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Hudson River Blues BBQ!



This past Saturday was the Hudson River Blues BBQ on Pier 26. The line up featured the Otis Taylor Band, Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens, Jarekus Sinlgeton, Vaneese Thomas, and the Ed Palermo Big Bad ft. Jimmy Vivino and Felix Cabrera. Folks walked the length of the pier to find BBQ tents by Mighty Quinn, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, Butcher Bar, and Brother Jimmy's BBQ-- who together ladened the salty breeze with sweet smoke that almost turned vegetarian-me into carnivorous epicurean. Fortunately my appetite for good blues had a hankering stronger than that of my stomach, I stayed the whole day without giving in to temptation with the help of lemonade from Brother Jimmy's and my ears gripped the pleading guitar lines. Jakerus Singleton was a fabulous surprise. After Shelton's chair-rockin' gospel set Singleton brought us his Mississipi roots: a guitar-heavy electric set that screamed of Freddy King, Hendrix, and Santana, all of which I typically think of as sustain-meisters with well-bodied instruments. Singleton however plays an armature of a solidbody, a custom Clevenger. Vaneese Thomas (the daughter of Stax artist Carl Thomas) played a deep set of classics that really brought the Chicago out of us New Yorkers (--she's from Memphis, "where all the GOOD musicians come from!) The set I was most curious about was the big band billed last with the promise of a Mike Bloomfield tribute. I was not initially sold on what a jazz orchestration of Electric Flag, Paul Butterfield, and Buddy Miles could offer. By the time they let out the first few notes of "Killing Floor" I was out of my seat and letting the grooves travel from waist to finger tip. Ed Palermo took on the cascading organ parts combined with the small horn parts we're accustomed to on the Bloomfield records and gave them to the larger horn/wind section. The big band married the harmonic and Jimmy Vivino's (guitarist, Conan) les paul cries perfectly. Check out the album Electric Butter to see what I'm talking about. 
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