Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A big loss, bigger regret and just one final prank

Please pardon this off-beat post. This blog is supposed to be reserved for anything related to Blues, Brews and BBQ but I lost a real good friend this week and it just got me to thinking.

Art always had the right thing to say at the right time, and certainly made life just more enjoyable and eventful. It might have been just the way he cursed you out at loud volumes with a smile on his face for being a damned fool or how he would heckle mercilessly at all of the assorted miscreants for not being able to get a hit during any one of our assorted wiffle ball games. He also kept a very watchful eye out for us, making sure to keep an extra watchful eye out for The Boss while I was on the road.

When our sump pump line broke off the house it was Art to the rescue with a knock at the door explaining what he saw and the importance of fixing the issue ASAP….When my Dad was in the hospital with some serious medical issues it was Art who, concerned I was going to burn out, took me for lunch at “The Club”. We talked for hours on baseball, Georgetown, and the assumed responsibilities on putting down roots in a small community… beer and burgers never tasted so good and the long talk about anything and everything helped pull me back from the ledge (as it were).

From a distance Art’s final years where awful sad to witness. Art’s deterioration had started before we had the pleasure of meeting him, but it hit a rapid pace once he lost the love of his life and the mother of his children. To see a good man deteriorate, and then a son agonize over having to make alternative living arrangements for his father was a lot to witness, I can’t imagine going through any of it personally. I tried to get over to Art’s new home as much as I could, but things changed. I put off going to see Art always rationalizing how I could go over another afternoon/weekend….having driven by Harmony Cemetery last night I know there are no more chances to get on over to see Art at his new home. REGRET SUCKS. REGRET SUCKS AN AWFUL LOT.

Having lost two older folks who constantly illustrated just why every once of life should be squeezed out of every moment, I have been thinking about just how I would like my remains treated as I go into the afterlife. Instead of being buried and put down by a stone in which teens will probably smoke dope or make out behind, or be cremated and have my ashes sprinkled in amongst the vomit & urine of Bourbon or Beale St I have decided I would like to be catapulted. Catapulting a dead body may sound weird, but I have often been in awe over the simple but awesome architecture…..and just because I am technically “gone” don’t mean my remains shouldn’t play just one more practical joke on someone. I would take great consolation knowing my remains would either create a plot arc on CSI “Georgetown” or knowing one of my neighbors would constantly and forever be forced to look over their shoulders wondering just what was going to fall next from the sky.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Quick Hits

It is probably just a ‘quick hits’ today….not a lot of news, and I am working on the flip side to ‘The Rant’ post on a particularly good live playing situation.

I am pleased to say I have just heard from Harmonica Hank from The Rocking George band. HH is a hell of a player, and a nicer guy to boot. Having endured countless questions from yours truly about technique, who he listened to and his choice of gear Hank still politely declined my offered shot of Cabo Reposado as a ‘thank you’ for his time. A true gentleman. Please don’t worry about the stray shot of Cabo, I downed his too.

Rocking George will be back at The Georgetown Grille ( (19 W Main Street) on August 1st. In spite of numerous requests from one guy (yup, me again) they don’t know any William Clarke, but HH has the chops to pull Clarke licks all night long for those assembled (and disassembled as it were)….

Check ‘em out and tell them Georgetown Fats sent ya.

Anyone in the Haverhill/Bradford area should check out the Tuesday night blues jam at The Roma. It has been a few months since I have had a chance to get there, but I hear from Johnny B of The Coup DeVille Band a lot and it sounds like it is taking off in their new location.

And new news from the 10 Foot Polecats Camp

This Friday The Ten Foot Polecats are back in the South Shore.Come check us out as we play a new venue in Weymouth........
Friday July 31 at 9pm KC's PUB1284 Washington Street (rte 53)Weymouth MA
On Saturday we are playing in Keene NH in the center of town for their weekly Sat Afternoon Music Series
Saturday August 1 at 12pm Keene NH Saturday Afternoon Music Series Railroad Square Keene NH
see you at the shows!
and don't forget:
Tues Aug 4th at The Middle East Upstairs in Cambridge (Massachusetts Avenue)with Scott Biram & Wicked Whiskey
Thurs Aug 6th at The Chicken Bone in Framingham (Waverly St - Rte 135)with Delta Generators

And on a very final note it looks as though ‘Boom Boom’ Sullivan will have to take considerable time away from music in order to deal with carpal tunnel. The Growlers will miss Boom Boom, it is not often we’re actually a good influence for someone. Nothing but the best Boom Boom, thanks for being there with us in the beginning.

Sunday, July 26, 2009


So a good friend to the Boston Blues, Brews & BBQ Blog not to mention yours truly seems to appreciate or get great amusement when I get unhinged....

So this blog posting is dedicated to ‘Jim Polecat’....

I won’t claim to be a professional musician. Our band has a semi-pro sound, but for all intents and purposes we’re really just a bunch of hacks. We take pride in our sound (Nigel and I having been indoctrinated by The Lassonde Doctrine), but we don’t rehearse a lot and we gig even more infrequently. We also do not play for money, which allows us to do things our way and play when we want to play. If a club will have us, great. If a good friend could use our help by playing with us, or wants to sit in...even better. If you’re business is flat or flagging, and you can’t afford to pay us...FINE. No biggie, a comp bar tab goes a long way with us....

Just when our band is willing to play for free and a real good friend of ours is willing to contribute a set while bringing the majority of the crowd PLEASE do not expect us to sell your food too. I mean, we’re a bar band. Our responsibility is to show up on time, be professional, help market the evening, and to playing as much music as we’re hired to play.

If you can’t even put up all of the flyers I deliver to your restaurant/bar, or can’t show up just an hour or two early to let us in to set up ahead of time can you really expect me to give a flying fuck in a rolling donut if our crowd isn’t eating your food? Also if you’re concerned underage people could potentially be drinking illegally then get off your ass and check IDs. If I am not on your payroll don’t expect me to do your work for you. It’s hard enough to make sure the responsibilities I am responsible for are covered. I am not a bouncer, I no longer have to wait on tables/bar tend, and I have seen enough family I care about chewed up and spit out while making the sacrifices needed to own a successful bar/restaurant. I am merely just a guy who can play a little harp, sing a little and play some drums who has had the smarts enough to surround himself with better musicians with similar goals (which would be none)....

Really it is so infrequent I can say The Infamous Nigel is the voice of reason it was just worth making a post about it.

Oh, and not that I want to name the names of the guilty....but musicians have a great network and talk frequently. This stuff gets around much quicker than you imagine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Quick Hits

Let’s start the Quick Hits today by revving up the self promotion machine.

  • Blues, brews and BBQ make me as happy as a pig in shit, or the late Michael Jackson at a Cub Scout Jamboree (too soon?). There is just something real good about a debauchery, especially the Thirsty Thursday before I turn 3-5.Hell, whip in some gambling and we’re talking religious experience. The Growlers - Half Loaded Duo will be the featured artists at The Farm’s Blues, Brews & BBQ session tomorrow night. We’re looking forward to the new venue, and the new crowd. If I can keep Nigel away from the ribs and smoker long enough we’re probably talking one hell of a night. There is also a good chance we will talk new Growler Dre’ Reust into coming down and laying down some of the low end acoustic work. Should be a great night in my old home town of Essex, Ma.

  • The 10 Ft Polecats are back from the Deep Blues Festival. Welcome home boys, looking forward to seeing the uncensored pictures from the Deep Blues Festival.

  • Blind Billy checked in to say a good time was had by all the new Stone Soup in Ipswich.

  • While watching “The Cleaner” on A&E, there is a story about two twin red heads who are junkies. One is a hooker on smack, another is Harvard educated chick. The Harvard Chick keeps referring to the mother character as “Her Mom-mee”. Now I have a weakness for redheads, but the whole whining thing.....oh GAWD no. This just proves, no matter how attractive a woman is there is still a guy who won’t put up with their shit.

  • Matt Stubbs is headed back out to California to do some more work with Charlie Musslewhite. Safe travels Matt, and knock ‘em dead. I’ve you’re out West, or have a chance to catch Matt & Charlie play live sell your closest relative to get to this show.

  • Having just finished reading Robert Palmer’s (not THAT Robert Palmer) “Deep Blues”, I wanted share a passage with you. As part of an interview in 1974 with Rolling Stone, Clapton told a story about getting dropping some acid before hitting the stage with The Dominoes. Every time he played a bluesy lick his guitar turned into into rubber while the crowd turned into devils. When he played a sweet lick, the audience turned into angels. It was an that point he decided to clean up his act and play pop. Now I don’t begrudge anyone their sobriety or their right to play pop crap, I’m just wondering how Clapton gets all this credit for being a blues guy when he hasn’t played blues in 36 years?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Quinn Sullivan

If anyone was actually reading the entertainment section of The Boston Herald today you may have glanced at the article about young Quinn Sullivan the exceptionally young guitar prodigy out of New Bedford.

Certainly the boy must have chops, the great Buddy Guy probably doesn’t just call in favors for anyone...however just call me suspicious and dubious. Part of being a great in blues music is taking on a protege. Curtis took on Jake & Elwood Blues helping shape their sound, Junior Kimbrough helped both shape Richard Johnston & Jason Ricci, Charley Patton even helped shape Howlin’ Wolf.....

It’s just every time I hear of an exceptionally young blues act hit the scene, I get a leery. Having been force fed stories on how good The Homemade Jamz Blues Band was, I got a chance to listen to the material myself and it sounded just like I expected it to sound. Three kids playing 1-IV-V progressions and mimicking the blues as their gimmick. The Blues require a certain lifestyle which is awful hard to imitate, either you have it or you don’t. At 18 or 19, you probably don’t have it.

I wish young Quinn the best. Clearly if Mavis Staples, BB King and Buddy Guy think you are worthy to join them on stage there has got to be some talent there. Also he’s a local kid from ‘New Beige’, so there is some material on those streets....but I just can’t help think this is going to be another Homemade Jamz Blues Band schtick, and that is just too bad.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Just a little bit more

  • I have got to admit, having been to Phoenix before I found it to be a complete soulless city without a drop of any character what-so-ever. When Hooters and a lousy sterile baseball stadium are your best forms of downtown entertainment, it is time to make some drastic changes. Real drastic changes....However now that I am listening to Big Pete Pearson, the “King of the Phoenix Blues” maybe there is something good in Phoenix ( That man is an old-school shouter, a MONSTER! Check out the BBS Web site some time in the future for a full review. Hats off to Vizztone Records for making this disk happen. It never ceases to amaze me how deserving acts can not get a record contract while The Black Keys and The White Stripes get treated like they’re the 2nd coming....
  • The older I get, the more I seem to connect with Dr. Cox from Scrubs.
  • I have recently been called “unhinged” and a “smart ass” from two people I have an awful lot of respect for, and oddly enough I took both remarks as compliments.
  • Still no word from Paul Mark about a Massachusetts show booked either on the way up or down from the White Mountains Blues Fest
  • George Carlin was right. “The House of Blues... They oughtta call it the house of lame, white mf’ers”.
  • I turn 35 in less than 7 days. At 30 I was in Camden Yards getting rained out of a Red Sox vs. O’s game, this year I will be at work. WTF?

Real Quick Hit

Just a real quick hit for today.

  • The Stubbies are playing and hosting an open mic at Jakes BBQ in Waltham tonite. All musicians welcome to come on down and jam! Jakes 220 Moody Street, Waltham MA. Starts at 9:15. $1 beers all night!
The Stubbies normally play an opening set and then come back in throughout the night helping along other acts. I encourage you to check them out, bring your instrument or just go down and hear some good tunes.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Quick Hits

  • I am pleased to announce The Boston Blues, Brews & BBQ blog has received the blessings of one Ms. Karen Nugent, President of the Boston Blues Society. Thanks Karen. I promise I won’t embarrass you with the blog anymore than my normal contributions to the BBS.

  • I am pleased so say I have recently heard from Scottie "Mad Dog" Blinn of the Mississippi Mudsharks and Double Barrel Records...

“It's been awhile. Hope you are doing well. Hey, the Mississippi Mudsharks ( have a new CD out "Voodoo Doll". I also just produced a CD for Joey Harris (formerly of the Beat Farmers)...”

I’m looking forward to hearing the new Mississippi Mudsharks material for some good and greasy biker blues.

  • Great game pitched by Roy Halladay against my hometown 9, however I am kicking myself for not checking out my roster in my Fraternity Baseball League

  • I am still in the process of locking down a date with Kitt Cox of The Farm Bar & Grille in Essex. Kitt runs a “Thursday Blues & Brews Acoustic Open Mic” at The Farm that I have heard real good things about. Make sure to check on The Boston Blues Society site for a future feature.

and that is all for now....check back for more.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Quick Hits

Today’s offering is a bulletin from the local music scene;

  • Andre’ Ruest, former bass player from the band Grooveworks dropped me a line to say he wishes his other band mates nothing but the best and he hopes they had a great show at The Grog ( last night. Andre’ recently decided to leave Grooveworks ( to spend more time with his family.
  • I have to admit, this one even stumped me and I am a self professed baseball junkie. If the lower portion of a stair case is referred to as the ‘Bottom of the Staircase’ then why isn’t the portion of a baseball inning when the away team is up called ‘the Top of the Inning’
  • Blind Billy of Blind Billy & The Spectacles ( encourages everyone in the area to check out Blind Billy & The Spectacles playing the new Stone Soup in Ipswich, MA. A rare ‘home gig’ for Blind Billy at a new location;

    Saturday July 18
    Stone Soup ‘All New Ipswich Location’
    9 P.M. - 12 A.M.
    141 High Street (close to the High School)
    Ipswich, MA
    No Cover Charge

“Anytime you can get T-Model Ford to dance to your set including to a cover his own song ‘Chickenhead Man’.. and Kent Burnside & Kenny Brown get up and move to your version of an RL Burnside's "See What My Buddy Done"'s a damn good time! -- Deep Blues Festival has been coming soon (hopefully)!”

Me thinks there is a chance there will be QUITE a few pictures which will not be available to share.

  • Is it me, or does Michael Jackson’s white female face stage resemble a certain Supreme Court Justice nominee?

  • Yours truly has a standing invitation from Kitt Cox at “The Farm” in Essex to check out their Thursday Night Blues & Brews open mic. Kitt has a unique setup in this new upscale watering hole. A weekly featured act comes in and ‘Sings for their supper’ performing an opening set, after that the mic is turned over to anyone looking to perform. I have heard real good things about the open mic, Kitt and The Farm. I am looking forward to checking this one out, potentially this Thursday
  • Johnny B of The Coup DeVille band checks in to remind Merrimac Valley Blues Musicians there is a weekly blues jam at The Roma in Bradford, MA. The guys from Coup DeVille split the hosting duties with The Stubbies. Check it out.
  • I would like to wish Matthew Stubbs the best mojo possible. It sounds like Matt will be making a major financial buy in the coming week/months. Good luck Stubbie!
"(Funky) Sex Farm" is hysterical. Someone should drop the 'Spinal Tap' movie into time capsule now.
  • Finally the self promotion machine;
    • Georgetown Fats & The Growlers - Half Loaded Trio
    • Live! July 25th, 2009 @ The Rockpond in Georgetown

8:00 to 11:30 PM performing an evening of acoustic music

“Georgetown Fats turns 35!, Bring Gifts!”