(The bad axe.)
I’m supposed to be a big jazz fan but I realized today I don’t have a single jazz track on my PMP and it’s been that way for a while. Seems like my brain just wants as much pure shred as I can feed it. Jack White just killing ‘Death Letter.’ SRV bringing it in waves on ‘Can I Have A Talk With You.’ (Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen this Son House video, it’s Bad Ass.)
So one thing leads to another and it’s Son Seals. The Bad Axe. Back in the eighties and early nineties in Lawrence, KS you got the best in Chicago and Texas blues bands stopping by on their way back and forth between the two blues meccas. The Son Seals Blues Band, Magic Slim & The Teardrops, Albert Collins, The Legendary Blues Band (Mudddy Waters old band with Jerry Portnoy, Pinetop Perkins, Willie ‘Big Eyes’ Smith.) And some younger players up from Texas trying to catch SRVs falling torch. Chris Duarte, Jimmy Thackery.
Some of the most fun I ever had in Lawrence, was going to the Jazzhaus with my rowing mates to hear Son Seals when he was in town. Countless PBR longnecks, packed room, everyone dancing and Seals holding forth with his band. Big fat sound from that hollow body, and his unmistakable gut-bucket baritone voice. Tellin’ it.
The band would start in and after a while they hit a groove. All the band members swinging gently back and forth in unison. Looked like a blues machine running at just the right speed.
Do you remember those nights Harry? Son opened for George Thorogood at a concert on campus and then moved it over to Liberty Hall for the rest of the night. We were right there.
Son Seals is gone now. He passed away in 2004 at age 62 from complications with diabetes. I’m still here though and I still get the blues and his recordings and my memories of those nights with friends in Lawrence remain one of the best cures.
Here’s Son Seals doing ‘Sitting Here Thinking’ live: