Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Monthly Blues Bash - Hounds At Bay & The Moon Daddy Band

By Robert Horn
As Eric Steiner pointed out at the event, it used to be called a meeting, but now there is a great turn-out since the Washington Blues Society changed the name to “Blues Bash.” It was a couple hours of listening to music while drinking eating and talking to friends. So it is called a Blues Bash, which it is. Hey, it’s an easy job but somebody’s got to do it. Be there next month (it is always the 2nd Tuesday of each month and always at the same place, the Red Crane Restaurant in Shoreline).

We heard a band that most all of us never heard of before followed by another blues band that knocked us dead. Hounds at Bay started off with the classic blues song “Route 66” which many blues legends recorded as well as Bob Dylan. They did another song by someone talked about in the same sentence as Dylan later, and that was a song by Tom Waits. The voice of the singer sounded enough like Tom that it could have been a sobriety test to identify who was on stage (some people there passed the test I think).

This band broke some rules and won anyway. They had three guys playing guitar and singing and with the exception of one song, nobody played bass or drums. On one song a guitar player tied a string to a mop and played that as a bass. They did an old song popularized by The Kingston Trio, “Scotch and Soda” (so I had one; advertising works). They also did a gospel song that sounded about as good as some done by Blind Boys of Alabama. Later they did “Parchman Farm” followed by “Ruby” and a song called “Caffeine”. Hounds At Bay is Larrry Baumgartner, Steve Peterson, and James Nason.

Among the many announcements was one about how the J&M in Pioneer Square is once again playing a lot of blues including a blues jam every Sunday from 7-11 PM—let’s all go. Then free CD’s were handed out to the crowd as Tony Frederickson played the roll of Santa Claus on stage in September (OK, that is among the roles of Merchandise Director). The next band took over everyone’s hearts, minds, bodies…. The Moon Daddy Band features Jerry Cooper on drums, Dave Chavez on keys as well as vocals and guitar (yes he has 10 hands), Steve Schlecht on guitar and vocals too, Scott Gaylord on bass, and Rubin Chavez (yes related to Dave) on percussion. They performed the old blues classic “Caldonia” with Steve singing and it sounded as good or better than any other time I heard it. Not much later, Dave did a rendition of “Unchain My Heart” that was better than any performance of the song by anyone except for maybe Bill Mattocks who is the world’s master of that song). They did a number of other songs including “Mojo Rising” and I think my mojo rose during that song.
They performed songs by everyone from Santana to Walter Trout, and did several encores as the crowd of dancers on the floor demanded more and more and more. It is hard to believe that some people knew about this event and were not there. Those people must not have known that admission is free and you get free CDs just to show up. I know it sounds too good to be true, so come check it out and I will make a bet with you about whether you keep coming back.

See you next month at the Blues Bash!

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