"They haven't died out, but they ain't got no work," says singer Dottie Whitsett. "A lot of the old blues people don't try and do blues no more. I can't find them." Whitsett has performed locally for 20 years, singing with Fro Brigham, Tomcat Courtney, Len Rainey, and the Fuzzy Blues Band.
Whitsett, a chef at the Mission restaurant in North Park, does two gigs a week with Lady Dottie and the Diamonds, her newest band. She is backed by four musicians from San Diego's modern-rock scene: keyboardist Joe Guevara (Operator X, Lovelight Shine, Jejune), drummer Andy Robillard (GoGoGo AirHeart), guitarist Nate Beale (Dirty Sweet), and bassist Stephen Rey (the Deere Johns).
"I'm 60, but I feel like I'm 25," says Whitsett, a New York native. "The kids don't feel like I'm 60 either. When the kids see me singing, it makes them think they can do it too.... We have a video coming out. I think we're going to record some tunes. I'd like to go on tour...."
Lady Dottie and the Diamonds appear every Monday at 10 p.m. at the Tower Bar in City Heights and 9 p.m. Wednesdays at Henry's Pub in the Gaslamp. Both are free admission. Must be 21. They'll play the Independence Jam at SDSU's Open Air Theater on June 18, too.