Thursday, May 27, 2010

Not to beat a dead horse... but Doheny Blues was awesome.

Not to beat a dead horse, but the Doheny Blues Festival’s 13th run through Dana Point’s Doheny State Beach last weekend was awesome. It came in like a pack of gypsies. Like a well-oiled machine of gypsies raised on a strict diet of blues, Blue Moon on tap and funnel cake. An overnight town appeared at Doheny State, with vendor tents selling everything from tie-dyed swag to vintage blues records tracing the border of the festival grounds, stages and food and beer caravans.
Sara, Amy and I took one for the team and covered the festival for the magazine. I’ll only mention the Saturday evening exploits here as I don’t want to talk you into a stupor. Here’s the blast-fast, full-color Guy Ritchie version of the day:

OPENING SCENE: The voice of Johnny Depp’s rockabilly crooner in Cry Baby, the voice of June Carter’s first husband in Walk The Line, voice coach to Nicholas Cage (who I like to refer to as Memphis Raines), and under-the-radar horror film favorite. Yes, I’m talking about the talented and oh-so-immaculately tailored James Intveld. This guy rocked the Backstage Porch at the festival and incited random outbreaks of line dancing throughout the crowd to boot-stompin’, head-noddin’ crowd. You can check out my blog on the LA native for more backstory. We went to talk to Intveld after his set and he was so kind as to give us his personal copy of a Dutch magazine he was featured in, signing the cover as the final touch.
[Photos by Sara Wilkins. Check out that dapper suit.]


ACT TWO: Jackie Greene on the Doheny green. Jackie Greene sings a song I became obsessed with after hearing it play over the speakers as I tried on wonky mis-stiched designerwear at Loehmann’s (gotta love that place). Jackie sings a lot of songs I’m obsessed with. It only takes listening to one of his songs. You’ll soon be dragged into the slew of other songs that make up his Americana, melodic blues portfolio. It started with “Prayer For Spanish Harlem” (hear it and more tracks here) and ended with us gals standing in a mob of sing-a-long fans bouncing like the dot on the lyric line to songs like “Shaken” and “Animal”. Rich Sherman, the event founder and official “big wig” at Omega Events, was the perfect host, showing Sara around the backstage for the perfect shots of Greene doin his thing.
[Before and behind, Jackie Greene in action. Photos by Sara Wilkins.]

SUBPLOT: In between Green’s set and the headlining act, I stopped at the best vendor tent at the gig (in my personal opinion). Gail Deculus-Johnson left her LA turf to bring her collection of African-American memorabilia, antiques and collectibles to the fest. I walked away with a vintage, original print promoting Cassius Clay’s “I AM THE GREATEST!” recording. It was hard to choose from all the worn and weathered posters and handbills of Sammy Davis, Louis Armstrong, and the rest. Her company is called Sable Images and you can peruse some of her merch here.
[The rad poster I picked up from Sable Images]

FINALE: To tell you the truth, the intended finale was kind of sidestepped by the bright light of the aforementioned acts. Intveld and Greene were bad opening acts. Bad in that they were good. Too good. By the time we made our way into the mob of people waiting to hear from the wail & howl, retro rock & blues sound of The Black Crowes, I was already sufficiently satisfied. Which means that the notes that emerged from the Valhalla/voice-box of Chris Robinson a few moments later sent me reeling into a new level of contentment.
[This guys pipes are from another world. A better world.]

[It was a fun day. Can you tell?]

Moral? Go next year. Don’t wonder whether it’s worth it. It is. Just ask Cory Joseph.
On my iPod: Jackie Greene's "Shaken" a beautiful ode to California.


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