Monday, May 20, 2013

I find myself at...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/20/13

...a loss for words.----"Who? You?"----Yeah, me. I followed my Sunday sked by getting to BJB's just in time to take advantage of "happy hour" pricing. My buddy Bill was already there with Capt. Bob. Bill had already downed 4 1/2 vodkas and was pretty happy. Capt. Bob was thinking about how well the refitting of his 60ft. ocean-going sailing vessel was going. On stage, running the Sunday afternoon JAM was Anthony Corrado with Danny Burger on drums, Paul Bonham on piano  and Ray Batista playing guitar. Anthony plays every other instrument that fits on a bandstand. Guests included pro guitarist Tony Guerrero and a moving performance by a gal (I know, I know) named Tiffany Hill, recently arrived from Big D, Texas. I only caught her on one tune but sure would liked to have heard more. Bill is on to number six and figures he is not in shape to stay for the feature of the night, He packs himself and Capt. Bob up and heads out---stopping for a cup of coffee, I hope. Now this the part that leaves me wordless.    er----almost.

Miss Rita Wilbern enters the establishment (read joint) in a long, sleek, form fitting, black pant set. My throat closes down and my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth. I taste pennies. If you have never seen this woman you have missed out on one of the true pleasures of life. Sometimes, in jest, she refers to me as her "Weekend Man". Slave would probably be the more appropriate word.

Her "Main Man", as opposed to her W.E. M. is Mitch Goldstein who drives the band playing the Hammond SK2. Her other, sometime Week-end Man, is Danny Berger playing drums. A new addition was Tony Nicolosi on guitar. He played and sang "so good" that I think we all may be moved down a notch or two on Miss Rita's listings.
My heart is pounding as she steps on stage and opens with the BLUESy "Everyday". It ain't Joe Williams, it is Miss Rita Wilbern at the top of her game. Now shifting to straight ahead "sexy" she does "Fever" and I am about to call for immediate medical emergency help. Tony has added dimension to the performance and they all are now in a "groove". She continues the onslaught of soulful sexiness with "You Thrill Me". She and Tony share "I Feel Good" and follow with "Since I Fell For You". Every couple in the joint that's in love or in lust is now on the floor, dancing? The band and Rita do an up-tempo "My Baby Just Cares For Me" and I ask Babette to dance. She is seat bound but can really "swing" in place. She shakes her shoulders and sways. We hold hands. I jiggle my feet. We have a good time doing it.

They close the set with "The Thrill Is Gone".   "Piano Bob" is now in the house saying "Hello" to everybody he knows which is everybody in the joint. When Rita starts singing "Summertime" all the chatter and bar patter shuts down and we all just listen. Then "Chain, Chain, Chain". All of a sudden folks who like to "shake that thang"  are up. My pal, Mark, can boogie with the best. He promised to give me lessons. Tony does "A Rainy Night In Georgia" and the band follows with a Boz Skags (Danny's Fave) tune. We are back to the bondage scene with "Unchain My Heart"---was it the black dress or her figure that brought that to mind?-----Rita and Tony do "Georgia" and that kind of brings the night to a close. While all the music was going on, one couple always got up to do the slow grin---dances. He is Gerry LeMoth and she Claudine Soulard. Loosely translated 'soulard' in French is "a drunk asleep on a park bench".  Claudine is a beautiful woman who returns to her native Montreal on Tuesday. Gerry has a house in Ft. Lauderdale and so stays a little longer. By the way, I came to find out Rita's real age. How? She told me! 29. I am still trying to figure out her 24 year old son.       

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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