Ron Skinner, bluesman

I just heard from Mel Wright that Ron Skinner, the original Shakey Vick Big City Blues Band bass player and vocalist has died. He was awaiting treatment for cancer but was too weak to receive any therapy. Ron was always a keen bluesman rather than a rock bluesman and it’s ironic that the recently released “Live at 100 Club” album includes him on it, with an amalgam of a couple of his old bands which we called The Blueshawks for that occasion..

We got together in about 1965 I believe, though Mel who was the drummer who joined with Ron will probably correct me on that one. We advertised for a guitarist and took on Rod Price who later joined the Black Cat Bones before  finding fame with Foghat. Later they formed the UK band Nighthawks. We were all re-united in New York State in 2000 for a gig in New Hampshire.

Over the years, Ron stuck to his blues roots and backed many visiting  American bluesmen, including Champion Jack Dupree and Juke Boy Bonner among others. After the Nighthawks he joined with another of my old blues band members, the late Bruce Langsman, I’m waiting to hear from Mel about the funeral details. I’ve no doubt that there will be appropriate blues played at the ceremony.

On a lighter not, I recently went along to a Note Records Cd launch featuring The Barcodes where I was invited up for a few numbers. They made a video of the evening and it can be seen on You Tube. The news on my current guitarist Bernie Pallo is that he’s still undergoing more treatment for his cancer but is getting out a bit each day. Chris Youlden, Mel Wright and I are hoping for a musical get together at my place when Bernie is up to it. At least that’s something to look forward to.