Note on a Napkin
...This month’s column begins on a sad note. Saxophone player extraordinaire Pat Mulvey joined Our Lord in heaven on Jan 29, after suffering a massive heart attack. The standing-room-only service at Salvation Army Church the following Sunday was attended by many friends, band mates & family members. Several mourners gave tearful, heartfelt testimonies of Pat’s impact on their lives; some shared humorous memories. Especially touching thoughts were related by Pat’s daughter Lisa, who gave the eulogy. Vocalist Danny Primer did a poignant version of Swing Low Sweet Chariot.
Longtime band mate Ron Ruedi also presented his memories of Pat & their musical journey together, complete with excerpts of Pat’s favorite & signature songs. Watch for an extensive article & photos by PE&D writer Taska Barlow on our website http://www.positivelyentertainment.com/. We will certainly miss this master of the saxophone; even more so, the legacy of an extraordinary man. A benefit to cover Pat’s burial expenses is scheduled for Sunday, March 4 at Lydia’s, SE 183rd & E. Burnside. Ron invites everyone who knew Pat to show their support. It should be a memorable event!
It was bittersweet when I visited Lydia’s for Ron Ruedi’s new Friday jam session; the band had placed a single yellow rose to mark Pat’s spot center stage. It was sadly the first night without his presence physically, but I’m sure he was there in spirit! Notable musicians joined Ron onstage, including drummer Ed Jordan, keyboardist/drummer Cactus Davis, guitarist/bassist Johnny Pomar & later Angel on drums & Kathy on bass. We all enjoyed classic tunes like La Bamba, Little Sister, Stand By Me, Sh-Boom, Freeborn Man, Mind Your Own Business, Pink Cadillac and Runaway. The three-part vocal harmony was exceptional. Ron invites all interested musicians to join him each Friday at Lydia’s for the new jam.
Those who plan to attend the Winter Blues Festival Feb 18-19, please note that the venue has changed! The beautiful Pantheon Ballroom in the New Copper Penny, SE 92nd & Foster, will host the event this year. In addition, we will be celebrating Positively Entertainment & Dining’s 35th Anniversary on Saturday, the 18th. Ironically, last year’s 34th was commemorated with gusto in the same venue. Outstanding bands are on tap including Lisa Mann & Her Really Good Band, Wood Works, Return Flight, Madman Sam, Knuckleheads, Franco Paletta & the Stingers, Rae Gordon, Suburban Slim & Jim Wallace, plus more. Be sure to attend this benefit for the Oregon Food Bank & Children’s Healing Arts Project. Bands start at 1 pm both days. Go to www.WinterBluesFestival.net for details.
The Big Apple in Gresham was the place to be recently to hear Wood Works do their thing. There was a birthday party goin’ on, so it was a festive atmosphere; partiers enjoyed classics like Tobacco Road, The Thrill is Gone, original Here for the Party, Low Rider, I Feel Lucky, Unchain My Heart, two of my favorites Mustang Sally & Morning Dew, plus many more. Check this issue for Big Apple’s upcoming music & events. Be sure to try the outstanding pizza too!
...The latest Cascade Blues Association meeting featured the fine acoustic sounds of vocalist/guitarist Barbara Healy from Eugene. Notable tunes included Don’t Worry Baby, Finger-Poppin’ Time & Do Right, with unique vocal improv. Guitarist Robert Curtis Smith performed an exceptional version of Give Me Some Money Too. Bottleneck Blues took the stage, after Music Millennium’s Terry Currier awarded door prizes, for a rousing set of tunes such as Move On Down the Line & Don’t Lie to Me.
...Then it was off to Jesse Samsel’s new CD release party at the Candlelight, downtown. PE&D photographer Karylee joined me for some wonderful original, as well as classic tunes. I arrived just in time to hear Feelin’ Alright, with Jesse ably leading the group with plaintive, strong vocals & impressive guitar licks. His sons joined him this night, Carey on guitar & quality vocals; & 16-year-old Eddie on bass. It was a real treat to hear not only impressive originals from the new CD A Stitch in Time, but hot classics like the Beatles’ Taxman (reminding me to get to work on my taxes!) & Sunshine of Your Love.
‘Til next time, pray for peace & prosperity.......................Bonnie Carter, ed.