Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Cool John Ferguson at The Warehouse Blues series

Caught a couple of sets from Cool John Ferguson last Friday night as part of the The Warehouse Blues Series at the West Village Courtyard downtown. He truly is one cool dude, and that's good, because it was extremely hot that night. A storm was blowing up just as 6 o'clock approached, so Cool John and his appreciative audience were ushered to a non-air conditioned (or it felt like) lobby area inside. Cool John rolled with the punches and played 2 great sets. Despite the sheen of sweat on everyone, people danced, clapped, drank cool beverages, and enjoyed the fact it was Friday and here we we were, enjoying each other and the music. Here's Cool John:

A few of the tunes from Friday night from Cool John were (She's a) Brick House, Stormy Monday, and the Stevie Ray Vaughn song, Pride and Joy. Many thanks to my pal Jack for remembering the names of a few of the songs. I thought they all sounded great, even though the acoustics in the lobby where we were seated left much to be desired. Even in the heat and the closeness of the space, people kicked off their shoes and danced:

A little bit about Cool John Ferguson from his Music Maker site:
He was born on Saint Helena Island off the coast of South Carolina. His mother is of the Gullah people and John grew up with the old ways all around him. His first guitar was a Harmony #1 with a one-coil pick-up, two knobs, and a Marvel amplifier. He still remembers the shape and look of it and the way it made him feel. He learned to play by listening.
You can listen to a few of his songs, including Durham Blues on his MySpace page.


Jack said...

John definitely IS cool. I wish that the acoustics could have been better, but he definitely was a trooper for taking down the outside stage and having to set up inside in a matter of minutes. He's got a unique sound. If you look at the enlarged picture of him, you'll see that he's playing a right-handed guitar but flipped over to play left-handed. A lot of left-handers do that, but usually they re-string it so the bigger strings are up top. Not John. When you see him bending those strings, he's pulling down instead of pushing them up. He's not the only one that does that. Albert King played that way. I think that Doyle Bramhall does as well. It does give a different sound, though.
Looking forward to seeing Cool John again. Soon.

Jeff Hart said...

there's the REAL american dance festival!

James Hill said...


I was at this concert also. Here's my Cool John Ferguson gallery from that night. Maybe you're in a few shots?

I also have galleries from a few other Warehouse Blues concerts online, and I'm currently editing photos from last Friday night. Cool John and John Dee Holeman played inside at the American Tobacco complex, Bay 7. I should have them online by this weekend.

It may sound vain, but I'd love to have any photos you may have with me in the background at this concert. After the break, I was set up behind the drummer with a tripod for a while.

Durham Bull Pen said...

@ james hill: Hi James. Thanks for the link to your pictures. They are fantastic! I'll check through mine and see if I see any with you in them. If so, I'll certainly send them to you.