Blues performance reunites old friends, longtime Parkites
February 15, 2008
Greg Daniels, guitarist for the blues band Ides of Soul, doesn’t want any misconceptions about the group’s show tonight at The Spur. Their collaboration with national-touring soloist Rick Welter, a well-known pro among blues artists, is also a reunion among old friends and a celebration of decades of live music in Park City.
"If you like kinda quiet, laid back stuff, then you shouldn’t come," Daniels warns. "If you want to dance your [fanny] off to the kind of rhythm and blues that you can’t sit still to, then the Spur’s the place to be."
Daniels and the other Ides of Soul members including drummer "Mean" Gene Young, bass player Woody Thomsen, saxophonist Dan Walker and keyboarder Steve Camp know a thing or two about stirring up a crowd. Now in their 50s, the musicians have entertained Park City club-goers for nearly two decades, including a longtime stint as the Tempo Timers, featuring Welter.
"Rick lived here quietly for years," Daniels explains. "But those who go back to the late ’80s or early ’90s remember the Tempo Timers. It was the hot, hot, hot band around for years. We played the old Scarpelli’s, the Black Pearl, the Cozy all the old clubs that now, of course, have changed their names and management five or six times."
The bars may have changed, but the classic rock and blues sound that appealed to crowds then continues to draw fans. Daniels attributes Ides of Soul’s longevity to a love of blues and a joy of entertaining.
"We’ve honed our craft over the years and stayed really loyal to the types of music that we like," he says. "The cool thing now is that we have a lot of the younger kids who come up who say, ‘Wow, man. We never even knew this stuff existed.’ That’s what keeps us going."
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Daniels, a guitarist since age 12, performed after high school during the ’70s in the thriving music scene of Portland. He took a nearly 20-year hiatus to raise a family before a chance encounter with Welter brought him back to music.
"It’s his fault," he says flatly. "I ran into Rick through a mutual friend and got hooked."
Now, Welter and the Ides of Soul mates lead somewhat separate lives, as Welter performs across the country, and Ides of Soul plays regular gigs in Salt Lake and Park City. But when Welter comes to town, the friends become one again, with a reunion as personal as it is professional.
"We do have a tendency to have fun," Daniels says. "The music takes us in a direction where we start to push each other and test each other."
Daniels considers playing with Welter a treat. The pro singer has performed with Smokey Robinson, Matt Murphy and Junior Watson and is considered among blues circles as one of the genre’s best. Spur manager Casey Metzger recalls the audience’s reaction to prior performances by Welter at the bar, nothing that Welter’s fame has yet to catch up to his talent.
"He has a voice that’s just powerful," Metzger says. "It makes people say, ‘Why haven’t I heard him before?’"
Rick Welter will play with the Ides of Soul tonight at the Spur, located at 350 Main Street, starting at 9 p.m. For more information, visit http://www.spurbarandgrill.com