A Family Reunion of American Music: Blues, Jazz, and Rock N’ Roll
by David Klockau
On Sunday, November 6th, and again on Sunday, November 13th, there was an American music reunion of sorts held at the Viking Club in Moline, IL. The November 6th performance of Adrianna Marie and her Groove Cutters was the first-ever joint music event sponsored by The Catfish Jazz Society and the Mississippi Valley Blues Society and held at The Viking Club a long-time live music venue and supporter of MVBS. With a full horn section and a Blues-influenced guitarist, Adrianna Marie combines elements of both big band Jazz Swing with Blues influences.
“Wow, my jaw dropped. I think that it’s so cool they can just solo without even looking at the music like they can just make it up on the spot and it still sounds good. I loved every second of it, just how they sounded together, just melding perfectly, nothing really feeling out of place. Honestly, being able to solo with music is something that I have always wanted to do (and make it sound good) and just to see them do it so well and together gives me goose bumps. Jazz and blues have always been one of my favorite types of music. Ahhh it was all just amazing.”
– Muscatine High School Music Student commenting on their performance.
The November 13th performance of The Beaker Brothers was a joint promotional effort between live local music supporter Rudy Hernandez and MVBS. The Beaker Bros are a regional Eastern Iowa band that covers classic Rock and Blues from the late 60’s early 70’s such as Allman Brothers, Santana, Eric Clapton, and the Grateful dead. They proudly accept the title of “jam band”, and typically play to packed audiences of a “certain age”. And as Beaker Bros. frontman and bassist, Ed English recently asked an audience: “Which is weirder, to be twenty years old in the 70s or seventy years old in the ’20s?”
“Mamma let that boy play some Rock N’ Roll, Jazz is much too crazy, he’s too young for the Blues, he’s just inside his first pair of shoes”
– Mama Let Him Play, Jerry Doucette, 1977
Of course, no one is too young to play the Blues, and Jazz music is not “crazy”, but both evolved from Blues music, just as did Rock n’ Roll music, along with every other form of popular American music from Soul to Country and from Rap to Hip Hop. As Willie Dixon famously stated: “The Blues is the roots, and the rest is the fruits.” And thanks to local live music venues like the Viking Club, Kavanaugh’s, Gypsy Highway, The Redstone Room, and local music organizations, like The Catfish Jazz Society and MVBS, live music is still alive and well in the Quad Cities. In fact, recently River Music Experience, which houses The Redstone Room, changed their name to Common Chord, which perfectly illustrates the family connection or “common chord” between all forms of popular American music, with the Blues as the common chord.
Posted in Dec 2022
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