Earlier this week Laura was coming home from work and she was listening to NPR’s All Things Considered. She heard a profile of pianist/keyboardist Mose Allison. Allison has been getting a lot airtime as he promotes his new album, The Way of the World.
Laura likes music and she really likes blues piano. About four years before we met, back when I was trying to earn a living writing about music, I was invited to a rehearsal of the one-off Willie Dixon Dream Band featuring Allison and Long John Baldry (guitar), Carey Bell (harmonica), Rob Wasserman (bass), Cash McCall (guitar), and Al Duncan (drums). Put together by the promoters of the 1991 Atlanta Benson & Hedges Blues Festival, the headline group rehearsed on June 21, 1991, the day before the festival opened. The session was held at 2:30 in the afternoon in downtown Atlanta. Once a printing plant, the one-story building had been converted into studio space. Demolished to make way for the World of Coca Cola, the neighborhood back in 1991 had streetwalkers working the alleys in the afternoon and the building’s security was a baseball bat leaning against the wall near the front door.
The band arrived in a blue van and set up their gear in a back corner studio. All I had to do was sit back and enjoy the music, ask a few questions, and take a few photos. The slides have been living in a binder along with my other materials from the 1991 festival. Here are a few shots from the rehearsal:
Mose Allison at the Roland keyboard. Atlanta 1991
Images © 1991-2010 David S. Rotenstein