Notes on a Napkin July 29
What a month for activities! I’m so grateful to the Lord for allowing me to be in the business of reporting entertainment events. The summer months here are filled with exciting affairs such as the 5-day Waterfront Blues Festival over the Fourth of July.
This year, I attended 3 different days with girlfriends Lauree & Kathrine, one night to see The Mannish Boys & The Pimps of Joytime reggae group. These two bands were hot, but the real pleasure was when we stopped to see the NW Women in Blues at the Blue Diamond after the festival. Sonny Hess’ rotating clutch of local songbirds do literally blow you away w/their incredible vocal prowess. The Sonny Hess Band alone is terrific & with the additional vocal talent, it’s a noteworthy performance. This night included Lisa Mann, Rae Gordon, Lady Kat, Lucy Hammond, Angel & more. Maggie & Margo added their talents on trumpet & baritone sax.
The next day, PE writer Jeff Shivers accompanied me to see Bettye Lavette, a phenomenal singer. The hilarious & talented Bobby Rush was up next, a spry performer in his ‘80s, with two robust dancing ladies, who entertained the crowd with their 5 costume changes & extraordinary dance moves.
After the festival, we took in the fabulous Nico Wind & Free Rein’s performance across the street at Mills End Tavern. Keep you eye on the new formation of this band...they will delight you! (Watch next issue.)
The last day of the Blues Fest highlights were definitely the amazing Duffy Bishop Band & the legendary Steve Miller, who closed the show. It surely was the best fest so far (but I say that every year)! Many thinks to KBOO for their live broadcast, so we can hear all the talent. (See article this issue for more.)
Longtime friend Carrie joined me on my trip to the Long Beach Peninsula for the first time in 5 years! It was a wonderful occasion to reminisce about our escapades at the coast & elsewhere, though our long friendship. We always seem to pick up where we left off every time we are together. One of our adventures this time was stopping at the Eagles in Ocean Park and waiting 5 minutes for someone to arrive & sign us in as guests. Since this is the only place on the peninsula with live music now, I had to find something entertaining to write about for PE&D. We weren’t disappointed with Shelia White, a one woman band, who has played in Las Vegas, among other spots. She pleased the crowd with favorites from days gone by and put on a noteworthy show. To top it off, Carrie won a $104 on a pull tab! Carrie & I made delicious dinners for each other two nights & we treated ourselves to fine halibut dinners at Jimella’s one night (although our creations were as good).
Lauree & I visited D’s Bar one Tuesday recently to hear Muddy Joe & the Blues Hounds, plus guests; Joe blew us away with his harmonica & accompanying band. Read Lauree’s article this issue for more on this regular Tuesday event. Guests arrived through the night & at one point besides two harmonicas, there was a trumpet, sax, bass and two guitars, besides vocals. Watch for a customer appreciation day Aug 4 with Muddy Joe & more.
One of the most unique gigs I attended was the BBQ and performance at the Columbia River Correctional Institution. Our newest writer Tee Simpson is spending some time there (he gets out in August) & organized the event for 200-plus inmates/workers. Tee asked if I could find a performer(s) so I asked Joe Pottschmidt & his brother Jim, keyboards & guitar. They were terrific, both instrumentally & vocally. I requested the appropriate Jailhouse Rock & they agreed. Later, several of the inmates joined them for a jam including Tee on guitar, Danny on drums, Michael on guitar/vocals, Aaron on bass and more. Read all about the show in Tee’s article next month. He would like to thank Superintendents Christine Popoff & Ms Mencino for paving the way for this event.
The Annual Farm Jam, celebrating Taska Barlow’s 79th birthday, was a blast. The weather was perfect & the farmland setting was beautiful. Jeff & Bamm Bamm joined me, along with many musician friends like Ed Jordan, Katherine & Asher, Steve (Wood Works); Liz Reger, Cactus Davis, Cliff Smith and of course, Taska, among many others. Space restrictions prevent me from going into detail, but Taska’s band opened the day at noon with the rousing Auctioneer Song, with fiddler extraordinaire Several excellent guest vocalists joined the band, as well. Bands Dismal Nitch & Hyatus followed with two great sets. Unfortunatly, Jeff & I had to leave to get ready for Norman Sylvester’s new CD release Party that night at the Melody Ballroom. According to Taska, the party continued ‘til 2 am!
Norman’s party was extraordinary with his full band (2 keyboardists, Frankie Redding & Janice Scroggins), Renato Caranto on sax, 3 female backup singers & more. Read all about it in Yamile’s extensive article this issue.
‘Til next time, we pray for peace & prosperity……Bonnie Carter, ed.