Monday, August 8, 2011

My Son, The Bluesman

My kid turned 30 on Sunday.

Back in the dark ages, when I was a young whippersnapper, we had a saying: "Never trust anyone over 30.” 

Yes, I am the mother of an over 30. Me? With a kid that old? I mean, he was like just born! And what’s even weirder is that sometime later this year, I will be exactly twice as old as he is…which means he’s 30, I’ll be 60, and both his grandfathers are 90. There’s got to be some kind of karma-cosmic kinda thing going on here.  Right?

Now, for a moment, indulge this mother. He’s kind, a real gutteh neshumah (good soul), and he’s one helluva bluesman. Yeah, I’ve got a kid who earns his living singing about misery….weird because he’s pretty happy these days. And like most musicians, he’s got a day job…in an antiquarian bookstore which, if you ask me, is the perfect job for this guy who was weaned on the Muppets, the Marx Brothers (Groucho not Karl), Jack Kerouac, and Indiana Jones…with a splash Mario Puzo and Hunter Thompson  thrown in for a bit of color. The Senior Son has always been a step ahead of the rest of us mere mortals, off on a tangent we sometimes didn’t understand... but not for lack of trying.

As an 8 year old, he opened his first stand-up comedy act with an impression of James Mason as one of the Three Stooges. The other kids stared at him like he’d stepped off some alien planet, but the adults were rolling in the aisles. It was ...and still is pretty damn funny. He also had a period when he insisted on being called Wadsworth Siegfried (I have the school papers to prove it). That was followed by the “Let’s move to Palermo” period. Life with this kid was never dull.

It started with a cello, but real passion came with his first guitar. Steve used to take him to bars on open mike nights so he could routinely get beaten up by the best blues players in the Twins Cities. And after a while, they stopped ragging and started teaching. It should’ve come as no surprise to either of us that he would choose this over a more conventional know, the kind with health insurance…but it did….and we got used to it. Confession: some days were easier than others. 

Surrounding by loyal fans
leaving NY gig.
 He’s played with several groups over the years, and has done his fair share of touring. He’s played New York, San Francisco, LA, Louisville, Nashville and a bunch of other villes. He played at the House of Blues in Chicago regularly with the Charles Walker Blues Band. We have assorted CDs from each of the incarnations, and it's fun to listen to how much he's developed as a player.

Misha and Misha
Now he’s making the break and putting together his own group; so far so good. He understands the investment of time and energy, and, thank G-d, so does his significant other who is wonderfully supportive and most graciously tolerant. But then again, she’s an art educator, immersed in world o’weird all the time.

So allow me to flog for the band. You can find him just by Googling “MISHA SIEGFRIED” or go right to the Facebook page. Take a listen. “Like” the page. If you’re in the Milwaukee area, go hear him live and in person. I happen to know there’s a shindig for him tonight at the Up and Under Pub  where he hosts the open mike every Monday. 

And for my final observation:  Misha's been hosting open mike nights in a variety of places for a while now. Steve loved that. He loved that Misha might do for some kid what Moses Oakland and the rest of the Twin Cities blues community did for his kid.  I get to say, for both of us still, we are so very, very proud of him.

Happy birthday, Mousey!

Wifely Person’s Tip o’the Week
Eat dinner together as a family as many nights a week as humanly possible.
This is your best chance to teach your kids about civil discourse
and  interacting live with others.


  1. Sorry, WP, but you will not be "exactly twice as old" as the Senior Son later this year... that phenomenon actually occurred on Fri, Sept 3, 2010 when you were 58 yrs and 54 days old and he was a mere 29 yrs. 27 days -- and it will never happen again!

    Of course there's always the Junior Son, but who's counting???

  2. Misha is lucky to have such a great mother !

  3. The Wifely PersonAugust 8, 2011 at 1:01 PM

    Actually, i am lucky to have two great sons!

  4. It is so refreshing to hear a mom gush with such genuine enthusiasm and pride about their children! Now that's LOVE! Don't get no better than that!

  5. Rob Benson (St. Louis Park, MN)August 9, 2011 at 10:51 AM

    You son sounds like a twit.

  6. Misha's motherAugust 9, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    I just want to go on the record saying my son does NOT rememble that remark!