After the final notes of day two of the Bamboozle Festival had been played by the likes of My Chemical Romance and Foo Fighters, the fun was only beginning in Asbury Park. Those concert patrons looking to continue the party headed over to The Press Room for a double shot of blues rock served up by the likes of “Little Jimmy” Lawroski and the Tangiers Blues Band, a knockout combination which served up fiery guitar solos and tight grooves to a receptive crowd.
Leading off the night was thirteen-year-old “Little Jimmy” Lawroski and his backing band. The group tore through such classic as Wild Cherry’s 1976 “Play That Funky Music” and The Allman Brothers Band’s “Whipping Post.” Little Jimmy left witnesses in awe with a Jimi Hendrix-esque take on “Little Wing,” pulling double duty with a vocal performance as impressive as his fret-work.
To say Lawroski’s talent belies his age would be a massive understatement. The guitarist, who was recently nominated for “Best Jam/Groove Band” and “Top Guitarist” at the Asbury Music Awards, recalls to mind the meteoric ascent of the man who currently plays “Whipping Post” for a living, slide guitar maestro Derek Trucks.
Trucks famously began playing with the Allman Brothers Band when he was just a boy of about Little Jimmy’s age. While there is no crystal ball for us to look into, it is a decent bet that we’ll be hearing about “Little Jimmy” for a long time.
Following “Little Jimmy” onto the stage was the Tangiers Blues Band (TBB), an outfit with an ever-rotating lineup and a predilection for down and dirty Blues-Rock. Formed in 1998 when guitarist Chris Scianni, drummer Dave Borla, and globe trotting photographer/harmonica maestro Danny Clinch (who patented fedora was hard to miss earlier in the evening while the man was on stage snapping what are sure to become definitive photos of the Foo Fighters) met one another and bonded over their love of Blues tunes, the group showcased their ability to provide the Delta treatment for any song in the book.
Lead by lead singer/or a pimp known only as “King,” the group trudged through a viscous version of the Buffalo Springfield classic “Mr. Soul” filed to the brim with extended pockets of improvisational jamming, and was followed by a rendition of “You Can’t Judge a Book by the Cover” that would have made Bo Diddley proud. “King” displayed true showmanship, quoting the “Love, love, love/I want your love” line from Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance” within the tune – an odd juxtaposition to be sure, but one that worked nicely nonetheless. The front-man in furs and steal-toed boots wasn’t the only one who got creative as Scianni managed to squeeze in a teaser riff from the Allman Brothers Band’s “Jessica,” before the outfit fell into an inspired edition of “Iko Iko.”
Perhaps the most original reworking was TBB’s take on Talking Heads’ “Life During Wartime,” transforming the upbeat, funky, dance number, into a growling waffle stomper, instilling new life into the selection.
The group played long into the night, giving the patrons of The Press Room just the kind of after-party they were looking for. After all, nothing quite chases a shot of whiskey like the Blues.