Maria Garcia, AKA “The Merry Widow”, with Samuel Hargress Jr. in front of Paris Blues in October of 2019. 

Tom and occasional drummer and band buddy Sam Gresham.

Lenny lays down some tracks in Tom’s living room for “A Brooklyn Afternoon”.

Abou practices his country singing at Tom’s pad.

Tom, Abou and Chulo Gatewood at Margarita Island on a hot summer day in Coney Island.

Setting up at Peter Karl’s studio in Brooklyn for “The African Hillbilly Sessions, Volume I.

Sam Hargress; the “Mayor of Harlem” on a hot summer night.

Esther, Jerry, Tom and Judy celebrating Jerry’s birthday at The Red Rooster.  Esther and Judy, AKA “The Dominican Mafia” ran the bar at PB and Jerry, Sam’s right hand man for decades, was seen by many as the true heart and soul of Paris Blues.

Taking a break while recording “A Brooklyn Afternoon” in Brighton Beach…..

Nighthawks at the diner, Coney Island style, while on break during the recording of “A Brooklyn Afternoon”.

Virtuoso keyboardist Marina Makarova practicing in her studio.

Brian McDermott watches as Tom attempts to play lap steel.

Adrienne Fennemore laying down the groove high above Harlem.

Tom doing a little solo warm up for 5 people before the evening officially begins at Paris Blues.

The band’s longtime promo shot taken at the gone but not forgotten Sasa’s Lounge. A shoutout to both Sasa and old cotton trading acquaintance Tommy Butler for taking the photo.

Lost in the music on a Saturday night.

On the coldest night of the year in January of 2012 the 69th Street Band played for a wildly enthusiastic crowd at The Iridium estimated by reliable observers to be in the very low double digits (including staff).  Blaming the turnout on the inclement weather the manager pronounced himself impressed by the music and floated the notion of the band doing some semi-steady late night gigs going forward.  The band went home in a state of high enthusiasm thinking that they had secured a coveted slot as a sort of informal house band for the legendary Iridium.  We never played there again although some of the staff, remembering the evening, would occasionally get Tom a free drink when he checked out name brand acts from his perch at the bar.  

Tom and “Manager to the Stars” Jim Cowan at the Iridium in January of 2020.

The band backs up our friend; talented young songstress Noelle Simone Whippler.

The Dominican Mafia gets ready for another long evening at their post.  Warm and welcoming to most, you don’t want to be on their bad side.

Brooklyn’s coolest unknown venue, at least until March 2020, the one and only Brooklyn Jazz and Sports Club!  Great jerk chicken and curry goat just around the corner!

Sam was not shy about his politics and, like Calvin Coolidge, believed that “The business of America is business!”.

Lenny laying down his rock solid groove at Tartstock 2.0.  Somehow his wife let him leave the house in that outfit.

Entertaining the crowd at Tartstock 2.0 with our occasional singer the one and only Princess Billie.

Abou at the drums at Tartstock 2.0 and trying, without results, to prove he can fish.

Tom works on the finer points of solo performance for an audience of two, The Merry Widow and a waiter, in the courtyard of the very cool Palazzo Castri in Florence, Italy on a rainy night in October 2020.

Marina Makarova joins the band for a 4th of July gig in Coney Island. 

Freddie Doumbe tunes up for the recording of “The African Hillbilly Sessions, Volume I”.  Freddie is, without doubt, the planet’s premier African hillbilly bassist!

Cutting tracks for “The African Hillbilly Sessions, Volume I” at Peter Karl’s Brooklyn studio.

They don’t make ’em like that anymore!  Our dear friend and musical patron Samuel Hargress Jr.; 1936 – 2020. RIP.