Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Gore weighs in

Check this out...from the today show this morning:
It has a transcript if you don't have the bandwidth to view the clip....


Looking forward to the Baker Plan being revealed, I started looking for info and found this informative artice by Chris Dickey of Newsweek Interntional:

It paints a picture that makes Bushspeak just that..... get the troops the fuck out of there...

Monday, December 04, 2006


What we have here is a failure to communicate! Thanks to Struther Martin for that oh-so-trueism. Hi boys and girls. I see there have been so changes around Blogger since the last time I was here (JUNE!!).

Lotsa changes around the old homestead too. I no longer am affiliated with Highway 49 booking agency, Beau is in college, and my diabetes medicine sucks ass. Hopefully, we will get a better handle on that with today's DR. visit. I sent him a letter with all my bitched on it a couple weks ago, so cross your fingers that he gets it right this time.

To more pleasant news, I will be on the BIG BLUE BOAT again this year and can't wait. Look for a wrap up of that mess late January on Blueswax and our podcast with Beardo & Spinner.

Ya know, if you STILL haven't figured out how to subscribe, to automaticly get the weekly show downloaded to whatever mp3 device you choose.... listen to this:
Feedburner will send you an email with a link to the show whenever there is a new one. What's this mean? It means once you sign up here (only takes a minute and no spyware or selling of your address or other emails) the show can be played or downloaded right from the email.
WOW!! If you are into it... sign up some friends!!!

Ok, this posting will hopefully continue now that I have some time...

Beardo has left the building!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Michael Powers

Shit.... I forgot to tell you that MP is playing NXNW in Philly tonight!!!!

Saturday, June 03, 2006

So what?

Yeah teah yeah...... I know. long time no post. As you get older time really fuckin' flies...

Just a note hear to remind you of our annual gig, The 16th Annual Bandana Blues this August 5th... go to the website for details AND a short audio file you can download thet speaks of what is going on this year and some music from the artists playing.... it shoiuld be up and running by next week.

Also, mark your calendar for June 34th as Michael Powers appears at NXNW just outside Philly. More about that as it gets closer...let's rock the house that night...I'll be 'bout you??


Thursday, May 11, 2006

Jason Ricci


It's been way too long....

Finally saw Jason Ricci last Sunday. Great guy and one-of-a-kind harp player. You really need to check him out... he is featured on show#142 and more on the all live show #143 this week.

Monday, April 24, 2006


As the wheel of Life picks up even more speed I find my posts here lacking. Something must really move me to break the inertial sloth of the last few weeks. After watching this years first episode of IFC's Henry Rollins Show I was impelled to post.

Man, watch this sucker!!! You may have issues with Rollins' music, but he has that laser focus working overtime on socio-political issues...and with a sense of humor to boot!!

Just listen to his show's mission statement and tell me you're not interested!!!

Fuckin' Amazing!!

I want to interview him for The Blueroom...

Monday, April 17, 2006


It's been a whirlwind of horseshit called life lately. I've been swamped with too much input and not enuff output for the last 3 weeks or so.

How've you been? Haven't heard from many of you for a while either. New shows are up for podcast, Easter has come and gone(thank Loki)and I'm taking a day off to fuck around with some new software. Thanks to the few who have donated to the cause via the tip jar or througn the t-shirt purchase. Thank you very much.

I'm going to catch up on some e-mail and update the webpage too. Drop me a line or call with Gizmo.

Type to you later...

Monday, March 27, 2006

New Taint!!!

The neutron bomb makes a comeback.... in my mind!! And, is censuring G-dub a ploy or more fun than impeachung Clinton?

Listen to the explosive Sandy Taint!!!

Saturday, March 25, 2006

X- communication?

Strother Martin was right, when in the movie Cool Hand Luke, What we have here is a failure to communicate. Nothing says that more than the lack of inflection or tone of e-mails. How many times has the true meaning of your e-mails been lost by lack of a human facial expression or tone of voice?
That happened this week between myself and The Boss at Alligator Records.

If we mere citizens can have this problem, imagine the phenomenon on a geopolitical level. The Prez can barely make himself understood when ordering a grilled cheese sandwich, then wonders why the people of his country gasp at a statement shifting the oness of the removal of our military presnce in Iraq to "future presidents".

Thoughts anyone?

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


I'll post more of these soon. Thanks to Alan Howe for snappin' 'em!!

Friday, March 17, 2006


Went to see Joe Bonamassa this past Wednesday... and poisoned myself. A fool report on this week's episode of Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner. Uploaded Sunday.... BTW, Joe was his usual fantastic self with yet another drummer.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Tab Benoit on Blueroom

Part one of Tab Benoit's rant concerning Katrina, The Welands, Bush, Louisiana, and maybe some music too.
Check out what he said to Sandy Taint!

Live Longer with Beardo & Spinner

Thought I'd share this e-mail with you folks:
Hi Guys, Al Foders in Orlando, Florida here. I'm 56 years young. I
love Blues music. I've been downloading the show for 8 months now. I put it on my MP3 player and take it to the gym.

I normally workout for 30 to 45 minutes, but since your show is usually 60 minutes, I spend extra time on Saturdays on the cardio machine "Sweatin' To The Blues".

The young, buffed kids around me must wonder what the heck is going on
with this guy "sweatin' like a whore on dollar night" on the elliptical
training machine: his eyes closed, earplugs deeply inserted in his ear
canals, his grey head bobbing up and down in time with the music, his
lips moving as he silently sings along with his favorite tunes. Too
bad...they don't know what they are missing! They get to hear NSync,
Usher, Coldplay and Britanny Spears on the crappy PA system while I hear
the best of the Blues from my friends at Bandana Blues.

You guys keep it up. Thanks to you, I'm going to live longer because of
the extra time spend working out each week.


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Next Blues Guitar Slinger

A listener to the show clued me into a contest Guitar Center is having:

Beardo, just wanted to let you know about a cool
contest sponsored by Guitar Center. Go to and click on the guitarmageddon
icon, then click for Flash, then click on Tracks, then
pic and choose whichever type of blues you want, from
list on left of page.

Ok, would-be SRV's, here is your chance! I checked it out and it is a pretty sweet set up, although time is short, so you better get moving!!!


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Marconi Experiment Lives!!!

The new podcast, The Marconi Experiment, is up and running.... available at iTunes too! Just search for Beardo and see all four podcasts.... subscribe now!!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Stinky Lou Debut........

Just thought you'd like to see Stinky Lou, The Goonmat,... and Lord Bernardo who debuted on Beardo & Spinner this week (show#134)

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Moving to......


Due to time demands, and who likes them, the weekly upload for Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner, and The Blueroom with Sandy Taint will be moving to Sunday evening starting next week.

This means all of you reprobates need to find something else to do Saturday nights.... try going to a live show, fer christsakes! The music is going to all be canned or on the net soon if people don't start supporting live music.

Even I find time to catch a show now and then.... and speaking of shows, the new podcast should be up and running by next weekend. I'm really looking forward to your reaction on this one. Stay tuned here for updates.

BTW, part two of The Northern Blues Podcast is up (check our website), this episode features Chris Beard!!


Friday, March 03, 2006

Playlist:Bandana Blues show#134

Stinky Lou and the Goonmat with Lord Benardo- Somebody Else
Spinner's Section:
Carlos del Junco: lonely buzz (Big boy, Big Reed Records, 1998)
Blues Crowns & Lynwood Slim: believe it
Frank Sinatra: one for the road (Only the lonely, Capitol, 1958)
Colin James: bad habits (Bad habits, Elektra, 1995)
Barrelhouse: straight to the airport (Live, Munich Records, 2004)
Jeff Beck Group LIVE-You Shook Me/Let Me Love You (From www.wolfgangsvault)
Joe Bonamassa- You Upset Me Baby
Graham Bond- I Want You
Lady Bianca-Still Good
Bobby Rush-Hoochie Man
A snippet of Tilburg Slim and the Spinners from 15th Annual Bandana Blues 08/06/05

Thursday, March 02, 2006

BUSH's Katrina lies caught on video

Here's a breaking story for ya'!! You won't believe your eyes! Then again, maybe you will:

War Sucks!!

Call or leave a message with Gizmo for use on Sandy Taint Call me on Gizmo

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Lady Bianca

If you haven't had the Lady Bianca EXPERIENCE yet and are ANYWHERE near Hot 'Lanta... just go.. (Thursday and Friday doing the Wild Women sing the Blues Festival with Janiva Magness and Helen wild child Davis)
and be rewarded for living a good life, even if you don't deserve it.
I'm busting out her Let Love Have It's Way CD right now.... I think I'll put one on the show...Thanks Baby..... wish I could be there...

Monday, February 27, 2006

Making the transistion to booking agent has me cleaning and re-organizing my shit hole of an office which also entails hammering out a backlog of BlueWax features. Makes me feel a bit like this animation. Today I submitted an interview with Joe Bonamassa. The kid is ok in my book.

I take delivery of my VoiP telephone today. I'll give you a report on that as soon as I test pilot the damn thing.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ok, Here's the news...

Looks like yours truly will be joining the ranks of the people I once occasionally referred to as "Pricks' "Liars" And "Scumbags". Booking Agents! Yeah, I know, I know,...but I'll be different. At least I'll be representing some people I respect, like Michael Powers, The Imperial Crowns, Slick Ballinger, and Omar and the Howlers to name a few.

So, if you have a need to book a blues band, please.. give me a shout!!

Also, if you have a blues venue in your neck of the woods, please forward me the contact info for it. It would be appreciated.

And one more thing, we will be changing the name of the agency. Send me your suggestions. The winner will receive a Michael Powers prize pack!!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Like a Phoenix... from the ashes...

Saw The Nighthawks Last Saturday. Those who know me will know the validity of what I say and take it as gospel. They fucking rocked!! Best I've heard them since 1985. A true Roots Rock, R&B and Rockabilly legend is re-born. Oh, they played some blues too.

Look for their new CD in a few weeks.... and a full review of the show at BluesWax.

Take two minutes for our survey...

... do it at work... get paid for your time! Thanks!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

New CD Deadline and Technorati Tags

I found that alot of people are weeks behind listening to B&S. It's just a fact of life that podcasts are like tivo'd programs on TV, time-shifted!

With that in mind I am extending the deadline for the Podcast Promotion CD #1 to March 1st. If you are unaware of what this CD is, go to the website and choose the link for Donations. Wait a minute, just click here.

A t-shirt, the CD and the tip jar are located there. Thanks for the support show by the people donating to the show. It is truly appreciated.

Also, note the Technorati search engine in the upper right of the blog. A keyword search of all the posts on Bandana Blues can be performed. Useful if you want to check a statement I may have made about a subject, that you want to call my ass out on. OR, just to see if I've mentioned a subject near and dear to your heart. Try it out, I love it!


Friday, February 10, 2006

Big haps...

A great deal of developments here at bandana central. But first, this weeks show will feature the one and only Tilberg Slim and the Spinners, live from The 15th Annual Bandana Blues last August.
Yes, that's right! The Mysterious Tilburg Slim!! Also, featured Mark Wenner sitting in with the German blues band Jack O'Ryan from the late 80's (I think) performing Slim Harpo's Scratch My Back.
Stay tuned for a major announcement Monday that will have a ripple effect on "the show".


Monday, February 06, 2006

Links for Islamic Humor

This one explains the limits of Islamic humor:
This one is for The Wacky Adventures of Ahmed and Mohammed, Islamic terrorists!!

  War Sucks!!

Call or leave a message with Gizmo Call me on Gizmo

Blueswax Senior Contributing Editor
Co-Host of Bandana Blues with Beardo & Spinner Weekly Podcast
Producer of The 16th Annual Bandana Blues BBQ
Bon Vivant
Bandana Blues

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Islamic Humor Links

This one explains the limits of Islamic humor:
This one is for The Wacky Adventures of Ahmed and Mohammed, Islamic terrorists!!

Friday, February 03, 2006

Podcasts Preview

This week's Blueroom with Sandy Taint will deal with the Danish cartoon
"crisis", take my existence ..... please, while Beardo cranks out some
otherwise unavailable tunes & Spinner lathers you with some high powered


PS check out the new easier to navigate website

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Steal This Banner!

Use banner on your website and/or e-mail Signatures, just click banner for code! Help spread the Gospel of Bandana Blues, B&S Thank you!! Have Mercy!!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Franklin's Armonica

Legend says it was originally invented by the priests of Atlantis, and that the secret of the glass armonica was lost when Atlantis disappeared beneath the sea — only to be re-invented by Benjamin Franklin.

In 1761, while living in England, Franklin heard a performer playing musical glasses. Franklin wrote: "He collected a number of glasses of different sizes, fixed them near each other on a table, and tuned them by putting into them water, more or less as each note required. The tones were brought out by passing his fingers round their brims."

Franklin was charmed by the music, but felt that there was a better way to create the same sound. He had a glassmaker create thirty-seven hemispheres made of glass, with each hemisphere being a different size and thickness to produce different pitches. Franklin ran an iron rod through a hole in the top of each hemisphere so that they could nest together from largest to smallest. He linked all of this to an apparatus like a spinning wheel, with a foot treadle that turned the rod, making the glass hemispheres rotate. Franklin moistened his fingers and held them against the rims of the glass hemispheres as they turned, producing a sound similar to the musical glasses. The glass hemispheres were color coded with paint to identify the notes.

Franklin mastered the instrument and took it to dinner parties and other gatherings to play for his friends and acquaintances. The instrument became popular and other performers started playing armonicas. In fact, it became so popular that thousands were built and sold, and one factory employed over a hundred people to build the instruments. Interestingly, many of the performers were women, which was somewhat unusual for the period. One of the musicians, Marianne Davies performed all over Europe and even gave lessons to the French queen Marie Antoinette.

Composers were also struck by the haunting sounds produced by Franklin's instrument. Mozart wrote two pieces for the armonica, including "Adagio and Rondo 617," and in 1815, Beethoven wrote a short melodrama where a narrator told a story while accompanied by armonica.

Some of the people who performed regularly on the armonica complained that the instrument was upsetting them emotionally. They said that the vibrations were entering their fingertips and causing mental anguish. There has been some conjecture that these conditions were caused by lead poisoning that the performers acquired from lead in the glass hemispheres of the instrument. Lead was a commonly used metal in the eighteenth century, so it is difficult to determine if these players' maladies came from the lead in the armonica or from other sources.

The popularity of the instrument faded early in the nineteenth century, but it is still played occasionally today.

Click here for a Mozart piece played on the Armonica. Perhaps Spinner will get one!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

You Want Sandy Taint!!!

Of course you listen to Bandana Blues, but have you checked out Beardo'salterego (one of many) Sandy Taint? go to to subscribe for about 5 minutes a week of rant and rave that just may jolt you out of the doledrums and make you scratch you head about things.


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Da Boat part Deux

Wednesday on Da Boat

Not counting interviews, I only had contact with a few artists today. At the intimate Queens Lounge I enjoyed ACOUSTIC WORKSHOP:” Preserving Acoustic Classics w/ John Hammond", who was joined by Daniel “Slick” Ballinger (runner up at The IBC in 2004 and winner of The Albert King Award for most promising blues guitarist) for a delight and insight filled repartee between a most respectful Slick and obviously impressed veteran, John Hammond. A Q&A with the audience revealed some things missed in my interview with Hammond (coming soon to your Blueswax mailbox). His introduction of Bob Dylan to The New Hawks (soon to become The Band) at his My Way recording session in 1964 was a revelation. Mentioning some influential harp players, it was gratifying to hear Mark Wenner of The Nighthawks in the list.

As sunshine was at a premium up to this point I enjoyed 7.4 minutes of obligatory photosynthesis on the pool deck followed by a sumptuous Indonesian dinner of Nasi Goreng. Properly fueled, The Crow’s Nest was next. Although my least favorite venue due to the low ceiling, bad sightlines and, being as stated the highest point of the ship hence the rockin-est movement wise, it held some of the best moments all week. This night joined by Alan Howe, erstwhile Blueswax Photographer and guitarist for two time IBC finalists Mike Guldin and Rollin’&Tumblin’ and his purchase of duel triple shots of Wild Turkey, we watched Ana Popovic and Anthony Gomes get their sexually charged groove on jam-wise. The crowd went nuts.

The Crow’s Nest was followed by some hang time with the gregarious Biscuit Miller (Gomes bass man) and the spectacular Millie Jackson show at my favorite venue The Big Room, the multi-tiered Vista Lounge. A review of this show is not forth coming because decided I was having too much fun to take notes as the repartee by Millie even stunned MC Scrap Iron and her band. Not a show for the easily offended, let’s just state that she abruptly closed the show with a mellifluous sing song of, “F%ck You, F%ck You, F%ck You, F%ck You, F%ck Yoooou, as she strode off the stage in a very regal manner. It was one of the highlights of the week. WOW!!! The audience ate it up. Those of you in Dallas are very lucky to have her host a morning drive radio show. I can’t imagine.

Thursday in brief started by waking up to The Imperial Crowns DVD on the TV as my wake up time check (no watch, ever) and included more interviews, a conversation with Bob Margolin about sound problems with The Chicago Legends show he is involved with and part of a Robert Mugge film in the Queen’s Lounge. Another highlight, as I see this short report is getting lengthy; Rod Piazza and the Mighty Flyers braved the rain on the pool deck joined by special guest cruiser Tommy Castro on “Good Morning Little Schoolgirl”. Tommy also showed up later as a guest with his pal Jimmy Thackery at the late night jam on the Pool Deck that went till about 4 AM, actually an early night.

Heading back to a Mougli-less (MIA) cabin about 2 AM via my secret upper deck route that drops the elevator off down a hall at the side entrance of the Queen’s Lounge I was stopped in my tracks by an eerie sight. The darkened room was lit by only a white follow spot illuminating a vision in a body length white veil dancing seductively for a good number of people, most with video cameras. Dancing to an uber weird mariachi version of “Hey Jude” was Schmat. Cruisers will know who this guy is and hopefully there will be pix of him online somewhere. He is known as The World’s Last Free Man and if free means eccentric, the moniker fits. I could fill a page of just his costume descriptions. Nuff said.

Friday was spent going over notes and interviews amid a smattering of shows. The Electric Rod Thompson on The Pool Deck, Rod Piazza’s best set of the week in The Vista with special guest Jimmy Carpenter sitting in for most of the set. JC really fit the west coast swing style to a T. I sure wouldn’t mind seeing him as an addition on the next CD and perhaps occasional sideman on a tour. Kenny Neal and Billy Branch had the infamous “open fly” incident at The Queen’s Lounge and Anthony Gomes held down the Late Jam duties on the Pool Deck. Mitch Wood’s Club 88, held at the ship’s piano bar never started till after 2 AM and held sway over the night owls aboard. This night Tommy Castro rolled in about 5 AM after the jam and stayed till 7 AM. Whew!

Suffice to say my interview with Tommy Castro was delayed a few hours. Morning was delayed as quite a few people were green at the gills from the 12 foot chop, some of our crew included. As a blustery day made the movement of all Pool Deck festivities inside a necessity after John Hammond around 2 PM. Diunna Greenleaf and Blue Mercy were at the heavily swaying Vista Lounge with Bob Margolin filling in on bass. Diunna brought Slick Ballinger up to the stage with a story of Slick as a little kid showing up at her shows with the idea of becoming a real blues man. The tunes they did together were a very warm and fuzzy reunion. “Built For Comfort” with the sexual interplay between guitarist John “Del Toro” Richardson and Ms. Greenleaf was a highlight of the show along with the riveting “Do You Want Me To Stay”. MC Scrap Iron was caught whispering something to Bob at stage left and Dianna demanded to know what was said. Without missing a beat Scrap Iron declared,” I was asking for yo phone number!” Bobby Blue Bland, Ana, Ronnie Baker Brooks, Taj, and Whiskey Store with Tab Benoit and Jimmy Thackery were also observed in bits and pieces as I went venue to venue before settling in at The Sports Bar to watch the Broncos dismantle the Patriots with good pal Gene Fontana of the Diamond State Blues Society and a couple Bokma Oude Genever Martini’s complete with my own olives from home. Thanks to Francisco, bartender extraordinaire for the perfect tooni’s.

The night’s sleep was interrupted by some pretty violent boat movement, noticed by me for a moment or two before returning to a deep sleep. Room service breakfast, swift deployment of passengers to shore, Pittsburgh/Indy at the airport and home to my home cooked meal deprived wife and son in Philly.

Great Fuckin’ trip! Be there or be square.

Alan Howe sends some pix

Here are some PIx of the sensational Slick Ballinger and John Hammond from the cruise. e-mail Alan for your next photo shoot. Maybe a CD cover?

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Wow, aftermath of Blues Cruise

It is like the cruise was a dream already. I will have an update on the last few days of the cruise tomorrow, the 18th. Those of you that are on the fence about shelling out the dough for this event need to jump in with both feet and your wallet. It is the shit.
I will try to get Alan Howe of Rollin' & Tumblin' fame (and Semi-official Blueswax Photographer) to weigh in as it was his maiden voyage AND I know he already put his deposit down on the next cruise.
Talk to you tomorrow!
Oh Yeah, don't forget to listen to Spinner fly solo this week on Bandana Blues. It smokes!



Wednesday, January 11, 2006

mid week floating blues

Random Thoughts from The Big Blues Boat


Weather seems to be the pervasive topic of conversation, what? It isn’t 90 degrees and removing the top three layers of your epidermis? Let it rain a little. Speaking of rain, Millie Jackson, seasick from her stint in The Vista Lounge earlier in the day took to the wind swept pool and kicked the weather’s ass live on XM radio. Her tear jerking heart pounding horn heavy finale? Let It Rain, of course. As Millie explained, she wanted the audience to believe she had “mystical powers”. She pointed to three corners of the compass challenging the clouds to dare rain on her, then looked behind the stage at one mean looking thunderhead and said,”Oh, Shit”. Her performance was magnificent and her band overpowered the elements for her.


The trip to shore at Montego Bay will remain a secret till someone else blows the whistle. Let’s just say Mougli and his crew reached supernova “Bob Marley” state in just a matter of moments while I got soaked, ………….. and then it rained, you feel me? I informed my spirit guide if he would have brokered a better deal for the jewelry he wouldn’t need to go back there to get his reward. I would have tipped him. As it stood I only had cab fare left to get me back to the boat.

Speaking of my return, on to the pool deck just in time for the resurging drum solos as Anthony Gomes put on a “for ladies only” vaudevillian act with some music thrown in. I hope he sticks to playing next time I see him this week. Serious guitar shredding going on this year, which brings me to Joe Bonamassa and his shred with substance approach in the Vista Lounge.

Highlights of that show found Joe mining the Jeff Beck Group’s catalog again, this time for a righteous version of “Don’t Know Much About love”. His show really never lets you take a deep breath as one song flows into another, then sometimes back again. Case in point, Blind faith’s “Had To Cry Today” which had the aforementioned obligatory drum solo (a very good one this time with extraordinary footwork), a drop in sonic pressure as Joe showed of some nice volume knob riding ( he even looked back at the band at one point and smilingly said, “I like that!”) and some YES riffing ala Steve Howe that us old heads still haven’t identified, but if you heard it you’d know it.

Whiskey Store with a melding of Thackery and Benoit bands took the stage next for tunes from The Whiskey store CD and some of Jimmy and Tab’s solo stuff. Their version of Tab’s “Nice and Warm” had one of the best solo’s I’ve heard from Jimmy on this trip. He gave the assembly a tip of his leopard spotted fez to acknowledge their applause.

Top that off with a jam session hosted by Rod And Honey Piazza that started around 1:30 AM in a rainstorm they promptly shoed away and you have a typical day in the life of a blues cruiser.

Beardo, your Blues pirate

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The Big Blue boat

Blues Cruise Deux

Like Ali-Frazer and the Thrilla in Manila, I was back to duke it out with the blues Caribbean style, my second year covering it for Bluewax. Things turned nuts immediately as I found myself waiting for the shuttle at the Ft. Lauderdale Airport with members of The Ana Popovic Band. Nick (the keyboard man) and the boys were very sociable even after discovering I was the author of a less than glowing review of their bosses last Live CD. By the way, I discovered they were the band on said CD adding to my bemused discomfort.

Getting squared away in the hotel and trying to grab a quick bite, I ran into the same guys at the hotel snack bar and joined them at their table. This all ties in just bear with me. Racing to the ballroom for the pleasure of seeing Albert Castiglia (as the t-shirt corrected, “That’s Cas-Steel-Ya Dammit”) rip into a set of relentless rock tinged blues in a ballroom that had all the acoustic splendor of a high school gymnasium. The performance was still great and followed by The Blues Disciples featuring Pat Ramsey (impeccable harmonica work) along with Dave Renson (stylistically evasive guitarist with 60’s overtones) continued the excellent first night vibe. Get to bed Beardo, you need to pace yourself.

Breakfast, and it’s those guys again. This time the boss lady shows up and informs me I had an “interesting perspective” on her CD in question. Taking it as a compliment I agreed and added it was an honest one, and typically American and that I couldn’t wait to hear her with the band live. We made a tentative arrangement to have a chat later in the week on “da boat”.

Boarding this year was a snap! A quick check of the cabin and off for a bite to eat, a Red Stripe and a few cell calls before the damn things become inoperable. Hellos to remembered cruisers and other friends and it was off to the cabin to get into our life jackets for the obligatory fire drill. It’s now time to get serious.

Simultaneously watching Anthony Gomes in the big room, watching the Steelers win, and drinking a martini as big as my head I started “working”. Here we go: I was shocked to see Gomes was so friggin’ tall and he shredded like a salad shooter on a more than acceptable version of Led Zep’s Heartbreaker”, thankfully no Purple Umbrella that I always thought ruined the end of the song. He immediately switched to more contemporary blues before all the purists left the room. A nice read of the crowd by young Mr. Gomes.

Hooking up by inter-room phone with old buddy Jimmy Thackery, I discovered he was sitting in with Deanna Bogart, subbing for her guitarist who fell ill. It turned into an engaging set with the interplay between the two consisted on key change hand signals, nods and knowing smiles as it fell together beautifully. Watching Jimmy’s bemused smile as he clearly was having a good time was a treat for me. Leaving before the set’s end to prepare for his own show after a energetic version of Bogart’s own,” Just a Girl In The Band” another Jimmy took his place, Former band mate and Driver, Jimmy Carpenter. Stepping up to the mike, Bogart stated that the following tune had five key changes and a verse he needed to take…. That was in Latin. Unflustered, he said,” Let’s go!” As is the case with the cruise, there is always something else going on. It was time to head to the very intimate Queen’s Lounge for John Hammond’s emotional solo blues and stories about going to Allan Freed shows as a kid, Robert Geddings tapping his cane on the stage when John started performing” My Time After While” as a Buddy guy song and saying, Excuse me, excuse me,” I wrote that song!”. He also told the story of his discovery of Robert Johnson on an old Folkways compilation, leading to his subsequent obsession with Johnson. It was his own personal crossroads. Nobody does it better than john Hammond. I left as he picked up his National and belted out “Jitterbug Swing” and headed for a typical tone laden Thackery Show buffeted by the near gale force winds of the pool deck stage outside.

The pro-jam started on the pool deck later with Ronnie Baker Brooks joined by Jelly Bean Johnson. The highlight was their searing version of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”. The fierce expression of their bass man, Mr. Armstrong, matched his playing as he stalked the stage. I left after Billy branch joined them for some Chicago blues around, ah, um…. well it was before 3 AM. I heard from my cabin mate, Mougli that it went till after 4 AM! It broke up early. Well, it’s only the first night. I swung by Club 88 where Mitch Wood’s holds court every night after 2 AM at the piano bar for a little lounge vibe and sing-a-long.

Somewhere in there was a fantastic dinner in the opulent multi-leveled dining room. Round two, or is it three, Coming up! Stay tuned; we are heading for Jamaica, yah mon!

Your Blues Pirate,


Saturday, January 07, 2006

B&S T-Shirt!!!

I'm outta here for the blues cruise in about an hour... see ya'!! Look for updates here starting this Sunday!!
In the meantime, check out the logo for the new donation premium. If you are interested, they are VERY limited addition in lg, xl, xxl and xxxl.
Stake your claim to one by e-mailing me now! I'll return with details 1/15.

Call on the boat or leave a message with Gizmo Call me on Gizmo

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Bon Voyaa-geee!!


Just a couple more days till the big blue boat...The Blues Cruisewill be my home for the next week, but I'll try to post the goings on and some pix every day.

Check back often. I gotta get back to work.