cleveland, blue lunch and michelle willson
Had an amazing show with Blue Lunch and Boston singer Michelle Willson in Cleveland this past weekend. I played with Blue Lunch a couple of times before in Indian town but the first time they opened for me, I started crying when I saw them. Yes, crying. Not because they were bad. On the contrary, they are an awesome nine-piece band with four horns, harmonica, piano, string bass, percussion and drums. I started sobbing because they were so good. I was bummed to have to follow such a big band. I know my fans love me and pay to see me but it’s still hard to follow the sheer sound of a big group like that. I got over my tears as they won me over with their sincerity and warmth. The horn players sat in and they were awesome and that’s why we decided to do the show together at the Beachland.
I suggested Michelle because she is one of my favorite blues singers. Her style is sassy Dinah Washington and she is smart as a whip. I wanted someone on the bill who would entertain me and Michelle didn’t disappoint both on and off the stage. She has a lot of fire and she growled and crooned her way into the heart of the crowd. She was awesome. www.evilgal.com
At first, I was freaked out about the venue because some jerk had written “No fat chicks” on the wall in the backstage. Of course, I had to cross it out and write “No fucking idiots” but it still spooked me out for a second. I mean, if it said “No blacks” or “no chinks” everyone would be up in arms about it, but people can get away with writing stuff like that about fat women. And I am sure it was some stupid, ugly numbskull that I wouldn’t sleep with if he were the last man on earth!
The ballroom was super cool and it was packed with great swing dancers. Everyone seemed to be jitter bugging and swinging. They are so much fun to watch. I did make a little mistake because I let the band choose all the songs and they chose almost all the songs in Eb. It is a favorite key of horn players. As a result, the songs weren’t my favorites to sing and I think the crowd missed some of the racier songs I do like Masturbation Blues and The Lord was a woman but overall, it was a great show.
During the day we visited the Rock and Roll Museum. We got the VIP tour along with singer Katrina Chester who is also here on Myspace. She was appearing in Cleveland in “Love Janis” the musical. She is also Robert Plants girlfriend, I heard. She seemed much too young and beautiful for him, though, even if he is Robert Plant. We saw John Lennon’s pants that he wore in Sergeant Pepper. He had a size 28 waist! The weirdest thing we saw was a dreadlock belonging to Bob Marley. I love Bob but there is something creepy about seeing a dead persons hair. We saw some great old guitars belonging to Lightnin’ Hopkins and Muddy Waters and the dress Ruth Brown wore when she got inducted. I enjoyed seeing the costumes in the permanent display and would recommend the museum to anyone visiting Cleveland who is a music fan.
It was a great show and I really enjoyed hanging out with the guys from Blue Lunch. Almost all of them are Jewish and that made me feel more at home. Bob Frank, the guitar player, is also a fine mandolin and banjo player and we jammed a little bit. I don’t play guitar in front of many people, but I love playing that hillbilly Carter family stuff and Bob and I had a good time jamming. Check out Blue Lunch if you like your blues swinging with horns. They are great people and great musicians. www.bluelunch.com