By Janet Musso
The Shadetree Mechanics represented the JSJBF with a variety of original blues songs. Our road warriors brought their “A” game with their energetic best. The first night the venue had mistakenly double-booked and the band had to move all of their equipment at the last minute and then were delayed a couple of hours to start. They took it all in stride and played a kick-ass set to the IBC Memphis judges.
We got our mojo working with the set opener, “Get Out On The Floor.” They switched gears with,”I Really Don’t Care,” part shuffle and part boogie woogie. “Crazy Mixed Up Blues” came on strong like a freight train and the song is still stuck in my head! “Double Dealer” was a real toe-tapper Chicago style blues. The Rev next took us to church with, “I’m Going Home,” a crowd-pleasing gospel number. They finished the set with “Rev’s Little House Of Blues,” a song written by the Rev only a couple of weeks before our local competition.
The second night of the Memphis IBC, the Shadetree Mechanics played their same set before a new group of Memphis judges at the Hard Rock Cafe. The band really enjoyed playing that venue and the crowd went hog wild for them. Shadetree Mechanics done good and made us proud!
The Shadetree Mechanics band are inductees of the Blues Hall of Fame of NY and NJ.
Mike “The Rev” Rochelle, Lead vocals, scratch board, harmonica
John “Elmo” Lawson, Bass
Marc “Redman” Schmalzried, Lead Guitar
Brad Lewis, Drums
Former drummer Ray Gwiazdowski had passed away recently and was there in spirit.
Our solo representative, James Dalton, was unable to make the event because of testing positive for COVID-19 right before his flight.
After being a judge in our local IBC for 15 years, it was like finally going to blues Mecca for my first Memphis competition. It was exciting and far exceeded my expectations The best part was meeting and listening to quality blues groups from all over the U.S. and the world including France, Switzerland, and South Korea. (And the best BBQ joints too!) We also did a tour of the Stax Records Museum with lifetime JSJBF members Joan and Lou Acevedo, who met up with us for part of the Memphis IBC after recently relocating to North Carolina. Sun Studios also had interesting memorabilia and history for hard core music lovers.