Finding ways to stay creative can be a challenge for any artist. Even some of the greats have found themselves delving into other forms of artistic expression. Jefferson Airplane’s Grace Slick has taken up painting as of late and even Bob Dylan has hosted shows of visual art (namely, a large number of metalworking projects) domestically and abroad for a number of years now, so it should come as no surprise that a couple of the members of the current lineup of Foreigner have found some creative hobbies outside of cranking out hits like “Juke Box Hero” or “Urgent” to the screaming masses. They have found theirs in making up some of that lovely liquid bread better known as BEER, and their new brewing venture just so happens to be a pretty big deal for the Lake City.
To spin the dial back a bit, the band we now know as Foreigner rose from the ashes of The Leslie West Band, whose collapse left English-born guitarist and songwriter Mick Jones living in New York City without a band to call his own in early 1976. Jones then began seeking out some new blood around which he could build a new act. In a short time, he’d lined up fellow Britons Ian McDonald and Dennis Elliot along with keyboardist Al Greenwood, bassist Ed Gagliardi and vocalist Lou Gramm and by the end of that year, a contract with Atlantic Records marked the beginning of a musical legacy that has since seen four top ten album’s, nine top ten singles and global sales exceeding 80 million copies.
Throughout the years of any long-lasting act, lineups are sure to change and that has certainly been the case for Foreigner; however, two hop heads for certain can be counted amongst the fellas today: keyboardist Michael Bluestein and guitarist Bruce Watson, who have gotten so geeky about that beloved brew that they have both just finished getting their Certified Beer Server certifications and have started their own quest of visiting as many breweries as they can whilst out touring the nation. It was that pilsner-paved highway that led the guys to have their manager, industry veteran Phil Carson, reach out and ask the Crying Eagle crew if the fellas could stop in for a visit. Obviously, the answer was a resounding yes.
While basking in the great news another idea popped up, this time from the Crying Eagle camp: If these guys are that into beer and they’re coming by anyway… Why don’t we make a beer? Another phone call back to Carson with the invite and the plan was in motion for the guys to not only stop by and visit, but to create the latest addition to Crying Eagle’s line-up, oh so appropriately called…. Hop Blooded.
It Feels Like the First Time…
“This is absolutely our first beer experience and we are so excited!” said Bluestein who has been manning the keys for the band since 2008. “In the burgeoning craft beer scene, it’s always a treat to get a firsthand look into the magical brewing process and, of course taste the fruits of their labor.”
Brewmaster Bill Mungai and crew welcomed the guys to Crying Eagle on January 27, the day of their sold-out performance at Golden Nugget and began crafting what is described as a “full-flavored, dry-hopped IPA that will feature a blend of seven different hops.” Fans gathered and watched the process from the fully windowed lobby and balcony as the guys sampled some test offerings and components that would eventually comprise Hop Blooded. Mungai stated afterwards that the rockers “seemed as excited to brew with me as I was with them. They were super cool and very interested in the brewing process. I offered them both a chance to come and work at the brewery when they get off tour. We’ll see if they take me up on that!”
And while the addition of Bluestein and Watson to the roster of the Crying Eagle crew may be unlikely, we certainly can expect to see them back in the Lake City at some point, hopefully for the release of Hop Blooded when it arrives at Crying Eagle later this year.
Until then keep rockin’… and keep that beer a’coming’!
Something Is Happening Here…
Saturday, February 4
Creedence Clearwater Revisited
Delta Downs Racetrack and Casino
A longtime industry vet and talent buyer friend of mine told me years ago: “If you want Fogerty, then book Fogerty, but if you want Creedence, then book Revisited.” Featuring former CCR members Stu Cook and Doug “Cosmo” Clifford, this show delivers all the Creedence you’ll want to hear! Want some Creedence? Then GO SEE THIS SHOW!
Sunday, February 5
Lake Charles Symphony Concert #2
Historic Calcasieu Marine Bank
It’ll be “Big Game” day and all, but the Symphony has a classy and cultural way to get the day going. The LCS will be featuring a Champagne and Chocolate reception to be followed by their second show of the season featuring Grieg’s Holberg Suite, Barber’s Adagio for Strings and Tchaikovsky’s Serenade for strings, all bathed in the ambiance of the Historic Calcasieu Marine Ballroom. And don’t worry… you’ll still be home in time to catch the game. GO SEE THIS SHOW!!
You’re As Cold as Ice…
Cause if it’s not cold, it’s just not beer, right?
A big congratulations is going out to the Crying Eagle crew for the auspicious company they’re keeping in recent days. I REALLY can’t wait to try out Hop Blooded for myself. I’m sure it’ll be a big HIT!
That’s going to do it for this months edition of JMLC! I’ll see you all back here post Mardi Gras and until then… I will SEE YOU AT THE SHOW!!!