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The fact is at his age, Kaeshammer is in a position to bring this music mined from authentic blues, some say straight from the Mississippi Delta, back to popularity. Rooted in 12-barre rhythm, its repetitive nature is why almost everybody can relate to it. Kaeshammer knows he is promoting a century-old craft, but he says thats not what keeps boogie woogie from returning to mass popularity the way swing music did in the 1990s.
"Clubs are dying, especially blues clubs," Kaeshammer explained. "Its not just me, thats what Im hearing. I think the no smoking and road checks are keeping people away. As far as a local scene for boogie woogie piano players, I dont know. We dont play that many local gigs. Were on the road a lot and when I come home I like to re-group and write songs."
Kaeshammer says the most important thing about a live performance is the dedication to the craft. So, when his trio plays Whistler, Simon Fisk will be on stand-up acoustic bass. Damian Graham will play drums.
The second thing is his passion for the music. Influences include Oscar Peterson, Professor Longhair, and even Fats Domino. "You have to express yourself. So you have to think about it as if youre talking. But everyone is featured in the trio. You should hear the drummer," Kaeshammer says with a knowing snicker. "And the upright bass is an amazing instrument, really well suited for this music."
Not everybody knows the pioneers or practitioners of authentic boogie woogie. Names like Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith and Cow-cow Davenport dont garner instant recognition, but the Beatles Lady Madonna is considered a modern disciple of the genre. If thats the case, then maybe Burton Cummings solo work, namely the intro on My Own Way to Rock, is also a boogie woogie hand-me-down.
"My girlfriend loves that stuff," Kaeshammer said. "I dont know if Ill ever be in a band like the Guess Who. If the people are right, maybe. I wouldnt do it just for the money. At 23, I do have a whole career ahead of me.
"Basically what I have to say is that I will always play music and if I look down the road, I dont expect anything. But what I want to happen is make the fan-base bigger."
Tickets for this show, $20 at the door or $18 in advance, are available at the Whistler Conference Centre box-office. Kaeshammers show is the second of the Whistler Community Arts Councils Showcase 2000 Series. Memberships will give locals 25 per cent off box-office prices. Ask about the three-show series discount that gives you 25 per cent off regular ticket price. Call the centre at 938-0498 for more information.
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