Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wine, Beer, Salty Meat, and Blues

So I'm in Madrid with my wife, and we have vague plans to attend a concert of Flamenco and Baroque music tonight, but we're too late.  So we spend the evening getting wine and beer at tapas places along the Calle de la Cava Baja and in the Plaza de Santa Anna. This is, by itself, a good time.  You order a drink. They give you food.  You order another bit of food and you might get lucky again.  We stopped at three places and got a lifetime supply of delicious sodium and fat in the form of olives, cured meats, cold soup, cured meats, and meatballs.  Then on the way home we see "Blues" at a nice looking bar.  We drop off our shopping at the apartment and head back down the street to the Cafe Jazz Populart on Calle de la Huertas where we get a small beer and wine and stand at the bar for a while.  The star tonight is an American drummer, Rico McClarrin.  When we arrive he's asking if anyone's seen the movie Cadillac Records.  Since this is a Chuck Berry blog you know my hand is waving.  "Remember the big guy?" he asks.  "That's Howlin' Wolf."  Then they start into the Wolf/Wille Dixon song "I Ain't Superstitious."  We quickly realize that we have stumbled into something good here.  If you read this blog you may remember that I once saw Memphis Slim and Booker T. Laury in Paris.  (Read about it HERE.)  Tonight we didn't hear legends, but we heard good music, with Marcos Coll on harmonica, Carlos Delelane on bass, and __ o guitar.  These guys are good. (Here they are a month ago at a different club in Madrid.)

As they play in walks a man with dreadlocks and a trumpet case.  McClarrin yells out "Here's arranger and trumpeter Barney Fields."  (If Google has served me properly Mr. Fields is a co-owner of Highnote Records.  (See here.)  At any rate, the man can play.  A few minutes later Fields is on stage leading the band through "Further on Down the Road."

I said that Mr. McClarrin was starring-- but Marcus Coll was also wailing. 

What can I say?  Pretty nice night.  And a bit unexpected.  

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