Monday, January 24, 2011

Travelin' Light with James King and The Southsiders

Billy Spaulding is the one who told me about it. I ran into him at Elmer's Pub in Burien, appearing with the Tim Turner Band a couple weeks ago. Billy told me he had a gig the next night out in Maple Valley at Gloria's, performing with James King's new band, "JAMES KING & the SOUTHSIDERS." Just like that, I am on the scent of adventure; lured to the edge of metropolis to bring back news of a hot new band on the Northwest Blues horizon. You know when James King is involved, it's going to sizzle.

Here's what James had to say about his new group: "I've been lucky to have been in some great bands over the last 35 years, as a front man and a side man. Now, I'm fortunate again to have four excellent players who believe in my ability to conduct a party. Arlin Harmon is the best piano and organ player I've ever heard and he's in my freaking band!! All we want to do is make some people happy if they stumble upon us and play the best possible music together that we can."

What I immediately appreciated was the less beaten-into-the-ground selection of tunes, meaning I got to hear some obscure classics many folks are not familiar with...yet. Fun stuff, swinging, danceable and upbeat. "Heart and Soul to You," by Mitch Woods, "Reconsider Baby" by Lowell Fulson, and "Sick and Tired," were on my favorites list. I highly recommend this new band for your entertainment.

JAMES KING & the SOUTHSIDERS: Steve Blood, guitars; Billy Spaulding, drums and vocals; Dave Berry, bass; Arlin Harmon, keyboards; and Jim King, sax, harp and vocals. Oh yeah, the new CD, probably not ready for a couple months, but they are working hard and really excited about it. The album's cover art by Ian Weintraub, sets the stage for a whole lotta fun to come.

Be sure to say hello if you see me, I'll be Travelin' Light.

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