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Playin’ The Blues With Dave Specter In Chicago

February 21st, 2019 Jorma Leave a comment Go to comments

So I was playing at Space up in Evanston outside of Chicago a couple of years ago and I became friends with Dave Specter, a great blues guitarist. Dave’s the one who got me fired up bout Fender Jazzmasters. (Now I have two. Thanks Dave!) I had been sitting on some lyrics I wrote some years ago called, ‘The Blues Aint’ Nothin.’ Try as I might, was never able to come up with the music for it as much as I liked the lyrics. I gave the lyrics to Dave and he set them to music and did an arrangement. He was going to include this tune on his new album and asked me to come to Chicago to play on it. ‘Count me in!’ I loaded up my truck with my Louis Electric Deltone and my Gibson Custom Shop Beano Les Paul and up the road I went.

The weather sucked all the way up. Non stop snow… but nothing was sticking. With heated seats and four wheel drive, ‘Bring it on,’ I said! I made it up to Evanston where the hotel was in about nine hours and right there in the hotel was a farm to table restaurant. The Farmhouse more than rocked. Two dinners and a breakfast. Delightful!

Anyway, back to music. Tuesday noonish I drove over to the Delmark Studios. Delmark has an almost seven decade tradition of great records. Buddy Guy, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Anthony Braxton, Fareed Haque and more have all been a part of this amazing legacy. Julia Miller, the President and CEO is more than keeping this legacy alive. Without losing the lineage she is moving into the future with fearless artistic integrity.

Welcoming me to the nerve center!

Welcoming me to the nerve center!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We were cutting live, so I put my amp in the Ladies Room for isolation. The first of the great musicians I met was Harlan Lee Terson, bassist.

Photographer Harvey Tillis and Harlan Terson

Photographer Harvey Tillis and Harlan Terson

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Photographer Harvey Tillis was on hand to document the session and I got to pick his brain a bit about some photography geekery.

The personnel was as follows:

Dave Specter, guitar and vocals
John Kattke, piano, organ and vocals
Marty Binder, Drums
Harlan Terson, Bass
Jorma Kaukonen, guitar
Steve Wagner, engineer

Marty at the drums...

Marty at the drums...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

John Kattke at the hundred year old Steinway

John Kattke at the hundred year old Steinway

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

We got the two tunes I was involved in cut in about five hours and I got ready to say goodbye to my new pals.

Harlan, Jorma, Dave, Marty and John

Harlan, Jorma, Dave, Marty and John

Foto by Harvey Tillis

It was a true honor for me to be a guest of Dave’s on this project. More than good times. It was also more than exciting to see what Julia is doing to shepherd Delmark into the 21st Century.

The job done, I loaded up the truck and drove back to the Fur Peace Ranch. Traffic, of course, getting out of Chicago in the AM and then non stop rain for the next 400 miles.

Cracker Barrel and the puzzle... I can do it.

Cracker Barrel and the puzzle... I can do it.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

A grand trip!

A few more studio shots:

Me and Dave in situ

Me and Dave in situ

Foto by Harvey Tillis

Overdub time!

Overdub time!

Floto by Harvey Tillis

Pondering the muse

Pondering the muse

Foto by Harvey Tillis

  1. Mitch Spector
    February 28th, 2019 at 16:48 | #1

    Caught Buddy at Westbury and at the paramount here on Long island within the past year both shows great ,Lots of fun

  2. Mitch Spector
    February 28th, 2019 at 16:52 | #2

    Jorma & Jaco Pastorius at the Lone Star..Around 84? Memorable .Lone Star was small

  3. Willy
    March 1st, 2019 at 09:19 | #3

    @Mitch….early ‘85 w/ Jaco
    http://www.tunabase.com/setlists/1985/19850226.html

    Memorable indeed. The genesis of TGTN if I’m not mistaken.

  4. Phil Zisook
    March 5th, 2019 at 21:04 | #4

    Thanks for posting this Jorma. Dave Specter and Space are both part of what makes Chicago such a great music city. And that was also a great rundown on Delmark Record’s wonderful and important history. I wasn’t aware that Bob Koster had sold the Co! Good luck Julia on continuing Delmark’s reich history! Great to hear about a new DS album with a Jorma co-write and participation. That’s truly great news!

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