Sunday, July 21, 2019
Tommy Lee Cooke, who is the resident storyteller, philosopher, bandleader and proprietor, really knows how to throw an impromptu party. The stage at the triple B wasn't quite big enough to fit all of the musicians who were volunteering their talents on this no-cover free for all. And the locals are on to it. There were few places to sit and only a little extra room to stand. And most of the patrons had a little more than a touch of grey but were rocking along with the band and breaking out into appreciative applause after almost every song. All of these gentleman were quality players. There were too many lead guitarists to count. There was a top shelf sax player and a killer guy on harmonica. One drummer was in the pocket, and he was replaced by a guy who was formerly playing another instrument. And this band covered a lot of ground. From rocking blues, to swing blues and even some funky blues.
One of the highlights of the show was a very fun and satisfying cover of Ray Wylie Hubbard's "Snake Farm". If anything it certainly got the crowd thinking about lyrics. The band could easily pivot off of one genre and find the pocket in another. The three hour Sunday jam session is free of charge which means the bar is subject to the revenue generated from the sale of beer and wine. And people were certainly indulging in large quantities of adult beverages. The Buckingham Blues Bar is a rare outpost, still relying on the sensibilities of people who grew up listening to organic musicians who truly know how to play their respective instruments.
I was digesting each note as if it were a gourmet meal. Honestly I could have listened to this band play for hours. I guess it's one of those inbred things with us purists. We actually love the music. We could care less about image or technology. This place is for old timers who have pretty much gone underground to get their fix. Real music still exists at the Buckingham Blues Bar.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
As a guy who isn't typically impressed by underground music, this stuff is really in a pro-league. The recordings all have great production value. The three albums that I have been playing on repeat shuffle are as follows...Leavin' Blues, Pick Up The Phone and Hear You Callin'. The last of which is done with the Captiva Band featuring the incredible saxophone work of Jennifer Mazziotti. There is heart and soul in these songs. And if you are a music fan with a penchant for blues, rock and R&B you owe it to yourself to listen to these fine songs.
Friday, July 12, 2019
The 10 tracks on this record are like a dangerous undertow pulling you every which way. The Citizen takes a walk through some heady lyrical terrain. Politics, autonomy, technology and dehumanization are all subjects that accompany a lush array of keyboards, drums and guitars. It's as if old Yes themes have been freshened up both musically and conceptually. From "The Partisan" and his political ranting to "Sophia" and the danger of her technology, The Citizen Listener is exposed to a rich pallet of sounds and ideas. Sherwood's narrative might seem like he's trying too hard to be unique, but the truth is progressive rock has covered a lot of ground and to come up with a decent concept album without recycling a portion of it is a feat in and of itself.
Billy Sherwood is also at home with all of the production on this record including all of the instrumentation. His guitar work on bass, acoustic and electric is definitely above average. I would have wagered that he had help in the studio but I would have been wrong. Other highlights from this album include "Via Hawking", and ode to Stephen Hawking and his ride along with Christopher Columbus, "Sailing The Seas".
In summary this is an album for hardcore progressive rock fans. Casual fans may not be patient enough to really dig into some of these songs. But the more you dig, the more treasure the Citizen finds.