Month: November 2011

A Review For You: Buffalo Area Blues for Two

I don’t go through the Penny Saver every week, but I found an announcement in the November 6th edition for the “Gowanda Blues Festival” at Moose Lodge #1382 and since Maria Aurigema was playing, we had to go.


~*~Props to Norm for getting us advance tickets. Thank you! ~*~


We arrived early, picked an ideal spot and ordered dinner from the special ‘Blues Fest’ menu. The service was excellent, as was the food–and plentiful! The Bravuras were first up and they were quite competent. The sax player was most enjoyable. Since they went on at 6ish on a Saturday evening, it’s hard to fault them for their set. I’m sure they would have been better a bit later in the night.

During the Bravuras set, Maria walked in…


She is fine.

No one there could have missed her entrance. She does have star power. The set change was awesome to watch. Maria was all there and helping to move equipment and lay down the carpet. She sprayed something like magic on her frets and she was good to go. The set was SO fantastic. Husband and I have listened to her songs on WBFO’s Saturday Blues Show hosted brilliantly by Jim Santella for years. Her song, “Thinking About You” was included on the “Nickel City Blues” compilation, offered as a ‘thank you gift’ a few years ago.

“Miracle Man”


“Take Me”

“Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean.”


Girl can sing! Woman can play!

She took a minute to run into the green room, emerged with a flag, draped it over the amp and dedicated the next song to the veterans.

After her set, I went to buy a copy of her CD which I’d been searching for in the local outlets without any luck. Not only was I able to purchase her CD, I was given two of her photos for free and she signed the CD with the most wonderful, sweetest inscription.


Next up were the Heavenly Chillbillies. From the get go, I liked this group. They were a fun bunch. They did covers of songs I like such as “Blues Are My Business and Business Is Good.” Husband wasn’t impressed at first, but as the set progressed, they became more in tune with each other. Their song “My Sister’s So Mean, She Drinks Gasoline” was hilarious and so well done! I was making the call on that one and sadly they announced their CD wouldn’t be out for a while–otherwise, I so would have bought it.

Right, so far everything is well defined. The Blues Hounds came on and they were tighter than an infantry man to his rifle. The chorus of voices on the song “Don’t You Know You Got a Good Girl At Home” was brilliant. The group was diverse and rugged and truly blues worthy. I liked them a lot. If they had a CD, it wasn’t apparent or well advertised.

The last set was by Mr. Conrad/Shrimp Daddy. Right. Husband fell in love with them right away. I was less impressed. “You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone” was great though, and Husband decided we would get the CD which was advertised by Reid as “I smuggled ten CD’s in with me from Canada. Don’t make me take them home.”

Finally, Mike “Shrimp Daddy” Reid got around to introducing the band. If I’m spelling it wrong, mia culpa, but Aaron Bates, you are the most handsome thing that came on the stage that night. You, bassist, are right up there with cotton candy in the pleasure lane of life.

Because Husband decided on getting the CD, we did. Can I say pompous and arrogant? The CD was just Mike Reid. Had I known that at the time, I might have declined purchasing the CD. He wanted $20.00, which I thought was steep. On stage, he kept referring to playing in Buffalo which I found ignorant since Gowanda is not Buffalo. According to Husband, I’m supposed to cut him some slack because he drove down from Canada. Fine. I’d be less put off by the man if he had offered to sign any of the CDs that people bought from him that night, but he didn’t.


I’m especially ticked since what Husband deduced from hearing them play is that Shrimp Daddy is very, very good. We listened to Maria’s and then Shrimp Daddy’s CD the next day when WBFO scheduled worthless Anita to play bad crap rock songs. Maria’s CD was awesome but I knew most of those songs already.

As to Shrimp Daddy… Well, I must trust my initial-and so far continuing-dislike of the man. I want to believe this is not recycled fodder from a well known romance novel where Mike Reid plays Jack ‘Trustworthy’ Colton to my Joan ‘I will kick your sorry ass, you fool’ Wilder.

I really dislike that man but love the music.

Seriously, his “Some Guys Like It Rough” — I see that song covered by Shemika soon, if not Etta.

It was a great Saturday night and I’m so glad we went.

Ta until next time!

*These are just my reflections. Your experience may vary.


It’s the Start of NaNo and I Feel Fine…

This is day three of National Novel Writing Month and I feel fine. Just fine. A bit cranky perhaps, but not about the writing, which is going OK, I guess. I skim what I wrote the day before to remind myself where I was going. Some of the typos are funny. Case in point: I meant to write a character saying, “I’m sorry for your loss.” (I know, cliché, but the point of NaNo is to get it written, get it done, edit later.) What came out instead was, “I’m sorry for your life.” I left it as is because maybe that’s what he really meant to say. I don’t know that now but perhaps I shall by the time I rewrite.

If I get that far. Life is crazy and it gets more so each day. Yes, there’s been some rejections, but I’m used to that, what I’m finding is all sorts of “Extras” being thrown at me. Even this morning was another extra. I find it highly unfair of the universe to throw things at me before I walk out the door. On my stoop was a product to evaluate. What the???

The remodeling area did get cleaned up this week which it desperately needed. Bettina passed away and the memorial is scheduled for Sunday at two. It was set for Monday at two and it would have been hard to get to, but now that it’s on Sunday, I have no excuse. I really liked her. Who wouldn’t like a woman who made incredible cookies for receptions and intermissions at the Arts Center?

And while I had it in my head before I started NaNo this year that I would write the new stuff in the morning and then edit an older work in the afternoon and evening, what I hadn’t counted on would be that there would be no choice in the matter.

I sent away to get the entry form for a first mystery novel contest, but didn’t hear back, so I forgot about it, plus I figured, why edit when I don’t have to? Well, the entry form came and once “Campus Crimes” is edited, I need to send it in old school, printed out in full. My reaction to this is: Oh My G- I’m soon going to be sending off a manuscript! A whole one–just like I’ve seen in movies and dreamt about doing since I was at least twelve years old. Holy Wow! I feel so close to living inside one of my dreams. Lol.

I’m a quarter of the way through the edit and I think I could have used the find and replace option to eliminate every ‘that’ and I’d drop the 10% Stephen King advises to cut. I think I’ve kept two ‘that’s so far. What was I thinking? Sadly, I do recall–I thought I needed a manuscript to be 100,000 words-minimum. *Sigh*

So, my friends, I need to get back to the delete button. Any luck wished this way will be greatly appreciated. Have a happy two weeks until next time!