Saturday, February 23, 2008

Memphis Gold Benefit Big Success


I missed seeing Memphis Gold on Tuesday as I ran in Charlie Sayles on my way home on the Metro (Washington's subway). We stopped at his place, but he seemed out. I spoke to him Thursday and he is doing well, still a long way to go as far as recuperation, but playing and writing music. In fact he played for the staff at the Rehab facility in Baltimore he was at prior to being sent back to his home in Arlington VA.

The DC Blues Society's Benefit for Memphis Gold last weekend was a great success, with the Surf Club being as full as I ever saw it and (I understand) over $2000 raised for Memphis Gold. Was a great night of music and Memphis had the music video'd. There was some terrific music by the likes of Bobby Parker, the Hardway Connection, Charlie Sayles with the Memphis Gold Band, Mike Westcott, Clarence 'The Bluesman Turner with Stacy Brooks and much more. Memphis told me he was really impressed by Mike Westcott and Blues on Board (pictured) who he had not seen before. Anyway I will try to see him this weekend and will post about another benefit to be held in Baltimore this week.

1 comment:

Greg said...

Saw Charlie Sayles at the Tinner Hill Blues Festival in Falls Church, VA today. Sayles performed solo at the farmer's market in the morning and with Memphis Gold later in the evening. While the Memphis Gold show was good--I even bought a CD--what really grabbed me was Charlie Sayles playing solo harmonica in the morning. He had a harp and a mic, but kept time by tapping a snare drum with a drumstick in his right hand. This spare, stripped-down sound seemed to me to deliver blues at its essence: a hard-living guy (with an eye-patch!) laying down a groove, telling a story with his music, all for whatever tips he could get. I was captivated by the simplicity of the music, but at the same time, it was hardly clichéd. He used unusual progressions à la John Lee Hooker. That kept his music sounding fresh, demanding the attention of the passers by. I found him captivating. I was disappointed to learn that he does not have a current recording of that same solo style he performed this morning. With the success of the duo The White Stripes, it seems to me there is an audience for stripped-down blues.