Category Archives: Music

Daytona Blues Society & True Blues Jams as well as my band “Blues From the Bottoms” I’ll probably be the local music critic when you least expect it.

Joe Bonamassa at the Royal Albert Hall w/Eric Clapton

I watched the entire RAH DVD last night…I was almost speechless.  I know. Hard to believe.  interviews and all.

Watching that DVD, I was there onstage with my friends, couldn’t help it, transported by magic.  Every nuance of expression, every quick grin, every slick Rojas bass trick, every fake out by Bogie (when one thinks crash and all you get is “ting”), every time Joe closed his eyes and breathed power into every note, every Rick doubling of a guitar part, every horn swell in perfect time, the respect given to and received from the second drummer Fig, every unspoken communication between master artists at the top of their game, I felt more than saw, and I’m somewhat visual.

I try not to be too critical, as a musician, because I am a musician, and I know how much WORK it is.  I almost cried when Len said yeah he has God given talent, but his work ethic is why he is what he is, and why he’s here.  I KNEW THAT.  I said that the first time I watched him play.  I have no critique…i love it, farts and all.  I connected with the force of a BAND making music. 

I call them my friends, my mates, my brothers.  I hope they know it.  Carminito, te amo papi.  Bendigos!  I don’t have many true friends.  I have more friends on this forum…it’s just too wierd…plumb mushy-headed, I reckon.  Hope that doesn’t sound like I’m bragging.

I’m getting wound up…anyway, I saw the old stoic himself, smile a little when Joe pushed him just a bit, so he pushed back.  Sweet!  I heard blues variations on a theme.  Chorus, verse and bridge.  A lost art raised from the spiritual death of ignorance and commercialism.  Emotion both raw and processed.  Edited superbly. 

My son came out of their bedroom and sat.  He looked at me and said, “Well that was kickass.” in his usual too cool for school way.  High praise. 

Blues Deluxe answered every blunatic purist in the world…take that, you unwashed heathens.  Happier Times, The Great Flood, TBOH, Joe dug deep and put it out there.  Let no man judge.  Genius!  SloeGin?  Broken down old Bob Ezrin should thank you.   

All of the standards: especially…So Many Roads…  covered with an unstoppable force of artistic expression.  Just listen, I mean, really listen to what this art form is telling you.  You will not be sorry.  You might even be better for it.  Screw politics. 

Well done Bonamassa Band and the Caveman.  Just another gig, RoadDawgs?  Respect to you.

I have spoken
with much love
I am the Funky Dr of Love

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The economy is great!

We did the first day of the craft show on Main Street Deland, FL selling and demoing Sweet and Sassy Salsa  and only the walking dead appeared; on gurneys and in wheelchairs…with empty pockets! 

One poor sob (a young, good looking, able bodied man, not in a wheelchair) was embarrased to tell me he did not have $25 in pocket.  The day after payday?  So I wondered “…why are you wandering around on the street at a craft fair?  Why don’t you have a booth or at your job or hustle or sumpn?”

So all the vendors blamed the economy, you know, the price of gas for the fact that the unwashed masses are not spending money buying their trinkets.  I just laughed out loud.  I’ll tell you why.

Last month we were at the high dollar mall in Orlando/Sanford with the girls volleyball team.  Some of the mom’s were doing that parrot thing.  “Oh the economy is so bad…”  Stop I said, right now, and look around you.  Like this car? $70,000.  How about this one? $45,000.  And I went on & on.

10,000 cars at (let’s lowball it) $40,000 apiece.  $400,000,000…400 million dollars in one hundred acre parking lot!  The economy is not bad.  The money has not disappeared.  It has moved.  It’s not gone.  The press is screaming about the disappearing middle class.  What they are not telling us is that 2/3 of them are moving to the upper class.  I will go with them.  I am one of us.

So I refuse to be a parrot for bad news or a herd animal led to slaughter by the government or the clergy.  I give money to the WoundedWarriorProject.  I don’t do fear.  I create, I share, and I pray to the Almighty for the strength to do his will and I use the brain he gave me, so I work.  How about you?

So I will not be there next year because my upscale customer is not there.  Many of those vendors will change nothing, stay right where they be at and cry the blues because making a change (hustle) is too much work.

The only one that got it right was my identical twin Jimbo Bob Billy Ray’s woman Paura in the next booth over when she said “We don’t have the right goods for this crowd…what can we sell them?”

Ms Tia said, “Metamucil, so they can move their bowels.”  Now that’s funny.

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Apology from Jet Blue

All I get I reckon, is a “sorry bout that” which really means go kiss yourself.  7-10 days before they tell me they have no control over the weather…like I do.

Dear Mr. Jones,

Thank you for your email to JetBlue regarding your recent experience. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns.

Please accept our most sincere apologies for the challenges and frustrations you encountered as a result of your flight being cancelled due to severe weather impacting the eastern flight corridor.  We also apologize that the customer service you received at the airport failed to meet your expectations.

JetBlue has a team dedicated to making the decision which delayed or cancelled flights will receive compensation per the Bill of Rights. When compensation is determined, a notification is sent to the customer via email or by regular mail. This information should be received in the next 7-10 days. If you do not receive compensation notification from JetBlue, your flight(s) did not qualify for compensation.

Please remember that the Bill of Rights compensates for controllable irregularities, such as maintenance cancellations or delays and crew unavailability (not due to weather-event related disruption). Weather and Air Traffic Control delays are not something we have control over; therefore, compensation is not offered in these circumstances as per the Bill of Rights.

To view our Bill of Rights in its entirety, including the explanation of Controllable and Uncontrollable Irregularities, please click on the link below:

http://www.jetblue.com/about/ourcompany/promise/index.html

We hope you will consider JetBlue for your travel plans in the future.

Sincerely,

Jenny
Customer Commitment Crew
JetBlue Airways
Crewmember 52341

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An abomination airline

I went to Boston to play a gig with my brother.  It was fabulous until…

Here’s what I wrote the airline in question after being delayed:

I was told at the curbside baggage check that the flight was cancelled.  They could not
tell me when or why.  When I got inside the Floor agents had no idea what was to be done.  I was
rudely told to stand in line and wait my turn.  There were at least 1000 angry people in line.  When
I got to the desk, over 90 minutes later, I was told that the flight I was to be transferred to was
full (She lied to me!) and I was forced to make a decision on the spot about Tuesdays flight.  I
have missed a day’s work, forced to stay another night, forced to take public trans in an unknown
city and forced to stay in a siblings house overnight unplanned & uninvited.  I kept my cool in
Logan airport becaquse the ticket girls did the best they could.  But I am IRATE.  ******* owes me
an explanation and a full refund.  I will not fly you again if you do not handle this properly. 
Rude Floor agents, mis information and mismanagement.  I await your response before I tell all I
know what happened.  There is no EXCUSE for this.

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the sound and the fury

Ain’t it great  
it’s double-oh-8 
From up the Yukon to the southern states 
From across the pond and further east 
to the neon home of the Hollywood beast 
 
A force is channeled you know it’s true 
Feel the love, feel the blues. 
 
Stand in line 
Blow your mind 
He’ll send a chill right up your spine 
More than fret work, a movable feast 
Sung from the heart, to say the least 
 
A force is channeled you know it’s true 
Feel the love, feel the blues. 
 
Wrote this song 
didn’t take too long 
Didn’t come from bottle, pipe or bong 
From British blues to East Bay grease 
The borders we cross will never cease 
 
A force is channeled you know it’s true 
Feel the love, feel the blues. 
 
BJJ the FDOL 
 
Happy New Year, one and all!

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Music in our blood:

Just goes to show you what I know.  not so much.

Played music in my garage/studio with my 18 year old son on guitar and my 16 year old son on drums last night.  We were just making up stuff and then we settled into a groove of 4 chords.  It was kinda hard rockish at first, then I started funking up the bass with some starts and stops and Sean the younger got this wicked thing going with his right foot.  Ryan the mayor settled into this very straight time crunch thing on his guitar and it was OK, so I thought.  Nothing special…Wrong!

Ms.Tia came in when we finally quit and said, “That was awesome!”  She is surrounded by musicians all the time.  She is just not that distracted by any of it.  So high praise, indeed.

And it’s nothing I could push any of them into doing.  I’m the OLD MAN, boring and set in his ways and judgemental about the younger generation of spoiled rotten, self indulgent, ipod listening, no working, no driving, text messaging, sissified tweety birds that can’t even pay their own way.  lol

So I said to them, “Yeah boys, that was real good, for whatever that’s worth.”  So they got this wierd look on their faces and the older one says, “Quite a bit, suprisingly.”  The younger just broke into this s**t eating grin. “oh yeah,” he said. 

I almost lost it.  I’m getting soft. 

My daughter is playing boogie woogie holiday music on the piano as I post.  I am grateful to God and a proud & happy man.

So how many of you musicians have musicians in the family?  Do you jam with them?  I wanna know!

 Merry Christmas to all!


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Joe Bonamassa: A sledgehammer ‘tween the eyes.

So we went to Orlando and walked the long mile to see Joe Bonamassa in the Hard Rock Cafe…Tia & I and 2 of our friends.  It was worth it.  WHAT A SHOW!  Crosby was very cool and did his warm up job, funny and talented.  Keeper.

Then out came the boys and there was lightning and thunder indoors.  Wait a sec…

When I came out of my self imposed musical retirement less than 2 years ago (after 16 years to raise my kids) I was aware that there would be changes in/on the scene.  I came out anyway.  I’ve seen countless sloppy guitar players and wannabes in the last 21 months.

Smoking Joe is the real deal.  No slop there.  A real guitar player.  A young Master.

Joe…a bar band you are not.  Very impressive what you’ve done.  Only someone who has studied the masters can do what you do, that is, successfully take it “outside of the box” to the next limit. 

Thanks for letting me get that picture between you and Carmine.  Maybe now, my fingers will work on my bass.

My wife and friends sat with their mouths open for a number or two and then erupted in screaming applause.  It was a treat for me to see Ms. Tia enjoy herself so completely.  You definitely pulled out all the stops on this last show of this tour.  Now my friends KNOW where I’m coming from.  THANK YOU Joe and company for the sledgehammer between the eyes.

The Hard Rock Cafe crowd was (sometimes too) rowdy and was quite vocal even when Joe tried to shush them just a little.  Joe, you just took it all in stride and exhibited, once again, that you are the consummate professional. 

Listen people, when JB came off mic to sing “If I ever get to Heaven, and I’m praying that I do…”  I hollered “You will Joe.  You will!” and the crowd roared its approval.  Even the drunks in the back of the room.

I figured out later that night while we were celebrating Rick’s birthday why I felt hope when I heard them play in West Palm Beach.  It is because of that professionalism stacked on top of his prodigious talent.  I have watched greatness disentegrate under the strain of this business and all the excesses that go with the lifestyle, in my 35+ years in & out of the music biz.  The veterans know of what I speak.  I HAVE HOPE…

Joe came out wearing a sport coat; dressed like a blues man.  Bogey, Carmine & Rick were attired like the pro sideman they are and the overall show was visual as well as musical.  The emotional sounds and vocals that poured off that stage were raw but polished.  Figure that out.  They filled up the room.

Tight changes and a perfect mix give the edge that a band needs to cross the line into greatness.  Joe, you and your guys have that edge.  Take the blues to the next stage.

During the acoustic set in the middle, I heard someone say “I didn’t know a human being could move their fingers that fast.”  In Espanol my old guitar teacher called those exercises with those Arabesque type scales “Aranas” which means spiders.  Outside the box…genius executed perfectly.  Only thousands of hours of hard work and practice could give you that.

I HAVE HOPE…I recently auditioned a guitarist and it went on for two hours.  When somebody “Look at the time,” my drummer said, “That’s a miracle…as abusive as this guy is to most guitar players.” pointing at me.  Nice huh?  My wife and daughter were dancing in the kitchen.

Joe, maybe one day we’ll sit and talk.  Ms. Tia called my number one son at college and bragged about you.  She just doesn’t do that sort of thing.  He’s a guitarist, too.  So you got high marks, young sir.  Enjoy your Holiday.  Then on to Europe.

Happy Birthday Rick!  Many more, mate!  I checked out that funk on your web site.  NICE!

Bogey, so nice to see a southern boy make good.  You have my number…call it.  If we get to LA and you are in town, Tia & I will hang out for sure.  Thanks for the invite.

Carmine you fed me again.  Gracias mi ‘mano.  Yo te amo.  Next time I’ll eat before I come…maybe.  Tia looks good, huh?  I’m overjoyed that we got a chance to see you, even though you told stories about me to that backstage crowd.(GRIN) Loved that.  The terrible trio survived!  I celebrate that, even while we speak of & mourn the ones we’ve lost along the way. 

A word about Hard Rock Cafe:  Don’t be too hard on the employees there.  They have corporate minded bosses and they have an industrial theme park mindset.  I feel for those who missed their chance after the show, but there’s time now to prepare for the next Orlando event.  One thing nobody will deny:  the sound there’s SPOT ON!  Good equipment.

Joe, I would vote to give B.B. King’s new club a closer look.  I have not been there, but most of Daytona Beach has some buzz going on about it.  Or maybe in Daytona Beach?

The blues are in good hands with Joe Bonamassa, y’all!  Rest well. 
Merry Christmas and may God bless.


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