Bluesy introduction: Only one #9

Fulton Patrick and the Fulltones with guitarist Arik VanBrocklin 

Fellini's No. 9
January 14

Last Friday night was my first trip to the beautifully renovated Fellini's No. 9, and although I didn't see any of the bacchanalian scenes-of-old, that fact did not diminish my appreciation for the venue.

Adorned with glossy wood everywhere, the place was smaller than I imagined, making me wonder how exactly many of the legendary happenings could have possibly gone on without annoying the hell out of the non-participants. The crowd was an older one for the most part, which made me jokingly comment that they were regulars at the original Fellini's and were all waiting with baited breath for someone to whip out the coke and let the good times roll. The blues group Fulton Patrick and the Fulltones with guitarist Arik VanBrocklin were the main attraction for the night, and I have to say I wouldn't mind seeing them again, real soon.

Composed of a singer/harmonica player, bassist, electric guitarist, and drummer, the four fit into the front right corner of the club nicely, and though I was worried that Fellini's size would make the show unbearably loud, the group had all their instruments (including the drums) cranked to about 2. The Fulltones played a generally up-tempo set, starting off with Little Walter's "Nobody But You," its vocal lines punctuated with impressive and emotion-filled harmonica as the rest of the group went through the standard blues progression with consummate ease. Patrick's vocals, though not blues-master strong, were enjoyable in their own easy-going way and actually complemented the group's good-time blues feel quite nicely.

What I believe was Jimmy Reed's "Shame Shame Shame" came next, a jaunty little number with extended solos from both the harmonica and guitar (during the latter Patrick ventured around the club to greet friends, making his way back to the stage for a bit of wailing just in the nick of time). From there VanBrocklin sang a number that featured what were probably the most impressive instrumentals from the group for the evening– a convergence of walking bass, harmonica, and bass lines followed the verses, and close interplay between harmonica and guitar made an appearance here.

From there, things just seemed to fly by, the music taking on at times a sort of Abbey Road-Beatles-playing-the-blues feel and then finding its laid back groove in numbers such as the Elvis Presley / Otis Blackwell song "All Shook Up."

I'm happy to have found in Fellini's another place to waste my nights, and I'm happy to have chanced upon Fulton Patrick and the Fulltones to help me accomplish my mission.

Fulton Patrick and the Fulltones