Croce’s will be moving to Bankers Hill in the next couple of weeks, and they will reopen as Croce’s Park West up on 5th and Nutmeg. From what I hear, they will keep both Fuzzy Rankins and Lady Dottie on their schedule. I will know more about that soon.
Leilani Kilgore led the jam at the SpeakEasy last night with this Etta James cover song I’d Rather Go Blind. She’s just 17, but she has been out at the jams lately playing with local veteran musicians, and she holds her own. With her on bass is Irakli Aladash, Bruce Hutcherson on drums, TC Tye on keyboard and Justin Fools playing the harmonica.
This video is long and a little too grainy particularly towards the end, but I wanted to capture the whole song.
There was a full house of musicians who came in to jam, but I wasn’t feeling so well and headed out early and missed the rest of it. But I’ll be back next week. This is becoming the place to go Monday nights for blues downtown, and it seems to just get better and better.
For those of you staying local, there is plenty of live blues music around the downtown area this coming week to enjoy, even on Christmas Eve and the night of Christmas.
Kona Kai has a nice brunch on Sundays (perfect for a holiday weekend), and this week Whitney Shay, who does a mix of sultry jazz and soulful blues, will be the featured performer.
The JammingOut BLUSD jam at House of Blues was hopping last night, and as usual there were lots of local musicians who showed up to jam. You never know who will be there, and last night was a real treat to have two members of The Saxations quartet in the house. Playing the sax were Leilani Vidal and Michelle Maynard, who joined Doyle Thomas on guitar and vocals, Chris Cooper on keyboard, Irakli Aladash on bass, and Michael Minor on drums to perform cover song Unchain My Heart.
Fuzzy Rankins hosts the Old School Blues Jam, and he amps it up and gets down with his funky blues. Last night a number of people dropped in to play with him. Joining Fuzzy in this clip is a young guy on guitar, calling himself Rambo (not wanting to give me his real name – I get that), Irakli Aladash on bass, and TC Tye on keyboards – along with his drummer, Bruce Hutcherson.
Later in the evening, Matt Meyer joined in on sax with Fuzzy to play the cover song So Sorry Baby, and Bob Prater took over on bass. Enjoy, as I did.
We have another full week of live music around the downtown area. There are jams on Monday (at SpeakEasy), Tuesday (at Patrick’s), Wednesday (at House of Blues 7-11p that isn’t on the calendar since they don’t offer $1 discount) and Thursday (at Spaghetteria).
Also this Friday at House of Blues is a special holiday event. CeeCee James and Michele Lundeen will be playing on the free house stage (7-11p). There is no cover. All they ask is that you bring a toy for Toys for Tots. Michele will also be in the Gaslamp SpeakEasy on Saturday, which is a treat for all of us who love her raw blues voice.
Please tip the bands. There is no cover at most of the venues, so tips matter! Thanks.
It was a slow Sunday night around the Gaslamp, but Lance Dieckmann and Phil Diiorio with their band had a good groove going at Jimmy Love’s. If you haven’t heard Lance play the harmonica or heard him sing, you are in for a treat with this video. He’s one of the best harp players in the area and has a powerful voice.
In this next video I took, Phil Diiorio is singing one of my favorite Robert Cray cover songs, Right Next Door, with Lance on harp, Bob Prater on bass and Becky Russell on drums. The stage lighting at Jimmy Love’s shines a red light where Phil is standing, which I wish they would change – its a distraction even when you are there, and I can’t edit it out. Urg…
I always enjoy coming out to hear the kids who show up at the monthly Youth Blues Jam at the SpeakEasy, which is open to people under 22 years old. But they don’t sound like kids. These teens are really good musicians, and they have embraced the blues. The 3 guitarists, who often play together, will switch roles between the lead, rhythm and bass guitars, as they did today.
This first video has Leilani Kilgore (who just turned 17) playing guitar and singing, while Chase Walker (who is 15 and has his own band) played guitar, Tyler Ray Davidson (18) was on bass and Nate Hess (14) was on drums.
Next, check out Tyler Ray when he takes over the lead and Leilani switches to the bass guitar. I still find it hard to believe these are teens.
They welcome any one who fits the age limit and wants to play with them on the first Saturday of the month (this month was an exception) from 2-5pm at the SpeakEasy.
The lovely Whitney Shay was at the SpeakEasy last night singing with her jazz quartet. Many blues musicians also do jazz, and Whitney (as well as some of her band members) is one of them. Her quartet includes Michael Peed on piano, Jodie Hill on bass, and Marley Waak on the drums. Enjoy Whitney’s beautiful voice!
Last night was the last evening Fuzzy Rankins and his band played at Croce’s before they move. They have been playing there for many years, so I wanted to catch their last evening in this location. I’m so glad I did. A couple of musicians showed up, who ended up playing with Fuzzy, which added to the night.
One of the highlights was when TC Tye took over the keys and sang one of Jim Croce’s hit cover songs, You Don’t Mess Around With Jim. It was a fitting tribute for the evening.
Fuzzy and his band (with Bruce Hutherson on drums, Cecil McBee on bass and Hindy Bare on keyboards) played a night full of blues, including that great BB King cover song, The Thrill is Gone.
And at one point Alvin Dawkins took over the bass from Cecil, and they played this next song, where Alvin and Hindy both did solos.