Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Denver Adventure 2014 Pt. 2 - Catfish Kray Blues Band at El Chapultepec

I recently started watching HBO's Treme and two seasons in, I'm amazed at the fact that I think I now have an even deeper love and respect for music and musicians. The show isn't just about music, but since it is about New Orleans, music is a HUGE part of it. What's interesting is I wasn't necessarily a huge fan of what I always thought of as "New Orleans" music, but watching the show, I'm not even sure what that means anymore. But regardless of genre, the soul of music is what comes through in the show. The realities of life coming into contact with the romanticized idea of musicians who love what they do with a passion is something I could watch forever. The scenes that take place in tiny clubs where struggling musicians get to set the place on fire and forget their troubles for an hour, by giving the same to a receptive audience, that energy, is something I think we all try to find in live music in one way or another.

I found it in Denver, in a tiny place called El Chapultepec, a bar and taco joint, of all places. The band was The Catfish Kray Blues Band, doing blues and R&B covers to a sweaty, dancing, drunken crowd, while just a few feet away, through the open back exit, cars just kept stopping at the traffic light, unaware of what they were missing.

It almost seems like a no-brainer, but it turns out the best vessel for delivery of blues and soul is a woman who's 8 months pregnant. Granted, I'm sure Larea Edwards, the vocalist, can deliver with or without the baby bump, pregnant glow and angst, but I'm also sure these things help enhance her talents. Aside from that, she was great with the crowd and her smile lit up the room. Even when one ever annoying lady kept insisting on touching her belly. And the talent clearly runs in the family, since at one point, her two sisters joined the band.

I can only assume Catfish and the rest of the band have been around the musical block. Sure, there were a few missed notes, but so what? That's the nature of bar bands. Sloppy is a style and it works for them. You don't go see this type of thing for precision. It's all about the feeling and it was there,which you can really see in this full performance of Sam Cooke's "A Change is Gonna Come" my buddy Carlos edited from both our phones' videos.

I don't go see live music often enough and it's something that I hope to change. Not just major acts. I want to start seeing more small, local bands in tiny joints. I just hope I can find the kind of music I want to hear in the kind of places I want to go to, down here in South Florida. I have a feeling it's not as common as other places, but I may be wrong. I hope. We'll see.

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