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.

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.