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Rockin’ Jake and Band -Live – July 16, 2011 at The INN on the Blues – review by Lady K

by GFats on July 19, 2011

Rockin’ Jake and Band
Live – July 16, 2011 at The INN on the Blues

By Lady K

“Somebody SCREAM!!” – when INN-crowders hear that command, backed up by rollicking New Orleans blues they know that it must be Rockin’ Jake, on his annual visit to the INN on the Blues, in York Beach, Maine. Saturday, July 16th. Rockin’ Jake and his band hit the ground hard in southern Maine, playing at a local ‘Celebration of Life’ party in the afternoon, and then heading into traffic-filled York Beach for an exciting, music-filled night. “HOT!!!!” (Jake scribbled, one-handed — while playing harmonica – right on top of Lady K’s notes!).

A little history: Rockin’ Jake was appearing at the INN on the Blues when Katrina wreaked her havoc on the Big Easy. Jake and his wife relocated to St. Louis, but his music is still of the New Orleans. This semi-steamy summer night, Jake brought the sounds of NOLA, aided by his terrific band: Paul Niehaus on lead guitar and vocals, Eric ‘Eroq’ Foreman on bass and vocals, and, the ‘new kid’, Tobin Halls on drums. The band’s set list included ‘old’ blues, from such legendary blues-men as Muddy Waters (“Hootchie-Cootchie Man”) and Fats Domino’s “Hello, Josephine”. Then, there were tunes that were a bit ‘newer’: Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together” (with bassist Eroq handling lead vocals); and Allen Toussaint’s very cool tune (with some very hot drumming from Tobin) “On Your Way Down” – just to name a few.

Jake’s own tunes received plentiful play-time, and provided Jake with a chance for a little personal ‘play time’ of his own. “Hit the Highway” featured a long, amazing harp solo, and his cordless harp-mic enabled Jake to hit the dance-floor, joining the dancers for several minutes, then a leisurely stroll around the club, joining people at their tables, and finally out to serenade the folks sitting on the porch – sorta the Pied-Piper of the Big Easy. Jake’s “Full-time Work, Part-time Pay” and “Going Back to the Big Easy” are always crowd pleasers, exactly because of that great NOLA party sound. Later in the evening, the high-energy “Shake Your Hips” (which eventually morphed into “A Man Down There”) got the all of the INN-crowd up on their feet and cheering, while Jake found his way up onto the bar, playing and singing and roving the length of that drink-festooned surface. Jake and the guys also debuted a brand-new tune – not yet recorded – entitled “Everybody Smile”, with Jake on harp and lead vocals, and both Paul and Eroq providing back-up vocals.

Jake donned his washboard vest for “All Night Long”, and then shared the musical duties with an unsuspecting dancing fan, when he let her wear the vest for part of the tune. Ya gotta wonder how she could NOT know he would keep playing that vest while she was wearing it, but there was that surprised look on her face (as in ‘I can’t believe he’s doing THAT to me’) . . . go figure.

Lady K had a chance to chat with the band-dudes during the break; always fun to meet new musicians, chat about friends we might have in common. Paul mentioned that after the break he would be doing a tune that he only started performing a few weeks ago – a Solomon Burke number that he’d always loved and now has the chance to sing it. Poor, unsuspecting Paul asked if Lady K would mind video-taping that tune, so he could hear it himself. Lady K is NOT technically inclined, but Paul got his teensy little recorder-thingy out and very carefully explained the 3 (or was that 17?) steps necessary to record the big event. Things didn’t go well, and (of course) Lady K’s designated tech-assistant had stepped outside for a stroll!! REALLY, dude? So big, big apologies to Paul – I let you down, but you sounded great, I promise. (And Pete? You are so fired!!)

From → Lady K, Live Review

One Comment
  1. Lady K and Boston Blues Society- Thanks so much for a great review and for your support. It was a great night at the Inn and thanks go out to Joe Lipton and his great staff there. I just wanted to clarify a couple of things:
    – “A Man Down There” is actually Sonny Boy Williamson’s “One Way Out” (from my 5PM Breakfast CD.
    -“Everybody Smile” is actually “Everybody’s Smilin'” (not yet recorded)
    -The “washboard vest” I donned is called a “frottoir”.
    -Our drummer’s last name is Hall, not Halls.
    Thanks again and thanks for supporting independent bands.
    Best wishes,
    Rockin’ Jake

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