Thursday, May 23, 2013

Do you ever get the feeling...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/23/13

...that you wanted to go!!! That's the opening line of a novelty song, way back in the day, that Jimmy Durante(the schnozz) sang. The next line reads, "and then you get the feeling that you want to stay".That's me last night. I was totally vegged out, sipping expresso vodka with a dash of lemoncello from a tumbler filled to the brim and icy cold. 

The clock on the wall chimed the half hour. 8:30, I'm still not showered or dressed. I turn on the 'hot' and add a little cold. A change of mind. More cold less hot. Refreshing. A pair of jeans, an old shirt and off to The Big Easy in Hollywood. Graham Wood Drout .  Hollywood Blvd. is not crowded.---Heat on TV----
Entering the "Easy" I can't help but notice the sparcity of patrons. About 20 or so including Dave(cat in the hat), Grahams wife, Roseanne, Charley(a BLUES buddy) and some friendly gals who always give me a warm hug. I have a treat in store. On the stage, sitting alongside Graham is Albert Castiglia. Two modern day legendary BLUES musicians, side by side, singing and playing as only they can do. Just as I walked in they had started playing "The Ghosts of Mississippi", putting me "In The Mood". Dave and Roseanne had me join them at their table and I was glad to do so. Graham and Albert traded songs. Old, new and some original tunes. If you are a BLUES lover and weren't there, you missed an exceptional evening of music. "I Don't Want Your G-damn Money" was followed by Albert doing "I Shall Be Released". You could hear a pin drop. 

At the break, Albert told a story about a strip club in Ontario and guys throwing "loons"(Canadian coins) instead of gingerly placing dollar bills. Another story involved a BLUES vocalist eating zebra meat while touring Africa and drawing criticism from PETA. Isn't there a saying that goes "When in------".

The 2d set opened with Graham doing "I'm Gonna Murder My Baby" the Pat Hare tune that Doug Demming, had told me the other day, was his favorite lyric line. Grahams favorite is " the judge gave me life this morning, down on parchment farm". I picked one up myself when Albert sang "I'd rather be in the penitentiary than be worried out of my mind". 

I don't what it is, my good looks, pity for an old man, compassion for the down and out or what but I seem to get the attention of attractive women of my children's age. Last night, Ms. Michelle Mesano asked me if I was me. I am. She recognized me from the picture at the top.  Her Dad had grown up in The Bronx, like I did, and was able to share his boyhood memories with her before he went to live with the Lord. Michelle said I reminded her of him and I felt honored. We traded "Bronx Tales" during the break and it was fun. She loves the BLUES so I'm sure we will "bunk" in to one another again.----bunk is The Bronx word for bump---- 

In '91 Graham had composed a song titled "These Are The Days of Celebration". Graham tells me of his attachment to the song because of its history in relation to his life. Stories of tragedy and joy. Isn't that the story of the BLUES?. One of the things he told me was of a couple, "Tattoo Tracy" and her husband "Skin". Another was his attendance at a "BatMitzvah" where the band played the song and he wondered if it had become a tradition at that Jewish ritual.

Graham studies lyrics of songs and discovers many interesting things. Ask him about Vann Morrison. Dave(cat in the hat) had started his evening early with "happy hour" at the Blue Martini and was certainly 'happy'. He looked me straight in the eye and said "I don't drink water because fish f--- in the water." Dave said I could quote him because it is "a pithy quote"---whatever that means.

Albert and Graham had concluded the evenings music. The Heat game went into overtime. Incredible shots by both teams. Finally LeBron finished with his inimitable style. Heat by 1. 

Just in case you don't know, the conversation about the pronunciation of Albert's last name is ongoing. He constantly reminds me that it his name and so-----. I say I was kind of brought up by an Italian family and so----- an afterthought, if you are a woman of appropriate age and want to get a gander at this geezer and hear the new direction of JAZZ,  I will be at Arts Garage, Friday for the Aaron Lebos band.

Definition of appropriate age: old enough to drive by yourself and not too old to drive at night.         

Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

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