Sunday, 14 July 2024

CyberSoulMan: Blues Travel Log

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one day baby

I’ll be in the blues hall of fame …

Sugar Pie Desanto


The Queen of the West Coast Blues, Sugar Pie DeSanto, turned 74 years young this past Friday. Earlier in the week, on Oct. 12 and 13, she gigged at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Your CyberSoulMan was road manager for Madame DeSanto’s four-show excursion.


Show biz logistics are a trip. The age old adage that the show must go on is somewhat akin to death and taxes. In order to execute my duties as road manager, I had to leave home at 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 11, for the three hour drive to Jim Moore’s (Ms. DeSanto’s manager) home in Oakland. I parked my car at Jim’s and we swung over to the House of Sugar, swooped her up and headed for San Francisco Airport. Did I mention that I had to place a wakeup call at 4 a.m. to the Queen? It was the only scheduled call on the trip that I made that she didn’t beat me to the punch and call me first.


We flew out of San Francisco on schedule and through the wonder of time and space travel landed in Minneapolis at about 1:30 p.m. The temperature was an unsizzling 34 degrees. I fondly remembered the day before in Lake County when the midday temperature was in the 80s.


After we deplaned and headed toward baggage claim, I called the club owner who patched me into a three way conversation with our driver Johannes who was waiting for us at carousel 14. Johannes welcomed us to Minnesota and whisked us to our hotel. Yes, it was a five star.


When I finally reached my room after securing Sugar Pie DeSanto in hers, I called the band director, one Curtis Obeda, a left-handed guitar slanger, whose band the Butanes had backed Sugar Pie 12 years ago in St. Louis. I was soon to find out that the Butanes had been voted best Blues band in Minnesota, seven years running.


It was my job to coordinate a rehearsal but it wasn’t gonna happen on Sunday. It seems that the rest of the band was working other jobs though they had rehearsed the material three times using the charts Jim Moore had sent. A tentative plan was made to rehearse on Monday.


Coincidentally, Curtis Obeda’s wife Lolly was being honored as Blues DJ of the year and the festivities courtesy of the Minnesota Blues Society, was being held that very night. Curtis invited Sugar Pie and I. Of course we said of course.


The affair was held at Famous Dave’s Barbeque and we had a rollicking good time. The food was great as was the music. Many folks came to our table and acknowledged Sugar Pie. At about 10 p.m. Curtis took us back to the hotel. I was pretty well done for the day. Of course Sugar Pie the artist needed good rest too. Tomorrow was a big day.


To be continued next week ...


Keep prayin’, keep thinkin’ those kind thoughts.


*****


Upcoming cool events:


Monday, Oct. 19


Side of Blues with Jim Switzer. 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Café, 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or www.bluewingsaloon.com .


Thursday, Oct. 22


Open mike night, 6 p.m. Blue Wing Saloon & Café, 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or www.bluewingsaloon.com .


Sunday, Oct. 25


Sunday brunch at the Blue Wing Saloon & Café from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Don Coffin (bluegrass guitar and mandolin) performs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. 9520 Main St., Upper Lake. Information: 707-275-2233 or www.bluewingsaloon.com .


West Fest 40th Anniversary of Woodstock, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. Free event. Acts too numerous to list. For more information go to 2b1records.com .


T. Watts is a writer, radio host and music critic. Visit his Web site at www.teewatts.biz.

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