Wednesday Night Blues with the 12 Bar All-Stars

My husband Cass and I have a long history of enjoying live music together, especially the blues. Before we had kids and responsibilities we were regulars at the Beale Street Blues Fest in Memphis and of course the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.  We’ve seen The Fabulous Thunderbirds and Buddy Guy at Red Rocks, Dr. John, Ray Charles (god rest his soul) and attended all sorts of little blues festivals up and down the Eastern seaboard, yeah, you could say we got around.

Asheville’s got plenty of blue skies, blue ridges, and even bluegrass but not a lot of blues. Happily, through a few strange twists of fate, Cass recently found himself with a chance to create a blues night at the Asheville Music Hall every Wednesday in May, so he’s running with it!! Come out to the Asheville Music Hall for the 12 Bar All-Stars, featuring Aaron “Woody” Wood, J.C. Lang, Marcel Anton, Chris Kew and Zach Alberto!! These guys had a lot of fun last week (check out their face book page for pics) and are fixing for more tonight! $5 cover after 9 so get there early!

Blues 12 Bar All Stars

2.2.14 – Buddha Blue

2.1.14 – February Blues

February Blues

I’ve decided to do a color study in found blues of every shade for every day of February. I’m not going to do too much dialogue this month, just color.

Roaming around in a new garden today I spent a long minute checking out this spot of blue from a garden globe.


Blind Pig: “Q”

April 7 turned out to be the perfect day for Blind Pig’s “Q” Dinner with Pitmaster Ed Mitchell and The Admiral’s Chef Elliott Moss who truly out did themselves to make a delicious and special meal for Blind Pig’s patrons at Hickory Nut Gap Farm benefiting the Organic Farming Research Foundation.

This was a traditional “family dinner” afternoon complete with parents, grandparents, cousins, kids, babies, foodies, newbies, friends, lovers and some of the best dang pork you are ever going to eat this side of Wilson, NC.  Pisgah Brewing donated a delicious keg of beer for the occasion.  Music filled the valley all afternoon with Bluegrass by QuarterHouse and the “Blues Doctor” Drink Small to set the tone from social hour till late in the day.  Special crowd favorites, beyond the succulent, hand seasoned chopped pork, were the fresh pork cracklins, smoked oysters, hush puppies, collards, mac n cheese and banana pudding.  I’m hungry all over again!

It was so much fun to see everyone in their picnic garb, kids playing in the creek, folks strolling in the pasture or propped up on their coolers in the field just stretching out; with a gorgeous sky in the most picturesque valley, calling it “the perfect day” just about sums it up.  LOTS more photos are at Blind Pig’s facebook page and the Mountain Express has a musical slideshow of my pictures to accompany Mackensy Lunsford’s article.


The Nighthawks Rock the Jack of Hearts

The best bar band ever.
And if you know these guys you know that’s not an exaggeration, that’s the truth.  The Nighthawks brought the power to the Jack of Hearts Friday night and blew the door off the place.  The dance floor was full, the bar was busy and the Hawks were setting the pace with plenty of their classic songs as well as new music from their latest release, Last Train to Bluesville.  It’s been about 4 years since Cass and I have had the chance to see them live so it was a real treat for us to re-connect.  Thanks to Bob for being our DD for the evening – we were glad to have you along for the show and thankful for your careful steerage!

The Crux

That’s a wrap!!! Just uploaded the final cover proofs this week for Cathy Ponton King‘s brand new album, “The Crux”, featuring Jimmy Thackery, Ronnie Earl and Butch Warren!  So pleased to be working with my sweet friend on her latest project!  Look for it to be out by March or April!!

The Howling Blues of Ben Andrews. . .

 . . ain’t gonna howl no more.  So sad to hear the news about Ben Andrews’ passing this week. I don’t know the how’s, when’s or why’s but I know he always served up the blues in a real and tangible way from deep inside of himself that said, ‘I’ve been there.’  I was lucky to know him as a friend.

  I’m sitting in the basement listening to Ben’s Blue Rider album, Preachin’ Blues, from 1993 with Jeff Sarli and Mark Wenner.  It is so raw and real, smooth and gut level.  The last time I saw Ben play was at the Madam’s Organ in Adam’s Morgan, 2004. He had the Tues. night slot there forever – howling out his heart on a weekday night for tips, just pouring it out on the floor.

 Since most of you probably missed out on Ben, you can still get a small sweet taste of just what you’ll never get to see again here on this youtube clip from the old Fleetwood’s in Alexandria, VA: Statesboro Blues. That’s my buddy Hugh Feely jumping up and down with the harmonica and the incomparable Tim Jarvis on drums in the video.   The Blue Rider Trio, in any combination, was always a sight to hear and behold with a howl that could grab your soul.  He will be deeply missed.  Peace to you Ben Andrews, until we meet again on the other side.  My deepest conodlences to his dear wife, family, friends and fans back home, and across the world.  Our loss.

Here’s a link to the article Terrence McArdle wrote about him in the Washington Post.

Tressa’s Flapper Floozie

This scene is from Tressa’s Jazz & Blues Club in downtown Asheville on Broadway.  I know what you’re thinking, ‘Cindy in a Blues Club, so what else is new?’   Tressa’s is a neat little club although it’s heavier on the Jazz than Blues. Super friendly folks work there and the service is very personable.

Really cool factoid about Tressa’s, the building used to be a furniture store at the turn of the century but fell into disrepair after the Depression.  There was a big fire downtown in the 40′s and the buildings on either side of it burned down.  Tressa’s was preserved because the holes in the roof had allowed the wood to be saturated by weather and so it didn’t burn. They still have a full size hand operated elevator in the back that the store used to use for getting inventory from the top level to the bottom.  It’s unusable but all of the gears and workings are visible from the bar.  If you ask nicely they may show it to you.

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