On Wednesday nights, Laguna Beach is in for a treat at Mozambique.
Every week, the venerable Bill Magee takes down “Blues Wednesdays” on the restaurant’s 2nd floor stage, from 7 – 10 p.m.
Now, our Bill isn’t a newbie to the blues. In the mid 1960s, Bill befriended relatively unknown Jimi Hendrix in Greenwich Village, and the two formed the band, “Jimmy James and the Flames.” At the time, “Hendrix” was Jimi James – just another guitar player working his way into the music scene, playing one New York nightclub after another. They would often play five and six sets a night, usually settling for tips. In their short run together, though, the individuals and the band as a collective procured a great deal of attention.
In 1967, when Hendrix signed with Chas Chandler, the Animals’ manager, funds were too tight to bring the “Flames” along to England. The band members declared “no harm, no foul,” and Bill Magee headed out with his newly formed band, “The Kansas City Playboys” for a tour of Europe. From time to time, the two old friends reunited as they crossed paths in their tours.
For years, Bill Magee and his band headlined at concerts and festivals, and he’s personally worked extensively in the studio on any number of artists’ albums. He tried retiring once, but gave it up after a few weeks and headed back “on the road.”
Luckily, one of those pit stops is our own Mozambique on Wednesday nights. The “Lowdown Dirty Blues Guitarist” and his Blues Band offer one of the largest repertoires around; it has to be one of the finest blues “fests” around.