8/31/08: After a night of drinking, talking about and listening to music at my friend Mark's house, I was back on the train and heading back for day-two of the Long Beach Bluesfest. Today I'd be able to bounce around the grounds more and really enjoy more of the music because I only had one "conversation" scheduled. And man, what a "conversation" it was. But before I tell you about the wonderful gentleman that is Mr. Eddie Floyd, I'll tell you that I saw the Dirty Dozen Brass Band just put on an incredible show! I'd never seen them live before, but man, I can't wait to see them again. If you EVER get a chance, put on your Mardi Gras dancing shoes and check them out…they are soooooo much fun!!
Ok, so about mid-afternoon, Eddie Floyd - the guy who co-wrote and sang the soul classic "Knock On Wood" (covered by so many, including David Bowie), the man who wrote "Raise Your Hand" (covered by none other than Bruce Springsteen), the man who wrote hit after hit after hit for all-time greats such as Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, again, just to name a few – came on stage and just tore it up!!!! Not surprisingly, he sang hit after hit after hit, had the crowd on its feet the whole time, and, at 73-years young, still has the ladies swooning. At one point, he had two girls onstage stage with him, as, as I told him later, was the meat in the middle of a "fanwich!" The brother oozes soul…cool…and class!

After Eddie's set, I was once again escorted backstage to the artist's trailers to meet the man himself! Wearing a snow-white sport coat with black pants and shirt, Eddie was looking the part of a classic soul singer, for sure! I again spoke with Eddie in his trailer and, unlike yesterday when I talked about many blues greats, this time Eddie and I spoke about the biggest names in soul, many of which I've already mentioned above. And let me tell you, Eddie wrote for, sang with or shared stages with them ALL! And he could not be a nicer gentleman. He had all the time in the world for me, and after we wrapped, walked out of the trailer, handed me HIS personal business card and posed for a picture.

After I left the backstage area to enjoy more music…and a VERY cold adult beverage or two…I ran into my friend Amy Jensen from Hawthorne High. I had a feeling I might, knowing what a huge blues fan she is, and sure enough I did. So I joined Amy and her 3 girlfriends on the grass for some great blues and soul music, another beer or two, some crackers and cheese and the beautiful ocean breeze and blue sky! People, life is good!

Oh, speaking of ocean breezes and blue skies, next weekend I'll be in "Surf City,"Huntington Beach, for the wedding of my niece, Jennifer Rake, and her great guy, Tom Hilton. Then the weekend after that, I'll shoot UP the coast to beautiful Santa Barbara, CA for the West Beach Music Festival, starring Big Head Todd & the Monsters, Ziggy Marley, George Clinton & P-Funk, and many, many more. But before that, on Monday, September 8, I am really looking forward to speaking with a great, great contemporary soul man, Amos Lee, and seeing his concert at the Music Box in Hollywood (sound familiar? The Alarm, Joe Bonamassa). Amos' new album is called Last Days at the Lodge and I highly recommend it!


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