Mo' Blues played many songs in their native Spanish, but the band managed to mix in a number of songs in English throughout their two sets, including Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign," and James Brown's "I'll Go Crazy." There were no maracas present (unshakeable drummer Rub'e9n Tissenbaum certainly didn't need them) but Latin rhythms made their way into the songs primarily through Gabriel de Pedro's keyboard. De Pedro also showed his prowess during his extensive solos, which he traded with guitarist Frederico Teiler. Teiler shined on his electric guitar, and slipped effortlessly into ultra-intense solos that balanced blues soul with lightning-quick runs up and down the fret board. Bassist Sebasti'e1n Cas'eds held everything together, and demonstrated his talent late in the second set in an extended number that showed off his bass-thumping skills.
In an impromptu interview during intermission (in the line to the bathroom, no less), de Pedro explained that American blues music is accessible and popular in Argentina. Argentian folk music, de Pedro said, is similar to blues, and it is played in venues called "la pe'f1as," seemingly laid back venues in which audiences "drink wine and eat empanadas, drink wine, eat empanadas, drink and eat all night." The scene was not much different at Gip's, as visitors dined on fresh fried catfish and washed it down with the beverages they'd brought from home.
Mo' Blues calls Santa Fe, Argentina home. Santa Fe is in the northeastern part of the country, and is larger in population than Birmingham by more than 125,000 people.
As is the custom at Gip's Place, friends of Mr. Gip and the Magic City Blues Society (who put on the show) took the stage before the show and during set break. Birmingham acoustic guitar player Michael Carpenter opened for Mo' Blues. Dan Turner, a 23-year-old harmonica player, started off the set break festivities. Guitarist Earl Williams, who's toured with Latimore and Johnny Taylor, also took the stage, playing with support from the Mo' Blues rhythm section. He was later joined by guitarist Rick Rooster. Lenny Madden, who often emcees the events at Henry Gipson's juke joint (along with Magic City Blues Society officer Roger Stephenson) finished out the nearly one-and-a-half hour intermission by playing an electric guitar he fashioned from a cigar box and two broom handles.
When Mo' Blues finished their second set at about 1 am, the crowd was neither exhausted nor had it thinned out. Mo' Blues could have played hours more and Gip's audience would have listened eagerly to every second.
If you'd like to catch Mo' Blues before they head back to Santa Fe, they will play Up Top in Vestavia on September 18, Wellington's Bistro on September 20, and they'll finish out the Birmingham leg of their US tour playing Phelan Park (by Dreamland) at 3 pm on September 21.