I've officially played my first blues gigs. Took me long enough. Blues was my main bag since about a year after I picked up the guitar. I was heavy into SRV, Buddy Guy, BB King, Albert King, etc. in high school. I've played plenty of rock and a handful of jazz gigs, but my first experience with a real blues band was not until one of my classmates, Shelle Blue, asked me to sit in with her band at House of Blues last month. I played a couple sets of mostly straight-ahead blues with a few tricky ones in there. I learned a few of the tunes ahead of time, but the rest was by ear with Shelle's main guitarist leading the charge.

I had a blast at the gig, and I was looking forward to learning the rest of her tunes so I could sub, sit in, or work as her second guitarist as the case may be. A few days later, Shelle called and asked me to play a full gig that weekend. I put my spreadsheeting skills to work at full steam (much like I've done with jazz standards), making notes on all 40 tunes I needed to get in my head and fingers. I learned my butt off every night, adding little comments to my growing cheat sheet, and over the following week, I played multi-set shows with Shelle's group at Last Call, Patrick's II, and Vinz Wine Bar.

It's great to be playing the blues again. (I've been focused on jazz and Zeppelin lately.) Even better to get paid to do it. After a long break from the genre, other than Page's blues influence, it still feels like my core strength on the instrument. And I'm playing all kinds of stuff I never would have without the past few years of jazz studying. Can't wait to do it again.

If you're near San Diego, check out Shelle Blue's website for upcoming gigs. She's a hell of a singer.

Here's a list of the songs I've learned (some still pending):

5-10-15 Hours
A Quitter Never Wins
Bags Groove
Big Boss Man
Born Under a Bad Sign
Chain of Fools
Checkin' Up on My Baby
Chitlins Con Carne
Cissy Strut
Cleo's Back
Cold Duck Time
Cold Shot
Cold Sweat
Don't Touch Me
Down Home Blues
Dr. Feelgood
Early in the Morning
Empty Arms
Every Day I Have the Blues
Further On up the Road
Got my Mojo Workin'
Greedy Man
Hard to Handle
Hey Bartender
I Got You (I Feel Good)
I'm Tore Down
If You Love Me Like You Say
If You Should Lose Me
It's Your Thing
Just a Little Bit
Kansas City
Killer Joe
Knock on Wood
Lion's Den
Little by Little
Little Wing
Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean
Mustang Sally
Night Time Is the Right Time
Okie Dokie Stomp
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag
Payin' the Cost to Be the Boss
Playin' with My Friends
Pride and Joy
Reconsider Baby
Shaky Ground
She's into Something
Something You Got
Stole My Heart
T-Bone Shuffle
Take Out Some Insurance
Tell Mama
Those Bad Things
Walkin' the Dog
Wang Dang Doodle
Watermelon Man
You Don't Love Me