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A.G. Smith, mighty man, build a boat that he couldn't understand. Name it a name of god in a tin, middle of the sea, He bowled it in - Blind Willie Johnson, God Moves On The Water

Author Topic: The Curse of the Blues Brothers  (Read 3233 times)

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Offline eric

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2011, 04:36:58 PM »
Quote
one belligerent drunk started heckling me to play something by Elton John, who btw I truly loathe, when I told him I didn't know any he wanted to fight me.

A couple of observations here:  In the above situation, it seems clear that adding some variety to your repertoire is not going to help much...perhaps keeping your National Steel close by would be wise...

In my younger days, a girlfriend and I would go to a club south of Fresno to hear her brother's C&W band.  The owner had only one arm, and after you paid the cover, she would place your hand on her stump and stamp it with her one good arm, kind of setting the tone for the evening.  Invariably on Friday and Saturday nights there would be brawls; people rarely got hurt badly because it turns out that drunk cowboys are hopelessly bad fighters.  In any case, the musicians were, by an unspoken consensus, off limits.  So apparently night club etiquette has taken a turn for the worse.  I don't recall any requests for Elton John tunes...

  
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Eric

Offline Coyote Slim

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2011, 05:41:25 PM »

In my younger days, a girlfriend and I would go to a club south of Fresno to hear her brother's C&W band.  The owner had only one arm, and after you paid the cover, she would place your hand on her stump and stamp it with her one good arm, kind of setting the tone for the evening.  Invariably on Friday and Saturday nights there would be brawls; people rarely got hurt badly because it turns out that drunk cowboys are hopelessly bad fighters.  In any case, the musicians were, by an unspoken consensus, off limits.  So apparently night club etiquette has taken a turn for the worse.  I don't recall any requests for Elton John tunes...

  

Good story.  Whereabouts was that place?  "south of Fresno" is vague, but then not a whole lot of people know that area.

Pan -- keep playing bar gigs as long as you enjoy them.


Uncle Bud said <<one needs to distinguish between responses in this thread that are humorous (or in my case, flippant) and the more serious advice. Just as one would have to distinguish between different venues and environments, and between a genuine request for a specific blues tune that reflects an interest in what's being played (and perhaps made during a break), and somebody shouting out a request>>  and I agree  (of course, I have to say I'm surprised Uncle Bud is posting -- I heard he was dead.  But I guess he's just a goddamn liar, and was sick in bed).

 Learning how to deal with drunks is part of the musician's life.  The rest of the people in the audience are probably just as annoyed when some asshole yells out something obnoxious as the musician is.  The audience will appreciate it if the musician can tactfully deal with it.
Puttin' on my Carrhartts, I gotta work out in the field.

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Offline banjochris

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2011, 05:43:11 PM »
There's a local band that plays Django-style Gypsy jazz -- I happened upon them at a restaurant once, and asked them if they could play "Limehouse Blues." Not only did they look startled (and played the tune), but one of the guitarists went out of his way to thank me about a half-hour later for requesting something that was part of their milieu -- he said they usually got requests for Dylan.
Chris

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #33 on: January 26, 2011, 08:15:19 PM »
Thats why I always carry Popiels Leprosy in a can...just in case!
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline eric

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #34 on: January 26, 2011, 09:32:32 PM »
Coyote Slim asked:
Quote
Whereabouts was that place?

Slim, That would have been the De Marquis Club in Truck City.  But there were places like it all over the valley.
--
Eric

Offline sustaireblues

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2011, 06:28:48 AM »
Well, when most people think "blues", they mean "chicago blues", and of course the blues brothers were basically an homage or send-up of that style. I like that kind of blues, for about 20 minutes or so, and then it usually gets boring to me. Hold on, not saying that some of the "masters" of that are boring, mainly thinking about when I go to a "blues festival" and the bands are all doing generic chicago blues and pretty much all sounding the same. Nowhere near the diversity and richness found in CB. But basically that's what the public thinks of when "blues" is mentioned.

I think you've got the right approach Pan, follow you're bliss and help open the ears of those that get the opportunity to hear you play. It's great music, and it's accessible, just not widely disseminated in our so called culture.

Spread the magic,
Joe

Offline Slack

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2011, 01:42:16 PM »
There's a local band that plays Django-style Gypsy jazz -- I happened upon them at a restaurant once, and asked them if they could play "Limehouse Blues." Not only did they look startled (and played the tune), but one of the guitarists went out of his way to thank me about a half-hour later for requesting something that was part of their milieu -- he said they usually got requests for Dylan.
Chris

Similar thing happened at a Gonzalo Bergara house concert.  A woman in her 80's asked Gonzalo if he took requests - you could see him start to slouch, sunken look on his face - until she said "Limehouse Blues".  She was a long time El Paso guitar teacher, still teaches in fact, who knew the genre.

Drunks are tough.  We play a winery a couple of times in the summer.  One party, the women were falling in the flower beds while dancing, coming up to the band and taking our cowboy hats off and ruffling our hair while playing.  One threatened to take her clothes off.  Sad thing, no wanted to see her naked.

Our bass player is a story teller and this is much funnier in person - he was playing a bar (for another band), the band was at dance floor level and a drunk came right up him to make some unintelligible song request and then promptly threw up all over his bass and shirt.  The band had to take a little break while he cleaned things up.  I think I'd rather see a brawl.

... back on topic.  ...the line I like use is:  "We can just barely play the songs we've practiced!"  Honesty is the best policy.  :P
« Last Edit: January 27, 2011, 01:45:01 PM by Slack »

Offline uncle bud

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2011, 09:09:33 PM »
Our bass player is a story teller and this is much funnier in person - he was playing a bar (for another band), the band was at dance floor level and a drunk came right up him to make some unintelligible song request and then promptly threw up all over his bass and shirt.  The band had to take a little break while he cleaned things up.

And we have a winner!

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2011, 10:08:30 PM »
I was going to say "everyone's a critic!"
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

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Offline nobocaster

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2011, 11:07:32 PM »
My curse doesn't seem to be the Blues Brothers, but Bluegrass.  It seems many people have associated that word with all acoustic music.  I have been told countless times after (or during) a show, "Nice Bluegrass!"  or something like that.  Hmm.  It's usually nice drunk people who seem to want to relate to it somehow.  Like.. "These guys are playing twangy sounding music, it's upbeat, old fashioned.. I think I saw that in O Brother Where Art Thou!  It must be Bluegrass!"  I usually will just politely say thanks.  If they insist on talking about Bluegrass, I might explain that Bluegrass is a somewhat specific type of music that while I might enjoy listening to it sometimes, I certainly don't play it.  Then I start feeling like a nerd, talking about traditional musical styles, their evolutions, and where the music I play fits in with it all. 

  We most often play for a college age crowd at bars, and there's one other recent phenomena I've noticed.  We get requests for the song "Wagon Wheel" all the time.  If your'e not familiar (which I wasn't at first either), it's a college radio hit by the Old Crow Medicine Show.  It seems this song has become the Kumbaya of today's twenty somethings with crunchy-alt-country leanings.  There's nothing wrong with the song itself, or that band I suppose, but it's not what I do!  Ugh.  I usually take the approach of "Sorry.  I've heard it, but I don't know it."  Which is true, and it's gonna stay that way!

  And yes, it's sooo nice when someone in the audience requests Mississippi John Hurt or something like that.  That might be the only name they know from that style (like I might only know to request Limehouse Blues from a Gypsy Jazz band), and I always appreciate that not only do they want to interact, but they sort of recognize what I'm going for.

Offline Parlor Picker

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #40 on: January 28, 2011, 01:41:16 AM »
>>"We can just barely play the songs we've practiced!"

I'm going to remember that one, Slack. Very useful.
"I ain't good looking, teeth don't shine like pearls,
So glad good looks don't take you through this world."
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Offline Stumblin

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #41 on: January 28, 2011, 05:11:47 AM »
My curse doesn't seem to be the Blues Brothers, but Bluegrass.  It seems many people have associated that word with all acoustic music.  I have been told countless times after (or during) a show, "Nice Bluegrass!"  or something like that.  Hmm.  It's usually nice drunk people who seem to want to relate to it somehow.  Like.. "These guys are playing twangy sounding music, it's upbeat, old fashioned.. I think I saw that in O Brother Where Art Thou!  It must be Bluegrass!"  I usually will just politely say thanks.  If they insist on talking about Bluegrass, I might explain that Bluegrass is a somewhat specific type of music that while I might enjoy listening to it sometimes, I certainly don't play it.  Then I start feeling like a nerd, talking about traditional musical styles, their evolutions, and where the music I play fits in with it all.
Yep, I've been charged with playing Bluegrass too! And came across as a total nerd while trying to explain the difference.

Offline Mr.OMuck

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #42 on: January 28, 2011, 07:43:03 AM »
Quote
Yep, I've been charged with playing Bluegrass too! And came across as a total nerd while trying to explain the difference.

We've all, I trust, noticed the name of this forum and understand its implications? ;)
My loathings are simple: stupidity, oppression, crime, cruelty, soft music.
Vladimir Nabokov (1899 - 1977)

http://www.youtube.com/user/MuckOVision

Offline Slack

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2011, 08:29:52 AM »
>>"We can just barely play the songs we've practiced!"

I'm going to remember that one, Slack. Very useful.

It works pretty well because it confuses and disarms then at the same time.  And while they are trying to process what you just said -- you begin your next number.

Offline Richard

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Re: The Curse of the Blues Brothers
« Reply #44 on: January 28, 2011, 12:27:46 PM »
Back in the early 70s (?) there was some awful pop band called Slade which took Endiand by storm (or so I'm told) anyway I remember a jazz gig where some brain dead girl in a tartan outfit came up and instist we "play Slade" to which the trumpet player looked down on her, as one would and asked "how are you spelling that slayed?" The finer point of the English language was lost on her and I recall she reverted to AngloSaxon and told us to fornicate off!
(That's enough of that. Ed)

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