Tone Uriza @ Mubbles Lounge 07/07/2021
Updated: Aug 18
It's been awhile since I have done a blog on my good friend, Tone Uriza, even though I go to his sets pretty regularly. Last week I had been to one at a place called Mubbles Lounge, a great venue that has only been around for about 3 weeks now, but it's a jazzy Blues lounge run by a very nice gent, named Selby Mubble. It's wonderfully casual, and they have done a great job with the design, with the dance floor open to the space above giving the performer intimacy of closeness to a maximum number of people, They have also managed to give the place that seasoned look of a comfortable place that keeps you coming back. Selby says, "Come dance and find the fun in the Blues."
You should take him up on his offer!
I had a nice chat with Selby and he told me he's been lining up some great live entertainment and locking some into steady engagements. He has designated Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday as LIVE nights and when I got Tone's notice that he was playing there again, I thought I'd go over again and check it out. The place was hopping when I arrived to the sweet voice of Ms Jackie Lefko (watch for a follow-up blog on this lady and other artists, like Miss Cast...) and as her last tune faded, she dropped the stream to Mr. Tone Uriza, Big Daddy Blues.
I love to listen to Tone's sets, there is always tasty tidbits on the material he presents, whether its a story about a "great", or the background on the writing of the tune. It doesn't matter if it's one of Tone's or not. This is not only entertainment, but an education in the Blues to listen to Tone for an hour.
Don't be late for class!...
Tone started off the evening with his version of "Stormy Monday", the great Elmore James tune. He makes it his own while managing a firm nod to the original. Next up was the pleasantly-familiar favorite of mine, "I'll Play The Blues For You", and Tone does play the Blues. He digs deep and lets you feel the music the way he plays each note and how he sings each word. Tone has been there and back and he takes no prisoners, nor offers any apologies. This is real, raw Blues It gets it out and it heals the soul. Another Tone original, "How I Feel" followed. Its a story of a staple of the Blues; good love gone bad, and Tone tells it through his fingers on the neck and his raw, whiskey- and-cigarette vocals. Then we had a great rendition of My Babe, featuring Tone's band, The Torpedoes on the backing track and some great harmonica playing by Barry (Honeyboy) Stillwater.
A short pause for a little of Tone's favorite whistle wetter, Crown Royal, and a little background before the next number, "TFQ (The French Quarter)" another Tone original tune. (AKA, Crawfish Etufee).
Tonight we had a special treat with a song I have rarely (if ever) heard Tone play and he does it soo well. "Mustang Sally" is a great song, with sing-along lyrics and a great rolling backing track that makes you feel like you are on a road trip and flying along in that '65 'Stang, with the tunes howling from the car radio.
More great Blues followed with "The NIght Life". Then a crowd pleaser that Tone plays with a glint in his eye, called "My Baby Don't wear No Panties" (complete with panty "tree" appearing on stage from somewhere deep down in Tone's inventory). Keb Mo's "The Itch" was next, another of my Favorites from Tone, before he launched into his finale for the evening, a Muddy Waters version of "Baby Please Don't Go". Its an epic ender and this IS the Blues at it's finest, a classic without equal, just like Tone...
This was a great evening of the Blues in a perfect venue. As Selby Mubble says, "Come dance and find the fun in the Blues." And these folks sure know how to have fun! From the warm welcome when you walk in, and plenty of banter to keep you amused while you are there, this place has a feeling of "home" about it that is undeniable. Tone and I were still chuckling as we tp'd out.