Wednesday, July 12, 2006

In the company of greatness

The last few weeks have been monumental in my life. A few ups and downs, but ultimately I landed a gig with the great Bob Margolin.

Not only was Bob a long-time member of the legendary Muddy Waters Band, he also won a W.C. Handy for Best Blues Guitarist in 2005. His bandmate, Mookie Brill, won a Handy (or Blues Award) in 2006 for Best Blues Bassist. I was both honored and pleasantly surprised to know that I'd be working with these two "cream of the crop" cats. Rounding up the lineup are the always reliable Big Joe Maher and Bill Heid. This is indeed my dream come true. Seven years ago, I was listening to Bob on my favorite Muddy Waters and Johnny Winters records. Seven years later, I'll be playing an official gig with my idol. Bob is a gentleman, for he's very excited about the gig and often checks in with me. As Muddy Waters says, "I'm Ready!" And I'm ready to have fun!

To brush up my blues vocabulary, I got hold of a Bob Margolin All-Star Blues Jam CD and also go back to my roots, Muddy Waters, to study the depth and nuances. I'm more than excited to be in the presence of this fine musicians. To top that off, I'm honored to be listed on Bob's website. It's a thrill to see my name surrounded by the all-time greatest blues players ever like Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Calvin "Fuzz" Jones, Nappy Brown, and Hubert Sumlin. Not bad for a 28 y/o Hong Kong native who started playing the harp only 6 years ago.

I'm in the company of greatness.

I got accepted to the PCLL program, which means I'll be back to Hong Kong for good. School starts in September. This is the last month for me to make enough dough and play enough music and have enough fun because the next month will be all about packing.

This is not the time to assess my success and failure in the U.S. There have been ups and downs, but I've been very fortunate to be exposed to such a free country. I've experienced liberty, freedom, and ultimately, the fall of the Roman Empire. Yet, the blues saves my soul from sinking, and religion has made me strong. I have more love than I can give.

In any case, this is all about finishing everything you do in an art form. Style and sttitude are key. I still use my motto, "I disrespectfully agree." That's me. You can't change that.

Now comes the advertisement (they did not pay to endorse my attitude):

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