WorldFest at B.B. Kings, Hollywood
Linda Blair, Eileen Carey, Kathryn Grimm, Carlos Guitarlos, Marcy Levy
written and photographed by: Female Guitarist Shredmistress Rynata
WORLDFEST is an organization that has set out to “make this planet a better place to live”. It is based on the idea that how we each live our lives makes a difference. They have created the festival to gather the best examples of nonprofit organizations, empowering speakers, earth-friendly and animal-friendly products, holistic health services, great music, and delicious healthy food.
Needless to say, when Kathryn Grimm and Eileen Carey invited The Shredmistress to attend, I said “of course.. would love to”! B.B. Kings is a great place for live music so this promised to be a cool night… and it was.
Upon arrival we were greeted by a few sexy belly dancers who undulated around the room. Very scenic and entertaining. One of the celebrities that night was Linda Blair, grown from child actress (The Exorcist) into a beautiful and articulate woman. She partly MC’d that night and gave a few rousing and inspiring speeches. I felt guilty wearing my cool leather pants (being the nice night in L.A. that it was), since this was an all vegan affair. I pretended they were “just vinyl”.
We waited for Eileen Carey and band to take the stage. Eileen Carey is a class act, a little bit country (or a lot..) a little bit funky and a little bit rock’n roll. All her songs are catchy and she sings them with passion and great deliverance. I ALWAYS dig her guitar player Masa who shreds his way thru some of her tunes, culminating in the rousing finale of the set with a song called “LAZY” where he just tore it up…Crowd loved it. Other great songs were “Ancient Desire”, That Town, and that snappy tune “Good Time Charlie”. Couldn’t help but dance to it.
More belly dancing, following Eileen’s set. One very sexy vegan dancer, surrounded by about half a dozen young studly men, pounding on drums….very seductive and primal. Nice touch. As we recovered from this visual spectacle Kathryn Grimm and her band KGB took the stage. She opened up her set with an acapella moment…(“That’s how strong my love is..”), completely blew us out of our chairs with her POWERFUL and amazing vocal range. I’ve been a fan of her voice for a long time. She’s got one of those unique styles that just screams success…She looked mighty “dapper” in her black suit, hat and white shirt. “Fallen Angel” a beautiful song, inspired by the book “The Jungle” showcased her great voice, harmonies and guitar playing. She played some rippin’ and melodic guitar lines throughout her set that put her into the “serious guitarist” category.
Very few bassists out there can really kick my butt. Leon (Randy) Randolph is one of those cats. He plays so well behind Kathryn and when he steps up he “really” steps up. The bass solo he took at one point was outstanding. Masturbatory, sensuous, dexterous and brutal…don’t worry if ya can’t reconcile these adjectives.
Also in Kathryn’s cast was Billy Hulting on vibes. Nice addition to the overall sound. Great on this one funky tune with a “dooup dooup dooup” kinda feel. He’s also one of the organizers of Worldfest and plays with some heavy duty people (Manhattan Transfer, Lou Rawls, Patti LaBelle). On keyboards and backup vox was the adorable Alex Seeley (Alexandria really…..). Kathryn and Alex harmonize so well together. I know I left off the drummer. Can’t remember his name. He was just overshadowed by the dynamite front line. He held it down very well, that much I remember (as the wine flowed..). In any event… check out Kathryn Grimm’s shows. Well worth it.
Headlining that night was the legendary Carlos Guitarlos. A blues legend, this rugged player had relocated from San Francisco to L.A. a few years ago. I had met him in S.F. years ago and had the pleasure of jamming with him ever so often. What can I say about CG… if you’re into the Blues, you’re into Carlos. He has set the measuring stick high for what blues guitar is all about. “Shake Rock’n Roll” a good ole number, was played with some awesome down and dirty blues guitar. His originals are super. He is a prolific song writer who has written enough songs to fill several books.
On stage with him was another female guitarist who also played harmonica: Marcy Levy. She wrote the hit “Lay Down Sally”, which was covered by, among others, Eric Clapton and achieved mega success. Carlos was joined by his brother at one point who played some nice guitar. Runs in the family it seems. “Jambalaya” a song with a cajun feel and killer three part harmonies made you think of swamp land, fiddles (even though there weren’t any), crawfish and good ole Louisiana. A highlight. Carlos and gang played more infectious blues that got the crowd on their feet and dancing.