Friday, July 20, 2007

In the Pocket with Mr. Solid

By John Lee

The Washington Fryers Blues All-Stars at The Waterfront Blues Festival

On July 8th 2007 I tuned in to KBOO 90.7 FM in Portland, Oregon on the Internet and listened to a cadre of Seattle area musicians perform at The Waterfront Blues Festival. Becki Sue and Her Big Rockin' Daddies anchored a group of stellar players that also included Mike Lynch, Polly O’Keary, Dennis Ellis, "Two Scoops" Moore and Tim Sherman.

Here’s the set song by song:
  • "San-Ho-Zay," by the late, great Freddy King. Tom Boyle (of the Big Rockin’ Daddies) did his usual top-notch job. Tom is a consummate guitar man who always brings his A game to every song.

  • Little Walter Jacobs has influenced every blues harp player who’s ever played. Mike Lynch does a real nice job with Walter’s "Everything's Going To Be Alright." Guitar hot-shot Tim Sherman adds a real tasty solo.

  • Polly O’Keary is a excellent vocalist and fine bass player. Here she just fronts the band (all the bass duties were more than capably handled by the Rocking Daddies' Les White) with the Big Bill Broonzy classic, "Key To The Highway."

  • Becki Sue does a nice job on the blues rhumba, "Don’t You Lie To Me."

  • Piano player "Two Scoops" Moore specializes in food songs. His "Hamburger Time" made me want to head to the kitchen for a bite.

  • Rockin’ Daddy Jim King is great sax player, a real cool vocalist and a good harp player. Here he sang and played Mississippi saxophone on a tune titled "Call Me Rockin."

  • My long time friend Mike Lynch again. This time its Eddie Taylor’s "Big Time Playboy." A great sax solo by my band-mate in The Crossroads Band, Dennis Ellis.

  • Polly O’Keary once more with the Elmore James’ classic "The Sky Is Crying." A real nice guitar solo by Tim Sherman.

  • Becki Sue working hard with the great Slim Harpo tune "Hip Shake, Baby." Drummer Jeff Hayes pushes this boogie number right along.

  • Two Scoops ends the one hour set with his food tune, "The Big Buffet." This time I had to get a full meal right after the song was finished.

Becki Sue

Tom Boyle and Les "Wild Child" White

Jeff Hayes

This show was a nice crisp set that represented our area quite well. My thanks to Becki Sue and Her Big Rockin’Daddies and all the special guests for a very enjoyable time.

Great Performances - "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story"

On Wednesday, August 1st 2007 PBS presents the film, "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story." Directed by Morgan Neville and Robert Gordon, the pair also responsible for the incredible film “Can’t be Satisfied”-The Life and Times Of Muddy Waters." The film is based on the book of the same title on the great Muddy Waters by Robert Gordon. Mr. Gordon also wrote the definitive book on Memphis music titled “It Came from Memphis.”

The film will cover the beginnings of Stax in 1957 when the legendary soul label was Satellite Records and was located outside of Memphis. In 1959 the operation moved to south Memphis, to an empty movie theater, dubbed Soulville USA. Until 1975, the great soul label recorded some of the finest sides in the history of American music. Otis Redding, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Booker T. and the MG’s., Eddie Floyd, William Bell, The Staple Singers, and Issac Hayes are just some of the great soul artists Stax Records recorded.

"Respect Yourself" has home movies, lost footage from The Stax/Watts motion picture, and interviews with many of the principles, including Booker T., Steve Cropper, Al Bell, Mavis Staples, Issac Hayes and founder, Jim Stewart and much more. Jesse Jackson will talk about Stax. He and Richard Pryor both did spoken word recordings for the label.

This film has all the earmarks of a great work to help Stax Records, one of America’s great music labels celebrate its 50-year anniversary. I’am sure this will be a good one. Check your local listing for times in your area.

All Memphis Music

While I was searching the Internet checking on some info for the film "Respect Yourself: The Stax Records Story," I ran across this very hip internet radio station at The broadcasters comments, I think, sum it up best: “We love Memphis music, Elvis Presley, Soul music, Rockabilly, Blues, Delta Blues, Sun Records, Stax Records, Hi Records, Otis, Carla, Booker T. and the MG’s, Rufus, Jerry Lee, Al Green, Roy Orbison and so many more!” Check it out. I think you’ll dig it as much as I do!

Quote of the Month

The late, great comedian Milton Berle was once asked what kind of cigar he was smoking, Milton Berle said it was a Lawrence Welk. What kind of cigar is a Lawrence Welk? Milton Berle said “It’s a piece of shit with a band around it.”

Electric bassist John "Mr. Solid" Lee was born in Alaska and has been active in the Seattle blues scene for about 30 years. He currently plays with the Crossroads Band. Photo by Mike Coyote.

1 comment:

Mike Lynch said...

Man, ya gotta dig that crazy suit that the Wild Child wore for the WBF gig!!