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Richard

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey Y'all !!!

What can I say, where do I start, and let me just tell ya.....Gawddamn what a show !!!  Ok, first let me get some shit out of the way, as in some confessing of not only my sins, but some mistakes, no wait, really to use the word mistakes is t not take responsibilty for my sins....I F'ed up the recording of the show....as in totally blew, and for that to all of you, I am sorry, sincerely sorry, because it would have been something to look back on, and relive, but what I realized lastnight, after coming to grips with my build up of disbelief,frustration, and growing displeasure, was to let it go, and just allow myself, for myself and my date (Cathy) to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the show......let and make it a memory, one that was experienced at that moment, in that time, and forever left in my brain, to be recalled, and not worry about trying to go somewhere else, and relive, because as much as I would have liked to, it would not have been the same.  I hope that makes sense, because I also felt a bit awkward, trying to rationalize and justtify my screw-up, and not be able to share it with y'all. You guys deserved better.

Ooopss sorry about that, had to grab a cup of tea, my throat was getting dry.....hey wait, I'm typing not talking....maybe its' my mind getting dry from all of the thoughts. Allow for me to as usual, jump around here a bit, as I am reminded daily....about my wanderings of verbalizations, or stories as I like to call them....."Squirrel........."  JJ had once sent King Clay (thanks Clay for returnning my phone call and passing along my inquiry/ies) about how JJ regarded his shows or the performances of one of his experiences, and how to wrap his my mind around the differences can actually be a good thing, so as to not get let down by expecting something to be the same as it once was or how he had remembered it.  Similar kind of happening lastnight, for those of us who have been fortunate,lucky,blessed, or whatever word you want to use, to describe being able to see this man and his band play live.  I say that not in a selfish way, at all, because I truly feel, or believe that everyone of his fans, deserves the chance to see him live, and it is not always a reality or possibility due to a number of reasons, say from time, money, distance....you name it, but still, it is deserved.  Lastnight's show was, how would I say....independant, stark, solo (of course), focused, a bit haunting in that not seeing the rest of the band was, well, a bit sad, and it let your mind wander in a not so positive direction, or a what if, it just became....no longer the band....and well, that was not easy to ponder, but also the show was genuine, telling, funny, human, and most definitely intimate to say the least.  It was just another wonderfully different way to see such a talented artist, who, performs with such conviction, emotion, sincerity, and humbleness, that there is now way that any true fan, be they new or old, can deny the manner in which Jj connects to each and everyone of them...all.

If I take a moment to back up a bit, to lay down a bit of foundation to how the evening was put together for us, before I describe the songs JJ played, or write about Ms. Sunny War and her beautiful playing, it all went a little something like this, starting back on Super Bowl Sunday.  After the Steelers generously contributing to my ticket purchase for this solo show, Cathy and I drove from our end of Seattle, West Seattle, north a bit to Ballard, not far at all, to buy tickets directly from the Tractor, and to check out the lay of the land.  For those of you who care, and for those who don't, we live in area known as West Seattle, on Alki (that's Al-kye, not al-key...which is the case in the summer) and Ballard is to the north of us just on the other side of Elliot Bay, which is part of Puget( Puuuu-jet) Sound.  A beautiful, elevated, drive over the Alaskan Way Viaduct, which some dumbasses want to replace with a tunnel, along the Seattle waterfront.....oh don'tget me started) to Ballard a well known Scandanavian community, rich with fishing history, great food, gov't locks, and plenty, plenty of watering holes, the most per capita in Seattle.  Roy and Shelley are from there, and know that area...WELL !
Cathy and I bought 9 tickets, for ourselves and those who commited to the cause, so we were set.  I almost called a couple of regulars, dedicated fans, to see if they wanted me to pick tickets for them, but I figured they were on top of it better than I, guess what, they weren't.

With tickets in hand, and time to take care of some things, I waited until the last minute, thinking that is usualy how I operate, and mistakenly, again, thinking that is how I operate best.  My plan, as has become my routine, is to grab a few things for JJ and the guys, as a token of my/our collective appreciation, for not only their music, but also their dedication and retrun trips to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Knowing that it takes time, money, effort and energy, do go out on the road, and as one who wished he'd listened to his dad...more, maybe way more, I wish that I had picked up an instrument, back when I thought I wanted to be a rocker, a guitar player, a musician, instead of thinking I was going to be a better ballplayer....football, center, nosegaurd, and linebacker, at a finished size of 5' 10&5/8 " at a thunderous 145lbs. Shhhhiiiiiitt, what was I thinking. And now, we all know, there are a hell of a lot more older musicians, still playing and learning to to play, then there are old ballplayers.

My mission to collect some tokens of appreciation, and the list of things that I wanted to include, were all in place mentally, but needed to be executed upon, and as the date of the show approached, I started to make my move. I had an unopened 5th of Makers in the house, check, and knowing that these folks were taveling light, I could not put together the usual cooler required package of items, something more packable and roadable as in the standard vehichle means, not that of the tour bus.  This general task had to be done with the looming and happening threat of snow, and for those of you do not know Seattle and the area, when it comes to snow in this town, we start to smell like tuna, lose cdontrol of our bodily functions, go on a media melt down, re-open vintage bombshelters, stretch our arms out like crack whores....wiating for the various guberment agencies to fix us and our traveling joneses, while all of their collective budget wads get blow quicker than a 17yr. old guys, doing his best friends hot mom or sister. We, and they, mostly they, those in charge, and those who panic, don't have a phucking clue sometimes, and only make it worse. So, I rushed around two days before the show, and yesterday after work, while the clouds darkened over the sound, and most of the area, to get the rest of what I needed.

My collection included, and also required that I contact a group of people, contacts, those in the know, about certain things, and to folllow through with getting certain items..aquired.  The list, and it's order, is as follows:

1 unopened fifth of Makers Mark for JJ
Brand new Lee Oskar harp...D for JJ
Dozen strings...13s &14s.. for Sunny
pound and half of local salami and smoked salmon
2 bottles of red wine, one local (shirah or az, thanks Sunny ) for Chris D. roadtrip snack
4 slices of vegan, chocolate hazelnut cake from the restuarant where Cathy's  cousin Janine is chef...."Cafe Flora" thanks Janine. For Sunny and co.
I t-shirt from Cafe Flora.....for Sunny War 
Plus a little something for her manager too

The harp and strings were picked up the day before the show, no problem,but the day of the show, well now, that's where I put myself in a bad position, waited till the last minute, made rushed decisions and well, faced the potential for some silly driving, especially in the Mustang, in possible snow, hills, traffic, going from one end of town to the other, getting the didgital recorded last minute from one of the soul brothers, mic adapter from another music store, wrong frickin' discovered later, slices of cake, east of downtown over hill and traffic, and also almost missing out on getting something that well, due to not being into it in a long, long, long, time...was kinda rookie like again, but still made it happen. When I left the music store, I had a gut feeling, about the xlr to 1/4 adapter, and well, should have gone back into the store.  Got it all together, got home, looked over the instructions on the recorder, batteries, autographed pictuer of JJ and Vicky Stevens to give to her at the show, Sharpie pens,....you name it.  Cathy left the bag I wanted to use at her mom's after dropping our boys off, and it seemed to be another clue, that the taping was not going to happen....

A few days before the show, even a few weeks ago, I had posted on Sunny's FB page some comments about her music from what I had seen on youtube, paid her some compliments and made some comparisons, to her and Billie Holiday's voice..Sunny responed, and I had also invited her and her manager Guillermo, to join us and some friends along with an invite that we offered up to JJ and Chris, for some breaking of bread, if they had the time (knowing that they probably did not) but still wanted to offer, to treat them all to some Seattle goodness. 

 Also, I had gotten an email, from a local guy, from my part of town, who is a huge JJ Grey & Mofro fan too, seen every show here since the played the Century Ballroom back in 2001, Brian, who, tells me in his email, that he F'ed up, and waited just a bit to long to buy his two tickets, and was wondering if I had any left.....?  Brian, WTF, that would be like Pete Rozzell not having Super Bowl tickets, I was going to call you the night I bought mine, but figured you already had yours, and I would have to come to you, I even told him during my immediate phone call to him, to try and throw him a lifeline, that he'd better go spend the night at "Motel 6" because he was going to need to get one of the wax papered  glasses so that he could stand outside the Tractor and try to listen in through the window or walls to the show.  Brian seemed positive that he could maybe (yeah right) get a ticket outside the night of, or via Craigslist....so, I had to think of something quick, even an error his part was not warranting the poor guy to be on the outside of a show that he shoul by all means be seeing. I told him that I had an idea and I would give it a whirl.

Since I had some email contact via FB with Sunny's manager, and knew that Chris was on there too, plus I was going to reconnect with the Tractor again about taping....before screwing that up, I thought hey, go out on a limb, and see what can be done or not, but atlesat give it a try.  Let me say here, that I certainly do not intend to be creating a pattern, giving hopes where they do not exsist, or at the very least, start pissing anyone off.  Let me just say this, that after pleading my case, or the case of Brian's, some very considerate, and giving people, saw to it that Brian and his buddy Eric, were able to see the show.  Hey I gotta interrupte this manifesto....family issue, out of town, gotta call and try to correct, be back soon.
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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #2 

RICHARD!!! you big tease, lol!! 

 

  not even one song revealed ....

 

we forgive you, well I certainly forgive you for not being able to record the show, but the show ....... I hope that your review of the show is as detailed as its prequel!!!

 

Looking forward to the rest of your story ~ so hurry up dammit!! 

 

(hope all is ok with your family issue)


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"In a heartbeat, all worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, all worlds collide
  ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
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Richard

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Reply with quote  #3 
Ok, sorry about that folks.....family and like my Grandma always said " Richard, you can pick and choose your friends, but your stuck with your relativies."  Ok so let's continue, shall we ?  After getting the kids to their Grandma's, cleaned and loaded up to go, we make our way to the Tractor. Along the way I get a couple of phone calls ..."where are you..?" And, I got a call from Ms. Vicky Stevens, the blues singer who I took the picture of, with JJ, at the Portland Blues Festival, then later got autograped at the Showbox show on 9/11/10, and have meant to mail to her, but had not done so yet.  I told her that in fact we were on our way, and the photo was with me too. After arriving and parking in Ballard, a twenty minute drive from home, on a good day, Cathy an I approach the Tractor we see Shelley,Roy, Lindsey Rob, Keith, and Shelley, making their approach, and head in together.  Brian and Eric are already there, ( I just got off the phone with him too before addng to this and he told me.....) and have two seats saved for us, in the front row !  The rest of our group sat in back, in front of the sound board, bet even in this venue, it is not a bad seat, a very intimate atmosphere indeed.

As I frantically triedto reeducate my way through getting the recorder into the right or correct setting, and discovering that the adapter that I had just bought needed a female end, rather than male, and then deciding to take it up front with us, sans any external mic, and just use the units internal mics, I was, as Brian tried his best to get us going, and we thought maybe we were on the right path, but deep down, I think that I knew better. 

Sunny War was introduced, came on stage, dressed in shiny black Doc Martin boots, tight legged jeans rolled up just above those tall boots, cute little wool like sweater over her shirt, with peircing in her nose, multi colored hair, longer up front, much shorter in back.  Sunny sat holding her guitar, sans any stickers, looking almost if not in fact new, feet crossed, and played in her crab hammering or crawling style, with her face aimed in angle looking towards her guitar and feet.  Sunny played through a set that I'm guessing was about 8 songs long. Telling the audiance some funny points in between. Her manager, Guillermo, stood to our right, along side the raised stage, and a couple of times, got her attention, and gave her some direction. Here is what I think is notable.  This is Sunny's first tour if I remember correctly, and she does exhibit some sense of youthfulness, at the age of 20, and having had come from a bit of a past that may not have been an easy one.  She spoke of time on the streets, and all that comes with that way of life, so, while there are those out there even at her age, who have come from a different story line, and have had all of the lessons, garages to practice in, and convienances of life, you can not ignore her incredible talent, and aboundant room to grow as a musicians.  She played for an audiance that may not have known her, understood or even appreciated her, but she played and played with some humor and definite style.  Most in the house were appreciative, yet some semed to be moderately impressed.  I believe, that if she connects with a group of musicians, be it two or three, plus continue to create and mature, she will infact be in a place where she can record and do live shows at the leve of the likes of Tracy Chapman, Alanis Morrisett, or any other female artiist.  She is on the right path, and with time, she will come to know some personal success.

We let the recorder run through Sunny's performance, still not sure if it was capturing it or not.  As we tried figure this contraption out, Chris D. was putting some final touches on JJ chair, mics, guitar, and set up, Brian after thanking Chris too, asked him how much time did we have, to which Chris told us a "minute, I am going back to announce him now." Well, forget about it Richard, sit back, relax and enjoy the show.

Upon Chris announcing JJ, JJ comes out wearing one of his usual western styled long sleeve denim or maybe cotton shirts, a pair of faded and matching in color as the shirt....jeans. On his feet were what I refer to as the uncofrtable restuarant kitchen helper, or Aisian guy wearing shoes, ya know the ones....Black slip on, tan rubbered soles, no arche support, flat, nothing flashy. JJ is met with an enthusiastic and waiting crowd, one that sems to know who and what the man is all about, a group of like minded fans, men and women alike, all there for the same calling, to hear JJ sing, and play guitar, plus the harmonica. It was, JJ in the raw, no one fall back on, to mingle with, to turn to and share a smile with, as he and his bandmates reveled in their being appreciated by their fans. Nope, none of that which we have come to know expect, and appreciate. This intimate, up front, right at you, almost haunting to not see the others, but suddenly calming in that the only thing better, would be to be sitting in one's livingroom, basement or garage, listening to or jamming with him. This was up and close, mezmorizing, captivating, right at you, personalble, emotional, sexy,gritty,charming, gutteral, thoughtful, and down right pleasant.  Ok, so what did JJ play, well let me tell you how much I forgot throughout a day, so I called Brian, and checked with him, bass player, figuring he could remember, or seeing if he got his hands on a setlist, which he was about to indian leg wrestle a sweet little thing, who was also after the one and only setlist, taped to the floor next to JJ's chair.  Brian brokered with this lady, taking one of the two hand written notes, and copying the remainder on the back. In JJ's handwriting, on two pieces of Comfort Suite's note paper, with some side notes such as which songs used the capo on the guitar, and or the harmonica, were the following songs, to which Brian reminded me, while forgetting too, some of the songs, because there were some changes.....for which I reserve the right to correct in the near future.   Here we go.......

By My Side /Opened with Hide and Seek....according to the wife.
Brighter Days
Beautiful World
A Woman.....with a great Cassandra Wilson story
Orange Blossoms
Circles....story about relationships
By My Side............Brian said it's on the list twice(we are lame,can't remember opener)

Lochloosa
Georgia Warhorse.....story about Granny
Higher You Climb ........story about possible asshole brother inlaw
Slow,Hot,& Sweaty......Frickin' great story about this song, car ride with his folks and Granny....funny shit.
Sweetest Thing.....story about his kids,grown son, and little girl....seeing things again in life

On Fire.......of course, that song has a story
Ho Cakes......on the list, not played

Juke House

Ok, so JJ did an encore, hell right now I can't remember what it was, nor could Brian a bit ago......I'll check with the nurse....she thinks she knows everything.....

When JJ came out at the begining, I handed him the new Lee Oskar D harp, and told him thanks for coming back. Upon his return for the encore, I pulled out the 5th of Makers.......handed it to him and again told him thanks.

When it was all over, and he thanked the crowd, and left down off the stage, he did not resurface to mingle, someone, told me that they asked Chris(I think) and were told if he came back out he get mobbed or tangled up and it seems like they were running tight on time.  Sunny talked with us a bit afterwards, bought a couple of cds, and gave her the cake, t-shirt and strings.  I told Chris that I had something for him, and went to get the van, repark it out front, and bring in a bag with salami, smoked salmon, and two bottles of red wine.....told Chris that since Cathy is Itallian too, I knew that he might appreciate the goods. He laughed, aggreed, told me thanks, and I again thanked him, as he was busting hump to get his stuff and JJ's packed up.  JJ did not have cd's out to sell as was noticed by some friends.....traveling light I suppose.  It was a great show, and I could go on about his stories,but maybe not, so that those of you seeing this show, won't have it spoiled. Trust me, if you are lucky, and I don't mean that selfishly, but if you are seeing this show, you will undoubtedly enjoy yourselves....I took a couple of pics with my phone, and friends took some as well, I will post them later.  Y'all have been very paitent with my ramblings/writings.  It was in fact a memorable show, meaningful, and a class act is JJ Grey.
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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #4 

Yea for Richard!!  thank you, as I feel I had some pressure on you to post, lol!!  I am just so darn excited that someday I can experience JJ solo, the intimate show.  Yes, the whole band is a totally different feel, and unforgettable, but Just JJ, is something I have been wanting to see for sooo long. 

 

Now you gotta find out what the encore was silly!! 

 

I think it is wonderful how you show your appreciation by bringing tokens for them, that is awesome and I like to try to dew the same, for the same reasons as you Richard. 

 

Looking forward to ANY pictures you may have!

 

Have a wonderful evening and again thank you!!


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"In a heartbeat, all worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, all worlds collide
  ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
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modifab

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Reply with quote  #5 
Much obliged Richard for the in depth! Everything from the approach to the show days prior, to lookin ahead to try to reel in what the opener and encore may have been. LMAO!

Ain't it great? How captivated most of us get when these fine folks make their way to our necks of the woods to put it out there for us?

I'm sooo lookin forward to the Midwest shows next month! Looks as if I'll make it to see the show in West Virginia on the Mountain Stage as well as the show in Evanston Illinois at Space.

And hey... Sunshine... Make it happen woman! We only go round one time. Don't miss out! Book a road trip, ditch dem brats, cloroform rag to the muzzle of one Mr. Sunshine, (maroon him into getting in the car first) and just...make it happen!

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MofroFan1

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Reply with quote  #6 

Richard wins the annual War & Peace Post Award for 2011! What a review Richard! Sounds like quite the evening. I look forward to finishing it; I had a full battery when I started but it went dead about halfway thru.

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Richard

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Reply with quote  #7 

Hey Y'all,

Here is one of two, that I took with my phone, others have pics too, will get them posted when I get them.  This was at the encore, cause that's when I gave him the Makers.....on the floor under the chair.


http://www.flickr.com/photos/13565233@N00/5480638618/" title="JJ Grey at the Tractor Tavern Seattle 2/24/11 by RPMotorsports, on Flickr">http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5176/5480638618_1b12939d18.jpg" width="500" height="375" alt="JJ Grey at the Tractor Tavern Seattle 2/24/11" />

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harmonicasp20

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Reply with quote  #8 
Richard, excellent review! That was about as much a detailed review as one could give! Sounds like a great night. 
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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #9 
here a another review from the Tractor Tavern:

http://www.dadsvenue.com/dads-dallas-venue-club-concert-band-news/elliotbay-reviewed-j-j-grey-amp-mofro

and my fav quote fromt this review:

Once you get a taste of this Southern flavor, you're going to change your diet forever.


__________________
"In a heartbeat, all worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, all worlds collide
  ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
In a heartbeat, worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, worlds collide"
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Richard

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Reply with quote  #10 

Haaaa.......ElliotBay....is me....no shit, and I aint trying to rob nouthin, form nobody....  The other day while searching....hell, what was the site, I came across this radio...music site, and registered to write a review..., hell again, when I started reading this post that Sunny laid upon us, I though shit I've read...no wait cotton pickin' minute...this sounds like my shit.....hey I wrote this....and I catch myself looking at the words, the structure, the phrazing and I 'm thinking to myself who is this bastard who took my words, and where exactly and when did I write them, who is this masked phony man....and when I do a double take on the name...ElliotBay, I remember hey, let's use the name Elliot (guys name) and Bay...short and sweet, hey wait not that kinda sweet, man I was fired up. I'm tellin; y'all it's frickin' me...only one post....and look at my manifesto here....I reference Elliot Bay, Puget Sound, best view....driving along the Alaskan Way Viaduct..tunnel....I swear... it's me.....man I was ready to do battle......ha with myself. 9 times in three years, friends....it's me I tell ya........

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Sunshine

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Reply with quote  #11 

Richard, I believe you, I really dew,

but how ...... how,

really ......

how did you write this review in less than 13,457 words??

do you have this ability in your makeup/DNA??  Ya know one has to wonder iffin indeed it is you 

 

nice!!


__________________
"In a heartbeat, all worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, all worlds collide
  ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪
In a heartbeat, worlds are born
 In a heartbeat, worlds collide"
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Richard

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Reply with quote  #12 
Sunny,

I sheeeettt you not, I honestly remember thinking to myself, hey, who here is going to appreciate this bit of info, just get enough out to spark an interest, and more importantly......well coming from me in recent years this might sound hypocrtical, ("Everything Good is Bad"), but there was a sense of loyality to this group.....word wise and all.
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