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Live Review
WBABlues & Brews Festival
June 27, 1998
by Ted Pappacena
Saturday June 27, 1998 was the day for the 3rd annual WBAblues & Brews Festival held in the Brookhaven Amphitheater at Bald Hill in Brookhaven L I. It was a beautiful day, partly sunny and HOT. The music was hot too.

I arrived a bit late and missed the first 3 bands. Actually, a power failure cut short a set by Cadillac Moon. Way to go LIPA (great segue from LILCO)! Cadillac Moon has a song in the recent movie Devil's, Advocate featuring Al Pacino. I was wondering why only the drummer was playing. There are no drum solos in the blues that I know of and I thought that they went out in the early 70s too.

Little Buster
June 27, 1998
Photo © 1998 by Ted Pappacena. All rights reserved
The clouds parted for another local L I blues band, Little Buster and the Soul Brothers. They played a spirited set of blues, r&b, and rock & roll. There was good sax, an organ and a solid rythem section. Little Buster played fluent solos, and at times sparred with his equally fluent rythem guitarist. A great set was enjoyed by all.

After a break to change equipment (which seemed to take too long), out came Govt Mule. This band features Warren Haynes formerly with the Allman Bros Band. This power trio rocks! Warren is a very versatile guitarist playing everything from straight ahead rock to slow crunching blues. There were plenty of extended jams. At one point, he said that since this is a blues festival, we should play the blues (good idea!). The band then went into a jamming version of Elmore James' "It Hurts Me Too." There was plenty of dazzling fretwork and slide. Did I mention that they were LOUD? They really kicked ass. Listening to WUSB Stony Brook a few months ago right before my last blues radio show at the same station, Ed Davis played a cut from their latest cd "Dose," called "John The Revelator." This cut is a traditional arraingment of an old song with plenty of slide and slow drumming. I was hoping to hear that, but they leaned towards blues rock. All in all they put on a great show.

The crowd went wild for the show's closer and top head liner, Jimmie Vaughan. After another lengthy set up and a rain shower, Jimmie and his new band consisting of a rhythem guitarist who at times shared blistering leads with Jimmie, a piano, 3 wild back up singers, and Bill "Lean On Me" Withers on the Hammond B3. By the way, the back up singers were like the 60s r&b reviews on steroids.

Jimmie Vaughan
June 27, 1998
Photo © 1998 by Ted Pappacena. All rights reserved
Jimmie set the place on fire. He rocked at times but he played the blooze too. "Boom Bop A Boom" from his first solo CD, Six Strings Down, and a blistering "Texas Flood" highlighted the set. He also did a few new songs from his latest release called "Out There." Not using a pick, there was plenty of finger picking and heavy rhythem with the piano and organ. The crowd had as good a time as the band seemingly had putting on the show. They were clearly having fun. After 2 encores that spot lighted the band's various abilities, the festival came to a close.

Jimmie carries a lot of baggage with the legacy of SRV but to his credit, he carries it well. Some in the crowd kept yelling "Stevie" and "Rock N Roll" but he kept them at bay with a few obligatory SRV tunes and a good mix of his originals, blues and rock. It was also noted that there was a lack of Fabulous Thunderbirds material in the set. He is a true legend and being very close to the stage, made it all the more an up-close and personal experience.

Copyright © 1998 by Ted Pappacena, all rights reserved.

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Copyright © 1998 by Ray M. Stiles
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