Fuzzy Rankins Band Raised the Bar in Memphis

I’m out in Memphis, getting to hear some of the best blues bands from all over the world down on Beale Street, in the heart of the blues.  Our own Fuzzy Rankins Blues Band, representing the Blues Lovers United of San Diego, raised the bar early in the International Blues Competition.

People were commenting on how good they were, and that is saying something. There were some incredibly good bands competing to win the title.  While Fuzzy’s band didn’t win, which is a disappointment, they stood out among the hundreds of bands who came to perform.

Here they are playing at the Rum Boogie Café on Beale Street.  Bruce Hutcherson was explosive on drums, Tom Mylett was keeping the bottom nice and strong on bass, Hindy Bare was rounding it out on the organ, and Fuzzy was ripping it up and doing his thing.

Guitar Jam at SpeakEasy

There were a number of guitar players who showed up at the SpeakEasy blues jam Monday, and in this video they all jammed and did solos.  From left to right, Jon Fai, Patrick Jarrell, Brandon Cerquedo and Fuzzy Rankins.  Bob Prater was on bass and Bruce Hutcherson on drums.

Fuzzy Rankins Band at Patrick’s

Its been a while since Fuzzy and his band has played at Patrick’s Pub, and he was back last night to a good crowd.  He will be back there again later this month on the 30th!

I wasn’t able to get the whole song (cover song You Talk Too Much) in this clip, which is a shame.  I realized half way into it that my video wasn’t actually recording, but the rest is pretty good of TC Tye on keys, Bruce Hutcherson on drums, Cecil McBee on bass, Fuzzy, and an out-of-town harmonica player, Danny Thornburry from Louisville, KY.

John January Joins Monday Jam Night

Last night John January showed up at the SpeakEasy blues jam, and played the lead guitar and sang, along with Patrick Jerrell on rhythm guitar, Irakli Aladash on bass, Christine Gilardi on vocals and Karl Bradley on drums.

Not sure how to get the red-eye out of this iphone video.  Couldn’t do it with my editing software.  Anyone have a way to do this or to avoid it in the first place?

Later in the 3rd set, Fuzzy Rankins, who hosts the jam, finished up the night playing his cover song Down Home Blues, along with his drummer Bruce Hutcherson, and Bob Prater on bass, Patrick Jarrell on rhythm guitar, Justin Fools on harmonica, and a keyboardist I didn’t know.

The place was packed most of the night, so word is getting out how good this jam is!  See you there next Monday.

Leilani Joins in SpeakEasy Jam

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.


Funky Blues Jam at SpeakEasy

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.

Last Gig at Croce’s in the Gaslamp

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.

Old School Blues Jam at SpeakEasy got Jammin!!

I also stopped in at the Old School Blues Jam at the SpeakEasy, which is hosted on Monday nights by Fuzzy Rankins.  He had his house bass player, Bob Prater, and his drummer, Bruce Hutherson, there as he usually does at the jam.  And last night, Patrick Jarrell came in with his guitar to play with the guys.  There was also a sax player I’ve seen before who joined in, but I didn’t get his name.