Published in the 808 Scene Zine. There is only one genre of music that genuienly speaks to the soul. With a melody that could only be born on the backs of slavery and segregation, the blues can mend the pieces of a shattered heart or send tears streaming down your face with a slight bend of a note.
From Blind Lemon Jefferson to Muddy Waters, the blues has the power to lead you through those dark places and make them bright as day.
I remember the first time I experienced a Friends of Adam performance. Let me emphasis this. It wasn't just another show. It was a mind-altering experience and a musical education in itself. Clayton Campania, was melting faces with his effortless mastery of his guitar, Ernie Ecraela holding down the low end with his bass and Justin Inocelda not missing a single beat on drums. What I was witnessing were three of the most incredible musicians I've ever seen and this was nearly 2 years ago, they've gotten even better since then.
From day one I've taken it upon myself to drag my friends, co-workers and pretty much anyone who happens to be within a 20ft. radius of me, to these shows. I knew all I had to do was get them through those doors and it would be over, I'd make them a fan for life. This has been my mission whenever I see the name Friends of Adam on a flyer and a date next to it.
Yes, the music spoke to me, but it wasn't just the music that kept me coming back. It was their audience. Wherever and whenever they play they're surrounded by friends who I know would, without hesitation, stand up for them in a heartbeat. It feels like family whenever they're all standing in a room together and I quickly became one of them.
I've seen a lot of bands over the years and I have never seen a reaction from an audience like those who see Friends of Adam for the first time. There was one show in particular that summed up who they were for me and how tight knit the local blues scene on the island is.
It was a night at Sand Island RnB. They were sharing the set with fellow blues artists, Lovechile & St. Funk. I remember sitting there as each band played their hearts out as only they knew how. 1:30am starting showing its ugly face as the waitress announced last call, most of the bar crowd began their drunken stumble out the door. BUT... the music was still playing. The ridiculously amazing John Hart and his band St. Funk were closing the night and refused to unplug. Blues artists are a fickle bunch and John Hart being the sound man for the night decided he didn't want it to end.
To my surprise he invited Friends of Adam back on the stage to join his band for a crazy rendition of George Clinton's We Want the Funk, one final song to top off the night. Of course Clay & Co. obliged. Jamm, frontman for Lovechile joined them on stage with a few from his band as well. Did I mention St. Funk also had their horn section on the stage as well? He even invited Jen, the manager of the bar to sing with them (in my opinion, she has a voice reminiscent of Janis Joplin meets Aretha Franklin).
So now that the entire bar staff was on stage along with every band that played that night, they weren't going to unplug just because it happened to be nearing 2:30am. I sat there with two friends of mine, (the last remaining of the faithful) eyes bulging out of their sockets and mouths hanging on the floor for the most epic musical experience I have ever witnessed. I was nailed to my seat by the sound. I lost my voice from screaming so loud and so long that night. There were only the three of us remaining in the audience. The musicians onstage seemed not to mind that it was nearing 3am because they seemed to be having so much fun playing together. The guitar virtuosos effortlessly traded off solos back and forth and laughing while doing it. Friends of Adam brings the same excitement and passion to every performance I've ever been to.
Friends of Adam have time and time again proven that music is what binds us all. Destroying all stereotypes of how traditional blues are supposed to be played, all the while tearing apart every stage they've ever stepped on. From the smallest dive bar in Waikiki to the blaring lights of Pipeline Cafe and just recently, opening for a national act at the Waikiki Shell, they have sent a strong message that they're gonna keep going and I'm sure they'll be making plenty of friends along the way.