Saturday, November 25, 2006

Pilgrims Sicc'd on Turkey

Pilgrims chase turkey
AFP/Timothy A. Clary, November 22, 2006

This about sums up how turkeys must feel about Thanksgiving.

Actors Christine DeLos Angeles and Joseph Buchanan dressed as Pilgrims chase Sixto Cuevas dressed as turkey down the street in New York during the fifth annual Thanksgiving Turkey Chase sponsored by the Abracadabra Superstore. Americans on Thursday celebrate Thanksgiving, one of the country's most important holidays and also a rare occasion for harried families to reunite and share an elaborate home-cooked meal.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Free Blues Turkey Day Eve

Last night, the joint was jumpin' at The Redwood City Blues Jam at the Little Fox Theater
The Redwood City Blues Jam
Several Wednesdays a month, Blues fans can go for free to sit in on the jam. The skill level is a mixture of people who play music as a hobby to musicians headlining local shows. It's a two level nightclub/theatre that could be described as cozy. I sat on the top level, with a clear view of the stage, even though there were a lot of dancers. Here's a blurb to describe what goes on:
Every 2nd, 3rd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 7 PM to 11 PM, the beautiful historic Little Fox opens its doors to the jam hosted by the elite of Bay Area Blues. If the music were not enough, appearances at the jam provide an unparalleled promotional opportunity for artists with upcoming area gigs. The buzz following the jam in the highly active local blues community often results in sold-out shows for participating artists. If you are a touring blues performer, drop in and you'll not only get a chance to "cut heads" with the best but also get the word out about your upcoming gig.

I found out about the event by an e-mail newsletter from Tia Carroll, a local artist and entertainer.

Tia Carroll

Her style reminds me of the R&B Divas like Etta James, Ruth Brown, Irma Thomas. The generation who ruled the day before Aretha Franklin and her generation did there thing. Very charismatic and engaging with the audience and expressive interpreter of the music. Over the years since I've been watching her perform around the Bay Area, I've seen her work with a wide variety of musicians and other vocalists. She pretty much represents Bay Area Blues women for me.

One of the stand-out jam musicians was Ron Thompson, a self described Rhythm and Blues Legend. Within 15 seconds of playing, you knew he was the truth.
Ron Thompson, Blues Legend

The bad thing about RT coming on so early was that almost every other guitarist that came on stage later was pedestrian by comparison. His style was like a combination of rockabilly, boogie woogie and the speed guitar of surf music like Dick Dale. I could tell he was special, but with a resume like the one on his website, I feel even more lucky
Not many living blues musicians can say they have performed with and recorded for legends like Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Rhodes, Luther Tucker, Jimmy McCracklin, Pee Wee Crayton, Carla Thomas, School Boy Cleve, Percy Mayfield, Etta James, B.B. King, and Jimmy Reed.
You can tell a lot of regulars go there. A lot of people knew each other and I recognize at least 2/3 of the people on the Redwood City Blues Jam photo page. Patricia Wilder (not the 1920s movie star) was one of the guitarists with a sweet sound.
Patricia Wilder

On her website, I see she has a jazz, rock, R&B, blues and gospel background and has been playing since she was a teenager. So it makes sense she can find her way around an axe.
Patricia Wilder

One of the Blues vocalists had blonde big bouffant hair, tight jeans, cowboy boots and red lace top, looking like she accidentally wandered in from some kind of hillbilly hoedown. But when she opened her mouth, no doubt she knew how to sing the Blues. With her two stepping and jig dancing self.

Even though four hours sounds like a long time, it goes fast when your watching good, live music. Other than the house band, Artie "Stix" Chavez and his All Stars who was consistently great, the different musicians that took they turns brought something different to the table. Including the keyboardist that looked like a physics teacher, the drummer who looked like one of the retired ladies in my Pacific Scribes calligraphy guild and the cool ass Pinoy guy, Carlos, was so good on mouth harp, everyone wanted to play with him so much, they wore the poor guy out.

I love the Bay Area.