For the last year or so I’ve been collaborating with my pal Brophy Dale on a record of roots-rock rhythm & blues. A mutual friend who passed away two years ago wanted us to make the record we never did when we were rocking in Ann Arbor, and this project is a gift to her. We hope for an early 2013 release.
Brophy Dale and I last week, tracking at Ardent Audio in L.A. with Dave Kida and Dave Gore.
One of three Quebec dates we played this summer was the Tremblant Blues Fest in Mont-Tremblant, a ski area tucked up into the Laurentian Mountains. Our stage was near the top of the village, and after the show a few of us found a pizza joint to have drinks, people watch (the town was packed), and relax after a long day of travel. On the way back to my room I heard some blues piano drifting through the air, searched out where it was coming and of course had to investigate. The guy playing was David Vest, an Alabaman who lives in Victoria, BC, just him and a drummer playing simple, loud and perfect. They played Prof. Longhair, Fats Domino and blues, changing grooves slightly from song to song, triplets and rhumbas and rock & roll, Little Queenie, Members Only, Red Beans, slight shifts, deftly controlling the wave form of the room, keeping the dance mob moving. Not a showy singer, David sang the melody with a weathered, but unaffected voice, and I realized that’s why I couldn’t stop listening, he sang the melody. He was real, I dug it, and couldn’t leave until it was over.
I wish I had a pic of that night. Here’s one of a little girl whose mother I was talking to after the show. The girl was mesmerized by Bettye’s performance and wanted an autograph, so I lifted her over the fence and took her backstage to visit.
Well folks, here it is, my new (latest) web site. Big thanks to our good friends Annie and Rod Capps for helping with the design and construction. Please poke around, admire their expertise, and dig what’s going on in the musical lives of myself, Whit Hill, Bettye Lavette and associated characters. I’ll be updating regularly about musically relevant and other events; for example, the Lavette band was just in Salmon Arm, BC, arriving Friday and hanging around to play two shows on Sunday. Hot, dusty and good for the soul. Real pretty part of the country too.
Catching up on August a bit-
on the 4th the Lavettes were in Mammoth Lakes, CA, a beautiful area with majestic mountains all around. At 8,000 feet it took some adjusting (we never adjusted) but the festival was nice, at least the 2/3 of a show we got through before the sky opened up and dumped buckets on a bunch of happy Mid-California music freaks, who never moved but just got louder the harder it rained. It was soon too wet to play, and dangerous, so we regrettably had to split. With lots of time before our flight Sunday some of us drove a little less than an hour to Yosemite for a quick look. Went in, admired the beauty, left. I’ll have to come back sometime and do it right.
On the 8th the Bettye band were in NYC for a show at Madison Square Park. A whole lot of New Yawkas spread their blankets on the lawn, or stood listening and showed us much love.