Tuesday, October 28, 2014

"At last"...(Allen Kanovsky reports in and catches up on Live Oak Jazz, Arts & Blues Fest, the Pat Ramsey benefit at Bradfordville, and Sunday at Earl's!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 10/28/14
*Editor's Note - There will be two additional blogs (photos, videos and commentary) posted that cover the Live Oak Jazz, Arts & Blues Festival and The Pat Ramsey Memorial Benefit for Big Bend Hospice when we get through the editing and posting process, which is taking the back seat to the November edition work right now...

...you will read about the great weekend that Charlie and I enjoyed up in the great northwest. You read about Friday night at the Backwoods Bistro. We will now continue starting with Saturday morning. Coffee was involved. 

We are up early and on the road for a 100 mile drive to the Old Florida town of Live Oak. Why? How about a JAZZ, ARTS & BLUES Festival. We arrive in time to catch the opening act. Matt Johns Gateway City Band has a 5 member sax section with 3 of them women. There are 3 T-bones and 5 trumpets one of them being a woman. You've come a long way baby!!!!  Matt plays alto and also does the vocals. Ben Champion (Jazzberry Patch & Mrs. Murphy’s) is an ols friend on tenor. They open with "Lulu's Back In Town" and they are swingin'. There is no Big Band if you don't do a Sinatra tune. Matt sings "For Once In My Life" and then the band does the JAZZ classic "C-Jam Blues". All the horns take solos including a sitting-in Tony Mazzola on clarinet. Jon Benefiel plays plays some double string chords on bass. "I Could Have Danced All Night" (which I tend to do) with an exceptional trumpet solo. Sorry about band members names but didn't have the time. My apologies to the musicians and readers.

Chris Camp and Universal Praise is up next and the trio is downright soulful in their smooth jazz sort of way. As with all the bands on the line-up for the day, you don’t have to go far to find talent in Florida!

Charlie & I grab a breakfast sandwich at The Down Town Cafe then saddle up and head back to The Bradfordville Blues Club outside Tallahassee and the Pat Ramsey Memorial Benefit for Big BendHospice. The music on the outdoor stage starts at 1:30 PM and inside at the Bradfordville BLUES Club a short time later. The music will continue 'til after 1AM and then informally at the bonfire until whenever. 

The opening set is with a band called 'Wanderfoot’. Brandon plays lead guitar and does the vocals. The lovely Kaye plays upright bass. Jon (guitar), Michael plays electric mandolin and does vocals and Chris is on drums. The music is what I would describe as 'Bluesy Bluegrass'. Their program included the original "No Time" and "I Believe the Devil Is Following Me".  The sound system is great and was supplied by "Sound Premier Sound and Light". "Roadhouse is next up with Keith Renfroe (guitar/vocals) . James Binns (lead guitar), Jerry Roberts (bass), John Keppler (drums) and Steve Van Gorder at the keyboard. Their tunes included "Cost A Lot To Be Me" "Why", and "I Got All the Time in the World". Jose Rodriguez is wearing a pink shirt (Breast Cancer Awareness Week) and doing his volunteer best to keep things going. "Soul Shine", "King of Fools" and "Unchain My Heart" follow and the set ended with "This How It Sounds When Doves Cry".

A 19 year old Heather Gillis with just drums and bass to accompany her is next. She plays guitar and sings the BLUES. Many of the listeners are impressed because she is 'only' 19.  She has the talent to conquer the long hard road ahead.

I grab some B.B.Q. and bean soup (complimentary but donations to the fund are accepted). I head inside where the band ACME is playing. They are an R&B band and play it like it is Rhythm & BLUES. Guitar, bass, Tenor Sax, Drums, Trumpet and Keys. That's the band. The tunes included "You're Gonna Miss Me"  "Let Your Hair Down" and Stevie Ray Vaughan’s "Crossfire". Next up was "Bedhead Betty" 2 gals, guitar/vocals and a drummer. 2 guys, bass and lead guitar. None of them is named Betty. These guys and gals play the BLUES. Downright gutsy. "Got No Reason To Stay Here", "If I Was A Lady" and "Like You Are" were among their tunes. Luv'd it, clapped and tapped. They played "Hoo-hoo" and then the drummer, Judith, sang "Nitty Gritty" and my all-time favorite "Use Me Up". They ended with "Unchain My Heart". Next up was the Mississippi Queen "Sheba The Mississippi Queen". At this point I lost my pen and had to resort to notepad on my phone. If you can decipher my notes it would be great help. Soooooooo------ all I can say is I enjoyed the band and they had the whole room moving with an energetic set---next was Mary Everheart and the gal can sing the BLUES. It was well after 1AM. Charlie and I walked out & over to the bonfire where Debi Jordan was playing acoustic and singing into a single amp mic. If I ever fall in love again it will be with a gal who looks, sings and plays like Debi.

Time to head home but Jose, our lodging host and outside stage MC for the day, had already left. On our own we used memory and did find our way. Straight into the sack. 

Up early and on the road. Coffee was heavily involved. Waffle House and the 10 East. Take a time-out to go to Sebastian and Earl's Hideaway Lounge & Tiki Bar. There are at least 300 motorcycle parked outside. On the patio grounds are the 500 or so folks who arrived on the assorted Harleys and Hondas. The band is Chris Duarte trio. 2 guitars and a drummer. The make enough music to be 10 in number. They do some rock, some boogie, some funk, some BLUES. It's all good. Great vibe. Gals dancing. Some even dancing with guys. Chris's act is a little bit of Joe Cocker but he does it his own way. Outside of the 'blue' comedians I have seldom heard the 'f' bomb used on stage. Chris has all the b----s in the world to do "I F----d It Up". Loud & clear.

Heading south. Taco Bell and the $1 menu. Had to eat before 7PM 'cause of a scheduled "procedure" early Monday morning. I got there early --- the procedure didn't. I love the people who do G-d's work there. I hate hospitals. So, after 1,201 miles and 18+ hours on the road over the weekend, it was FINALLY Charlie's turn to drive…     

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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