STEADY ROLLIN' MARGOLIN: Since before young Lightning Hopkins
sat at Blind Lemon Jefferson's knee stealing every lick he could,
the blues has required an apprenticeship to a Master. Anybody
can learn the notes. But blues music is more than pentatonic scales
and I-IV-V chord variations. It's about emotion, attitude and
Steady Rollin' Bob Margolin learned from the Mojo himself, Muddy Waters. From 1973-1980, Margolin was Muddy's right-hand man, playing every place from smoky dives to sunny festivals with some of the greatest blues musicians ever. He and his slinky slide guitar have shared stages with Pinetop Perkins, Hound Dog Taylor and John Lee Hooker, to name a few.
Margolin returns to Tucson on Thursday, July 30, at The Boondocks. He fondly remembers his last time in the Old Pueblo this past January.
"It's not one of the big festival gigs, but it was one of the real high-points of the tour," he recalls. "We had a big turnout and the band played just as good as it could play. I remember a bunch of people dancing, partying, rocking and having a ball. For blues in a bar, it don't get no better.
"Big blues festivals are doing great around the world, but I think the bar scene is hurting," he observes. "There may be as many blues clubs as there were, but there are lots more bands and people don't tend to go out to clubs as much as they used to. But these clubs are where some of the best things happen. Blues in a bar with real soulful people hanging out, having a good time and hanging loose, getting close to the band...that's the stuff we enjoy a lot."
Margolin is carrying on the teaching tradition himself with his own 22-year-old protégé, Tad Walters, who plays bass and harmonica and sings. "He's getting a reputation as a deep blues player. We have him jumping around from one thing to the other, and it gives us more versatility by hitting a lot of different styles of blues. I certainly give him a chance to show off a little on my stage."
Show time is 9 p.m. next Thursday, July 30, at The Boondocks, 3306 N. First Ave. Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. The event is co-sponsored by the Tucson Blues Society, with tickets for TBS members for $7 at the door.
"I can't wait to get back. That's the kind of gig that redeems months of bad times, dealing with fools on the road and being away from home. I'm sure the air conditioning will be working, but it's gonna be sweaty," Margolin promises.
HOT PICK: You gotta know a good thing when you see one, and if there was any doubt remaining about the kick-assedness of the "Multimedia Mondays" events at Club Congo, the over-the-top (not to mention below-the-belt) performance by The Jesus Lizard on July 13 settled the score.
If you've been saving yourself for Thursday or Friday, you need to reset your alarm clock and head down to the Congress, 311 E. Congress St., where The Derailers headline this Monday's musical program around 9 p.m. This honky-tonk band from the dance halls of Austin promises a solid dose of alt.country the way Merle Haggard intended.
Other musical guests include Quintrone and Miss Pussycat, and Bob Log III. For more information on this week's series of short films, see "Media Madness" on the City Week calendar. Doors open at 8 p.m., and cover is $4 at the door. Call 622-8848 for information.
LAST NOTES: Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the nights are still delightful. And if you think there's no place to go (sorry, there's just no way to avoid this), here's a show, and a show and another show:
If there's any line-up in town that can make the gods cry, it's gonna be the sonic torrent of Cortex Bomb, blowing up the keg around 9 p.m. Saturday, July 25, at Nimbus Brewery, 3850 E. 44th St. Providing the lightning for that monsoon thunderclap is the pyrotechnical art of Scot Jenerik and Thomas Dimuzio. Call 745-9175 for information.
For local talent at a lower decibel, check out sweet-sounding desert rockers Creosote on Thursday, July 23, at Third Stone Bar & Grill. These guys are just one good ol' boy shy of a six-pack, with two guitars, electric bass, drums and a banjo that'll make you want to whoop and holler and order another round.
Congratulations are in order for the band--the only one from Arizona, in fact--for their inclusion on Full Tank, a compilation of alt-insurgent-country-twangcore from Jack Ass Records out of Santa Barbara, California.
The idea of anything alternative coming out of whitebread Santa Barbara recalls those ads about salsa made in New York City; but obviously Jack Ass transcends its name because the label picked Creosote's "Trouble" as Full Tank's lead track. As if that isn't enough, the band anticipates inclusion on a similar compilation disk from Chicago-based Bloodshot Records, the hotbed of country insurgence.
The Denizens open the show at 10 p.m. Thursday at Third Stone, 500 N. Fourth Ave. Call 628-8844 for information.
For more of a good thing, you can catch the same duo in reverse (Creosote opening, followed by Honey Child and finally The Denizens) starting at 9:30 p.m. Friday, July 24, at the Double Zero, 121 E. Congress St. For more information, call 670-9332.
That Suess-like workshop of performance art, The Mat Bevel Institute, hosts The Underdogs of Blues Night from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday, July 24, featuring the truly kinetic energy of the Nervous Duane Orkestra, along with the Blue Banditos and Rey Tester. The institute is a short block north of Sixth Street, at 530 N. Stone Ave. Call 622-0192 for information and ticket prices.
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