Sunday, January 25, 2015

Brian Blade to sing and play guitar in Mama Rosa session at Bears Fairield, Shreveport, Fri, Jan 30

Brian Blade

Touring Europe and the US continually, Brian Blade is at a pinnacle of recognition as a jazz drummer. Blade's group, the Fellowship Band, is up for a Grammy for the album Landmarks. He's a steady partner to jazz legend Wayne Shorter. He even had a part of the Antonio Sanchez drum score for the movie Birdman.

But when he performs at Bears this week - seated, with an acoustic guitar in his lap - people in the Shreveport audience will see Blade the singer-songwriter. It will afford Blade fans a window to his soul - after, all Mama Rosa is a song about his grandmother and about Shreveport.

Blade also gets to show the audience the broader world of music he inhabits. Guitarist Mark Griffith reported from rehearsals that they will do a Link Wray tune as well as a Dylan number. That's in addition to an entire suite of folk-rock, mid-tempo tunes penned by Blade. His vocal partner will be his Shreveport comadre of many years, gospel singer Monica Blake Mickle. Expect to see Shawn Stroope on bass and Lane Bayliss on drums, says Griffith.

It's not going to be a night of dance, though from time to time crescendos will be thunderous, says Griffith. "Maybe a few hippie chicks swaying to some of the tunes," went the joke at the Blade rehearsal.

When last he performed the Mama Rosa session - Naked Bean Cafe, Line Ave, 2010 - the waves of energy that rolled out from Blade and group were like sonic surf at midnight.

All that and no smoking, too? Last week Chase Boytim declared Bears to be a full time no smoking zone. Hats off to Boytim, a serious student of entertainment and how to bring it.

It's a family and soul night for Blade and Shreveport. Highly recommended.

Tickets are $15 online and 20 at the door. "It will sell out," says Boytim. Locals may also drop by Bears this week to buy a ticket for 15, no handling charge, says Boytim.

Please see singer Maggie Koerner's reminiscence about Blade's 2010 show at Naked Bean.

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