Well, it was edge-of-the-seat suspense, but Mother Nature lost the round! With sheets of rain rendering visibility difficult, Jerry and Jackie Deall picked me up at the Outlook, all of us full of hope the event wouldn’t have to be cancelled. As we rolled into Greeley, none of us could figure out how it would be possible to have an outdoor event. We pulled in the parking lot and were told it had been moved into the Events Center, the first time in the Jam’s history that the Center happened to be available. A major stroke of luck!
Although downbeat was delayed by more than an hour, the event was a spectacular success. The word got out pretty quickly that it had been moved indoors, so by one-ish, the place was packed with happy, dry Blues fans, ready for the stellar lineup. And it was indeed stellar. If you weren’t there (my condolences), check out their site for more on the acts: http://greeleybluesjam.com/
Pam and Al Bricker and the entire organizing committee have recently received an award for Outstanding Tourism Event for 2010, but for those of us who know and love them, they deserve to be showered in awards for keeping us from being showered in rain. It was a last-minute decision and it truly saved the day. I told Pam later in the evening that it had been quite a fun adventure having a familiar event in an unfamiliar setting. Pam replied, “I know, and you have no idea how many people have come up to me to say, ‘I hope it rains again next year!’” I can’t help it, but I kind of agree...Again, CONGRATULATIONS GREELEY BLUES JAM!
Now what’s happening here in Boulder? Tomorrow night we have Pete Neuman and the Real Deal from Wisconsin. http://www.peteneuman.com/
I heard from Pete several months ago, and I immediately booked them after listening to a few samples on their site. With a deep, gravely voice made for the Blues and the guitar chops to match (don’t believe me? Go to the site and watch the video), I was wowed right out of the gate. A couple of weeks ago, he sent me a CD, Going to the City, and it’s wonderful! These guys are on the young side, but anyone having never seen a photo wouldn’t know it from the music. Please join me tomorrow night and welcome them properly for their first-ever gig in Boulder. I have a feeling we’re going to have yet another house favorite by the end of the evening (I’m talking to you, Chick!).
(Continues Next Column)
Thu 6/17 - Pete Neuman & Real Deal
Fri 6/18 - Daddy Mack ($5 Cover)
Sat 6/19 - Gretchen Troop Band
Sun 6/20 - Jazz Jam
Mon 6/21 - Paul Söderman's BBC
Tue 6/22 - Blues Jam W/ Al Chesis
Wed 6/23 - Dustin Pittsley ($10 Cover)
Thu 6/24 - Stone Soup
Fri 6/25 - Mary Russell Band
Sat 6/26 - Girls On Top
Sun 6/27 - Hamilton Loomis ($10 Cover)
Friday night Daddy Mack will be yet another first-timer. Again, several months ago I was minding my own business (a dangerous thing to do) when Dan approached and asked if I’d ever heard of the Daddy Mack Blues Band. I admitted I had not, and then he played the CD in the restaurant. It was in the afternoon, so there were only a handful of us here, but we all got excited. Go ahead and give them a listen:
Here’s something interesting:
“When people say, “Memphis blues ain’t what it used to be,” they haven’t heard the Daddy Mack Blues Band. All of its members at one time or another played in the Fieldstones, one of the most talked-about urban blues bands since the 1970s. Led by Mack Orr on lead guitar and vocals, this four-piece group is down-home and funky, and the best band around for cuttin’ loose on a Saturday night. Their raw approach to blues is something too often missing in contemporary blues. Since 1998, they have been the house band at the Center For Southern Folklore on Beale Street, where thousands of tourists from all corners of the world have experienced their natural and soulful musical blend.”
Let’s face it, a house band on Beale Street speaks volumes. Thanks Dan, for bringing them to my attention.
Saturday night The Gretchen Troop Band returns with all their soulful funk, and it’s always a party!
Monday is another BBC with Paul Soderman, fresh from his crowd-thrilling performance in Greeley, and we never know who Paul’s going to line up for the night, but there have been a few that have taken my breath away. For those of you who’ve not dropped in on the first or third Monday of the month, you don’t know what you’re missing!
Tuesday is the My Beloved Delta Sonics’ jam, as they switched with Gretchen for this month. Again, that’s a jam where anything can and often does happen. They are usually the second Tuesday of the month with Gretchen taking the fourth. We’ll be back to the normal schedule in July.
The Dustin Pittsley Band returns next Wednesday, and as I missed them the last time, I’ll most certainly be here for their second time. When I came in the day after their first gig here, I was accosted by several people telling me what a great show I missed, so if you missed it too, come early as I think it’s going to get crowded.
Now, if I may close this week on a personal note, I have many, many thanks to deliver, and this seems to be the most efficient and appropriate route.
As many of you know, last Thursday, June 10, 2010, my older brother and only sibling, Kelly, passed away. It was sudden and unexpected. On Monday night, he had a seizure of an undetermined cause which arrested his breathing for too long, and he suffered irreparable brain damage. He was, in essence, brain dead. My parents and I had to make the horrifying decision to remove him from life support. I will be leaving in two weeks to escort his ashes to my mother’s beach house on the Black Sea in Turkey. Kelly typically spent a month or so every summer there, and it was unquestionably his favorite spot on earth. Many of our lifelong Turkish friends will be with us as we release his ashes into the beautiful Black Sea, mere yards from where we used to camp on summer weekends when we were kids.
I’ve received condolences, love, support, phone calls and emails from around the world, but for me, the most overwhelming support has come from my world, the Blues World. Speaking with my mother Sunday morning after Greeley, I told her I was amazed that I wasn’t covered in “hug bruises.” I’ve never felt more loved and cared for, and I can’t thank all of you enough. I now know it’s possible for a heart to be broken and full at the same time. Thank you.