Duke Robillard at the Iridium

Duke Robillard at the Iridium
The previous night we had turned up at the Iridium, intending to see Duke Robillard and saw the Les Paul Trio instead.  This night we saw Duke Robillard (music on MySpace).

Duke Robillard at the Iridium
Les Paul was also watching on from the wall.

Duke Robillard at the Iridium

New York

Duke Robillard at the Iridium
Duke Robillard is a Blues musician who also plays Jazz.  Most of his CDs are Blues but some are entirely Jazz.

Duke Robillard at the Iridium
He cofounded the band Roomful of Blues in 1967, which still continues to this day and left it in 1980.

Duke Robillard at the Iridium

New York
From 1990 to 1993 he played with The Fabulous Thunderbirds but after leaving Roomful of Blues has generally played in his own bands.

Duke Robillard at the Iridium

It was another great night of Blues with a small audience in an intimate setting.

1 November 2011

Marshall Crenshaw & the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium

Marshall Crenshaw & the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium

Les Paul Trio

We had intended to turn up to see Duke Robillard but accidentally turned up to a Jazz band.  Duke Robillard was the next night.  Fortunately, they were very good indeed.

Marshall Crenshaw & the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium

Les Paul Trio

As well as that, the audience was quite small and we were able to sit very close to the band.

Marshall Crenshaw & the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium

Les Paul Trio with Marshall Crenshaw on the right

Les Paul invented the solid bodied electric guitar which was eventually commercialised as the Gibson Les Paul.  He also invented overdubbing (multi-track recording) and a number of techniques that later became influential in Blues and rock.

Marshall Crenshaw & the Les Paul Trio at the Iridium

Marshall Crenshaw & the Les Paul Trio

Les Paul was primarily a Jazz musician.  For many years he played every Monday night at the Iridium Club up until his death in 2009.  There are obviously more than three people here but I think it includes two of the trio who played with Les Paul.

31 October 2011

Joe Louis Walker plus the Nighthawks at the Iridium

We had turned up to hear Hubert Sumlin, Howling Wolf’s guitarist, but sadly it was not to be.  He had run out of health at the age of eighty and died just over a month later.  (Here is his MySpace page, with many tracks including full albums).

Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Mark Wenner, Paul Bell and Johnny Castle, the Nighthawks

So no Hubert Sumlin and we’ll never know what we missed but this was to prove the best night of live music we experienced in New York.

Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Mark Wenner, Paul Bell and Johnny Castle, the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Mark Stutso, Mark Wenner, Paul Bell and Johnny Castle, the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Mark Wenner, the Nighthawks

First the Nighthawks opened up and they are a wonderful band by themselves.  They are based in Washington DC and have been going since 1972 with many personnel changes.  Previous members include Jimmy Thackery, Pinetop Perkins and Bob Margolin.  Current members include longtime member Mark Wenner as well as Paul Bell, Johnny Castle, and Mark Stutso.  (Website).

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker

Then Joe Louis Walker joined in for a whole extra dimension.

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker

Joe Louis Walker is another icon of the Blues and has also played with a kaleidoscope of eminent musicians.  (Website, Myspace).

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

There was also a further guitarist local to New York, whose name I don’t remember.

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

The remarkable thing for us is that we were right beside the stage for this remarkable performance with an audience of only twenty to forty.

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

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Joe Louis Williams with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Walker with the Nighthawks

Joe Louis Williams remarked to a friend who turned up after the gig that he’d missed out because they’d been really cooking.  So it wasn’t just my opinion.

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Times Square

An iconic girder gang, outside in Times Square

26 to 27 October 2011.