Midsummer Night WHAM-O!!

Binky Griptite and His Incredible Jumping Orchestra!

The first of July was no holiday for Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus. He had two DJ gigs scheduled for that day: First was the Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center in Manhattan. Second was WHAM-O WATUSI at the Bootleg Bar in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Although the gigs were on opposite sides of town, it was made a little easier with Midsummer Night Swing starting and ending early and the WHAM going way into the wee hours. But things weren’t as simple as they should have been–they never are.

Binky Griptite plays the blues guitar at Midsummer Night Swing!

The featured performer at Midsummer Night Swing was Binky Griptite and his incredible jumping orchestra. Mr. Griptite, as the astute Boogaloo Bag reader knows, was the guitarist for The Dap Kings, the funky band behind the late, great Sharon Jones. After Ms. Jones‘ sad passing last November, Mr. Griptite proceeded to reinvent himself as a modern day T-Bone Walker–singing and playing guitar in front of a swingin’ and rockin’ little big band…and he does it really well. The Boogaloo Bag writers witnessed a performance at a high school gymnasium about a month earlier and dug the scene. At his Midsummer Night Swing gig, his band was augmented with a couple more horns, a female singer and our pal Eli “Paperboy” Reed on harmonica. The Boog was on hand in order to provide the spinning of jump blues 45s between sets.

Eli “Paperboy” Reed and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus dig the Clarence Gatemouth Brown record!

However, Mother Nature had other plans. After The Boog‘s short opening set, dance instructors took over in order to show the many folks in attendance how to dance to blues music. They got maybe 10 or 15 minutes into it when it started to rain…really hard…thunder and lightning! That put the end to that real fast. However, the show was only delayed, not stopped. The Boog‘s first set was severely edited and Mr. Griptite and his orchestra performed two 45-minute sets, instead of the usual two one-hour sets a band normally does at these events.

Our pals April Palmieri and Phillip James swing at Midsummer Night Swing!

During the rain delay, The Boog was able to get together with Mr. Griptite to make sure he does not play any song that the band may perform that night. That may prove to be embarrassing…or at least, redundant. Mr. Griptite was able to show The Boog his list of songs for the first set.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swings at Midsummer Night Swing!

The second set was another thing. Having not seen that set list, The Boog played “Honey Hush”  between the band’s sets. It was the second or third song that Binky Griptite and His Orchestra played! Mr. Griptite is a talented and gracious human being who probably doesn’t care about such things. The Boog, on the other hand, was totally embarrassed and apologizes to Mr. Griptite, his great musicians, the nice people who put on Midsummer Night Swing every year, and the fine multitudes who were in showed up to dance. After this, The Boog packed his stuff and headed to Brooklyn, a cloud of shame hovering over his head the whole way.

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus and Sir Charles Gaskins compare notes at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

When we got to the Bootleg Bar in deep Bushwick, guest DJ Sir Charles Gaskins was already set up and goin’. He was playing hot punk rock records for those who arrived early. Sir Charles always has great records and he played a ton of them on this night, including some hard rock numbers we haven’t heard in a long time. Sir Charles has appeared in the Boogaloo Bag several times before, so make sure you dig him here, and here!

Sir Charles Gaskins cues a hot number at the WHAM-O WATUSI!

Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus started his first set with five Popeye records in order to pay tribute to Sir Charles, who has a fondness for Popeye’s Chicken–one sits across the street from the Bootleg Bar. The Boog then proceeded to spice his sets with some of the jump blues records that he didn’t have time to play back at Lincoln Center, along with the usual WHAM-O fare–garage rock, R&B, surf and soul records.

Charles Gaskins and Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus swing at the WHAM-O WATUSI.

[The next day, The Boog took a jet to San Francisco where he spent two weeks, thus the late posting of this Boogaloo Bag entry.]

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the Midsummer Night Swing in Lincoln Center featuring Binky Griptite and his Orchestra:

Don’t forget to click on the links to the youtubes in order to dig the tracks!

Here’s a list of all the records played by Phast Phreddie the Boogaloo Omnibus at the WHAM-O WATUSI that very same night:

None of these records are for sale.

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