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  Some Soul Blows Through Town
  By Shannon

  Curtis Salgado and Shannon
April and May are typically tornado months for the Midwest. I witnessed a tornado of sorts barrel through town on Thursday, April 29 at BB's and Saturday, May 1 at the Grand Emporium. Curtis Salgado and his band (from Oregon) were here promoting their latest release on the Shanachie record label entitled "Strong Suspicion". This musical whirlwind was pulsating with sounds of soul, R&B, gospel, and down right dirty take me back to old school blues. I was totally overwhelmed with the musical talent that Curtis and his band possess. It's no wonder though. This cat has been around for a few decades blowin' harp and melting people with his powerful, intense vocal ability. Curtis was nice enough to give stlblues.net a brief commentary on his career and how he got started. He explained that early on, he was singing and touring with Robert Cray's blues band. Though this didn't give him national attention, it did open the door for him to start his own band, "In Yo Face", and then from there he joined the world-renowned band--Roomful of Blues. That also led to the making of the Stilettos, a regionally recognized band (at the time) in the northwest.

In 1995, Curtis was touring the globe with rock superstar Santana. Perhaps the most interesting thing that Salgado explained to me was the first time he ever met John Belushi-one of his late idols. He was playing a club in Chicago and this guy walks up to him and describes how he enjoyed Curtis's stage presence and style. Little did Curtis know that Mr. Belushi was in town filming the movie "Animal House" and would later mimic his blues brother character "Jake" after him. He would also get credit on the album "Briefcase Full of Blues" from Belushi for his strong inspiration and performance technique. There are presently five albums that Salgado has put out. You can find information on most of these compilations at www.intrepidartists.com. I own "Strong Suspicion" and "Soul Activated", both of which I fell in love with immediately. Though its not down right blues material, the music is a nice mixture of soul, funk, R&B--whatever it is--its working!

The band I encountered was a staff of fine musicians--Jacob Wolf strumming guitar, Don Worth beating on the drums, Ben Jones pounding bass, and Brian Ward on the keyboard. All this talent along with Curtis's encapsulating harp playing and peel the paint off the walls vocal skills are a match made in funk heaven! I enjoyed this group so much that I couldn't wait to see them again. I was personally invited to join the band in Kansas City, Mo at the Grand Emporium on Saturday, May 1. It was the annual Blues Cruise Reunion Party and I had an absolute ball. I didn't have to pay a cover, got free "band" food, and met about 500 happy, drunk blues fans. I felt right at home! Curtis and the guys couldn't have been more hospitable and accepting of stlblues.net and the work we do to support the music. I was truly honored! I urge you to get out there and catch this guy-even once-that's all it will take for you to dig it. You can learn more at www.curtissalgado.com with links to dates, merchandise, and personal music history.

Curtis Salgado
Curtis Salgado and his band
Curtis Salgado
Curtis Salgado and his band

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