Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Lost "Ben Jernigan" Post


Ben, The Paramedic
Ben, the paramedic, who has made previous appearances on this blog, as "Ben, the ambulance driver," (until he informed me of his true title) was in town with a lady friend whose name I've probably only been told a few times.
They were here to see the Eric Clapton concert somewhere in town.
Ben is an excellent guitarist; and the one who single handedly sold me on the "open G" guitar tuning which is used by the likes of Ben, the paramedic; who has played in Nashville, with the likes of Willie Nelson.
I don't know if hanging around the are of The Unique Boutique was part of their strategy for running into me, but we met in front of Wal-Greens on Royal Street (the one that I once thought had been bought out by the R&B artist Al Green. after the "W" burned out).
They took a picture and asked me where I was going to be later, but I couldn't form a clear picture of where I might be at any given time later on that Saturday night.
I did play at the spot on Royal which Tanya and Dorise vacated, but that was not at great length.
Yesterday afternoon, I played on Bourbon Street, across from Barnaby's condo.
Barnaby has just landed a job, he told me.
"I know that feeling; I had it in 2006," I told him.
He is going to work for some organization very similar in scope to Unity; and he is going to "council addicts" among other things.
I had a notion of Unity sending me to Barnaby as part of my evaluation to see if I qualify for an empty house.
I made almost 10 bucks and then took a break; returned about a half hour later as it was getting dark; but didn't make anything in the 45 minutes or so that I played.
So, I went on my way down Royal Street past the guy who plays an electric guitar through a little Roland Cube amp and who used to have a stuffed moose in his guitar case; and who wrote a song called "Mr. Moose" which he sang  whenever people asked him what the deal with the stuffed moose was; which they inevitably didl..
Well, Mr. Moose, as soon as he saw me; pointed in the direction of Rouses Market and said: "There ain't no one up there!"
And. he said it with an incredulity as if he thought that some group; of musicians must have taken ill or something or there was a grave misunderstanding of the time allotment and they each thought that the other group; was there.
I walked on and figured, why not sit on that particular coveted spot.
It was actually slow enough to be about as quiet as it gets there.
I played and had a few people stand and listen; as they are prone to do at that location; and brought my money total up; to about 20 bucks for the whole day; which ran about 8 hours.

I caught the ferry; after making a distorted recording on the west bank terminal which had some fleeting moments of good jamming on it.
I am holding myself to the standard of Tanya and Dorise now, and especially after having played at the spot that they have had a hand in making famous for people who like to stand and listen to street performers.
Bens Band
*Ben, the paramedic has a band; and they can be "liked" on Facebook.
"The Ben Jernigan Band from Mobile, Alabama" should be a search term that would put them near the top of the Google results...
I haven't been able to find his music though; except for a Youtube of his band doing "Folsom Prison Blues" live somewhere.
It was a well played version.

 

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