Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Another Blue Monday

Another Monday night at Buddy Guy's Legends.

The Blue Monday Jam session, don't you know. And as usual, there was a slew of characters that showed up. Holly "Thee" Maxwell was giving lessons on how she don't need no instant breakfast, done up with a huge blonde wig, a bright red (and big) bra that doubled as a shirt (?), black capri's, and a blue doo-rag.

Paul "Harmonica" Hanover was there.

Buddy himself was there, holding court at the bar with all sorts of well-wishers, autograph seekers, and hangers-on. He had said that he had just flown in from Denver from a gig he had the night before.

His arms must have been very tired. Hopefully his guitar was not destroyed by the airline.

As usual, he did not take the stage at any point in the night.

Tommy McCracken, the black Elvis, was a no-show. It's been a while since I've seen Tommy and his unforgettable vocal stylings (and unprecedented dance moves) on "Have You Ever Seen a One-Eyed Woman Cry?" I know that he's been out and about doing some things, most recently at the Slippery Noodle in Indianapolis (thanks to fellow drummer Robert Pasenko for the news- I'm guessing you did those gigs with him.) I'd like to see him again sooner rather than later. He makes the night interesting, to say the least.

Not too many surprises last night, as you have surely figured out by now.

What was a surprise though, was that the dashingly handsome and exuberant drummer known as Yours Truly (it's me, it's me!) took the stage at the end of the night as the front-man and vocalist.

That's right: I sang. Sure, I had played drums earlier in the evening with a less than memorable quintet (maybe it was a quartet, who knows at this point, a hazy day later.) I enjoyed it and all, but it didn't really scratch the itch. So I decided to ask Brother John Kattke, our gracious host, if I could sing one to finish the night. It was, after all, about 130am, and letting me get up there to howl wasn't going to cost anyone their job (although you would think that that was a possibility 'cuz you usually shouldn't let the drummer sing unless it's Levon Helm or Karen Carpenter.)

I've always wanted to be the front guy, because I like to ham it up (just in case you hadn't noticed.) I also really enjoy singing, and know the words to more tunes than, seemingly, most people.

I've said it before
and I'll say it again: You gotta learn songs.

I'm not a good singer, by any means. But I am a good performer, I bring the right amount of attitude, and I have no fear of the audience. Plus, it was 130am, so...

You can fill in the blanks.

I actually did a better than respectable job. The tune I chose was B.B. King's version of "Let the Good Times Roll". It's a standard up-tempo swing-shuffle with a few breaks in the last verse, for those of you that have never had an audience with the King. Nothing over the top or difficult to be sure.

I also don't sound at all like B.B. King, to be sure.

But it was rockin'. My man Bret Dale was on the lead guitar, Doug Corcoran was on keys, and Dave Russell was the drummer. As for the bass player and the second guitar man, I have no idea who they were. That's the beauty of the Monday Jam at Legends. You just don't know who you'll be teamed up with (like I said, the group I was with earlier in the night kinda stunk.) But these guys were solid and paid attention to all my cues and antics and everything they were supposed to be doing.

It was fun. It was ridiculous. It was exhilarating.

Another reminder of the joys of being a musician.

So it goes...


  1. This just came to me from brother John Kattke via email:

    I think the bassist was Nick Skilnik, who sometimes works as a doorman at Legends; and I believe the guitarist was Sam Meijer.
    Tommy, by the way, is the "Cherokee" Elvis.
    Laissez les bon temps roulet!!! Loosely translated as "howl on with your bad antics, brother."

  2. stop quoting vonnegut you topee-eating cabron.

  3. howl on with your bad antics indeed. i have seen you sing at bob's country bunker, many a time, but never as a frontman. you are a ham, baby. a blues shouter struggling to get out. so... might as well open the cage door.