Whenever B.B. Ruler stated, “The blues are surrounding,” he more likely than not been considering Paris. Each “world city” has its own “place of blues.” Here in Vancouver we have The Yale Hotel, however in Beijing it’s The Big Easy, The Muddy Waters Blues Bar in Oslo, and The R&B Lounge in Mumbai. A few urban communities, for example, Paris, are honored with contending houses of prayer.
I’m a performer. Of late I’ve been playing a great deal in Europe: The UK, Ireland, Spain, France, Germany, and Norway. When voyaging abroad, it is my propensity to look out the neighborhood blues scene. I discover it an awesome approach to investigate the town and meet genuine individuals. I call it “blues tourism.” Paris-London? Try not to fly. Take the prepare. Eurostar First Class – it’s the “main” approach. Long John Baldry.
A current outing to Paris incorporated seven days in length stay at the unobtrusive Hotel Suez, halfway situated on Rue. St. Michel, a couple obstructs the Seine, close to the Musee de Cluny. Eager one night, I chose to take a performance midnight stroll along the dike. Crossing the stream at Pont des Arts, I meandered downstream towards Notre Dame, stopping quickly to appreciate the floodlit scene before advancing back to my hotel by means of Pont Neuf. Wandering by the thirteenth century Gothic Church of St. Julien de Pauvre in Rue St. Jacques, my ears were attracted to the black out sound of unrecorded music radiating from a faintly lit working over the road.
The ice-blue neon sign over the entryway said “Who Bar.” It was a little L-formed room – dim, smoky, and loaded with individuals. A 5-piece band was working the group of onlookers from a phase in the corner. Their collection run from the customary Chicago-blues to contemporary Clapton and Stevie Ray. I moved toward the bandleader amongst sets and struck up a cumbersome discussion (his English was as awful as my French). The all inclusive dialect of the blues won however, and I was welcome to sit-in. A while later, he gave me his business card, and recommended I drop by to catch his Saturday evening gig at The Club 50, now known as The One-Way Cafe. It was a harsh slashed joint in the ramshackled bug advertise area at the far northern end of the city, recognized by the line of motorcyles stopped out front. Like the food (lager, wine, cheeze and saucisse), the blues on offer were entirely neighborhood – somewhat dodgy after dim maybe, yet certainly justified regardless of an early night visit. (50 Rue Jules Valles, Metro: Porte Clingnancourt).
On the off chance that you like your blues a more upmarket, you might need to attempt Caveau de la Huchette or The Lionel Hampton Jazz Club, situated in the 5-star Millenium Etoile Hotel. () Since opening in 1976, this “sanctuary of R&B and jazz in Paris” has displayed all the considerable American specialists – BB King, Cab Calloway, Fats Domino, Count Basie, and numerous others. Vancouver piano-man Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne” plays there as well, most as of late with Whitehorse conceived guitarist Yukon Slim. To discover it, walk straight up the Champs d’Elysees, proceed past the Arc de Triomphe, and turn comfortable Gouvion Ste. Cyr. Or, then again, take the Metro to La Defense. Incidentally, probably the most legit, ardent blues in Paris is performed in the Paris Metro, a day by day showcase of lowly melodic ability from everywhere throughout the world.
The Chesterfield Cafe, concealed off the Champs d’Elysees, close Montmartre, on Sundays offers an American style early lunch with champagne joined by a spirit blending gospel show. (124 Rue la Boetie, Metro: Franklin Roosevelt) The huge names play there as well, however Vancouver blues sibling Jim Byrnes thinks the room is too huge. “It’s double the measure of the Yale,” he says, “and sounds awful.”
Our common companion, the late British bluesman Long John Baldry, was known to share JB’s inclination for the Quai du Blues), a “lovely spot” found upriver in the verdant western suburb of Neuilly sur-Seine (17, avenue Vital-Bouhot. Metro: la Defense). Charging itself as “the Parisian safe house for Blues, Gospel, Soul, and R&B,” this imitation of New York’s Cotton Club c.1930 has included any semblance of Koko Taylor, Eddie Kirkland, Otis Redding, and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama. Have Gérard Vacher is properly pleased with the place’s “searing” music and “succulent” soul-nourishment menu.
The most smoking neighborhoods for unrecorded music in Paris nowadays are in the upper east, especially in the in vogue bars and bistros around Ménilmontant, Oberkampf, and Belleville. Exile Vancouverite guitar-slinger Jimmy “C” Coletsis is regularly included with his London-based band “the Bluesdragons” The Utopia Blues Bar in Montparnasse on the south side of town offers a comparative blend of down-home environment and shrill excitement. (79 Rue de l’Ouest, Métro: Gaïté) Sardinian conceived guitarist/vocalist Mauro Serri is a well known nearby fascination.
Paris was first acquainted with the blues in 1918 by an all-dark U.S. Military ensemble. African American performers, scholars, and specialists run to Paris after WW1, pulled in by the casual racial air. The 1920s saw unbelievable dark vaudeville ruler Josephine Baker holding high court at the St. Louis Blues Club close to the Bastille. Blues, jazz, and R&B were mainstream with Parisians throught the 60s, particularly with the Left Bank’s existentialist first class. Mississippi bluesman Memphis Slim, arranger of the great “Consistently I Have the Blues,” emigrated to Paris in 1961. Two years before his there in 1988 at age 72, he was named a Commander in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of France.
Today, these “same old blues” can at present be listened, resonating all through the city. To find an “other” side of Paris – simply take after your ears.
I think I’ll go ahead over to Paris, and rest under the Eiffel Tower
Yes, I think I’ll go ahead over to Paris, and rest under the Eiffel Tower
Where a man is a man, and everyone has a similar power.