Monday, July 30, 2007

That was odd...

I've wracked (sp?) my brain attempting to fathom the situation, but there are only a few possible explanations for what occured at the Double-Diamond in Ellicottville this past Friday night:

1) The people in Ellicottville are abnormally friendly

2) The people in Ellicottville are exceptionally starved for quality entertainment

3) I've got the Kavorka...

Hard as it is to accept, I'm leaning towards number three.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

Etta James Hospitalized

She had some type of abdominal surgery and was forced to cancel a major portion of her tour.

Here's a link with scant info:

"Get Well, Get Well Soon, We Want You To Get Well!"

God Bless, Get Well, & Good Blues ,


Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Close Shave and Mighty Summer Update Number Two

I’ve been told that people want to read more personal things on artist’s blogs, rather than simply news and promo stuff. “A glimpse into your world,” they said. Why don’t you try this one on for size then. If the view frightens you, imagine being me:

God preserved my life last night, and for that I’m truly grateful…

I’m riding my Yamaha Zuma home from rehearsal see, and I’m heading down a deserted but mainline road, on which I have the right-of-way and a green light. I’m traveling well within the speed limit, by the way…

Up on my left, I see a van on a side-street waiting to enter the main drag. There’s just the two of us on the road, mind you. As I enter the intersection, at the last possible second, this guy pulls out at a pretty decent speed on a straight-up T-bone collision course with me and my little 50 cc bike. I have no “headroom” (either geographically or with the throttle) to get out of the way. They say your life flashes before your eyes when you are about to die. Mine did, but in an unexpected way—not a chronological, panoramic view; but all I could think of was my wife and kids and unborn child. “Jesus!” No time for complicated prayers.

One second I’m about to be either crushed or sent 10-20 blocks down the road; the next, I’m just a fraction ahead of van-guy. Heart pounding, I look behind me and he just drives off… I hesitate for a second, then turn and follow him. Understand, I was completely peaceful and not angry at all at this time. I was just grateful to be alive. It’s not that I’m incapable of road-rage (just ask Mrs. Juke), and if any event ever warranted it, it was the heinous maneuver of van-guy, but I wasn’t upset. I simply thought he should know (just in case he didn’t) that he almost killed someone with his vehicle.

I follow him around a few blocks as he drives home. I boldly ride up his driveway waiting for him to get out of his car. He hesitates, then opens the door, probably expecting an irate rider and some kind of physical altercation. A gentleman that I would estimate to be between the age of 65-70 emerges; older, but not frail by any means (maybe a former Navy man or Marine or something). I say—“Listen, I’m not gonna yell, I just want to encourage you to really pay attention while you’re driving at night. I’ve got a wife and kids and you almost creamed me.” (Honest, just as calmly as I typed it right here)…

“And where did you come from?” he asks, pretty unrepentant and cocky. I say “From the street I was riding on, minding my own business, with my bright headlamp on, the right-of-way, and a green light.”

“You were going at a pretty good clip, too.” Still unrepentant. Now, I don’t know how many of you are familiar with the Yamaha Zuma, but it is not a Suzuki, Ducati, Kawasaki, or a Harley. It is a motor-scooter that is capable of great speed (in Europe and Japan). Here in the good-old U.S. of A., the engine and exhaust are artificially restricted. I can make 55 miles an hour, coming down a really big hill, with an extreme tail-wind at my back, on a really good day. I was riding well within the established speed limit. But the point is lost on van-guy. Attitude and voice rising with piqued modulation, he finally ends with “What do you want me to say?” (“SORRY” would have been nice, but obviously not in van-guy’s vocabulary). I wonder if he leaves “Peace Prints?” “Thanks for your concern,” I say, as I ride off into the night, wondering when he’s actually going to kill someone with that vehicle… I live to sing for you another day, members of the No-Star Nation, no thanks to night-blind van-guy…

On a more pleasant note:

Last weekend’s gigs were a blast. Saturday night we played at the Buffalo Yacht Club’s annual regatta opposite the Outer Circle Orchestra. I know a bunch of these guys—like our old-friend and part-time No-Star Reggie Evans, Andrew Case (The Great Train Robbery), Mike Reid (Maria Aurigema, The Electras) and John Allen (he may not remember me, but he used to play with some of my friends like Jim and Paul, and I have a tape of a little jazz trio we did with John on sax, myself on drums, and “Commander Alexander” on bass). West African drumming virtuoso M’Baye is also still with the OCO. (Editor’s note—When M’Baye first came to Buffalo from Africa about 20 years ago, before he joined the OCO, he was putting together an Afro-Pop band, and I jammed with him and some friends of mine. M’Baye said—“Gregg is an excellent drummer, but the other guy has a van.” Thus ended my career in Afro-Pop). Anyway, these guys are tight, a riot to listen to, and cover all of the hip grooves, if you’re into African or Latin or Worldbeat music. Check them out if you get the chance. We had a great time at the BYC; big shout-out to Don Wharfe who hooked us up with some seriously tasty chicken on the hospitality side…

After the gig, I stopped by to check-out Speedy Parker’s last set (last song, actually). Then paid a visit to Joanne at the Queen City Grill, but I was too late to see the band; they were already packing up.

Sunday, we played to a capacity crowd in Orchard Park. Thanks to all of the folks on the OP town committee for making things great, and especially to Don Lambrusco (OP sound-tech and keyboardist for the Boys of Summer) for getting us out of a technical jam in time to start the show as scheduled! Also thanks to Mark from Speedy's band for coming out to the OP show to say "hi."

Congratulations go out to our good friend JJ Moscato, and his bride Carla. JJ was married last weekend, and is always looking for a way to get out of a gig…

Upcoming events and news—We’ll be at the Blue Monday concert series in Lewiston on August 20th, followed by the second “Wild On The Water” cruise on the Miss Buffalo II (to support the SPCA Wildlife Department) on Sunday the 26th (Tickets are still available!). Other gig news available at the home website or at our My Space page (an update is coming soon—promise).

Watch for Joel Thomas on an upcoming episode of “Crossroads” on Adelphia 13, and listen for me on another installment of “Just Me and the Dog” with Dale Campbell on WJJL 1440 AM.

By the way, please feel free to call 107.7 The Lake, or WBFO 88.7 (Blues on the weekends with Jim Santella, Debbie Sims, and Anita West), and request Mighty No-Stars’ music. C’mon, it’s fun and won’t cost you a dime, but would make us, in the words of the great John Werrick, “Eternally grateful.”…

This coming weekend, we’re in Ellicottville Friday night at the Double-Diamond (9-1), followed by the “Sea-Serpent Balloon Festival” in Perry, N.Y. on Saturday from 12-2. Take a ride down to the southtowns this weekend; the weather will be fine, and the music will be extraordinary.

Don’t forget, our new CD (“Blues Power”) is still available, as is “WBFO Gives Me The Blues, Vol. II.” AND, “WBFO Gives Me The Blues, Vol. III” is now available from the station. Pick-up your copies today.

And for Heaven’s sake, watch where you’re going out there, especially at night……

God Bless & Good Blues (and you’d better wear your helmet),