Sunday night at the Sausalito Cruising Club was one of those nights where, with no preamble and even less fanfare, I fell into a scene that could have topped my bucket list, if only I'd thought to put it there.
A funky, listing, run-a-ground ferry that was once home to the likes of Alan Watts and Gordon Onslow Ford, with a bar, a small dance floor and a little stage.
Between them, the folks on that stage had played with, sung with, and/or arranged for James Brown, Van Morrison, Steve Miller, Frank Zappa, Sly Stone, Taj Mahal, Pat Benetar, and more.
It was more of a jam session than a performance, with people sitting in and standing out throughout the night. Pee Wee Ellis on sax and Lady Bianca on vocals were the stand-outs, but everybody was outstanding.
This was the Blues, the way the Blues wants to be - informal, impromptu, with its shirttails out, and it's ass on the bar. One song would make you get up and move and the next would make you want to lay down and die. There were riffs like one-way tickets to places you didn't want to come back from.
It was real. It was personal. It was fun. I was lucky to have caught it. Thanks to my home-boy from Chicago, Chuck, for getting me there.