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Showing posts with label Blues Hall of Fame. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Blues Hall of Fame. Show all posts

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Joe Louis Walker Inducted Into The Blues Hall Of Fame

On Wednesday, May 8, guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Joe Louis Walker was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall Of Fame. The induction ceremony was held at the Memphis Marriott Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee.

According to The Blues Foundation, "The Blues Hall of Fame is a historical record of those who have made the blues timeless through performance, documentation, and recording. Since its inception in 1980, The Blues Foundation has inducted new members annually into the Blues Hall of Fame for their historical contribution, impact and overall influence on the blues." Previous inductees include B.B. King, Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin' Wolf and other blues greats.

According to Walker, the induction is humbling. "I am honored to be in the company of the great artists already inducted. It's a dream come true. So many of the other inductees were not alive to appreciate the recognition. I hope to live up to the honor."

The 34th Annual Blues Music Awards will be held this evening, May 9. Walker is nominated for four 2013 Blues Music Awards including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award. His 2012 Alligator Records debut CD, Hellfire, is nominated for Contemporary Blues Album Of The Year. Additionally, Walker is nominated for Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year and Gibson Guitar Guitarist Of The Year. Living Blues magazine named Hellfire the #1 Blues CD of 2012.

The Chicago Tribune's Greg Kot declared Hellfire Walker's "most rock-oriented release," bringing "the kind of fierce embellishments that Jimi Hendrix might've conjured" and that his guitar playing "spins ever wilder and wider into outer space with each solo." The Wall Street Journal's Jim Fusilli says, "Walker's raspy, powerhouse voice is out front while his stinging guitar cuts through the uncluttered arrangements." Walker received massive amounts of radio play and critical praise for Hellfire, and appeared on Conan in March of 2012, where he performed the song Ride All Night.


Sunday, December 25, 2011

BAD BOY - Eddie Taylor

Eddie Taylor (January 29, 1923 – December 25, 1985) was an American electric blues guitarist and singer
Born Edward Taylor in Benoit, Mississippi, United States, as a boy Taylor taught himself to play the guitar. He spent his early years playing at venues around Leland, Mississippi, where he taught his friend Jimmy Reed to play guitar. With a guitar style deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, in 1949 Taylor moved to Chicago, Illinois.

While Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his compatriots in the Chicago blues scene, he nevertheless was an integral part of that era. He is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed, as well as working with John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton, Sam Lay and others. Taylor's own records "Big Town Playboy" and "Bad Boy" on Vee Jay Records became local hits in the 1950s.

Taylor's son Eddie Taylor Jr. is a blues guitarist in Chicago, his stepson Larry Taylor is a blues drummer and vocalist, and his daughter Demetria is a blues vocalist in Chicago. Taylor's wife Vera was the niece of bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns.

Taylor died on Christmas Day in 1985 in Chicago, at age 62, and was interred in an unmarked grave in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1987.
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Sunday, December 11, 2011

Ball and Chain - Big Mama Thornton with Buddy Guy

Willie Mae "Big Mama" Thornton (December 11, 1926 – July 25, 1984) was an American rhythm and blues singer and songwriter. She was the first to record the hit song "Hound Dog" in 1952. The song was #1 on the Billboard R&B charts for seven weeks in 1953. The B-side was "They Call Me Big Mama," and the single sold almost two million copies. Three years later, Elvis Presley recorded his version, based on a version performed by Freddie Bell and the Bellboys. In a similar occurrence, she wrote and recorded "Ball 'n' Chain," which became a hit for her. In 1965 she performed with the American Folk Blues Festival package in Europe. While in England that year, she recorded Big Mama Thornton in Europe and followed it up the next year in San Francisco with Big Mama Thornton with the Chicago Blues Band. Both albums came out on the Arhoolie label. Thornton continued to record for Vanguard, Mercury, and other small labels in the 1970s and to work the blues festival circuit until her death in 1984, the same year she was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

During her career, she appeared on stages from New York City's Apollo Theater in 1952 to the Newport Jazz Festival in 1980, and was nominated for the Blues Music Awards six times. In addition to "Ball 'n' Chain" and "They Call Me Big Mama," Thornton wrote twenty other blues songs.

In the 1970s years of heavy drinking began to hurt Thornton's health. She was in a serious auto accident but recovered to perform at the 1983 Newport Jazz Festival with Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, a recording of which is called The Blues—A Real Summit Meeting on Buddha Records.

Thornton died of a heart attack in Los Angeles on July 25, 1984, at age 57.
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Friday, December 9, 2011

Help Me - Junior Wells

Junior Wells (December 9, 1934 – January 15, 1998), born Amos Wells Blakemore Jr., was an American Chicago blues vocalist, harmonica player, and recording artist. Wells, who was best known for his performances and recordings with Muddy Waters, Earl Hooker, and Buddy Guy, also performed with Bonnie Raitt, The Rolling Stones, and Van Morrison
Junior Wells was born in Memphis, Tennessee, United States, and raised in West Memphis, Arkansas, though other sources report that his birth was in West Memphis. Initially taught by his cousin, Junior Parker, and Sonny Boy Williamson II, Wells learned how to play the harmonica by the age of seven with surprising skill. He moved to Chicago in 1948 with his mother after her divorce and began sitting in with local musicians at house parties and taverns. Wild and rebellious but needing an outlet for his talents, he began performing with The Aces (guitarist brothers Dave and Louis Myers and drummer Fred Below) and developed a more modern amplified harmonica style influenced by Little Walter. In 1952, he made his first recordings, when he replaced Little Walter in Muddy Waters' band and appeared on one of Waters' sessions for Chess Records in 1952. His first recordings as a band leader were made in the following year for States Records. In the later 1950s and early 1960s he also recorded singles for Chief Records and its Profile Records subsidiary, including "Messin' with the Kid", "Come on in This House", and "It Hurts Me Too", which would remain in his repertoire throughout his career. His 1960 Profile single "Little by Little" (written by Chief owner and producer Mel London) reached #23 in the Billboard R&B chart, making it the first of two Wells' singles to enter the chart.

Junior Wells worked with guitarist Buddy Guy in the 1960s, and featured Guy on guitar when he recorded his first album, Hoodoo Man Blues for Delmark Records. Wells and Guy supported the Rolling Stones on numerous occasions in the 1970s. Although his albums South Side Blues Jam (1971) and On Tap (1975) proved he had not lost his aptitude for Chicago blues, his 1980s and 1990s discs were inconsistent. However, 1996's Come On in This House was an intriguing set of classic blues songs with a rotating cast of slide guitarists, among them Alvin Youngblood Hart, Corey Harris, Sonny Landreth and Derek Trucks. Wells made an appearance in the film Blues Brothers 2000, the sequel to The Blues Brothers, which was released in 1998.

Wells continued performing until he was diagnosed with cancer in the summer of 1997. That fall, he suffered a heart attack while undergoing treatment, sending him into a coma. Wells died in Chicago, after succumbing to lymphoma on January 15, 1998, and was interred in the Oak Woods Cemetery, Chicago.
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Thursday, December 8, 2011

RIP Hubert Sumlin - November 16, 1931 to December 4, 2011 - Bob Corritore correspondent

  • Best known for his extraordinary guitar work on the 1950s and 1960s recordings of Howlin' Wolf, Hubert Sumlin is considered among the greatest guitarists of all time. Hubert passed away of a heart attack on Sunday, Dec 4 after a long bout with respiratory illness. He was 80 years old. Though his health had been problematic for years, he continued to tour and delight concert and festival audiences until close to the end. Born in Greenville, Mississippi in 1931 and raised in Hughes, Arkansas, Hubert got his first guitar at age 6. Hubert was very interested in music and as a boy snuck into a nightclub to see Howlin' Wolf perform. Hubert's youthful enthusiasm won Wolf's heart, who took the young boy in and developed a father-like mentoring role with Hubert. Wolf would move to Chicago in 1953 and a year later would call for Hubert to move to Chicago to join his band. Initially Hubert  played a secondary role in the group with guitarist Jody Williams getting most of the limelight.  But when Jody left the band about 2 years later, Hubert became the star guitarist. Hubert's unorthodox approach, using innovative rhythmic textural lines and wild bursts of lead guitar, became an integral part of the Howlin' Wolf sound., Howlin' Wolf and Muddy Waters reportedly had a rivalry going as to who had the top blues band in Chicago (both were amazing bands) and for a short period of time Muddy recruited Hubert away from Wolf only to have Hubert return to Wolf's band and never leave again. Hubert's guitar was an essential and consistent part of the success of Wolf's recordings and live shows. The music achieved by the Wolf / Sumlin combination reached the highest of heights in the blues. When Howlin' Wolf recorded the London Sessions in 1970, Hubert began a life long relationship with UK blues artists like Eric Clapton and The Rolling Stones. In 1976, when Wolf died, Hubert was devastated. At first Eddie Shaw (Wolf's saxophonist) tried to keep the Howlin' Wolf band together but Hubert would drift: spending time in Austin, Texas under the care of Clifford Antone, or in Chicago where he stayed with Sunnyland Slim. In addition to recordings with Wolf, Hubert appeared on Chicago sessions with Eddie Shaw & The Wolf Gang, Andrew McMahon, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Carey Bell, Little Eddie, Big Mac, and others. He recorded numerous albums under his own name for L+R, Black Top, Tone-Cool, Rykodisc, APO, JSP, Blind Pig, Blues Planet, Blues Special and other labels. At a point, under the guidance of manager Toni Ann Mamary, Hubert  started to get his due as the guitar legend he was. Hubert found himself hanging around and performing with rock stars, playing major festivals, and having his historic bio, Incurable Blues, published. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2008, Through all this notoriety, Hubert remained the kind, gentle soul with the same boyish enthusiasm that first befriended the Howlin' Wolf. His guitar playing was always intriguing, unorthodox, and impossible to copy. As he was bedridden and nearing the last hours of his life, his final request was to play his guitar one last  time. We thank Hubert for the light of joy he shined on the world and the heavenly music that he left for future generations to behold. He was our blues blessing. Special thanks to Hugh Southard of Blue Mountain Artists, Bob Margolin, and Little Frank who worked with him frequently on the road in recent years, Pat MorganJames Cotton, Paul Oscher, Kim Wilson, Amanda Taylor, Diunna Greenleaf, Twist Turner, Little Mike, and all his friends and fans who all were there at all times to support Hubert.
To see some amazing videos of Hubert Sumlin with the Howlin' Wolf:
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Hubert Sumlin Funeral Information:
Sunday, December 11, 2011 - Viewing and Receiving of guests
2- 4 PM & 7 - 9PM
Festa Memorial
111 Union Blvd.
Totowa, NJ 07512

Phone: (973) 790-8686
Monday, December 12, 2011 - Funeral Service10AM
Festa Memorial
111 Union Blvd.
Totowa, NJ 07512Phone: (973) 790-8686

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - Chicago Area Musical Celebration Of Life


6615 W. Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, Illinois 60402

7pm doors, Donations accepted at door.

Many musicians will honor Hubert this night.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Hubert Sumlin dead at 80

Hubert Sumlin, the longtime collaborator with Howlin' Wolf whose playing on such songs as "Wang Dang Doodle," "Spoonful" and "Backdoor Man" influenced generations of guitarists died Sunday in New Jersey. He was 80.

Sumlin was ranked number 43 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time and was a mainstay of the Chicago blues scene. He was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2008. Sumlin influenced Keith Richards, Jimi Hendrix and Frank Zappa, among others.

Hubert Sumlin was born in Mississippi, raised in Arkansas and moved to Chicago to play with Howlin' Wolf. After Wolf's death in 1976, Sumlin continued to play with the rest of Wolf's band under the name The Wolf Gang.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2002 and had a lung removed. In recent years Sumlin continued to perform when his health permitted.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The Michael Packer Blues Band rolled into Chicago from New York City on Wednesday morning October 19th tired, ragged but ready to donate their time for a celebration of David Honeyboy Edwards life in a evening performance of blues. Buddy Guy's Legends club opened about 11 am and to my surprise and delight when I introduced myself and told the manager that we had just drove from New York. He said ":Welcome!" and with open arms proceeded to show us 2 green rooms upstairs where we could relax and take it easy so we would be ready for the nights event. They basically gave us the run of the joint. My hat goes off to the management and staff @ Buddy Guys. They made us feel at home and we were. Home of the blues in Chicago.

The night started with a VIP party and acoustic acts with everyone telling their Honeyboy Edwards stories. To me the highlite was listening to Liz Mandeville who has recorded several CDs for Earwig Music which is owned by Honeyboy's manager and side-kick for 40 years Michael Frank. I had the honor of presenting Michael Frank with a Blues Hall Of Fame Award as well as a Blues Hall Of Fame Legendary Blues Artist Award for Honeyboy which was given to his family.

My band shortly took the stage and brought our New York blues to Chicago and got the party started. By the looks of the faces of the crowd we brought some joy and that is what Honeyboy was all about so we did our job. It then proceeded into a jam with guest artists most notably Earwig Artist Tim Woods and Blue Skunk artist harmonica ace Deak Harp. Grammy nominees Ronnie and Wayne Brooks and their band took the stage with the marvelous Chicago harp player Billy Branch. The night concluded with the real deal Chicago Bluesman Johnny Drummer.

The event was a huge success raising money for The Honeyboy Edwards Fund @ The National Blues Museum. The Michael Packer Blues Band made our way into the night soon after Johnny Drummer sang "Sweet Home Chicago". We had a gig in New Jersey the next day. The Chicago blues and Honeboy Edwards were still in are heads but most of all in our hearts when we headed east on route 80 as we took the blues highway home.
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Sunday, October 16, 2011

Baby Please Don't Go - Big Joe Williams

Joseph Lee Williams (October 16, 1903 – December 17, 1982), billed throughout his career as Big Joe Williams, was an American Delta blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, notable for the distinctive sound of his nine-string guitar. Performing over four decades, he recorded such songs as "Baby Please Don't Go", "Crawlin' King Snake" and "Peach Orchard Mama" for a variety of record labels, including Bluebird, Delmark, Okeh, Prestige and Vocalion. Williams was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame on October 4, 1992.

Blues historian Barry Lee Pearson (Sounds Good to Me: The Bluesman's Story, Virginia Piedmont Blues) attempted to document the gritty intensity of the Big Joe persona in this description:

When I saw him playing at Mike Bloomfield's "blues night" at the Fickle Pickle, Williams was playing an electric nine-string guitar through a small ramshackle amp with a pie plate nailed to it and a beer can dangling against that. When he played, everything rattled but Big Joe himself. The total effect of this incredible apparatus produced the most buzzing, sizzling, African-sounding music I have ever heard

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Goin' Down Slow Medely - Bobby " Blue " Bland & Kenny Neal

Kenny Neal (born October 14, 1957, New Orleans, Louisiana, son of Raful Neal, is a blues guitar player, singer and band member. Neal comes from a musical family and has often performed with his brothers in his band.
Neal preserves the blues sound of his native south Louisiana, as befits someone who learned from Slim Harpo, Buddy Guy and his father, the harmonica player, Raful Neal.

In 1987, Neal cut his debut album for the Florida record producer, Bob Greenlee — an updated swamp feast initially marketed on King Snake Records as Bio on the Bayou. Alligator Records picked it up the following year, retitled it Big News from Baton Rouge!!

In 1991 he also proved to be a talented actor in the Broadway production of the folk musical Mule Bone (by Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston), singing numbers written by Taj Mahal.

Neal has played with blues stars including Lucky Peterson and Lazy Lester, and was at one time a member of The Downchild Blues Band, during a period of relocation to Toronto.

In September 2006 Neal announced he was taking a year's break from recording and performing, due to an undisclosed illness. He returned to the public eye at the Monterey Blues Festival in June 2007. His illness was also disclosed as Hepatitis C. He has children named Kenny, Syreeta, and Micah.

Lately he is touring with Efes Pilsen Blues Festival.

Robert Calvin Bland (born January 27, 1930) better known as Bobby “Blue” Bland, is an American singer of blues and soul. He is an original member of The Beale Streeters
and is sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues". Along with such artists as Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, and Junior Parker, Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B.

Bobby Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Little Wing - Stevie Ray Vaughan

Stephen Ray "Stevie Ray" Vaughan (October 3, 1954 – August 27, 1990) was an American electric blues guitarist and singer. He was the younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan and frontman for Double Trouble, a band that included bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris Layton. Born in Dallas, Vaughan moved to Austin at the age of 17 and began his music career. Later, producer John H. Hammond arranged a deal with Epic Records in 1983.

Alcohol and drug abuse severely affected his health before he became sober in late 1986. After three years without a new album, he returned to the studio, releasing In Step. The album produced the single "Crossfire" in July 1989, which became a number one hit. On August 26, 1990, Vaughan performed at Alpine Valley Music Theatre as part of his In Step Tour in a triple bill along with Eric Clapton and Robert Cray before an audience of approximately 25,000. Leaving the concert that evening, his helicopter crashed into a nearby ski slope. He was pronounced dead hours later.

Vaughan was an important figure in Texas blues, a loud, swing-driven fusion of blues and rock. He became the leading musician of the blues rock sound, with multiple network television appearances and charting albums. His debut Texas Flood, released in June 1983, became a double-platinum record. Vaughan encompassed multiple styles, including jazz and ballads. Nominated for 12 Grammys, he won six. He won five W. C. Handy Awards and was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000. He is widely considered one of the most respected and influential guitarists of all time.
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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

North Country Blues - Bob Dylan - Newport

Bob Dylan (play /ˈdɪlən/, born Robert Allen Zimmerman on May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly reluctant figurehead of social unrest. A number of his early songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'" became anthems for the US civil rights and anti-war movements. Leaving his initial base in the culture of folk music behind, Dylan proceeded to revolutionize perceptions of the limits of popular music in 1965 with the six-minute single "Like a Rolling Stone".

His lyrics incorporated a variety of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture. Initially inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie, Robert Johnson, Hank Williams, and the performance styles of Buddy Holly and Little Richard, Dylan has both amplified and personalized musical genres. His recording career, spanning fifty years, has explored numerous distinct traditions in American song—from folk, blues and country to gospel, rock and roll, and rockabilly, to English, Scottish, and Irish folk music, embracing even jazz and swing.

Dylan performs with guitar, keyboards, and harmonica. Backed by a changing line-up of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour. His accomplishments as a recording artist and performer have been central to his career, but his greatest contribution is generally considered to be his songwriting.

Since 1994, Dylan has published three books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008, a road called the Bob Dylan Pathway was opened in the singer's honor in his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Blues is Alright - Little Milton

James Milton Campbell, Jr. (September 7, 1934 – August 4, 2005), better known as Little Milton, was an American electric blues, rhythm and blues, and soul singer and guitarist, best known for his hit records "Grits Ain't Groceries" and "We're Gonna Make It."
Milton was born James Milton Campbell, Jr., in the Mississippi Delta town of Inverness and raised in Greenville by a farmer and local blues musician. By age twelve he had learned the guitar and was a street musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock and roll contemporaries. In 1952, while still a teenager playing in local bars, he caught the attention of Ike Turner, who was at that time a talent scout for Sam Phillips' Sun Records. He signed a contract with the label and recorded a number of singles. None of them broke through onto radio or sold well at record stores, however, and Milton left the Sun label by 1955.

After trying several labels without notable success, including Trumpet Records, Milton set up the St. Louis based Bobbin Records label, which ultimately scored a distribution deal with Leonard Chess' Chess Records. As a record producer, Milton helped bring artists such as Albert King and Fontella Bass to fame, while experiencing his own success for the first time. After a number of small format and regional hits, his 1962 single, "So Mean to Me," broke onto the Billboard R&B chart, eventually peaking at #14.

Following a short break to tour, managing other acts, and spending time recording new material, he returned to music in 1965 with a more polished sound, similar to that of B.B. King. After the ill-received "Blind Man" (R&B: #86), he released back-to-back hit singles. The first, "We're Gonna Make It," a blues-infused soul song, topped the R&B chart and broke through onto Top 40 radio, a format then dominated largely by white artists. He followed the song with #4 R&B hit "Who's Cheating Who?" All three songs were featured on his album, We're Gonna Make It, released that summer.

Throughout the late 1960s Milton released a number of moderately successful singles, but did not issue a further album until 1969, with Grits Ain't Groceries featuring his hit of the same name, as well as "Just a Little Bit" and "Baby, I Love You". With the death of Leonard Chess the same year, Milton's distributor, Checker Records fell into disarray, and Milton joined the Stax label two years later. Adding complex orchestration to his works, Milton scored hits with "That's What Love Will Make You Do" and "What It Is" from his live album, What It Is: Live at Montreux. He appeared in the documentary film, Wattstax, which was released in 1973. Stax, however, had been losing money since late in the previous decade and was forced into bankruptcy in 1975.

After leaving Stax, Milton struggled to maintain a career, moving first to Evidence, then the MCA imprint Mobile Fidelity Records, before finding a home at the independent record label, Malaco Records, where he remained for much of the remainder of his career.[2] His last hit single, "Age Ain't Nothin' But a Number," was released in 1983 from the album of the same name. In 1988, Little Milton was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame and won a W.C. Handy Award. His most final album, Think of Me, was released in May 2005 on the Telarc imprint, and included writing and guitar on three songs by Peter Shoulder of the UK-based blues-rock trio Winterville.

The name 'Little Milton' was reused for Gerald Bostock, the fictional boy poet central to Jethro Tull's 1972 record Thick as a Brick.

Milton died on August 4, 2005 from complications following a stroke.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

RHETT TYLER BENEFIT - Mike Packer correspondent

Guitarist Rhett Tyler is best known for his explosive style of scorching modern blues guitar. Rolling Stone magazine called Rhett "The certain face of future blues"..

Rhett Tyler was born in San Antonio Texas and raised in Mississippi, Ohio and St. Louis Missouri. Rhett attended Berkley School of Music and Mannes College of Music in the early 70's where he honed his skills as a player. He soon became band leader for R&B recording artist Ruth Copeland performing at large concert venues such as the Baltimore Civic Center where Rhett blew the roof off the place and got his first standing ovation. In the 80's Rhett formed the band "Early Warning" and recorded 3 CDs. Most notably were his CD's " Passion " and " Get Tough " which were licensed to the prestigious german based Herman label for european distribution. Rhett has performed at many clubs and festivals world-wide and has shared the stage with some of the greats like Johnny Winter, Elvin Bishop and Lonnie Brooks.

Rhett's career had been rolling along quite nicely. He is going to be inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame in September but life has a way of throwing a few curves at us when we least expect it. This summer Rhett got seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. He nearly died. He has survived and is recouperating at his home in upstate New York.

The blues community which it does so often to help their fellow musicians are throwing a party in honor of Rhett to help raise money for his medical bills. It will take place Sunday August 21, 2011 @ 2pm at Brians Backyard BBQ, 1665 Route 211 East, Middletown NY TEL- 845-692-3227. The benefit was organized by Roxy Perry who is known as the New York Queen of the Blues. Now I know why they call her the queen. She is a fabulous singer but it goes further then that she has a big, big heart. This is going to be a fantastic event so please come out and help Rhett get on his feet and playing his guitar again. He's awsome!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

SIX STRING SHOWDOWN - Mike Packer correspondent

New York City was alive with the blues last Sunday July 31, 2011 when the New York City Blues Society featured 13 of the finest blues guitar players in the NYC area. The event was called " The Six String Showdown" and took place at the historic Kenny's Castaway's on Bleecker Street in Greenwhich Village.

It was an all day affair. New Jersey bluesman Nasty Ned and his terrific band started off the party with some slamming Chicago blues. Ned happened to be the only harp player invited to this guitar shindig. Ned's house band did an excellent job of backing up the long list of performers: Andy Story, Bennett Harris, Myself (Nasty Ned & Ed Jackson joined me on stage), Bill Sims, Chris Berguson, Dave Fields, Geoof Hartwell, Jason Green, David Coppa, Joe Taino, Johnny Childs, Matt Daniels and Brooklyn's own Michael Hill.

Johnny Childs who is the founder of The NYC Blues Society hosted this event of 200 plus blues fans and musicians. Johnny who is a fabulous guitarist along with his gal Jesse created a down home atmosphere which was appreciated by all who attended.

Some of the highlights for me was seeing Bill Sims Jr. perform. Bill is a legendary NYC guitarist. I have known Bill since the early days @ Dan Lynch Blues Bar and he is truly authentic. Bill will soon be inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame in September.
I also completely enjoyed the guitar playing of 27 year old Matt Daniels who is down right phenomenal. He is also a member of The Mikey Jr. Blues Band from South Philly.
It is hard for me to feature all the guitarists here in this blog but I guarantee you they all are exciting and if your in the New York City area check them out. There is a thriving blues scene in NYC and we are keeping the blues alive!
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Thursday, June 9, 2011

All Over Again - B.B. King

Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925), known by the stage name B.B. King, is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter acclaimed for his expressive singing and fluid, complex guitar playing.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at #3 on its list of the "100 greatest guitarists of all time".[1] According to Edward M. Komara, King "introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed."[2] King has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Monday, May 16, 2011

I'm A Hog For You - Clifton Chenier

Clifton Chenier (June 25, 1925 - December 12, 1987), a Creole French-speaking native of Opelousas, Louisiana, was an eminent performer and recording artist of Zydeco, which arose from Cajun and Creole music, with R&B, jazz, and blues influences. He played the accordion and won a Grammy Award in 1983. He also was recognized with a National Heritage Fellowship, and in 1989 was inducted posthumously into the Blues Hall of Fame.