Saturday, October 30, 2010


Artisan's Asylum Halloween Dance

This might just be the most unusual set I've DJed in a while ... half the people were blues dancers, half were non-dancers, and the description I was given ran along the lines of ... fun party music that's good to dance to. Allrighty then ...

-Fireflies - Mofro
-Bad Seraphim - Alien Fashion Show
-Mercy On Me - Christina Aguilera
-Get Back Temptation - Ollabelle
-You Can Leave Your Hat On - Etta James
-Mercy - Duffy
-100 Days, 100 Nights - Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings
-Son of a Preacher Man - Dusty Springfield
-Brown Skin - India Arie
-Can't Stop Thinking About You - Martin Sexton
-I Idolize You - Lizz Wright
-Alice - Patti Plinko and Her Boy
-Sinkin' Soon - Norah Jones
-Missed Me - Dresden Dolls

Monday, October 25, 2010


Blues Muse Sunday Night Dance

-The World Keeps On Turning - Fleetwood Mac
-Idle Hours - Victoria Spivey & Lonnie Johnson
-Gimme A Penny - Big Mama Thornton
-That's Why I'm Crying - Koko Taylor
-Black Night - John Lee Hooker
-Follow the Drinking Gourd - Linda Tillery & Cultural Heritage Choir, Eric Bibb
-I Ain't Got Nothin' But the Blues - Diane Hoffman
-Dark Sunshine - Dr Michael White
-Kansas City Wrinkles - Count Basie
-Tombstone Blues - Ronnie Magri & His New Orleans Jazz Band
-How Come My Dog Don't Bark When You Come Around - Dr John
-Trouble in Mind - Aretha Franklin
-Down Home Blues - Etta James
-Ruby Mae - Snooky Pryor & Mel Brown
-Come Home Blues - Jennifer Nettles Band
-Come On In My Kitchen - Porterdavis
-No Need Pissin' On A Skunk - Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women
-If I Can't Sell It, I'll Keep Sittin' On It - Ruth Brown
-Stormy Blues - Billie Holiday
-Harlem Nocturne - Sam Taylor & His All Star Jazz Band
-Blues for Mama - Nina Simone


Blues Muse Friday Main Dance

Blues Muse is hands down one of my favorite events, and Philadelphia has quickly made my list of favorite dance scenes. The level of dancing was awesome, all the instructors were great, the music was good, and people in general were so much fun to hang out with.

I DJ'd two sets over the weekend, and am pretty happy with how they went. Here's the Friday set:

-Driving Wheel - Etta James
-Love Me or Leave Me - the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet
-Springtime Blues - Billy Boy Arnold
-Decoration Day - Sunnyland Slim
-You Can't Lose What You Ain't Never Had - Muddy Waters
-Sugar Mama Blues - Snooky Pryor & Mel Brown
-Another Man Done Gone - Irma Thomas
-My Handy Man Ain't Handy No More - Alberta Hunter
-Sugar Blues - Preservation Hall Jazz Band
-One Hour Mama - Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women
-Last Call - Ronnie Magri & His New Orleans Jazz Band
-Sunshine in the Shade - Satan & Adam
-Deep in the Delta - Brother Yusef
-Love Me Like a Man - Bonnie Raitt
-Lord, Don't Move the Mountain - Angela Strehli
-Rain - Charlie Baty
-Red Mud - Chris Thomas King
-Don't Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down - Eric Bibb, Rory Block, Maria Muldaur
-Muddy Water Blues - Paul Rodgers
-Tell Me More And More And Then Some - Nina Simone
-Saga of Bill Bailey - Nancy Wilson

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Artist of the Week #2: David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Photo by Valerio Berdini

Honeyboy Edwards is one of the last living original Delta Bluesmen, and the last living link to Robert Johnson. At age 94, he still tours the country playing concerts, and played at the House of Blues in Boston last Friday. It was a great concert, including blues musicians such as James Montgomery, Grace Kelly, Desiree Bassett and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith. Honeyboy played the full second half of the concert, accompanied only by another guitar and a blues harp, and the music was fantastic. He still had incredible technique, and his voice was strong enough to carry most songs well.

Delta Blues is definitely an acquired taste, especially for blues dancers, but I've come to love it. I've also realized that it is much easier to dance to live delta music than to recordings.

West Helena Blues - David Honeyboy Edwards (The World Don't Owe Me Nothing)

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Housewarming party at the DanceHouse.

The DanceHouse had its inaugural house party last night, and if it's any indication of what's to come, I'd say we're in for some good parties in the future. DJing was pretty laid back, I took over from Kevin and kept throwing on songs until I didn't feel like playing music any more. It ended up being a close to 3-hour set. Here it is, for anyone who's curious:

-Short-Dressed Woman - Lafayette Leake
-Sittin' & Cryin' the Blues - Willie Dixon & Memphis Slim
-Black Night - John Lee Hooker
-Sun Dirt Water - The Waifs
-Elijah Rock - Ollabelle
-Wade in the Water - The Blind Boys of Alabama
-Death Letter - Son House
-Follow the Drinking Gourd - Eric Bibb, Linda Tillery & Cultural Heritage Choir
-Dark Clouds - Chris Thomas King
-Steamroller Blues - Soul Miner's Daughter
-Come Rain Or Come Shine - BB King & Eric Clapton
-Double Trouble - John Mayall
-Stormy Blues - Billie Holiday
-Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans - Lavay Smith
-Petite Fleur - Sidney Bechet
-My Kind of Gospel - Michael Pewny
-Tell Me More and More and Then Some - Nina Simone
-Voodoo Chile - Gabriel Rios
-Can't Stop Thinking About You - Martin Sexton
-Let's Burn Down the Cornfield - Etta James
-Black Water - Charlie Musselwhite
-I'll Be Your Sweet Black Angel - Saffire - the Uppity Blues Women
-Steal Away - Etta James
-Love in Vain - Keb Mo
-Blues After Hours - Pinetop Perkins
-Harlem Nocturne - Sam Taylor & His All Star Jazz Band
-Six O'Clock Blues - Ericc Bibb
-Love Me or Leave Me - The Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartett
-O Death - Tangle Eye
-Nobody's Fault - Rising Appalachia
-People Grinnin' In Your Face - Ruthie Foster
-Fumblin' With The Blues - Tom Waits
-Muddy Water Blues - Paul Rodgers
-Red Mud - Chris Thomas King
-Nice and Warm - Tab Benoit
-Pussycat Moan - Katie Webster
-My Handy Man Ain't Handy No More - Alberta Hunter
-You Got Me Running - Sugar Pie Desanto
-Converted - Nathan James & Ben Hernandez
-Sweet Home Chicago - Taj Mahal
-Decoration Day - Sunnyland Slim
-Saga of Bill Bailey - Nancy Wilson
-Come On In My Kitchen - Chris Thomas King
-That's Why i'm Crying - Koko Taylor
-Oreo Cookie Blues - Lonnie Mack
-Gimme A Penny - Big Mama Thornton
-In the Morning Blues - Ike & Tina Turner

Friday, October 8, 2010


Blues Union: Monster Mike Welch

DJ'd the band break for Mike Welch at Blues Union last night. I had so much fun dancing to the band - it's a completely different deal dancing to live music, especially when the band appreciates the dancers and you start getting interaction between them and the dance floor. I'll try to get some full set gigs soon (at the latest that will happen at Blues Muse!).

-Driving Wheel - Etta James
-Love Me Like a Man - Bonnie Raitt
-Ruby Mae - Snooky Pryor & Mel Brown
-In the Mississippi River - Mavis Staples
-Color-Blind Angel - Robin Rogers
-Red Mud - Chris Thomas King
-Another Man Done Gone - Irma Thomas

The set worked out pretty well, with just one snag. I think every DJ experiences a point in time 30 seconds into a song where they realize "shoot, this is not what the dance floor wants right now." And no matter how much you usually love that song, the next 2-3 minutes are torture, as you watch your dancers fumble through and you start hating every beat of that music. If this happens to you, it doesn't mean you're a bad DJ - you just made a mistake (though obviously the goal is to avoid these situations entirely). The trick is recovering. Look at your dancers and see if you can tell how they want to be dancing, even though the song is not letting them. More energy? Faster? More pulse? More traveling? Slower? Pick a song that will let them do that. And you'll have your dance floor back. It's all about paying attention and being perceptive.

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Thought: Artist of the Week #1: Erin Harpe and the Delta Swingers

So I'm trying to branch out and discover more blues, which always works better when I have something concrete to hold onto. Thus, my newest attempt at a project: I want to feature a different blues artist every week. I'll probably focus more on local artists who are less well known, though I might venture into the historic too. It will depend entirely on my mood and what I'm listening to at the moment. But hopefully any readers will get something out of it too.

My honorary first artist of choice is Erin Harpe. Erin is a Boston local, and after hearing a lot about her from fellow DJs, I finally heard her perform at Johnny D's for the Boston Blues Challenge (the winner of which will go on to the International Blues Challenge 2010 in Memphis). I'm definitely keeping my fingers crossed for them - they were fantastic. Erin  is the daughter of bluesman Neil Harpe, and started playing in her teens. I love her traditional fingerpicking style, and both her playing and her voice are strong enough to hold their own against any blues band. Check out her website here.

Also, here's a clip of her performing at the Boston Blues Challenge. You can see she filled the dance floor (including Gui and I dancing in the front). You can purchase her music from her website, or on Amazon.

Mississippi Delta Blues  - Erin and Neil Harpe (Country Blues Duets)

Winnie the Wailer - Erin and Neil Harpe (Country Blues Duets)

Happy listening!