JABO - JABO Blues (CD)

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Having grown up on the streets of Austin Texas' East Side literally surrounded by the blues, the resilient James 'Jabo' Houston

Born in Elgin, Texas on July 18, 1944, James 'Jabo' Houston's early years were filled with music, exploring the streets of Austin's East Side, and the loving devotion of his hard-working mama. As the manager of a beer joint, his mother had connections with some of the best Austin blues bands of the time, many of whom let young Jabo sit in from time to time.

He learned to play the clarinet and the alto saxophone in school, where he soon advanced to the drummer of the school's jazz band, using all of the knowledge he gathered from watching the pros in the streets, to give the group the solid timekeeping it needed. He also played piano during that time, but hadn't yet found his singing voice.

It was listening to the 45's from the jukebox at the beer joint that ultimately inspired Jabo's blues pursuits. 'The blues just came out of me,' he says. During that time, his doting mother bought him his first drum kit; a brand new set of white Pearl drums. He got a gig playing drums for T.D. Bell, one of the best in the Austin blues scene at the time. In addition to the drums, Jabo picked up the bass and learned on the job. He just stayed on the one, in the key of E, until eventually learning how to go to the four and the five chords.

Jabo first felt the blues after the death of his mother while he was still a young boy. Keenly missing her tender care, he soon learned that he had much to learn about making his way in life. He quit school in 11th grade to pursue a music career, but the path wasn't as easy as he anticipated. His first band, Chef Houston and the Cooks, started playing at Cheatham Street. Ultimately, his band name changed to 'The Old Dogs,' a name that he proudly carries today, 35 years later.

Five years ago, back surgery put Jabo in a wheelchair, and today he plays the organ, saving his bass playing for the lesser physical demands of a church gig on Sundays.

Track Listing

    • Down Home Blues
    • First Name is JABO
    • Woke Up this Morning
    • Down in Louisiana
    • Change My Mind
    • The Things I Used to Do
    • Night Time is the Right Time
    • Stand By Me
    • Twenty Room House
    • Watermelon Man

    Additional Details

    Label: MoMojo Records

    Genre: Blues

    Run Time: 1 mins

    Region: 0

    Release Date: 06/16/23

    UPC: 727295152084

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