Tuesday, January 21, 2014

What does it take...(and we will see what it takes to WIN in Memphis, right, Allen Kanovsky?)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/21/14

...to make the trip to Memphis for the International BLUES Competition? Years of dedication, hard work and performance. Last night at The Funky Biscuit, Dave Shelley showed what it takes. My pal Jimmy Belize and I were joined by two ladies who also were on our trip to Cuba. Tania and Sandy are both Boca Raton residents but only recently discovered the Biscuit. They like 'hanging' there and love the BLUES. Seated nearby were a trio of music lovers, Kevin and Eric Johnson with their pal Orlando Rodriguez. Orlando was born in Havana but Castro threw him out when he was 9 years old. (Orlando was a threat to the revolution). Betty (shake your booty) Rosenthal was in attendance as well. Dave heads the house band which has Charles Gasper (bass), Randy Ridenauer (drums), Tom Regis (B3/keyboards) and Drew Preston, suffering from a bad cold, on guitar/vocals.

As a guest they have Eric Bindman on electronic violin. The band kicks it off with "Pretty Woman". The Funky Biscuit has a great sound system (courtesy of Ray's fine ear/hand work), presents all-star artists and a just funky enough ambience. I have to say that half of what I enjoy at the Biscuit is the gals who get up to shake their stuff to the music. Not letting down for a second they swing into "Congo Square". There are 4**** solos by everyone on stage and the growing audience responds with applause. Dave announces a Muddy Waters' tune "Are You Ready For Me" with the caveat that it will be a somewhat funked-up version. They play. Betty can't stay in her seat. Betty can shake that thang. From funky, straight to the swamp with "I'm A Voodoo Child" which ends with "Hootchie Kootchie Man". I guess we all grow up to be what we were meant to be. Billy Jolly stands in for Tom Regis and the band does "Carolina Bound". It's a little bit country but also 100% BLUES. Lynn Simone takes the stage with Paul Fudin (guitar) and another guitarist whose name I failed to get. (Sorry). Truly sorry because the performance by all 3 was outstanding and that doesn't really describe it. Their set started with Lynn singing "Walk the Dog". It set the mood for her to intone "I Don't Need Nobody Sitting Around" followed by "Dr. Feel Good" on which all the instrumentalists do stellar solos. The audience demands 'one more'. "Slippin In" was the excellent choice to close the set. Dave returns along wit Bob Grabau on tenor sax. "It Feels Like Rain" and "Tied To The Whipping Post" has owner Al Poliak now at the B3. These 2 songs are clear illustrations of why Dave is headed to Memphis. A young guitarist Ben (I'm unsure of his last name), Tony now on drums and Billy returning on B3 as they do "Hootchie Kootchie Man" Again???? Next a shuffle in the key of G. I dance with Sandy and she displays some almost lady-like moves. Bob takes his turn at the vocal mic with "I'm Busted." Ben is next with the Cajun BLUES "Stagger Lee". Drew Preston sits down at the B3 and 2 fingers it through Dave's "My Little Pumpkin" and "Don't You Lie To Me". Jamie is on guitar when they play "I Don't Know" and Bill gets up to sing "On the Bad Side". If you are in a melancholy mood when Drew plays and sings "Empty Promises", his performance might bring a tear to your eyes. Dave returns to tear the house down with "When I Was Your Superman". It is time for a hug and kiss Goodnight. Hi Tracy!!!

Today Dave is 'on the road' to Memphis. Happy Trails and all the Best of Luck.    

Editor's note: Florida has 13 representives of our Blues Societies competing in the IBC this year. The highest state representation in the WORLD. Good luck to them all, and for more details see our blog entry about it HERE.  Watch our Facebook page and this blog for updates as the compeition runs through Saturday's finals.

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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