Suavo J. feat. Mr. 88 and the Bones with Sweet Angel singing “Just Be Good to Me” at the 2013 National Bikers Roundup in Tunica, MS
So, you always hear all sorts of things about singers these days. Some are total divas. Some are self-centered, rude, and hard to work with. Some are just particular about what they like. Last year, Jeremy got a call from Mike Dobbins, husband and manager of Sweet Angel, “the Redbone with the Saxophone of Blues.” Due to scheduling difficulties, we were not able to work with her. In that year, Sweet Angel had another band or two, and the Bones started to take off on their own.
About a month or two ago, we got a call from Mike Dobbins. Jeremy was asked to put a band together for a Sweet Angel show. This time, the band was ready. All they needed was a guitar player. Moe, our bass player, suggested someone. He came to two rehearsals (there were only 3) and backed out on the day of the event. Moe called a guitarist named Adam. Jeremy has played with him a lot of times on Beale Street. I was sure if anyone could do the music he could. But that story comes a little later. Jeremy booked the gig for the Bones, and the Bones began rehearsing the music.
Now, I should explain something before I go any further. All of the musicians I work with are able to listen to a song and normally play it back just like the CD. You will rarely ever see chord charts, drum charts, or sheet music around them. A majority of them are self taught. I don’t mean, they only play by ear. If you gave 3/4 of them sheet music to sight read, they could. There is just something different about these musicians.
I was emailed all of the music and made sure my band got it. The first rehearsal lasted an hour or so. They seemed to breeze right through the music. The second rehearsal was a little rough. Of course, there was a different added element, the guitarist. I was not personally at that rehearsal, but I know it tool almost 3 hours. I also heard stories about the guitarist arguing and whining throughout the rehearsal with Sweet Angel. I was at the third and last rehearsal. The energy through the first run was low. When the second run was played, Sweet Angel sounded pretty satisfied, although still skeptical of if they could pull the show off with the energy she needed.
The day of the show rolled around, and we all rode together to Tunica, MS. We were performing at the Tunica Expo Center and Arena, opening up for Avant and Keke Wyatt, as well as Mr. Bobby Rush. Avant’s band was on stage doing a sound check when we walked in the door. Jeremy thought he would be able to use the keyboard in the backline, and there was a backline for everyone else, so nobody brought their amps or big equipment in. They took a very long time to finish their sound check. Sweet Angel and 88Bones were going on stage at 7, but when the band finally got to step foot on stage, it was 7. Of course, Jeremy couldn’t use the other Motif on the stage. We had to run out and get his equipment and set it up. We did that in about 5 minutes time, and the band got started.
The first song was so full of energy. Adam, the guitar player, fit right in with the band, even though his first time hearing her music was in his car on the way to Tunica. Sweet Angel was sweating by the 2nd verse! She told the guys during rehearsal that she wasn’t satisfied until she started sweating. After the first song, I went to sit beside the stage. The show went of without a hitch. When Sweet Angel came off stage, she told me I’d whipped them into shape. I didn’t do anything. That’s just my guys. They may not be perfect during rehearsal, but when the lights are shining and people are cheering, these guys give their best.
We got in the van for the ride home, all feeling somewhat satisfied. It looks like this could be a new path for #88Bones. Stay tuned for this adventure. Oh, and Sweet Angel has proved not to be anything more than a professional lady. She was kind, generous, encouraging, and wants the best band she can get because she puts on a show that needs just that. We truly appreciate her professionalism. I am very proud to say I am the manager of Suavo J. feat. Mr. 88 and the Bones. They are an amazingly talented group of professional musicians, and I am honored to be able to work with them. I’m so glad that they entrusted me with their future as a band.
The last week of January/ first week of February every year in Memphis, Downtown Memphis is transformed into a Blues lovers’ paradise. There are somewhere around 200 blues artists and bands from all the world who make the trek to Memphis every year for the International Blues Challenge. It has evolved into probably the largest culmination of Blues musicians in the world, and I have had the honor of having a husband who was in it for the past two years.
This year, the competition to see who would represent the hometown Memphis Blues Society at the IBC this year saw a few different faces. At the last minute, Suavo Jones (trombonist) and my husband, Jeremy, were asked to play in the competition with the Ghost Town Blues Band. This was the band that came in second to the band Jeremy and Suavo played with the past two years in the competition. They were most definitely a crowd favorite, but they ended up losing by a fraction of a point. Sadly, we thought we would not participating in the 2013 IBC.
A week or so later, Matt Isbell, lead singer for GTBB, texted us to let us know that GTBB would, in fact, be representing Rosedale, MS in the 2013 IBC. The decision was made to turn the 3 piece Ghost Town Blues Band into a 6 piece (two horns and a keyboard added to the trio), and the guys have been the Ghost Town Explosion ever since.
So, the 2013 IBC is around the corner now, and I am getting very excited about seeing this band perform in the competition. I think they have a great energy and spirit. They are true musicians in their bones. They were born with music pumping through their bones. I feel truly blessed to be able to spend so much time and be so involved with all of these guys. They make my night every time I hear them play.