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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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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Randy Chortkoff has passed. My thoughts are with his family.


Randy Chortkoff, founder, president and CEO of Delta Groove Productions, passed away today at 8:40am in Los Angeles at the age of 65.
A highly successful entrepreneur outside of the music business, Chortkoff simultaneously followed his true passion as a music producer, performer, and promoter for two decades before founding Delta Groove Productions almost 15 years ago. Delta Groove was his labor of love, a culmination of a lifelong devotion to traditional blues and roots music. Through his vision and leadership, the company quickly rose to its current position as an industry leader, encompassing Delta Groove Records, Eclecto-Groove Records, No Respect Records, Festivals Exclusive Booking Agency, independent artist and event promotions and management, and more.
Ever the astute businessman, in recent months Randy oversaw the planning and arrangements for Delta Groove Productions and its affiliates to continue to flourish and carry his passion onward after his passing, under the leadership of longtime associates Jeff Fleenor and Tammie Barnum, and the rest of the talented and devoted Delta Groove team.
Randy leaves behind children Jessica, Taylor and Joshua, an extended family of Delta Groove musicians whose lives he touched, and a worldwide network of music lovers who both shared and benefited from his passion for music.

Randy was also was the leader of top blues band The Mannish Boys.

Few blues acts have perfected the tricky maneuver of honoring the storied history of the Blues, while at the same time keeping the music up-to-date, as well as Delta Groove’s The Mannish Boys. It’s a balancing act that they’ve honed over the course of six highly-acclaimed CD releases and countless nights gigging on concert stages around the world. Conceived as an all-star showcase for the cream of the west coast blues crop, The Mannish Boys have stayed true to that vision. They’ve continually evolved through the years, seeking out and spotlighting the talents of true Blues legends in a setting that stays true to the deep roots of genre, providing them with the support required to excite today’s blues audiences.
Their newest release on Delta Groove marks a number of firsts for The Mannish Boys. “Double Dynamite”, as the title suggests, serves up a double dose of The Mannish Boys on a two CD set, allowing them to really stretch out and feature more special guests and sounds than on any of their previous releases. Especially notable is new featured vocalist Sugaray Rayford, a soulful, gospel-inflected singer, originally from Texas, who has been little known outside of his current home base in Southern California until now. Also along for the ride this time, and adding variety and depth in the vocal department, are veterans James “Icepick” Harman, Mike Finnigan (who in the ‘60s played keyboards on Jimi Hendrix’s “Electric Ladyland” LP, among many other accomplishments in his long career), and Jackie Payne, plus long-time Mannish Boys frontman Finis Tasby. The band’s regular guitarists Kirk Fletcher and Frank Goldwasser also take turns in front of the vocal mic, as does The Mannish Boys harp playing honcho Randy Chortkoff. And as a special treat this time out, Mud Morganfield, oldest son of the undisputed king of Chicago blues, Muddy Waters, also contributes as a guest vocalist, bringing a south side Chicago blues unrivaled by any living vocalist. Other special guests on this amazing release include harmonica aces Rod Piazza, Jason Ricci and Bob Corritore, and guitarists Elvin Bishop, Junior Watson, Nathan James, and Kid Ramos, all backed by the hard-swinging rhythm section of Jimi Bott and Willie J. Campbell, plus an array of other very special musicians.


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2 comments:

  1. Randy was a high school friend. He was always fun and very caring. So sad to hear this.

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    1. I met Randy at Fairfax High School, 10th grade. We were really close friends. We both ended up at Hollywood High and ran in the same close knit circle of friends. We did the hollywood club scene, laurel cyn, spent the summer of '67 in haight ashbury and on and on and on..... Lost track of Randy until we spoke a couple years ago. So,so sorry to hear of his passing.

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