Friday night kicked off swank and swingin' (even though I was in a ratty t-shirt) at Max of Eastman Place for the RIJF kick-off affair. Unlike a lot of promoters who direct from the sidelines, John Nugent is in the trenches and was on the bandstand blowing his horn all hot and cool with a hot quartet that included guitarist Bob Sneider in his monkey suit (Sneider has an Eastman gig, you see).
After watching motorcycles fly through the air on Scio Street, I caught Jennifer Heieck as part of the East End Fest. She was nothing short of amazing, with an intensity and sexuality most performers save for long after the sun goes down. Her band was great, her voice was fantastic, and man, those shoes...
Meanwhile, down on the corner of East and Main, The Atomic Swindlers played slick music on the corner of Bowie and beautiful.
Back at The California Brew Haus, Rochester garage legends The Invictas rocked a modest crowd with some new treats including "Skip 'N' Go Naked"; a tribute to Tiny's Bengal Inn and the elixir created therein. The drink apparently encouraged its namesake. I dunno, chocolate milk makes me wanna do the same thing....maybe not the skipping part.
Of all the bachelor musicians living in Never Never Land, who woulda thought we'd ever hear blues master Steve Grills say "I do?" Well he done got hitched and the party that followed at Sweet Briar in Geneseo was an all-star blues bash. Blues legends Joe Beard and John Cole joined a host of others including Grills' big brother Tom (a furious guitar picker who burns it up out in the Arizona "But it's a dry heat" desert), and played the blues well into the night. Love was in the air...still is as I write this.
Split from the post-nuptial hootenanny just in time to miss Southern Culture On The Skids set at Milestones. Their load out sounded great, though.
Sunday I watched as artist Eric Waugh conducted a canvas with his brush while Jeff Tyzik brandished his baton over The RPO as they played on a barge on the canal. It was fascinating to hear Waugh's painting while seeing the music.
--- Frank De Blase