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Buzz Kilman and
The All Bubba Blues Band
as well as Howard and the White Boys

A Concert Review

December 16, 1996

Koko Taylor's Chicago
Blues (now closed)

Chicago, IL

A Review by
The Dude on the Left &
The Dude on the Right
The Dude on the Right
On the road again, I just couldn't wait to get on the road again, sittin' and drinkin' with all my friends, it felt so good to get on the road again. Wow, that's sound like it could make a cool song! Well, it is a cool song, I'm told, and has nothing to do with this review, but you have to start somewhere.

And somewhere is where we started, somewhere new in fact called Koko Taylor's Chicago Blues, to see not one, not two, but sort of three different acts. They were, in order, Buzz Kilman and the All Bubba Blues Band, special guest star The Black Lone Ranger, and then Howard and the White Boys. Let's start with Buzz.

My last remembrance of Buzz Kilman and the All Bubba Blues Band dates back many years ago when they played in The Bog. Back then they were a talented band They still are.

As I sat there, I saw the band and noticed a sort of different line-up of musical talent. There was a dudette now on guitar, I believe they are now missing the big dude they had on bass (I could be wrong - or he lost a lot of weight), but they still rocked, or bluesed as it would be.

Buzz was sporting some nice shades, and I must say he has a pretty cool job in the band. He gets to go on stage, play a little harp (mighty talentedly I might add), sing some blues tunes, and, most importantly, gets to drink during the extended solos that accompany most blues songs. It almost makes me want to change professions.

But back to the music. The set featured about three-quarter blues tunes, a way cool version of "Radar Love," and this really cool country version of the classic Prince tune "Purple Rain." Why, you might ask? Well, it was a tribute to the fine men of the Northwestern football team on their way to the Rose Bowl!!!!

Vocals the entire night were shared by all, even the dudette came out to the front to sing the "Bum, Bum, Bum, Bum" song which, try as I might, couldn't remember the title to. Guess I must have killed those brain cells to too many beers ago. But anyway, she had a way cool voice, that raspy type voice like Melissa Etheridge, and a guitar playing skill that, in all honesty, shocked the hell out of me after only seeing her play rhythm guitar all night. The classic "Tightrope" by Stevie Ray Vaughn really showed and expanded on this talent, and it just goes to show that girls can play a mean guitar too.

Mr. Kilman came back to the front-man role, but didn't have that "I'm too cool" attitude you might expect (him being some famous radio personality/news guy and all). Nope, he let the entire band show off their talents, and then introduced a very special guest, The Black Lone Ranger.

Picture if you will, a man, an elderly man, an elderly black man, dressed in a Lone Ranger outfit. Now, other than the being elderly or black, I'm thinking that the Lone Ranger duds must be a great outfit because it seems every time I saw him in the crowd he was dancin' with women. Wonder where I can get one of those outfits? Then, on stage, he busted into some great singing blues that had the crowd really enjoying themselves. There he was spinning his guns and screaming the blues, dancing around and checking out Wendy Schneider in the front row, working the crowd and loving it, and I was a little more impressed than when I saw him a couple weeks early at the Johnny B. Breakfast Broadcast. He was cool.

Alright, enough of Buzz Kilman and the All Bubba Blues Band with special guest The Black Lone Ranger. Wow, that's a mouthful. But, they were good, the crowd had fun, and after four years and some line-up changes I was still a little impressed. I give all of them TWO BIG OLD THUMBS UP!!!! Great show, and great prep band for Howard and the White Boys.

There's one thing I have to really say about Howard and the White Boys and that is I really didn't know the names to most of their songs. In most situations, that would seem like a bad thing for a band being reviewed. Not for this band. It didn't matter the names of the songs because the talent of the band kept this reviewer enthralled the rest of the long night.

Mostly, if not all blues, this band displayed some truly excellent talent that belongs on main-stream radio in place of many of the bands out there that have none. It's too bad for the rest of the country, but Howard and the White Boys are making a name for themselves in Chicago by keeping a crowd having a great time through every great guitar solo, every great bass note, and every great voice that Howard can belt out.

Through upbeat songs, downbeat blues songs, and one song that sounded like it either belonged in a porn movie or maybe Shaft, the crowd had a great night. In the immortal words of another song, the crowd was dancin' and singin' and movin' to the groovin'. They had a blast, and I did too.

You guessed it, Howard and the White Boys get TWO BIG HUGEMOUNGOUS THUMBS UP from me. Here's a band that you might not recognize a song, but if you're not having fun you're probably dead. Go see them before they become too big for a small club.

And so, another night, another show. The holiday season is upon us so say hello to the folks for us!! Have a safe and happy holiday. Party Smart, and as always, Rellim Reeb, Rellim Reeb.

The Dude on the Left
Well, well, well...We're back! Oh wait, we weren't ever really gone but it sure does seem like it. It feels like it has been forever since I have gotten out and done a show. Matter of fact, feels like it had been forever since I had just flat out gotten out. Boy did it feel good. And where, you may ask, did the nite take me? Well, it took me to a bar that I have yet to be in, well not at least under the current name they are going by. The bar was Koko Taylor's. And that is its current name, as it has gone under a few other names in my time. Goodfella's and Gingermen's to name but a couple. But now the bar is a blues bar, and quite a blues bar at that. This past Friday nite they hosted a couple of pretty good blues bands, one being Buzz Kilman, yep WLUP radio personality, and the All Bubba Blues Band along with Howard and the White Boys.

Buzz Kilman opened up the nite, well actually it was the All Bubba band opening up the nite with some little bluesy primer before bringing out good ole Buzz. And after a long introduction, ya know, that whole tower of power, king of pain, man who needs no introduction kinda bit, Buzz Kilman came out sporting the typical dark sunglasses, and bottled beer. Looking quite dapper and exuding an air of confidence, Buzz stepped forward and started whaling on his harp and singing a few notes. Now, don't take that as me wailing on Buzz, it is more like me envying him. Not only does he get to get up way too early and deal with the funny man in Jonathan Brandmeier, but he also gets to enjoy a night life full of danky little blues bars full of smoke and beer. Oh, how that sounds like the life for me. Oh wait, I guess it kinda is the life for me except that I get to sit back and criticize them folks up there trying to entertain.

Well, Buzz and his band, whom I didn't recognize from the last time I saw them on the grand and glorious campus of good ole IIT, played for a solid hour and a half to two hours (I lost track). Hrm, while on that side note of the band, what happened to the big ole black dude playing bass? And where'd they dig up a Melissa Etheridge sounding chick from? Guess times change. But, I do recall the little red haired dude playing the lead guitar, so I guess not all has changed.

Wow, I feel so disorganized this time around. There is so much floating around in my head that I want to get down in this article, but I don't know if I will have the room so I think it best to just add a few lines as teasers of what I may have come out with about Buzz and the Bubba's. Radar Love, way kewl! A Country version of Purple Rain? Hmmmm, that squiggly lined fella might not have liked it too much. SRV's "Tightrope" brought out some excellent guitar work. The Black Lone Ranger, nuff said. Wendy Schneider, Loop nite at Koko's. "Wang Dang Doodle", oh poor, poor Jerry. And gosh, this reminded me of why I loved the Bog and how much I hate that it has changed. Sorry I reminisce of my school band reviewing days.

So, finally, to wrap up Buzz, not literally mind you, I give Buzz and the Bubba's TWO THUMBS UP! I had quite a good time, except for the expensive beer, and just love Buzz and his harp and the Bubbas. I hope married life don't bring him down! Speaking of marriage, that reminds me of a joke - How is marriage and a tornado alike? In the beginning there is a lot of sucking and blowing but in the end you lose the house! Good Luck Buzz!

Oh yeah, there happened to be another band that nite. Howard and the White Boys came on shortly after Buzz completed his set. And boy, when they hit the stage, the energy in the crowd jumped up another notch. Needless to say, everyone had more of an already enjoyable time. I don't really wish to cut Howard and the White Boys short, but I am already running this thing a bit long so I will just have to say that I really like Howard and the boys and recommend them highly to everyone! So, I give Howard and White Boys TWO THUMBS UP also. Overall, well worth the ten smackers we had to pay to get in.

So until the next time, hrm C.U.Next Thursday just doesn't fit here anymore - I guess I will have to work on a new closing paragraph. How about, for now at least, Behave, and if you can't behave be careful. L8R.


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