Blues in the Night, in Your Drink, But Not on the Ice!

Don’t it always seem to go 
That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone 
They paved paradise and put up a parking lot 

These are lyrics to Joni Mitchell’s song, Big Yellow Taxi.  But they could also be lyrics to “Ode to a St Louis Blues Fan”.

Many cities boast of the enthusiasm their fans have for their sports teams.  St Louis is no different.  Baseball speaks for itself, as do the players who play here.  Our NHL team, the Blues, have very rabid fans as well.  But…

The Blues hit St Louis, no, they took it by storm in 1967, at the time the baseball Cardinals (El Birdos) were cleaning up the National league and on their way to a World Series victory.  It was the “thing” to do…attending a Blues game at the Arena.  And from that year on, they mixed it up with the best.  As a matter of fact, they rank #2 in all of hockey in the  top ten active NHL franchises that have qualified for the playoffs the most often as a percentage of the years they have been in the NHL.  #2!!  With an impressive streak of 25 years in a row!

Yeah, we’re #2! WooHoo!

Problem is, most of that is based on history.  Fans wanna know, just like Miss Janet Jackson, “what have you done for me lately?”

And again this year, we missed.  It is funny, just like the lyrics of Joni Mitchell’s song, you don’t know what you’ve got ’till it’s gone...we sometimes fail to appreciate the present.  We used to “joke” about making the playoffs each year because a large percentage of the NHL teams make them based on the format…no one thought much of it.  We took it for granted…we expected it to happen.

I know that  Blues fans aren’t joking about that now.

When the autumn falls and there’s a chill in the air, it is great to watch your baseball team play…because it means they made the playoffs.

For hockey fans, if the birds are chirping, sun is shining and flowers are blooming and you are watching your hockey team play…Game -On, it’s playoff time.  Best time of the year.

For Blues fans we will have to wait another year to see if “the Note” makes it a little further or not.

So while we wait, I thought about some of my “blues music”…(see what I did?)  And thought I would share a few songs.  Now, these are not your traditional blues songs…iTunes may not classify them as blues…but iTunes isn’t writing this.  I am.  And I am not traditional.  I classify them along the blues line of music because they make you feel a lil’ different.  Not happy, nor sad.  But when I listen to them, something inside starts to move. (not the burrito) Makes my eyes squint, feet begin to move, shoulders roll and all of a sudden I have a bit of an attitude.  Swagger. Head bob. Grin.  (author’s note here: this usually happens when no one is around…or it takes place in my mind.  No one has actually witnessed this.  So please, just take may word that it happens)  Anyway, here are a couple of Bluesy songs, you may have heard or may have missed.  Only a half dozen, so if you like music, and are not familiar with these, give them a listen…they don’t suck.

  • Stevie Ray VaughnMary Had a Little Lamb (slightly different take on the Nursery Rhyme)
  • Marc BroussardHome (I dare you to listen to this and sit still, if you say you can, I don’t believe you)
  • The Black KeysKeep Me (one of their early songs that helped them establish themselves)
  • Link WrayRumble-69 (Blake said this song plays in his head whenever he walks into a bar…listen and you will understand)
  • Bob DylanBeyond Here Lies Nothin’ (He has re-mastered his music lately, you either love it or not…I think it is classic)
  • Allman Brothers BandTrouble No More (again, like the Black Keys, I could have closed my eyes, pointed and picked a great song…who says I didn’t?  Just listen…)

And to go along with good tunes, you need a good cocktail. (Nice segue’, uh?)  So my cocktail of the week is a real original…as far as I know.  Nothing exotic.  Nor detailed.  Doesn’t have a lot of different layers of flavors.  Just something that you can enjoy while you are relaxing with good company, winding down the long day that is behind you.  This cocktail features one of the most popular, and best Vodkas on the market today, and is named after one of the companies who provide us with a “social necessity of our current way of life”…the Blackberry.

RIM (Research in Motion)

  • 4-5 fresh blackberries
  • 2 ounces of Purus Vodka
  • .5 ounces simple syrup
  • .5 ounces fresh lemon juice
  • Muddle together in a shaker the blackberries, simple syrup and lemon juice.  Add the Purus Vodka and ice, then shake well.
  • Strain into a chilled martini glass, or as I prefer, into a glass filled with crushed ice.
  • (Note: this can also be served with a splash of lemon-lime soda or seltzer)

So while the birds are singing along to the blues music you are playing, even though the St Louis Blues are not on the ice, you will have a good drink to enjoy.

And every once in a while, it is a good thing to remember Joni Mitchell’s lyrics in Big Yellow Taxi.

That you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone

But don’t wait ’till it’s gone.  Enjoy this moment.  Appreciate those around you.  Tell them.  Tell them often.  Don’t wait.  Tell them now!

Published in: on April 17, 2011 at 11:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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