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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 California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Steve Samuels - Be Careful With A Fool

Steve Samuels, Sings and plays his song with brother Andrew on Bass. William Clarke, Blues Harp.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

"Spring" into the Blues With Blowin' Smoke Rhythm & Blues Revue at Harvelle's



   (SANTA MONICA, CA) - Come "Spring" into the Blues with popular longtime SoCal blues/soul/r&b ensemble Blowin' Smoke Rhythm & Blues Revue, in concert at iconic longtime beachside venue Harvelle's on Saturday, February 22. 9:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. $10. Harvelle's is located at 1432 S. 4th St., in Santa Monica. Info: (310) 395-1976 or

  Most recently, Blowin' Smoke were voted by MUSIC CONNECTION magazine as a "Hot 100 Live Artist for 2013" in the magazine's year-end issue from among several thousand bands around the United States that vie for the yearly honor.

   Music Connection reviewer Tim Reid Jr. writes, "(bandleader Fuzzy) Knight must know a thing or two about putting the right pieces in place to make a show, as he has done in this case. Even with a couple of subs in the horn section, the clear fact is that Knight is going to present true professionals whenever Blowin' Smoke takes the stand. Knight himself is a quality bass player and bluesy singer with an almost grittier Randy Newman kind of sound. The Fabulous Smokettes live up to their name - working the harmonies and each singer knowing how to take the spotlight when it hits. "Fuzzy" Knight reminds all of us in the modern technological era that real people with real instruments and real personalities playing music that hits the gut and forces the knees to makes one happy to be alive and in the community of other living people."

"Cross Soul Train with American Bandstand and you get a good idea
of what a Blowin' Smoke Rhythm & Blues Revue show is like!"  

   For nearly two decades, Blues/R&B/Soul group Blowin' Smoke has been one of the most in-demand, successful bands on the Southern California live music circuit. Front and center in Blowin' Smoke is its creator, bandleader/bassist/vocalist, Larry "Fuzzy" Knight - whose impressive musical resume' includes a decade-plus stint as bassist for one of the great SoCal bands to emerge from the psychedelic era of the Sixties, Spirit.  Knight has also recently launched a new band project, Sky King, featuring some top-name musicians, all the while keeping Blowin' Smoke going strong. 

  Here's Blowin' Smoke performing Aretha Franklin's "Something's Gold A Hold On Me" recently at Harvelle's. 


Thursday, January 23, 2014

Voodoo Child - Hunter & the Dirty Jacks

Hunter & The Dirty Jacks are a very entertaining and versatile rock & roll band from Los Angeles, California. Blues and roots rock with a vintage sound and modern edge… originals, covers, full electric and rocked to the roof on Sunset Blvd., or all acoustic in a serene setting… both have been done to extreme success. Hunter & The Dirty Jacks comprise a virtual all-star cast of Los Angeles and Orange County-area musicians that have been playing locally and regionally for over ten years apiece. Fronted by lead singer and multi-instrumentalist Hunter Ackerman, and anchored by Jon Siembieda and Carmelo Bonaventura on guitar, Aaron Barnes on bass, and Brian Lara on drums, the Dirty Jacks put forth an extremely high energy, emotionally compelling performance coupled with a rare combination of soulful originals and tasty covers. The sound is rock and roll with a bluesy core, ala the Black Keys, Rolling Stones, Black Crowes, and Jet. The band is very seasoned for all players being in the late 20s and early 30s. The Dirty Jacks debuted at House of Blues Sunset Strip on 9/29/12 to a resounding success and haven’t looked back since. In just a few short months, the band has gone on a tour of Northern California, set up a second tour in June 2013, a third leg in November 2013, and also has established a critically-acclaimed weekly residency that started at the beginning of 2013 at Harvelle’s in Santa Monica (the oldest blues club in Southern California), where all of the admission proceeds and a portion of drink sales benefit feeding the hungry in Santa Monica, as well as teaching foster children music. The previous band to hold the Tuesday residency at Harvelle’s was Vintage Trouble, who is now touring the world opening for The Who. The bandmates have experience playing several casinos in and out of state, House of Blues Sunset, House of Blues Anaheim, Coach House, Harvelle’s, Observatory, Detroit Bar, The Press, Still Water, Whisky a Go Go, Viper Room, and many other venues. The bandmates have collectively shared bills with bands of the likes of Tommy Castro, Eric Sardinas, Coco Montoya, Dave Mason, Walter Trout, Cinderella, Led Zepagain, Wayward Sons, Wild Child, War, and many others. Current press to date – (it) Magazine, ShockBoxTV, 88.1 FM KKJZ, 100.3 FM The Sound L.A., Whoa Magazine, Influentza Magazine, Blues Rock Review, Music On The Left, Santa Monica Mirror, Southland Blues Magazine, Patch, The Argonaut Newspaper, and 88.9 FM KUCI.

  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, January 12, 2014

Ray Jaurique & The Uptown Brothers

Ray Jaurique and The Uptown Brothers are a singer/songwriter/guitar player and three seasoned musicians who are focusing on one thing: Presenting well written, soulful songs, written & sung by Ray. It’s the job of the guys in the band putting a little icing on this musical cake. What seems to separate this band from so many others is the focus on original roots and blues music that are so accessible and easy to tap your toes to. First time listeners comment that Ray’s songs seem so familiar that they swear they may have heard at least one of his songs before. More than once the question has come up. “…Well what (or who) does it sound like?” The short answer might be “ well… it sounds like Ray & The Brothers”. But when pressed to compare, some are pointing to the Memphis & STAX. Others line it as one part Sam Cooke, one part Al Green, one part Albert King, one part Delbert Mc Clinton with a little Holland- Dozier- Holland and Stevie Ray thrown in. It’s a touch of blues, a bit of soul, it rocks, it rolls, it swings and after a couple of listens you can sing along. (It’s pretty friendly stuff.) Its music that speaks to love, heartbreak, bad times, good times, romance and in the end making the most of life

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!

Crooked Eye Tommy Band

Crooked-eye Tommy proudly representing the Santa Barbara Blues Society erupted on the Southern California Blues scene in 2013. Sporting scorching performances; original music firmly rooted in traditional blues, which feels familiar but somehow new. Blame Tommy Marsh’s considerable songwriting, vocal and guitar skills. Capitalizing on local talent, Tommy and his brother Paddy Marsh invited the legendary Jimmy Calire on sax and the deeply grooved, driving rhythm section of Tony Cicero on drums and Glade Rasmussen on bass to join the effort. The result is an irresistible alchemy of veteran experience, raw talent and enthralling original material. Listen and feel what a Crooked Eye can do.

  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, December 26, 2013


The Artist known as Sy Klopps started out as a fictional "recluse prodigy" musician. It was all just a trick played on booking agents by Herbie Herbert, the successful rock and roll "Personal Manager". It was during the relationship building part of phone conversations with fellow music business people, where poking fun and gaming was always expected, that the legend of Sy Klopps was born. Ironically, Herbie decided to become Sy Klopps. Actually bring Klopps to life. The real legend of Sy Klopps started when all Herbie's connections with famous musician friends to jam, gig and record with made it doable and even more importantly, fun. Herbie retired from managment at the tail end of 1993 and jumped headlong into Sy Klopps. It became his passion. He built his own state of the art commercially competitive recording studio and recorded his first album, "Walter Ego". "Walter Ego" was released in 1993 on Guitar Recordings Classic Cuts label. Gigs around the Bay Area and eventually at the Fillmore in San Francisco soon followed. After his first CD, Sy recorded several more: "Old Blue Eye Is Back", "Berkeley Soul", an EP called "High Five" and a Live Video recorded in concert at the Fillmore. Sy has played live gigs with Etta James at the House Of Blues, with Tower of Power and The Doobie Brothers. Joel Selvin of the San Francisco Chronicle dubbed Sy Klopps "The Paul Bunyan of the blues". In 2001, Sy teamed up with Billy Kreutzmann, Neal Schon and some of his other band mates to create a new group called the Trichromes. They realeased a CD called "Dice With The Universe" Sy Klopps was born Walter James Herbert II on Feb. 5th, 1948, at Alta Bates Hospital, in Berkeley, California. His mother was a bank teller, first with Wells Fargo and then Bank of America. She also moonlighted as the accountant and bookeeper for Herbie's father's business, Vulcan Engineering, at 2850 Broadway on Oakland's fabled Auto Row. Dad was an expert machinist and engine builder, providing record-breaking, custom-built racing engines for the drag strip and auto racing circuits. The family lived at 1393 Virginia St., near Acton St. As a boy Herbie attended Jefferson Elementary and Garfield Junior High (later changed to Martin Luther King Jr. Junior High). Herbie spent a lot of time in his father's shop and went with him to the Fremont Drag Strip to watch the races. At eighteen Herbie worked at California Distributors, a parts warehouse also on Auto Row, and displayed an unexpected talent for organization and inventory control. The owners were pleased to learn that Herbie had managed to memorize the entire inventory of the shop, along with all the part numbers. He could instantly call up information about the quantity or availability of anything in the warehouse directly out of his head. In 1962, the San Francisco/Bay Area rapid transit system BART was built and the home on Virginia St. was razed for a parking lot. The law of Eminent Domain forced the family to Orinda. Contra Costa County culture was radically different to the way of life Herbie was used to in Berkeley. The different music, vernacular and attitudes of the new town inspired him to routinely hitchhike after school to Berkeley for a dose of familiarity and sanity. Though only eight miles away from his birthplace it might as well have been 8000. Few others in Orinda would even think of going to Berkeley and Herbie usually hitchhiked alone. Upon arriving in Orinda Herbie briefly attended Miramonte High School but was quickly expelled for mischievious behavior, including a bomb scare hoax that cleared the grounds. Herbie just wanted the day off. He transferred to Campolindo High School, graduating in 1966. During his late teens Herbie stayed busy, working in auto shops, trying a year at Diablo Valley College and even playing drums in a rock band. Herbie had some managing experience with a band called Frumious Bandersnatch, in the East Bay. Though they were known to be famous music critic Ralph Gleason's favorite band, Herbie thought they were just trying to be another Moby Grape. Members of Frumious Bandersnatch (including Ross Valory, David Denny, Bobby Winkleman, and Jack King) went on to become members of the Steve Miller Band. Ross Valory then became a charter member of Journey. On August 5th, 1967, Herbie was called in to get a physical for military service. He contrived ways to get himself out of the obligation. Though he took the physical he snowed the examiners with so many fictional medical maladies they were forced to let him go, if only to rid themselves of his tenacious tirade. Herbie took it upon himself to school his musician friends on ways to be passed over by the draft board. In one instance, he had a friend dress in his own mother's clothing and smear peanut butter between his legs. Herbie figured the medical examiners wouldn't accept a man with no sense of personal hygiene. In another skit of conscientious objection he convinced Ross Valory to spend two days in the Juvenile Psych Ward, drooling on himself and speaking in monosyllabic grunts. And in yet another set-up Herbie borrowed a book on homosexual behavior from the library and insisted two friends study it. He instructed them to play out the part of two boys in love, frantically weeping and kissing each other over the threat of death at the hands of the Vietcong. Oscar-winning performances were given. Herbie's tricks were completely successful in each instance. None of his friends even made it to boot camp. Herbie's nascent hammer of negotiation was being born. His trips away from the staid society of Orinda took him for longer and longer periods of time and finally found him loitering around the Fillmore Auditorium in San Francisco, looking to do something, anything, in the new and exciting realm of rock and roll. When Bill Graham took over the Fillmore West from The Grateful Dead, Herbie was there, doing whatever was called for. He routinely found himself sitting outside Graham's little office listening to one side of the promoter's predatory monolog, taking mental notes. Everybody knew Graham was an uptight square at heart, surrounded by freaks. Herbie, in tie-dye coveralls and hair with its own micro-climate, was no exception. But Herbie paid attention. He stayed close, and listened closer. At the Santana rehearsal studio later that year Herbie was poking around inside a broken amplifier when shouts erupted nearby. It seems that Bill Graham was both booking and managing Santana (a no-no in California law) and the band felt too much of their revenue was being lost by this arrangement. The band had decided to fire Graham, but Santana's personal manager Stan Markum hadn't been able to muster the courage to do the deed. After Stan left the office Graham's secretary gave the secret away. Graham flew into a rage and raced to Santana's rehearsal studio. The sharp-tongued promoter shouted at the band members: "How could you do this to me after all I've done for you?" Gregg Rolie, the keyboard player, took Herbie aside and demanded he do what their manager had been unable to. Herbie told Gregg:"I couldn't do that! He got me my job!" Rolie replied: "We sign your paychecks. If you want to keep getting them you gotta go in there and take care of this problem." Herbie coaxed Graham outside and explained how the band's reasons were fair ones and that the promoter should "take it like a mensch." Miraculously, Graham acquiesced, and showed Herbie a new respect. Herbie remained a roadie with Santana for several more years but Gregg Rolie asserts that was the defining moment when Herbie Herbert became a manager. Herbie was one of two people to ever fire Bill Graham. The original Santana band released four albums during the time Herbie worked with them. He started as a roadie and eventually became the production manager. During his tenure with the band he made significant production advances in sound, lighting, power distribution and trucking. It was needed, too. The quality of live event production in the early Seventies was in a deplorable state. When bands came into sports arenas they had to contract with the venue and promoter for the most basic necessities...lights, sound, even the stage. In 1972 the original Santana group disbanded and Herbie left as well. Under an agreement with Santana Herbie took control of the sound gear, lighting system, power distribution equipment and even the big White Freightliner tractor-trailer rig for hauling it all. With these assets he started his first production company, "Primo Productions", with partners John and Jack Villanueva. Herbie left the Santana camp with a contract for Primo to provide live production for all Santana shows as well as the freedom to contract out Primo's services to the likes of Graham Central Station, Tower Of Power and Jeff Beck. Herbie stayed busy. As manager of Journey Herbie invented efficient logistical systems and profitable business arrangements out of whole cloth, out of his own head, and many of these ideas became standards for the industry. First and foremost, the five members of Journey and Herbie became, under a binding partnership agreement, equal partners in all the dealings of the corporation. And make no mistake, Journey was a corporation. The parent company, Nightmare Inc., furnished the services of Journey to the label and was an umbrella under which several wholly-owned subsidiaries flourished. There was a tour support company for lighting and staging, called Nocturne Productions. There was what is now known as Rebanda Trucking, to get everything where it needed to go. There were music publishing companies: Weedhigh Nightmare (BMI) and Twist and Shout Music (ASCAP). There was a fan club now known as Fan Asylum. There was even a real estate investing group called the Daydream Partnership, to better aggregate office, rehearsal and storage facilities under the Journey name. Any time there was a real need for any kind of service for the band or management, Herbie would find a way to create an in-house business entity to serve that need. By controlling physical assets instead of shuffling sales receipts, Herbie was able to increase the profits for the corporation. His offices had full time promotional, accounting, marketing, merchandising and travel people. His desire to provide state of the art technical and logistical production values to every aspect of live production saw his ancillary companies' assets in high demand. When Journey was not using their production and tour support, it was leased to other acts who could count on the industry standard in live performance staging. But Herbie's negotiating grease was in more than just live performance. He knew that he had to have the label's promotional division behind Journey as well. He worked the employees of CBS, offering pep talks and solutions. He streamlined communication between label and artist. He painted win-win scenarios in a time when the industry was acknowledged by the Wall Street Journal to be in a "downturn." Herbie bucked the status quo by foregoing print and radio advertisments in favor of point of purchase displays at retail stores. In a blur of efficiency he acquired a toll-free number for retailers to call for fast delivery of Journey promotional materials. He rewarded everyone who helped him further the cause. He gave hundreds of gold and silver commemorative albums at his own expense to everyone from label execs to sales clerks. Loyalty and team spirit building grew wherever he went. Herbie could speak the language of the CBS bureaucracy, succesfully exploiting the huge resources of the label. His coach mentality and inexhaustable supply of energy gathered tangible results. And what about the developement of the actual band members? Herbie saw to it that they prepared like warriors for battle. Schooling in singing and movement were followed by subtler approaches like consciousness training. The band submitted to personnel changes and blunt criticism. Herbie had told them up front that he wanted complete autonomy and the Last Word on running Journey's career. Herbie didn't dictate from an ivory tower. Like his mentor, Bill Graham, he got right into the face of his intended ally and went to the mat for what he wanted. And what Herbie wanted usually made sense to most people. Of course, when people wouldn't see things his way he had an answer for that, too. Herbie Herbert celebrated his thirtieth birthday on February 5, 1978, gazing at the nightime sky above the little brown house in Orinda he rented for $300 a month. He was totally broke. Two nickels in his pocket would have been a happy meeting. He was wondering how he was going to pay rent. Here he was at the benchmark age, and still in the business. Beset by a thirty-year-old's doubts, he despaired over whether he had wasted his life. Maybe, he thought, it was time to pull the ripcord and get a real job. It wouldn't be the world's greatest tragedy. He'd accomplished a lot. There would be no shame if he tossed in the towel. He'd been very successful in his early twenties with Santana. Life had been intoxicating and wonderful chasing that dragon. Now, after a long road, Herbie was days away from the release of Journey's fourth album. It was the album that almost didn't get made by the band that almost sank into obscurity. First, some background: The first Journey album had sold over 150,000 copies and was still selling. The second album had sold upwards of a quarter of a million and continued to sell. When the third album sold "only" 100,000 units the label balked. In an era when disco was king, the execs decided it wasn't going to be worth it to support the band. Even though Herbie had put Journey through a successful world tour the band was told by CBS it would be dropped. Anybody else would have frantically cut their losses. Herbie turned the situation to his favor. He convinced the label not to give up on the band. The label agreed but insisted that Journey use Roy Thomas Baker to produce the new record. Herbie agreed on the condition of a rise in Journey's royalty rate. The deal was struck. Herbie found and hired a new singer for the band, someone who could act as a focal point and provide a little heart-throb star appeal along with heart-wrenching vocal skills. Herbie was going to save Journey's future and save his own at the same time. One more swing at the bat was all he asked. Miracles were needed. Walking on water, quacking like a duck and spinning flip-flops had only approximated the wild gesticulations necessary for the label to cough up resources to record "Infinity." Would the record sell? Herbie wasn't going to take any chances. He redoubled his efforts. CBS was smugly certain that Journey would never have a hit. It wouldn't matter what Herbie did. And since, according to the label people, nothing was going to work, Herbie decided to make it happen. He got every A list promoter in the country to agree to headline Journey coast-to-coast and border-to-border at theatres. He did massive point of purchase merchandising, sensing it was where Journey's captive target demographic would be found. He knew there would be no big ticket, mass media advertising by the label. Instead, Herbie went into record stores and worked employees with merchandise and free tickets. Tickets were big currency and front row seats for Journey could get a lot of things done. He created and rallied a frantic and effective Journey fan club. He put Journey's music in airports, on airplanes, in elevators and in shopping malls, anywhere that would increase the public's familiarity with the band's songs. Herbie insisted on high-visibility graphics. Journey toured and toured and toured. For 121 days, starting on March 1st, 1978 in Racine, WI, the so-called DOA tour with Montrose and Van Halen pounded throughout North America. No opportunity to turn even a slight profit was ignored. Every living, breathing lead offering any possibility of increasing Journey's market share was chased down. By early 1979 Journey's fourth album "Infinity" had gone triple platinum without a charting single. Herbie's dream of success had worked beyond his most fantastical imaginings. The industry woke up one morning and realized that Herbie Herbert was: "Da Man." "I was trying to figure out what it was that we had done together. Gregg Rolie, a founding member of Santana and Journey, pointed it out to me one day. We'd been successful and we'd made a lot of money, but it seemed there was another way it needed to be described. Gregg said: 'We risked our lives.' I said: 'There you go. That feels correct to me.' We really did hang it all out and put it on the line. That's the bottom line. It's a risk/reward ratio." Herbie clearly saw the need to control all aspects of his business and, by doing so, save money, build equity and share wealth for himself and his company. Using this new business model the band carried everything to a show. All risers, platforms, lighting, sound, consoles, barricades, the entire stage, all rigging motors and a complete office, with cases full of typewriters, walkie-talkies, etc., traveled with the band. A crew of 30 people traveled with 6 tractor-trailers, putting up the show in four hours and taking it down in two, night after night. Herbie's businesses handled every aspect of lights, sound, trucking, promotion, travel arrangements, rigging and stage costs, recording, video costs, equipment, supplies and repairs. 1982 brought Herbie's logistical genius and technological prowess together in an awe-inspring piece of stagecraft that instantly became the event production benchmark for the entire concert industry. The whole center field wall of a baseball stadium was taken up by a gigantic five panel structure combining a huge stage, two enormous speaker stacks covered by colorful painted scrims and two giant TV screens each about half the size of the stage itself. No one had ever seen a rock and roll show like this before. By using new video image magnification technologies at a live concert every seat in the arena was now a front row seat. Herbie had raised the bar on production quality again. Herbie set about teaching the music business how to really make money. He would tenaciously negotiate for the highest yield per unit sold per dollar grossed, whether songs, t-shirts, tickets or CDs. Under Herbie Herbert's business model all royalties - publishing, licensing, merchandise sales or mail order - were paid directly to the band with no deductions. And all the separate entities of the business were required to be run from the tour profits. Touring was the largest source of income for the band, with Herbie routinely netting 70% of every dollar grossed. Between 1978 and 1988 the members of Journey pocketed over 65% of the gross receipts. By 1986 Herbie Herbert had become a full time empresario in rock and roll. During the golden years of Journey he sheparded the band through a startlingly long string of record-breaking successes. The accomplishments of Journey are well documented: consistent sellouts, ground-breaking stagecraft technologies, endless touring and record breaking sales statistics. Journey has sold well over 50,000,000 albums worldwide and continues to sell to this day. In 1987 it was decided that Journey would take a long hiatus. They had been steadily liquidating assets since 1984 and now wanted to sell Nocturne. Herbie and Journey guitarist Neal Schon bought 100% of Nocturne Productions from the remaining members of the band. Herbie continued to have tremendous management success, guiding the careers of Europe, Roxette and Mr. Big. Those three acts sold another 50,000,000 albums worldwide. Herbie stopped being Journey's manager on January 1st, 1993. He spent one more year managing various acts, including Roxette and the Steve Miller Band before hanging up the jersey of band manager. The personality of Herbie Herbert as big name band manager was now totally historical. It was buried. What does a successful man do when he reaches the top of his game? He evolves. Now the man who bet everything on the audience's love of "showtime," the man whose serious love of major league sports gave him so much pleasure, the man described by the legendary Bill Graham as: "...fully capturing the necessities of what managing should entail and exemplary of what the term manager means" faced a new chapter in a magical life. Walter James Herbert II would reinvent himself again. But this time, he would be in the spotlight, as Sy Klopps.  

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, December 19, 2013

Singer-Songwriter John Zipperer Comes "Full Circle" on New CD, Due February 25, 2014, from Ziptunes

CD Release Show Set for March 1 at Thousand Oaks Library Live Concert Series

LOS ANGELES, CA – Singer-songwriter John Zipperer announces a February 25, 2014, release date for his new CD, Full Circle, on his Ziptunes imprint. Distribution is through CDBaby and the album will be available at Amazon, iTunes and other quality outlets. He’ll celebrate the release of Full Circle with a special show on March 1st at the Thousand Oaks Library as part of their “Live at the Library” concert series, along with an additional artist performance from Ernest Troost. For more information about the show, visit

The 13 tracks on Full Circle include a dozen originals, as well as his unique take on the Van Morrison classic, “Brown-Eyed Girl,” slowing down the tempo to create an even higher focus on the lyrics, which have special relevance to Zipperer. “This recording is a reflection of the love I lost due to my own failings,” he says. “It’s a look back at a wonderful girl whom I hurt through the blindness and the stupidity of my youth. I've always love this song and Van Morrison. I played this in cover bands for years. It always struck me how sad the lyric sounded. I hope Van hears it and likes it.”

The rest of the songs on the new album, which was produced by Nick Kirgo at Disarray Studios and feature backing from members of John’s regular touring band, are very personal in their genesis, yet universal in appeal, dealing with love lost and found, as well as the joys of life, itself.

The opening track, “Sailing Away,” has a decided Jimmy Buffett vibe to it and that’s no accident. “I spent my junior and senior high school years in Jacksonville, Florida, against the backdrop of the St. John’s River,” Zipperer recalls. “A river gets in your blood and brings Jimmy Buffett along for the ride. There is nothing like the peace of being out on the water - and the wardrobe ain't bad either.”

Another song with Jacksonville roots is “Going Downtown.” “Growing up in the southeastern United States you will be influenced by the blues,” he states. “Lynyrd Skynyrd was royalty in Jacksonville and they looked up to artists like Son House, who was a huge influence on artists like Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters. His song ‘Death Letter’ really reached me. I hope he smiles and chuckles a bit at my nod to him and to all the greats. We kept it as earthy and gritty as we dare.”

The title track is another autobiographical song about how John got to this point in his life and career. “I came out to Los Angeles originally to study music but detoured into pursuing acting,” he remembers. “That was a rough yet occasionally rewarding life, but when I came back to music, everything just flowed and I realized I had come back around to my first love. I came full circle.”

“Sing with Me” deals with John’s return to the music he loved. “When I got back into music I started playing with a 78-year-old spoons player named Ed Terry. Eddy didn't sing but it sure didn't take much arm twisting to get him started. He would sing ‘You Are My Sunshine’ and he was so charming he would light up the whole room. Everyone would sing with him and I loved it. There is something so amazing about a whole room coming together in song and emotion. I know how much it meant to Eddy and all who heard it. This song is about that: those moments. When we perform this song live, we always let the audience have the last chorus. I know they like it but I LOVE it. Some nights the joy of that sound is overwhelming.” 

A former TV actor and stuntman, John Zipperer’s second chance came rolling down the highway of life, not on a carefully controlled movie or commercial set, but while changing a tire for a friend along interstate 285 in Atlanta.  John was hit by a ten-wheel oil truck. After flying 40 feet and landing in the hospital, John was told by the critical care doctor, “You should be dead!” To John this seemed like a clear sign that life is, or could be, too short.  He packed everything he owned into his Camaro and headed out to Los Angeles to pursue a life in music.

Today, John Zipperer & Friends shows feature tight harmonies, infectious melodies and heartfelt lyrics that reach fans in places they didn’t know they had. When John Zipperer and the band take the stage, this stellar lineup of musicians add their magic and soon heads are bopping, hands are clapping and folks are dancing and singing along.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Jeffrey Halford Guest Artist at Sonoma County Blues Society October 16

"A talented wordsmith with the soul of a rugged roadhouse rocker."  
          NO DEPRESSION            

                                     Blues Troubador - Jeffrey Halford
Guest Artist At Sonoma County Blues Society's Weekly Jam
At Society: Culture House in Santa Rosa - Wednesday, October 16
   (SANTA ROSA, CA) - Sonoma County Blues Society welcomes singer-songwriter-guitarist Jeffrey Halford to their weekly Blues Jam as the Guest Artist on Wednesday, October 16 at Society: Culture House, 528 7th St., Santa Rosa. Performing from 8:30-9:30 p.m. (entire evening's music lasts from 7-11 p.m.). Free. Info: (707) 336-2582 or Also for additional info.

  The Sonoma County Blues Society exists to promote and support 'The Blues' as a unique American art form through fellowship with the local music community and support of music programs in our local schools.

   Marin-based Jeffrey Halford is definitely an artist that wears his musical heart on his sleeve, writing compelling songs that deal primarily with the American Way - i.e. Hurricane Katrina, legendary Negro League pitcher Satchel Paige, our country's interaction with Native Americans, etc., music that's commonly referred to as Americana. 

   Halford's new single "Harry We Need You" is about politician Harry Hopkins, who was the principal architect of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "New Deal." Hopkins was also the head of the Works Progress Administration (WPA), that was responsible for some 4.3 million Americans working by 1936, not long after the Great Depression and leading up to World War II.
  Called "Hemingway with a blues-y guitar" by Dirty Linen Magazine, The Alternate Root magazine also writes, "Halford's Broken Chord shutters, shakes, and shimmies across the surface of your mind."  

   Halford delivers a uniquely American melting pot of roots, blues, rock, and kick-ass pop, mixed with Southern soul, a heap of Texas storytelling, and a dash of Bay Area's freewheeling liberal spirit/literary leanings/seedier side. Throw in some desert sunshine and dirt, then stir together with an architect's eye for detail and durability and you've got yourself an idea why Paste magazine once named him to their "Ten Most Influential Artists of the Decade."
   Jeffrey Halford's original roots rock 'n roll songs etch a uniquely American, and specifically California, landscape. Look for a new Jeffrey Halford and the Healers album to be released in 2013.


Saturday, September 21, 2013

PEACH Is In The House (Of Blues): Performing This Sunday at HOB/Sunset!


PEACH & Her All-Star Band
Performing At House of Blues/Sunset

Sunday, September 22  

   (West Hollywood, CA) - The sweet 'n' soulful blues of singer-songwriter-guitarist PEACH come to the renowned House Of Blues on the Sunset Strip, 8430 W. Sunset Blvd., performing in the Crossroads Restaurant this Sunday, September 22. 7 p.m. (two additional performers to follow that evening). Special all-ages show; no cover with 2-for-1 beer, wine, and well drinks from 7-8 p.m. 15% off food and beverage voucher - print out or show on smartphone to redeem at Crossroads Restaurant. Info: (323) 848-5100 or log onto

  Peach is coming off a stellar performance at the recent Real Blues Festival of Orange County 4, where one reviewer wrote, "Peach's musical spontaneity provided memorable moments."


  PEACH is at the forefront of female-fronted blues acts performing both modern and old-time blues, with an All-Star band of musicians featuring keyboardist Ken Stange (Joe Cocker); bassist Steve Nelson (Chuck Berry); drummer Gary Mallaber (Van Morrison) and guitarist Mark Sells. PEACH has recorded with Taj Mahal, Marty Grebb (The Buckinghams), Reggie McBride (Elton John), Joey Delgado (Delgado Brothers), Garth Hudson (The Band) and Paul Barrere (LIttle Feat). She has co-written with Keb' 'Mo' and Marty Grebb but diversifies with an occasional 'Dylanesque' treat. She is a past Los Angeles Music Awards, Rockwired Radio Awards, All Access Magazine Music Awards, and South Bay Music Awards recipient. 
  Check out the soulful, seductive live recording of "It Meant Nothin'," a song PEACH co-wrote with well-known SoCal bluesman, Keb' Mo' - and which has been viewed by over one-hundred-fifty-thousand people since it posted on YouTube this past June.

   PEACH is a dynamic live performer: "From the first note, the band displayed their talents admirably," wrote Pat Benny in SOUTHBOUND BEAT, reviewing her show at Martini Blues in Huntington Beach. "One of the many highlights of the evening, "Angel From Montgomery," belonged to PEACH. Her voice is unique for the blues, and her original compositions and clever treatments of classic material make listening to PEACH a pleasure," Benny concluded.

   PEACH Interviews, Promotional Materials, Review Passes On Request. 

Influx Magazine - Interview
The Real Thing - CD Review
All Access Magazine - Interview          

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Guitarist Charles Burton Nominated In "Best Blues Album" Category For San Diego Music Awards


  (SAN DIEGO, CA) -"Sweet Potato Pie," the critically-lauded album by the Charles Burton Blues Band, is nominated in the "Best Blues Album" category for this year's San Diego Music Awards. Voting is open to the public through September 16 at The San Diego Music Awards take place Wednesday, October 9 at Humphrey's By The Bay. Known as "San Diego's Blues Ambassador To The World," Burton is currently on tour in Europe.

   "Sweet Potato Pie has lots of slick blues guitar riffs and flat-out pickin...Burton isn't ultra flashy but plays some really nice riffs...grabs the blues by the short hairs and shakes it....a lot of fun!                 BMANS BLUES REPORT

  "When a new CD from The Charles Burton Blues Band hit this writer's desk, I knew I was in for a good time...I wasn't disappointed. Each and every song is brilliantly written, performed and produced...Sweet Potato Pie is music money very well spent."                                                   BOOMEROCITY


"Guitarist Burton is a solid player, but it's his range of music that will please the audience...mixing in the obvious like "Shake Your Hips" by Slim Harpo with obscure gems like "Gangster Of Love" by Johnny Watson, and adding choice recastings like the Classics IV hit "Spooky,"  the Charles Burton Band delivers a fine set that's both satisfying and avoids cliche'."      SAN DIEGO NEWS

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

George Duke has passed - My thoughts are with his family and friends

Duke played with the likes of Frank Zappa, Michael Jackson, George Clinton, Anita Baker and Regina Belle.

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Duke played with the likes of Frank Zappa, Michael Jackson, George Clinton, Anita Baker and Regina Belle.

George Duke, the master keyboardist who bridged the worlds of jazz, R&B, funk, and Brazilian music, died Monday at St John’s Hospital in Los Angeles. He was 67.
No cause was given.
Duke’s passing comes just over a year after the death of his wife, Corine, from cancer last July. The keyboardist dedicated his just-released album, “DreamWeaver,” to her memory.
Jazz keyboardist George Duke, pictured in 1960, died  Monday at St John’s Hospital in Los Angeles.

Tom Copi

Jazz keyboardist George Duke, pictured in 1960, died Monday at St John’s Hospital in Los Angeles.

In a career that spanned more than 40 years, Duke worked with stars including Michael Jackson, on 1979’s “The Wall,” Miles Davis, producing and composing tracks on several key albums of the ‘80s, and Frank Zappa, with whom he appeared on “Mothers of Invention” albums from 1970 through the early ‘90s.
Duke, who was born in San Rafael, Calif., studied trombone, contrabass and composition at the San Francisco Conservatory, where he graduated in 1967. But his made his name expressing himself on a wide variety of keyboards, from acoustic piano to clavinet to all manner of synthesizers. He became a key player in the development of jazz-fusion in the late ‘60s, particularly after collaborating with violinist Jean-Luc Ponty. The release of their joint album, “The Jean-Luc Ponty Experience with The George Duke Trio,” cemented his reputation in 1969.
Duke veered into the avant-garde through his work with Zappa, which began with 1970’s “Chunga’s Revenge.” He also appeared in the Zappa movie “200 Motels” in 1971 and played on important Mothers’ albums like “Over-Nite Sensation” and “Apostrophe.”
George Duke performs on stage during the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2007 festival  in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Gallo Images/Getty Images

George Duke performs on stage during the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz 2007 festival in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Duke made major waves in the R&B world by collaborating with musicians from George Clinton to Anita Baker to Regina Belle. In the ‘70s, he established his deep connection to Brazilian music, recording and performing with Milton Nascimento, Flora Purim, and Airto Moreira.
In the hip-hop world, the keyboarist’s songs have been sampled by acts from Daft Punk to Kanye West to Ice Cube.
Duke issued more than 40 albums under his own name, some in collaboration with drummer Billy Cobham or bassist Stanley Clarke. Throughout his career, Duke had the ability to make synthetic instruments — like the ARP Odyssey and Prophet 5 — sound soulful. His playing could be sensitive or disruptive, but in any guise, it showed total command.
He is survived by two sons, Rasheed and John. Funeral services will be private.
Upon hearing the news of his passing, jazz flutist Bobi Humphrey posted on her Facebook page, “George Duke! Forty years, my friend! Heaven! A little bit funkier!”

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