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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yardbirds, Mitch Ryder, Lazy Lester, Joe-El Sonnier, Robby Krieger headline Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival, May 27-28





THE YARDBIRDS, MITCH RYDER, ROBBY KREIGER,
JO-EL SONNIER, BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY, LAZY LESTER,
DWAYNE DOPSIE,
BIG CHIEF MONK BOUDREAUX & THE GOLDEN EAGLES
DOUG KERSHAW AND MICHAEL DOUCET,

HEADLINE 28th ANNUAL
SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL,
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, MAY 27-28
Los Angeles area’s largest Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Roots music festival, featuring two stages, a Mardi Gras parade, crafts and dozens of
food booths, takes place Memorial Day weekend.



The Yardbirds
Lazy Lester
Miitch Ryder



Dwayne Dopsie
Jo-El Sonnier
Doug Kershaw



SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The 28th annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival will once again enliven Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, at Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Ave., in Simi Valley. The event features a full stage for each of its musical genres. The spirited music will go non-stop each day from 12 noon until 7:30 p.m. (or 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.).
Single Day tickets are $25 for adults (13 and over); $45 for a 2-day pass; children 12 and younger are free. New this year will be a limited number of SuperTicket passes. For $124 for a single day or $199 for both days, SuperTickets holders get a reserved seat, in the shade, directly in the front of the blues stage as well as private bar access (and two complimentary drinks) and other exclusive “backstage experiences.” Tickets are available on the festival’s website: http://www.simicajun.org/. (Note: the only tickets available at the gate are single-day, $30)
Headlining the blues stage this year will be the pioneering blues-rock band the Yardbirds, the Robby Krieger Band (celebrating 50 years of the Doors' music), Mitch Ryder, Lazy Lester and the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy; as well as L.A.-based roots-rockers the 44’s, soulful SoCal songstress Alex Nester and festival returnees Kelly’s Lot. Another festival favorite, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, returns for the fourth straight year and will be performing at both stages. 
On the Cajun and Zydeco stage will be the “original ragin’ Cajun” fiddler Doug Kershaw; Grammy-winning accordionist Jo-El Sonnier and the Cajun Trio featuring Michael Doucet, David Doucet and Mitch Reed. Performing on this stage too are Crawdaddio and the Bayou Brothers, who also will back Lazy Lester on the blues stage, while Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles will play on both the Cajun/Zydeco and Blues stages.
The annual Mardi Gras Parade will take place both days, and everyone is invited to join in with the marching bands, stilt walkers and other costumed characters. Also, during the breaks at the Cajun/Zydeco stage, dance instructor AJ Gibbs will lead the crowd in free dance lessons.
About the headliners:
The Yardbirds: In the mid-’60s, the Yardbirds revolutionized music as they pushed British blues rock into psychedelia and heavy metal. Godhead guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page all spent time in the band, playing alongside core members Jim McCarty (drums), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar/bass) and the late Keith Relf (vocals/harmonica). McCarty recently assembled a new touring line-up that includes guitarist Johnny A (Peter Wolf), bassist Kenny Aaronson (Joan Jett, Hall & Oates), veteran harpist Myke Scavone and vocalist/guitarist John Idan, who has been a Yardbird since the Nineties. The group performs at the festival on Saturday, May 27.
The Robby Krieger Band: Regularly cited as one of rock’s all-time top guitarists, Krieger shot to fame in the Doors. The Los Angeles native wrote or co-wrote some of the band’s signature tunes, like “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” “Touch Me” and “Love Her Madly.” The Robby Krieger Band will celebrate 50 years of the Doors’ music when then make their Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival debut on May 27.
Mitch Ryder: If you have ever heard Bruce Springsteen perform his “Detroit Medley,” you know Mitch Ryder’s impact on rock history. The medley’s main songs — “Devil With a Blue Dress,” “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “C.C. Rider” — are all tunes Ryder popularized while fronting the Detroit Wheels in the mid-’60s. The powerhouse vocalist has remained a popular performer, especially in Europe. This year finds Ryder readying a new album and working on a stage musical based on his novel Hide Your Love Away. Experience Ryder’s dynamic rock & soul sound on the blues stage Sunday.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: For nearly a quarter century, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been combining the old with the new. Folks can’t help but to dance to the band’s exhilarating blend of jazz, swing and Dixieland with rock ’n’ roll energy. Formed in Ventura, California, the band has recorded 10 albums and played over 2700 live shows, including playing for three U.S. presidents. Rather remarkably, the group remains composed of its core members: Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (bass), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone), Glen "The Kid" Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano). They’ll make their second Cajun & Blues Festival appearance when they hit the blues stage on Sunday.
Doug Kershaw: Known as the “original ragin’ Cajun,” Kershaw found crossover success during the late ’60s when his fierce fiddle playing and hippie-style appearance won favor with young rock audiences. His career started in the mid-’50s when he teamed with his brother Rusty to become a popular country duo, scoring hits with “Diggy Diggy Lo” and the autobiographical “Louisiana Man.” Kershaw, who was inducted in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009, will perform on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on May 27.
Lazy Lester: The story goes that, in the mid-’50s, Lazy Lester met Lightin’ Slim by chance on a bus. Slim needed a harmonica player for a recording and Lester could play the harp. He wound up playing on many of Slim’s Excello albums before making his own Excello debut in 1957. The Blues Hall of Famer’s best known tunes include “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter,” “I Hear You Knockin’,” and “I’m Gonna Leave You Baby.” After taking a hiatus, Lester returned to music in the late ’80s and he has made several albums since. Now in his 80s, Lester still blows a mean, swamp-bluesy harp. He’ll take the blues stage on May 27, backed by the Bayou Brothers.
Jo-El Sonnier: Hailed as the “King of Cajun Music” for the past 25 years, Sonnier is a wizard of the accordion. The much-in-demand musician has recorded with such stars as Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Robert Cray, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, Elvis Costello, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton. A multi-Grammy nominee himself, Sonnier won a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album in 2015. He returns to Simi Valley for the second time, performing on the Cajun stage Saturday and Sunday.
The Cajun Trio: Michael Doucet, David Doucet & Mitch Reed: These three musicians were all founding members of BeauSoliel, the internationally renowned, multi-Grammy winning group that Garrison Keillor hailed as the "best Cajun band in the world." This trio, with Michael Doucet on fiddle, his brother David on guitar and Mitch Reed on various string instruments, showcases its virtuosity by slipping effortlessly among musical genres. They will play, along with a special surprise guest, both days of the festival.
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles: A true ambassador of New Orleans, Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux is the leader of the Golden Eagles, a New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tribe. They are known for their elaborate attire, which includes handmade suits adorned with brightly colored feathers, intricate beadwork, rhinestones and ruffles, as well as their music, which combines folk traditions with funk and R&B. Boudreaux, a 2016 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award, brings his Golden Eagles to the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Saturday and the blues stage on Sunday.
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers: A Cajun & Blues Festival favorite, Dwayne “Dopsie” Rubin returns to Simi Valley for the fourth straight year. He also will be hard to miss since he will be performing on both the blues and Cajun/Zydeco stages on Saturday and back on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Sunday. The son of Zydeco legend Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., Dwayne has carved out his own successful career. His highly energetic Zydeco style has earned him a Grammy nomination and the title of “America’s Hottest Accordion” player.
The blues stage once again was booked by Martin Fleischmann and his company, Rum & Humble. For more than 20 years Rum & Humble has played a key role in presenting some of the world’s great musical talent (Radiohead, King Sunny Ade, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few) to Los Angeles audiences, in venues like the Hollywood Bowl, the Orpheum Theatre and the Santa Monica Pier. They also have been a pioneer promoters in the field of Latin alternative music; Fleischmann is one of the co-founders of L.A.’s Congo Room. Additionally, Rum & Humble has collaborated closely with artists such as Jackson Browne and Paul Oakenfold as well as with a varied roster of corporate and non-profit clients, such as KJAZZ Radio and the National Geographic Society.
The Cajun & Blues Festival has received national press accolades: “Everywhere you turned, there was something exciting happening,” wrote Blue Revue editor Art Tipaldi, who travelled to L.A. from New England. After attending last year’s concert, Jazz Weekly’s George W. Harris proclaimed: “Forget the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues fest beats the older and richer sister. This is coming from a jazzer, yet still, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, I have more fun here than in Hollywood … it “delivered music made to last … can’t wait until next year.”
Besides the great music, festival-goers can enjoy great food too. Southern BBQ and authentic Cajun-Creole cuisine, such as jambalaya and crawfish, are available at dozens of food booths, which will also feature a variety of other dining options. There will be rows of craft booths and retailers to check out as well.
To get to the Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, take California Hwy. 118 (Ronald Reagan Freeway) north from L.A. Exit at Stearns Street and go a couple blocks south. Ample free parking is available, with the main lot at the Simi Valley High School; a free shuttle takes to you to the park. This year, the festival has added thousands of square feet of additional tenting for shade at no additional charge. Low back chairs are recommended; however, pop-ups will no longer be allowed in the festival grounds.
100% of the festival’s profits are donated to charitable, educational and humanitarian causes on a local, national and international level. A list of these organizations may be found at < http://www.simicajun.org/who-benefits/>.  
The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival is a presentation of the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise.

Schedule — subject to change:

SATURDAY MAY 27th
BLUES STAGE
Kelly’s Lot
Lazy Lester
The Yardbirds
The Robby Krieger Band
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
CAJUN/ZYDECO STAGE
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
Cajun Trio featuring Michael Doucet, David Doucet and Mitch Reed
Mardi Gras Parade
Jo-El Sonnier
Doug Kershaw  
SUNDAY MAY 28th
BLUES STAGE
Alex Nester
The 44’s
Mitch Ryder
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles
CAUN/ZYDECO STAGE
Bayou Brothers
Crawdaddio
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
Mardi Gras Parade
Cajun Trio featuring Michael Doucet, David Doucet and Mitch Reed
Jo-El Sonnier  


American Showplace Music artist: John Ginty featuring Aster Pheonyx - Rockers - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Rockers, by John Ginty featuring vocalist Aster Pheonyx and it has a whole different dimension. Opening with powerhouse, The Shark, Ginty melds his notorious Hammond sound with Justine Gardner on outrageous funky bass and Maurice "mOe" Watson on drums for my favorite track on the release right out of the chute. Excellent! Rocker, Lucky 13 is up next and with Paul Kuzik's driving bass and Watson's drum work, lead vocalist, Aster Pheonyx takes command with Grace Slick like style. Ginty's key work, is aggressively complimented by the guitar work of Mike Buckman and Jimmy Bennett. With an easy pace and solid melody, Target On The Ground, is a tidy radio track with bluesy vocals and a light funk in the bottom. Ginty cranks up the heat on Hammond giving the track a bit more heft. Mr. Blues is a lumbering blues rocker with a cool lead riff by Ginty that drives the track, reinforced by Gardner's bass work. A well balanced track with a bit of wailing guitar ... slick.  Electric has a real nice back beat and features big drum work as well as cool slide work. With Jagger like prowess on vocal, Phoenyx's vocals on this track are my favorite. Wrapping the release is title track, Rockers. a solid driver with Ginty, Gardner and Watson laying down a road of rhythm before Ginty takes flight on keys. This is a solid rocker and a solid closer for a new direction for Ginty.





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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Forty Below Records artist: John Mayall - Talk About That - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Talk About That, from John Mayall and it's diverse with a wealth of blues. Opening with title track, Talk About That, John Mayall steps up with a funky blues track, bucked by Rocky Athas on guitar, Greg Rzab on bass and Jay Davenport on drums. Mayall's vocals are solid with super funky organ and cool bass riffs. Blues rocker, It's Hard Going Up has a nice guitar vamp and cool horn work from Ron Dziubla on sax, Mark Pender on trumpet and Nick Lane on trombone. Funky blues number, The Devil Must Be Laughing has a sweet guitar intro and soloing by Joe Walsh and with it's dark overtones, is one of my favorite tracks on the release. New Orleans flavored, Gimme Some Of That Gumbo, highlights the drum work of Davenport and Mayall's piano playing is super of course with terrific horn work. Athas breaks loose with hot riffs of his own on this one adding flame to an already smoking track. Chicago style blues track, Goin' Away Baby, features light drum work and Mayall on harp and vocal. Very cool! Cards On The Table features Joe Walsh again on slide this time with a cool rolling rhythm. Walsh has a really distinctive style and he lays it out here nicely. Shuffle track, Don't Deny Me has a great swing with crisp riffs from Athas and super rolling piano by Mayall, backed nicely by Pender on trumpet and over a super walking bass line by Rzab. another track with a cool rocking beat is Across The County Line. With Rzab and Davenport setting the stage Mayall really delivers on vocals and piano and Athas nails the guitar lead with super horn punctuation. Very nice. Wrapping the release is You Never Know, an easy piano shuffle with only the basics of bass and drums supporting Mayalls vocals. This is different from the most recent two Mayall releases that I have reviewed but very enjoyable.

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

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