Monday, September 18, 2006

Jazz, blues and soup

While in St. Louis, I was determined to find a local place to hear music. And have a grown-up night out involving grown-up conversations, grown-up drinks, and grown-up music.

So I convinced 12 people from the conference to walk 1/2 a mile in a strange city towards the highway and the baseball stadium, during a Cardinals game, into a stand-alone building in the middle of parking lots. We walked into BB's and a gentleman who had to have learned the piano during the Great Depression was playing the keyboards. It was exactly what I hoped for.

When a place has under its name (and in its domain name) soup, it makes sense to order it. A bunch of folks ordered gumbo and complained later that it wasn't very good. Hello? As my friend in New Orleans says "If the state don't border an ocean, don't order seafood!" My chicken soup with rice and corn bread was very filling and much more appropriate fare for the state of Missouri.

Now the music. After 9:00 the band came on (we heavily tipped our gentleman piano player) playing old standards and awesome covers (Sitting on the Dock of the Bay will never be the same). Then the dancing. We all cut loose and before I knew it, it was 1:00 in the morning!

Before we left, the band invited a guest singer. A very, very large man, he sang without a microphone over a saxophone, electric guitar, base and drums. He got off the stage (we all worried he would fall) and proceeded to walk down the long length of the club. We could still hear him. He sang with passion, sweat and presence. It was a sight to behold.

If you're ever in St. Louis go to BB's. If you live in or near St. Louis, go there. I was so impressed I bought two hats emblazon with BB's - Jazz, Blues and Soup. One for me and one for my dad's birthday present. This is a place to patronize.

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