It's the day after my birthday and even though I know I should be home overdubbing guitar parts on my forthcoming CD (see previous posts) I'm at big party at the Palais Royale. It's a movie release party, a much bigger deal than the CD release parties I'm used to. Little food stations all around the place. A couple of guys shucking oysters here, smoked salmon there, another area serving jambalaya and cornbread, outside they had corn-on-the-cob and turkey. Lots of other goodies, all dished out by fresh-faced servers in cute uniforms - cruise ship might have been the motif.
And there on stage, fronting the Full-Tilt Boogie Band - mostly original members - was Bonnie Bramlett, invoking the spirit of Janis as she tore into a searing version of "Piece of My Heart." Then she did a tune that she wrote especially for Janis - she said Janis asked for a shuffle, but never lived long enough to perform it. Bonnie is nothing short of a spectacular vocalist. It was great hearing John Till play - the last time I saw him play was at the Coq D'Or in the sixties. Richard Bell was doing double duty - stretched between the organ and piano - he said afterwards he was glad that Lou Pomanti was able to jump in on some of the tunes. Ken Pearson couldn't make it. Sylvia Tyson and Lorraine Segatto joined in for a rousing jam of CC Rider.
Bernie Leadon of the Flying Burrito Brothers was flown up for the occasion and did a great set but when Bill King tried to get him up for the big finale, Bernie waved off the invitation. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a little miffed that the crowd never shut up for the three tunes he did solo. Sylvia, who was in Great Speckled Bird with then-hubby Ian, had also been part of the Festival Express, sang an a capella tune to kick off the proceedings. Garth Hudson played a couple of Band classics with his wife Maud doing the vocals.
You had to be close to the stage hear the music. As the evening progressed, it seems that the crowd got more attentive. It was such a beautifully managed party, it might have been managed a bit more in favour of the musicians if they had asked people who insisted on carrying on a conversation to step out to the patio. Who am I to talk? - I was blabbing away with lots of people - most of them asking when the hell I'm going to release that CD of mine. And then I found myself face to face with David Baxter who is the producer-of-record for this album but who doesn't ask that question anymore.
As soon as I've done two more CD release parties in the next week, I will start to spend all-day (yikes) working on the CD. I promised the label I'd have therse overdubs done by the end of the month. David's eyes rolled when I told him i've been adding some MIDI tracks. This may just be another waste of time diversion, but I'm going to record MIDI as well as the regular guitar sound and then decide - keep them both, or one of them or none.
Oh, did I mention the film is called "Festival Express." I may yet get to see it, but for now all I can say is they give a great party. I comisserated with other (younger) bachelors how these film festival parties attract large numbers of stunning women. I guess they're all actresses and models. And also some not-so-young but equally attractive ladies of a certain age - the ones that were there for the original Festival Express
The Dexters started off the evening and closed it out with some special guests, Jeff Martin of Tea Party played some very credible blues. The Dexters horn section was Perry White and Steve Donald - tenor and trombone. What a great honkin sound. Amazing evening.