Sunday, July 27, 2014

Punctuality is a positive... (And Allen Kanovksy is positively punctual for parties at The Funky Biscuit!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 07/27/14

...if you're going to participate in a party. I headed for The Funky Biscuit last night to join in the celebration. It was either Al Poliak's or the Biscuits birthday--- maybe both --- any way, it was unusual because this party gave the attendees a gift. One of the best gifts I ever received.

An exceptional night of music, music, music. Namely the BLUES. I arrived a little late and walked into a packed house. (the reason to be on time) Not a seat in sight and reserved signs even at the bar. Dave Shelly (great to see him back) was on stage with Charles Gaspar (bass), Jimmy Powers (guitar), William Jolly (B3) and Randy Ridenauer on drums. They had just started "Take Me Down To the Blackwater River" with Dave sounding as good as ever. A very pretty lady, sitting at the bar, noticed my white hair and stooped posture and offered me her seat. Her escort whisked her away before I could get her name and number.Next they did "Bad, Bad Boy" followed by "Too Far Gone". Everyone is having a blast because of the quality of play. They run through Dave's repertoire with each adding his own musical voice to each song. Tunes included "Superstition", "Old Time Tradition", "Alabama Bound", "I'm Ready For You" and "When I Was Your Superman". I thought that would end the set. No way. This was a party and Dave's return home. The band continues with "One More Time", "Trip Back Home" and "Sell My Soul". Jimmy Belize and Nancy have arrived and we carry our drinks outside. The sound in the patio area is not bad and it's a lot less crowded. The set ends with 3 tunes, "Broken Wing", "Warm Body" and "You Wreck Me". Lots of BLUES personalities are outside with us including 'Famous' Frank Ward, Piano Bob, Mark Telesca and Liz Sharpe. 

The Damon Fowler (Cover Feature in Jazz & Blues Florida's May 2014 edition) trio takes the stage. Damon can play guitar and has a very nice vocal manner. He is up for a BLUES award and needs our votes. Do it. Unfortunately Jimmie and I are are engaged in conversation about our recent medical problems. Doesn't 'me' always come first? We become aware of a female voice and realize that Liz is on stage and singing. Jimmie and I shut up and listen. 

After Damon's final number it is time for Albert Castiglia (pronounced kah-steel-yah) - at least according to him. Albert is also currently nominated for a Blues Blast Music Award - more info in a previous BLOG posting - so vote, vote, vote!) Albert is as visual an artist as musical. He is fun to watch and his patter is generally amusing. I move these stiffened bones back inside and again a pretty gal gives up her seat at the bar. I guess I'm beginning to look my age. With Albert are, long time bassist Matt Schuler and imported from Kansas City, Joe Voye on drums. I didn't have to see him to know it's him playing. Albert PLAYS the BLUES. Every inch of this young man is involved in every song. His voice is filled with the emotion necessary for the true meanings of the words. Fun when it's meant to be and sad when it has to be. A guy, about 6'7" weighing about 340 decides to take a position in my Albert sight-line. And he's dancing a little boogie to boot. I let a song go by before tapping him lightly on his muscular shoulder. He turns and I loo him straight in the eye. It's not easy to do when you're shaking. "Sir, you are impairing my vision of the stage" He replies, "I'm so sorry. Which way should I move". I tell him and he obliges. Albert does "Devil For the Blues" and "Have You No Shame" with an exceptional solo during the latter. On his spiritual side he sings "Like Jesus Just Came Back". Switching gears Albert talks about Lois and her 'magical peanut brittle'. First bite free. Hmmmm! In that vein they do a shuffle titled "Bad News". It was bound to happen. A little bit of boogie and there are ladies all over the joint shakin' whatever they have to shake. It is a totally frenetic mood at the Funky Biscuit. He does a song "There'll Be No???" and then "Stormy Monday". A shuffle ala T-bone Walker "Keep You Around Too Long". It wouldn't be him on stage if he didn't do "Big Toe" so he does.  Albert invites Graham Drout up to do a couple. Graham opens with "Oh What A Day" (the day the old man died), "We're Having A Damn Good Time" and then to a Latin beat "One More Time". Albert has a good time miming guitar when he does "I Knew She Was A Good Girl" He invites Damon to join him to join him in a tribute to Johnny Winter. The do "Shake Your Money Maker" with Damon playing Hawaiian and Albert's solo way up in the stratosphere. 

The Jam is on and Dave Shelly returns to join them. Albert asks if it is OK to do some funky stuff. He defines that word as Fun with a little K Y at the tip.  Tune after tune. Guitar battle after guitar battle. Unison trio work. Al can't resist and joins in on B3. It went on until almost 2AM. I pay my tab. Thank them all and barely make it to behind the wheel. 

Oh, You beautiful cool sheet.   

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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