A Night in the Life of Stew Moss (or Funny Things Happen in Route to the Blues) In my pursuit of The Blues, I've crossed paths with a lot of colorful characters. Take the time in October of 1999 when I volunteered to pick up Homesick James at O'Hare airport. He was booked to play at the Chicago Blues Fest that day, and at a joint called the Hot House that night. I was also playing a solo at both. After the day show, I led him to the van with instructions not to let anyone bug him for his autograph. (I let a couple guys have it anyway. Homesick didn't seem to mind.) Then I dropped him off at his hotel to chill out until about 9:00 PM when I told him we would be back to pick him up. So at nine sharp I stood outside his door where I heard a loud TV with the Hawaii Five-O theme song just starting up. When I knocked, an angry-sounding old man's voice rose above the trumpets and drums. 'I ain't going!' 'It's me Mr. James,' I said. 'Stew Moss.' 'I ain't going!' His voice was a little louder and angrier this time. Did the television just get louder? I wondered, as I dared another knock. Sixty some odd years of blues guitar playing reduced to an angry old man tromping across a hotel room floor. 'I ain't going !' he shouted again through the still-closed door. 'Yes, Sir, but I was sent to get you,' I said. 'Who the *#@! are you?' ' Stew Moss.' The door opened and there, in his under shorts and tee shirt, stood Homesick James. 'Oh I remember you. I still ain't going.' He smiled. What could I do? I said, 'Ok' and went back to the cab. When I got to the club and the manager asked me about Homesick, I just answered, 'He ain't coming.' The next day, Homesick James and I took another cab back to O'Hare. I had the opportunity to play with Homesick James again later that same year at BB Kings in NYC. Also sharing the stage were Henry Townsend, Honey Boy Edwards, and Robert Lockwood Jr. My act was first, followed by Homesick then Honey Boy then Henry then Robert. For the finale, we all jammed together. Then after an hour intermission, we did the same thing all over again. Robert Jr. glared at me when the first jam ended. But after the second show, he said, 'Boy you all right.' The next morning, I took everyone to the airport and flew home. Shortly after that, my wife divorced me and I lost my job. I decided to become a full time musician, with the vision of being The New Standard in American folk blues. I wanted to play Roots Music that will stand the test of time, music people can relate to forever. The Plum is my first attempt with label support. The Monkey Song was inspired on the Cal-Train commute one morning by children who reminded me of monkeys. One kid took a JUST SAY NO school handbook from another smaller kid and read it aloud to the entire car. Get Back Home is a collection of Bible stories about people without Jesus who came in contact with God. The lyrics to St James Infirmary were on a Betty Boop Cartoon I once read. Until That Day is to an imaginary lover as I had no girlfriend when I wrote it. John Henry is a cool song that I had never heard until I started work on The Plum. I wrote Love My Baby in a local songwriter circle meeting. Cuttin Up Onions is another ode to an imaginary lover as, again, I had no girlfriend when I wrote it. Gospel Ship is another bible-inspired tune, while The Plum is my take on the Adam and Eve story. Writng Osama Yo Mama was one way I dealt with the September 11 tragedy. In less than two months it was completed and published to MP3.com where it stayed at the top of the political humor charts long enough to be picked up by broadcast radio across the USA.
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