Friday, January 27, 2012

You Treat Me Like Dirt - Byther Smith & Jim Kohler Band

Byther Smith (born April 17, 1933, Monticello, Mississippi) is an American blues musician, noted for his gritty style and uncompromising delivery.
Born the sixth oldest of seven children, Smith immigrated to Chicago in the mid 1950s. Although he worked for a candy company, Smith's real passion was music. He played bass for a three-piece jazz combo for a few years, but he eventually got a spot playing rhythm guitar for Otis Rush. He also backed Junior Wells, Big Mama Thornton and George "Harmonica" Smith. In the early 1960s, Smith began to take the guitar more seriously and learned much from J. B. Lenoir, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Hubert Sumlin.

After years playing in clubs all over the United States and the world, a demo tape Smith recorded became the album Tell Me How You Like It, released by the Texas based Grits record label. The release brought him European opportunities, and his next album on a UK record label Addressing The Nation with The Blues appeared on JSP Records. In 1995, Smith retired from his job at Economy Folding Box Company after twenty-five years, allowing him to focus fully on music.

Smith still records and tours frequently.

Jim Kohler's first musical memory is of sitting on stage with the world famous Irish band The Wolfe Tones (one of whom Noel Nagle is Jim's cousin) as a child in the 70's. From then on it was all music! The Blues captured Kohler's attention and for the past 15 years Jim and his band have been up and down the east coast preaching the Blues to whoever will listen, often sharing the bill with Blues luminaries such as Koko Taylor, James Cotton and Johnny Lang just to name a few. The Jim Kohler Band was used as the back-up band for Blues legend Son Seals,before his passing in '04, on the east coast. Big Jim has traveled to Chicago to play with Son, the great Lindsay Alexander and others in clubs such as Kingston Mines and Buddy Guy's Legends. At home the J.K.B. has played such great venues as Chicago Blues, Kenny's Castaway, and the Sugar Bar in N.Y.C., Stephen Talkhouse on Long Island and the Ocean Mist Club in RI. On 9-15 the great David Bromberg paid a visit to the boys and sat in at Meehans in Huntington! Also, the boys have been chosen to back up blues legend Byther Smith here on the east coast.The bands live C.D. "Way Down In The Blues" was recorded at Louie's Loung,e a great Long Island blues club.
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