I listened to my share of Hendrix while learning to play guitar in high school, but somehow I overlooked one of his most gorgeous songs, "Little Wing." In fact, I heard Sting's watered-down version of the tune before I discovered Hendrix's original on the Axis: Bold as Love album. But once I experienced the original, I was completely floored — and spent hours learning the tune.
So I smiled as I walked in to Mead Street Station (3625 West 32nd Avenue) and heard guitarist Frank Selman playing a faithful version of "Little Wing" while Dave Randon backed him on bass. They stretched out on the tune, with Selman taking extended solos and then bringing it down to a slow reggae feel while Randon soloed. It went on for ten minutes or so, but they could have cycled through those chord changes for a few hours and I would have been delighted.
After the duo did an awesome take on Hendrix's "Who Knows," they took a break and moved out of that tight space right by the front door. The friendly gal behind the bar told me that the two have been playing Mead Street on Tuesdays for years, but this was their final appearance, since the bar is supposedly bringing in trivia on Tuesdays in 2010. She seemed bummed about it, and I was, too, since this was my first time seeing the duo. Fortunately, these guys play around town a lot. Selman's part of the Hazel Miller Band, and Dave Randon plays in Laura Newman's Alive on Arrival, as well as regularly at Trios Enoteca (1730 Wynkoop Street) and Herb's (2057 Larimer Street).
And Mead Street will continue to bring in a steady stream of local talent most nights of the week, including the Guitar Church open mike on Mondays, jazz pianist Ellyn Rucker from 4 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, Laura Newman's trio with Rucker on Wednesdays, and various rock, funk and jazz acts on Thursdays and Saturdays.
Club scout: If he gets the final okay from the fire department, Greg Gallagher, who owns the Front Porch (1215 15th Street), will open Gaslamp at 1437 Market Street this weekend. Gallagher says the bar was partly inspired by San Diego's Gaslamp Quarter, and when there aren't games on, the bar will show surf and snowboarding films. And he promises that while the place may look high end, the prices won't be.
Kazmos Lounge (1381 Kalamath Street) shut its doors last weekend with a big reggae bash headed up by DJ BloodPreshah, who hosted reggae nights there for five years. BloodPreshah, who's been spinning reggae around these parts for fifteen years, is moving his reggae-themed night to Cervantes' Other Side (formerly Quixote's True Blue, at 2637 Welton Street) beginning Saturday, February 20.