Month: October 2010

Jammin’ with Jeff Golub in Arizona!

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It started on October 18th.  Melissa Sharpe had posted on my FB wall, that her radio station, KYOT was bringing Jeff Golub to town for an event on October 23rd.  I read this post just as I arrived at work. She was playing “Bada Bing” by Dave Koz, featuring Jeff.  I was very happy, to say the least.  Granted, I had no idea where this function was taking place, it was in a town I have heard mentioned a lot, but had never been to, outside of Phoenix. I was on the West side of Phoenix, it was on the furthest East Side of the Phoenix suburbs. It did not matter….have gasoline, will travel!

I asked folks in my office if they wanted to join me, but most were going out-of-town.  The one woman who was going to join me had to back out the day before.  Didn’t matter, I would go alone, if necessary. Or take Mom and her walker. But I decided to ask my friend Chet, my happy hour buddy who just turned 70, and has use of a cane. He said yes. Off we went. 74 1/2 miles!  I was so far out, I was starting to get nervous. When I entered Pinal County, all I could think of was Penal Colony and our infamous Sheriff Joe! I would NOT do well in a Prison tent outside, I’ll tell you!

We arrived at the beautiful Encanterra Resort, and immediately heard guitar music playing nearby. We signed up for prizes, and started walking around the clubhouse.  The area was an Oasis in the middle of nowhere, green grass, the likes of which I’ve only seen in Ireland, Clubhouse with 2-3 restaurants, a Wine Cellar, bars, wow!  I guess you would have to be self-sufficient being that far out!

I walked past the bar and see a blond guy seated at a table outside. I know that hair anywhere…Jeff!  Of course, no matter where I am in the world, I tend to see Jeff within the first 3 minutes of my arrival! I walked over and tapped him on the shoulder. He said “Hey, I wondered if you would be here”, and gave me a hug.  I responded, “Of course! You know I would!  However, where is here?  I don’t even know where the hell I am!”  Even the Station owner piped in “Yeah, this is pretty far”!  Jeff was speaking with someone, so not to be intrusive, I went on my way to Wine Tasting and then to the amphitheater, where members of Turning Point were currently jamming.

I did not know the how limited my friend Chet’s walking was until we walked to the Amphitheater.  It must have taken us 20 minutes to get 100 yards. We settled in, and it was a beautiful, sunny day, only in the 80’s.  Having had rain all week, we were truly blessed. We listened to the “Turning Point minus 2” as Jeff called them, Thano and Demitri Sahnas with John Herrera,  then it was time for Jeff!  Jeff strayed from his usual collection of songs, and ventured out with some hot covers. First was “I’m a Man” by the Spencer Davis Group, (which featured Steve Winwood on the original). It was a high energy tune to whet our appetites.  Then Jeff and the guys funked it up with “If You Want Me To Stay” by Sly and the Family Stone!  You know my head was bobbing hard then!

Jeff Golub-Jamming!

Jeff started moving to the Blues that he does so well, when he played Freddie King’s “The Sad Nite Owl”.  Jeff said he like all the King’s, BB, Freddie, etc. (but maybe not Rodney or Don)!  This is where he did what I love the most from his music…he made that guitar TALK!  Wah-wah-ohhh is the sound coming from his Gibson, and it was talking a while! The crowd loved it!  After these songs, the band took a well deserved break.

Melissa Sharpe from KYOT was the hostess, and she intimated on how Jeff and the band had absolutely NO practice before they took the stage!  Could have fooled me!  They were awesome, and Jeff let Thano Sahnas  and John Herrera get their solo time in.  Amazing cohesion for a band that was just thrust together! Melissa and another KYOT staffer were drawing names for the prizes..tickets to Sonoma Jazz Fest next month featuring Euge Groove, Marc Antoine and Eric Darius!  I have to be there, despite my sorry pocketbook.  After calling about 100 names, neither Chet, nor I, was a winner.  I bumped into friends Francisco and Simone who came in from California for a friend’s party, and even THEY won tickets!  People seated in back of me won tickets, and when they said they would not be in town, I, without shame, said “I WILL!” but there were no offers!  Dang, dang, DANG!

Jeff and the band returned to the stage, with Jeff playing a familiar tune….”Cold Duck Time”. I won’t forget the time when, on the Jazz Cruise, Al Jarreau sang the song. I later saw Jeff, and said “why is Al Jarreau singing YOUR song?”  He said, “That’s not my song, it’s Eddie Harris’ song”!  So goes the lesson!  He came into the audience, and rocked it! Then Jeff broke out Bill Wither’s tune “Ain’t No Sunshine” while playing directly into the blinding sun. He and Thano “I know, I know, I know”-ed it to guitar perfection!

Jeff Golub

Jeff surprised the hell outta me playing this song….”Always There” by Ronnie Laws.  I was stunned. Jeff’s playing Ronnie Laws?  Go ahead with your bad self! He closed with “Pick Up The Pieces”, by Average White Band.  It was great to hear Jeff playing all different genres of music.  Would I have loved to hear him play “Naked City”?  Of course, but it was too sunny a day to be taken down that road. He kept it upbeat, bluesy and funky.  One of the best shows I have seen with Jeff.

Afterwards, Jeff was signing CD’s, and I, of course, had to get my photo op. I told him I didn’t know when I would see him next, but hopefully next year sometime.  As I had no camera, a woman offered to take a photo with my phone, and I was apologizing, saying it is a horrible camera, to which Jeff replied “That’s ’cause its a PHONE!”. Oops, right you are, buddy!  As another patron waited for an autographed CD and photo, I moved on so he could meet and greet, and told him it was nice seeing him.  He said the same, and off I went. I think I smiled the whole 70+ miles back home!

Jeff with me, asleep at the wheel...
Jeff Golub goes better with Coca-Cola!
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