Warning: What lies ahead is mostly the rantings of a self-confessed Jason Cale Fanboy. Proceed with caution.
It was a Friday night (Dec 28 to be exact), my body had been logging way too many miles lately and my soul was thirsting for something local and vibe-o-licious. Point the Honda towards Shore Drive, take a right and then a left right before the Lesner Bridge. Yup, this was going to be a Froggie’s Night.
Because Jason Cale was playing.
I could spend the next several paragraphs waxing poetic on the Blues talent of the 757 of which Jason is a shining star, but Waxing Poetic in Tidewater has a different meaning, translated roughly as ‘Myopic Nostalgia for something of a bygone era vocally wished for in the present.’ Before being rescued and transformed into what is now Hoyt’s Luncheonette, that structure was ‘home’ to a contrived dive bar called Lew’s which was noteworthy in its complete lack of any dive bar characteristics. It needed a red velvet rope across the door with a sign that said, ‘Dive Bar’ as if a display in a museum, the perfect perception of a perfectly preserved slice of Americana which, in fact, paralleled exactly none of the reality that made a dive bar what it was. Waxing Poetic cum Museum Piece.
Editor’s note: Umm……I thought that this was going to be a story about music?
Jason. Jason and his Strat. But it is more than that, anybody with the correct amount of loot can swagger into the local Guitar Center and walk out with a Vintage Shop model Stratocaster, but this doesn’t by itself guarantee admission to The Craft of the Blues. After all, it isn’t the number of single coil pickups, it’s how you use them. In the case of Jason Cale, the guitar strapped across his shoulders is somewhat irrelevant to the proceedings because his Strat, gorgeous as it may be, is merely a tool, a conduit, a gateway to the music that exists in his heart and soul and makes its way to our ears. And our heart and soul. If music were the Starship Enterprise, Jason’s Stratocaster would be the Universal Translator, a tool to understand and communicate with the new and interesting without getting bogged down in the logistics.
Tonight the Jason Cale Band had 4 members, a tight cohesive blend of talent and vibe that interwove their talents into an unforgettable moscaic of sound and soul. It was the blues, but infused with copious amounts of funk and old-school soul. And back-cracking New Orleans delta/swamp music. Anybody that could sit silently still while this band weaved its funkolicious musical tapestry also was heard to say upon hearing of the death of Aretha Franklin, ‘Who was that woman? Was she a singer or something?’
Froggie’s was the venue and once again did not disappoint. No cover charge, great service, friendly locals. As a bonus, Cape Charles Brewing Company was there and they brought an ample supply of one of their IPA’s. Good music, good beer, good company.
Jason Cale plays extensively around the area and will certainly be at a venue nearby. If you haven’t gotten a chance to see and hear one of our local legends, do so.