The BlueStone Series, Vol. 2

So it's the day of the biggest gig I've ever played; the House of Blues, in Las Vegas. My band is all here and ready. The band I brought in from Chicago, is all here and ready. There are five bands on the show. I'm the only harp player in all the bands. Charlie Love (the Chicago band) will recognize me, if not ask me to play maybe a tune with him, as well as the whole set with my band, The Don Haney Band. The keyboard player and the bass player are musicians I've played with for years; we know each other's groove and where we are going...this stage is set.

Last night, (early this morning) I couldn't sleep. Walking around Las Vegas, looking at the 2 a.m. Vegas crowd; a mix of happy people (happy with alcohol, women or money) and a mix of sad people (sad with alcohol, no women and/or no money,) my mind was racing.

Dan Sonenfeld showed up at my last gig in Torrance. Jeff Magid and Benj Krepack e-mailed me birthday greetings. (As my fifteen year old son, Matt puts it, 'Don't worry about getting old, Dad. You were old last year.) Thoughts of cutting through the alley between Merrill Avenue and 97th Street to get to Dan's, at the age of 12, to jam in the basement with (pre) Lightnin' Dan and Jeff Stone.

The years of the Blue Wave Band (Dan and Jeff) in the 80's, when my life was kids, work, poetry and trying to play the blues...the years now of playing gigs like this, with my Chicago friends (Jeff, Dan and Benj) raising families, working jobs and loving the blues...

I was thinking heavily about the last few years, the common threads that run through the veins of all of us (Chicago souls)...about what keeps us together, about the pride we all share of who we are and where we come from regardless of the pain, (or maybe as a result of) the 'White Flight' separation from our childhood(s) before we were ready, or prepared, or blind-sided by life...

I was thinking heavily of the last few years that saw the spiritual transformations that took place for Jeff, Dan and I, after the passings of Harold, Don and Rubin. Yeah, Dan, you were right when you said, "the torches have been passed."

It's (way too) early in the Sunday Las Vegas morning. I can't sleep. My mind is racing, going over the scene later tonight at the House of Blues. The songs, my rhythms, my leads, my stage presence. "Will they forget to announce me as 'from Chicago, Ill?" Tyrone Davis, is headlining...I wish him the best, but God, he better have a tremendous show planned, because we came to TAKE OVER!!!!!!!!

I'm rambling...tomorrow we go for the pre-meeting...then the sound check...then the SHOW. Charlie brought the cassette of our recording session in Chicago with the Silky Smooth Band. I can't wait to hear it...I can't wait to do this show...I can't wait, period.

God, I love playing...God, let our fathers and mothers and brothers and sisters hear the music. May it soothe their/our souls. Let them be somewhere, all together, looking down, smiling, with pride. Let them all, be at peace...

Jeff Stone