James and the Chicago Playboys
James and the Chicago Playboys were the featured band last
Friday night at the Blues on the Mississippi concert series at
JB Park in South County. Due to illness, Big James was unable
to make it, but the Playboys did! A very tight group of talented
musicians, they smoothly filled the void created by the absence
of their leader. Trading lead vocals throughout the night was
Mike Wheeler on guitar/vocals, and on keyboards/vocals was Joseph
Sylvester Blocker. Other members of the Playboys included Cleo
Cole - drummer, and Charles Kimble - saxophone & vocals -
did a great job of delivering that Chicago style Blues.
Featuring thier original tunes with very smooth covers of Howlin'
Wolf, Muddy Waters and SRV, they demonstrated their excellent
musicianship throughout the show. A highlight of the evening was
at the close of the first set, where they took turns trading instrumental
leads, with each demonstrating a prowess at their craft. The bass
player was the newest addition to the band (I didn't catch his
name) and he included the show tunes to the Addams family and
the Pink Panther in his solo for some humorous bass lines, and
the drummers solo was a crowd - pleasing percussive onslaught!
Another great musical evening in the ongoing Blues on the Mississippi
concert series, and another great booking success by Marty Koch
of St. Louis County Parks - the man behind this concert series
- and Magnolia
Entertainment out of Chicago!
miss the show on Friday, July 9th - Ladies
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