Sunday, November 29, 2009

The West Bank

Through college my daughter lived in the Cedar Riverside or West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis. It's arguably the hippest place in town, but the music bars are slipping away. When I was young I liked the Triangle with it's 4 foot square stage over the door. It was good enough for Bobby Zimmerman, but I frequented it because the bartender was David "Douche" McLeod, who would slip me drinks. It's gone now. Addy said she used to listen to the music coming out of the open door of the Viking Bar up the street from her apartment. It was THE blues bar for fifty years. The kind of place Bonnie Raitt would go play AFTER her show in some "better" place. It closed the summer Addy turned 21, so she could never go in there - legally anyway. They say the 400 Bar is about the last of the old stations still left. These guys are some of the regulars. Musicians who just never quite got around to making a business out of it like Bobby Dylan did. Every town's got'em. The Koerner, Ray and Glover is interesting. John Koerner played the Viking every Sunday for 20 years. Now he builds boats and does a little remodeling. (Note the tape measure on his pocket at the awards ceremony.) Dave Ray died about five years ago. Paul Metsa is a little younger. I posted it because in his opening jumble of musical stream of consciousness he threw in We're Goin' Win Twins. Reason enough. Go Twins. Willie Murphy used to front Willie and the Bees. This one is notable because he seems so out of place at a grand in a lounge, it's usually a guitar in a dive. Appears to be at ease at the keyboard though.

"...Koerner became a hapless victim of gravity"

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