Saturday Dec. 26 (up ate breakfast at Starbucks) and shopped a little. (Crescent City Comics and Origami for lunch).
We drove to the French Market for food and fun. Heard some great music and met a few new people. Stopped at the Balcony Music Club where I filed this report:
Lefty may be a drummer, but he’s still a blues bandleader, one who’s set up a residency of sorts on Decatur Street, usually holding it down for French Quarter blues at the Balcony Club.
And if the live show is anything like this disc, it explains his steady gig, although these performances work better as a resume than as a portrait of where he’s at right now.
If you’ve heard Volume 1, you know that Keith sticks to the classics—that first batch contained solid if unremarkable versions of warhorses like “The Thrill Is Gone,” “The Things That I Used to Do,”
“Everyday I Have the Blues” and “The Blues Is All Right.” Likewise, well-worn blues standards litter this volume, which was recorded live here, in Arkansas, and in Massachusetts between 1997–2011,
but there are twists: the True Blues do “Lovey Dovey” like Roland Stone, not the Clovers, and their take on Muddy Waters’ “I’m Ready” is so Blasters-style uptempo it’s almost rockabilly.
Of the three eras, the best stuff happens in Jonesboro, during the band’s brief Burnside Records tenure, with Fred Sanders behind the mic. Their renditions of B. B. King’s “Outside Help,”
Jimmy Reed’s “Baby, What You Want Me to Do” and T. Bone Walker’s deathless “Stormy Monday” sound the loosest, the most free-spirited, the most like a jam. Then again, lone original
“You’re So Fine,” clichéd as it is, is so expressive in its Cape Cod performance it’s practically jazz.
Lefty can do shuffles, West Coast blues, Chicago electric, and New Orleans soul, but if you want to hear what he’s doing on Decatur—and what standards end up on Volume 3—you’re just
gonna have to go down there.
Again, I heard them Saturday Dec. 26th, the day after Christmas when everything is supposed to be relaxed and The True Blues were in full sound. I heard three songs, their SRV (Stevie Ray Vaughan) "Pride and Joy" was simply awesome. The Balcony Club has no smoking inside so it was wonderful inside the bar. The music was crisp and clear. Lefty and the True Blues are out of this world excellent. The Balcony Music Club 1331 Decatur Street, houses some of the best blues bands of New Orleans.
On Sunday Dec. 27, I met with Jamie Wight at Jazzology (1206 Decatur Street) NOLA. 70116 phone (504) 525-5000. Jamie and I spoke about my novice approach to "the blues and jazz" and he helped me again with my ongoing research of learning about this unbelievable art form. Jamie took time out of his Sunday to meet with me because the rest of my stay in NOLA was going to be limited because of spending the time with David so he didn't mind at all helping me and I appreciated him for doing so. The feeling of complete warmth when you walk in this place (if you could understand what was happening), it would take over you (in gulf you) and you'd understand everything about blues and jazz. So I walked up the stairs to my interview and Jamie (whom had just played at Preservation Hall (723 Saint Peter Street) just the night before, was receptive to every question that I had. Again as I've said before he's forgot what I wished I'd learned about this art form. It'd take me all night to type everyone of the people he suggested me listen to in understanding whom was worthy of "keeping in mind about the blues" Hundreds and even thousands of people that were instrumental in creating the art of "The Blues and Jazz." Just to name a few of the artists that was from "old blues school" that I was taught about: Willie Brown, Teddy Darby, Ed Bell, Bobby Grant, George Thomas, Rube Lacy, George Carter, Dad Nelson, Freezone, Nehemeah Skip James, Jelly Roll Morton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Ida Cox, Blind Blake, Buddy Boy Hawkins, Charlie Spand, Blind Roosevelt Graves, Belle Street Sheiks, Papa Charlie Jackson, Will Ezell, Johnnie Head, Tampa Red, The Hokum Boys and Banjo Joe, Alice Moore, Viola Bartlette, Elzadie Robinson, Lucille Bogan Ivy Smith, Madlyn Davis, Mary Johnson, Leola Wilson, Art Hodes and the list continues......George Lewis, Scott Hamilton, Santo Percora, Frank Wess, Paul Barbarin, Helen Humes, Arnett Cobb, Wendell Eugene, Dave "fat man" Williams, Browne & Wight Jazz Band, Harold Ashby, Wooden Joe Nicholas, Creole George Guesnon, Nick LaRocca, Sonny Stritt, Sammy Price and if I keep on (listing names) I'll never make my point but there are so many more wonderful singers, artists that made our lives better by their beautiful music. Just in this class Jamie told and taught me so much, almost to much to consume in one day, it'd take you months even years to learn about this style, the people whom wrote and whom played the blues and jazz. I feel as if I'll learn forever about this style of music, I should have started years ago. It is interesting and so wonderful to learn about. Sometimes about the people whom played and sang it just as much as the music itself. There is a feeling of relaxation and excitement about this sentimental music. In just a few minutes I'll have a video for your entertainment and learning pleasure. In his early years George Buck's vision which is now JAZZOLOGY, was to do just that learn about and collect blues and jazz, he however dedicated his entire life to the art form where I chose to learn about classical, imagine what and where I'd be if I began so many years ago learning about the blues and jazz where I'd be now. Great men like Walt Disney, Neil Armstrong, Lewis and Clark all had great visions of something they needed to do. Buck was a visionary that knew from a young age that music was what he had to do to make him whole.
George Buck, who parlayed a youthful passion for classic jazz to a lifelong business which produced more than a thousand LPs and CDs on nine different labels.
Buck sold newspapers on the street during World War II and put his earnings into savings bonds. To his father’s dismay, he cashed them in, hired his favorite musicians, and put out a 78-rpm set of the sides, featuring cornetist Wild Bill Davison, his all-time favorite, with clarinetist Tony Parenti's band. The label grew slowly and steadily, though fifteen years later there were still only ten albums in the catalogue.
George Buck went into the radio business and made a living buying and selling small stations – he'd find an under performing outlet, turn it around with a new format and more efficient management, and sell it at a profit.
He used the profits from radio to subsidize the labels, and as small record producers gave up, he'd buy their catalogs and reissued them on one of his labels, each of which was devoted to a different genre.
Buck's operations were originally centered in New Jersey, and he was later in Columbia SC and Atlanta GA before finally relocating to New Orleans in 1987. Jazzology/GHB shares quarters on Decatur Street with the Palm Court Jazz Café, which is run by his widow, Nina. The facility includes a recording studio and the firm’s massive collection of master recordings.
The ownership of the firm was transferred to the George H. Buck Jazz Foundation, organized by Buck to insure that the catalog of music he assembled would remain in print eternally. Unlike most record companies, GHB/Jazzology never deletes records from the catalog – virtually every CD in the catalog is in stock and
always will be. Unfortunately, most of the firm’s LPs were lost to Hurricane Katrina, which devastated the firm’s warehouse and remain unavailable.
George Buck retained his boyish enthusiasm and zest for jazz throughout his life. He knew everyone in the jazz business, particularly his end of it - traditional jazz – and when he was younger he traveled all over the world to hear his favorites in festivals and jazz parties. Very few people get to spend their lives doing what most of us dream about – George Buck was able to make a living from a music most people eke out a living at – no one in his right mind would try to make a living from a music thought to be extinct about the time he started his label. He kept his firm running successfully for over sixty years and had a lot of fun doing it.
George Buck passed away from a heart attack Dec 16th, 2013 his complete obit can be found on this website at the title
When George Buck passed away he could have not wanted better people to run and be curators of his legacy other than Jamie Wight and Larz Edegren. Jamie has helped me more times than I can count and I am honored to call him my friend and teacher.