Due to my ever present scheduling conflicts, it has been six years since I last saw Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets along with his legendary singer/harpman Sam Myers perform live. I have always enjoys Funderburgh's exceedingly smoooooth guitar and the crooning Myers, so I was really looking forward to seeing them on a bitterly cold Friday night at Famous Dave's in Uptown Minneapolis. Finding a parking spot during a Minneapolis snow emergency took over 30 minutes and I was relieved to find that Funderburgh and The Rockets, being the consummate road warriors, had found their way to Famous Dave's through the cold and snow from Rochester, Minnesota where they had performed the night before.
The entire restaurant/bar was packed virtually wall-to-wall and I was one of the patrons "lucky" enough to locate an obstructed view seat in the furthest back corner of the venue. When the crowd thinned out prior to the start of Funderburgh's second set, I was able to get a better look at one of the premier Dallas-based blues combos.
As is tradition with many blues acts with a featured performer, Funderburgh and The Rockets opened each set with an instrumental number dominated by Funderburgh's fluid Texas guitar. During the second number, Sam Myers slowly made his way to the front of the stage, dressed in a black suit with his harmonica belt strapped across his chest. The band played two nice sets that exemplified their smooth Texas style. Myers and Funderburgh were well supported by The Rockets including long time bassist J. P.
Whitefield, drummer Danny Cochran and John Street on piano and organ.
The band played a number of familiar songs from their latest recording Change In My Pocket, including the W. C. Handy Award winning title cut, along with some classic covers like "Let's Have A Natural Ball" and B.B. King's "Sweet Black Angel." The perfect collaboration between Sam and Anson was always apparent, especially on songs like "Talk To Me Baby" and "Monkey Around."
I can't say that I am happy about the fact that I had to wait six years to see Anson Funderburgh and The Rockets again, but I can safely say that the band offered everything I could have hoped for on Friday night at Famous Dave's. I definitely have no plans to wait so long to see them again!
This review is copyright © 2001 by Dave "Doc" Piltz, and Blues On Stage, all rights reserved. Copy, duplication or download prohibited without written permission. For permission to use this review please send an E-mail to Ray Stiles.
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