West Coast Blues Fest Wrap

March 17 ,2008

After rocking out in Sydney with Jack Johnson I got a couple hours of sleep and headed to the Airport to fly to Perth. That’s the west side of Oz. Another long flight at 6 hours. Ugh.

We hit the ground running again and we were whisked off to the festival. The first 2 musicians I saw were my good brother Slim Kid Tre from the Pharcyde and Stanton Moore of Galactic. Tre is currently touring with Ozomatli and this festival was already starting to feel like a family reunion. We were sharing the stage with Galactic, Ozo and Cat Power. Slamming!

Alright, I’m just gonna drop a lot of names here because it’s very exciting to me. I watched Galactic tear it up with two guest MC’s- Boots Riley and the legendary Chali 2 Na of J5. Crazy Nice! Shef from Ozo suggested we asked Chali to sit in and he was down. After Galactic was done tearing the roof off the tent (amazing drum solo by Stanton Moore) Cat power came on and sounded lovely. Judah Bauer (John Spencer Blues Explosion) is playing guitar with Cat and so another face I hadn’t seen in 10 years came to view.

We hit the stage and even with some sound issues we had a rocking set. The “Can I Kick It?” Cover with Tre and Chali 2 Na was ill! We did our thing and after 1 hour I sure was ready to keep it going but that was it. Ahhhh I wanted to play all night but alas my time was up! Ozomatli hit at the same time the legendary John Fogerty hit. I had to see Fogerty tear through the hits. It was just awesome to hear all the old CCR tunes- Green River, Born on a Bayou and Travellin Band. I was bummed he didn’t hit Suzie Q. That’s my favorite fo sho. Fogerty looked and sounded great. Whenever I can see the Masters I soak it up. So much to learn. I hit the tent and Ozo tore it up as always. The Houseman and I went onstage for the final jam and played percussion.

Backstage was like a family reunion. I just can’t tell you how good it was to see all these cats. We’ve been playing this circuit together for 10 years and the stories were flying! Then all hell broke loose. My alter ego “Spoonie G” challenged drum legend Stanton Moore to a spoon off (spoon percussion that is). Stanton Moore had never played spoons before but he proceeded to try to kick Spoonie’s ass. He had speed and God-given technique. Spoonie was scared after Stanton blazed a spoon solo that would wake the Gods. If you knew Spoonie you could see the fear in his eyes but he didn’t flinch. Stanton finished his solo with a cacophonous (sp?) press roll of metal spoons on Champagne bottles and the crowd that had gathered went wild. Stanton handed Spoonie the greasy soup spoons and got ready to walk away assuming he had won. The spoons were hot to the touch. The speed of Moore’s attack had nearly melted the cheap metal. Spoonie wasn’t having it though. He grabbed the spoons like he had grabbed them his whole life. He busted an old train rhythm with 5 finger trills, went around the back and through the legs. Stanton turned around and although his shades were dark–some say his eyes narrowed and his left cheek twitched. Other than that one twitch, Stanton and the crowd were motionless. The moment was tense. Battling Moore on any percussion was like David battling Goliath. Rocky versus Apollo Creed…Spoonie faltered. He had picked the wrong fight. He knew he couldn’t match the speed of Stanton but then he started playing the spoons on the audience’s body parts. Legs, arms, shoulders and knees all in a steady rhythm as ancient as the first steam locomotive. But Spoonie was running out of time. With only a few tricks left up his sleeve, he busted echo spoons on the mouth into a double-boob-spoon-shot on the chick sitting between the two musical warriors. The crowd went wild again. It was a draw!

There’s talk of a book and a movie about this legendary musical battle. But I say let it live in legends only. The Great Spoon Battle of Fremantle. Shef from Ozo caught it on film so stay tuned on Youtube!

Stay tuned for more from Down Under

Spoonie G

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