Blues Letter #72
Chick had a really good night this past Saturday with Eddie Devilboy Turner. Well, we all had a great time; so much so that in the middle of the first set, we had to close the doors. Sold out! And here's what our Senior Guitar Correspondent has to say about Eddie:
Wow, what a great start to 2009 at the Outlook. It's no exaggeration to say that Eddie was on fire last Saturday night, in fact it might even be an understatement. There's a line in his "Turner Diaries" where he sings: "Trouble calling every day don't even know my name, Trouble coming every day she don't even know my name"
Well anyone who didn't know Eddie Turner's name before Saturday night surely has it committed to memory by now and should have that performance etched into their brains. He had the place reeling and rocking, dancing and screaming. Heck, he packed the bar to the point they had to close the doors after reaching capacity (something that has only happened a few times before at the Outlook). And he didn't just pack the place; he tore it apart and blew people away with his scorching guitar and honey-dripping sensual voice. It was especially great to see Eddie draw such a crowd and get his due here in Boulder . He may be Cuban born and Chicago raised, but he has been a big part of the music around here since his early days with Zephyr in the 70s and more recently Otis Taylor, so why not consider him our very own? Saturday night's packed house followed up a great write-up he received in Blues Revue this past year (issue 111 April/May 2008, the same issue in which our Honey Bee has a photo credit) so let's hope that 2009 is a huge year for Eddie. He sure has earned it.
His music is a dynamic blend of psychedelic and experimental blues that captivates an audience. It's not easy to perfectly categorize his sound. It's progressive blues with a twist, like acid rock with a healthy dose of John the Conqueror root thrown in. Sorta like having Purple Haze delivered by a gypsy woman on a hell-bound train at midnight. Psycheblusic music. And sometimes he dives into a blues-jazz fusion reminiscent of the innovative material the Jeff Beck Group used to put out. I'm talking some really good stuff here. The majority of his material is his alone, and when he does do a cover he adds a uniqueness to it that makes it sound like it's a song you've never heard before. His band mates backed him up solidly all night long. Tony Black on drums and Jimmi Trujillo on bass fanned the flames for Eddie and kept the dance floor crowded, and JT pulled off several of the more entertaining bass solos I've ever heard.
Eddie has this ability to really sneak up on an audience. Saturday night he started with a soft and soothing version of "Rock Me Baby" that was so sexy it was damn near erotic. Steamy and bluesy, it crept right into your soul. Which is typical of Eddie, there's this underlying tone to his music that is spiritual and edgy and sometimes even a little spooky. The music builds on you. Voodoo blues that conjures up images of Jimi, and damn if his voice doesn't have that same soft sensual quality. Almost like a whisper…yet it's a commanding and defiant whisper dripping with just the right amount of 'attitude'. But Eddie isn't attempting to be a Hendrix knock-off (though I swear he is channeling Jimi when he does 'The Wind Cries Mary"). No. Eddie wasn't imitating anyone Saturday night, the show was 100% pure Eddie "Devil Boy' Turner and there is no one like him.
His songs, his voice, his sizzling guitar combined to create music with such a chilling swagger that it grabbed the crowd with an almost hypnotic effect. As he ran through his own material in songs like "Rise", "Dangerous" and "Privileged Life" you could feel the passion in his voice while his guitar riffs subtly crawled up your body and grabbed you by the throat and throttled your very essence. And then he'd slip in something a little different like a Jeff Beck instrumental ("Stratus") that made my eyes bug out as he tore through it with one fiery solo after another, the power of his guitar exploding until the notes seemed to dance and twinkle onstage like fireworks. When he kicked into "I'm a Man, I'm a Man" his slick and deadly slide made his guitar whimper. After some of the most tasty licks the sound started to morph and took on a dobro-quality as the sweet strains poured from it and the "blues fell down like rain" (which is another Turner song but jeez the words describe this one so well). By then his guitar was strutting with a mojo all of its own and no one was able to sit still. One of my favorites is when he attacked Michael Burks 'I Smell Smoke'. Whew! That little number was so hot I kept looking for the Boulder Fire Dept to show up. The smoke and flames were smoldering from his guitar and nothing was going to put them out except the hotel laws which made the music stop all too soon. Damn, I could have handled another 3 or 4 hours of this with no problem.
How good was the show? Well Honey added him to her fiancée list that night. OK…maybe that's a bad example since that's not the most 'exclusive' club in the world, but I heard rumors that at least 10 other women (and I'm pretty sure two or three guys) started their own fiancée lists with Eddie at the top of 'em. And, I gotta thank Eddie for introducing a new blues-starved transplant to blues in Colorado . This was the first time my wife's new friend and co-worker had been at the Outlook. Amy moved to Loveland , a little over a month ago from Omaha and was missing the blues scene she left at Murphy's Lounge and the Zoo Bar in Lincoln who have a steady flow of national acts. Patti told her she needed to take a ride with us to Boulder to get herself a blues fix, as well as to check out Eddie Turner who is one of my wife's favorites (now I'm starting to wonder if Patti has her own fiancée list, you think?) Anyway, Saturday night was Amy's introduction to the Outlook and Eddie Turner and she left here doubly impressed as both an Outlook lover and new Eddie Turner fan (complete with a live CD in hand). After Saturday night I can safely say "she'll be back".
Another Outlook 'regular' from Loveland has been born. With all the attention the national acts coming up in Feb-March are getting don't overlook the January lineup. There's a wave of killer guitars on the loose. Todd Tijerina is playing this Thursday. Check him out! I've caught him several times and he is pretty kick-ass. He's from New Mexico , packs a powerful guitar and does some really sweet blues…and I'm taking all bets that Todd joins Honey's fiancée list. The following week there is a 3 night stretch featuring Glass Ceiling (Hilary, Audree and guitarist Linda), followed by Sammy Dee blazing with Texas-Cajun blues and finally the Mike Kaylor Band who I was deeply impressed with at the local IBC finals (Eef is one sweet sweet guitarist!!!!). Then Jake Loggins wraps up the month on the 31st. Up from C Springs, Jake is a young (I dunno, 25 maybe?) slick-as-hell guitar player with all the flashy moves and tricks you can think of. That's five hot guitars coming up, 5 different styles and all worth checking out. Sheesh, I'm gonna need to get some kind of "frequent flier-drivers miles" for all my commuting from Loveland . Oh well, I suppose my car can cool off while Patti and I are at the IBC next month.
Thanks Chick. Again, tonight is the Todd Tijerina Band, and I've heard a lot about them from both Chick and the Joyous Jill Watkins, so really excited about tonight. Ah, I love the smell of a potential fiancée in the morning! See you tonight!
Oh, one more thing. One of Sammy Dee's songs, "Behave Yourself" was picked as one of the top 50 of all the songs played (1400) in 2008 on Kai Turner's Strictly Blues Show at Fox Radio 103.5, on Sunday evenings. The songs were picked by call-ins and how many times played. Also, one of Lionel's was picked as well, but I don't know which one. Hey Lionel, a little help?!
~Honey Bee Sepeda~
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