This morning I got up early so that I could get to downtown Manhattan in time for something pretty cool. At the last minute, I got asked to work with Big City Blues Magazine on a future cover shoot they had planned to use when they feature NYC in February 2011. The night before, I had met Jr and Sugar from the mag at Terra Blues and they had expressed an interest in putting the club on the cover as a backdrop for some of the NYC blues scene's more illustrious members. Needless to say, in the morning, arriving to Bleecker Street and having a whole crew of amazing talent waiting despite the cold weather to shoot a picture that would be an almost tribute to Art Kane's famous photo entitled "A Great Day in Harlem". If you don't know what "A Great Day in Harlem" is, please Google it, especially if you like jazz (or New York City, for that matter).
So, myself and some notables gathered ourselves together in front of the city's last blues club. There were some amazing players, that I was honored to know, some to have played with and others to be be around and maybe share a joke with. Guys like Bill Sims Jr and John Hammond, Barry Harrison and Dave Fields, Junior Mack and Bobby Radcliff. Mikey Jr, Michael Packer, Bobby Brian and a whole host of others, all hanging out together.
In this column, the tag line below reads "that has had his ups and downs". If last week's worries about my vocal health and the concerns over canceling tours and what not be filed under the "Downs" category, then let today's cover shoot for Big City Blues Magazine with me standing shoulder to shoulder with living legends, personal heroes, and friends be filed under the "Ups".
Check out www.bigcitybluesmag.com for more on what they are doing and for more on the last blues club in NYC, 20 years and counting, click over to www.terrablues.com.