The website has been up about a week now, and I've been getting lots of positive feedback. For me, the experience--especially gathering materials for the site--has been a real walk down memory lane. At times this has been pure fun--like finding an old photo of myself with Bruce Conte's 80's cover band "Hot Street." At other times--especially when viewing photos, CD tracks, & videos of the Paul deLay Band--it's been bittersweet. It's hard to accept that Paul passed away at such a young age.
The good news is that Paul left behind such great music. I feel honored to have been a part of that. Sadly, there is very little video of the Paul deLay Band available, and virtually none of the groundbreaking edition of his band that I was in. The good news is that there are some nice videos sitting in the vault, and I intend to post some of those to YouTube myself in the coming weeks. First up is a clip I just posted today and added to this website: us performing "Nice & Strong" at the 1996 Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival.
To me, this song epitomizes the mid-90's edition of Paul's band. Paul was determined to break out of the traditional blues band mold--eschewing cliche chord progressions, licks, and especially themes. Paul felt that the blues wasn't museum music and shouldn't be restricted to 1950's topics and sensibilities (like the time-honored "my baby done me wrong" rant). On "Nice & Strong," Paul and the rest of us had fun going a whole other way--both lyrically & musically.
On this song, you can hear Paul using a processed harmonica sound to get an appropriately "stong" tone. On my end, I kicked bass during the bass solo to free John Mazzocco up to stretch out in the upper register. (A year or so later, John left the band and I began kicking bass full-time.)
BTW, Kathy Rankin produced this nice video recording, so kudos to her!
Stay tuned to this website and to this blog for more rare videos featuring the late, great Paul deLay, as well as Linda Hornbuckle, Sweet Baby James Benton, and other standout Portland, Oregon blues and jazz artists.