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Jazz & BluesView Blue Monday’s back in town. By Eric Benson

Rain still in the forecast, yippee! Sounds like a blues weather forecaster, you know things aren’t normal when you’re happy and prayin’ for rain. Well let it rain, let it pour, let it do a whole lot more…cause I want those deep river blues to be ebbing and flowing to us.

In the meantime there is plenty getting ready to blossom and flourish in our downtown in weeks to come. One of my favorite artists coming out to be the guest artist at the Blue Monday Party April 7th is Freddie Roulette. Freddie in his late 70’s is one of the best lap-steel guitarists you will ever hear. A fixture on the west coast Blues and Rhythm & Blues circuit since the 1960, Freddie is an eclectic musician. He plays through a Fender twin amp with a volume pedal so when he solo’s he sounds like a Saxophone on steroids. He plays all the tunes that are popular to the steel guitar like country styling, and blues but also plays straight ahead jazz and tunes in odd time signatures. His continues to record and tour internationally and still in demand with groups that want an amazing eclectic soloist to feature. He’s played with Charlie Musselwhite, Harvey Mandel, Maria Muldaur, Calvin Keys, Terry Haggerty, Mofo Party Band, David Mathews, Loyd Gregory, Lady Bianca, Coco Montoya, Henry Kaiser, and many others. Backing up Freddie is the house band with Johnny & Kelly, the mighty Tim Allen on bass, vocals, Darnell Robinson on sax’s, and myself Eric Benson on keys and crowd control. It is an invitational Jam session so come down and sit in, network and hoist a glass to some good music.

The State Theatre continues with community friendly booking with the Good Luck Thrift Store outfit with pine Box Boys on May 3rd, ad May 9th Asleep at the Wheel.

The Gallo Center for the arts continues with their diverse booking. April 4th is a get the Led out tribute of Led Zeppelin 1V album, (one of my fav’s), 13th SF Scottish Fiddlers, 24th Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and in May Keb’ Mo’. Hard to imagine Led at the Gallo but hey I’m there!

One the West side, the West Side Theatre in Newman has a Bluegrass blowout on April 11th with Red Dog Ash, and the Rock Ridge Bluegrass Band, and Caravanserai, (Santana Tribute), on April 12th. Red Dog Ash is a hard swinging 4-piece that will get folks out of their chairs to do the Texas Swing dancing. For more info: 862-4490.

And DEWZ wine bar has increased their serving up of weekly music featuring the best of our local musician. In April: 4 th, and 18th,John King & Robin Montgomery, (Jazz guitar duo), 5th & 19th, Josh Rosenblum, 11th, and 25th Francesca Bavaro, 12th Tim Allen with Elton & Billy Joel standards. The wine bar is a nice casual intimate setting to hear music with food and bar available.

One the Jam session front check out: David Dow hosting Barkin’ Dog Grill Jazz jam every Thursday night, and the Queen Bean with Indie, acoustic jam every Sunday.

Need to get at me with some info or questions: email me at: mbenson@fire2wire.com, or cell 209-918-7033.

Peace out, Eric Benson

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