Paging Thunderclap Newman – Please Report to 2012 Immediately

There’s ‘Something In The Air” do you remember that song? Musta been 1969-70, Pete Townsend had put together this band and this song was all over the alternative radio back then. I have always dug it, and it is on my mind “repeat button” usually for a week or so. If ya listen closely you can even hear Townsend doing harmonies – Pete is such an underrated vocalist – very cool song. Just so you can dig on it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK_6TU1T7V8

Now what does this have to do with anything even remotely scurrying through my brain, well let’s take a little trip, take a little trip, take a little trip with me (thank you Lowrider Band). Well see, here we are a quarter of the way into the year 2012 – yeh the end of the Mayan calendar – and after all the preemptive media hype concerning the end of the world scenarios we are still here. Yes we are but things have started to change.

I first started noticing a subtle undercurrent last October or so, there was a palpable vibe going around in certain circles, some of whom I inhabit occasionally. Some of the artists that I have spoken with felt it also. As Tommy Castro said about writing songs “there are songs floating around out there…you have to keep your antenna up or it will pass you by”.  Now in this case I think many folks had their antennae raised because there definitely was this feeling of a new dawn and possibly a new day to come.

As Americans we seem somewhat entrenched into finites – like the aforementioned hype about the end of the world. Well it’s not the end, or just the start of a new beginning? It has it’s place in history contained in everything from Tarot (the feared Death Card), to Christians celebrating Easter and the re-birth of Christ, to plain old Spring wherein we see a renewal of flora and fauna – so in that context why would the Mayan calendar ending be anything but the start of something new (or in the air).

Maybe it is the true breaking of a new dawn for a new day. Are we going from chrysalis to butterfly? Now the pessimists and some political factions may think hell is just around the corner – and it may very well be for them – but with that end is a new beginning for the rest of us. Yet as Tommy Castro said we have to have our antennas set in the receive mode. Oh yeh, ask Tommy about change. Of course nothing will happen easily, there are still some bumps in the road, some issues to be dealt with, but nothing of any good comes easily. Ask any musician who is an ‘overnight success’ after twenty years of working bar gigs.

Look around – just peek at the Blues music scene. There is positive movement toward establishing a Blues Hall of Fame, you will hear more about this as we go further into the year and beyond. But musically also there is a spring that is no longer silent. There are a great number of young folks playing the Blues around the word. They have found it to be the voice of life and are embracing it after years of being driven by by the sound of corporate prostitutional music. They see the light and the music. Check out Trent Romens, Andy Poxson, and Bear Hutchinson among others. All over Europe and Asia there are more and more bands playing Blues and American roots music with the fervor that once swept thru England in the sixties (a movement that gave us the Stones, Yardbirds, The Animals and Mayall). Some of these younger bands are the Johnny Riegar Band out of Germany and The Bleu Rascals from the Philippines. While some of the European established acts that are getting great play here in the states are Philip Fankhauser from Switzerland, Pristine Band from Norway, J.W. Jones from Canada and more fine artists around the world playing the Blues.

I believe we are about to enter into an amazing creative period in the world which will effect the fortunes for all of us who have our ear to the ground and are receptive to the changes going on around us. As Too Slim and the Taildraggers’ said, “Free Your Mind” well just do it (not in the Nike sense) – let go of the negative, be open to the possibility of the positive changes that are around you. There are roads to be taken, lessons to be learned and songs to be sung, and together we can make it a joyful noise that will raise the roof and spirit level for all of us. There is definitely something in the air and time has come today (thank you Mr Lester Chambers).

Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
chefjimi
©Blues411.com 2012
photos: courtesy of open source photos.


Photo Gallery: Ms. Bettye LaVette

Believe it or not, before I was at the IBC’s in Memphis I was on board the LRBC floating around in the warm waters if the Caribbean with 1,800 o f my closest friends.

One of the many highlights for us here at Blues411 was to see Ms. Bettye LaVette perform just an outstanding set in the main showroom auditorium. Only once before had it gotten so quiet that one could hear a pin drop, and that was when Jason Ricci silenced the crowd with his soft, soulful harp playing. Ms. LaVette did it thsi time – as she proved that she is the premier vocal interpreter of our time. Offerings included songs from her classic releases as well as her ‘Interpretations’ release where she covered such British Rock songs as “All Of My Love” (Led Zep) and “Love Reign O’er Me” (The Who).

What a show, what a performance and what a great band. Folks forget the hype of the  mass produced and momentary mass-marketed singers, get the real deal from Ms. Bettye LaVette  http://www.bettyelavette.com/ .

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Until next time,
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
chefjimi
©Blues411.com 2012
photos: Leslie K. Joseph