Crimmins brings The Hookers out to blast the room with Dixieland horns, rowdy ragtime piano and gypsy jazz guitar. Crooning and boozing the night away, he delivers everything you would expect from a man who claims to be possessed by the ghost of an old vaudevillian accordion player. He is a staple figure around the Atlanta music scene, and joined us for our 5GB series before his packed out show tonight at The Earl.
What’s the first gig you ever attended?
My first gig was playing cowbell for Carlos Santana. When I was about 10 years old my friends parents took us to see Santana at Chastain Park. We snuck down to the front of the stage and jumped up and down waving at the band. Next thing I knew, security was pulling me up on stage, gave me a cowbell and put a mic in front of me. I got to jam the rest of the song out with the band. I was wide eyed looking around the stage with all the incense burning and Carlos standing barefoot right next to me on a big persian rug playing guitar. I had played a few talents shows and garage parties before that but I like to say my first gig was with Santana.
What is the best gig that you ever played/performed?
I don’t know which gig I could call the “best I’ve ever played”. I like to think the best gig is always ahead of us. Ask me that one when I’m retired. I’ll sit in my rocking chair and tell you all about the best gig I ever played.
What is the best gig you have ever seen?
I’ve had my mind blown plenty of times. It really all has to do with being at the right place at the right time. I’ve had some of the best nights at shows that weren’t necessarily that great of a performance. I’ve also seen some amazing shows that didn’t do anything for me because of where my mind was. Good music is all over the place. It’s when you combine it with all the perfect elements of friends, food, drinks, weather, scenery. That’s when you have the night of your life.
What is the gig you would most like to play?
I want to play a gig at the Fox. I’m born and raised in Atlanta so that theater has always been the Taj Mahal to me. I would be honored to have that stage for a night. There is also that big pipe organ in there called Mighty Mo. Maybe they’d let me use that in my act.
What would be the lineup for your dream gig?
Fats Waller with Louis Armstrong and Bessie Smith.
Catch Blair Crimmins & The Hookers tonight at The Earl