Saturday, June 03, 2006

How Bluesy Can You Get

The title for this blog comes from how Whop Frazier, a Washington, DC area bassist and vocalist handles 'How Blue Can You Get,' which is one of B.B. King's signature songs, chanaging blues into bluesy. Yesteday, June 2, Whop played a free lunch-time concert at Wilson Plaza in front of the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington DC. He was accompanied by a fine group including his long-time drummer Earl Ivey and keyboard whiz Jackie hairston who has played with Whop over the years. On harp was Roger Edsall who plays in several fine Chicago blues-styled groups and on guitar was the fabulous guitarist, Harold Flood, who brings a tone and touch reminscent of Albert King. Flood, I consider one the DC & Baltimore area's biggest blues secrets and is the guitarist for one of the region's finest blues singers, Jesse Yawn. Unfortunately, Harold Flood is not featured on either of Jesse's CDs but he can be heard playing rhythm and taking one superb solo on the first Lou Pride CD issued on Severn Records ((I believe the CD title is 'Words of Caution'). Whop is a good vocalist but not on the level of Jesse Yawn or Bobby Parker. He always has a good band that plays tight and gets a nice groove going. While he has a new CD with originals, his performance yesterday focused on blues standards including a jaunty 'Got My Mojo Working,' a slightly flat 'Down Home Blues,' as well as an ebullient "Meet me With Your Black Drawers On." It was nice to hear some of his own touches in this music, such as his changes made to 'How Blue Can You Get." Whop may not be compelling, but he is always enjoyable, has great bands and helps you get rid of your blues. It was a nice way to enjoy my lunch.

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