An excellent start to the new music season with Ben and Paul who collectively are SPOKANE giving us a rousing - mostly (Ben can seem a little dour at times!) evening of "mouth and French harp, glass finger and guitar" which translates as a blistering display of harmonica and slide guitar excitement.
And it wasn't just familiar blues (indeed The Top Bar at times seemed like a folk club as we sang along [SANG ALONG??] with such old favourites as John Henry and St James Infirmary [which is of course Blind Willie McTell's Dyin' Crapshooter's Blues]), oh no, no, no. It was also anecdotes. A'plenty. Now I've been listening to this music for more decades than I might care to remember (you might notice the odd nugget I slip in) but I haven't even been hearing it right, let alone understanding it! Ben set me (and I suspect everyone else) straight with his wealth of arcane but totally indispensible knowledge of Blues trivia.
For instance I always though a woman with an 'elgin movement' was simply elegant; think again, she swings her hips like the movement of a very expensive contemporary watch (Elgin in Illnois - read all about it in Wikipedia). Also, for me Chicago or Kokomo (which can mean something else entirely!) has always been the "lovin' life" city; wrong again, it's, would you believe, "eleven light city" after the (then) eleven tallest buildings which sensibly had lights on top to identify them to aircraft. How did I ever live without these facts?
I didn't learn much from Paul for he said not a dicky bird all evening. Perhaps I should try, for a couple of people said he is a fine guitar teacher. He's certainly a fine player.
A couple of little vids from the evening to give you a taster. They're embedded so they should (I use that word a lot just to be on the safe side) play faster. Ah! New technology.
N.B. Just play them one at a time in their entirety. This may sound obvious but if you stop one before it is finished and start another, although the image in the first pauses, the file continues to download and this may slow down your connection overall with the subsequent vids being jumpy and erratic (and that's not my avant garde filming). Ah! New technology.
It was a very interesting evening for whilst we had Blues upstairs we had this in the bar downstairs. Grand pub, The Queens.