"Free Blind Mice" with Granny's Bathwater

There was a time in the mid-seventies when Janet and I were living in an old secluded farmhouse off a dirt road outside of Clever, MO.  The OMD’s were starting to tour all over the place and it was getting to where I was traveling about as much as I was home.  Looking back now, that little farmhouse was probably one of my very favorite places to have lived. It was my first experience living outside of a city.  There were new smells in the air, new sounds to be heard and cool clear water from a springhouse.  All in all, that time period changed me forever in the way I viewed the world and how I wanted to live in it.

 

So it got to where I never wanted to leave the place, but there were a few places and people who could draw me out.  One of those places was a small club out on the east side of Springfield MO called Sweetwater, with the best band ever to listen to, Granny’s Bathwater.

 

It was also right around this time I discover that one good thing about touring so much was that all of us could start to acquire “things”.  For me it was a car I’d been craving since my late teens. I found a nice little used Austin Healey 3000 for pretty cheap and gave it a new home at our little country hideaway.  It was so much fun to cruise around on the rural county back roads with the top down on summer evenings.  And so it was that on certain evenings those back roads led us to Sweetwater and Granny’s.

 

Granny's Bathwater circa 1978

 

Lt to Rt front row: Don Shipps, Carmine Delligatti, Jason LeMasters

back row: Rick Weaver, Ike Stubblefeild, Bill Jones, Frank Westbrook

 

Granny’s Bathwater went though many musical incarnations over the years they were together. They went from being the four piece blues band I first saw in 1970, to the eight member horn band I joined prior to my OMD days.  They were all very good friends of ours and we really loved going to see and hear them play, even if it meant leaving our little farm house, and the dogs, and the cats and the peace and quite.

 

Best I can remember, it would have been towards the latter part of the 1970’s that a little piece of music came into my head that became Free Blind Mice.  I’d come upon this chord progression with a melody that sounded like a horn line.  I called up the current guys who were playing in Granny’s and ask if they’d be willing to go into the studio with me and give my song idea a go. 

 

The title came about because:

1) I wasn’t going to pay any one of these guys, it was just to have a bit of fun in the studio, and so in essence they’d be playing for “free”. 

2) None of them had ever heard this piece of music before entering the studio, so they went into it “blind”.

3) The outro of the song slides into 5/4 time with the horns repeating a melody resembling the children’s song “Three Blind Mice “.

Therefore to me, the title made perfect sense.

 

Recorded at the Dungeon Recording Studio in downtown Springfield with Carmine Delligatti on drums, Don Shipps on bass, Jason LeMasters on electric guitar, Frank Westbrook on Mini Moog, and me on piano, with Bill Jones on tenor sax, Rick Weaver on trombone, Larry Getz on trumpet.  Soloists are Jason, Bill and Frank.

 

 

Comments

Rick Weaver June 19, 2017 @02:17 pm
Wow Larry! I had totally forgotten about this. It was fun listening to it again. I remember we also did some other stuff with Lew Taylor back in the day. Would love to listen to your archives. I've alway loved your writing. Such fun finding this. Will check back for more gems. Those were the days!
Rick Matz December 09, 2016 @06:07 pm
Thanks.
Karen Morton Yancey December 09, 2016 @10:35 am
Free Blind Mice sounds great. I think my cousin, Mike Morton, played with you guys. Would love to hear some tunes when he was with you. Really, this is a great piece of music. I look forward to hearing more.
Tom Becker December 09, 2016 @10:33 am
Really nice song Larry. It was great to see you on stage with Grannys. It just tears me up every time I think about when Rick, Jason, Mike, and Ralph left my house and we'd never see Mike and Ralph again. I feel there's still music to be made, and I work on music every day. Hope to see you at Lloyd's benefit the 22nd. Sue and I plan to come down the Thursday before and get into as much music as possible. Carry on my friend.
Ray Jones December 09, 2016 @02:41 am
Good story, Larry. It was great to see you the other day!
Brenda Fossett-Shipps December 08, 2016 @11:17 pm
Larry, I certainly enjoyed your presence at Hammon's on Monday. And, I really liked "Three Blind Mice". I hope to hear more of your collections. I am going to share this. I want my children to view and hear this!! Thanks and look forward to more of Larry Lee!
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