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Meanwhile…back at JJ’s

Dear Reader,

What is it about 5 chords strung together in an endless-loop guitar rift that speaks to the very soul of musicians? So it started last night at JJs when Alvin Draper hit the stage. I don’t want to give the impression that this was an orderly entrance or that things were organized. The rest of the musicians had completed their setup about 5 minutes before and were either at the bar talking to JoJo (/me waves at JoJo & Tracy) or outside grabbing that last smoke before the set.

Alvin finished his final setup, turned on his microphone and started picking. Just 5 chords strung together in the musical version of a doodle. Like farm hands hearing the far-off dinner bell, the players all perked up, finished their conversations, took that last drag and stomped the butt out; then slowly, each of wandered onto the stage.

Soon there was a drum thumping time as Pavlov called his dogs. Then the second guitar kicked in and filled in the melody line. The bass player eventually wandered onto the stage and filled in the missing pieces. Finally, the keyboardist jumped up from the side of the stage and sat down. With a fanfare of synthesized organ through Leslie speakers usually reserved for tent-revivals, he threw down and church was again in session.

Alvin and the boys did a wonderful job for the next hour and a half. Alvin himself made his guitar cry as he told us “I’ve Got An Angel”. He and the boys (listed on the program only as “and Friends”) tickled our funny-bones as they threw down “Twist and Shout” and brought the house down near the end of the first set with “Mustang Sally”.

All the while there was a steady stream of couples entering and leaving the small dance floor. “Mr. Strut” made an appearance. He’s an “oldish” gentleman who, for the life of me, reminded me of a caricature of an old man. He was quite entertaining with his unique take on interpretive dance that was somewhere between “The Robot” and “The Jerk”. Then there was a couple who made love on the floor like they were the only ones in the room. They were mesmerizing to watch. Their dance was mental, it was spiritual but to those of us watching, it was defiantly physical. (and quite entertaining in a “I need to go call my wife” kind of way)

All-in-all it was a great ending to a great week. If you haven’t made it by JJs, by all means do. If you are in the valley, there’s always something interesting going on. I’m usually there Sundays after 8:00. Drop by and give me a shout-out. (I’m the overweight white-guy with the silly grin on my face!)

Until next time, (l) (k) (bunny),