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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 CJ Chenier. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CJ Chenier. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

Jennifer Porter - Sun Come and Shine - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Sun Come and Shine, from Jennifer Porter and it's a fine blend of pop, blues and R&B. Opening with title track, Sun Come and Shine, Porter shows a refined voice with easy presentation and soft clarity, backing herself on B3, and joined by Audrey Wheeler Downing, Layonne Holmes, and Kim Davis on backing vocals, Bernard Purdie on drums, Wilbur Bascombe on bass, Miho Nobuzane on piano, George Naha on guitars and Rob Paparozzi on harmonica. With a full King Curtis like sway, Satin Shoes is a real strong composition. Dan Boone's bass line leads the track nicely and Porter's voice seems to float above the instrumentation with Steve Jankowski on trumpet, Tom Timko on tenor sax  and Downing, Holmes and Davis on backing vocals. Very nice. Another R&B style track, You're So Easy To Be With, features some fine piano work by Porter to compliment he solid vocals. Boone's bass line, complimenting C.J. Chenier on accordion and punctuation by Jankowski on trumpet and Timko on sax gives the track a real New Orleans flavor. Ballad, Something On Your Mind, has a really nice balance between Christian McBride on bass, Timko on soprano sax and Porter's softly phrased vocals. Very nice. Wrapping the release is an easy country waltz like ballad, I'll Be Here, featuring Porter singing backing to her own lead in very nice fashion. With Buddy Savino on bass Nobuane on piano and featuring Cindy Cashdollar on pedal steel, this is a solid closer. 

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Monday, May 22, 2017

15th Annual Blues From the Top Festival: 2 Days of Blues Royalty



Enjoy Fabulous Thunderbirds, Anders Osborne, C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band, Carolyn Wonderland, Alvin Youngblood Hart, And More, All In A Beautiful Mountain Setting!

~ Presented With Pride By The Grand County Blues Society,
In Memory of Blues From The Top Founder, John Catt ~

Saturday, June 24 (11am to 6pm); Sunday, June 25 (10:30am to 6pm)

  (Winter Park, CO) - Announcing the 15th Annual Blues From The Top Festival, two big days of blues royalty in a beautiful mountain setting, located at Hideaway Park, 78820 US Highway 40, taking place Saturday, June 24 and Sunday, June 25. Gates open 10am, with music from 11am to 6pm (Saturday) and 10:30am to 6pm (Sunday). Currently, General Admission tickets are $30. (one day), $50. (2 days); prices will increase. V.I.P. Experience: $100.00 per day per person, $185. for two days. V.I.P. Seating features Stage Right starting at the Front Row; Daily Buffet; Private Bar with two Complimentary Drinks each day; free water and soft drinks; Shade Tents with tables and chairs; and Private Restrooms. Kids 12 and under, free (when accompanied by an adult). Tickets on sale now at For additional BFFT Festival information visit Blues From The Top is presented with pride by the Grand County Blues Society, in memory of Blues from The Top Founder, John Catt.

  The two-day lineup is packed! Appearing on Saturday, June 24: The Fabulous Thunderbirds featuring Kim Wilson; Little Hurricane; C.J. Chenier & the Red-Hot Louisiana Band; Jimmy Vivino and The Kate Moss 3; Austin Young Band. Sunday, June 25 features performances by Anders Osborne, Carolyn Wonderland, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Analog Son, Danny Franchi, and Mountain Gospel featuring Ali Grayson.

  ~About Some of the Headliners at 15th Annual Blues From The Top ~


 For over thirty years, The Fabulous Thunderbirds have been the quintessential American band. The group’s distinctive and powerful sound, influenced by a diversity of musical styles, manifested itself into a unique musical hybrid via such barn-burners as “Tuff Enuff” and “Wrap It Up”. Co-founder Kim Wilson, the sole original member, still spearheads the group as it evolves into its newest incarnation. “We started as a straight blues band”, vocalist and harmonica player Wilson says. “We now incorporate a mixture of a lot of different styles. We’re an American music band and we’re much higher energy than we were before.” In addition to Wilson, the current Thunderbirds line-up features Jay Moeller on drums, Johnny Moeller and Mike Keller on guitar, and Randy Bermudes on bass.

  A musical force equipped with the soulful vocals of Janis and the guitar slinging skills of Stevie Ray, Carolyn Wonderland reaches into the depths of the Texas blues tradition with the wit of a poet. She hits the stage with unmatched presence, a true legend in her time. "Carolyn Wonderland's live shows are just outright phenomenal. Top notch, five-stars, off the meter - whatever the clinch., Carolyn and her band meet it...Her voice can be as beautiful as an angel and as powerful as a Class 5 hurricane all within the drop of a hat...One thing's for certain, some forces - even those barely five feet tall - cannot be contained" (ROCKZILLAWORLD). 

  Between the potency of his richly-detailed songwriting, his intensely emotional, soulful vocals and his piercing, expert guitar work, New Orleans' Anders Osborne is a true musical treasure. He is among the most original and visionary musicians writing and performing today. Guitar Player calls him "the poet laureate of Louisiana's fertile roots music scene." New Orlean's Gambit Weekly has honored Osborne as Entertainer of the Year. Osborne's songs have been covered by artists as diverse as Brad Paisley, Tab Benoit, Jonny Lang, Trombone Shorty and Aaron Neville, to name a few. His songs have appeared in multiple feature films. A powerful live performer, Osborne has won over fans through non-stop touring as well as a heralded collaboration with the North Mississippi All-Stars and Southern Soul Assembly.

 Clayton Joseph Chenier, who fronts C.J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band, was born September 28, 1957 - the son of the great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. C.J.'s father was the first Creole musician to win a Grammy Award. C.J. spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas. His earliest musical influences were an eclectic mix of funk, soul, jazz and Motown, and his first musical instruments were piano, tenor saxophone and flute. It wasn't until his 21st birthday, after winning a scholarship and studying music at Texas Southern University, that C.J. first performed with his famous father and the legendary Red Hot Louisiana band.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Simi Valley Cajun-Blues Fest feat. Robert Randolph/Swamp Dogg/John Mayall/C.J. Chenier/Canned Heat/Guitar Shorty/Dwayne Dopsie

 Los Angeles area’s largest Cajun, Zydeco, Blues
and Roots Music festival,
held over Memorial Day weekend, features two stages,
a Mardi Gras parade, kids’ activities, crafts and dozens of food booths
 Festival debut of new blues stage booker Martin Fleischmann.

SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The 25th annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival will rock once again at Memorial Day weekend, May 24-25, at Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Ave., in Simi Valley. The event features two full stages for each of its musical genres. Music will proceed non-stop each day from 12 noon until 7:30 p.m. Tickets, $22 adults 13+ and $15 children 7-12, are available online at or at the gate. Parking is ample and free. Fast-moving California Hwy. 118 (Ronald Reagan Freeway) can be taken to the Stearns Street exit; the festival is four blocks south.
The blues stage presents its strongest bill ever featuring Robert Randolph & the Family Band, the American funk and soul ensemble led by pedal steel guitarist Robert Randolph; Los Angeles-based Southern soul and blues legend Swamp Dogg; British blues patriarch John Mayall; blues revival pioneers Canned Heat; Texas-born bluesman Guitar Shorty; and Blues Music Award-winning singer and guitarist Tommy Castro. The blues stage will also feature Flattop Tom & His Jump Cats, Nancy & the Nightcrawlers, Dennis Jones and Andy Walo.
Meanwhile, on the Cajun-Zydeco stage, C.J. Cheneir brings the Red Hot Louisiana Band, assembled by his father, Zydeco king, Grammy Lifetime Achievement winner Clifton Chenier. Veteran Zydeco accordionist Nathan Williams Sr. will appear, as will Nathan Williams Jr. & His Zydeco Big Timers. Dwayne Dopsie, hailing from one of the top Zydeco families in the world, will front the Zydeco Hellraisers. Feufollet presents their indie-rock-influenced Cajun music. Southern California’s own Lisa Haley & the Zydecats, a popular attraction at the festival for many years, will return, as will Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic and the Bayou Brothers.
The annual Mardi Gras Parade will take place both days at 4 p.m.
About the performers:
• Robert Randolph & the Family Band first gained national attention with the release of the album Live at the Wetlands in 2002. The group followed with three studio recordings over the next eight years — Unclassified, Colorblind, and We Walk This Road — which, together with tireless touring and unforgettable performances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, won them an expanding and passionate fan base. Randolph’s unprecedented prowess on his instrument garnered him a spot on Rolling Stone’s “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list, and also attracted the attention of such giants as Eric Clapton and Carlos Santana, who have collaborated with him on stage and in the studio. His new album on Blue Note Records is Lickety Split.
• Raunchy, satirical, political, and profane, Swamp Dogg is one of the great cult figures of 20th century American music. The nom du disque of Jerry Williams Jr., an R&B producer and songwriter of the ’60s, Swamp Dogg creates pure Southern soul music anchored on tight grooves and accentuated by horns. His songs are as much about message as music. His albums Total Destruction of the Mind and I’m Not Selling Out, I’m Buying In, both reissued last year, are cult classics. Swamp boasts gold and platinum records for both soul and country covers of his composition “She’s All I Got.” The Northridge resident’s 12-minute live rendition of the Bee Gees’ “Got To Get a Message to You” is not to be missed. A new album is due in the summer 2014.
 John Mayall was born in 1933 and grew up near Manchester, England. It was there as a teenager that he first became attracted to the jazz and blues 78s in his father’s record collection. After an early career in design, Mayall assembled the Bluesbreakers which featured such giants of British music as Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Green, John McVie and Mick Taylor. In 1969 he moved to L.A.’s Laurel Canyon, long a mecca for musicians, where his now U.S.-based Bluebreakers featured Coco Montoya, Walter Trout and Buddy Whittington. Now living short miles from Simi Valley, he continues to record and tour the globe.
• C.J. Chenier was born 1957, the son of the great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. C.J.’s father was the first Creole musician to win a Grammy Award. C.J. spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas. When Clifton died in 1987, C.J. adopted the Red Hot Louisiana Band and recorded his debut album for Arhoolie Records with later recordings on Slash and Alligator Records. His 1995 appearances on the The Daily Show and CNN brought Zydeco music to its widest audiences yet. He accepted a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award on his father's behalf in in 2014.
• Canned Heat rose to fame because their knowledge and love of blues music was both wide and deep. Founded in 1966 by blues historians and record collectors Alan “Blind Owl” Wilson and Bob “The Bear” Hite, the band drew on an encyclopedic knowledge of all phases of the genre and attained two worldwide hits, “On the Road Again” in 1968 and “Going Up the Country” in 1969. Despite the untimely deaths of three of its founding members, Canned Heat has survived under the leadership of Fito de la Parra since the late ’70s.
• Guitar Shorty, a.k.a. David Kearney, was born in Houston in 1939, raised in Kissimee, Fla., and now makes his home in Los Angeles. Over the years he’s played behind T-Bone Walker, Willie Dixon, Guitar Slim, Big Joe Turner, Little Richard, Sam Cooke and fellow Simi Valley Festival performer Swamp Dogg. His recent albums on Evidence and Alligator albums attest to the high energy level of this survivor of blues’ classic era.
• Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers were rated one of the “Top 100 Reasons to Visit Louisiana.” The last of eight children, Dwayne attributes his musical abilities to the influence of his father, Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., a pioneer of Zydeco music. 
• Feufollet: In Feufollet’s repertoire, deathbed ballads meet glockenspiels and omnichords, Cajun French choruses are written on iPhones, and indie-rock vibes invade Acadian archives. The Louisiana-based band is deeply rooted in the francophone soil of Louisiana and pushing boldly into unexplored yet utterly natural varieties of Cajun experience. They are famous for their renditions of heartbreaking songs and rollicking tunes.
• Lisa Haley & the Zydecats: Haley is a fourth-generation fiddler whose maternal family were Irish immigrants, arriving in Roddy Bayou, Louisiana in 1718 to escape a smallpox epidemic. They moved near Hollywood for her mother’s health, where Mickey Mouse Show producer Bob Holoboff offered to make Lisa a Mousekateer. Her parents politely declined, thinking it no life for a young lady. They said the same of Cajun music as a career. Lisa turned down a classical music college scholarship, favoring her more passionate calling: exploring the potential of Cajun and Zydeco potential as a “world music.”
The Blues Stage welcomes a new booker this year, Martin Fleischmann and his company, Rum & Humble. For more than 20 years Rum & Humble has played a key role in presenting some of the world’s most celebrated musical talent (Radiohead, Manu Chao, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few) to Los Angeles audiences, in venues ranging from the Echoplex to the Orpheum Theatre to the Hollywood Bowl. The company has co-produced the Santa Monica Pier’s Twilight Concert Series since 2011. In addition, Rum & Humble has collaborated closely and creatively with artists such as Jackson Browne and Paul Oakenfold as well as with a varied roster of corporate and non-profit clients ranging from KJAZZ Radio to the Conga Room nightclub to the National Geographic Society.
The festival has received national press accolades: “Everywhere you turned, there was something exciting happening. Put this on your 2013 festival calendar,” wrote Blue Revue editor Art Tipaldi, who made the trek from New England. The Blues Blast writer enthused, “I attend many venues and festivals throughout the year but the ones that seem to impress me the most are the ones that serve the community in some way. I highly recommend you put this on your calendar for next Memorial Day weekend.” And the music industry trade journal HITS added, “As the last strains of (Candye) Kane’s set rang in our ears, we left the grounds fully sated by music, food, drink and, as the saying goes, bon temps.”
This family-friendly event boasts a huge kids’ area with bouncers, rock walls, specialty acts, crafts and talent shows.
The festival boasts dozens of food booths featuring a variety of fare: authentic Cajun creations and Southern BBQ as well as multi-cultural cuisine. More than 100 craft booths and retailers will be scattered throughout the festival grounds.
Tickets may be obtained online at
Support of the not-for-profit Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival has benefited dozens of local community, national and international organizations, a list of which may be found at <>.
Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Festival web site:
Read the
11:30 a.m. TBA
12:15 p.m. Dennis Jones
1:35 p.m. Andy Walo
3 p.m. Canned Heat
4:25 p.m. Guitar Shorty
5:50 p.m. John Mayall
10:45 a.m. Dance Lessons
11:30 a.m. Bayou Brotghers
12:25 p.m. Lisa Haley & the Zydecats
1:55 p.m. Feufollet
3:25 p.m. Nathan Williams, Big Nate
4:35 Mardi Gras Parade
4:55 p.m. Nathan Williams Jr. & the Zydeco Big Timers
6:25 C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana Band
12 Noon Nancy & the Nightcrawlers
1:20 Flattop Tom
2:45 Swamp Dogg
4:10 Tommy Castro
5:35 Robert Randolph & the Family Band
CAJUN-ZYDECO STAGE10:45 a.m. Dance Lessons
11:30 a.m. Bayou Brothers
12:25 p.m. Andre Thierry & Zydeco Magic
1:50 p.m. Lisa Haley & the Zydecats
4:20 p.m. Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers
5:45 p.m. C.J. Chenier & the Red Hot Louisiana band
7:10 p.m. Feufollet