Tucked away cozily in the heart of San Francisco’s theater district is Biscuits and Blues, a club that’s fittingly named after two of mankind’s greatest loves. From the outside, it looks like any old joint; on the inside, however, it’s a whole other story. On any given day, whimsical and warm neon lights cloak the club’s comfortable interiors in a sea of blue and red, while a mouthwatering array of authentic Southern food is cooked to delight the palate. And then, when the music begins, with a mellow note on a saxophone and a melody dancing along the keys of a piano, you could find yourself experiencing your very own Midnight in Paris.
Over the last twenty years, Biscuits and Blues has been home to San Francisco’s blues scene, and enjoyed memorable performances from some of the best acts playing today: artists who have entertained jazz and blues enthusiasts in the intimate setting at Biscuits and Blues in the recent past include The Delgado Brothers, Bay City Blues, The Jarekus Singleton Band, and Aki Kumar Blues Band. With a history like this, it’s no wonder that the place has been voted as America’s #1 Blues Nightclub by both the Bay Area Blues Society and the Blues Foundation.
Lavay Smith, in particular, has been a hot favorite at Biscuits and Blues. In the little of 2017 that has gone by, her jazz and blues band of seasoned musicians, intriguingly named Lavay Smith & Her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, has already enthralled the audience at the club with five nights of unforgettable jazz numbers that blend old-world charm from the 40s and 50s. Smith’s authentic stage presence is something that’s not-to-be-missed, and in a snug setting like the one Biscuits and Blues offers, the experience is made infinitely more vibrant.
Another regular at this dedicated blues club, aside from performances that include original compositions, are the regular tributes that the artists pay to yesteryear legends. Alan Iglesias, for instance, is a Stevie Ray Vaughan aficionado who is committed to bringing the best of SRV’s music to an older generation that reveled in his soulful music, and to a younger one that craves to experience a magic that they never got to hear. Backed by decades of experience on the guitar and extensive tours of New England with rock bands that played classic blues, Iglesias has a distinct fondness for Stevie’s style. Propelled by this, his band Crossfire was born, and to this day, continues to offer loyal renditions of Stevie’s renowned as well as lesser-known tracks.
If you’re curious to check the place out for yourself, or simply fancy a night of good food and great jazz, then the weekend coming up is perhaps as good a time as any to drop by at the club, because Biscuits and Blues has an amazing set of artists lined up to perform this Saturday and Sunday. Delta Wires is all set to hypnotize the gathering come 30th of June, and the Chris Cain Band, on July 1.
In the weeks that follow, Biscuits and Blues has an inviting lineup of artists that true-blue jazz and blue fans are certain to find difficult to forego. And of course, if you’re a foodie and a blues buff rolled into one, it’s not just the music that’ll keep you going back for more; you’ll find that their warm, mouthwateringly delicious biscuits are nearly impossible to resist as well.
Photos by Dion Hincliffe – CC