Chicken Wings & Collard Greens (coda to Beantown Jazz Festival)

 “I know you got soul, if you didn’t you wouldn’t be in here.” 

These lyrics by Bobby Byrd featuring James Brown pop into my mind immediately when I walk into Slade’s.

Every year, in the afternoon after I’ve walked or worked (as I did this year) the Beantown Jazz Festival, I “book it” with my husband over to Slade’s Bar & Grill  to grab a seat, listen to live music and grub on their fabulous fried chicken wings with a side of collard greens.  There are other sides available and sometimes I have the fried chicken livers but usually it’s CW&CG for me.  CW&CG is home.

There are some friends, acquaintances and childhood friends of my husband’s that we pretty much only run into on this hallowed afternoon.  As the years are progressing for us, we are always glad to have made it one more ‘gain.

Sometimes we have a crew we go with.  This year, it was just the two of us.  We shared a table and made instant friends with a former Bostonian who was in town for the event.  When she and her friend left after about 1 ½ hours, two friends we know well came in and grabbed a spot. They had a third person with them who I recognized as a friendly  (and efficient) postal clerk at a Post Office I frequent.  It turned out that she’s good friends with my neighbor and his sister, who hang out together a lot.  They’re best buds and that’s good to see. 

Last year at Slade’s, my neighbor’s sister couldn’t believe it when she found out that I don’t drink.  She kept asking me questions about why I didn’t drink, having a difficult time wrapping her head around this fact about me.  I’ve reported here before that I don’t drink – don’t care if others do – it’s just not my thing.  Plus I grew up in a family of mostly teetotalers in which the few adults that did drink never did so around the kids.  Those times have changed in my extended family – sigh – and among my adult children.  They can and do drink.

Anyhow, chicken wings and collard greens, good and lively jazz, current and retro soul music in between sets spun by a DJ who knows what to play, a dance floor to step out on and you have the embrace of home-soul-familiarity. It doesn’t get better than this!

I know you got soul
If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be in here
I know you got soul
If you didn’t, the music wouldn’t groove ya
I know you got the feeling
If you didn’t, the beat wouldn’t move ya
Don’t let nobody stop ya from having yourself a ball

I won’t wait ‘til next year’s Beantown Jazz Festival to nosh and dance and be around my soul-folks.  On Tuesdays Slade’s is featuring: 

The Vocal Jazz Cafe” with Keyboardist, Frank Wilkins and his musician friends who bring great jazz, funk and rhythm & blues to Slade’s Bar & Grill from 7pm until 11pm every Tuesday! This evening features the band AND YOU! Like karaoke but with a twist, you can get on stage and sing with the band, showcasing almost any song you desire! And if you don’t want to run home right after the band, Jazz Master Steve is in the DJ booth playing some of the best old school from the 60s, 70s and on.

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About Candelaria Silva

Candelaria Silva-Collins is a marketing, community outreach and programming consultant; writer; and trainer/facilitator who lives in Boston, Massachusetts. She has designed and facilitated workshops on a wide variety of topics including communication, facilitation, job search skills, team building, and parenting issues. She currently coordinates the Community Membership Program of the Huntington Theatre Company. Her work as Director of ACT Roxbury was profiled in several publications, including The Creative Communities Builders Handbook. Candelaria’s children’s stories, short stories, essays and reviews have been published in local and national publications and she is an active blogger. Her publications include the booklets, Handling Rejection; Pushing through Shyness: Networking Tips when You’re Shy, Slow to Warm Up or Just don’t Feel you Belong; and Real Questions about Sex & Relationships for Teens: A Discussion Guide for Parents. She has served on the boards of Goddard College, Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston Foundation for Architecture, and Discover Roxbury. She is currently Chair, Designators of the Henderson Foundation.

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