Man, so I drove over 3,000 miles, safely across seven states, and I end up nearly getting killed by some crazy-ass drunk driver! Right in front of my house!? It would have truly been tragic, too, on account of me not finishing up the story of Little Willie Mississippi ...
So, Wednesday night rolls around and I tell my guys, "Sorry to keep doing this to you," because it wasn't the first time I had brought some random weird dude around, "but this wolf can really howl." We led Willie down the winding basement staircase into our musty and dank practice space. As I was getting Willie set up with a microphone, the drummer, still fidgeting with his kit, hit a quick "thud, thud, snap" and Willie, with the reflex of a jungle cat, took off.
I frantically fumbled for my trusty pocket recorder, hit the record button, and grabbed my guitar for what ended up being a solid nine-minute freestyle garage/blues jam, with Little Willie plucking lyrics from the air like forbidden apples off the tree of knowledge of good and evil.
The first track ends with a huge round of applause and laughter. "That's what I'm talking about!" Willie exclaimed. "I'm telling you, you gotta put that on tape, 'cause I make it up off the top of my head," he said, not realizing the tape was already rolling. "I got one more for you," he said, real matter of fact. "I wanna do something kin'a like, uh, a groove type. Like you're in love, and this girl done fucked you over and all this shit ." And with those simple instructions, we tore into a real dirty two-chord stomp. By the time we stopped jamming we had laid down four solid tracks of 100-percent improvised blues/punk awesomeness, including one of the roughest versions of the Jimmy Reed classic, "Baby, What You Want Me to Do?" ever laid to disc.
And so it was, Little Willie and the Weber Street Lickers were born. The recording is available as a free download at tiny.cc/littlewillie, or for a small fee (toward Willie's tab), on your very own cdr, exclusively at Willie's favorite haunt, Weber Street Liquor (712 N. Weber). And hopefully, this isn't the last we've heard from Little Willie Mississippi.
In other blues news you can use, did you see who's playing the KRCC Blues Under the Bridge Festival this year? It's looking pretty damn good with Charlie Musselwhite, Candye Kane, Corey Harris, Tempa and the Tantrums, Magic Dave and Friends, and the CSC Blues Band. This year's event kicks off promptly at 3 p.m., Saturday, July 17.
But if your blues just can't wait, John-Alex Mason will be revisiting one of his former stomping grounds, Front Range Barbeque, for a free one-man patio jam on Sunday, June 27. The decidedly amazing Delta-style blues singer/guitarist is making good on his promise to "visit often," having left us for the greener pastures of Portland, Ore., some time ago.
Lastly, having nothing to do with the blues whatsoever, is this Sunday's Zine Fest at the Black Sheep. Presented by What's Left? Fanzine, the all-day event will showcase local mover/shakers in the art/zine/poet scene, as well as live music from many popular local bands: Dirty Dives, Six Generals, the Conjugal Visits, Blighter, Mountain Peep All-Stars, Recondite, and Enemy Swim. If that wasn't enough, they even went and sprung for a headliner, the politically charged indie-hop legend, Sole and the Skyrider Band. All that, plus zines, and free local band comps, for $8? 3 p.m. Yo!
Smells ya later!
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