Pictures and thoughts from a Memphis Musician's Wife

Posts tagged ‘Suavo Jones’

#88Bones @ the Center for Southern Folklore: Band Manager’s POV

Suavo J. featuring Mr. 88 and the Bones is the band that I manage. Most of the time when Jeremy plays, I take a supportive wife role. I setup equipment and play waitress and mom to most of the bands that he plays with. My momma didn’t raise a lazy woman. On occasions with my band, I get to play more of a role than band wife and mom. I get to manage the Bones. I run their website, Facebook, promote, book, and do crowd management at the shows. I am the one everyone turns too when the band is on the stage and something is needed from them. 

For the past 10 months, I have been trying to get the band booked at venues other than the cigar shop, where they play when needed. This has been in nights when the Grizzlies had home games at the Forum or when a band is not already booked on Thursdays (ladies’ night). I appreciate having a venue to play in so the band would have a regular showing. It has had its ups and downs, and we will probably be back there soon.

Tonight was different. Tonight the Bones played at the Center for Southern Folklore. This is a vastly different crowd. Tonight, my moms were there and the first time they would see Jeremy and his band play live. Tonight was the first gig with a cover charge ($10). Tonight was their time to shine and be seen. That is exactly what they did. As they began their first set, my moms and their friends took their seats. Another friend of ours came in. I walked outside, and the manager asked if I thought the guys would draw a crowd. I just kinda shrugged my shoulders and said we would see. 

As they played the first of two sets, people began piling in. These were people who were just walking by and had too stop and listen. Most of them stayed most of the night. My band had the house PACKED! The employees of the Center were wowed by the Bones. They lived up to their motto of putting some of their Memphis Soul in the bones of their listeners. The set ended with a packed house. My moms and their friends left, and a few of the others stayed around. 

The second set started with “Extravaganza.” They absolutely rocked the house with their rendition of this song, and by the second part of the song, the room was beginning to fill again. People who couldn’t come in gathered at the door to see this amazing band. By the end of the night, the crowd was begging for more. The played the longest instrumental version of “Let’s Straighten It Out” I have ever heard. but it was so appropriately wonderful. The crowd erupted when they finished. I could just imagine them on a giant stage with thousands of people in front of them. I can’t wait. 

The people filed out, and we began to break down the equipment, all feeling very satisfied. All of the money was counted and distributed. Everyone was even more satisfied. We sealed another gig at the Center, and we will hopefully be appearing at the Memphis Music Heritage Festival on Main Street in Memphis, TN on Sept. 1, 2013. I would call today an all around success. 

 

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International Blues Challenge Memphis, TN

GTBB at Newby's

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.

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Ghost Town Blues Band at Newby’s on Highland in Memphis, TN

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Suavo J. and Mr. 88

Suavo J. and Mr. 88

From day one, there was something about Suavo. He was a friend from the beginning. He was the best man at our wedding. He crashed on our couch when his car broke down so that he could get to work and pursue his dream of being a professional musician. He is now our housemate. This is someone who would lay his life down for his friends, and you don’t find that often these days. He and my husband are great friends, something I see lasting a lifetime. Many of my pictures will be of the two of them together.

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