Okay. This is my first youtube post. What this guy did was take individual performers on youtube–many of them were instructional videos and remixed them into a band. Truly amazing!
I was very fortunate to hear Pinetop Perkins at Antone’s. I was planning on going to his concert at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in September. But Antone’s is a small intimate blues club. (photoes by by Jack O’Diamonds). For those who don’t know Pinetop Perkins, he is a 95 yr. old blues piano player. He originally was a blues guitarist but early in his career he injured his arm due to a fight with a choir girl and he switched to piano. His official website lists him as “one of the last great Mississippi bluesmen”, but others consider him part of the Chicago school of blues. Continue reading
I was in Vegas for a conference and went to both Cirque du Soleil’s Ka, and Stomp Out Loud. My tour book said something like the following. In a city which is all about technology, Ka is the most technological of all the Vegas shows. The show has a multiple part stage. Each part can raise and lower, be moved forward and backward, and tilt. At one moment the performers are on a flat stage, the stage starts tilting and it is as if the performers are climbing a hill. The stage finally is vertical and the performers are twirling acrobatically on a face of a cliff. It’s mind blowing and Vegas all the way. The last time I went to Las Vegas I went to see Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. Ka is darker and less overtly athletic. The other show I went to this time was Stomp Out Loud at Planet Hollywood. This one was decidedly low tech making use of brooms, newspaper, barrels among other things to make rhythms. Pretty cool.
I went to hear guitarist and vocalist W.C. Clark at the Saxon Pub in Austin. He’s been called the godfather of Austin blues. He has played with a number of the other big names in Austin blues including Stevie Ray Vaughn. He was born in Austin in 1939. That makes him close to 70 and I was astonished by the energy he had. He played his 1 1/2 hr sets without break–one song seamlessly morphing into the next. At times he would talk to the audience while comping blues patterns. His tunes ranged from standard blues to covers of Stevie Wonder tunes. The Saxon pub was small and his sound system was not overpowering meaning I wasn’t worrying about hearing loss. The sound was balanced well. His quartet consisted of himself on guitar and vocals, a drummer, bass player and a sax/harmonica player. Sadly I don’t know their names. If you are interested in hearing him he has clips on his website and there are some youtube videos. he plays mostly in the Austin & hill country area.
This week I went to hear a Praire Home Companion at the Pan American Center in Las Cruces, New Mexico (you can listen to that show here). I can say that radio does not do justice to the quality of the regular musicians on the show. Maybe its how they mix or compress the show for radio, but the live performance is much more vibrant. Guest artists included the phenomenal vocal duo Sorela consisting of two sisters, D’ette and D’anna from Albuquerque. They sung songs both in Spanish and English and the audience at the Pan Am Center loved them for good reason. Also appearing were Joe Elyand Joel Guzman both from Austin. Joe Ely is a singer/guitarist and Joel is an extraordinary accordionist–totally mind-blowing. The biggest crowd pleaser of the evening was Chris Thile singing “El Paso”.
Yesterday I attended a concert by Victor Wooten at the State Theater in Falls Church. I purchased tickets over the web. Since there was open seating I got in an already fairly long line at 6:30 (the doors opened at 7). The concert started at 9 so that was a 2 and a half hour wait, but it was well worth it. Victor Wooten was simply astonishing. For those who don’t know him, he plays electric bass. He won “Bass Player of the Year” from Bass Player Magazine three consecutive times (no one else has one it more than once). His technique is beyond anything I ever heard, but he is also amazingly expressive and musical. This concert certainly was one of the best concerts I have ever been to. If you never heard him I would recommend checking him out on youtube.
This fall he will be touring with Stanley Clarke and Marcus Miller.