Latrobe Valley Rhythm and Blues Club
January 2007

With one week to go on Rita's visit, and I was very glad that the LVR&BC where having a session in January. Rita's heard me talk about the club for years but today was the first time she could actually be there.

The number of performers and participants were down a bit, but that didn't stop us from having a good time. I had the good fortune of performing twice, with different musicians and that was great. I was generously offered the use of a guitar amplifier (valve, wow) for my sets. I however did annoy the owner of the amplifier enough for him to come up to me and say "I don't mind you using my gear, but take your glass off MY speakers!" I quickly complied. I haven't seen a valve amplifier in years (read decades), most impressive. I do remember playing at the Top Pub in Morwell in the Seventies and placing my glass on my speaker box and playing a song. At then end of the song all that was left was the base of the glass. Yes, you could say we were loud. :)

It's always a bit of a challenge to come up with material that everyone knows and yet is a bit different from the "standard set". I tried a few different songs from what I normally do (Spoonful, Rock me Baby: Hendrix style) and even got lost in the last song thatI performed solo, "Tears in Heaven". I was lost in the great tone that I had that I forgot where I was in the song. I staged a rather clumsy comeback and came back in regae style before recovering enough to get back into the song.

One song that I performed in the second set did create a bit creativity from my fellow musicianss. I chose Tommy Emmanuels "Initiation". I challenged the keyboard player (Chris) for a didgeridoo sound and the drummer (Kenny McTagert) for a primitive sound (Clap sticks, etc). I think the song turned out well. Very rewarding to hear musicians extend themselves from their comfort zone.

Rita told me on the way back home that the song "Tears in Heaven" really struck home with her for the first time: What if one of us died?