Ya’ Blaze the TRAIL, YOU Gets Ta NAME It

Jamesetta Hawkins blessed the world of music in 1938.

Nough said.

'Nough said.

To have been one of “something’s” creation, setting the proverbial TONE of it. To be the excavator and potter, molding that thing from its rough, jagged edges. Bringing home to bed the pungent smell of the miles of hard work stitched together with the spike of a scream… of PAIN.. Or EXCRUCIATING PLEASURE. Etta James HAS known these extremes since she was 12 years old.

[Etta James] has written her own story, ever growing, “forever” to be interpreted by TIME, COMPOSITION, and POLITICS. But, no matter what any of these, seeming, factors attempts to guild over Etta’s proscenium, her voice and music, her presentational aura will forever press past the beginning “CHESS” moves. And for the comely “cloneages” that the visual industry wishes to make the public change of truth in herstory… THIS 1938 Vintage hasn’t just grown to a “PERFECTION” but has always presented the BEST DECANTERS.

The vivacious ” Miss Jamesetta Hawkins graced Columbus, Ohio’s Palace Theatre Saturday: May 2nd, 2009. The starting time at the hour of EIGHT O’Clock,,, POST MERIDIAN. Ms. James graced the stage on a “HOUSE” filled evening and proceeded to envelope any, AND ALL, with the matured SAVORY that is her Voice AND PERSONALITY.

You may have followed this WOMAN since “the CHESS YEARS”

while holding your “squeeze” in want. Or, you may be one who found that lead singer of a “girl-group” has finally gotten into a movie where she “can sing”. No matter what the producers, or the director gave the audience, those that LIVED, what was incinuated visually, have more ways to express a musical note than there are millimeters in a mile.

After getting the evening’s technical and equipment support in general order a spritely, athletic gentleman introduced himself to ‘Carrie’, ( the stage door “Sargent”.). “Hello, I’m Lenny Watkins”… soon, the rest of Etta’s “ROOTS” sprout onto the stage for “sound-check”.

As all have made sure that the local crew is ready I’ve just walked outside and an Asian “junior” WISEMAN steps out to join me in some “nicotine induction”. Bobby Murray, from too many parts KNOWN, and OWNS a six-string PEDIGREE… starting with Junior- high band-mate Robert Cray. (Manager Tim McBride educated this article with Bobby’s own “edutorials” from the April 25- May 5,2009 METROTIMES, page 18/ “Mr. Excitement” by Don Waller.).And his fret-less articulation of a guitar’s fret board has provided Ms. James’ vocal marksmanship with the necessary “BLAMMUNITION” to assure “LOVE’S” targetings. (Big City Blues, page 26 contains TWO views of “learning”. April/May, 2009.)

As there are many “experts” of “ART”, most times they “know” a general “time”, or “brush stroke”. So few of them “KNOW”, ( OR inquire!), as to where the Artist GOT the “pigments” to fill the “CANVAS”… WHAT “time” of the day it was for their inspiration.

Etta covered each song with the fierceness of the adolescent that drew the brothers Chess to begin her artistic Odyssey. And like the paying group that breathed in sync with every note of every song I was amazed at how Ms. James’ timbre of youth has been coupled to the authoritative CONTRALTO of maturation, a wonderfully “disturbing” duet of growth. Giving a beautiful nod to long time friend Johnny “Guitar” Watson, with “Ta-Ta Ya Baby”… NOTE FOR NOTE!!!…


…all the way to her “beginning” as the finale Jamesetta Hawkins gave to us “AT LAST”.

I sincerely APOLOGIZE to the horn section that their names haven’t been given here, but they WERE the harmonies AND non-verbal “choir” for Ms.James and need to know how much they contributed to the “sermon-by-the-river”.

As Mr. Murray pointed emphasis of what makes people choose the enterprises they do, the one most defining word he gave the clearest note to was…LOVE.

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Published in: on May 9, 2009 at 3:58 am  Comments (1)  
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In Passing: An ALMON Brother

The Funky ALMON Brother. Larry James ALMON was a musician, one of the leading members of the 1970’s band THE BUCKEYE POLITICIANS. “LA” took his final bow 12/20/2008 in Columbus, Ohio. His brothers Jay and Roscoe joined him as one of New York City’s favorite R&B/ FUNK providers.

Youth is fleeting.

Youth is fleeting.

Here’s a TASTE of LA’s work:The Funky ALMON Brother with friends and FAMILY.

Published in: on December 29, 2008 at 5:59 pm  Comments (2)  
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Working For History

GLITTER & DOOM @ 8 P.M. June 28, 2008. A NIGHT OF TOM WAITS

In having a ‘career’ in the “technical” aspects of “THE ARTS” sometimes I’ve been fortunate enough to make a “nice” paycheck AND work for an ARTIST who has such an influence of uniquenesses that I just overlook the trying days. After twenty some odd years I have now gotten to experience Mister TOM WAITS. The only person I’ve ever heard excuse obsessive behaviors by blaming his ever present PIANO…” The Piano has been drinkin’, the Piano has been drinkin’, but not ME!”… via his bourbon basso sifted through granite and pumice.

TOM WAITS, The bohemian bard of back alley balladry. The LAST BEATNIK of our times, a skewed Shakespeare slathering our ears and minds with the simple katanas of pure insight. YES, I DO like his STYLE! The “call” was to begin at eight a.m. when we began to unload the three tractor-trailers of GLITTER & DOOM at the OHIO THEATRE, (39 E. State St. /Columbus,Ohio), a perfect showcase for this night with its angels & Pan gold-leafed all over, waiting to hear the truths to be heard. Besides the requisit lights and sound the stage set up gave the affectianado the intimacy this night deserved. As for the simple, sharp lighting the upstage lightboxes needed a bit of “tweaking”, they were boxes that had opaque acrylic facings that were covered with black velvet-like material. The light escaped through random cutouts that some of the repair crew were comparing to Rorschachs. The MOST unique piece of the WAITS presentation was the raised circular stage that Tom had. A ‘kick-drum’ that was actuated via a pulley system that TOM really kicks like a skinny Lou Groza. Behind everyone is a tower of old assorted speaker horns that give us old folks the nostalgia of those raggedy systems in the types of clubs that supported the neighborhood’s cooler musicians.

The musical “footers” that provided Tom’s base of the night were: Vince Henry-Woodwinds& Harmonica, Casey Waits-‘DRUMS'(world-wide), Omar Torrez-Guitar/Banjo, Patrick Warren-Keyboards and Seth Ford- Young on Bass. Tom played the Guitar and Bullhorn. The HOUSE that WAITS built was Frank Lloyd Wright meets Jack Kerouac [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rF3YQ5WajJk&feature=related]. Here’s the evenings song list:

LUCINDA/ AIN’T GOIN DOWN, WAY DOWN IN THE HOLE, FALLING DOWN, ALL THE WORLD IS GREEN, CHOCOLATE JESUS, CEMETARY POLKA, SIN OF MY FATHER, 16 SHELLS, TRAMPLED ROSE, COLDCOLDGROUND/FANNIN ST., NOVEMBER, BLACK MARKET BABY, HOIST THAT RAG/ MAKE IT RAIN, LIE TO ME, MISERY’S THE RIVER (BAND SING), BIG IN JAPAN (BAND SING), DIRT IN THE GROUND, JESUS GONNA BE THERE. And the finale: MAKE IT RAIN.

This was an AMAZING night, and was worth it. Hey, it’s TOM WAITS! TWO encores.

The fantastic photo is by Houston,Texas lensman JAY LEE.

Published in: on June 30, 2008 at 9:15 pm  Comments (1)  
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