Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Albert Collins--Don't Lose Your Cool

I'm pretty sure I told at least one blues story about this joint in St. Paul, MN called Wilebsky's Blues Saloon.  As I probably stated, Wilebsky’s was this old Polish community center (or something like that) turned into a nightclub.   You entered on the ground level where they had a bar and pool tables.  Then you went up into the hall to hear the music.  Wilebsky’s was way off the main streets of St. Paul in the middle of a residential area so it was hard to find if you didn’t know where it was.
Often times, bands would get lost along the way and they inevitably started their gigs later than expected.  This problem was exacerbated in the middle of winter.  The bus carrying the band would sometimes get stuck in the snow, slip off the road in icy conditions or sometimes, it was so damn cold, the engine wouldn’t start.
It was just such an evening when I was all riled up to see Albert Collins.  When it seemed that he wasn’t going to show up, people started demanding their money back and I was one of them.
Just then, someone ran upstairs to the bouncer and said, “He’s here!”  The bouncer looked at me and my friend and said, “If you want a show, go help him with the gear!”
My buddy Pat and I bolted down the stairs and out the door into the frozen night.  Right there was Albert himself, pulling out his gear from the bottom of the bus.  As we approached, I said, “We’re here to help.”  Albert said, “Cool baby.  Take this.”  He handed me a guitar case.  I grabbed it and bolted up the stairs.  About half way up it suddenly occurred to me that I might be holding Albert’s Telecaster.  “Could it be?”  I thought.  However, there wasn’t time.  I burrowed through crowd, dropped it on the stage and went back to grab an amp.
To their credit, Albert and Soko Richardson (his great drummer) and the rest of the band didn’t dick around.  They plugged everything in, did a quick sound check and tune-up and then went to it.   No attitude, no nothing.  Just good times from that point on.
Anyway, here’s another Albert Collins tune.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

David Bromberg--Will Not Be Your Fool

I hope this story is not too long.  I am compelled to tell it.  It is a harrowing tale of a near death experience in the middle of rural Indiana.
It all began in college with my fraternity brothers from Beta Theta Pi.  We had a pretty good intramural basketball team at the University of Minnesota.  Actually we were really good.  We won the fraternity league championship and went to the All-U Final Four and played at the great Williams Arena--home of the Minnesota Gopher men’s basketball team.  This is pretty impressive considering that about 60,000 students went to The U.  That’s a lot of intramural basketball teams.
We decided to take our show on the road.  We road tripped out to Richmond, Kentucky to play in the “All Beta Theta Pi Basketball Tournament.”  Long story short, we kicked everybody’s ass by at least 20 points except for the championship game.  We played these snobs from Michigan State.  They went to bed before midnight in their own 4-star hotel while we partied until four in the morning.  That was bound to play a factor in the championship game and we lost--but only by ten points.
Flash forward a year later.  We felt we had to go back and see if we could win the whole thing.  This time we did it in style.  We rented an RV and put a keg in the bathroom.  We “partied like bears” all night that first night except we were responsible enough to make sure the driver was sober.  Eventually we passed out.  
I was one of the first people up.  I was alone, except for the driver and his co-pilot.  I took advantage of this and popped my blues tape into the boom box.  My frat brothers would shun the whole idea so I was typically forced to listen to Duran Duran or some other mid-80’a bullshit.  Now I was alone.
The song I popped in was the one you are about to hear--David Bromberg playing this funny slow blues tune, “Will Not Be Your Fool.”  My buddy Kent, my only ally regarding music in the whole frat, was the next to awake.  Soon him and I were chatting, getting a buzz on and listening to this cool blues song.  All this time, the sun was starting to rise over the grassy plains of middle Indiana.  I was in a good place.
The co-pilot up front got up and went back to the fridge to get a soda.  Suddenly, the RV lurched wildly.  It tossed this guy across the RV and he bashed into the wall.  The refrigerator and cabinet doors on the right side of the RV flew open and debris went flying across the room.  Before we knew it, the RV flipped over onto it’s side.  Bodies were flying and the keg blasted through the cardboard wall of the bathroom and nearly crushed another friend’s skull.
It all happened in seconds.  Dazed, I got up and walked out the back window of the RV which had shattered.  Other drivers had already pulled over and were running towards the wrecked RV.  
That incident totally redefined the term “buzzwrecker.”
It turned out that despite being stone sober, our driver was dumb enough to put a battery operated TV on the dashboard.  While watching The Flintstones on Indianapolis TV, he took his eyes off the road and we went flying into a ditch.
Everybody was OK.  It was very fortunate.  As we were waiting for the tow truck guys to turn the RV back onto it’s wheels, one of the tow truck guys with almost no teeth, said in an almost un-understandable rural accent, “Must have been a helluva ride, huh?”  I was still kind of in shock, so it didn’t settle in until later what he had said.
The one thing cool about being in a fraternity, is that it is literally a brotherly organization.  We managed to get in contact with the Beta’s from Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and they came and rescued us.  We spent that night partying “like bears” with the Purdue Betas.  The next day, we caught a shuttle to Indianapolis and caught a flight home.
So there it is, the story.  I hope you enjoyed it.  Anyway, here’s the song by David Bromberg that we were listening to went everything went to Hell.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Mothers of Invention--Directly From The Heart To You

Frank Zappa didn't go to any fancy music schools.  Regardless he was a musical genius.  Despite the amazingly precise and intricate musical pieces he became known for over the decades, his roots were in old Rhythm and Blues.  He said in his biography, "The Real Frank Zappa Book" that his primary guitar influences were Gatemouth Brown and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.  He said he admired Johnny because he "played the shit out of his guitar."  Frank and Johnny maintained a lasting friendship and Johnny even sings on a few of Frank's songs including "France" and "San Ber'dino."

Frank and the Mothers show their blues roots in this Richard Penniman song (a.k.a. Little Richard) "Directly From the Heart To You."  Featured on this live track is Don "Sugarcane" Harris on the electric fiddle solo.  "Sugarcane" Harris is none other than the "Don" from "Don & Dewey" (see the "Bim Bam" post on this blog from 4/16/12).

This track is from the famed "Weasels Ripped My Flesh" LP.  For that reason alone you should buy this track.  This version is a bit different but good all the same.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Little Charlie and the Nightcats--That's OK

This Alligator Records recording group hail from the home of the wackiest politics in America.  Nope, not Washington D.C.  They hail from Sacramento, California.  They've been around a long time and I was incredulous when I couldn't I find this tune "That's OK" anywhere on YouTube.  This is my favorite Little Charlie tune, so as I did before, I published my own video on YouTube.

This tune has a great harmonica solo and a killer, funky guitar solo by "Little" Charlie Baty himself.  Here it is.  Hope you like it.

Someone advised me to do the following and that is ask for your support.  If you dig my "No Old Fart Blues" blog and you know others who also like The Blues, then help a brother out by spreading the word to your friends and acquaintances.  Also, help the cause by purchasing a song or two.  It's good for the artist and it's helps keep the blog going.

So get with it and purchase a song or two.  You know you want to.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Jimi Hendrix--Suspicious

It's amazing that it has taken me so long to post something from the genuine blues rocker Jimi Hendrix. I guess I was just waiting for the right obscure tune to come to me.  Everybody's heard "Red House" so I didn't want to play that.  Therefore, I have opted to for this spacey groove from his early days with Lonnie Youngblood.  There is definitely blues music coursing through this number.

Check it out.

Click below to purchase.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Lurrie and Carey Bell--My Baby

Here is smooth blues number called "My Baby" from that father-son combo Lurrie and Carey Bell.  I may have mentioned something before about their album "Son of a Gun." It is a very good blues album and it amazes me that the only available copies are Japanese imported CDs that go for $35.  Because of this, I was compelled to start my own YouTube account so I could post some of these tunes that can't be found anywhere.

This is a labor of love, let me tell you.  First I had to convert the actual wax tracks into .WAV files.  Then I burned those tracks to a CD which I then uploaded to my computer.  Then I had to create the movie file so I could upload the song to YouTube.

So as W.C. Fields once said, "Don't tell me I don't love ya."