I used to go to Popeye’s every Tuesday for the thigh and leg special. It was $2 and it has risen over the years, but not dramatically. It is still under $3. I also like the biscuits, the red beans and rice, and the greens. For a while they had a hit with the chicken sandwich and I can’t remember what other fast food chain it was that had one also, but it was a matter of controversy over which one was better. Long lines formed, and I think it even led to fisticuffs or some other altercation — a shooting? I never even tried the chicken sandwich, to be honest. It must have been good, though, if people were going to shoot someone over it. I stopped going for a while or actually, the board of health shut it down or I probably would have kept going. But, after it reopened, I stopped going for at least a month, maybe more. I liked the music that they played: Dixieland Jazz and Zydeco. Louisiana music from New Orleans and the bayou. It contributed to the ambience, elevated the atmosphere. I used to stop by there on my way to my Tuesday Night gig at the Bakersfield Jazz Workshop. Anyway, that all got shut down during the quarantine. We met at Temblor, and Popeye’s was closed, too. Then they did reopen but Temblor stopped having live music, and Popeye’s was drive through only. I didn’t have a car and I did order at the window once when I saw my old pal James in the window there, but it was kind of rough. I didn’t like the whole arrangement. Reminded me that I was a second class citizen who had to ride the bus. Once my friend came by on a Tuesday and I cajoled him to give me a ride, but he was in such a hurry to go and complained so much about the long line that I will never do that again. The craving for the red beans and rice, even though I was getting the chicken — the dark meat — thy leg and thy thigh, but I really wish I could make red beans like that. What spices do they use? The colonel had his blend of eleven herbs and spices, which was a secret (shhhhhhhhhh), and that would be good to know as well, but what I would really like to know is how they make the red beans and rice taste so good. Jon Batiste, who is Stephen Colbert’s band leader, is from New Orleans, and he posted his mother’s red bean recipe on his Instagram. I clipped it and saved it somewhere. Going to have to try it.
That seems like a good place to segue to my next topic: My Tuesday practice regimen. On Tuesdays I practice A & Eb. Major scales up the neck and then the Blues, and the last 8 bars of Stella by Starlight starting on A half diminished and Eb half diminished. I call the last 8 bars of Stella by Starlight the Stella Channel. The ii V is a chord change that comes up a lot, and you also see the iii VI ii V, and Stella Channel backs that up one more level to be #iv VII iii VI ii V I.
The A scale can use all open strings except G because it has F#, C#, and G#. You only need to use your fingers on 2 notes per string, until you get to the high e string and then of course you would want to play the A on the 5th fret, because to play a scale up to the leading tone and then stopping seems like kind of a waste. I did my scales pretty quickly, but of course, I always get new ideas and want to experiment, but I have it so that I can do it without thinking too much. Not going to go into it too deeply, but there are scales that begin on every note but the A and the Eb. The 4 and 7 of A is the 7 and 4 of Eb, so if you are going to start a scale on D, the 4th of A, you should look at it as the 7th of Eb instead. You don’t have to play the 7th, but your finger is placed on the 7th for that scale position. If the note was the Ab, the 4th of Eb, then you would think of it as enharmonically G#, the 7th of A.
Now, after that scale warm up, I play the Blues in A and Eb. For Blues in A I like to use “The Key to the Highway.” It is an 8 bar Blues, which helps you get through this portion quicker, saving time, and money. For a Blues in Eb, I use slightly jazzier chord changes. Flat keys are used more than sharp keys in Jazz. Eb is like C on the alto sax, the home key. Might use a Bb9 or Bb13 instead of a Bb7. Throw in a ii V change, maybe even a diminished chord.
Now, on the Stella Channel, it would be
A% D7alt G% C7alt F% Bb7alt Eb^ or
Eb% Ab7alt C#% F#7alt B% E7alt A^
The % stands for the half diminished chord and the ^ stands for a Major 7th, or just a tonic Major sound. 7alt usually has a #9 and a b13 but you could use a 7b9 chord if you wanted to. As you can see, the A% starts a chain of minor ii V changes that resolves to the Eb^, while the Eb% progresses to a resolution on A^.
In my own personal esoteric system of thinking about guitar frets I say that A7#11 and Eb7#11 are in Zone 2, which is easy to remember, because that is what I practice on Tuesday. Zone 2: Tuesday. The Stella Channel, however, is one level below that. It starts on Zone 1 for Tuesday. So, the 1st Fret is the first Zone 1, and I would go with Kevin for Eb%, Troye on 2nd fret for C#%, then Joanie on the 3rd fret for B%. For A% beginning on the 1st fret it is Joanie, Ellen, Kevin. Move it to the 4th fret and for A% it is Ellen, Kevin, Troye; for Eb% it is Troye, Joanie, Ellen.
Good bye, A & Eb. See you next Tuesday!