Ivy Room, Albany

January 27, 2004
By Maureen Hayes, Da Blues Traveler

Hello Blueslovers!  Just checkin' in and sayin' hello.  Haven't been up to a whole helluva lot but have squeezed in a few great shows.

The weekend before last I caught Levi Lloyd and Michael Barclay all in one weekend at the 'Winds.  That was nifty.  Especially since I had to work nights.  Real nice to be able to run over and hear a set or two.  They were sounding great and the crowd good on both nights.

Last Tuesday January  27th was real special.  I almost didn't go out due to lack of finances and da blues van is about to loose the brakes, but I was getting real irritable and needed my music.  I went to check out the Blues Piano Orgy, organized by Wendy DeWitt at the Ivy Room.  I walked in and all that was on the stage was a drum set and that old piano they have there.

I thought to myself, OK, we'll see.......I should've never doubted this set up and I apologize.  I was in awe all night and hobbled away with weak knees, satisfied multiple times, if you no what I mean.

What an awesome orgy. Thanks Wendy!

Wendy is one sexy lady.  That voice of hers when she sang, "Mr. Charles" had my toes curled and my palms a sweatin'.  And I'm straight!!  Wow, what a voice.  Yes, her piano playin' was superb, as well. The boogie-woogie Queen shows us once again that she holds her own up there on that stage.  She can always make that old piano sound glorious.  That old thing was mic'd up real nice.  The front opened up so you could all the "behind-the-scenes" keys doing their thing uncovered.  Real nice job on the sound.  Vocals loud and clear, piano real sharp, drums backing it all up beautifully.

Steve Lucky is one heck of an entertainer.  What energy he puts out.  I love when he's gettin' into and he does this humming thing to help him get along thru his solos.  I wouldn't even call it humming.  Kind of a moanin' chant if you will.  Probably could never hear it if there's a full band but with that mic turned up nice and loud, it didn't take much to hear a pin drop on that stage.  It was great.  To watch his facial expressions, hear his humming while playing some of the most amusing piano I've ever heard, was most satisfying.  I got the giggles during this part of the orgy.  This guy is a great singer and piano player and the presence on stage was that of having waaay too much fun.  Carmen Getit came up and belted out a couple.  Real nice voice.  The two of them together put on quite a show.  Should go see a whole night of Steve Lucky and the Rumba Bums real soon.  Haven't yet and I can now see that it's a must.

I had to save my favorite for last...Bob Welsh!!  I had to grab those hands at the end of the night just to touch them.  Who needs intercourse when you have foreplay?  He does that strollin' Chicago stuff so well.  Singin'?  Nope.  Doesn't need to.  His fingers do all the singing.  I just love his style!  Can't say enough about this talented musician, Bob Welsh.  Something in the style of his playing that just grabs me.  It's a strollin' feeling.  He also plays an exceptional guitar if you have never heard him before.  I'm sure he can play about anything.  I think Rusty Zinn introduced him best one time, "Lock this guy in a room with any instrument and he'll come out playing something great, Mr. Bob Welsh.?

In the end, all three got up there together and did a whopping finale.  That was great!

Brian Fishler did one helluva job backing these fine piano players on drums.  He kept it pure and simple.  He read them like a book.  Accented at all the right times and never crowded.  What a fine, fine drummer this young man, Brian Fishler.

I walked away multiply satisfied.  Thank you Wendy, Steve, Bob & Brian. Thank you Ivy Room for having them.  I never knew I enjoyed the piano so much.  Let's do it again, Wendy!  First time I've ever been to an orgy and I have to admit I'd do it again!  I hope this was the first of an annual piano orgy.

...da Blues Traveler