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.
“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.
MARIA AURIGEMA ROCKS!!!
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.