"Howlin' for Hubert" Sumlin Benefit
B.B. King's Midtown Manhattan Club
As if on cue, the wind was howlin’ on a bone-chilling Wednesday
night, but things were just heating up inside B.B. King’s Midtown
Manhattan club Jan. 22, 2003. The Fins kicked off the “Howlin’ For
Hubert [Sumlin]” benefit evening with their energized swinging groove,
with special guest Greg Piccolo sending the crowd into a tizzy.
Brooklyn’s own Michael Hill’s Blues Mob was next, with a flawless
set, adding Vernon Reid, whose playing increased the intensity of this
outstanding rocking trio. Next was the unique “Guitar Only Quartet”
with Elliot Sharp, Marc Ribot, Michael Hill, and guest of honor bluesman
Hubert Sumlin. The Quartet performed to perfection with Michael Hill
doing vocals on the first tune and then Sumlin taking over from there.
Sharp, Ribot, Hill, and Sumlin gave a stunning performance. Hot on their
heels and coming out smokin’ was Jimmy Vivino’s troupe — David
Johansen, Dave Maxwell, Mike Merritt, Levon Helm, Frank Pagano, and Greg
Piccolo. This band evolved into The Wolf Tribute Band, as Sumlin took
over, fresh from his show gig with The Rolling Stones, showing only
incredible energy and no signs of fatigue from his recent cancer
surgery. Highlights included special guests Bob Margolin, Ann Rabson,
and Shemekia Copeland, who tore the house down.
All in all more than $11,000 was raised from all the donated raffles
and door receipts. There are more items to auction, including a Gibson
guitar that will be signed at the Year Of The Blues show at Radio City
Music Hall in New York City and a Dick Waterman print of Ray Charles.
Readers interested in making a donation to help offset Sumlin’s
medical expenses should go to www.NYBluesandJazz.org.
NY Blues & Jazz Society
Radio Host @ WFDU’s, “Sounds of Blue”