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Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Harlem Avenue Lounge

The Mystery Band played its first gig at the Harlem Avenue Lounge in Berwyn IL on Saturday, August 11. This is a great club owned and operated by a true blues afficianado, Mr. Ken Zimmerman. Ken is the captain of the HAL and he runs a tight ship - he knows what works in his club, and he helps the bands to understand the formula. He is a solid businessman and also manages a small number of Chicago area blues artists.

For this gig, the Mystery Band was a collection of great musicians that knew each other, but had never played together in this configuration before. The great Sammy Fender joined the Mystery Band for the night and added his unique and highly entertaining brand of blues to the proceedings. OSee Anderson, who played in Sammy Fender's band many years ago, held down the other guitar slot. Harland Terson, who has also played with Sammy before, was belting out the bass. And Twist Turner, who has played with Sammy occassionally for many years, was banging out the beat.

Karen Hanson, author of the recently published guide book, "Today's Chicago Blues," was in the house. I have corresponded with Karen for the past year or so, but had not met her until she showed up at the Harlem Avenue Lounge to hear the Mystery Band. Karen was kind enough to write about the show on her blog. If you are interested in the current state of the blues in the Chicago area, buy Karen's book - it is complete and full of insider tidbits on the scene.

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