Story and Photos by Brad Walseth, Copyright 2010
SPACE in Evanston was the scene of Dave Specter's latest Adventures in Guitar session, where he pairs up with another guitarist in concert. On this evening, the blues guitar master was joined by another blues expert - veteran guitarist/singer Jimmy Johnson.
Evanston's own Ambassadors to Earth - featuring Tommy Klein (Liquid Soul, Spies Who Surf) opened up the night with their wonderful blend of 1960s-style surf music. This campy, grooving band brought back memories of the Surfaris, the Stick Shifts and the Ventures with their twangy twin Strat sound and toe-tapping instrumentals that recalled tunes from the era like "Telstar," the "Peter Gunn Theme" and "Walk Don't Run." Great band interplay and cool songs had the crowd smiling and highly entertained.
Host guitarist Dave Specter and his band - young keyboard star Ben Paterson, bassist Harlan Terson and drummer Mike Schlick ascended the stage and immediately ripped into some exciting blues that whipped the audience into a frenzy. Specter has gained a reputation as one of the best young guitarists on the blues scene and he did not disappoint the adoring crowd that seemed to hang on every note.
After three songs - and just when you didn't think things could get any hotter - Specter was joined by his old friend, Jimmy Johnson. The former welder, Johnson is not only an excellent guitarist in his own right, but he is a beautiful singer. The two guitarists and keyboardist Paterson, backed by the solid rhythm section, put on a blues clinic that had the audience of blues lovers completely enthralled.
If you haven't yet caught a show at SPACE, do yourself a favor and take in a concert at this comfortable club in Evanston. SPACE features music across all spectrum, often free parking is available, and there is delicious food (try the lamb sausage pizza) and cold imported beverages in the restaurant up front. Meanwhile, Dave has announced the 4th Adventures in Guitar will be held on June 9 with guest Steve Freund. Check out all of the information for upcoming shows at SPACE's Web site - www.evanstonspace.com.