Chromatic Crumbs - Big Pete

from the album Choice Cuts (2011)

Once upon a time, I had a basement apartment in Milwaukee.  My neighbors were two hippies named Mike & John.  They were pretty cool dudes who operated an ice cream truck and played blues harmonica.  It was during late nights, sitting in their living room, that I first heard Little Walter, Elmore James, and Willie Dixon.  I am so much richer for that experience.

On Sunday afternoons (unless there was a Green Bay Packers game), they went to The Up & Under Pub on Brady Street for an open mic show hosted by Milwaukee bluesman Leroy Airmaster.  It was a great atmosphere to learn from seasoned musicians.  There was as much talk about tone and technique as there was about women. There was also a fair amount of drinking.  I miss those days.

Chromatic Crumbs is a cover song by Dutch bluesman Pieter van der Pluijm, aka Big Pete, of the William Clarke original.  At first, I was surprised that someone would attempt a remake.  The original version is that good.  Then I listened closely to Big Pete.  His tone on the harmonica was reminiscent of the great blues bands of the 1950's and '60's.  The drumming is superb, matching accents with Big Pete, as the song twists and turns.  The bass lays down a fine vintage jazz line I can groove on.  The lead guitar also uses jazz phrasing and tone.  The best analogy for their vibe is Little Walker being backed up by T-Bone Walker's band.  Did I really just say that?

If you dig the blues, I certainly recommend you give this a shot.

Click Here to watch a live version recorded at a festival in Basel, Switzerland.

Click Here to watch a rendition of Howlin' Wolf's "Rockin' Daddy" performed on Dutch television.

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