Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Finals!!!

I’ll get to the suspense in a few, but the important news is the Lionel Young Band IS GOING TO THE FINALS!!! Only eight of the original 110 bands have advanced to the finals, and the LYB have more than earned their spot. And not only that, but Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagon are also going to the finals! Colorado is well represented.

Saturday, February 5, 2011, 10:00 a.m., usual spot. I have to keep this brief as we have to be at the Orpheum Theater by 1:00 p.m.

Lionel and Dexter went out last night, so Andre, Kim, Ricardo, Jay, Rose and I stayed here at the house, waiting for the announcement. The LYB played the New Daisy, a big room and perfect for their sound. All the acts were good, but Rose and I kept the judges table within line of sight, and all of them were table dancing and taking pictures by the LYB’s second number. The semifinals allow for a 30-minute set, and the guys took those extra five minutes and schooled the entire room. During that set, the judges gave them three standing ovations! Our guys OWNED that room.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Round Two


Thursday, February 3, 2011, 11:00 a.m., kitchen table.  Andre and I both sit here at our laptops, easing into the day. Jay is upstairs reading, Kim still asleep, while Lionel and Dexter lounge in their living room beds, talking about the day ahead.

Again, we have to be at Club 152 for check in by 4:40, even though they aren’t scheduled to go on until 9:40. Today’s rehearsal is set for noon, and this will be the first one with Ricardo in a couple of weeks. Ricardo and his friend are staying one block over in the guest room of Barbara, a generous friend of Heidi’s, so logistics remain simple.

Willie Panker is in town, playing with the New Orleans band, Lil’ Red and Big Bad. I didn’t see him last night, but we got to chat on the phone for a while. With all that’s been going on, I had completely forgotten my good friend is here. Their set is at the New Daisy at 7:55 tonight, so I should have time to head over there.

Steady Rollin’ Bob Margolin arrives tomorrow, and I can’t wait to see him. He plays both Friday and Saturday nights, and with all the others in town, well the choices are overwhelming: Trampled Under Foot, John Nemeth, Shawn Starski, Bob, etc. Fortunately the schedules for them are somewhat staggered, so I might be able to get to all.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Round One


Wednesday, February 2, 2011, 11:20 a.m., once again, Heidi’s kitchen table. Lionel and Dexter have headed to Beale Street to register the band and get the competition schedule. The worst-case weather scenario for St. Louis wasn’t realized, so we have hopes that Ricardo will get here in time. Not big hopes, but some...

Heidi is out and the rest of the guys are in various rooms around the house, leaving me to some solitude while I get breakfast ready. I’ve peeled and diced potatoes, which are now cooking, and am waiting for Lionel and Dexter to return with the rest of the groceries for a complete breakfast. Yes, breakfast tends toward noonish with these guys. Another adjustment for me.

Heidi just got back and informed us that she spoke with John-Alex Mason, who’s on his way to Memphis, and they are currently driving 30 miles per hour through Oklahoma because the roads are so bad. Fortunately, they’re not due here until tomorrow.

Lionel just called. They’re scheduled tonight for 7:20 p.m. at Club 152. It will be extremely tight, but if Ricardo’s flight is on time and his rental car is at the ready, and the roads are clear...well, he might make it. If...

Monday, January 31, 2011

Memphis Maniphesto Part 1


The Characters:

Lionel Young, violin/guitar/vocals
Jay Forrest, drums/vocals
Kim Stone, bass
Andre Mali, trumpet
Dexter Payne, Sax/harp
Ricardo Pena, keys/guitar/vocals (not on the road trip part, is flying in and out, so he won’t make an appearance until the third act: “Memphis”)
Heidi Knochenhauer, our Memphis hostess, friend, and bar-b-que guide
Honey Sepeda, cook/problem-solver/distraction/den mother

8:00 p.m., Saturday, January 29, 2011. After a four-hour unscheduled detour involving a faulty tire on the rental van, we are now headed through the center of Kansas. It’s dark in the van, and Kim’s watching a movie, while Lionel is driving and trying to talk to me while I’m trying to write to you. Andre, of course, remains the saint of patience and is interceding on my behalf, sitting in the passenger seat, chatting with Lionel about music so I can work on this blogging business. Jay and Dexter are in Jay’s car just behind us. It’s already been an adventure, and we’re but nine hours into the journey.

While temporarily stalled at a truck stop right at the entrance to Prairie Dog Town, between Colby and Oakley, Kansas, Jay pulled me aside and walked me a short way to show me, off in the distance, the world’s largest prairie dog. Well, just the head, but I saw it! No one else bothered. I guess not everyone is into fine art.