Hearing Macy Blackman is like stepping into an uptown New Orleans club such as the Dew Drop Inn circa 1955.
Indeed, pianist/vocalist Macy Blackman has been playing this music since it really wasn't very old.
Born in 1948 in Wilmington, Delaware, Macy spent his
formative years in the Philly area. While in high school he
formed The Evergreens, a band which specialized in
backing up classic R&B groups such as the Orlons, and Lee Andrews and the Hearts.
He moved to New York City in 1966 where he lived until 2000, playing in every imaginable capacity.
From the mid 70's on he specialized in New Orleans R&B because of a friendship with one of its masters, drummer Charles "Hungry" Williams. Through Charles he met and performed with Mac Rebenneck (aka Dr John). Macy also played with a wide range of musicians regularly backing up The Drifters and The Coasters.
Macy had an incredibly overworked band called The Rockin' Rebels. Averaging over 300 gigs a year for fourteen straight years, they regularly played at The American Festival Cafe at Rockefeller Center and countless clubs and street festivals.
Graduating NYU in 1970 with a degree in music, he has been a longtime vocal and instrumental instructor. Also a master piano technician, his East Coast clients included Patti Smith, Oliver Lake, Rasheed Ali and good friend, Keith Richards.
A renowned musicologist, Macy moved to San Francisco in 2000 to teach courses at UC Berkeley. These popular classes explored major American musical styles of the twentieth century - rhythm and blues, swing and classic jazz.
For the first few years in San Francisco, he featured himself as a jazz pianist, recording Something For Everybody with bassist Chuck Metcalf in 2000.
He drifted back to New Orleans R&B and formed The Mighty Fines in 2003. They recorded their first CD, 24 Hours a Day, in 2005.
Hurricane Katrina forced New Orleans-bred saxaphonist Ken "Snakebite" Jacobs to remain here in the Bay area where he already had ties. He soon became the band's tenor player.
Then, in 2007, with the addition of Nancy Wright on tenor, he switched to baritone. Nancy and Kenny's ability to play off each other has added an incomparable dimension to the band.
The Mighty Fines' music forges a synthesis between early New Orleans Jazz and the R&B of the early '50's. The versatile musicians also play swing and bebop.
The Mighty Fines' second CD, Don't You Just Know It, has just been released.
Local wisdom is that "If this band doesn't make you move your feet, it's amazing you got here at all."