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March 2007
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May 2007

Rod Piazza at Biscuits & Blues

A blues afficionado buddy of mine from Sweden, Anders, talked me into seeing Rod Piazza & the Mighty Flyers at Biscuits & Blues in San Francisco, and I'm glad he did.  Rod and company perform a combination of Chicago swing-style blues and Jump blies, with Rod covering vocals and blues harp, his wife Honey on piano (who knew you could play piano with your feet?), Henry Carvajal on guitar and powerhouse drummer Jimmy Bott.  They've got the chops from playing together for years. It's a fun, lively sound, that begs for cold beer, spicy food and some whoopin' and hollerin'.  In other words, a perfect match for Biscuits & Blues. 

Biscuits & Blues is San Francisco's best blues club and routinely has top headline acts.  It's located in a small basement club (formerly the Improv comedy club) in the theater district of San Francisco. On weekends, you'll need dinner reservations for the main show; otherwise there's a two drink minimum.  The southern style menu is pretty good, so no complaints there.  Check out the clip above from YouTube as well as the upcoming tour dates through the summer.  This is music you need to see live and up close to really appreciate.  There should be some photos from the gig on Anders' site shortly.

Jazz Butcher at 12 Bar Club


While I was in London, I spent a couple of evenings at the smokey-filled 12 Bar Club on Denmark Street.  For a mere 6 pounds sterling, there were several decent folk acts followed by a rousing set performed byPat Fish, also known by his alias The Jazz Butcher.   This was a phenomenal gig.  Although the crowd was sparse, there were some long time Jazz Butcher Conspiracy fans going back to the 80's.  The songs were a mix of acoustic and electric, with the latter accompanied by backing tracks played on a laptop computer.  While it sounds a bit cold, the effect worked nicely with Pat's quirky songs and eclectic style.  Kind of a mix of post-punk alt-80s pop with acerbic humor and biting vocals.

If you ever have a chance to see The Jazz Butcher live, do it.  This was one of the best off-chance gigs I've seen. Otherwise, check it out on Amazon or iTunes.

Denmark Street, London


Phil Neal from Lapstick reminded me to go visit London's Denmark Street on my recent trip to Europe.  I had an evening free, so headed out to explore the area.  Denmark Street, located in London's west end, near the Charring Cross subway station, has a rich history in rock and roll.  In the sixties, the Rolling Stones and the Kinks recorded here.  And in the late 70's, the Sex Pistols rehearsed and recorded some of their original demos

Within one block there are a dozen musical instrument stores like Andy's, Hank's, World of Music PA Systems, Rose Morris, as well as the 12barclub, a hole in the wall club with great live music.   If you're in London, it's worth a visit to the area if only to see some of the small shops with unique musical instruments.  You'll see more than just your standard Fenders and Gibsons including the likes of Burns, Vox, Gordon Smith, Alden, Italia, Mosrite, Danelectro, Westfield, Eastwood and others.