Monday, January 10, 2011

Michael Juan Nunez and The Riverbaby's at The Blue Moon in Lafayette La.

Michael Juan Nunez and The Riverbaby's at The Blue Moon in Lafayette La.

by Patty McGehee on Monday, August 9, 2010
The weather was hot as hell, but by 8:00 in the evening, with the fans blowing inside The Blue Moon, it was not too bad after all. As usual, we got there in time to watch the set up. Dan and I found it interesting that The Blue Moon had as many remote microphones as they did and used them on the drum kit. We were hanging around when an old friend walked in and it was good to catch up.

Juan came in a bit later and we introduced ourselves to him. I had never met Juan in person before so that was exciting for me, because I wanted to ask a thousand questions. I asked him to show me his guitars and tell me about them, because they looked very interesting to me. Two were extra special so I will focus on them.

Juan showed me a red hollow body Gretsch Electromatic guitar. I commented that it looked vintage and I asked him where he got it. He said Drew Landry gave it to him as payment for work done for him. I teased him about the yarn that was being used to extend the guitar strap. He laughed good naturedly about that. He held it up so I could get a good look at it. It is a neat guitar.

Then he showed me a special guitar that was given to him by luthier James Tussart. It was metal bodied, painted white, with special decoration in metal that was etched with an embossing of Alligator skin. Since I know all about etching metal ( from my printmaking training creating copper plate etchings) so this was very interesting to me. I was interested in Juan's explanation of how James Tussart tells people how he etches the steel, but I suspect it is a lot more controlled than he admits. Juan said he left the steel to rust and it took on the Alligator texture. I THINK he coats it with a resin, stamps it like a soft ground etching is stamped and THEN lets it rust. Then he must clean it up, decorate it with color rubbed into the etching, and then seals it with some sort of clear coat. I doubt it was all just done by chance the way Tussart tries to claim to the public. Since I have a thing about metal guitars this made me really want to hear what kind of sounds it could make.

I asked Juan who was his favorite guitar player and he talked about getting to see Johnny Winter and that his life was CHANGED after seeing Johnny play. Then I told him all about seeing Johnny play at A Warehouse on stage with The Allman Brothers when Duane and Berry were still alive. They played a killer version of "The Seventh Son" that has rung through my memory banks for years over and over again. What a night!

After asking him about 20 more questions that are probably only of interest to me, I had to let Juan get finished getting set up, so I thanked him for showing me the guitars and retreated to sit on the bench for a while and visit.

I did not know what to expect since most of the music I have heard Juan playing was stuff in support of other musicians. He has toured with Zachary Richard and others, and has done a lot of studio work. I have seen him on stage before with Roddie Romero and the Hub City Allstars. So now, I was ready to hear what his self directed creative side was like.

So, it unfolded like this: Two hours, and a half, high powered rock. The sound was very unique. This kind of sound took me back to popular 3 piece bands of the 70's in some ways, but it was not 70's in style, just intensity.Some of it was Blues oriented but not all of it, which surprised me after hearing Juan 's comments about Johnny Winter. I was floored when he threw his guitar into the amp to get a re-verb effect. Such Passion! In many places the Bass was astounding. The drums were strong and well arranged.

The towards the end of the show, they covered "Walk On Gilded Splinters." This was a great song, made very psychedelic and spacey. I loved it. I was able to get some really fine photos of this show. I look forward to seeing Michael Juan Nunez perform again sometime soon. He really shined when he was doing his own songs.

It was a good night. I was happy we had seen the show and will recommend anyone who asks about the Riverbaby's to GO SEE THEM!!!

Juan with the hollow body Gretsch .
In action with the custom built James Tussart metal guitar - such a sweet sound, er, um, POWERFUL sound!
up close-look for the Alligator motif
Drew Landry stopped in to see the action!
Creating re-verb photgraphed by Patty McGehee
Trio- Bass player Chad Willis kicked ass
custon James Tussart metal body guitar
Jeff Lewis - WOW!
A sweaty Juan and a sweaty me pose for a picture after the show.

No comments:

Post a Comment