RJ Spangler Trio at the Cadieux Cafe

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When I decide for an evening of music at the Cadieux cafe, I choose carefully. It is a 45 minute drive to get to the Eastside of Detroit for me. It is a casual music venue and has no cover charge. The format for the evening is for the first set to be the band set and open mic after the first set and is a common set for Detroit.

I left home in time to arrive for the first set. Every thing went well until I got halfway through the Lodge Freeway part of the trip. The road was being closed to do midnight roadwork. The cars were being funneled off the freeway. This sort of situation always causes the idiot driver to emerge and act like they are the most important car in the world. I got to the right lane and prepared to move slowly. When the line started, I did not know exact why there was a line. In fact, it was not clear until I could see cars making the exit. I could only see the flashing lights and flares at first. At the first entrance to the freeway, some cars were turning and driving up the on ramp. There was the usual passing on each side and cutting in. I just moved slowly letting an occasional car in.

We got off the freeway in a part of town I did not know. Then a street sign and I got my bearings and figured out how to get there. I was about twenty minutes late and arrived in a slightly frazzled state of mind.

The music had not started yet. Bill Heid who was the keyboard player had not arrived. The RJ Spangler trio was contrived for this event and was RJ Spangler(dms), Bill Heid, ( keys) and Ralph Tope(gtr). Bill Heid is well known in Detroit and plays hard bop, soul jazz and blues. Over the last few years, I have seen him several times. I ordered the hot wings and waited.

It usually comes off as a visit with old friends rather than a gig. I only started going out about eight years ago so the history is not there for me. The trio lead with “Psyops” and “Cease the Bombing”. His comments were mostly recalling a Detroit of a bygone era with all its faults and glories. When he sang “Night and Day”, he felt obligated to comment on Cole Porter’s sexual orientation. His singing voice is rough He has an old timey blues style. As the set went on, he asked Russ Miller(sax) to join. On one song, he mentioned that RJ used brushes and commented about how unusual it was. I see both brushes and mallets used frequently so I guess it may be uncommon amongst his usual venues.

The music was very good and I got to hear some tunes I don’t usually hear. The ride home was uneventful.

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