Sunday, November 12, 2006

arvel stricklin, freddie cisneros, john nitzinger

in a week that's had a lot of highlights, i gotta say that the ultimate came tonight, when the teen a go go crew headed over to the keys lounge on westcreek to see some of our interview subjects sit in at mace maben's group therapy sunday night blues jam. we got a taste of what it musta sounded like at the cellar in fort worth in the mid-'60s when cellar mainstay, gtrist-singer arvel jr. stricklin took the stage with his old bandmates charlie mitchell on bass and randy "panda" woolery on drums, and the added bonus of freddie "little jr. one hand" cisneros on gtr.

i first saw freddie play with sumter bruton in robert ealey and his five careless lovers at the bluebird back when robert owned it in the late '70s. in the '60s, he played in the torquays, jim jones and the chauntays (whose "baby" appears on one of the norton fort worth teen scene comps), and reverend filmore and the swinging flames. as a kid who got bit by the blues bug before the beatles hit and was playing in clubs at age 13, freddie says "i was obsolete by the time i was 15!" he was instrumental in steering johnny reno and james hinkle, among others, to the truth of the blues. there are truckloads of gunslinger gtrists out there, but none of 'em play with the soul that freddie had back then and still does today (or the smoothness and inventiveness that arvel displays, for that matter). these days, freddie operates the mercy guitar hospital and plays with a blues band in prescott, arizona. a genuine fort worth original, to be sure.

as if that weren't enough, john nitzinger's wife judy sent me a pic of teenage johnny playing at the cellar, a lingerie-clad cellar waitress on either side of him. this shit is gettin' _fun_.


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