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Whether you wanted it or not, we're giving it to you: the full report on the Northside Tavern "Giving It Back" festival!
Things kicked off around 12:30 with Shelton Powe leading a spirtual revival on a small body acoustic guitar. His quiet demenor was deceptive - his voice and sound was as big as the songs he led, including a beautiful version of "Amazing Grace." Carlos "Mr. Breeze" Capote joined in on harmonica, not bad for a white boy, and Cora Maye Bryant, an older black woman for whom the benefit had been thrown in the past, got up and sang along on many songs. Mudcat escorted Cootie Stark, an old blind black man, to the stage and gave him a guitar with which Cootie showed off some incredible skill.
The Delta 88's kicked off with a moment of spiritual music, "got me in the mood" said the guitarist.
"Pardon me while I have a strange interlude..." Groucho Marx
Why the hell would you, the public at large, pay $30 or more to see the Almans at Lakewood from 200 yards away when for $5 you can see these guys - The Delta 88's, long haired rednecks from 'round here paying tribute to blues masters with their own southern-fried versions, from 2 yards away for $5?? Good stuff.
Ross Pead, just another incredibly talented blues master, this time in the guise of an old white guy covering lots of old acoustic blues. The looks on his face show his love for the music.
Ray Chesna is his younger version, though no less talented.
Tim Duffy, the head of some benefit society for old musicians, got all the old guys together - Cootie Stark, Captain Luke, Niel "Big Daddy" Pattman, and others all together for an hour long jam session. Best tastin' jam this side of grandma's! Pictures will be on the Ear Plugs site soon.
Stoney Brooks and JuJu Root were up next, electric Chicago blues done by talented white guys of wide age range, but even broader talent. Stoney blows a hell of a harp and the guitarist knows his blues like walking. The news showed up to catch these guys, getting jeers from a few, probably because they ignored those for whom the whole gathering was thrown. Stoney Brooks and company didn't seem to mind too much, however, as the cameraman nestled up as close as possible.
Out on the deck, Big Daddy Pattman and his wife are having a ball, he blowing harp like the old master he is, and she doing very sexy interpretive dances to every tune - odd but fun. Cootie joined in, along with the a guy playing a killer washboard, and the whole deck rocked. "Mudcat better come tell him to quit or he'll just keep going!" said Mrs. Pattman. "And...?" said the gathered degenerates. Eventually, Mudcat did come to say it was time to move on so Beverly "Guitar" Watkins could do her thing. A female Buddy Guy, playing behind her head and everything, but with a much more interesting voice. Mudcat and company backed her up, powerfully, and the whole thing was joyous. Again, pictures will be on the Ear Plugs site soon.
11 hours was enough, though it was still hoppin' with no sign of stoppin'. Aren't you sorry you missed it? You should be.
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