Matthew Skoller and Jonny Iguana duo concert

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Matthew Skoller and Jonny Iguana duo concert

Postby Les R Forgue » Wed Apr 21, 2010 4:57 pm

I doubt that SBW2 and Otis Spann ever shared a stage, but if I had kept my eyes closed yesterday during this concert at the Chicago Cultural Center, I might have thought so. I am a very fussy blues fan with narrow tastes, but I thoroughly enjoyed the duo concert by harp blower/vocalist Matthew Skoller and pianist Jonny Iguana. Several times while listening to Johhny Iguana I had the urge to say "If Spann's body were dug up, I bet his left hand would be found missing!".
Not to down-play Johnny's right hand work at all, but his thundering left hand was pure delight.
That Matthew Skoller's harp playing is a thing of beauty and a joy forever. Most of it sounds just like SBW2, but there is enough of it that does not do so to make his playing individual and creatively expressive. His singing is pretty good too.

I have not heard these guys in their typical medium, which is Skoller's full blown, fully amplified, fully personelled blues band, so I have not enough experience to recommend the band; nevertheless I would surmise they probably sound very good and well worth the trip to go catch their set.

But if anyone ever has a chance to hear Skoller and Iguana act as a harp/piano duo as they did yesterday here in Chciago, I highly recommend them, especially to fans of SBW2, Junior Wells, Otis Spann, 50-60s blues piano, etc.
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Re: Matthew Skoller and Jonny Iguana duo concert

Postby jeffl » Wed Apr 21, 2010 6:53 pm

Thanks for the heads up Les; I woulda never known what those guys do. I've always been a big Otis Spann fan; Lazy Bill Lucas turned me onto him when I was about 15 years old, before I started listening to many blues records. I've got some recordings of Otis in a set of blues/jazz keyboard recordings done for the Library of Congress in the 60's. They're on cassette, and Otis has some tunes in there that I've never heard anywhere else. I've dug Rod Piazza's wife, Honey, and her Spann style playin'. She pulls it off in the company of an electric bass player, which takes some coordination. I like the style with a standup bass, or no bass guitar. I've done alot of harp/piano duo stuff, for years, and there's a whole world to explore in that style...lotsa freedom within some boundaries.
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