Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My 1970's Seattle hang

More than 30 years ago (man! I'm gettin' old), while I was living in and gigging around the Seattle area, we too had a beloved local group that people enthusiastically flocked to see and rave about, many top Pacific Northwest players from other acts routinely among them (similar to what we witness with respect to our beloved Santa Fe). Now, this was a different time, and different genre. "Gabriel," as they were known, comprised a five piece group with no horn section, and were only mildly, tangentially into the funk thang. It was, after all, Seattle, where local black music was more straight-out blues focused. In fact, when I initially moved up there from San Francisco shortly after Sissy was born in June, 1968, my first gig was with a local blues band known as "The International Brick" (guess what that referred to. Hint: 2.2 kg, compressed and wrapped in plastic, hopefully containing some good buds and minimal stems and seeds). The lead singer was this amiable, rotund, wild-'fro black dude, "Tiny Tony," who was a sometimes off-key -- but always passionate -- Taj Mahal cat who could inhale a bomb the size of a cigar in one toke, and then just improvise and sing whatever soulful shit came into his head for a full 45 minute jam set. 'Man, what the hell was in those brownies?'

Gabriel morphed up outa the Tacoma area, and took the Pac NW by storm. They eventually signed with ABC Records (if I recall correctly) and cut 3 LP's:

"This Star on Every Heel," 1974.

"Sweet Release," 1976

"Gabriel," 1978

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