Here we have three fifths (left to right: Dennis Ellis, John Lee, and Steve Bailey) of Seattle's Crossroads Band tearin' it up at the New Orleans Musicians Benefit at the Highway 99 Blues Club last night. Four bands played at this event, including Jeff & the Jet City Fliers (featuring the Mighty Mite on bass), The Crossroads Band, The Wild Rhododendrons, and Becki-Sue & Her Big Rockin' Daddies. I also played a short set with a pickup band (David Hudson-drums, Tom Roesch-bass, and Jack Cook-guitar).
The benefit was organized by bassist John Lee with help from the Washington Blues Society. John tells me that they collected around $2,500+ for the Tipitinas Foundation which will disburse the money to needy musicians living in the Gulf Coast areas wrecked by the recent hurricanes.
All of the bands came to play, for sure. I could only catch three hours of the show, which included the last half of a rare performance by John Marshall's (left, with drummer David Hudson) Wild Rhododendrons, minus the horns I have seen with them in the past. Good stuff, Louisiana blues and rock and roll, with lots o' second line beats.
I also dug the Crossroads Band's hot set. These guys have got four (count 'em) lead singers, a guitar player that also plays great piano, and the harp blower and tenor player that make a pretty good horn section. What's not to like? Hey Steve, lemme know if you get tired of that '55 Bassman - I'm sure that I can find a good home for it!
My hat's off to everyone involved in this project, including the owners and staff of the Highway 99, which is usually closed on Sundays. Man, it was great to be in a club full of fans rooting for the local blues heroes for a change. A gentle reminder, folks - these bands need your support at their regular gigs around town too.
See you at the nightclub!