Mary Ellen O'Shields | Indy Week

Mary Ellen O'Shields 
Member since Jun 28, 2013


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Re: “The Berkeley Cafe: an oral history in stories of sounds

I remember when a 15-year-old protege named Tad Walters played in the open mic. He was a brilliant guitarist and seemed born to sing the blues. He was a regular there for years at the open mic. Later he played with Bob Margolin and Big Bill Morganfield. He toured all over the world and has an original songs on one of Margolin's recordings from Alligator. I think Tad still lives in Raleigh. To me, Tad represents what the Berkeley was in the 90s: a place for budding talent and for Blues lovers. But it was not just the amateurs who played there. In the 90s, Gregg Parrish was bartender and helped book the bands. Numerous artists, including several nationally known Blues singers performed. Then there were always the good local people, like the late Skeeter Brandon whose voice range was amazing. I wish I could find a place now that treasures the Blues the way the Berkeley and its patrons did in the 90s.

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Posted by Mary Ellen O'Shields on 06/28/2013 at 10:52 AM

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