Th' Soulfinger Diaries Revisited: May 2006

There's a couple of reasons why I suppose it's time for a Soulfinger update. One is the vast change the band has gone through this spring. Drummer Manila Godown departed the act two months ago at the tip of Ace McClintock's cuban heel (talk about th' blind kicking th' naked) and keyboardist/saxist Levy Pontchartraine moved to Boston and left us sobbing at the train station.

Sobbing, that is, until I busted out that goddamn Rhodes and started coming into my own as a white, methed-up Ray Charles.

Our latest drummer is an old colleague of McClintock's called... um...let me think.

Alonzo something. He's black and all bulked up and shaven of head and shreds ass. He does a solo where he spins his sticks and comes up front and plays all surfaces and actually juggles drumsticks while he does it. Um, Alonzo Washington. Fuckin' Alonzo Washington is one of the coolest people it's been my honor to share the stage with in a longass time. Alonzo is a teetotaler but admits a weakness for fat women and also for fat pornography. Alonzo worships the Red Sox and his favorite thing in the world is fishing. This guy is the kind of person I need to know more of; he could no more relate to my artistic weltschmerz thing any more than I could get worked up over BBW. Guy's actually enjoying his life. I need to be around that- maybe it'll rub off.

We've got the horn section pretty dialled in. On trumpet is Sammy Crudup, a nearing-retirement police inspector who is also ridiculously good and nice. When I told Tito Corleone about th' badge he goes right up to the guy and he's like so, how are you about the whole, um, weed thing? Ha ha ha ha. Sammy is of course cool with Tito and all that. Tito hit a deer last night in New London.

Sax is this mysterious guy who reminds me of the actor Daniel Craig who is the new Bond, so we'll call him James Bundt. I can't really tell if he gets his swerve on- I think he might not be one of God's Coltranes (band name alert) (holy shit, that's a FANTASTIC band name. God's Coltranes) but he's such a mellow guy that it's hornorific.

Now, check this out- th' fucking bone player, right? He's like 50-something and he's a big-time jazz tourer who has worked with everyone from Buddy Rich to I don't know who all. His stories are insane. Insane. Hotel mayhem in Sweden and cocaine-soaked tours of Latin America with Miles Davis and shit. His real name is Ed Byrne in case any of you hepcats have heard of trombonist Ed Byrne. I hadn't. I thought he was just some schlomo from Greenfiel', man. Not so. So we'll call Ed, um, Slim Oldman. Slim Oldman from Greenfield who plays with everybody.

So now we've got singers Jackie Halliday and Secrecia (Secrecia!) Mayfield up front with me on this crap. It's like having Billie Holliday and a black Janis Joplin up there with you. A couple of the casino gigs this week we had conga/percussion/singer Dre Quattro who sang "What's Going On?" to much great acclaim. Also we had a second guitarist, Blues Redgreen. He plays a Gibson Explorer about as stingingly as you could imagine. Between him and Tito it's like having Stevie Ray and George Benson on stage.

And me? What of me? I have to be honest- the hard months have turned me into a black-pleather-clad, stage-stalking, soul-belting, mic-stand snapping, knee-dropping field-hollering showman. It is the weirdest thing you ever saw. I set up the piano and organ at 45 degrees stage center and I split the night between singing seated at that and hitting the front mic. My voice has found its ragged, Joe Strummer-as-soul-singer zone from enough consecutive four-set nights to choke anybody. And I'm glad that I didn't start aping Th' Great Performers because after enough hours at that straight mic up front you start to get your whole thing going.

This week brought a sharp halt to work on the very-nearly-complete "I Could Try" but I hope to get back to it early next week. The band has been going for six nights straight- a four-night stand at Foxwoods, th' Lighthouse in New London last night and tonight at a bigass club outside of hartferd. Tomorrow it's a club down there somewhere and that'll wrap it. If gas wasn't fucking 20 dollards a gillion I'd be rolling in mountains of cold, hard, cash. As it is it ends up somewhat less than that.

Fuckin' Soulfinger. This week it was pretty good. Next week it'll probably be a god damn nightmare again. Bobby Lightfoot, Ace Mclintock, Jackie Halliday, Secrecia Mayfield, Alonzo Washington, Tito Corleone, Blues Redgreen, Slim Oldman, Sammy Crudup and James Bundt. And Dre Quattro. Holy shit. It's like a De Mille movie but it humps the mic stand.


Blogger Employee of the Month said...

Vegas awaits with open thighs.

7:31 PM  

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