Dressy Bessy

Dressy Bessy

Everything was right with Tammy Ealom, John Hill, Craig Gilbert and Rob Greene's world way back in June of last year, when the Dressy Bessy crew made a brief pit stop here with us. Ealom asked if she could smoke. By all means, we told her, light up and be merry. Do whatever it is that you want to do. This went over well. We told them that we had bottled waters and beer. They went eagerly for the beer, as if it was a choice between going to church or the bar, and everyone was pleased. They were still riding the high from a night before when they opened for the one and only Chuck Berry at the band's favorite St. Louis rock and roll joint, Blueberry Hill's The Duck Room – where the legendary guitar visionary performs monthly to a sold out room. They'd made the trip from Colorado almost solely for Mr. Berry, booking a few shows around the St. Louis gig, so that it paid to come to the Midwest and turn around and go home. As if Chuck Berry wasn't enough of an excuse. While here, we peppered Hill with questions of what was then still very much an unconfirmed new Apples In Stereo album. Ealom was looking dapper in the mid-afternoon heat with a smart pair of white slacks and a sleeveless top that had probably been shown tender loving care through three prior generations already. It expertly displayed her upper bicep tattoos. Ealom was loose and giggly, which I now take to understand is her natural interface. She was giving the songs performed in this session some free love. It was the residual Berry coming out. In her mind she was still dancing her ass off with Berry's wife in the front row and still getting pushed from his lap when she got to the front of the meet and greet line later in the evening. Those can all count as highlights in one's life. Just seeing Chuck Berry from a mile away or knowing that he was in a room the night before – smelling it in the air like a just broken up fight club – are big deals. But the night before, the man who penned "Johnny B. Goode" was standing off to the side of the stage watching what she was doing at the microphone stand and with that sassy, pointy stub of her toe of hers (which is melodic and intimidating). It comes out in random bursts of exaltation that you can hear fly out of these songs like a dragon in a pop-up book. Sean//DAYTROTTER