The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue gets its name from two of its major sponsors, which of course are the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise and Blues Revue magazine (other sponsors include BluesWax, XM Radio's Bluesville Radio Show, The Blues Foundation, Soul Fixin' Foundation, and Blind Pig Records). It's being billed as the "Blues Cruise on Land" and is not only sponsored by, but Mr. Blues Cruise himself, Roger Naber, is also hosting it. The idea of the whole thing is to present to us land lubbers a taste of what goes on at the all-night-long pro jams that take place all seven nights on the cruise.
The tour, which only consists of ten dates, opened Wednesday January 24 in Ft. Lauderdale where the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise had just docked, ending yet another sold-out sailing. The lineup is made up of a group of stellar musicians who were onboard for this year's festivities. The star-studded lineup consisted of headliners Tommy Castro, Magic Dick, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Deanna Bogart. They each took turns fronting members of Tommy Castro's tremendous band, which consists of Keith Crossan on sax, Chris Sandoval on drums, and Scot Sutherland on bass, and multiple compilations of the stars.
Castro and the guys, joined by Bogart on sax and piano, opened the show. Needing absolutely no warm up, they were peaking the minute they started playing. A rippin' version of "A Good Fool Is Hard To Find" had this Blues thirsty crowd knowing they were in for the time of their lives this evening. In between some old and new material, Castro did a version of Buddy Guy's "I Get A Strange Feeling" that was reminiscent and equal to in quality of Guy in his prime.
As Bogart took over, everyone but the drummer took a one-song break. She and Chris Sandoval then tore into a good old boogie-woogie instrumental that had everyone in the place chair dancin'. A couple of highlights of Bogart's performance highlights included her on vocals, sax, and piano on a real crowd pleaser called "You Got What It Takes" (and she sure does!) and her blowing a very deep and sultry sound through her tenor sax on a track that I believe was called "I Want You."
Next up was Magic Dick. Having seen everyone on the bill before, except him, I was in awe. Taking the stage in a black leather jacket with all black clothes, wearing his dark, small-circumference glasses, and sporting a tight, short afro it appears as if Magic Dick can't figure out which decade he's stuck in - the '50s, the '60s, or the '70s. Nevertheless, this evening he was the most charismatic character to take the stage. I was having fun just witnessing the fun he was having. And this was all just from watching him take the stage! His playing was a whole other story. He tore up the place on a track called "Pontiac Blues" and then cracked up the place on a song called the "No Sleepingest Woman." Of course he ended his stint with "Whammer Jammer," drawing an absolutely frantic ovation from the crowd. With a lineup like this to say that Magic Dick stole the show would be a lie, but for this audience member he was certainly a highlight amongst highlights.
The last of the headliners to take the stage was the "Crown Prince of Chicago Blues," Ronnie Baker Brooks. With all due respect to all of the evening's performers, it appeared that as soon as Brooks started playing things stepped up a notch. Brooks' entire set was a highlight as he put on his usual scorching act, which always features lots of blistering guitar. As this last set of the evening came to a close everyone was back on stage and an all-out, free-for-all jam ensued. When it came to an end the crowd would not stand for it.
A twenty-minute encore, which included local guitarist Steve Thorpe (the Space Coast Blues Society's representative at the 2007 International Blues Challenge), was total mayhem. Guitar players and sax players were goin' at each other toe to toe the way Ali and Frazier did at the "Thrilla in Manila." Some say that was the greatest fight of all time and in this viewer's eyes and ears this was the greatest encore of all time. When it was all said and done, another curtain call was not even asked for. This audience knew that would have been like asking Michelangelo to repaint the Sistine Chapel.
After having had several new owners during the past year or so, things seem to finally be falling back into place at the BLUE NOTE CAFE. New owner FRANK ECKLES, obviously determined to get the club back to the level it once enjoyed, is rapidly succeeding. Several trips there in the past few weeks have been completely enjoyable and I'm looking forward to once again making the club a regular hang out for myself and all of my blues friends.
The club, located at 201 US Hwy 1, in Jupiter, FL is now open 6 nights a week and features live music Wed - Sat, and here's the great part - it's mostly BLUES. This particular night featured TERRY HANCK, the very soulful, bluesy, funky, jazzy, swingin' saxophonist / singer extraordinaire. TERRY is the master of versatility.
Originally from the Southern California area, TERRY recently relocated to Riviera Beach. He has kept his old band intact and continues to tour the world on a very regular basis. However, between tours, when he's back home here in Florida, he loves to play the local clubs and has assembled another outstanding band made up of some of the areas best players. Joining TERRY tonight were guitarist J P SOARS, Bassist A J KELLY, drummer CHRIS PEET and keyboardist GREG KINGSOLVER.
All the hooting and hollering coming from this very attractive, 35ish to 60ish huge crowd, made it quite evident that the band was a hit. Playing mostly originals from his CD's, "I KEEP ON HOLDIN' ON" and "NIGHT TRAIN", TERRY and the guys kept the energetic crowd, led by his wife VERA, constantly on the dance floor.
Having an early Sunday commitment, the Blewzzlady and I were only able to catch the first set. However, the set lasted 90 minutes and it smoked. As we were leaving, many others were just arriving. I'm sure the house stayed packed and I'm very sure it stayed rockin' till the end of the night.
Make sure you check out the BLUE NOTE CAFE, you can check out the schedule at.. www.bluenotecafepb.com/ and make sure you check out TERRY HANCK, you can check his schedule at.. www.terryhanck.net/. Be sure to tell them PETE THE BLEWZZMAN sent ya.