Gippsland Rhythm and Blues Club - May 2012

I decided to make a trip to the Gippsland Rhythm and Blues Club this afternoon and join in at the open-mic if conditions were suitable.

Initially I was going to take the Dobro, but changed my mind and took the bass instead.

Powerhouse Blues Band were playing the opening set, so I headed for the bar and bought a drink and then started chatting with Carl Radford. Carl had brought along and acoustic and an electric guitar just in case an opportunity occurred. We both lamented that the open-mic was not very progressive or challenging as it was a lottery as to who the other band members might be. Invariably you had to play at the level of the weakest member as they simply can't perform any better. This usually results in the same old songs being performed month after month and well, there are better things to do with your time.

Well the planets must have aligned at precisely 2:30 as I ended up performing with three really good musicians, and well, I was pretty happy. After PowerHouse finished up Peter Gray walks up to us and starts asking for volunteers for the next set. I said I was, but added that I would ben playing bass. Peter then asked Carl if he'd like to play guitar with us and he agreed. To put the icing on the cake, Tony Martin would be playing drums, fantastic. There was even more icing to come.

We all found our instruments and plugged in and tuned up. It was then that I noticed we had an additional member, Don Laughton who had his saxophone at the ready and was adjusting his microphone. Fantastic. I asked Carl what he wanted to sing, to which he replied he didn't want to, he just wanted to play guitar. Fine, I asked Tony, but he wasn't keen either. I figured Don would be busy with his wind instrument, so it was left to me. The trick is to pick a song that you know the lyrics to, so I picked Moondance. I quickly showed Carl the chords. I was about to start when Don announces he wanted to use another instrument. He puts down the saxophone and lifts up a small bag and proceeds to assemble a flute. How fitting. I start the song off and hand out the breaks and its sounding wonderful. Halfway through the song Carl brings to my attention that he's broken a guitar string. I say "Change it" and start playing a bass solo to give Carl time to change the string. As it turned out, Carl just grabbed another guitar. As the song progressed, Don reaches into another bag and drags out a Cabasa and starts playing that. Nothing like being open minded.

The next song was "The Thrill Has Gone". More good solos with Don back on saxophone. We finished up with "Born In Chicago" which seemed fitting as it was a Blues club.

I almost had to pinch myself to remind me that I wasn't dreaming and that we had played some really nice, slightly different music.

I left not long after we finished our set. I would have stayed longer, but I still had to finish cleaning out my garage. I stayed long enough to introduce myself to Don as I hadn't met him before.

Happy, happy, happy ... La De Dah ...