Saturday, January 3, 2015

The crowd in Times Square...(Wasn't having more fun than Allen Kanovsky and the crowd at Maguire's Hill 16!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 01/03/15

...watched and cheered as the ball fell. Sailors kissed gals. Gals kissed guys. And then the revelry was over. Not for me----nossiree. I dragged my tired butt over to Maguire's Hill 16 to catch Niles Blaize with special guest Albert Castiglia. Talk about a party. It was New Years Eve getting married to Mardi Gras. Niles' (harp/vocals/cordeen) band had Dan Newman (guitar), Jimmy Daniel (drums) and Jeff Sanchez (bass).

They would take us on a trip down to N'Awlins where partying is a habit. Cajun, Second line, Blues. All of it. "Jambalaya", "Take Me To the Mardi Gras", The Saints Go Marchin' In", "Iko-Iko", "Baby Turn Your Lamps Down Low" and "I Hear the Train a'comin" were some of the first set tunes. The last tune had Niles playing 2 harps alternately in rapid succession. Dan Newman has the art of guitar down pat and his solos demand attention. What is there to say about Jimmy Daniel that hasn't been said by people much more knowledgable than me. Jeff Sanchez delivered a bass solo that could have helped sell a million copies of a cd if it was on it. Every BLUESiac I know was there including Dave(cat in the hat), Betty Rosenfeld and Piano Bob. Among the luminaries were Otis Cadillac and Katt Riggins who also performs with the Seville Sisters (part of Otis' band). 

Albert joins the band for the 2nd set. They drag the BLUES man down to New Orleans with them and the house is rockin'. They are tearing it up. Albert gets down with second line and Cajun rhythms. Niles picks up the squeeze box and the band is having as much fun as the crowd. I mean dancing, hooping and hollerin'. I'm dancing with a gal named Trish Faver. Dave is dancing with Betty. Otis is dancing with every gal in the house. Let me say this, Mr. Otis Cadillac is somewhere around my age. I want to be like him when I grow up. He promised he would let me 'sit in' on kazoo but I would have to audition first. I don't know what you did on New Years Eve but I'll lay 9 to 5 this party was better. How about Albert doing a song that starts with "I got loaded on a bottle of gin and a bottle of gin". Niles remarked that certain kinds of behavior could impair your vision. Albert replied "I know, but I ain't giving it up."

"Mardi Gras Mambo", "The Things That I Used To Do". I do the 'fish' with Trish and Albert's solo has me stop dancing to listen. The BLUES ain't the BLUES without tunes like "I'm Gonna Send You Back to Your Mother". Follow that with a jumping "Pork Salad Annie". Ain't noone in this whole wide world who can sit still during this one. I think an old person in a wheelchair was up doing some stuff during that one. Inspired solos by one and all. Niles almost gets down on a knee to beg Albert to do "Big Toe". It was among the early Castiglia hits and remains a favorite. 

We stay in the Big Easy as Niles picks up the trumpet to introduce "The Saints". Albert growls the lyric and folks are marching in the aisles waving napkins. A New Orleans style BLUES, "Worried 'Bout You Baby" gives us all a chance to catch our breath. Not for long. The Cajun rhythm and "Don't Mess With My Tu-Tu" has Otis up and dancing with Katt & Betty. Niles is back on the 'cordeen. You can't play New Orleans and not include lots of second line. "Down In Dixieland" is the choice. Part of the lyric reads "I'll be your Dixie chicken, you'll be my Tennessee lamb". Ms. Katt Riggins is invited up. She smooths her dress. Puts that look on her pretty face and sings 'I'm A Mean, Mean Woman" --- I don't mean no man no good. -------.The lady sings the ---- outta that song. From way back in the bayou the band finishes with "Find A Levee and Burn It Down". 

It's after 1AM. I am pumped. I am happy. I am musically fulfilled. I say "Good night" all around. Albert is saying something about Buffalo. I think it was nice. I'll have to think about it some more. 

Albert & Katt


The Band, in red.


The Band



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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