There was a special treat literally ‘instore’ for visitors to Mr Music in Münsterstrasse on Tuesday afternoon. Chicago born Kal David once replaced Mick Taylor in John Mayall’s band and today, joined by wife Lauri Bono (formerly singer with Etta James) he’s happy to play some guitar at Mr Music and sell some CDs.
Low-key affair that it was there was a healthy-sized audience in the shop at 5pm. ‘Healthily crowded’ would be a good description. room to breath but enough smiling faces to create the atmosphere that any musician needs to perform.
Kal and Lauri met in the 70’s, in perfect music tradition that was at a place called Woodstock. The two cut their musical teeth travelling as part of the Etta James Band before David headed the Pro-Jam in Hollywood’s China Club with guests like Jon Entwistle, Stevie Wonder, Larry Carlton and Joe Walsh. Oh, and Kal’s fame goes beyond pure flesh and blood – his is the voice of ‘Sonny Eclipse‘, a singing alien audio-animatronic at Cosmic Ray’s Starlight Cafe in Disney World.
Tonight the music is very much flesh and blood though by two performers who clearly, even after so many years, still love to do what they do – which is play the Blues. There was ‘only’ a small amplifier for the guitar and no microphone at all, but that little limit on volume and sustain didn’t stop David from ringing the emotion out of his guitar, particularly on Sam Taylor’s ‘Voice of the Blues’.
I have to say that although the duo’s set was an enjoyable one I think those listeners who decided to purchase a copy of the new CD ‘Paragon’ are in for a very pleasant surprise indeed. The extra amps and addition of bass, keys and saxophones make for a very listenable collection.
At times David’s style is reminiscent of BB King and at other times of laid back ‘Bluesers’ like Snowy White – but always tasteful in his delivery. Lauri Bono has that sort of voice that you expect to hear on music of this style but are often disappointed by. That’s not the case with Bono though – again, the musical experience oozes out of the record. This duo have been there and bought the t-shirt.
The fifty or so people listening are all smiles when the short set is over, and before Kal David heads over to sign CD’s I ask him about those days with Etta. “Pure Magic!” is his answer. I say how good it is that he’s supporting our local record store and he smiles that uncomfortable smile that only comes from people who do good without really realizing the good they are doing.
Let’s not get sentimental though. Mr Music is stacking CD’s on the counter and an orderly queue is forming to buy them as I leave the shop for hopefully the first of many ‘mini gigs’ in Munsterstrasse. The show is over but the music lingers on – ‘Paragon’ is for sale at the shop still (if they didn’t sell out tonight). My advice is to buy a copy, relax, and listen to some pure magic.