Monthly Archives: September 2008

Rhythm and Bows

I am a bit late with this post, but forgive me, I am new at this sort of thing. 🙂

I had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Stevens Point Jazz Fest over Labor Day weekend and was pretty much blown away. But I will save that part for last, even though it was not last in chronological order.

There were a few groups of local stars, even if they were playing with people from out of town, with our own John Greiner sitting in with several bands. All very, very good playing jazz standards. A wonderful way to pass a beautiful almost fall afternoon.

The final set of the festival was performed by Madisalsa which put on an incredible high energy show that featured a multi-player rhythm section and an amazing horn section. It is no wonder they were named Madison’s “Favorite Dance Band” for three years running. People certainly did get up and dance. The show was amazing. But it was not the best of the weekend.

The guy who rocked the house down to the ground plays the violin. I am not making this up.

Randy Sabien came prepared for musical battle as it were. Including him there were three violins fronting his “Fiddlehead” band and behind him were not one, but two drum kits. And on one of those drum kits was Randy’s secret weapon: The Funky Drummer.

Clyde Stubblefield who once laid down tracks with James Brown, and may be the most sampled musician ever, can still lay down an awesome beat, even though he is eligible for Social Security. Every punk band in the state wishes they had someone who could hit the drumhead as hard and as accurately as Mr. Stubblefield. And on this night he had a shadow!

The effect was quite overwhelming. If you want to get some idea of what it sounded like, head on over to Randy’s MySpace page and check out the tracks, he played all four that night. Of course you have to scale it up about 1000 percent and play it outdoors on a perfect night for the full effect.

A couple of notes about the songs. “Clyde O Scope” is a tribute to Mr. Stubblefield, the world as seen through Clyde’s eyes, according to Randy. And the “Cliffs of Dover” was originally written as a guitar hero piece, but personally, I like Randy’s version a million times better, it is less egotistical and more of a happy party than the original.

If you get any chance to see Randy Sabien live, by all means get out there and see the amazing show.