Wednesday, March 16, 2016


UP FRONT News       February 2, 2016  
"The paper that won't be bought and can't be sold."
Published by Tom Weiss
Andrew Mazzone - Media Representative and Economics Advisor   
Frank De Luca - Public Relations Consultant
Allen Smith - Economics Reporter and Internet Advisor
  The views expressed in UP FRONT News are those of the publisher or of the contributing writer and do not necessarily represent the views of staff.

  Bluesman Jon Paris, who does the increasingly popular and, by contemporary nightclub standards, affordable Monday night All-Star Blues Jams in Lucille's Grill at the BB King's at 227 West 42nd Street in Manhattan at what Mr. Paris describes as "the center of the universe", reminds is that "the blues had a baby and they named it rock 'n' roll." Taking it back historically, gospel had a baby and they called it the blues. taking it back several centuries, Johann Sebastian Bach, with his variations over a bass foundation, established the structure of what became the blues. And if you want to go back still further, at least for lyrics, it's best go to the Psalms in the Old Testament.
  Mr. Paris - who has performed and/or recorded with Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Johnny Winter, Bob Dylan, Les Paul, John Lee Hooker, et. al. - does three sets. The first is with his band, which includes the bassist-and poet Amy Madden and, depending on scheduling, a number of virtuoso drummers. He performs "covers" such as Chuck Berry's not very well-known slide guitar instrumental "Deep Feeling", the much better known Johnny B. Goode, some Jimi Hendrix, some of his own compositions and tunes from what seems to be a mental encyclopedia of songs. The band does some Jimmy Reed blues and some Buddy Holly rock 'n' roll. During the second and third sets, Jon invites musicians who are present to join the band. A regular is Joe Berger, who, if he were a violinist, would be compared with Niccolò Paganini. Angelina Rose sings gospel with the Jon Paris band, Gass from Britain, sings songs by the Rolling Stones but told me that he does not perform "Gimme Shelter", which he regards as "The Holy Grail" of rock 'n' roll. I agree. He and I also agree that "Gimme Shelter" requires a powerful female voice. Maybe if Mick Jagger, Adele and/or the somewhat less well known Rebecca Moore show up, a "Holy Grail" performance could happen. And speaking of Adele, a regular I know only as Meredith does a very compelling rendition of  the Steve Winwood and Traffic anthem of spiritual and earthly despair and survival, "Can't Find My Way Home." They do some Jimmy Reed blues, some Buddy Holly, some Stevie Wonder and also gorgeous Chris Isaacs song, "Wicked Games" that would quiet even the most boisterous rock 'n' roll crowd. The food and service there are very good.
   Some of those who perform at the Jon Paris Blues Jams at BB KIng's also sing and play at another no cover charge live music (and poetry) venue. the Sidewalk Cafe on the Northeast corner of East 6th Street and Avenue A in the East Village. Amy Madden has played bass there for the undiluted bluesman Ricky Byrd. Mac McCarty & Kidd Twist are a sometimes quite Irish and political led by a very forceful singer with something to say. The Lord Calverts are ready for Saturday Night Live, especially if these middle aged very gifted musicians show up in CEO-style business suits and perform originals in a very good mood. Lower East Side elder statesman David Peel performs - and talks politics - there recurrently, backed up by what seems to be a constantly changing collective, which includes some surviving hippies. Rock 'n' roll poetry is done there very assertively by Jennifer Blowdryer and Puma Perl and their respective bands.
   The food and service at Sidewalk are very good also.

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