I had an extraordinary phone call a few nights ago (Nov. 22) from Spider John Koerner, a blues great from the 1960s to the near-present. He, Dave “Snaker” Ray and Tony “Little Sun” Glover (KRG) recorded Blues, Rags & Hollers for Electra and the rest is history.

I had left a message about the new album and John, now 85, returned the call. We didn’t really know each other back in the 1960s, just in passing, but we had mutual friends from the old Minneapolis folk/blues scene.

Where is Jeff Espina today, by the way? And is Maury Bernstein playing the accordion somewhere in heaven?

KRG and I auditioned for the Ted Mack Amateur Hour on the same night. (Rise your hand if you remember the show; neither of us made it.) Koerner also played with Willie Murphy for about five years; look up Runnin’ Jumpin’ Standin’ Still. Very nice guy. (Trio photo at First Avenue, by David Corrigan.)