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Roman and Jack in Bisbee, Arizona


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Took Mrs. Neo on a little road trip down to Tombstone and Bisbee Arizona.

See the old mining/cowboy stuff, kill a little time far away from the big city.

Had a large time.


Stumbled unexpectedly onto a few musical treasures of note....


Went to a bar called St. Elmo's right around the corner from our historic Copper Queen hotel.

Caught a band called Soul Senders, a local act doing old R&B and Blues classics.

Pretty good, and Mrs. Neo loved 'em since she's big into that style of music - more than even I am.


Turns out the guitar player I spoke with briefly is a minor local star in his own right.

He just started playing with Soul Senders a few months ago, and looks to be barely old enough to get in the bar.

Good taste in gear though, playing a PRS Archtop thru a Mesa Boogie Mk IV combo with no effects but delay.

What a clean, effortless-looking job he did, and the tone was heavenly!

Didn't mention any details of his own work, just that he played for Soul Senders.


Found out the next day from some locals that he got out of college (music) and came home to teach.

From what I understand, he now runs a program at the high school teaching rock guitar.

Name is Dylan Charles, has a website and all.

Bought Mrs. Neo a disc he put out, she loves it.

A little too mellow and country/folkie for me but the guy certainly does have his chops down.

Keep an eye out for him.





The next treat was meeting an old man playing OLD country standards on his acoustic sitting in front of a shop

in artsy/touristy downtown Bisbee, surrounded by art galleries and such.

He had a table in front of him with a stack of books, his autobiography.

The guitar caught my eye, so we struck up a conversation.

Turned out to be horribly disfigured Martin D-18 made in 1957, said he bought it used in 1960.

The frets were beyond worn, almost down to the fingerboard, and the side was busted wide open.

Says he oughta get it fixed someday...

His name is W.D. "Arizona" Kennedy, and he was born near there in 1940.


For the uninitiated, there was never much in southeast Arizona.

Even the Mexicans didn't venture up there.

Most of it is still vast, unsettled, and seemingly inhospitable to this day.

There are places where you can see for miles with no hint of civilization but the road you're on.


Apache Indians like Cochise and Geronimo made visits to the area an unhealthy affair when the

Cavalry first crossed the area with mining prospectors and ranchers in tow.

With the immensely rich strikes of gold, silver and copper, fortunes and governments finally quelled the Indians.


By the time our friend "Arizona" was born, the big fortunes went to corporations who bought the claims, leaving

little in the way of jobs beyond two choices. The toughest people around either mined or ranched.

There was nothing but struggling to survive either way.


Old "Arizona" moved away to Oregon while the ranches his family homesteaded from the government barely

remained in the family with much effort and little profit. Now retired, he's chosen to come back home and live

there for the remainder of his years in substantially greater comfort nowadays.


Thus came the idea for his autobiography, which I am now reading.

Said himself that there's nothing really big in there, just lotsa little stories from a life few could imagine.





The last one absolutely blew our minds.

A small boy was sitting on the steps of a closed store on Main Street in Bisbee, just a block from old "Arizona."

He's six years old, with a cheap black Martin strung Lefty on his lap playing "Got My Mojo Workin" of

Muddy Waters fame - and singing the lyrics.


I sh!t you not.


Had an old man sitting next to him playing harmonica, and ostensibly babysitting.

We threw a couple bucks in his hat and the boy gave us a quick 'Thank you' without missing a word or a note.


We went to get the camera out of the truck to take a couple pictures of him since Mrs. Neo teaches 1st grade.

Came back, and he was doing "Born Under A Bad Sign" by Albert King. And he knows the lyrics!!!


His name is Roman and he's six years old, turns 7 in March.

The old man's name is Jack.


Check him out yourself.

Do a search on YouTube using these key words;

roman jack bisbee


Here's one when he was 5, using only four strings.

Trust me, he's improved greatly since getting the Martin and six strings on the neck.



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I was standing there stunned while he was singing "Born Under A Bad Sign" and told the wife that he's

too young to be singing the Blues. Before puberty, kids should be singing about Smurfs and purple dinosaurs.


I'm telling you, in all my years I've never seen anything like a 6 year old singing

..."got my mojo workin' but it don't work on you"....

and sounding like he means it.

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