Live at 13 Grand

Mick Clarke live in Portland Oregon 1987

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Mick writes:

Here's the MC Band live in Portland Oregon, way back in 1987 - Saturday night, 7th February,

The band includes Rod De'Ath on drums - he'd finished his six year stint with the Rory Gallagher Band and joined me on a couple of my US tours in the late 80s. On bass is Emerson Zachery Junior, aka Scott Free, but generally known as Zack. On keyboards is Dave Deaz.

The venue was a club called 13 Grand.. located at 13 Southeast Grand Avenue in Portland Oregon - the Rose City. It was run by Carl and his wife Katy - they had always made us welcome at their original venue, the Dublin Pub, and took us with them to the larger, more central, 13 Grand. As far as I know the place never closed, and there was always music going on - the breakfast gig, the lunchtime bands. We'd play three one hour sets from about 9 pm to 1.30.

This Saturday night we were recorded by our friend Dale Christensen - you can hear him shouting encouragement - although the audience was not exactly reticent. They were mainly a dancing crowd, but as you can tell here, they were really listening as well.

I've got the entire gig on cassette tape, but have picked out six tracks as being representative of the evening. Of course the sound quality is less than perfect, but I've sharpened it up as much as possible, and I thank Dale for making the recording at all. Mainly blues standards, with a couple of MC rockers thrown in. Mainly up tempo, with a slow blues here and there so as, as Alexis Korner once put it, the band can get its breath back. Opening track here is Elmore's "It Hurts Me Too" - irreverently known on the South London circuit as "It Hurts My Toe". The Gibson sounding nice through an American Marshall amp which I was able to get hold of, although the photos I have show my old Peavey. I don't know .. maybe a different trip.

Then into one of mine - the old SALT stalwart "Full Moon Boogie". Rod knew how to boogie, and there's great interplay with Zack. And then.. "Black Magic Woman". This has never been in regular set, but I found it was perfect for those long three set club dates. Just right for the last set when everyone was settling down and you could just get into a nice groove and play those fabulous Peter Green guitar lines. A pure pleasure.

I always liked to do a version of Elmore's Madison Blues on these gigs. I was actually staying at a friend's house on S.E. Madison, and my wife is Lindy Lou.. or Linda if you want to be formal. She would have been there on the night - hopefully dancing with one of our friends. Plus the fact that people knew the song from the George Thorogood version, so the moment they recognised it they'd be up on the floor and rockin'. So here it is, at full throttle, with my early attempts at doing the showy off flash bit in the middle. All good.

Muddy's "19 Years Old" was my slow blues of choice for a while. Here it is with a fiery solo - messy but real. And finally, the encore "Nothin' but a Fool".

This is introduced by Carl, who was always effusive in his praise. He was a very nice man and I'm glad to include a little of his warm tones on this record. We rip into "Nothin' but a Fool" from my second album "Rock Me" with surprising energy considering it was the end of a three hour gig - again it's messy but it rocks. And no, it wasn't written about anybody - no hidden messages - just a made up rock'n'roll song.

Carl and Rod De'Ath are sadly no longer with us. Myself, Lindy Lou, Zack and Dale are all alive and well. I don't know where Dave is, but I thank him for doing a good solid job on these gigs - always easy to work with. Our agent Steve Hettum also passed - we wouldn't have been there at all without him. Anyway this is a nice record of fun times back in the Rose City, rockin' it up on a Saturday night on S.E. Grand Avenue.

Mick Clarke - Live at 13 Grand Photos taken at 13 Grand - Mick, Zack and Rod.
Mick Clarke - Live at 13 Grand
Mick Clarke - Live at 13 Grand
Mick Clarke - Live at 13 Grand
Mick Clarke - Live at 13 Grand
Mick Clarke - Live at 13 Grand