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Bulletin Summer 2013

Showtime at Louie Louie’s, Summer 1984, and there were scores of lawyers, court reporters, secretaries, and other lay people packed in the place. e word had leaked out among the Bar members that a group of their own would actually entertain. Most came either for curiosity or just for a good laugh. Our spouses and paramours were in the house for support if we bombed. When it was time to begin, the sight of the large crowd frightened most of us beyond words. en, the   rst song and the place went nuts! We were OK. ey seemed to like us. We gained con  dence as we did our eight songs, and any idea that this would be a one-time-only performance vanished forever. Over the following 10 years, the Soul Practitioners played state bar conventions and many young lawyer parties in Birmingham, Huntsville, and Mobile, including the Sandestin Young Lawyer Conventions. We raised money at fundraisers for stricken children and humane societies. Mike Wright and my sister collaborated on a professional looking band logo of the blind lady of justice with scales in one hand and a guitar in the other. John Hall printed and sold dozens of beachy band t-shirts during the years we played the Sandestin Young Lawyers gig. John would also send out notices of band jobs to the players in a deposition notice format. In the late ‘80s, the band played in front of more than 8000 people at the Oak Mountain Amphitheatre as the warm up band for Blood Sweat & Tears. We also played on the main Coca-Cola Stage at City Stages in 1994 and even inspired a group of bankers to form Total Assets, an all-bankers band which I understand still performs today. During our tenure, the band added Jim Henderson on trombone and a couple of ringers in John Taylor, a gifted trumpet player who was then the Fair  eld Police Chief and Tony Wachter, a longtime professional singer and musician. O.Z. Hall, Jr., played drums at times as well as John Livingston who, incidentally, can play just about any instrument you can think of. Martha Jane Patton adopted the band after we wore out our welcome at Braxton and Robin’s home. She allowed us to practice our songs in the basement of her o— ce in Southside. We included guest musicians from time to time, including Nida reatt with e Locust Fork Band, Ann Price of Flashback, and Marc Phillips of Hotel, Split the Dark and Sneaky Pete’s. It was quiet for a while after the band quit playing in 1994. en, in November 1999, Paul Shaw came up with a similar idea of an alllawyer band for a fundraiser chaired by Labella Alvis at the B&A Warehouse. Shaw recycled some of the old guard of Burford, Beavers, and me to play with a group of younger guys including Jim Gillis on drums, Brian Turner and Sims Crawford, guitar, Pat etford, mandolin, Billy Weems, bass, and of course Paul’s wife, Elizabeth. Practices at Paul and Elizabeth’s home always began with a social hour Special Interest composed of gourmet food mostly prepared by Elizabeth along with swillage of their high-end red wine. is combination made practices much more palatable but there were also awful wine hangovers to deal with the following day. is group, which Paul dubbed Mumbo Jumbo, was another hit and still entertains the BBA Bench and Bar Retreat, the ASB’s Divorce on the Beach Program, and various private parties. Honorable mention must be handed to Elizabeth, who handles all the bookings, wine selections, and egos. But wait, there are others. Craig Izzard has been playing guitar for years with various bands in the area including Jim Bob & the Leisure Suits and the Mystic Knights of the C. e Mystic Knights also featured both John Chiles and Graves Stiž on saxophone along with the late Braxton Schell. Craig presently plays in e Cosmic Snakehandlers along with Lawyer Stiž . eir latest CD is called “Polka Dreams & Liquid Waltzes” and is available on Amazon, i-tunes, and e-music as is the old Jim Bob & the Leisure Suits’ LP record. Mark Peterson was a guitarist with the bands Hotfoot and Hotride (combination of Telluride and Hotfoot); new bar member Andy Mears is a guitarist along with Jim Burford in Rabbit Branch which has been around since 1971; Jež Rowell and I have both played with local favorite Chevy 6; John McCluskey THOMPSON BESPOKE CLOTHIERS – where perfection is standard – 2100 South Bridge Pkwy Suite 650 | Homewood 35209 | rashanm@hotmail.com • 205.414.7000 – By Appointment Only – Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Summer 2013 17


Bulletin Summer 2013
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