Friday, August 27, 2010

25 Aug 10

Hey, blogspot readers, SouthSide's rockin' the heart of Evanston! Tonight, she's hanging out at SPACE for Dave Specter's Spectified CD release party. The Chicago blues artist's celebrating the release of his ninth album, Spectified, and it's his first studio release under the Fret12 Productions label. Containing nine original tracks and three covers, Dave recorded this one of a kind rockin' album at the studios behind SPACE. Spectified features well-known artists such as David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos) on a funky/Latin Blues track called Rumba & Tonic (awesome name for an alcoholic drink) as well as the rockin' brass section, Bo' Weavil Brass (led by trumpet man Mike Cichowicz, formerly of Tower of Power) on four tracks.

And what a swingin' party it was, blogspot readers. Dave and the band rocked the SPACE audience with a live double set which featured songs off Spectified. Also joining him on stage was Bo'Weavil Brass, Bro John Kattkie and Pete Benson (on keyboards). SouthSide enjoyed the energetic bursts of vibrant music that popped with life song after song. This reviewer definitely got her blues groove on while listening to tunes like Blues Call (a jazzy mix with a lively swing though the electric and organ sound was a bit overpowering off the monitors) and Funky Hunky (a hot R&B/swing/Blues mix had this contagious rhythmic groove that jammed ...easy to dance along with the band). She highly recommends checking out Dave's Azulado (translated as Blue-ish) off the Spectified CD as well. A calming, after hours tune with gentle docile yet vibrant sounds off the flute and trumpet accompanying Dave's electric and percussions. With the perfect lighting effects shadowing the stage, this song was performed under a slow relaxing tempo that gave the feeling of being a "last call"/"last dance" club track. The highlight of the night came when Dave performed the Curtis Mayfield & The Impressions classic People Get Ready. It was an excellent homage to this R&B icon that was played so tenderly and reverently with a lively gospel feel towards the end.

Just like the late great Bo Diddley, Dave Specter knew how to make his "Lucille" sing as well as cry depending on the mood and tone of the song being performed. At one point while taking the tempo down a notch, his guitar had this vibrant persona as it "sang" during an instrumental blues piece. And, blogspot readers, this "Lucille" sang sweetly and heavenly personifying that passionate emotion felt from his fingers. Also SouthSide highly suggests listening to his cover of King Curtis and the Kingpins' Soul Serenade - plenty of soulful blues that sometimes crosses over to the R&B sound. There was a definite rockin' blues jam going on as Dave, joined by Bro John's vox (on keyboards/organ), rocked out the show with classics Early In The Morning (a BB King tune) and Everything's Gonna Be Alright. This reviewer felt privileged to be witnessing this spectacular event with other well-known artists and friends in the audience. And on a personal note, she felt extremely lucky in meeting this legendary artist during a brief intermission between sets.

SouthSide highly recommends every Blues/Jazz fan checking out this Chicago legend, Dave Specter, live at his next performance and/or snag a copy of his latest album, Spectified. Also check out his site,, for Blues & Beyond, blogspot readers. This will give fans the insider access into the blues world with live interviews with blues/guitar icons, fan questions answered to lessons.

Until next time, support your local scene,

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