Air Devils Inn Brings In the Best of the Blues

By Karen Le Van

Air Devils Inn owner Dan Shockley, in an effort to showcase the best of the blues, is adding a couple of out-of-towners to the line-up of local blues performers at his club on Taylorsville Road this month.

February 8 and 9 Lamont Gillispie and the Homewreckers will feature as a special guest the South Chicago blues legend Lefty Dizz. Dizz, who has played with the likes of Junior Wells' Aces and Hound Dog Taylor's band.

In the words of Gillispie, Lefty Dizz is quite a showman. It's a known fact in South Chicago that Jimmy Hendrix stole some of his licks from Dizz, and whenever Mick Jagger is in Chicago he comes to see Dizz at the Checkerboard Blues Club. Dizz, who performed at the 1990 Garvin Gate Blues Festival, was backed on his new blues EP Strange Things Are Going OnBy the Homewreckers. One of the originals on that album was written by the Homewreckers. Lamont Gillispie played with Lefty Dizz and his Chicago Blues Hounds in the early '70s.

Other members of the Homewreckers are Rick Mason, lead guitar, who has played with Lonnie Brooks, Anson Funderburgh, Son Sils, and John Lee Hooker's Coast to Coast Blues Band; Paul "Boom Boom" Tkac on drums and vocals; and Jimmy Brown on bass and vocals. Brown, owner of Guitar Emporium, is known as the "ace on the bass."

The Homewreckers have opened for such greats as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, John Lee Hooker, Lonnie Brooks, Elvin Bishop and James Brown. Gillispie will be playing at the Checkerboard Blues Club late in February.

ADI is bringing to the stage Virginia's "Uppity Blues Women" Saffire on February 22 and 23. The Alligator Records artists won Blues Song of the Year with their show-stopping "Middle-Aged Blues Boogie" in 1990. Opening for Saffire will be Will Perryman, Ed Hysinger and friends. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. (See related story elsewhere in this issue.)

Also in February there will be special late-night concerts. On February 15, Steve Ferguson and the Humanitarians follow the Pond Creek Blues Band.

On March 1 and 2, Nashville's Jonell Mosser and Enough Rope will be in concert. Tickets are $5 in advance. If you missed Jonell on the Lonesome Pine Special or FarmAid, a second chance is available at ADI.

Other plans are in the works for W.T. Davidson and Bad Eggs, a regular at Nashville's Bluebird Cafe; North Carolina's Rounder Records artist Darryle Ryce, currently on a three-month tour of Germany; and the premiere of The Loner, Louisville's own Prince Phillip Mitchell's latest release on Ichiban Records.

Keep an eye on the ADI calendar for "the best of the blues."