Lou's Pier 37, San Francisco

January 14, 2005
By Maureen Hayes, Da Blues Traveler

Well....I guess I need to stop skimming over messages (Yahoo! Bay Area Blues Message board) and seeing just what I want to see because this is what happens.  Runnin' 'round crazy with work and family stuff doesn't help either.

All's I saw was Jackie Payne, Steve Edmondson, Friday night, Ivy Room. That's all I wanted to see because I was already there when I heard about it a couple of weeks ago from my blues buddy, Lucretia. I am so excited about this show of theirs.  One of my favorites, FOR SURE!  I guess I just couldn't wait no longer.

We went, walked in, and they wanted $7 for who??!!  "The Scabs" "The Scraps" or something like that.  I was in quick thinking mode to try and remember what else what was going on in the area but I am so scattered these days so it took a minute and then it hit me---THE MOFO PARTY BAND at Lou's Pier 37!

This was a desperate time calling for a desperate measure so even Lou's would have to do.

Hopped across the Bay Bridge and ran right into that glorious view of the city I love so much.  It is the best approach out of all the directions you can come from.  Beautiful!!

Made it to Lou's and they were going strong.  It had been way too long since seeing these guys.  Complete with new drummer, Brian Mitchell, they were on it.

Brothers Bill and John Clifton on guitar and harp/vocals respectively. Jake on bass.  What a show!!!  New songs, a new act, fabulous!!

I just loved the threesome change up act the guys pulled last night.  I can't even explain it so people will just have to go see what I'm talking about.  That Jake is one badass stand up bassist.  He comes complete with comb!!

It was truly euphoric.  The music with that steady poundin' groove and you guys hardly missed a bit!  Too much for words.

OK...I'll try my hand at it....Brother Bill goes out to the crowd to play guitar for each and every person followed by his infamous bar struttin'.  Jake stands up on his bass while playing it! Then Brother John comes over and takes over playing the bass while Jake is standing on it clapping it out.

All the while, Brother Bill is struttin' his stuff on the bar after serenading the crowd playing guitar.  Then, if that's not enough....Bill comes and takes the bass lines while John gets behind him and starts in on the guitar!!  Jake pulls out his comb, while standing on his bass and combs his hair back and then commences to comb Bill's hair and this was just too much!!

The drummer poundin' it out, he is awesome!  OK...whew...I'm floored!

I'm not one for chewing on guitar strings and such theatrics but this was truly amazing.  How do people sit thru this stuff?!  It was so energized, I expected people to be jumpin' around crazily, jumpin' out the windows onto Jefferson street!  OK...maybe just getting up off their asses to join in on the fun.

Don't miss their shows!

Can't wait to have you guys back up here.  The SonomaTunes crew is gonna give the 2nd Saturday Blues thing another try and bring some blues up this way to our little old Tradewinds and MOFO PARTY BAND will be the perfect opener!!

I just love these guys and I had forgotten how much.  A new CD is in the works and we got a sample of a couple of the new songs.

We didn't get much because we were late but it was worth every weekend cover rate we spent.  I even endured Lou's and I must say I am proud of myself.  I was snitched on by Dee who mentioned we were there only because I screwed up with the Jackie show and of course I was on the spot.

It?s not the band but the venue.  I am thankful they have MUCH blues, and much exposure for our local jewels due to all the tourists there, but I can't stand the layout of the joint and the dance floor is in one crappy place---behind the PA, detached from the stage, it sucks.

But, like I said, I am so glad for this screw up and sometimes things happen for a reason!

Was gonna finish off the night at the Saloon with Nitro but I wasn't in the mood so we headed home.  Around the bay for a set and a half of MOFO and it was well worth it.

Go check these guys out if you haven't already.  Today, I'll be outta town visiting family, and if I make it back in time, I'll hit Michael Barclay at the Tradewinds.  Tomorrow I MIGHT hit the Blowout up here in Santa Rosa.  I'll have to see if they cover the dance floor with tables and chairs again like last year.  I can't see how people sit and watch the blues.  Crazy.

This just goes to show why obesity is plaguing our country!  Get off that ass people ;-)  I see they took out Charlie Musselwhite for contractual reasons (LBC gig next week or something) and put in Huey Lewis??!!  Whatever....

Maybe I'll hit Kenny 'Blue' Ray in HMB.  Been way too long for some of that too!

CD picks of the month for me:
Jimmie Johnson's Barroom Preacher and Johnnie Johnson's Johnnie B. Bad, and Willie Dixon's I Am The Blues.  All jewels.  I had both of those Johnson recordings on cassette from years ago but they are done worn down.  Great to have them on CD for the blues cruisin!  Jimmie Johnson doesn't get much better than that recording there.

...da Blues Traveler