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THE STATE OF THE BLUES AT 75
Written By: Stone Scruggs
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THE STATE OF THE BLUES AT 75
Lower Case Blues (ca. 2012) - Paul, BJ & Jake.
     One of my favorite Pet Shop Boys (at the risk of showing my age (not that I care- I’m 44 and unashamed)) songs is "I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing".  I wouldn't normally - well hell, I never - go out on weekends, specifically Fri/Sat.  I party Mon- Thurs and as Aerosmith sang in 77, u must Draw The Line somewhere, right? I have waited a year for Lower Case Blues to gig outside of hobo during the week. Scanning their schedule, it just ain’t happenin’. So I must let you know the virtuoso trio brought their talented (understatement) asses to Maryland, finally, last weekend. Well, Saturday anyway, to my favorite local brewpub Burley Oak in Berlin. BTW anyone still accenting the second syllable? You are wrong.  It is BERlin, Maryland. As to distinguish us from that Nazi city. No, I have not forgotten. And I will never forgive.
    Lower Case Blues is Jake Banaszek on guitar, BJ Muntz on bass, and Paul Weik on drums. The former can be spoken of in the same breath as SRV. The front man, the late great Jack Bruce. The drummer - and I know from whence I speak here (admittedly knowing nothing about how to play strings) -   wields a four piece as well as any that has ever sat behind one.  Yes, they are that godamn good. They play pretty much all the time, check lowercaseblues.net. Full report pending, as soon as they come on down to OC...or play a weekday gig here. Locals work weekends! In the meantime go to Spotify for their latest, Own Time, their fourth. "No Good Reason" is about as good as anything that has ever come from Delmarva. Lower Class Citizens excepted of course.
    If you want to be mindblown by musicianship, check this trio. I won’t as they don’t play my area weekdays. But Im waiting.
    Speaking of waiting, among the best tracks ever recorded was "I Am Waiting", by The Rolling Stones, in March 1966. Yes, I actually typed that: one of the tracks you must, as one who respects music, and why else would you be here, hear before you die - is that eerie Aftermath number that I mentioned before (a couple weeks ago...I don’t remember, you’ve been reading this space, you tell me).  This is significant because, as we continue to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of 1966, we celebrate not only Bob Dylan's 75th birthday, but my man Charlie Watts!
    Anybody who knows anything about drums respects this cat as the...well hell, his rep precedes him. Most dignified man in music...yes, ALL music. Not the best drummer, just the classiest. Has been since 1962...a year before he joined MicknKeef. Everybody knows Keith Richards as the most elegantly wasted rocker but who can forget how discreetly Mister Watts was wasted (heroin? alcohol? I can be classy too...no speculation forthcoming) in the eighties? Bill Wyman famously stated that Keef is so venerated as the coolest cat in rock; but anyone who has attempted to deal with a junkie will tell u how exasperating it is. Watts was a pro. I’m not a good drummer. I have played for thirty years. I suck ‘cause I can’t play like Charlie when I try. It ain't simple to be simple, despite what Ringo says. BTW, luckiest cat in musical history. Kept a beat.
    So did Peter Criss.
    We celebrate one 75, mourn another.
    Like Led Zeppelin? Soft Machine? Jethro Dull (sorry)? Television? Fairport Convention fiddler Dave Swarbrick died this week at 75. Like The Byrds? The Band? Pentangle? The Mamas And Papas? Joni Mitchell? King Crimson?! Blood Ceremony? If you don’t know who they are, shame.  Go to Spotify.
    But, of course, you love Fairport Convention ‘cause you are an enlightened Sonic Notes reader, and tanx for that.
    Brick came aboard for Fairport's fourth album, and last to feature birdvoiced singer/guitarist/keyboardist Sandy Denny, Liege And Lief. This era (69-71) was so Brick prolific I can’t do it justice in this edition of Sonic Notes. In the meantime, go back and listen to Liege And Lief, Full House, and Angel Delight. But for the non obscurantist... again, Led Zeppelin 3. Masters Of Reality.  Blood Ceremony.
 
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