It took nearly six months, but I finally got to behold The Voice.
Back in June, at the Greeley Blues Festival, I was privileged enough to get to hang with a number of the musicians (I would elaborate, but namedropping is so unseemly), including Mr. Rex Peoples (who unfortunately was not performing). It was our first encounter, and it was a memorable one at that. Mr. Peoples is funny, delightful, and charming, and we talked music and musicians as if we were old friends. I was eager for a Rex Peoples and X Factr performance. Their following Outlook gig found me in bed with a nasty head cold (this theme would later repeat itself, only vice versa), so my indoctrination was to be delayed. Worth the wait.
Finally, on Friday, November 16th, the delay was done, and I hit Skinny Jayís ready for anything. Or so I thought.
After a brief catching up, during which Peoples informed me he had a nasty cold (ahemÖ), he hit the stage. That someone can possess that voice is maddening (said the frustrated and the tone deaf)! But to be able to sing like that with a cold goes beyond maddening into necessitating a new language. Straight up, people, I would have publicly made out with the man if I thought that voice came as part of the cold virus. I would happily spend several miserable sick days to be able to sing like that (or at all). Heís coming back to the Outlook on December 20th, and if you have travel plans for the holidays, cancel them. There is a reason when one mentions the name Rex Peoples, others sigh, ďOh, that voice.Ē
Peoples is a showman of the finest order with a kick-ass band, and no illness could impede the vibe they propel from the stage. Captivating from the first note to the last, these folks are pros, and they work seamlessly as a beguiling team. December 20th, people! For more detailed information than this space allows, hit their site.
The evening following The Voice, the other voice, Ms. Erica Brown, and her tremendous band were back. ĎTíwas a night, I assure you. Still pulsating from their IBC competition success, Brown and her boys tore it up, as usual. I am personally hoping for monthly Outlook gigs with this band, so tell your friends. Iíve told mine, and with their every gig, more and more of them show up and leave in awe (wait until they get a hold of Rex Peoples!).
This Saturday, 12/1, The Boulder Acoustic Society returns to the Outlook, and although they are not blues, they are remarkably talented musicians. They are pretty much impossible to compartmentalize, though I have tried. Canít. However, regardless of how big a blues fan one might be, enjoying this ensemble is effortless.
December is looking pretty amazing, so get a look at the calendar and start making your yearend plans.
Now on to a couple of CDs. Several weeks ago I purchased Chicago Sessions, a marvelous musical offering from Jeremy Vasquez and Ronnie Shellist of the Shuffle Tones. Iíve wanted to tell you about it, and now I shall. BUY IT! This has become one of my all-time favorite records. One of the more thrilling aspects is that these blues babies are embracing the old Chicago school. And, not only embracing it, but enhancing it with a CD chockfull of originals by Vasquez, who is a surprisingly proficient lyricist for one so young.
Although original in their own right, I find it impossible not to think of the early recordings of The Fabulous Thunderbirds when listening to ChicagoSessions. And it is because of this resemblance that I realized I hadnít replaced my old Thunderbirds LPs, and not having a turntable for a lot of years, I hadnít heard those wonderful records in too long a time. Hello CD Baby! Iíve replaced them, and the Thunderbirdsí Whatís the Word? and Chicago Sessions convey an analogous energy and vibe, and my recommendation for the end of 2007 is for every blues fan to own both.
That said, I would like to thank Vasquez and Shellist not only for their jamminí CD, but for lighting the fire under me to replace some old vinyls. Thank you, guys.
Honey Sepeda email