Hearsay: Wednesday, April 25, 2002
Baby, One Mo’ Time

HearSay has been noticing how a lot of the same blues players are turning up in different venues across the Metroplex any time the word “jam” is mentioned. Is HearSay losing its mind? Well, no. Nearly every bluesman worth his weight in Ernie Ball strings looks at “gigging” as his divine purpose in life — which is fine and dandy with HearSay. It’s always on the hunt, throughout the week, for — among other things — bluesmen plying their ancient craft. Dropping by Stumpy’s in Arlington last Thursday for yet another installation of the club’s weekly jam gave HearSay the sensation of having found a winning Lotto ticket — if for no other reason than discovering Maria Mills.

All you need to know, basically, is that Maria Mills looks like Britney Spears and wails like Aretha Franklin. Although she’s been a regular on the blues circuit for a couple of years, the seductive slave-4-blues last week hosted her first Stumpy’s jam. (Usual-suspect hosts are workaday studs like Hash Brown, Holland K. Smith, and James Hinkle — all fine, good-looking guys, but none a Britney stunt-double.)

Beer in hand, HearSay was throwing around theories for the night’s success: Were people packing the place to hear great blues? Or were they crowding the house to get a glimpse of Maria in her snakeskin boots and hat? No offense to Maria, but HearSay thinks it was great blues (Maria’s included!) that electrified Stumpy’s that night. All the regular jammers were there: Beer-Belly Slim, Little Benny, Phillip “Iron Man” Law (of Holland K. Smith Band fame), longtime blues stalwart J.B. Wynne, and a handful of others. Big props go out to J.B. for providing the soundtrack to which Maria and HearSay cut the proverbial rug. Which raises the question: Why (really) was HearSay there? To hear great blues? Or to reassure itself that it’s not that innocent? Developing ...

Waiting for the Sum

HearSay has been playing the waiting game for going on a dozen-some years now as maturity has yet to come a-knocking. Despite a few clear advantages — discounts at Rangers’ games, being hit on by teenagers — HearSay is tired of waiting. Hopefully, Sugarbomb’s wait to find out if Lava/Atlantic is ready to throw a big-dolla record contract their way will be much shorter and more rewarding.

Sugarbomb officially joined HearSay as a waiting-game player following their showcase for said label last Thursday. Although the band had only 40 minutes of stage time to impress the label big shots, lead singer Les Farrington said he’s happy with the band’s performance. “We had a short set, but I felt it went well,” he said. “We [spent some time] with the label rep after the show,” and he seemed impressed.

Although Farrington is not sure if a contract is already being FedEx-ed to Fort Worth, he did say the band would operate independently should the contract get lost in the mail — or, like HearSay’s dream of being full-grown, not show up at all.

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