|THE LEGENDARY RHYTHM & BLUES REVUE
Legendary R&B Revue sailing this way
A unique traveling blues show is coming to town Friday night -- the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue, with the Tommy Castro Band, Magic Dick, Ronnie Baker Brooks and Deanna Bogart will be at the Rex Theater on the South Side. And they've added local bluesman Jimmy Adler to the lineup for their final blues jam, a trademark of the LRBR.
Any of these performers would be worth the price, but combined, it should be a very fine show. I've not seen it, but the format seems to be that Castro's band works the entire show, with four segments featuring the four headliners.
(BlueNotes note: Stick with me till the end, for an e-mail interview with Deanna Bogart. Or just scroll down now.)
The idea for a landlocked tour was inspired by their booking for the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, a bluesy sea cruise that sails every January out of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., and every October from San Diego, Calif.
Individually, these are all worthy acts. Castro is a highly regarded guitar man and singer/songwriter from Southern California. He's a bluesy, rocking guitarman and don't let the Southern California tag give you the impression he's some kind of surfer dude bluesguy.
Magic Dick Salwitz is probably best known as the harp player and co-founder of the J. Geils Band (originally the J. Geils Blues Band). The "Magic" seems to come from his work in the creation of a harmonica called the "Magic Harmonica." (BlueNotes offers this history mainly because the Geils band was formed under his very nose in 1968 in Worcester, Mass., when BlueNotes himself was a cub reporter in that town. And not incidentally, a writer about the music scene of the day, from Jefferson Airplane to local folkies. Another coincidence? Perhaps. Remind me to tell you more sometime.)
Next in the lineup is Ronnie Baker Brooks, a funky young contemporary bluesman, and the son of the great blues guitarist Lonnie Brooks, and maybe just one of the next in line as one of Chicago's finest blues artists.
Finally, or finely, Deanna Bogart, singer, songwriter, piano and saxwoman, about whom BlueNotes raved last year after a Club Cafe performance that left him limp.
Because of that gig, BlueNotes decided to offer Deanna the chance to answer a few of his questions, in yet another of his attempts to be a real journalist. Inexplicably, she accepted. Here is the result:
BN: In the show that I saw, your enthusiasm level was supernatural. How do you do that? Or was it "one of those nights"?
DB: i don't know about supernatural, but i do know that when the onstage chemistry and the music is right, the energy is self propelling and the cool musical snowball just keeps getting bigger.
BN: Do you have a dog?
DB: louie - she's a dalmation/lab/? mix
BN: What do you like best about making music? Creating it, or sharing it? Or are they inseparable?
DB: i like that music has always given me a place to put the pain and joy - my own personal therapist. i like that music allows me to travel, meet all kinds of people, have fun and help me live my life on my own terms as much as possible (BN -- this is a really great answer).
BN: You started out playing western swing. Is what you do now the end result -- where you want to be, or do have additional musical goals?
DB: it's all music to me. i do have a yen to write a concerto though .. and i think i need to play the clarinet. (BN -- how did she know BlueNotes loves the clarinet?)
BN: How important to you is it to write your own songs?
DB: i love to write period. i don't know how important it is to write my own songs, but it definitely helps me think things through and feel better about them; and that's been fairly crucial from time to time.
BN: Are you any relation to Humphrey? (For some reason, it seemed important to ask this.)
BN: Do you think there's any advantage -- or disadvantage -- to being a woman musician?
DB: there's advantages and disadvantages to being a musician. it depends on who you are and how you choose to handle things. but to succinctly answer your direct question: yes to both.
BN: Where did the idea for the Legendary R&B Review come from? Is it as much fun as it sounds?
DB: it was tommy castro's baby and he had both the vision and the follow through to make it happen. it absolutely is as fun as it sounds.
BN: Is it normal for people to have such a good time making other people have a good time? How do you get up for your shows? How do you come down afterward?
DB: is it normal for people to have a good time and spread that feeling? if it's not it should be. i have a bit of stage fright, so i employ a few mind techniques i've gathered along the way before each gig - and then hopefully - (see question #1) 'it' happens and it's not about me anymore.
BN: What kind of music do you listen to? What do you like to drink while you do?
DB: we listen to everything in the house - literally. lately joe jackson, glenn gould, toto and ella have been in the bose. a glass of port. (BN -- how did she know I like port, too?)
BN: On your Web site, you write this: "It became clear to me a long time ago that my goal was to be the best player I could be, and that on my death bed at 107, with people I love gathered around me, my last words would be "Man, what a good gig last night." It sounds like you don't have any plans to do anything with your life but make music?
DB: no other plans to do anything with my life but make music? wouldn't that be sad. guess i'll go back and re-phrase that one. music is certainly a large and vital part, but i have a 'bucket list' a mile long......and quite a few items have been crossed off already -- db
Thank you, Deanna, for taking the time to answer.
Oh -- the Jimmy Adler thing? The LRBR contacted the Blues Society of Western Pa. for a recommendation, and Adler got the jam spot on the show.