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.
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.
This is Suavo J. feat. Mr. 88 and the Bones performing “Ain’t No Sunshine” and Cry Me a River. They are the creation of Suavo and my husband, Jeremy “Mr. 88” Powell, and I am proud to say that I am the manager of their band. Suavo and Mr. 88 are the voices of the band, and the Bones (Moe and Nick) do just what the bones of your body do, hold the songs together. They are so energetic and fun to watch. There is just something special about them, and I can’t wait to see what happens when people really start to see these guys. You can check out videos at http://youtube.com/suavojand88bones or follow them at http://facebook.com/suavojftmr88andthebones or http://suavojand88bones.webs.com . Think of them as the Booker T. and the MGs of today!
I have been playing personal assistant and unofficial manager to a couple of bands for a few years now. I never had that official title until Jeremy and Suavo formed Suavo J. ft Mr. 88 and the Bones. I know…i know…it’s a long name…but it’s fitting…it’s unique…and you can always just call them the Bones if you can’t remember it all. LOL.
In November, the guys started playing their first gigs at Havana Mix Cigar Lounge. It is a small, cozy atmosphere with a nice crowd. I have been trying to get them booked at other places, and the Gorilla Battle of the Bands at the New Daisy was available for the guys to compete in. In the semifinals, the band played their hearts out. The only fans who were there were myself, a fellow musician, and our 3 year old nephew, Buddy. They went about half way through the rest of the bands, and ended up passing through in 2nd place. They won the entire crowd over, from the young crowd to the parents. Everyone seemed impressed with them. It made me proud.
The finals came around December 29, 2012. Once again, unfortunately, not many of our fans were able to make it to the show. The New Daisy was packed, however, Jeremy’s mom and aunt made it to see his first performance ever. They were so proud, The guys got a huge applause after their performance, even though they didn’t win. The goal of this, though, was to make some connections and get some exposure for these guys. I also wanted to show them that they could appeal to all ages and cultures with their instrumental music. This is an instrumental band with no main vocalist. The trombone and keys are the main vocalists of this group, and that is what makes them special.
Their effort and dedication is what makes me so proud to be able to have the title of their manager. They have entrusted me with helping them to get to where they want to be in their music careers together as a band. They trust me to get their name out there and get them out of here.
I truly think this group of young musicians should be getting paid the big bucks for the type of talent they have. Imagine Booker T. and the M.G.s of this day, with a trombone instead of a bass. That is what I think when I hear them play.
I said all that to say this: I AM PROUD OF ALL MY GUYS! YOU HAVE PUT A LOT OF HARD WORK AND EFFORT INTO THIS BAND, and I THINK THAT YOU GUYS WILL GO FAR IF YOU KEEP IT UP!