Sunday, April 13, 2008

Unexpected gems in unexpected places

The last time I traveled down Highway 55 from Durham, I was on a quest to find a place called Uncle Frenchey's Jamaican restaurant so I could take a picture of the interior for the Web site I edited. I have no idea if Uncle Frenchey's still exists, but I thought about that as I drove up and down that stretch of 55 Friday night, trying to find Papa Mojo's. My reason for venturing out into strip mall land: Shake It Like a Caveman, who put on a phenomenal performance back in December at Sadlack's, was scheduled to play there.

Shake It Like a Caveman is basically one guy named Blake, who sometimes performs with another guitarist, and sometimes handles the drums, guitar and harmonica duties himself. At this particular show he was essentially on his own, but spontaneously accompanied by a washboard player who apparently was moved by the spirit to just join in on his own. Papa Mojo's is a Cajun restaurant/club tucked into a corner of a mostly Indian strip mall, and the owner plays zydeco music with his own band, Mel Melton & the Wicket Mojos, so spontaneous washboard-playing isn't really unusual there. Blake usually plays with his own small drum kit, and a mic fashioned from the hand set of an old phone, but he made do nicely with the mic and kit that the Zydeco band allowed him to use.

I sat down and had a good view of him for this video, but was blocked when the washboard player suddenly jumped on stage, so forgive the moving around.

Shake it Like a Caveman from Mann's World on Vimeo.

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