Sunday, November 9, 2008

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

I went with a couple other law students, some siblings, and some significant others (mine included) to a jazz club in Phoenix called Rhythm Room to watch a performance last night. My contracts professor, along with his wife, three other top attorneys in the Phoenix area, and six random musicians, are all part of a 10-person rhythm and blues band called the Repeat Offenders. They do cover songs, mostly. But they were very good. My professor plays the drums. I think he was happy to see that a couple of his students came.

After their show, however, we were treated to a little old-school jazz magic. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, who has toured with the likes of Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, and the Rolling Stones, among many others, was the headliner. He has been nominated for several Grammys. We got to hear him play for a $4 cover at the door. Nice little surprise.

We bought one of his albums on the way out. I'm listening to it as I write this. It's sort of inspiring, I guess. It's called "Born in Arkansas," and his son told me it is his best compilation. I had him sign it to Melissa, but I think we struggled a little with a language barrier. I don't speak jive, and he doesn't get yankee. So it's signed, "To Merissa; from Willie Smith," and he drew a cartoon caricature of a circle with two huge eyes.

Sadly, his eyes aren't really all that big. But he plays a mean harmonica.

1 comment:

Julie said...

haha, Merissa... Willie wouldn't have been confused if you had followed my example of pronunciation; MAh-liss-aa.