The Narrows - Navarre, MN
April 24, 2001
Three blues nights in April started out at the Narrows out Lake Minnetonka way with the godfather of Austin, Texas blues, W.C. Clark. Clark, who has been a mainstay of the Austin blues scene for more decades than he cares to remember is the coauthor of the SRV song, Cold Shot. Vaughan also happened to play in one of Clarks bands during the early 70s. W.C. The 60 year old Clark (Wesley Curley Clark) is a performer who serves up a seamless assortment of smooth Memphis soul and hard Texas blues with stops along the way in Chicago back alleys, country juke joints and all points in between.
The first time I heard Clark's first two Black Top albums, "Heart of Gold" and the 1996 W.C. Handy award winning "Texas Soul," I fell in love with his voice. Here was a man with southern soul vocals and the kind of blues guitar playing I can listen to all night long-a great combination. He will be back in town later this fall promoting his soon to be released new album (in the meantime you can listen to his most recent CD, Lover's Plea).
400 Bar - Minneapolis, MN
April 25, 2001
Night two was the long awaited return of Lucky Peterson. With the periodic discussions coming up on "young" blues performers it is interesting to note that Peterson was one of those "baby" blues performers who was playing keyboards practically before he could walk. Peterson could be called a legitimate child prodigy and he gained nation wide exposure after a number or television appearances. This show at the 400 was a treat because it was his first appearance in town in more than 8 years (there was some debate on this with a knowledgeable fan saying it had been a dozen years and Lucky saying it had been about 8 years). It doesn't really matter except it has been too long.
Lucky Peterson is one of those performers who leaves you with a good feeling whenever you see him play. With his seemingly unbounded energy, ready smile and exciting playing (on both the keyboards and guitar), Lucky kept the packed room on the edge of their seats there entire night. It is fun to watch someone get that involved in his playing. Friend, Bernard Allison joined him on stage for some duets later in the show. And an added bonus was the inclusion in Lucky's band of stellar guitar player Rico McFarland. When Rico's fingers hit the strings, everyone else can just sit down and watch a master take over. Peterson is touring on the release of his new album, Double Dealin'. Here is what reviewer Gordon Baxter had to day about his album and it pretty much sums up this performance, "Double Dealin'…is in a different class, and is easily one of the best albums of the year so far."
Alvin Youngblood Hart
400 Bar - Minneapolis, MN
April 26, 2001
The third night in a row of some very good blues! I had seen Alvin several years ago at the Whole Coffeehouse in Coffman Union at the U of MN playing solo acoustic-he was phenomenal. Tonight, however, was all electric with his full band. It was electric "and" eclectic. Hart is not constrained by any "blues" boundaries and his excursions into deep delta blues, country, reggae, rock, Caribbean rhythms, and alternative rock makes for a very unusual and highly entertaining evening of music. Hart also came prepared with a rack of 5 different electric guitars and one lap steel guitar. And he used them all demonstrating why he is considered one of the exceptional guitar players on the circuit today.
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