OMN 31 May 2022

Skip's Review - Tuesday 31 May 2022

 by Skip Landy 

Gary McKay opened the proceedings with "Diving Duck Blues", "Statesboro Blues" and "2-19 Blues" before "Goodnight Irene"and then "Makin' Whoopee". Gary brings his talents as a story teller to the forefront, and combined with his sparse but unique arrangements makes compelling listening. 

Making his first appearance was Pat Curley from Hobart, and for me the highlight of the evening. Playing songs from some of the slide blues masters such as Blind Willie Johnson and Mississippi Fred McDowell, he played deftly and sang  baritone whilst providing visual and rhythmic rewards with his infectious toe tapping. His finale, Ry Cooder's arrangement of "Crow Black Chicken" was absolutely delightful.  Please come back again. 

Here we have enjoyed two totally contrasting solo artists who are rooted in the folk/blues music from the acoustic era before World War II. 

Next up were the Cordon Bleus (this time in the form of an instrumental guitar, bass and drums trio) playing tunes from the early 1960's jazz repertoire, but heavily influenced by the blues.

First the smooth minor blues "Stolen Moments", quickly followed by John Coltrane's "Wise One" which was not chordally what one may expect to be a blues, but fitted the twelve bar structure.

They finished with a wonderful rendition of Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking "Ramblin'".

Mr Coleman has always been identified as belonging to the Free Jazz/Avant Garde genre, but find somebody more steeped in the blues from Texas as Ornette is. Please! 

Swamp Rats were up next, and they introduced us to the music of Madeleine Peroux, and Finland's Ina Forsman. Lead singer Frankie brings strong and confident vocals to the table assisted by two guitars, bass and drums with a little keyboard thrown in. Frankie and the boys also rocked the house with Koko Taylor's "Never Trust a Man" and that old chestnut, Gary Moore's "Walking By Myself" 

Finishing up the evening Kate Meehan and Skip Landy paid tribute to Bonnie Raitt with two of Bonnie's early masterpieces "I Feel the Same" and "Finest Lovin' Man". They were ably assisted by Manny and Andy on bass and drums respectively. This set was the closest thing to a jam for the evening as Andy and Manny were recruited just minutes before the set. 

Hopefully, with a little more communication between performing attendees, more ideas and hopes will be discussed, and eventually the jam will become more of an anticipated highlight of the Open Mic Nights. It is still early days.