Take It Downtown
Shortly after the death of the Cathouse Blues Band's beloved lead guitarist Kevin Short in January 2004 and the subsequent departure of bassist Jim Lowry, bandleader Kurt Aemmer asked remaining band members George Clark, Heather Meagher and Ibidunni Ojikutu to return with him to the studio and produce a second Cathouse Blues Band CD comprised exclusively of Aemmer's original tunes. Aemmer and Clark's mutual friend, British guitarist Adrian Clarke graciously agreed to sit in on lead guitar. Other Pacific Northwest notables Scotty Harris (tenor sax), John Fricke (trumpet), Marvin Johnson (keyboards), Amos MacPorterhouse (bass), Fred Dorr (congas & 2nd bass), and Dave Weldon (2nd lead guitar) helped transition this heavy blues guitar band into an R&B show band. The result was Take It Downtown. Take It Downtown is far more eclectic than the band's first recording effort, It seemed like a good idea at the time... It has a very urban flavor with electric and acoustic guitar solos by Clarke or Weldon, but also contains tasty sax, trumpet, conga and keyboard work by Harris, Fricke, Dorr and Johnson. Clarke's range of electric and acoustic guitar styles, together with the additional horns, keyboards and congas allow the band to expand far beyond the heavy guitar blues and funk repertoire the Cathouse Blues Band had been known for in the past (though Weldon's electric lead guitar work on Aemmer's "Spanky's Blues" is a tribute to the old band with Kevin Short). This CD features the vocal harmonies of Aemmer, Meagher, Ojikutu and Clark, with Meagher taking lead vocals on "Set You Free" and Ojikutu on "Show Me Some Respect." It seemed like a good idea at the time... garnered a "Best Blues" (BB) Award nomination for "Best Washington Blues Recording" by the Washington Blues Society in 2004. Take It Downtown earned The Cathouse Blues Band a second consecutive BB nomination in the same category in 2005. As It seemed like a good idea at the time... could be described as being influenced by Muddy Waters, Johnny Winter and Gary Moore, Take It Downtown leans more toward artists like Delbert McClinton, Etta James, Eva Cassidy, Fleetwood Mac, Ray Charles, Jr. Walker and Eric Clapton. Take It Downtown takes The Cathouse Blues Band... Uptown!