Friday, January 18, 2013

an historic spot for history in the making...Al has a knack for being in the right place at the right time for these things...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 1/18/13

Thursday night was the opening of the First Annual Las Olas Blues Festival. It took place on an empty field where O'Haras once stood and was named "Party on the Lawn." O'Haras has a place in south Florida's JAZZ history because it was THE spot to listen to JAZZ live. Dr. Lonnie Smith, Ed Calle, Danny Burger, and Chuck Bergeron were among the many JAZZ artists I heard there. The spot has been empty for about 5 years but came back to live music this night. It was due, in good part, to the efforts of Harald Neuwig (Fritz&Fran Bierhaus) who, like many of us, loves the BLUES. Unlike many of us, Harald oftentimes puts up hard-earned cash to prove it. He has partnered with the Riverside Hotel to promote this event. It continues every night thru the weekend.

I missed the first set which featured Joey Gilmore, but got there in time to hear Josh Rowand (in a purple suit) and the Pit Bull of BLUES Band. The band is a trio made up of Josh, his Dad, Danny(bass) and Richie Coracelli (drums) but they make enough music to fill a concert hall. The night was a bit drizzly. They turned up the volume and chased the clouds away. It's funny, the things a good BLUES band can do. I was joined by my buddy Dave(cat in the hat) who knows an awful lot about the BLUES and some great stories about bands past. During the last set they were joined by Randy Pullman (Composer/guitar). Mr. Pullman was at one time the Dean of the Business School at Southeastern Nova University. He was responsible for the great BLUES concerts that were presented there. Unfortunately monetary constraints forced the University to discontinue the program. Hey! If there are any of you out there with some tax-deductible cash on hand, think about talking to the powers-that-be at Nova. It would be great to have those concerts again. The band played "Iko-Iko" and the rhythm goes, Pok--pokpok--pokpok. That's the same pattern as the Latin music clave, the heart of rhumba, mambo etc. Roots?

The Pitbull of BLUES Band was followed by Mike Quick & the Soul Power Band. The band is a sextet with Mike(guitar/vocals) out front accompanied by bass, drums, sax, trumpet and Chris Batiste(keyboard). Sorry, but I didn't get the names of the others in the group. They are dynamic and a lot of fun to say the least. The band did "Jailhouse Rock" and I have to say that Mike did a fantastic job, in not emulating Elvis, but doing it his way and spotlighting his guitar playing talent. ..

There is food, beverages and even Italian Ice available. The program, at the front gate, is worth the price of admission all by itself. It has a brief BLUES history, a picture of Robert Johnson and even the sheet music of "The St. Louis Blues" written in 1914. For those of you who live a little further south, Harald will present the 15th Annual Coral Gables Blues Festival next weekend.

Getting back to Josh and his Dad. I am sure most of us remember having our fathers play with us as kids. Whether it was with toys or games or sports. Imagine how great it would be to work(really play) with him doing something you both love. Aside to Josh----GOOD LUCK in Memphis. 

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Posted by Jazz & Blues Florida 
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1 comment :

  1. Al you are the man thanks for the kind words the band and I oh and Randy also thank you. See you sooner than later. Josh "The Pitbull of Blues" Rowand