Sunday, April 5, 2020

Stay At Home Blues

Might as well document some of this stay at home Covid-19 scenario stuff for historical posterity, or whatever, but also just to get the writing juices back to flowing. It's not like I don't have time on my hands to get my ass in gear and get creative with new stories or push my harmonica tone and lick vocabulary to deeper levels. Motivation has moved like molasses lately.

I did break out my harps yesterday and tried my hand at keeping up with some of what a cat named Andrew Alli is spitting out on his Hard Workin' Man cd from Eller Soul Records. I wasn't familiar with this young black bluesman before reading a bit about him in an online interview...I think from Blues Blast, but maybe not. Intrigued me enough to seek out his stuff. Seems that a few young black musicians (pardon me for not using African American or such, but no disrespect meant) are pursuing the path of the blues in recent years, which does my old heart good. Alli follows the traditional road paved by Big and Little Walter, both Sonny Boy Williamsons, George Harmonica Smith, a blues harp student should. He's got it. Good harp tone, lick selection, variable technique employment. Nine out of twelve tunes are well written originals and stay close to the Chi-town Blues vest. Alli's vocals chops aren't far removed from Little Walter's or John Lee Williamson's in the tenor range. Anyway--spent the better part of an hour getting some licks in with the young man just to keep my chops up until I can gig with the band again.

I have a couple of more blues cds on the way. Sort of did a little binge buying last week. It's not like I don't have a thousand recordings stacked around the house, just felt a need for something new. I'll report back on those.

Speaking of the band. The last gig that Rob Moorman and Company played was on March 10 at the Brazos Valley Brewery here in Brenham. They are getting serious about providing live music and have a tap room being completed for entertainment. Until then, we set up amongst the beer vats and machinery. I used the Princeton Reverb, which I was able to crank a bit more than usual and the tone rocked. The crowd was great. Cajun Cowgirl's food truck had the crawfish boiling and it was just a shame it all had to come to a screeching halt. It was pretty close to the last gig anyone played due to bars being forced to close down the following Friday. We had two more gigs scheduled for March and three for the month of April. Just hoping our venues can out survive the virus hiatus. So totally unreal and none of us knows what the post-virus scenario will look like.

And...I'm hoping this little ditty I'm writing today breaks the log jam and loosens things for some kind of flow for the ideas that are bouncing around. I have been reading some FB advice from one of my favorite authors, Joe Lansdale. I sure feel that we are kindred souls that think alike as far as the method to our madness. He just gets it and gets after it and I need to follow suit. He definitely is a motivator. Another is Gabino Iglesias. I'm such a slacker right now and I actually fear that Gabino will show up at my house any day now and whip my ass for not writing like I should.

And along those lines. Fahrenheit Press saved River Bottom Blues from oblivion and reprinted it a couple of weeks ago. They gave it a great round of publicity...then the pandemic panic crap hit the fan. We'll see. They'll put out The Devil's Blues and Howling Mountain Blues on a staggered schedule. My newest manuscript, The Removal, also sits in their house. Anyway--'Nuff for Now.