Man it's been so long since the last blog that I don't know where to start! Last weekend, for the first time probably ever, Buff and I went with our best friends the MFThroneberry's to Chicago just to hang out. Chicago is one of mine and Buff's favorite cities and it was so great to get a chance to just hang out and walk around revisiting some of our favorite spots. After a mixup at the hotel where a young man named Victor proved that you don't have to be smart, kind, caring or basically human to work at a Hilton Hotel, we got into some great rooms and hit the town wide open. It went sort of like this; Weber Grill, Jazz Record Mart, Water Tower, House of Blues, Harry Carey's, Hard Rock Hotel, Legend's, Starbucks, Portillo's, more shopping, Frontera Grill (GREAT Mexican food), hot tub, HOME! I left out a lot of details so no one gets offended!
This trip out has been a blast . Thursday night we played Minneapolis and jammed with some of our very talented friends; Jellybean Johnson, Truth, Mike Shaw, Allen Kirk and the one and only Tim Obrien. Last night and tonight we're staying with our old friend and honorary SHB member Dino Corvino. He and his mom have been so gracious and opened their home to us. It's always such a joy to hang out with Dino and we're having a blast. We are truly blessed with great family and friends.
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Just as I was finishing writing about Jeff Healey, a friend of mine sent me an email about the passing of Buddy Miles! I had the chance to meet and "sort of" know Buddy when I was with Buddy Guy. For a time in the early 90's, Buddy Miles was in Chicago. I don't know if he was living there or what, but he would come to Legends sometimes where I had a chance to jam with him a couple of times and for some reason he remembered me. My best memory of Buddy Miles is crossing the street in Chicago one night going from one blues club to another and hearing somebody call out my name. It was Buddy Miles sitting in the drivers seat of a Lincoln. He had a cassette tape of some new music he was working on and was jamming it out on the car stereo and letting me hear it! Buddy was a pretty big guy at that point and he was dancing in the car and the whole car was rocking from side to side. I was more astounded that Buddy Miles knew my name and was letting me hear his music! If anybody doesn't know Buddy Miles' history, check it out. He was not only a friend and musical foil for one of my favorite Jimi Hendrix records, but also a seasoned veteran of the 50's and 60's "chitlin" circuit. He played with Wilson Pickett and went on to form Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield. Like with all the great artists we've lost, his voice might be stilled, but his legacy exists for us to remember him by. Go buy Them Changes and turn it up loud!
Monday, March 03, 2008
Jeff Healey passed away after a long battle with cancer. I became aware of Jeff around the time I started playing guitar. His record See The Light was (and still is) a favorite of mine. Often times in the music business, people tend to reduce thing to the lowest common denominator to make it easily digestible for the public, (I could go off for hours on how the record industry thinks that music fans are too ignorant to understand music) in Jeff's case, his technique of playing the guitar in his lap and being blind were both factors that brought him attention from the public, but in some ways it distracted from the fact that he was a truly brilliant musician with a deep understanding and appreciation for the roots of blues and jazz. Jeff made some great records, toured the world, played with the legends of Blues, starred in movies and even had a couple of popular radio shows. He had a collection of over 30,000 jazz 78's (those are records, kiddies). Beyond all that though, and probably most importantly he was a husband and a father with a wife and two children. I was lucky to get a chance to meet and jam with Jeff and honored to play at his club in Toronto on a few occasions. Our prayers go to his family and friends.