Fool's Night Out
Fools Night Out comes from a song by Phil Wiggins | Moon photo courtesy Michael's Photo Gallery.

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Boss Talkin'
© Scott Mitchell (98/11/02)

Joe Louis Walker and the Bosstalkers showed up at a Halloween dance at the Barns. I'd seen this band once before at a Guitar celebration put on by the Smithsonian. It was a sit down affair, so this was my first chance to boogie to the band.

Since the passing of the Twist & Shout, National Blues acts in the DC area have become few and far between. In spite of this, the crowds were kinda thin at this show. And the dancers were all but non-existant (thanks Jo Anne).

They missed an awesome show. The band was a pleasure to watch... very tight, full of energy, and fun. Joe Louis Walker is an incredible singer and guitarist. The best comparison I can come up with is Robert Cray, but that is the voice Robert Cray wishes he had. The rest of the band was very solid, from the organ/keyboard player to the bass to the horn section. The sax/trumpet pair played very well together, sounding very Memphis Horns. The trumpet player had fun playing with some of the more devoted members of the DC Blues Society.

For the dancers among us, 90% of the songs were very danceable. The remaining were great to watch. And there was plenty of room.

Needless to say I enjoyed myself. I would only note one real downside, we had a harp-playin' Gus in the audience. 'Gus' is a term that has become prevalent among harp players to describe folks that decide they want to play along with the band despite not being invited to do so. While not limited to harmonica players, (I'm sure some of us have seen the fratior variety) they do seem to be more prevalent due to the cheapness and portability of the instrument. It isn't a matter of ability; it is a matter of manners.

After the show I was able to catch most of the 2nd dance at Glen Echo. It was a nice double bill, and a great antidote to the usual short Barns shows.

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