LOOSENOTES - April blew by FAST this year and we were out there with you enjoying the outdoor venues with this splendid weather. All of the events we saw you at were incredibly fun and of course, the live music was superb. Let's run down the list...
WARM WELCOME - Goes out to Ricky Jackson who's moved into the village of San Leon area where the living is returning to it pre-Ike day's of laid back. The area's best R&B remains at Katie's were the regulars enjoy consistently high quality performances, super drink prices, great hospitality and never a cover. This makes Katie's a favorite place to be. Hailing from Louisiana, Jackson let loose an evening of superb sounding (watched them run one of the most thorough sound checks ever) soulful passion that ain't afraid to bust a healthy sweat. In other words, good stuff! Keep an eye out for Jackson and keep Katie's on your list of regular stops when you're out on the SCENE -- We do!
AND SO -- The end of the world's supposed to be this year and we had a Friday the 13th to boot this month. What today? Simple... Have a Fab 40 show! With the ranks of this all volunteer group at 48 strong and the Discovery Greens sounding ever better under the Houston skyline, the evening cranked with (dig this now) the Best of The Beatles! Not many bands can sport a complete orchestra and these fine people gave the audience a truly wonderful evening of great music. We mingled amongst the crowd and spotted several instances of three and possibly even four generations of family dancing and singing the night away in unison. Now *that's* cool! Benefitting the Houston Food Bank with help from HEB, these super folks always scores an Over The Top mention -- The British Invasion continues.... Well done, Mr. Blassingame to you and your group!
LOVE YOUR MOTHER - Which is what the folks at the Galveston Bay Keepers do and we all should too. This guardian of conservation group held an Earth Day silent auction fundraiser at Mike & Nathalie's. Filling the air for the day were Janet Z Ryan Guidry and Jon Senderling on the patio. Twas a classy event beyond what many area events pull off. If you enjoy the Galveston Bay, this group is the one to pitch in with (http://galvestonbaykeeper.org).
OUT ON THE BEAT - We hung out at Fatty's to catch up with Abraham's Tree. This evening, Rich Mason (from the Six Car Pileup fame) filled in on a Faulkmeier Kit (the only one we've ever spotted in the area), took the metronome up two clicks past the stops, held the beat all night, and on most of the breaks. Holy Moly! These guys sizzled and around the stroke of midnight, unleashed a Golden Earring barrage at full presto and dynamic precision better than Golden Earring. We can say because we've heard them both live... The music season runs long and right now, Abraham's Tree is out in front -- Catch 'em!
A NEW PATIO ON THE BEAT - And that would be at Roger's Bar. We stopped in for a follow up and found Wood & Wind and Jeremy Bradshaw on the outdoor stage. The weather was perfect, the music was fun and the new staff at Rogers incredibly pleasant and crisp. Most places need a while to get their groove and it was as if these folks never knew, twas so smooth--Nice! More to come...
IT'S BEEN A LONG TIME - Since they Rock and Rolled which what Big Slick did at Jackie's Brickhouse. We first caught this group after Hurricane Ike at the GBAMA series of fundraisers, about the time yours truly joined the staff at The SCENE -- It was good reconnecting and judging from the way the audience was shaking down, good for many of you too! Also at Jackie's, we finally got our chance to catch Double Vision and Spare Heart. We've been hoping to catch these two tribute bands (Foreigner and Heart) for well over a year -- They normally play in the Houston area and thanks to Rob and the folks at Jackie's, got our chance to see what the rest of Houston enjoys. Spare Heart played song after song from Heart & Led Zeppelin which we found most agreeable. We're not sure if the audience were there to sit and appreciate the concert or to rock the night away out on the dance floor--They did both! Let's do it again! Speaking of doing it over again, over in the lighthouse district gathered...
The LaPorte Class of '72 -- Sounds like a fine wine, doesn't it? There's only one place to have this gathering and that's at T-Bone Tom's where their new palapa saved the day. Two home grown alumni acts entertained this hardy bunch -- Cold Feet and the Freddy Steady 5 group. Together as a group since 1976, Cold Feet is simply a "band that will never die" and a great example to all the young performers out there on how to keep playing together for over 30 years... Live well, play well, play well, rock well, rock well, rock on -- Long live Rock! Shifting gears slightly, kudos to Mindy and her staff that rainy Sunday when the Ezra Charles Band stopped by. That day, it wasn't so much about Ezra's slowly disappearing inventory of CDs which likely may never be reprinted, nor how folks who enjoy listening to Ezra's music can now buy his entire collection of albums plus new stuff all on a memory stick for only $40, nor was it about how people young and old enjoy shaking their booty with the band banging out boogie by the bushel, nor was it about getting to see Ezra's piano go up in flames. Folks, it was the dandiest, when the T-Bone's audience got to see the Beaumont Blues Master on his knee and officially taking himself off the eligible bachelor market for all to witness -- And *that* makes for an incredibly magical musical moment... Cheers!
ON EGRET BAY - Was one of my predecessor's favorite places, the Cockeyed Seagull. From here, Jim Shortt often held court bringing in super R&B for us to enjoy. This month, we returned to the hotbed with Hourglass at their annual 60's Hippie Party and Beatnik Fringe (Dave Hargrave, Danny D & Kevin Taylor) delving deeper into the obscure classic hits from the 60's--We're pretty positive Jim would've recognized all of them. Hourglass put forth the entire Abbey Road album which deserves a "very well done" mention. Costumes this year took it up a level and probably what Jim might have worn in his day. Music wise, we've no doubt he would have given the charming Claudia Hammond, the powerful Dave Hargrave, and both of these shows a hearty "Bravo". Play on!
THE MUSIC REIGNED - At this year's Kemah Crawfish Festival with two stages vying for top show of the weekend and boy, were both hot. We had the zydeco centric stage pulled together by Alan Stephenson plus the Houston Blues Society stage with their ever growing legion of members, both bringing in some of the region's betterer and bestest of in-your-face, get down, juke down music. For two years in a row, the music at this event was outstanding -- Who needs food when we've music for the soul... Perhaps we this event should be renamed the Kemah Music Festival! As April wound down...
THE JASON DANFORD ANNUAL BIRTHDAY BASH - went down at Big Ben's Tavern this year. This event has grown considerably over the 10 years Jason started celebrating his birthday and the staff at Big Ben's were simply beyond outstanding keeping the bevvies flowing and the setting pleasant for the over 450 friends, family & regulars of this event. With over 3,300 pounds of the Louisiana style mudbugs consumed, you can do the math and we're sure you'll get the same answer as everybody, that this is one serious eating event! Erik Garza (Pirates Radio) has been busy starring in his new roll as "Dad" and summoned the band which to our ears, really took it up a level in dynamics, presence, tempo and taste. Very well played! Special props go to Rick and Sherrie Williams, Diana's friends, for pulling off the serious cooking and serving. If their names our familiar, you're right -- Many of you probably worked with them back in the hay-days of aerospace before moving on and making their fortunes elsewhere.
And speaking of fortunes -- May is here, the music will always be with us, these our our months to get out & enjoy, be well, good fortune to all of you and we'll catch you out there on The SCENE!