Kansas City

March 21, 2011 Joe Willie “Pinetop” Perkins dies.

day 348

Pinetop Perkins was playing boogie piano until he was 97 years old – up until just a few months before he died.  I have a record of his and it’s all scratched up in one place cause back in the old days when pianists like me wanted to steal someone’s riffs we kept dragging the needle back over the same lick over and over to learn. Now with digital it’s a lot easier to study!

For today’s song I picked Kansas City which is one of the many songs Pinetop recorded during his long career!

I had a couple of Stingers  over to record some top 40 songs tonight and I’m really surprised the neighbors didn’t freak out. We were loud, loud, loud!


See See Rider

March 10, 1988 LaVern Baker dies.


See See Rider is another good classic blues tune!  LaVern Baker recorded it in 1962 and I’m singing it today in her memory!

I’m exhausted from driving to Philly yesterday – not that Philly is so far but we were running late for the gig and i was writing charts for Bobby Rydell in the backseat of my van. Carla was driving and Dylan was riding shotgun with directions. They kept updating me that no worries, we were 15 minutes away, 10 minutes, 7 minutes. Soundcheck had just started without us and I’m freaking.

Dylan says there’s the Hyatt, no problem. We park the car in the garage and hightail it to the main ballroom. When we get in there the ballroom sign says Happy Birthday Tommy.  I’m all, oh hell, wrong freakin Hyatt!

I run get the car out of the garage  — I was in there 10 minutes and they charged me 16 dollars! I was going to bitch but there wasn’t time!

20 minutes later we reach the correct Hyatt and nobody realized we were late except my band but they work for me so that’s fine.

I’m exhausted just tellin the story.

See See Rider.





March 5, 1963 Patsy Cline dies in an airplane crash in Tennessee.

day 332

My mom loves Crazy.  We’ll have to play this for her at her 90th birthday party.

Yes, we are gearing up for her big return to NY and on April 21 we will celebrate!  She’s spending her real birthday, March 27th, in Vegas. She is really at home in that town. I’m surprised we never moved there as kids. We got that gambling gene in the family and as i was growing up there was so much talk about Vegas i imagined it was the holy land.

A lot of songs have been named Crazy but this is the most famous one, written by Willie Nelson, a Patsy Cline classic.

I’ll be at the Red Lion tomorrow night, Wed the 6th from 7-10pm.  Doing Skip Brevis Band, and I’ll be doing some Willie & the Swagga material.  Come on by and check it out if you’re local.  We always have a good time on Bleecker Street!  It gets CRAZY!

Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning

February 22, 1994 American blues violinist Papa John Creach dies.

day 321

My all time favorite band in high school was Hot Tuna which was the rhythm section for Jefferson Airplane, and their fiddle player was Papa John Creach who played low down dirty blues. My friend Mark knew every word, every riff, he lived and breathed Hot Tuna.  Sometime’s it’s more fun watching an all out fan sing the songs instead of watching the real artist on stage. I always watch the crowd at concerts so i can tell who the real fans are and who are just tourists.

Heading off to the Poconos tomorrow. I wish it would warm up!

Oh well, the fireplace will be crack-a-lackin.

And the lamps will be trimmed and burning!

Here ya go, for Today in Music, a little bit of Hot Tuna.


Choo Choo Ch’Boogie

February 4, 1975:  jazz, blues, songwriter, bandleader & saxophonist Louis Jordan dies!

day 303

Louis Jordan was a swinging son of a gun. And he had a little crazy in his swing. I like a little crazy to tell you the truth. Most horn players are a little nuts what with all that blowing and licking their reeds and playing so fast cause they think it’s the last song they’ll ever play and they got to get every note they ever learned in one freakin song!

Today was study YouTube day for me.  I found these lectures from Leonard Bernstein at Harvard on music and poetry and I actually understood what he was talking about. This old dog is trying to learn a new trick!

I also learned a couple of blues licks on the guitar. You see there’s no need to go outside the house to study anymore. YouTube has so much information and you don’t have to be pressured to understand what’s being taught in front of bunch of other students. I could never concentrate in school and it’s a shame cause I studied with some brilliant teachers.

I don’t think i’ll study saxophone.  Well, who knows.  Maybe I will.

Nice song LJ!