Monday, March 11, 2013

California Dreaming; blues and news

Today I drove 20 minutes to look at snow, the headed into El Cajon to see what was up at Downtown Cafe since someone had suggested it.   They had a bunch of blues harp players there to promote the annual harp fest.  That is harmonica, not the lovely stringed device which elicits visions of Heave and beautiful angels.  I like harps.

That is neither here nor there.  There were several players at the cafe, some with their own bands, although the same drummer and bass served more than one group.  It was that sort of thing.  Most of them were good players but, I hate to say it, I found most to be boring and unoriginal in content and personal style of play.

Now that I figured out I am more of a Texican at heart, I don't mind admitting that I'm not your garden variety blues player.

There were a few older guys who played that veteran musician card, but the best harp, and group, were young guys---maybe 25 to 30 something in age.  Maybe younger.  Red Lotus Revue, a local group.

It could be that they reminded me more of some of the Memphis blues outfits I liked, or because the harmonica player had more style ad imagination than the old hotshots.  Those guys were good but it is like they are phoning it in--just nothing unique at all.   That is a problem with a lot of blues players--they resist bringing anything to the table that is new, and skilled as they are, it gets old quick.

Overall, though it was a great time.  I knew a few people there--not the players so much.  I am familiar with the hardcore blues clique ring leaders, ad for that reason I avoid them like the plague.  If there are lines here, you may find something between them.

Lots of people there, and some interesting sights which involved near see-through spandex.   And no players were bad or painful for more than a minute.  I may be a snob, I think.  Lots of those guys seem silly trying to look like Mr. Badass.  Really?  Are you going to fight someone or what?   Live and let live, and be nice.

Last year I went to the big harp fest because Jason Ricci was playing a set--and it was good.  I feel guilty that most of the groups just don't hit me where I live.  This year, we'll see.

I almost posted a link to a video that is up of me playing a cool song with some locals.  None of us had really played together, as far as I know.  I do know most of the players, though.  It was a cool tune which I'd ever heard but they all had.  Minor key thing.  I overplayed and wished I hadn't so I leave it out of this.  I reviewed it and voted No.

The good thing about seeing these other players is that I can pretty well rate where I stand, which is in some other field altogether, for the most part.  Not saying better or worse, just in a very different place, and today reinforced that.  I enjoyed just being an anonymous element in the crowd.  No desire whatsoever to up there playing, and there were good people on guitar and such.  It either speaks to you or not, and today was not.

Women smiled at me, and a few people suggested I should be playing, so my ego was fed a few crumbs.

The girl up the hill has a baby shower or something the night Los Lonely Boys are playing.  I told myself I'd go ahead and get tickets if she wanted to go.  I figured if I went to all that trouble I'd be sure to get lucky.  So, no go on that and not sure if I know anyone else who'd enjoy such a evening.  Maybe I'll just go, and then head north aways and camp or something.   I think I put enough guilt out there that I might get lucky anyway when convenient.  Or not.  I'm possibly just fooling you.

If the text is missing any N's it is because my keyboard has issues, mostly with N.

The moral of this story is that I am already playing music with the best people I could have found, and I should make time to work on things more with them, particularly Cliff because he has time, and he's one of a kind and leans toward original efforts.  And he's got that kind of talent that can't be taught.

Quite often the diamonds are in your backyard.  No need to go after blood diamonds in Africa.  Now if K and L could make the time, it would be eve better.  Here on ballistic Mountain I have my 3 favorite players, and I just fell into that.  Life does me that way, yet I still seem to believe my job is to ruin my life no matter what.

I'm trying to change that.   It is touch and go, and gets to the point of being a little bit scary every now and then.   Totally an inside job.  I can't blame anyone, because I am treated by people and the mysteries of the universe far better than what mere odds would dictate.  It may be an art.  Or just luck of the draw.  Or both.

Oh.  I just found out, never mind.  My family is growing like the rabbit family under the cabin.

Those kids picked perfect cities.  I already know Seattle is great and maybe one of the only urban areas I could dwell.  And Austin is a hotbed of my favorite music.  Plus I like Texas.  I'll let the nephews fight it out for who will take me in and support me for the duration.  I'll charm their daughters into forcing them.

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Ballistic Mountain, CA, United States
Like spring on a summer's day


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