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House Party 2013 “Grooving on a Sunday Afternoon”

Featuring: Michael Frank, Paul Kaye, Gerald McLendon, Jerry Zybach, Terran Doehrer

Watch video here.Paul Kaye, Gerald Mclendon, Jerry Zybach, and Terran Doehrer play in the backyard

Over the weekend I had a backyard party in Chicago for my friends Jerry Zybach and Demetra Kalams, who were in town from Eugene, Oregon for a wedding of a relative of Demetra’s. Jerry and I had not played together except with Honeyboy on tour, so this party was an opportunity for us to get together. I rarely played harmonica with anyone other than Honeyboy, so I had fun played with all these fine musicians who showed up at my party. My friend Gene Lubin, a Chicago producer, label owner, and musician showed up, and posted some videos on Facebook. You can find them on his Facebook page and on my Facebook timeline too.

Jerry Zybach used to play with Honeyboy Edwards and me in the Paul Kaye and Jerry Zybach pluckingPacific Northwest when we toured out there. Honeyboy and I met Jerry when he came to one of our shows in Portland. Demetra used to work in Juvenile Court in Chicago and I used to see her in the hallways during my career as a social worker in child welfare. It was a pleasant surprise when I saw her again in Portland, Oregon with Jerry in November 2010 at Honeyboy’s last performance out there at Duff’s Garage. Jerry is a full time musician. and Demetra is now an artist working in watercolors.

Earwig recording artists Johnny Drummer and Jutta Distler and Terran Doehrer – Jutta and the Hi-Dukes – showed up, as did Paul Kaye – a fine guitarist who used to play with me and Honeyboy Edwards in the Midwest.

Paul teaches guitar at the Old Town School of Folk Music and at Hogeye Music. He can be found playing around Chicago and in southern Wisconsin. Paul played on Honeyboy’s final Earwig recording – Roamin’ And Ramblin’, on the tracks with Honeyboy and Bobby Rush.

Jutta and the Hi-Dukes are the first world music band on my Earwig Music label. Their cd On the World Beat is a fine overview of their work.  I have known them for about 25 years. Terran used to do graphic design for Earwig, and their daughter Zoi, a fine musician who is in their band, learned to crawl at our house. She loves ferrets so any of you into ferrets, check her site out here. 

I have known Johnny Drummer since the early 1970’s when I had Johnny Drummer, Paul Kaye, Jerry Zybach, and Terran Doehrer play togetherrecently moved to Chicago and was hanging out in blues clubs many nights. Johnny plays regularly at Lee’s Unleaded Blues on the Southside of Chicago. He is an outstanding bandleader, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter. His 4th Earwig cd will be out in late September. At my backyard party Johnny played 3 tunes with musicians he had not met until the party. Johnny had the audience spellbound with his humorous tunes Don’t Mess With My Woman, My Money or My Whiskey, and Bad Attitude.

Chicago Soul Singer Gerald McLendon also showed up and wowed everyone with his outstanding voice, phrasing and charisma.  Jerry took the lead on guitar and I played keyboard harmony phrases on harmonica. It was fun for me to see everyone tasefully backing Gerald, and see the audience response to his passionate singing.

An added surprise at my party was Australian rapper Marlon Ray G. Porter aka Elf Tranzporter, who extemporaneously rapped about how he was enjoying the music, the people and the vibe at the party.

Jerry, Paul and I also reminisced a little about our memories of Honeyboy Edwards, who died August 29, 2011, and about KoKo Taylor, a friend of Honeyboy’s. I am on the Board of the KoKo Taylor Celebrity Aid Foundation and a co-founder of the Honeyboy Edwards Fund For the Blues.  Both organizations merit your consideration as charitable organizations to support. We’d appreciate your donations.Johnny Drummer, Paul Kaye, and Jerry Zybach play together in the backyard

Thanks to all my friends and neighbors too, who showed up for this fun backyard party, and to my wife Barbara for preparing the food.

I don’t throw parties very often, but we had such a good time, I wanna do it again. Post a note about a fun party you hosted or event you went to this summer and what the highlights were for you. That’s life on the blues highway.

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