORUS

Any one of these so easily could have been me
But if it had not been for grace and mercy who knows where Id be

I’ve been riding on this roller coaster ride
Round and round Ive seen the up and downside
And I’m here to tell you that the secret of life is being

While it’s easy to find things to complain about on a daily basis, there is so much to be appreciative of today.

* Considering the unbelievable terror of six years ago, we haven’t experienced any real terror strikes.

* Personally speaking, I’ve been given a chance for a career change.

* For the most part, everyone’s healthy.

* For the first time in 10 years, my Mother is visiting for Thanksgiving.

* Our family is full of young, promising people.

For example, here is a rising star in young 17 year old Arielle Boutin, who is from Lafayette, LA and on scholarship at the Boston Conservatory of Music. She happens to be Mr. D and I’s great-niece. (GEAUX Arielle!!!!)

I hope that you are all feeling as blessed in this life as I am today.

Blessed – Martina McBride

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on November 22, 2007 in blues, holidays

 

What Could Have Been…

Grace was in Mobile on Monday night…but so was the worst weather in months. Tornadoes, 6 inches of rain, travel advisories. I so hope that she didn’t go on as I was supposed to be there.

 
4 Comments

Posted by on October 22, 2007 in acoustic, blues, Grace Potter