Paul deLay Goes Out In Style
I've been around long enough to recognize a legendary scene when I witness it, and to see the Portland Blues community take over the Art Museum tonight to honor Paul deLay, was classic. The emotional impact was set immediately when the woman standing behind me turned out to be Paul's sister-in-law complete with 2 children who were clearly paying total attention, thinking about their Uncle Paul. It really brought it home on that family level, before the extended family of the Portland Blues community took over.
My favorite story was when Curtis Salgado talked about being schooled on the harp by a 19-year-old Paul deLay, leading to a lifelong respect. Curtis said he's stood next to Santana, Prince and B.B. King and didn't feel intimidated, but Paul still made him feel nervous to the end. I like that sort of thing - the early psyche-out that never goes away. Curtis really looked up to him.
I also enjoyed Linda Hornbuckle saying that Paul's band put her on the map when "Paul went away for a while." Now, that is such a classic musician interaction especially with this genre.
Speaking of styles of music, there's often a service or memorial concert with known acts chiming in, and it's usually interesting to hear how familiar lyrics fit in with the subject at hand. It's always cool when the lyrics take on extra meaning, and there's an occasional groaner when something comes out wrong in the new context. That's what was so great about the Blues music tonight. It really works in this sort of setting. Your buddy dies and you play the Blues. This music was designed for occasions like tonight and the Portland Blues community should be proud - they really did it up right.