Westside Andy & Glenn Davis at Otto's
Otto’s Restaurant & Bar on Madison, Wisconsin’s West Side is well into its annual spring/summer “Music on the Deck” outdoor concert series, and Westside Andy & Glenn Davis are well into their 16th season as Otto’s Tuesday night outdoor deck entertainment, providing two hours of easy-digesting dinner-time blues for on-deck diners also enjoying a refreshing summer breeze.
Which isn’t to say that the music isn’t filling, let alone substantial. One of the Midwest’s best and hardest-working blues harmonica players, Westside Andy Linderman cups his hands around his harp and microphone to get lots of acoustic effects, and is even able to tip his cap while blowing in acknowledging frequent audience applause.
Guitarist Glenn Davis swaps single-note leads and accompanying chords with Linderman, both accomplishing plenty of variation in mostly mid-tempo songs. Together they offer their distinct take on classic guitar/harmonica duos: Think Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee gone electric, but never too loud or too fast for the food.
With a wealth of blues playing between them, Linderman and Davis fashioned a set, seemingly spontaneously, and ranging from obvious choice Jimmy Reed (“Honest I Do”) to Howlin’ Wolf (“Killing Floor”), Chuck Berry (“Memphis,” with Davis evoking a bit of Lonnie Mack’s instrumental cover hit) and J. Geils Band (a piece of Magic Dick’s monumental “Whammer Jammer” harmonica solo).
“Pretty graceful for this early in the show,” Davis dryly observed of his longtime partner’s bluesharp prowess, “but we’ll let it go.”