Do you remember the very early days of seeing your favorite artists play? Instead of large theaters and giant arenas, they would be playing the local dive bar or blues clubs. You’d walk up to the person working the door, slip him five bucks for the cover charge, maybe get your hand stamped for alcohol patronage, and in you were, grabbing the best seats in the house with your buddies, girlfriend, or maybe even by yourself. You were there early to grab those seats or stand up front so there were maybe just a few other scattered attendees hanging around the bar or the back row of the dimly lit, smoky joint.
After staking your claim to a front row seat, you’d casually stroll over to the bar, and an intense but cordial bartender would pour you a tumbler of your favorite Kentucky bourbon on ice. And as the club began to fill up with people, you daydreamed in excitement about the action that was about to take place. Finally, the houselights dimming down even further, a gravelly voiced emcee would call out, “Thank you ladies and gentleman for coming… may I present to, this city’s best blues band, the…” and the room was suddenly alive with applause and cheering as finely dressed musicians in their jackets and caps, finally took the stage to blow you away for the next two hours?

Remember those days with your favorite bands?  Because I do not. I was too young and missed them. Or I didn’t know about the band until the whole world did. My favorite artists don’t play the small clubs anymore. Heroes of mine, like Clapton, like Plant and Page, like Gilmour and Waters, like The Stones. Instead, they play theaters, arenas, and even stadiums. And I’m grateful that the world gets to share this music. Moreover, there’s something incredibly exhilarating about these large-scale, epic productions. But every now and then, I just wish a little bit that I could hear my heroes someplace small, intimate, without the bustling crowds and a city full of publicity.

And now, with Joe Bonamassa I can.
It doesn’t happen often, but every now and then, Joe Bonamassa takes the stage with an incredible group of jazz-funk musicians, who have dubbed themselves Rock Candy Funk Party, for small, intimate shows at some of the nation’s coolest venues. In June, 2013, Rock Candy took the funk party to New York’s Iridium jazz club, one of the coolest venues I know, located on the edge of the brilliant lights and bustling crowds of Times Square. The amazing shows played at Iridium were recorded for CD / DVD / Blue-ray, which is certainly one way to experience the intimacy of these stellar sets.

And while there are more sold out dates coming up in Los Angeles this February, there are still a few tickets left for their upcoming New Years Eve spectacular at The Baked Potato in Los Angeles, another fantastic, intimate jazz club in an age when such venues are far too rare.

The unique experience of a small venue show can’t ever be duplicated in a large theater or arena, so it’s really cool to be able to see Joe play a place like The Potato. Add in the best funk-jazz around, and it’s definitely a night to remember. So come on down to the Baked Potato and hear a night of sensational music in a phenomenal, intimate setting. I may have missed Clapton and Floyd on the club circuit. But with Rock Candy Funk Party, you’ll be able to say of Bonamassa’s small-scale shows, “I was there!”

Rock Candy Funk Party is playing this New Year’s Eve at The Baked Potato in Studio City, CA. Tickets are available here .

The Iridium CD/DVD set and Blue Ray set is available at the Rock Candy Funk Party store.

Have you ever seen a big artist in a small venue? Post about it in the comments below!