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Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday Night Crawl - Lubriphonic and Jimmy Burns

Well, I had to talk to Ken Zimmerman, owner of the Harlem Avenue Lounge last Friday night. The Mystery Band will be playing at the HAL on Saturday August 11 (BE THERE!!!) so I had to drop off some promo materials to Ken. The band that was holding down the fort was Lubriphonic. This group falls into the "jam band" category - they cover the same terrain as Phish and String Cheese Incident, but they are much blusier. The band includes two brass players - Johnny Cotton on trombone and Ron Haynes on trumpet. I always like a horn section in a band - reminds me of my misspent youth playing trombone in funk bands in the San Frnacisco Bay Area. Lubriphonic is the brain child of guitarist Giles Corey and drummer Rick King. These two guys played with many of the major name blues stars in Chicago - Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Bo Diddley,and Otis Rush. They are tied into the Chicago blues tradition, although they don't have traditional Chicago blues backgrounds (Giles is a econ graduate of the University of Chicago). Bassist J.R. Fuller is a young fellow (early thirties, tops) and he has backed a ton of major names - Albert King, Ziggy Marley and Branford Marselis to name a few. So yes, this is a group of musicians with serious chops. I caught about half their first set, delivered to a virtually empty club, and had to leave. I was early - I hope the joint filled up for these talented cats later in the evening.

On the way from Berwyn to Evanston, I stopped by Andy's to catch the Jimmy Burns Blues Band. Jimmy's sidemen are the guys I try to hire for my Mystery Band gigs - I can't always get them because they are in such demand. Jimmy Burns is underappreciated - he is the real deal, a guy who can handle Delta blues and jazzier versions of the blues. He has a rich baritone voice and he plays soulful, spare guitar lines. It is always terrific to see my Mystery Band brothers - James Carter on drums, E.G. McDaniel on bass and Anthony Palmer on guitar. Jimmy connected with the audience - he had beautiful women dancing between the tables (there is no dance floor at Andy's).

I was back home by midnight or so. I had a busy family day on Saturday, then headed out again Saturday night to hear Katherine Davis at Nick's Beer Garden. More on this in my next post...

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