July 6, 2007

Portland Waterfront Blues Festival – Thursday Night

I remember two things about the last time I attended the Portland Waterfront Blues Festival, in the late eighties or thereabouts. The first was seeing the somewhat grand, old man of British blues, John Mayall and his band.

The second is that I first saw and heard an Andean band. They were playing in a margin of the festival, but had drawn quite a crowd, and I was transfixed. I loved the exotic sound, the mix of roots and new, and the cheerful energy of the music. Not so different, in some of those ways, from the blues. Musically, that is the real memory of my first Festival.

From that time, and for the next several years, bands of itinerant musicians with lutes and little guitars and black derbies could be seen all over the country. I wonder what happened to them.

Thursday night's highlight, for me, was seeing Joan Armatrading. I've always admired her song writing and singing and it was good to hear that her voice is as strong as ever. She plays a mean guitar, too. I had a cassette of Me, Myself, I that I wore out. Time to get a CD or two.

No comments: