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Ollie Fury at the Espace B and Me at the Acoustic Jam Session

December 3, 2010

Actually, I ended up in both places last night and had a nice bit of exercise walking between the two of them. That’s the beauty of the iPhone; you can pull up the GPS and see how long and HOW you can walk from one venue to the other and get your daily exercise – in the -10 degree weather.

Although I have seen and written about Ollie Fury in Paris for a while and in Singapore during the F1 race when Ollie happened to be there at the same time I was, this was the first time I had the opportunity to see him in action with a whole band. On bass and some kind of harmonica/keyboard instrument was Yaco Mouchard, and there was another guy on percussion – bongos, snare, something like that. It sounded great. A beautiful combination for Ollie’s haunting compositions. Ollie told me in Singapore that he was going into the studio to record like this, and now I’m really looking forward to the result.

I took the 36-minute hike from the Espace B – where Ollie played – over to the Cabaret Culture Rapide bar where I have written many a time about my Friday-night open mics there…without a microphone. But last night was the first time I have attended the Thursday night jam session with the Belleville Blues Band. And I was not let down. I enjoyed the band immensely, and I was delighted to be able to find four of my songs that just managed to squeeze into a blues feel of the evening. I was invited to do more, but I couldn’t think of anymore to do just then. Will no doubt return. But it was great fun to play with the guitar player and drummer, and then the bass player joined in and so did the other guitar players. I ended up with the full band on “I Shall Be Released.” (I had started with “Crazy Love,” then went into my blues version of Hank Williams’ “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry,” and then did my own song that I wrote when I was 16 and which has yet to find a title.) The band then played on its own brand of blues and blues rock, and while I am not a huge fan of electric blues evenings – with the same three chords endlessly played – this was a completely different effect with the acoustic instruments, and as you will see, with the cool singing.

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