Thursday, January 18, 2018

Florida Blues

Illustration by Bill Buchman, our evening's piano man.

Last night we had the blues.

My Guy and I attended Art of Blues, a concert held in the display gallery of the local art center. The venue may have been small, but the sound wasn’t. I’d forgotten the joy of live music – sound that reverberates right through your bones and triggers involuntary foot tapping.

          The main elements of the five-piece ensemble were guitarist and singer Steve Arvey – a native Floridian who’d spent much of his career in Chicago and had played with Bo Diddley, and Bill Buchman, piano man, who not only played a mean boogie woogie but was also an artist and instructor at the art center.

      The rest of the group included a drummer, a bass guitar (whose next gig was backing up Ricky Lee Jones), and a spectacular woman harmonica player.

          Like every other event around here, the audience was on the mature side, but there were plenty of whistles and cat calls throughout “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” Calvin Carter’s “I Ain’t Got You,” and John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom Boom.”

          There was also the common thread that runs through every gathering over 50 people. Outside the Ladies during intermission was the steady 8 to 9 people waiting in line. When I joined them, a man emerged from the Gents and a woman asked him if anyone else was in there. When he said no, two of us went in and I guarded the door.

          Of course that meant that immediately after, a man walked up, ready to enter. We explained the situation and he took the news like a gentleman and waited with the rest of us.

          I had to bite my tongue not to tell him that he could probably blend right into our line.

Unlike all the other gray and white-haired men in the audience, he had long flowing blond hair to his shoulders. 

Here's some of the group from a performance in 2014 at the same venue. 


  1. How nice to hear your take on live music. Yes, it does seep into the body!
    Over the weekend I took three 16 year olds to see Lady Day, a play about Billie Holiday. Three actors only, the piano player, the bass player, and 'Billie.' Their music was fabulous, far better than I expected for such a local production. The audience was loud in it's appreciation, except for 'Strange Fruit.' We were struck silent. I tried to talk to the girls about the song later, but they hadn't 'got it,' so I let it go. I'll tackle it one on one, with Laura.
    And, your group is mighty fine, too. I like good jazz that probably is well rehearsed, and appears as impromptu. Good music takes a lot of skill.

  2. Live music like live theater does have an electricity that we forget!

  3. The difference between live and recorded music is incredible isn't it? The latter might be more 'technically' perfect but...
    Love your solution to the bathroom line.

  4. Sounds like a wonderful time! And I did smile in rueful recognition of the line outside the ladies' room. You'd think someday they would figure out a solution. :-)

  5. It's always good to get out to something live.

  6. Lovely to have such a great night out with live music.
    I will never understand why ladies ret rooms aren't built to accommodate enough people at once. It's been a problem since the very first live venue anywhere however long ago that was. Surely it isn't too hard to build a facility with more stalls and washbasins and a small seating area with mirrors for the fixing of hair and make-up. it would cost more initially of course, but word would get around and more use would be made of that venue so monies would be recouped via ticket sales, surely?

  7. Bravo for hearing some live music!


Thanks for stopping by and I'd love to hear what you think.