Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Down to the nightclub...

The Blues Orbiters and Jeff & the Jet City Flyers

The kids had two sleepovers last weekend (yes!), so I checked out some of the local blues talent at a couple of Seattle night clubs on Friday and Saturday night.

I drove down to the Corner Inn on Friday night to see the Blues Orbiters. The Corner Inn is about two miles due south of my place in West Seattle. Located on the corner of California Avenue and Fauntleroy, this joint has been hosting live music now for a long time - at least since the late '80s. They have karaoke during the week, and usually a mixture of a few blues bands and low volume classic rock bands on the weekends.

The Blues Orbiters are a five piece band fronted by Brian Lee (left), who sings, plays guitar, slide guitar, and harp. He's got this cool pedalboard that he uses to manage playing all of these instruments through a single Victoria Bassman amp. How does he do it? I dunno, but he gets great tones out of all of his guitars and harp, and doesn't have to spend 10 minutes switching instruments and adjusting the amp.

The rest of the band consists of Ron Baker on saxes, Dan Taylor on guitar, Roger Smith on electric bass, and former Midnight Mover Conrad Ormsby on drums. There was a pretty decent crowd at the Corner Inn that night (for a change) and the band had most of them up dancing to a mixed bag of music that included tunes by Otis Rush, Sonny Boy II, originals off of their new CD "Falling Leaves", and even a cover of the JB's "Pass The Peas."

The band sounded very good - the highlights for me were Lee's slide and harp playing, the unison stuff played by the guitar and sax, and Ormsby's tough drumming. Conrad is one of those unusual drummers that can play both blues and funk with equal authority - his playing on "Pass The Peas" was just right!

On Saturday night I went downtown to the New Orleans Creole Restaurant in Pioneer Square to see Jeff & the Jet City Flyers. This was the second night of their CD release party, and they had a pretty good crowd, but I guess the club was really packed on Friday night. The band this night included band leader Jeff Herzog on harp and vocals, longtime guitarist Bill Lovey on guitar and vocals, Patty Mey on electric bass, Kirk "KT" Tuttle on drums, the excellent Steve Flynn on keyboards, and John Savage on baritone sax.

Left to right: John Savage, Jeff Herzog, Patty Mey, and Bill Lovey

Steve Flynn and John Savage

The band had the crowd up and dancing with tunes from their new CD, and covers, including JB Lenoir's "Mojo Boogie." I liked the one gospel-flavored tune they did from the new CD called (I think) "I Don't have A Clue." Jeff used his wireless mic to good effect when disappeared into the crowd and played the John Mayall tune "Room To Move." When I left the club he was standing on a table blowing up a storm with a crowd of dancers around him. Good stuff!

I'll say it again - Live music really is best! See you at the nightclub.

1 comment:

Blues Boss said...


Nice reporting....and you are right, live music is the best....

The Corner Inn used to be a fairly 'rough spot'..back in the day, but the crowd is not geezer material and fairly sedate....

Blues Orbiters and Jeff & the Jet City Fliers are both very 'entertaining' bands...