BB King’s closes .. Jon Paris plays it out

On April 23, Jon Paris (bio here) and companions played their last Monday night of LIVE BLUES at Lucille’s at BB King’s in Times Square, the end of an 18 year run.

Paris came east from Milwaukee. As he said on the bandstand, “I’ve been in New York about ten times longer than I was in Wisconsin.” I love his evocations of post WWII Chicago blues, steeped in Vietnam. Here’s his first set of his last night at Lucille’s.

“Overhauled Cadillac” by Paris from his Blue Planet (2004) … refrain: “I just got a tuneup and an overhaul, my Cadillac’s ridin’ just like new …”

“The Blues Had a Baby and They Named It Rock and Roll” by Muddy Waters … also on Blue Planet  and Waters’s Hard Again (1977), produced by Johnny Winter in whose band JP worked in the 80s and 90s

Two from Jimi  … “Castles Made of Sand” and “Up from the Skies” … I love this lyric “I just wanna know about the rooms behind your minds, Do I see a vacuum there or am I going blind?” … both from Axis Bold as Love (1967) … “Skies” melded into “On Broadway,” the location of the late Lucille’s … by Cynthia Weil and Mike Leiber

“Tryin Times” by Doug Yankus from JP’s Rock the Universe (1996)

Song by Stuffy Shmitt … could be “Til I Lost You” from Blue Planet … I’m not sure

Jon says, “It’s not a sad night. One door closes, another door opens” leading to a medley for/from Chuck Berry, Johnnie Johnson, “my mom” … “I Almost Lost My Mind” (Ivory Joe Hunter) –> a boogie “Blue Monk” (Thelonious) –>”Blues This Bad” (Johnny Winter)

“My Eyes Keep Me in Trouble” …  “my favorite Muddy Waters tune from Blue Planet” (JP) … with the lyric “I want women on my left, women on my right, women all day, women all night …”

“Talk to Me, Baby [on the telephone]” (Elmore James) with JP slide guitar and harmonica solos

“Johnny B Goode” (Chuck Berry) … “Maybe someday your name will be in lights, sayin ‘Johnny B Goode tonight’ …”

But not on Mondays at Lucille’s. The run with Amy Madden, bass, and Sam Bryant, drums, is over. On June 30 Jon Paris opens for Buddy Guy at Summerfest in … Milwaukee.

 

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