Posted by: hoz49 | March 12, 2008

Cebu has da Blues

I finally made it to the Outpost last night. Buzzy from Hagabat was in town and invited me to his “home away from home”.

The Outpost is a restobar located in a converted house up the hill from JY Square on the way towards Marco Polo. There’s plenty of parking , by Philippine standards, and there are tables, benches and chairs outside for dining, drinking and conversation al fresco.

Moving inside, the large front room has a bar in one corner and a small stage in the other. Buzzy pointed out all the decorations are “outdoor” orientated. With climbing, caving, paddling gear and pictures displayed on the walls. An old inverted canoe with lights in the hull hangs from the ceiling over the bar.I felt right at home!

Outside, Buzzy’s ocean paddling canoe hangs under a canopy. Storage space in the Philippines is at a premium so he has killed two birds with one stone, his boat is stored and protected and is also an interesting piece of eye candy for the patrons of the Outpost.

Buzzy introduced me two a couple of his friends and we sat talking about adventuring, paddling and camping. Then Randy, the co owner of Habagat came in and he and I had an interesting conversation about how outdoor activities have grown in the Philippines in the past 20 years. Randy and Habagat have been at the forefront of this trend by introducing their gear and educating the public in the safe and sensible pursuit of adventuring.

A little later Luther and his wife Tina showed up and we continued chatting. I was then introduced to a bewitchingly beautiful Filipina Chanteuse, Lou and her bandmates. There was going to be a BAND? YOWSA!!!

A little while later I heard the magic sound of a three chord blues progression coming from the outdoor speakers. I excused myself and went inside for a listen.

I was leaning against a wall checking out the drums, bass and Lou when Randy called me over to the bar. We were discussing the band when I mentioned I used to play in blues and swing bands in the US. The next thing I knew he had called over to Lou and arranged for me to sit in on bass. I figured WTH, at least I can say I played the Blues in the Philippines.

As I took the stage I asked them to “Be easy on me, 3 chords with a blues turnaround, eh?” She started with ‘Before You Accuse Me”, Clapton’s acoustic version, right up my alley.

After that it was a blur of communication musically with Lou and the drummer. In a band ideally the drums and bass click as a unit. One supports and accentuates the other. This guy was rock solid and knew where “home” is. He blocked the song just like I like and if I got off all I had to do was key in on the drums, like a metronome. He’s a badass MF.

Tina, Luther and Buzzy came in and I think I surprised them by being on stage. Ain’t that the Blues?

Since Lou doesn’t have a lead guitarist, (she plays rhythm guitar) the bass player takes leads. A LEAD BASSIST, Hehehehehe, every bass players dream. Now I’m no soloist, I consider the bass to be an accompanying instrument in the Old School Motown tradition, but I threw in a few pentatonic runs with some bendin, slappin and poppin and it was enough.

We even played a couple of Lou’s originals with more than three chords, including the relative minor. No problemo, this old man used to PLAY.

We ended the set with a delayed rave ending, just like playing at home with my old band Governor Davis and the Blues Ambassadors.

Gotta love it.

Twenty years ago no one in Cebu knew what the Blues was. Though I still think Philippine music leans more towards ballads, show tunes and new R&B at least I now know, The Outpost in Cebu has da Blues.

It was great fun.



  1. wish someone could’ve taken a video of you playing with the band. that must’ve been a blast.

  2. I’d like to get in on Tita Fina’s wish! I bet that was great! Did anyone atleast take a picture?

    I also have a question… Who sings the song you once sang… “Well hello there… My it’s been a long, long time… How I’m doin’? Well, I guess I’m doin fine…”

    I’ve searched and searched and although it won’t be in your voice I’d love to hear it again…

  3. “(Ain’t) it funny, how time slips away” was written by Willie Nelson! Back in his Nashville writing days. It has been covered by many artists including the Dave Matthews Band, the right Reverend AL Green, Brooke Benton (my momma used to play that one), even swivel hips himself, Elvis Presley.

    Just goes to show if a song speaks the truth it crosses all genres. Maybe there should be a rap version…NOT!

    Artist: Nelson Willie
    Song: Funny How Time Slips Away

    Well hello there
    My, it’s been a long, long time
    And how am I doing?
    Well, I guess that I’m doing fine
    It’s been been so long now, but it seems like it was only yesterday
    Gee, ain’t it funny, how time slips away.

    And how’s your new love?
    Well, I hope that he’s doin fine
    I heard you told him, that you’d love him till the end of time
    It’s been so long now
    But it seems like only yesterday
    Gee, ain’t it funny, how time just slips away.

    Well I gotta go now
    And I guess I’ll see you around
    But I dont know when though
    Cause you never know when I’ll be back in town
    But remember, what I told you
    That in time your gonna pay
    And it’s suprising, how time slips away.

    Gee, ain’t it funny, how times just slips away.

  4. cebu has da mananap!!!!

  5. So far I’ve listened to Willie and Elvis and no disrespect to either one but I liked yours better! Thank you for giving me all the info tho… I’m going to find the one Mama Listened to… maybe I’ll like those better… Love you!

  6. I listen to alot more than rap! LOL… After searching I’ll have to settle on Al Green… I feel like its as close to you as I’m gonna get… I couldn’t find Benton’s version… Thanks again… Maybe someday you could sing it for me?!?!? Jose use to have you on tape but I’m not sure what happened to it… =( Anyway I’m going for now… Can’t wait to see all the pictures… Have a safe trip back… Love you… BTW I finally spoke to Jose… On his birthday…. He was sick as a dog!

  7. Hey man, I’m i disabled U.S. resident, bassist and keyboardist, now living in Cebu. I’ve been going through blues withdrawl and am going to check the place out tonight. thanks for the info and stay cool (not literally) Mike

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