Geelong audiences have a real treat coming up on Friday the 12th of September at Pistol Pete’s Food n Blues. And while I’m at it, I’d just like to say that Pete Raimundo is transforming the Geelong live blues scene through his regular bookings of some sensational local and not so local blues artists. An example of this is his booking of Pugsley Buzzard.
Pugsley is a consummate artist performing hundreds of shows every year. From the jazz cellars of Berlin to downtown New Orleans, Pugsley has dazzled audiences far and wide with his unique brand of piano-driven boogie and blazing stride in conjunction with his huge mesmerising voice that makes the ladies sigh and grown men cry.
So the first thing to sort out is, ‘Just what is boogie?’ Boogie is a repetitive, swung note or shuffle rhythm “groove” or pattern used in blues which was originally played on the piano in boogie-woogie music – and the piano is where Pugsley makes his home. It’s characterised by an up-tempo rhythm, a repeated melodic pattern in the bass and a series of improvised variations in the treble.
Boogie-woogie developed from a piano style that developed in the rough barrelhouse bars in the southern USA states, where a piano player performed for the hard-drinking patrons.
Pugsley’s music spans the entire spectrum from dark hoodoo blues musings to good time rollicking boogie-fuelled piano romps that never fail to get people stompin’ and shakin’ that thang. He is a fascinating and versatile songwriter who also enjoys interpreting classic R&B, jazz and popular tunes, giving them his own fresh and unique treatment.
Pugsley ‘s playing features barrelhouse, boogie, stride piano stylings dripping with New Orleans funk and oozing with tantalising improvisation which ranges from delicate and moody to wild and ecstatic. Harlem Stride Piano, commonly abbreviated to ‘stride’, is a jazz piano style that was developed in the large cities of the East Coast of the USA, mainly New York, during the 1920s and 1930s.
Pugsley has just returned from a successful summer tour in Europe and the US promoting his latest critically acclaimed album Chasin’ Aces that was recorded in New Orleans on several trips during 2013. After some well-received performances in 2013, Pugsley was invited to return to two of Luxembourg’s biggest summer festivals – The Blues Express Festival in Fond-de-Gras and the Jazz and Blues Rally in Luxembourg City. At the Blues Express Festival, he shared the stage with the likes of Jimmie Vaughan and Steven Seagal.
He also played notable concerts at Jazz Minde and the BB Blues Festival in Portugal.
These concerts were interspersed with club dates in Luxembourg, Belgium and France, and the Lounge Music Festival in Les Gets in the French Alps.
Pugsley also made a detour to Atlanta, Georgia and played some theatre and outdoor shows in Alabama and Tennessee, then returned to Europe to wrap things up with an open air concert at Chateau Useldange in Luxembourg.
I’m really looking forward to this session. The music will be hot (matching the food!) and, apart from anything else, I can’t wait to see how they fit that keyboard up the front!
I am confident that Pete will organise it, though!
By John (Dr John) Lamp