Lady Star was one of the many performers at the Stoney B annual blues summit. She doesn’t play downtown too often, so it was a real treat to see her and her band in town.
Here she is, with that great blues voice, singing Etta James cover song I’d Rather Go Blind, with her band… Randy Summers on guitar, Ken Kinley on bass, Fred Sannipoli on drums and Pat Kelley on keyboards.
And then they did Bobby Blue Bland’s cover sone Love of Mine.
I didn’t catch Stoney B when he had his own band on the stage during his annual blues summit Sunday, but here he is playing guitar with Phil Diiorio, who is singing I Will Never Take You Back. They are performing along with Irv Goldstein on keyboards, Chuck Arcilla on sax, Bob Prater on bass and Paul Carlomango on drums.
Two of my favorite local bands were playing last night just a block from each other in the Gaslamp. Fuzzy Rankins blues band was at Patrick’s Pub and Whitney Shay (with her jazzy blues trio) was at the SpeakEasy which had a packed house. No surprise with Whitney there!
Before Patrick’s got too crowded, I was able to get this video of Fuzzy doing his funked up version of Muddy Water’s great cover song Got My Mojo Working. His band members last night were Ronnie Baumslater on bass and Michael Minor on drums.
Then I went over to the SpeakEasy to catch Whitney singing, Jodie Hill on bass and Marley Waak on the drums. Everyone was having a great time.
This week is a bit different than a typical San Diego blues week around downtown.
There is very little blues playing at Patrick’s Pub, the SpeakEasy has a private Comic Con event on Friday night, and there are no blues out at Kona Kai. The Youth Blues Jam, which was scheduled for the last Sat of the month at SpeakEasy, is also canceled because of Comic Con.
On the other hand, Humphrey’s Backstage Lounge has a bit more blues, including the Billy Thompson Band (originally based in San Diego) on Tuesday night and Michele Lundeen (blues/soul/R&B) is there tonight. She’s also at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park on Wednesday evening 6:15-7:15.
There is bit more blues this week than we’ve had downtown for a while, and one reason is the reopening of the Kona Kai lounge after their Spring renovations. Missy Andersen will be back there on Wednesday and Gino & Jade are also back!!
I’ve also added the Coronado Ferry Landing to the calendar, since they play blues there periodically on Sunday afternoons. This week is Blue Frog Blues.
And of course we have the usual San Diego blues jams on Mondays (SpeakEasy), Tuesdays (Patrick’s) and Wednesdays at the House of Blues free stage. I’m also pleased that Patrick’s has mostly blues again this week, so it’s another great week of blues every single night.
Patrick’s Pub almost always has blues on a Sunday night, and I went to hear some favorite locals: Len Rainey on bass and Johnny Vernazza on guitar, accompanied by Danny Martinez on drums. These guys are all regulars at Patrick’s, and I always enjoy hearing them play.
Here’s Len singing cover song Kiddio. Patrick’s is always dark, so it’s hard to get good crisp video. I lightened it up, and it’s still grainy. But you can see and hear them fairly well.
And here they are performing cover song Born Under a Bad Sign.
I’m happy to say that Patrick’s Pub in the Gaslamp has a full week of San Diego blues, and most of it straight up blues. Unfortunately I’m not in town to enjoy it, although I did go to a great bl…ues gig last night in Newburyport, Massachusetts hosted by Parker Wheeler with his friends (this week it was SuperChief Trio).
There are a few highlights this week to check out… Whitney Shay and Robin Henkel will be at 98 Bottles doing a tribute to Little Richard, and Tyler Ray Davidson (a super talented young guitarist who often plays at the Youth Blues Jam) will have his own blues band performing at Hennessey’s on Saturday afternoon. I’m sorry to miss both of these, so I hope you get to catch one of them.
Years ago, blues sax player Terry Hanck played in San Diego with Elvin Bishop when he was on tour out of San Francisco. He was back in town on Sunday with his band at Patrick’s Pub. Joining them on stage was Johnny Vernazza, who used to play with both Elvin and Terry.
Patrick’s isn’t an easy place to get good quality video, but for the Terry Hanck fans, it will be fun to watch.
It is a pretty typical week for downtown San Diego blues, with most of it happening at the SpeakEasy and Patrick’s in the Gaslamp.
Hopefully Kona Kai’s renovations will wrap up soon on Shelter Island, and they will resume their schedule of blues a few times a week. It is a nice complement to Humphrey’s Backstage schedule (which is now a mix of blues on Mondays & R&B on many Thursdays and Sundays – along with their predominantly jazz calendar).
We seem to have more R&B bands getting booked this spring, which suggests the venues are getting more people out for that. I’m hoping we will see a trend back to more blues in the summer.
One other trend, that is drawing a nice crowd, is the 2-5pm blues at Hennessey’s/SpeakEasy. This past weekend was the Youth Blues Jam, which is always impressive, and this coming Saturday we will have John January & The Rare Creed!