When: March 13 2013
What: Blues at the Crossroads 2 Muddy and the Wolf, Tribute to Muddy Waters & Howlin’ Wolf
Blues, blues, blues... I wonder why this music genre it’s somehow attached to a universal color that represents our skies and oceans. But, what really matters is the powerful connection that this kind of music brings to our lifestyles in collaboration with all the genres that easily invites blues to their fields. I used to believe that blues was the type of music only certain people liked. But I was wrong! This fantastic show was definitely full of blues lovers from all ages.
Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall was the perfect venue for this evening. With beige portuguese limestone and serpentine glass façade. Multi- tiered lobby with beige spanish granite and carpeting, silver leaf ceiling featuring lighting design titled Constellation by Francesca Bettridge which includes Swarovski crystal LED lighting and 300 stainless steel pendants tipped with Baccarat crystal globes. Fixed and loose seats upholstered in scarlet red velvet, individual boxes, three silver leaf acoustical canopies, Canadian maple veneers. I mean, the perfect place for blues!
This incredible venue offers the public an amazing view from all angles. The architecture of this venue only makes you see all the possible things we are capable of making when there’s a dream attached to a vision involving others. The spotlights, the sound system, the space, the seating facilities and design were only complementing the band members with the right atmosphere to clearly have a great time. I understand that the person in charge of bringing the blues to this venue, was also bringing this genre to a higher level for everyone, not only the blues lovers, to see this music as an universal sound with class.
Kim Wilson, the band conductor and singer, brought the best sounds of his multiple harmonicas. He started with the blues in the late 1960s and was tutored by people like Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Eddie Taylor, Albert Collins, George "Harmonica" Smith, Luther Tucker and Pee Wee Crayton.
The Fabulous Thunderbirds, anchored this musical tribute with greats as James Cotton, Jodi Williams, Bob Margolin, and Tinsley Elli. For over 30 years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barnburners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up”. Co-founderKim Wilson, the sole original member, still evolving into its newest blues incarnation along with the band members.
Kim Wilson – Lead Vocal & Harmonica, Randy Bermudes – Bass Guitar,
Mike Keller – Guitar, Jason Moeller – Drums, Johnny Moeller – Guitar
James Cotton also brought his authentic thick boogie man voice to manipulate the great stage full of talented musicians. He also brought his personality to share with the public the importance of clapping and shaking the body when feeling the blues. ‘When you feel like dancing or clapping, makes us feel better, so please do so.” He was a bouncing, sweaty, whirling dervish of a bluesman, roaring his vocals and all but sucking the reeds right out of his defenseless little harmonicas with his prodigious lung power. Due to throat problems, Cotton's vocals are no longer what they used to be, but he remains a masterful instrumentalist.
Bob Margolin was so fascinating and humorous with his body language, bringing the house down with his authentic guitar style. Margolin is a blues guitar player and singer, carrying on the “old school” Chicago Blues style and creating original music today. From 1973-1980, he played guitar in the band of Chicago Blues legendMuddy Waters, touring worldwide and recording, and learning to play Muddy’s powerful music directly from him. In 1980, he started his own band and still on the road and recording. His voice put a lot of character to his songs.
Tinsley Ellis came all the way from Atlanta to share the stage with fellow friends, singing great tunes with his electric vintage guitar and also his voice brought character to this wonderful stage. Hard-rocking blues-soaked guitarist/vocalist/song-writer Tinsley sings and plays with the energy and soul of all the great southern musicians who have come before him. He attacks his music with rock power and blues feeling, following in the tradition of Deep South musical heroes Duane Allman, Freddie King, Derek Trucks and Warren Haynes. His live shows feature extended fretwork filled with melodic and rhythmic experimentation, in the spirit of jam bands like his friends Widespread Panic and The Allman Brothers. Atlanta Magazine declared Ellis "the most significant blues artist to emerge from Atlanta since Blind Willie McTell."
Jody Williams, slowly entering with his guitar talents on stage was one great high light of the evening. He sat and simply played perfect notes to decorate songs with his delicate touch. Jody is an American blues guitarist and singer. His singular guitar playing, marked by flamboyant string bending, random chord changes and a distinctive tone, was influential in the Chicago Blues scene of the 1950s.
Blues at the Crossroads returns to celebrate the two blues legends, Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf. Both musicians vie for the honor of the "father of modern Chicago Blues" and both are considered the key bluesmen inspiring Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, John Mayall, Eric Clapton and others who brought about the 1960's British blues explosion. Though friends, Muddy & The Wolf were rivals for the top slot, and this spurred on both to outdo the other and create classics of the genre, including "Spoonful," "Mannish Boy," "Rolling Stone," and "Smokestack Lightning."
On my way back home, I was smiling knowing that our world could be so much better if we all get to experience this kind of evenings, where music, architecture, and culture are all involved to make us think about how great life really is when living through our passions.
This was a remarkable night for the blues and it’s heroes.
Grammy Award-Winner Rock Legend Boz Scaggs Makes His Segerstrom Center Debut Sunday, June 23rd 2013 in Renee And Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall TCIKETS GO ON SALE MARCH 24th.
Get your tickets today at SCFTA.org or call the box office (714) 556-2787.
Ps; let your life’s soundtrack be the best one you’ve ever heard!