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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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Showing posts with label Atlanta. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Atlanta. Show all posts

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Heartfixer Music artist: Tinsley Ellis - Red Clay Soul - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (June 3, 2016), Red Clay Soul, from Tinsley Ellis and it's got real soul. Opening with All I Think About, Tinsley Ellis shows that he is continuing to spread his wings. The rocking country blues track, features Ellis on lead vocal and guitar, joined by Kevin McKendree on organ and piano, Lynn Williams on drums and Steve Mackey on bass. With a bit more R&B styling, Givin' You Up has strong commercial potential with a solid hook and instrumentation. Callin' has an easy soul feel with an almost Al Green sound. I really like the melody on this track and Ellis alternates his blues runs with his own vocals. Very nice. Anything But Go stays in the soul vein and Ellis does a real nice job of delivering on vocals. McKendree's rich keyboard work anchors this track and Ellis' own melodic riffs are contained and well placed. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Hungry Woman Blues, is a deep soul track with a strong blues twist. Mackey creates a solid bottom on bass and McKendree's keyboards the ambiance for a very strong WW Washington/JG Watson style track. Excellent! Circuit Rider has the structure of Albert King's "The Hunter" but Ellis' version has some really nicely stylized guitar riffs giving the track a special something. Very nice job. Don't Cut It is a solid rocker reinforced by Williams tight rhythm. Really nicely phrased guitar riffs with shades of Cray and shimmering chords sets this track firmly in the top few on the release. Party Of One is a quiet blues number with Ellis' vocals up front and somber guitar work and warm riffs by McKendree setting up the track. Nicely executed guitar lead on the second verse gives this track a really memorable feel. Very nice. Spanish influenced, Estero Noche has that Latin jazz/rock flavor that carried Santana's Supernatural to great heights. This is a really nice track with moving percussion and flavorful guitar melody. Excellent! Wrapping the release is The Bottle, The Book or the Gun. This track has a nice cadence featuring possibly the most tasty solo featuring super flat bent vibrato accents. A cool track and an excellent closer for a really solid release.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

Royal Southern Brotherhood - Don't Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions Out May 26

Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions

Produced by Tom Hambridge and Blessed by FAME founder Rick Hall
Cyril Neville’s Royal Southern Brotherhood Eyes May 26th
For 3rd Studio Album

“They are not a band – they are an extravaganza” – John Hiatt

Atlanta, GA – Ruf Records recording group, Royal Southern Brotherhood (RSB) preps for their much anticipated third studio album, Don’t Look Back: The Muscle Shoals Sessions for release on May 26th.
This album was recorded at the legendary FAME Studios (est. 1960 - Aretha Franklin, Little Richard, Wilson Pickett, Etta James, Otis Redding) in Muscle Shoals, AL with Grammy award-winning producer Tom Hambridge and the band’s new guitar line up as Cyril Neville leads the charge forward.

Don’t Look Back is a spiritual journey that only Cyril Neville can lead. The elite percussionist’s experiences combined with these talented, energetic players create a new sound that remains reverent to the blues traditions. This highlights the magic that happens when great songs are performed by great bands.

The magic of FAME was not lost on band leader, Cyril Neville. The longtime musical icon almost sounded like a star struck upstart when speaking of the experience, stating, “I stood in the same place (vocal booth) as Wilson Pickett!”

The energy and excitement was not lost on the rest of the band. The process began when the band gathered at a rented house along the Tennessee River. The river is famous for the singing-like sounds it makes as the waves lap against the shores. According to the legend of The Singing River, which is associated with the Yuchie tribe, it is believed the flowing waters sounded like a woman singing. The time in the rented house not only inspired much of the material, it allowed the band to develop the chemistry that separates a band from a group of musicians.

For their third effort, RSB brought in two new fiery guitar slingers, Bart Walker and Tyrone Vaughan, to breathe new energy into the band's sound. The new blood is there to help the venerable Cyril Neville on percussion and vocals with the thunderous rhythm section of Yonrico Scott and Charlie Wooton to up the funk while maintaining the blues and rock that has brought Royal Southern Brotherhood a growing, worldwide audience.

The constant touring and recording has paid off: in 2014, the band won a Blues Music Award for BEST DVD for Songs From The Road – Live In Germany. This year they are nominated for BEST ROCK BLUES CD for their sophomore effort, heartsoulblood and that will be decided in Memphis at the Blues Music Awards held in May.

Songs like “Big Greasy” recalls old school funk and Go-Go music, a sparse “Anchor Me” is a tender love ballad while the Neville autobiographical “Hell or High Water” is filled with the showman’s life and its struggles. The banjo-tinged title track, “Don’t Look Back” which is sung by Bart, brings in a country texture to give it a traveling feel.

Listen to a sneak peek of three songs: RSB - 3 Song Teaser

All these great songs came from various places as the band toured. Whether it was a sound check in the mid-west or a cheap hotel lobby or some studio in Europe, the band fleshed out their ideas (often recorded on their cell phones), so they had structure and hooks worked out before reaching FAME. This allowed the band and Hambridge to concentrate on performance instead of spending time developing ideas. Hambridge was so mesmerized by the quintet’s cohesiveness he didn’t want to touch a thing but the record button. The other cats on tape are Dumpstaphunk’s Ivan Neville on keyboards/organ and legendary Jimmy Hall on harp scattered about adding flare to the tunes.

Bart Walker, with his tinted glasses and curly hair, has a powerhouse voice that cuts through the music.  Classically trained as a formal opera singer, Walker hails from the Nashville area and he spent time in both Mike Farris from The Screamin’ Cheetah Willies and Reese Wynans (and old SRV bandmate) musical outfits. His 2013 release, Waiting On Daylight, garnered both national and international acclaim. This attention gave Bart the cache to see a lot of the world via Ruf Records President’s, Blues Caravan Tour, which spotlights new talent to sizable audiences. Now a seasoned player, Walker was ready and able to join the Brotherhood. “Joining RSB was the best idea anyone had for me,” said the affable Walker.

This was Tyrone Vaughan’s second time collectively playing with the others and he fell into place as if he were a longtime bandmate. Being the son of Jimmie Vaughan and the nephew of the iconic SRV can be a heavy burden to bear. Fortunately, Tyrone is unaffected by the adulation for his family, and developed his own gifted style and signature tone. Tyrone cut his own path by working his way up through the Austin (a town drenched in guitar heroes for the uninitiated) club scene in his teens, eventually packing clubs around Texas. Through hard work, studying the masters and a tip or two from the family, Tyrone has developed a soulful voice along with a guitar tone that mixes blues, rock and country.

As for the 65-year-old Neville, a world-renowned percussionist has long been considered New Orleans royalty for his stints in the Grammy Award winning Neville Brothers, Galactic and The Meters.  Neville’s career has spawned 45 some odd years and has included performances with music icons such as Bono, Joan Baez, Dr. John and Tab Benoit. His philosophical beliefs and activist voice blend effortlessly when Cyril sits down to write. His intuition to the world and people are reflected within his soulful singing voice which creates a magnetic force between the listener and him.

In 1989, Cyril penned “Sister Rosa,” about the Civil Rights icon, Rosa Parks. USA Today honored Neville by choosing the song as one of the  most inspirational song about Martin Luther King’s, “I Have A Dream,” speech on the 50th anniversary of the historical oration given during the march on Washington (Parks was in attendance). “Sister Rosa” may not have had a change on the movement at the time, but Neville’s composition reminded a country of the thousands of souls that risked their lives to bring an end to a shameful tradition in the U.S.

This past year, Cyril found himself being interviewed by another drummer, Dave Grohl, of the Foo Fighters, for the “Sonic Highways” documentary on HBO. This eight-part series that followed the Foo Fighters around to various US cities, capturing the music scene and history that is unique to that city. Grohl, who directed the series, interviewed other Nawlins luminaries Dr. John, Allen Toussaint and Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews to gain an understanding of the Crescent City’s unique musical sound.

Cyril will lead the charge into the next Royal Southern Brotherhood crusade with this new album, Don’t Look Back with eyes narrowed. And just like John Hiatt says, “They are not a band, they are an extravaganza!” A sound and sight event of pure talent mixed in with love for their art, the music and their fans, the Loyal Royals.

The band will be in full touring mode throughout the year with radio and media campaign behind them.
Please see their website for further information:

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Lefty Williams' ALL IN To Be Released 8/21 Via Tree Leaf Music



Atlanta, GA --- Lefty Williams, Producer Ashley Dennis and Tree Leaf Music have announced an August 21 release date for the singer/songwriter/guitarist's upcoming release ALL IN.  Williams shares, "Paul Diaz and I have been friends for years. About two years ago when he heard the demos he signed me on the spot.  I could not be happier to be a part of the new label Tree Leaf Music has launched." Diaz echoes these sentiments offering, "Lefty is a uniquely talented writer and performer with wonderful, heartfelt lyrics, and amazing riff oriented guitar playing. We are blessed to be able to help him realize his musical vision at Tree."

The sessions were Produced and Mixed by Ashley Dennis who also represents Williams as management. Williams reflects, "Once we started working together we realized that we think the same way, and share a lot of the same ideas. So we would get into the studio and I would say 'this song needs..' and he would finish my thought and vice-versa. With the new partnership having yielded such immediate and successful results, and with his knowledge and experience working with some of the top artists in The World I was often asking for advice and he was always willing to offer guidance.  In an effort to take this to another level, it seemed like a logical step to hire him to manage me." Dennis adds, "Lefty always impressed me.  His great musicianship and work ethic exhibits that he has found his true Passion.  He always is having fun when he plays.  I was super busy and not looking for any new projects, but one night at a local Jam he hosted in Atlanta he convinced me to listen to some rough ideas of songs he had been working on.  Man, I was blown-away!  I felt a real connection to the songs, and went right to work staying up almost all night in my home studio, mixing the roughs, and plotting a course to build the songs into something huge and wonderful just like Lefty's personality.  When you get to know him - huge heart, wonderful guy to be around, truly inspiring. The next day I called Lefty, advising I can make something happen with these songs for sure, but if we are gonna do it, we have to be 'All in.'  No skimping, do it right, or don't do it at all. Lefty agreed, and with hard work and some favors from great people, the demos turned into a deal with Tree Leaf Music / Paul Diaz, and subsequently recording and mixing at the amazing, world renowned Treesound Studios.  I feel like we accomplished our Mission - good, honest, soulful, heartfelt music from the gut performed by men of flesh and bone with instruments of wood and steel.  I can't wait for the rest of The World to hear and enjoy the great talent that is Lefty Williams."

Lefty Williams has established a respected and endearing reputation as a great rock guitarist and songwriter through the age-old adage of building an audience one fan at a time.  Over the last decade, this legion of supporters has grown exponentially with purity.  His songs have real depth and power.  They are more than just catchy pop numbers that speak to the heart about issues of life and the experiences we all share in the passage of life.  His playing is reminiscent of Jimmy Page, Dickey Betts and Eric Johnson, while at the same time frequently receiving comparison to the great lineage of Georgia reared guitarists that include Robert Cray and Duane Allman.  With the release of ALL IN, and a new relationship with Tree Leaf Music, his future continues to thrive.
Williams released his first CD, BIG PLANS in 2006.  It was produced by John Keane (REM, Widespread Panic), who said, ”Lefty’s sound is a compelling combination of honest, heartfelt lyrics and masterful rhythm and blues muscle."  His next offering SNAKE OIL, issued in 2008, was nominated for Album of the Year by the Homegrown Music Network. His latest ALL IN marks the start of a new alliance with Tree Leaf Music.  The songs are soulful, and exhibit an artist wherein the fact that Williams has only one hand should be nothing more than an afterthought.  The vocals are reminiscent of Plant, Redding and Allman in their expressiveness.  Lyrically, The track "Crescent" captures a story of meeting a girl on a train headed to New Orleans, loosely based on his wife Rayanne taking Williams on a birthday trip on the Crescent Line.  With "You Know I Love You," he pays tribute to his wife on their 10th anniversary and shares, "She puts up with me being on the road all the time, and I wanted her to know that I know we can make it through anything that life throws at us."  "Let It Roll On" is simply a happy song about waking up in a good mood, while "You Don’t Tell Me" is the antithesis as Williams reveals, "I wrote this song in the middle of an argument with my wife."  He continues, "I was ironing my clothes and I was going over the argument in my head. I have always been fond of saying “You don't tell me...I tell you” I'm not sure where it came from but I've said it for years. So when I said it to myself it occurred to me that everybody knows what it's like to go through a break up. At some point everyone wants out of a relationship. Even though I wasn't considering leaving my wife, I decided to write a song about breaking up with someone but not being mad at them, just over it."

Blues stalwart Tinsley Ellis, who played on SNAKE OIL, once shared, "I was knocked out by Lefty the first time I heard his music. I just knew that I had to seek him out and hear more of his stuff. He is a veritable triple threat on certainly guitar, but also as a soulful vocalist and clever songwriter. The fact that he is out there winning over fans one at a time with his nonstop touring schedule is definitely something that I can relate to.”  And with the success he now enjoys, Williams remains humble.  He reflects, "I do not aspire to sell out arenas or be on the cover of Rolling Stone. I will be perfectly happy playing in theaters and touring all over the world. My biggest hope is to get out of the van and into a bus and be able to make a comfortable living playing my guitar. I want to take care of my family, my band members, and the people on my team to the best of my abilities. And, I want to connect with my audience on a deeply personal level that allows me to make life-long fans." If karma plays a part in the existence of humankind, Williams has a lot of good coming back his way as he enters the next chapter of his career with the release of ALL IN.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Alfie Harpo Feat. Papa Joe Band

Alfie Harpo (born under the name Alfredo Barranco) brought his smoking Harmonica riffs to America and immediately earned a small nomination at the 1999 Handy Music Award in Memphis, TN as part of the Glendora Harp Summit "Sonny Boy Williamson Tribute", Best Communication and Harmonica Teaching and Live Performances. This event was also nominated for a 1999 Keeping The Blues Alive Award at the W.C. Handy Awards, in the categories of education, historical preservation, and Internet communications. With each riveting performance, Alfie proves why he is so honored. His American tour began with The Sonny Boy Williamson Tribute during which he performed with such guests as Sugar Blue, Lee Oskar, Rockin' Jake, Jumpin' Johnny Samson, Blind Mississippi Morris, Arthur Williams, Billy Gibson and Paul D'Lay. He went on to rock Florida's Tobacco Road and dominated the stage with Joey Gilmore Band. Had The Courage To Follow Paul D'Lay at The BB King Blues Club in Memphis, TN. December 04, 1998. Toured in South America from 1992 to 1997. Has established as a National American Act, after touring in New Orleans (LA), Los Angeles (CA), Seattle (WA), Everett (Wa), Vancouver (Wa), Bellingham (Wa), Spoken (Wa), Yakima (Wa) and Deming (Wa). In 2007 started touring with Leon Hendrix, Brother of Guitar Legend "Jimi Hendrix", following 2009 and 2010 at Rock Festivals and played with Leon at 40Th Memorial of Jimi Hendrix in September of 2010 at Jimi Hendrix Park in Seattle, WA. Since 2002 till 2013 has been through stages in Biloxi (MS), Ocean Spring (MS), Miami (FL), Fort Lauderdale (FL), Fort Myers (FL). Alfie Harpo is currently established in Atlanta,GA as his operations base, from where he is reaching over the Southeast Region and developing his forthcoming original production.

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Ruf Records artist: Skinny Molly - Haywire Riot - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Hayride Riot, from Skinny Molly and it's a kick ass rocker. The release opens with If You Don't Care which has the explosiveness of one of my favorite southern rockers, I Ain't The One. Parallels may be drawn from Skynyrd but this band has a sound of it's own. The similarities are a solid cocky singer and blazing guitar riffs laid down on a strong rock beat. Devil In The Bottle is more of a liad back ballad along the lines of earlier Charlie Daniels. The band is filled out by Jay Johnson on lead guitar, Kurt Pietro on drums and Luke Bradshaw on bass. Two Good Wheels is a bit of a country rocker and has a great hook. This is a track that is likely to hit the airwaves hard. Too Bad To Be True is a hard driving rocker with back to back ripping guitar solos. Judge Parker has a real southern rock swagger and Bitin' The Dog kicks dirt in your face. Lie To Me is a ballad more along the lines of John Bon Jovi (if he had any grit). Dodgin' Bullets is a great closing track for this set summing the intensity and grit shown throughout the release. This is a band not straying far from the origin of that southern rock vein but carving it's own path with some great tunes. You want butt kicking rock with a blues edge and a southern drawl...this is it!

  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”


Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sweet Home Chicago - Lil' Joe Burton w/ Mudcat

Joe Burton, affectionately known as "Lil" Joe from Chicago, is the quintessential Blues instrumentalist in a class of his own. "Lil" Joe's career began in 1964 with the late, great Junior Wells. Joe's relationship with Junior continued for years but he also toured with other great acts such as, B.B. King, Bobby Womack, Joe Tex, Otis Clay and many others. He has appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show, Midnight Special, Soul Train and a host of others. Joe is well known throughout Europe and the United States for his heart-wrenching solos and tasteful high-energy performances. His uniquely versatile approach to traditional and contemporary Blues is legendary. He effortlessly blends fat round tones of his trombone with various styles and formats of Roots Music. His recordings include (BB King's) Lucille Talks Back, Guess Who, Mississippi Seeds, L.A. Midnight, BB King & Bobby Bland for the First Time, (Junior Wells) Junior Wells Live at Buddy Guys Legends (which was nominated for a Grammy in 1997) and Junior Wells Live around the World. The Mess is On & Get Your House in Order with Mudcat.  

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 favorite band!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Landslide Records artist: Tinsley Ellis - Get It! - New Release Review

I just got a copy of the newest Tinsley Ellis release, Get It! and it's really strong! Ellis has put together a 10 track all instrumental recording and he demonstrates that you can say a lot without uttering a word. Opening with Front Street Freeze, Ellis cranks up the funk accompanied by Kevin McKendree on keys, Lynn Williams on drums and Ted Pecchio on bass. Ellis plays smokin guitar that he is known for and adds a little Albert Collins sting. Sassy Strat is another track with a funky bottom. Speaking with his own guitar voice and a bit of wah, Ellis takes a Beck, lay back and let it come to me approach on his melodic lead. McKendree keeps the flame hot with Billy Preston like richness. The Milky Way is a very solitude track with quiet drums and organ on the bottom and single line leads not unlike those seen from Dutch guitar great Jan Akkerman. This is a really nice track with a strong melody and smart use of the fretboard. Detour is a twistin' Texas infused surf track with great guitar riffs, double stops, reverb and effects. Is there beach in Texas... damn straight! This track should see a lot of airplay due to it's refreshing sound and cool beat. Anthem For A Fallen Hero is a classic guitar ballad... the kind of stuff that has made Bonamassa and Moore rich and famous. It is nicely constructed and crisply played. Get It! is a hot Texas style loping blues track with great guitar sounds. McKendree adds just the right amount of keys to Williams drumming to give Ellis a great platform to lay down the goods. This is one of the hottest tracks on the release! Fuzzbuster is a blues rock reminding me quite a bit of ZZ Top in attack but with some real great fuzzy guitar riffs. McKendree has the piano rolling and Ellis doesn't hold back on this track at all. This is definitely one not to miss with Williams keeping you on the path with simple solid beat structure. Freddy's Midnight Dream is another guitar ballad but this time with a country twist really calling to mind Roy Buchanan, Danny Gatton or young Arlen Roth in composition. This is a great track with layers of key work paving the way for Ellis to show his mastery of soul, blues and country all at once. Berry Tossin' has a bit of Chuck Berry flavor mixed into a basic 12 bar structure as thought by Freddie King and then well digested in technicolor by Ellis. McKendree plays some particularly cool piano riffs on this track as well so take note. Catalunya crosses another bridge altogether... David Gilmore's brother born in Atlanta, and jammed with Santana? Ellis takes from what he hears and does an excellent job of creating his own sound from bits of life. On this track with it's Latin rhythm and searing guitar riffs, Ellis creates a sound unique to him. It is an excellent conclusion to a very strong blues guitar release. You like guitar? You like Blues? This is a real good release!

 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”


Friday, April 12, 2013

Devon Allman Exclusive Video Premiere April 15th on

Devon Allman Exclusive Video Premiere April 15th on
“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”
From Solo-Debut CD: Turquoise
Atlanta, GA- presents the exclusive premiere of the Devon Allman video, “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”, from his Ruf Records release, Turquoise, on Monday, April 15. A five day exclusive run will coincide with him and his band, Royal Southern Brotherhood and their appearance at the Wanee Festival on April 18th, ending on Friday, April 19th. This rock classic is a duet with label mate and Blues Music Award winner, Samantha Fish, whose vocals are sassy and smart; melding with Devon’s strong rich voice.

“Tom Petty has always been one of my favorite artists,” says Devon. “This song totally takes me back to my youth. I'm really pleased Samantha and I get to turn on a new generation to this classic tune. We slowed it down a bit and made it a little sexier.  New Orleans is the most photogenic city in America, so the video shoot was effortless.”

Directed by Mark Bergeron with Nate Tape as Director of Photography and Arthur Reed as producer, the three were able to use the city of New Orleans and all its romance to give the desperate song some vivid color. For the video shoot, they took to the streets of New Orleans, where the “romantic couple” are walking the streets trying to find each other. They filmed it at various points, the famous Chickie Wah Wah’s music club, a little streetcar riding and cameos were made by Royal Southern Brotherhood members, Cyril Neville and Charlie Wooton.

Turquoise was released on February 12 on Ruf Records to glowing reviews from USA TODAY, Texas Music Magazine, Hittin’ the Note, and of course, Relix. “These songs are very special to me,” says Allman. “It’s part ‘dusty road driving music’ and part ‘tropical getaway’ music. These are the stories, feelings and reflections from my last couple of decades of forging my musical path.” The CD was produced and mixed by multi-Grammy winner Jim Gaines and recorded at his Bessie Blue Studios in Stantonville, Tennessee, as well as at Ardent Studios in Memphis. Ruf Records is distributed by Allegro worldwide.

So tune in to come Monday for the Premiere of Devon Allman “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

It's Too Late - Chuck Willis

Harold "Chuck" Willis (January 31, 1928 – April 10, 1958) was an American blues, rhythm and blues, and rock and roll singer and songwriter. His biggest hits, "C. C. Rider" (1957) and "What Am I Living For" (1958), both reached No.1 on the Billboard R&B chart. He was known as The King of the Stroll for his performance of the 1950s dance The Stroll. Willis was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Willis was spotted at a talent contest by Atlanta radio disc jockey Zenas Sears, who became his manager and helped him to sign with Columbia Records in 1951. After one single, Willis began recording on a Columbia subsidiary, Okeh. During his stay at Okeh, he established himself as a popular R&B singer and songwriter. In 1956, he moved to Atlantic Records where he had immediate success with "It's Too Late (She's Gone)", "Juanita" and "Love Me Cherry". His most successful recording was "C.C. Rider", which topped the US Billboard R&B chart in 1957 and also crossed over and sold well in the pop market. "C.C. Rider" was a remake of a twelve-bar blues, performed by Ma Rainey in Atlanta before Willis was born. Its relaxed beat, combined with a mellow vibraphone backing and chorus, inspired the emergence of the popular dance, The Stroll. Willis's follow-up was "Betty and Dupree", another "stroll" song, which also did well. Willis' single "Going to the River", a song by Fats Domino, was a prototype for his "stroll" sound, reaching No.4 on the R&B chart. Willis, who had suffered from stomach ulcers for many years, died during surgery in Chicago of peritonitis while at the peak of his career, just after the release of his last single, "What Am I Living For?", backed by "Hang Up My Rock & Roll Shoes". "What Am I Living For?" sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. It was also the top R&B disc of 1958. His hit, the blues ballad "It's Too Late (She's Gone)" was covered by other artists, including Otis Redding, Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Eric Clapton's Derek and the Dominos and the Jerry Garcia Band. In 2005, it was heavily sampled by Kanye West on Late Registration's "Gone". Elvis Presley covered "I Feel So Bad" and "C. C. Rider" and Ruth Brown and Conway Twitty had hits with "Oh What a Dream". Willis's cousin is Chick Willis.  

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 favorite band!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

How Long - Eddie Chamblee

Edwin Leon Chamblee (24 February 1920 – 1 May 1999), known as Eddie "Long Gone" Chamblee, was an American tenor and alto saxophonist, and occasional vocalist, who played jazz and R&B. He was born in Atlanta, Georgia, and grew up in Chicago where he began learning the saxophone at the age of 12. After leaving Wendell Phillips High School, he studied law at Chicago State University, playing in clubs in the evenings and at weekends. He played in US Army bands between 1941 and 1946. After leaving the army, he joined Miracle Records. He played on Sonny Thompson's hit record "Long Gone" in 1948, and on its follow-up, "Late Freight", credited to the Sonny Thompson Quintet featuring Eddie Chamblee. Both records reached no. 1 on the national Billboard R&B chart. Two follow-up records, "Blue Dreams" and "Back Street", also made the R&B chart in 1949. From 1947, he led his own band in Chicago clubs, as well as continuing to record with Thompson and on other sessions in Chicago, including The Four Blazes' no. 1 R&B hit "Mary Jo" in 1952. In 1954 he joined Lionel Hampton's band for two years, touring in Europe, before returning to lead his own group in Chicago. He accompanied both Amos Milburn and Lowell Fulson on some of their recordings, and then worked as accompanist to Dinah Washington on many of her successful recordings in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The two performed vocal duets in a style similar to that later adopted by Washington with Brook Benton, and were briefly married; he was her fifth husband. Chamblee also recorded for the Mercury and EmArcy labels, and with his own group in the early 1960s for the Roulette and Prestige labels. In the 1970s he rejoined Hampton for tours of Europe, where he also played with Milt Buckner, and he recorded for the French Black & Blue label. He also performed with the Count Basie Orchestra in 1982, and from the 1980s until his death with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, as well as in clubs in New York City. He died in New York in 1999 at the age of 79.
  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 favorite band!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Who'll Get It When I'm Gone - Mary Jackson, Perry Bradford's Jazz Phools

Perry Bradford (14 February 1893, Montgomery, Alabama – 20 April 1970, New York City) was an African-American composer, songwriter, and vaudeville performer. Perry Bradford grew up in Atlanta, where his family moved when he was six, and in 1906 started working with minstrel shows. He played in Chicago as a solo pianist as early as 1909 and visited New York City the following year. Through extensive experience with traveling minstrel shows and theatre companies, Bradford obtained huge exposure and experience to African American folksongs. A huge feat of Bradford’s was severing the walls of racial prejudice that kept African-American singers from recording. He is, too often, unrecognized for this accomplishment. Prior to Bradford’s influence, African-American artists recorded in a style that was closely similar to those of white dance orchestras. There was little to no trace of African-American musical characteristics present in their recordings. Bradford persevered in getting the recording industry to value recordings of African-American artists recording in the style of their own subculture. As a pianist, singer, dancer and composer, Bradford worked in theatre circuits throughout the South and into the North for the next decade (1908–1919) in a song and dance act billed as "Bradford and Jeanette"., While in New York City, Bradford convinced Fred Hager, of Okeh Records, to record Mamie Smith and became her musical director. Smith starred in Bradford's show Made in Harlem (1918). Bradford was also responsible for Smith being the first African-American blues singer to appear on record (singing his "Crazy Blues") in 1920. Bradford claimed that his revue, Made in Harlem, was the first stage production that offered blues matter to the large, northern audience in Harlem. Bradford was able to organize the first recording session, “That Thing Called Love,” that highlighted an African-American artist, accompanied by a white studio band, performing material specific to the African-American culture. He had offices in the Gaiety Theatre office building in Times Square. Bradford toured and recorded with Smith, worked with Alberta Hunter and also headed seven recording sessions of his own during 1923–1927. Among Bradford's sidemen were Johnny Dunn, Bubber Miley, Garvin Bushell, Louis Armstrong (on two numbers in 1925), Buster Bailey, and James P. Johnson. Bradford continued to promote blues and jazz recordings by publishing and managing. Bradford’s influence in the recording industry was negatively affected by the crash of the stock market, as well as by changes in the character of jazz and African-American songs. He was an irregular participant after the 1940s. With the rise of the Great Depression, Bradford slipped away into obscurity. In later years, he appeared to exaggerate his role in early blues, possibly a reaction to his being nearly forgotten. In 1957, Little Richard had a hit with Bradford's "Keep A-Knockin'". In 1965, Bradford's autobiography Born With the Blues was published (New York: Oak Publications) with a foreword by Noble Sissle. Bradford's best-known songs were "Crazy Blues", "That Thing Called Love", and "You Can't Keep a Good Man Down".

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

He Knows How Much We Can Bear - Clara Hudman

Highly regarded by Thomas A. Dorsey, Clara Ward, and Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer Georgia Peach was born Clara Hudman in Atlanta on October 10, 1899 to Esther Hudman, a devoutly religious woman who raised three children by herself. While they were quite young, Clara and her brothers Ralph and Luther formed a trio and sang for the congregation at Mt. Moriah Baptist Church. Clara became well known throughout Atlanta's African-American religious community as a talented, impromptu vocalist who specialized in "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" and "Daniel in the Lion's Den." Among her friends at that time was a boy nearly ten years her junior who would eventually sermonize and make records as Rev. C.J. Johnson. At the age of 16, Clara quit school and, with permission from the deacons of Mt. Moriah, moved in with the family of Rev. T.T. Gholston, serving as a nurse for Mrs. Gholston, who eventually succumbed to an incurable disease. Only six months after losing his wife, the Reverend married 18-year-old Clara, who was by then anchoring the household as cook and surrogate mother for his two young boys. This union met with considerable resistance from the church members who objected to a mature, recently widowed man of God marrying a considerably younger woman who had resided with the family while his deceased wife was still alive. Attempts at reconciliation through carefully worded sermons and public displays of proper behavior did nothing to dispel the general disapproval, which must have worn away at the Reverend, for after a few years he began hitting the bottle. One Sunday morning he tried to deliver a sermon while intoxicated, grew confused and was unable to finish -- an unforgivable transgression and the last straw as far as his Baptist congregation was concerned. Ostracized and driven from the pulpit, Gholston took Clara and his sons with him to Detroit where he was able to start over with a fresh congregation, although alcoholism appears to have sabotaged their marriage as they split up after relocating to New York City. Lord Let Me Be More Humble in This World According to Clara herself, the turning point in her life and work was the transition from the Baptists to the Pentecostals as she joined Bishop Robert C. Lawton's Refuge Church of Our Lord. She made her first recordings -- as Sister Clara Hudman -- for the Okeh label on Friday, December 12, 1930, assisted by Deacon Leon Davis and Sisters Jordan and Norman, individuals who backed Reverend J.M. Gates on his records during the years 1927-1930. Perhaps it was Gates who put in a word for her with the management at Okeh, for they shared the same studio on the same day and she had some involvement with his congregation back in Atlanta. Her best performance from this session, a fine interpretation of Rev. Charles Albert Tindley's "Stand by Me," is prized for its soulful immediacy and hints at where she was heading as a trailblazing gospel artist. Hudman, whose name is frequently seen listed as Hudmon, was also identified as Clara Belle Gholston and Clara Gholston Brock or Brook. In 1931 and 1932, she recorded at least two versions of "When the Saints Go Marching In," one of which found her in a collaborative duo billed as Rev. Snowball & Sunshine. Her career was bolstered by a great deal of touring and recording, and especially by an appearance at Radio City Music Hall in 1939. By October, 1942, she was recording for Decca with a male vocal group and billed as Georgia Peach. Subsequent achievements and a string of recordings for the Candy, Dot, and Savoy labels place her squarely in league with Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Madame Ernestine B. Washington and Mahalia Jackson. Georgia Peach passed on in 1966. Her recordings have gradually become available in reissue compilations, and an excellent sampling was released in 2005 by the Gospel Friend label under the title Lord Let Me Be More Humble in This World. A truly comprehensive survey of her complete works, however, has yet to be assembled. 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 favorite band!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

If Dreams Were Money - Michael Allman

Michael Allman - Biography Michael Allman is the eldest son of Southern Rock Legend Gregg Allman. That doesn't mean that his musical path has been paved with gold. Born in Daytona Beach, Florida, he led the “Michael Allman Band” throughout most of the 1990's before he traded it in for the serenity of domestic life. It was during this period that he faced his greatest obstacle, testicular cancer in 2002. After a full recovery, Michael decided to give music another attempt and in mid 2007 began singing and writing again. In 2008 he started recording his debut CD. During that year he kept busy while working on his CD, by making over 100 guest appearances with many different bands and musicians from coast to coast. In January 2009 he formed the “Allman-Tyler Band” w/ guitarist Tony Tyler. After the Spring 2009 ATB tour, he went back to work on his debut CD. In the Fall of 2009, he completed and released “Michael Allman’s Hard Labor Creek” on his own All-Skinn Music Group label. With an almost ghostly likeness to his father, his world-weary voice and sheer power of the music seeps into your soul and you realize this is the real thing. Allman is planning a Spring 2010 U.S. Tour to support the CD with songs like “Circus Full of Clowns”, “If Dreams Were Money” and the unique “ Mule Named Whiskey” that will make everyone, young and old want to dance. 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!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

LIVE THE LIFE - Billy Wright

Billy Wright (May 21, 1932 – October 28, 1991) was an American jump blues singer. Billy Wright was born in Atlanta, Georgia. Throughout his career, he was known as the "Prince of the Blues." He was a key figure in Atlanta blues after World War II and had a major influence on rock and roll pioneer Little Richard, whom he helped get his first recording contract. He recorded his last recordings in 1959. He continued to do shows around Atlanta until he suffered a stroke, and then died of a pulmonary embolism, just before his 1991 Halloween Show at the Royal Peacock in Atlanta. 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!

Friday, September 21, 2012

HE MAY BE YOUR MAN - Trixie Smith

Trixie Smith (1895 – September 21, 1943) was an African American blues singer, recording artist, vaudeville entertainer, and actress. She made four dozen recordings. Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, she came from a middle class-background. She attended Selma University in Alabama before moving to New York around 1915. Smith worked in minstrel shows and on the TOBA vaudeville circuit, before making her first recordings for the Black Swan label in 1922. Amongst these were "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)" (1922), written by J. Berni Barbour, of historic interest as the first secular recording to reference the phrase "rock and roll". Her record inspired various lyrical elaborations, such as "Rock That Thing" by Lil Johnson and "Rock Me Mama" by Ikey Robinson. Also in 1922, Trixie Smith won first place and a silver cup in a blues singing contest at the Inter-Manhattan Casino in New York, sponsored by dancer Irene Castle, with her song "Trixie's Blues," singing against Alice Carter, Daisy Martin and Lucille Hegamin. She is most remembered for "Railroad Blues," (1925) a song that featured one of Smith's most inspired vocal performances on record, and "The World Is Jazz Crazy and So Am I" (1925). Both songs feature Louis Armstrong on cornet. A highly polished performer, her records include several outstanding examples of the blues on which she is accompanied by artists such as James P. Johnson, and Freddie Keppard. She recorded with Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra for Paramount Records in 1924–1925. As her career as a blues singer waned, mostly she sustained herself by performing in cabaret revues, and starring in musical revues such as New York Revue (1928) and Next Door Neighbors (1928) at the Lincoln Theatre in Harlem. Smith also appeared in Mae West's short-lived 1931 Broadway effort, The Constant Sinner. Two years later, she was elevated to the stage of the Theatre Guild for its production of Louisiana. She appeared in four movies: God's Step Children (1938), Swing! (1938), Drums o' Voodoo (1934), and The Black King (1932). Two of these films were directed by Oscar Micheaux. She appeared at John H. Hammond's "From Spirituals to Swing" concert in 1938, and recorded seven titles during 1938–1939. Most of her later recordings were with Sidney Bechet for Decca in 1938. In 1939 she cut "No Good Man" with a band including Red Allen and Barney Bigard. Trixie Smith died in New York in 1943, after a brief illness, aged 48. If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Friday, August 10, 2012

Get out of My Life, Woman - Kevin Scott's 5 Spot Jam

Kevin Scott - Bass
Derek Trucks - Slide guitar
Duane Trucks - Drums
Jacob Deaton - Guitar, Backing Vocals
Eric Fontaine - Saxophone
Spencer Pope - Keyboard
Gregory "Wolf" Hodges - Guitar, Lead Vocals
Ben Williams - Drums
Born in St. Petersburg, FL, on Christmas Day, 1984 bassist Kevin Scott hails from Dothan, AL, the peanut capital of the world. Kevin was born into a very musical family that has supported and nurtured his talent from the beginning. Kevin was attached to his bass all through high school and was active in the Alabama music scene. In 2001, Kevin was awarded a scholarship to the International Association of Jazz Educators summer program in New Orleans. Here, Kevin studied under and played with the great New Orleans drummer, Johnny Vidachovich and New Orleans bassist Jesse Boyd. In search of broader musical pastures, Kevin settled in Atlanta, GA, at the age of 19. He soon was caught up in the music scene in the city and became a bass player of great demand. Kevin tours and records with the group Highly Kind, who was recently recorded by producer Johnny Sandlin. Kevin also hosts the open jam at the 5 Spot on Tuesday nights. Some of the groups/players that have sought him out include: Oteil Burbridge, Col. Bruce Hampton, Jimmy Herring, Jeff Sipe, Ike Stubblefield, Grant Green Jr, Bryan Lopes, Yonrico Scott, The Sixes, the Sid Wolf Band, The David Springer Quartet, Kenny Heard, Jacob Deaton and the Collective, The Apositles, Adian Ash Group, the Anton Harris Quartet, Big Shanty, The Big Tasties..etc etc
The Five Spot has become a staple of music and arts in the heart of Little Five Points in Atlanta, Ga. From an intercontinental selection of more than 100 beers to their art-laden walls, there is something at the Five Spot for everyone. The kitchen features a gourmet style deli menu including sandwiches, salads, quesadillas and nachos with many vegetarian and vegan options.

Five Spot is known nationally and internationaly as a multi genre music venue, as well as showcasing the local talents in any given style. From our free Tuesday Musician's Jam, our monthly Monday residencies, and various community events and live shows throughout the week, Five Spot Atlanta has a sound for every listener. Keep track of our calendar and we will be seeing you soon!

MONDAY: 6:00pm- 1:30am
TUESDAY: 6:00pm- 1:30am
WEDNESDAY: 6:00pm - 2:00am
THURSDAY: 6:00pm - 3:00am
FRIDAY: 6:00pm - 3:00am
SATURDAY: Noon - 3:00am
SUNDAY: Noon - Midnight
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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Luther "HOUSEROCKER" Johnson

The latest Luther Johnson (born July 15, 1939) to add his name to the blues directory is an adept singer/guitarist who is a current favorite on the Atlanta blues scene. Proficient in various shadings of the electric blues idiom, Johnson has recently extended his repertoire from covers of blues standards to his own material, performed with the same '50s/'60s flavor.
Johnson taught himself how to play guitar when he was a teenager in Atlanta by listening to records. Soon, he began playing guitar in pickup bands, which gave him the opportunity to support such touring musicians as Johnny Winter. After several years playing in bar bands, Johnson formed his own group, the Houserockers.
Takin' a Bite Outta the Blues
the Houserockers played bars and clubs around Georgia for several years, eventually landing a record contract with Ichiban in 1989. The next year Johnson released his debut album, Takin' A Bite Outta the Blues. Two years later, his second record, Houserockin' Daddy, appeared. Luther "Houserocker" Johnson continued to tour the U.S. throughout the '90s.
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Monday, May 28, 2012

I Heard It Through The Grapevine-Gladys Knight and the Pips

Gladys Maria Knight (born May 28, 1944), known as the "Empress of Soul", is an American singer-songwriter, actress, businesswoman, humanitarian, and author. She is best known for the hits she recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, for both the Motown and Buddah Records labels, with her group Gladys Knight & the Pips, the most famous incarnation of which also included her brother Merald "Bubba" Knight and her cousins Edward Patten and William Guest.
Knight was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the daughter of Sarah Elizabeth (née Woods) and Merald Woodlow Knight, Sr., a postal worker. She first achieved minor fame by winning Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour TV show contest at the age of 7 in 1952. The following year, she, her brother Merald, sister Brenda, and cousins William and Elenor Guest formed a musical group called The Pips (named after another cousin, James "Pip" Woods). By the end of the decade, the act had begun to tour, and had replaced Brenda Knight and Eleanor Guest with Gladys Knight's cousin Edward Patten and friend Langston George.
Gladys Knight & the Pips joined the Motown roster in 1966, and, although regarded as a second-string act, scored several hit singles, including "I Heard It Through the Grapevine", (recorded later by Marvin Gaye), "Friendship Train" (1969), "If I Were Your Woman" (1970), "I Don't Want To Do Wrong" (1971), the Grammy Award winning "Neither One of Us (Wants to Be the First to Say Goodbye)" (1972), and "Daddy Could Swear (I Declare)" (1973). In their early Motown career Gladys Knight and the Pips toured as the opening act for Diana Ross and The Supremes. Gladys Knight stated in her memoirs that Ross kicked her off the tour because the audience's reception to Knight's soulful performance overshadowed her. Berry Gordy later told Gladys that she was giving his act a hard time.
Knight and the Pips perform aboard the aircraft carrier USS Ranger on November 1, 1981.

The act left Motown for a better deal with Buddah Records in 1973, and achieved full-fledged success that year with hits such as the Grammy-winning "Midnight Train to Georgia" (#1 on the pop and R&B chart), "I've Got to Use My Imagination," and "You're the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me". In the summer of 1974, Knight and the Pips recorded the soundtrack to the successful film Claudine with producer Curtis Mayfield. The act was particularly successful in Europe, and especially the United Kingdom. However, a number of the Buddah singles became hits in the UK long after their success in the US. For example, "Midnight Train to Georgia" hit the UK pop charts Top 5 in the summer of 1976, a full three years after its success in the U.S.

During this period of greater recognition, Knight made her motion picture acting debut in the film Pipe Dreams, a romantic drama set in Alaska. The film failed at the box-office, but Knight did receive a Golden Globe Best New Actress nomination.

Knight and the Pips continued to have hits until the late 1970s, when they were forced to record separately due to legal issues, resulting in Knight's first solo LP recordings--Miss Gladys Knight (1978) on Buddah and Gladys Knight (1979) on Columbia Records. Having divorced James Newman II in 1973, Knight married Barry Hankerson (future uncle of R&B singer Aaliyah), then Detroit mayor Coleman Young's executive aide. Knight and Hankerson remained married for four years, during which time they had a son, Shanga Ali. Upon their divorce, Hankerson and Knight were embroiled in a heated custody battle over Shanga Ali.

In the early 1980s, Johnny Mathis invited Gladys to record two duets – "When A Child Is Born" (previously a hit for Mathis) and "The Lord's Prayer".

Signing with Columbia Records in 1980 and restored to its familiar quartet form, Gladys Knight & the Pips began releasing new material. The act enlisted former Motown producers Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson for their first two LPs--About Love (1980) and Touch (1981). During this period, Knight kicked a gambling addiction to the game baccarat.

In 1987, Knight decided to pursue a solo career, and she and the Pips recorded their final LP together, All Our Love (1987), for MCA Records. Its lead single, "Love Overboard", was a successful hit and won a third Grammy for the act as well. After a successful 1988 tour, the Pips retired and Knight began her solo career. Gladys Knight & the Pips were inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame in 1989 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.
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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Hear The Angels Singing - Larry Johnson

Larry Johnson (born May 15, 1938, Atlanta, Georgia, United States) is an American electric blues singer and guitarist.
Johnson's father was a preacher who traveled extensively. This led to Johnson being exposed to blues records by Blind Boy Fuller, who inspired Johnson to learn the rudiments of guitar playing. He served in the Navy between 1955 and 1959, before relocating to New City. After his befriending Brownie and Stick McGhee, Johnson found employment recording with Big Joe Williams, Harry Atkins, and Alec Seward. The latter gave Johnson an introduction to Reverend Gary Davis.

Johnson's first single release was "Catfish Blues" / "So Sweet" (1962), plus he made numerous live appearances with Davis over that decade. In 1971 Johnson released Fast and Funky, but his live playing gradually reduced. A couple of low key albums appeared in the 1980s, before Johnson received more regular live work in the 1990s, particularly in Europe. Whilst there his output included Railroad Man (1990) and Blues for Harlem (1999). Two Gun Green followed in 2002.
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Friday, April 13, 2012


Roy Dunn was one of the last links to the rich Atlanta pre-war blues scene; he had played with Curley Weaver., Buddy Moss and Blind Willie McTell. Know'd Them All is his only album. "This, his only album", Lowry wrote, is as complete a representation of the talents of Roy S. Dunn (a/k/a James Clavin Speed) as could be compiled, and his talents deserve another listening." Dunn passed in 1988.
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