So the other night I went to a local blues and jazz club, The Mint , to see my old friend, Josh Sklair, playing with Bobby Murray All-Star review (Josh and Bobby Murray have played for Etta James for the last I-dunno-how-many years, Josh was her musical director, too). It was the most fabulous night with incredible blues music and a number of artists getting up at different times to sing or play. I hadn’t been to The Mint in years and years, it’s one of the great clubs in LA that I used to go to 30 years ago and while clubs here come and go quickly, just a few hang around for decades, this is one of those. And to see Josh Sklair perform there was absolutely wonderful, I hadn’t seen him for years, we lost touch when I moved to New York for a few years in the 80’s, and what a way to catch up again (for me, anyway). As very young kids 😉 we grew up listening to his Dad, Sam Sklair and his orchestra, as well as other old favorites like the Dan Hill and Bez Martin orchestras. Anyone else remember the Rosebank Hotel on Saturday nights??
One of the things I love most about living in Los Angeles is the amount of superb talent everywhere. Up until a couple of years ago there used to be a fabulous karaoke thing every Friday night at Farmer’s Market on Fairfax and Third where you or I couldn’t just get up and sing lousy karaoke, these were the best of the best who practiced all week and brought their own CD’s. Some of them were actors whom you would recognize, others just regular people or ones who hadn’t made it in showbiz and this was the one time a week they could belt out their best for a few minutes. I was the biggest groupie there and never missed a Saturday for about 5 years, and then, unfortunately, after a couple of boisterous conga lines through the produce section, the fire department shut us down. (My friends now tell me that they wouldn’t answer their phones on Saturdays ‘cause they ran out of excuses as to why they couldn’t go with me, but now that it’s over, they’re sorry. ) 🙂 Revenge is sweet.
But on Friday and Saturday nights there’s still always great bands playing at Farmer’s Market, and the best thing is it’s free! You can choose whatever you want to eat from a myriad of stalls, grab a pitcher of beer or a bottle of wine from one of two bars, and in a fairly intimate, very casual setting enjoy great music from big band to country to acoustic. During the days at Farmer’s Market tourists and locals mix, but come the end of the day, the tour buses leave and you’re left with just locals, it’s magic.
Below is a little video from last year’s Mardi Gras at the Market, I was there but don’t feature in the film. Mardi Gras at Farmers Market http://www.farmersmarketla.com/newsandevents/events/mardigras/video/mardigrasvideo.html