Friday, October 02, 2015

The Stomp is here at last

The Ponderosa Stomp is finally here with tons of live music to look forward to tonight and tomorrow.
Yesterday saw the first  batch of interviews at the Stomp conference with some of the artists. The most amusing among them was folk rock singer and songwriter P F Sloan. He was a child prodigy but blamed Elvis for a less than happy home life. 'My mother and sister fell in love with Elvis and out of love with me. This man stole my family,' he said. It was Elvis though who taught him how to play guitar when as a 12 year old he met him in a store. He became the only white artist to sign with Aladdin and by the age of 16 he was working with Lou Adler as his assistant. Adler apparently failed to recognise the potential of the Beatles and the Stones and threw their demos in the trash can, but Phil (P F) retrieved them and got Veejay to release them. He was fired and rehired several times but got to work with Ann Marget and he and his friend became back up singers for Jan Berry. He wrote Eve of Destruction and four other songs, including his own hit Sins Of A Family - about a 14 year old cousin who turned to prostitution to buy food - in one night. He joined the Wrecking Crew in LA and formed the Grassroots, a group name that had been given up by Love when they changed their name and helped create the sound of the Mamas and Papas. A very entertaining interview I thought.
Other sessions included swamp pop artist Gene Terry, interviewed by John Broven, who proved a genial interviewee, and soul singer Wilie Hightower, a man whose voice closely resembles that of Sam Cooke. Interviewer Red Kelly played clips from many of his recordings. Others included blues man Billy Boy Arnold, New Orleans singer Tony Owens and bassist Chuck Badie.
The previous night we caught Walter 'Wolfman' Washington and his band at D.b.a who was in fine form, and last night we had a varied evening, which included looking in on a practice night by a group of very energetic and rhythmic Mardi Gras Indians at a tiny club room on the outskirts of town. From there we went to the Oo Poo Pah Doo club run by Jessie Hill's daughter Judy,and finally the Hip Drop record night at d.b.a featuring a bunch of DJs from around the world who spun some rare vinyl, the most entertaining of whom were Brothers InThe Groove, a 'double decking' duo who really moved to their soul sounds.


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