REVIEWS | FESTIVALS
The BM! Round-up of live blues
Blind Lemon Peel (David Hale) by Rebecca Bogdanoff
AIN’T NOTHIN LIKE THE BLUES LONG BEACH BLUES FESTIVAL 2ND AND 3RD SEPTEMBER2017
Can cure what ails you. Make it right. Has a way of reaching down inside you and moving stuff around, if you let it. Heart beats. Thoughts. Emotions. Ideas. Can put things in perspective. Feel bad to feel good. Feel goodback to melancholy. Hopes. Needs. Wants. Some satisfaction even.
Reality. That last thing can be a mother of a wakeup call. Can be a reminder that, my brother, you are one blessed dude. That you have choices. Embrace it. You can choose to be positive. Or you can choose to wallow in your own bullshit, which has always been an option for me, anyway.
None of it’s guaranteed. But if you open your ears, and your soul, you just might get a little.
I did, couple of weekends ago. Saddled up and journeyed across country to the New Blues Festival – formerly the Long Beach Blues Festival – and acted as if I belonged there, me and my guitar and blues hat. And soon enough, thanks to reconnecting with two dear friends, soul mates who I jammed with and did gigs with a couple of decades ago in downtown New York City joints, I got some.
A lot, actually. Lived in The City, that city, for 35 years, some of it in Manhattan and most all of it in the advertising business. Along the way I hooked up with a one-of-a-kind bro, David Hale, a talented, creative writer who had an even bigger jones for the blues than I did, and that’s sayin a lot for a couple of white boys.
He brings me in to his band, to play bass. He already has a knack for attracting genuine talented musicians to play for him (me being the possible exception …), and back-up singers, and a year into a fabulous first crew (pictured above) he draws on a personality he’s been carrying around inside his own self. And Blind Lemon Peel is born. And damned if he doesn’t get Joel Diamond on keys – who toured with the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton! Steve Burgh, guitar, who recorded two albums with Billy Joel – and Richard Crooks, whodrummedwithDoctorJohn for 9 years, to join the band!
Seriously. And he has mercy on me and I get to keep on keepin on – in the band!
Brother David brings a unique perspective to the blues. More like electric ChicagoRhythm&Blues. The rhythm that is the blues. Wry senseofhumor.He’saperformer as much as he’s a singer. He is Blind Lemon Peel. Says it all. And it’s totally original stuff he writes, and arranges – and it would have to be from a character, who calls himself Blind LemonPeel.Moreoftenthan not he’s outside the typical 1-4-5 blues chord thing for arrangements that say you better pay attention ‘cause we’re bustin’ outside the box. Whatever that box be…
Lot of it’s about … women. Good times. Truth. Yeah, truth. None of that clichéd “my baby left me” blues stuff for BLP. He wails on tunes he writes himself, like …Marry My Money Again, Don’t Tear My Clothes, Wear What I Please, I’m So Horny (the crack of dawn ain’t safe), No Time
CELEBRATING BLUES FOR 20 YEARS
ISSUE 100 BLUES MATTERS! 117