Liner Notes: Live
At The Roadhouse (Paul deLay et al...)
On February 8-12, 1984, four outstanding Northwest blues and r&b bands
converged at the Jolly Roger Roadhouse in Seattle, Washington. The talent
of these musicians who have been playing out of the Northwest, some for
more than 20 years, was captured on tape for this historic compilation album.
It is the first of its kind to feature only blues and r&b players of
"Bigtime Bluesman," Isaac Scott, originally from Arkansas and
now a leading blues artist in the area, brought his electric gospel blues
to the stage. "
Also playing the skidroad bars of Seattle's First Avenue in the early '70s
was Tom McFarland. Originally from Oregon, McFarland moved from Seattle
to the Bay Area where his original topical tunes, and his jazz-influenced
guitar work, made him a popular contemporary bluesman [who] has toured and
played with the likes of Otis Rush, John Lee Hooker and Lightin'' Hopkins.
Another Oregonian, harp player and vocalist Paul deLay, started playing
in folk and jug bands some fifteen years ago. Eventually he settled into
blues and r&b with the Portland band, Brown Sugar. Today deLay delivers
a steady and very popular dose of danceable blues and vintage r&b. Check
out his jumpin' version of "Tiger In Your Tank."
Curtis Salgado for more than five years played with bluesman Robert Cray.
It was while playing with Cray that Salgado so impressed John Belushi and
Dan Ackroyd that they dedicated their first Blues Brothers album to him.
Salgado's strong and earthy vocals are perfect for his '60s soul sound which
is exemplified here in "I Got To Find A Way."
There was no place more fitting for this historic recording than the Jolly
Roger Roadhouse. It has a history all its own. Originally named the China
Castle, the Roadhouse was constructed during Prohibition. Atop the building
is a two-tiered tower from which a guard could alert patrons to impending
police raids. Since the repeal of Prohibition laws, the China Castle has
been renamed the Jolly Roger Roadhouse and has become a thriving legitimate
restaurant and music venue. In the past two years it has become a Northwest
blues headquarters for players and fans from many parts of North America.
The right players and the right club were major components in the making
of Live At The Roadhouse. So do what the audiences did on those rainy,
chilly February nights-witness, get down, dance or just listen to a bit
of living history.
-Roberta Penn, Seattle, WA spring 1984
The blues fit the Jolly Roger Roadhouse like red beans fit rice. Just mention
Seattle and blues in the same breath and anyone who hung around the Northwest
in the '80s invariably sighs and invokes the name of this legendary nightclub.
Ghosts from the Jolly Roger's speakeasy-brothel days showed up every night
to hear America's hottest blues acts. We all showed up and partied 'til
the wee wee hours for the same reason, and added a few ghosts of our own.
More blues got lived and played at this club than there are notes in a Buddy
Guy guitar solo.
It's fitting that the Roger has burned to the ground-I think the hot nights
and legendary jams eventually caught up with the place. Rumor has it, though,
that when it's quiet out on Lake City Way you can still hear a 12-bar slow
blues burning in the night.
-Don Campbell, Editor, This Week magaine, and former Paul deLay
Band bassist. Portland, OR January 1994