Well, I was hoping to make a triumphant return to the pages of MTC but as luck would have it, a triumphant return will have to wait due to some paranormal camera activities! (Update: photos have been recovered!) With recovered photos in hand, I will be providing you with an eyewitness account of an awesome show that recently took place in St. Louis. BB’s Jazz, Blues, and Soups, the setting for this night of blues music and education. As always, when you’re running late, the rest of the world slows down as well. So after sitting in a post, rush hour traffic jam, I finally made it to BB’s in time to catch the last half of a presentation by Alonzo Townsend and Marquis Knox. Alonzo is the son of the late great St. Louis bluesman, Henry Townsend. This presentation was entitled, “Reflections of a Genius: Henry Townsend” and set out to tell the story of Henry’s life and the life lessons he instilled in those around him. With Marquis Knox being an understudy of Henry Townsend, he (Knox) provided the perfectly-timed musical interludes that followed Alonzo’s stories. Not only did I have the privilege of hearing these stories but, as an added bonus, I got to see Henry’s Grammy award that was on display at the foot of the stage. Henry’s Grammy was awarded to him in 2008, two years after his passing, for Best Traditional Blues Album. Alonzo was on hand to accept this award on behalf of his father. Thanks to both Alonzo and Marquis for keeping these age old traditions alive!
Alright, meat and potatoes time!
Let me introduce you to Hector Anchondo.
Hector Anchondo has been playing guitar for quite a while now but he is fairly new to the blues scene. Born in Omaha, Nebraska but also having roots in Missouri, Hector has slowly honed his chops and molded himself into a stellar bluesman. Hector and his three-piece band bare some resemblance to some great bands of the past such as Stevie Ray Vaughn with Double Trouble! Hector is currently out and about promoting his latest effort, Young Guns. The term blues band loosely applies to this album as it is infused with tones of everything from 50’s rock in the song “Shake Me Shake Me” to the countryesque “Cattle Call”. Hector’s stage presence is low-key as he takes a position of house left with his bass player flanking house right. Hector does occasionally take the spotlight to promote his proficiency on the guitar but seems content in letting his band mates shine as well. Hector solos with the best of them, as at one point during the show he works the fingerboard of his Stratocaster like Picasso painting a canvas, edge to edge and tip to tip! On a couple of occasions during the night, the band did what is known as a “breakdown” where fellow band members take a break and let another band member shine. Bass player Carl Brown and drummer Khayman Winfield excelled in this area when Winfield took his drumsticks and soloed on the strings of Brown’s bass.
Keeping the night interesting until the end, Anchondo performed an unlikely medley that started off with overtones of a southern rock masterpiece that quickly became "Amazing Grace". The medley takes a sharp left as it turns in to "Delta Dawn" followed closely by “Will The Circle Be Unbroken” and then back to “Amazing Grace” with Hector throwing in dashes of Chet Atkins-styled solos. This medley had all the makings of a Tarantino film with its non-linear styling but somehow it worked. Last but not least, Anchondo wound it up with a rousing version of the Albert King classic, “Born Under a Bad Sign”. Well there you have it, my return to the pages of MTC! I hope this review gives you an idea of what this night was about, a deeper understanding of music in general. And proving once again it’s a big world out there, get out and explore it!
Thanks to Marquis Knox and Alonzo Townsend for the education and Hector Anchondo for being a decent dude on and off the stage! Photos of the show are below:
Hector Anchondo / Marquis Knox @ BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups, St. Louis, MO Reviewed by Scott Rowe, Editor on 2:30:00 PM Rating: