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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 Colorado. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Colorado. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Dr. Izzy Band In "Night of Blues" at Toad Tavern

Denver area-based Dr. Izzy Band perform at a three-group "Night of Blues"
at The Toad Tavern in Littleton on Friday, March 6.


  (LITTLETON, CO) - Denver area-based  Dr. Izzy Band perform at a three-group "Night Of Blues" at The Toad Tavern, 5302 S. Federal Circle, in Littleton, Friday, March 6. Showtime: 8:30 p.m. Tickets $8.00. Info: (303)  795-6877 or Also appearing: Eef and the Blues Express and Soulshine.


   Dr. Izzy Band's 2013 album Blind & Blues Bound is aptly named for their female lead singer/band frontperson Dr. Izzy, who is legally blind. "I always tell people ‘there are so many ways too see’, says Dr. Izzy, who was born with full vision but began to go blind at the age of nine. “You can feel peoples’ energy, discern their mood, through their voices and through the touch of their hand”. Dr. Izzy adds, “I love to go up into the mountains here in Colorado. I can’t see them, but I can smell them! I think I remember what things actually look like, but there’s no way for me to really know at this point. I think I remember what colors look like, but who knows if I’m correct. I know what my minds eye tells me, so that’s what I have to go by”.

   Blind and Blues Bound features the vocals of legendary bluesman, James Cotton, on the opening track, "Matches Don't Burn Memories." The well-received disc was produced by noted Colorado Kenny Passarelli, who co-wrote the hit "Rocky Mountain Way" and has played with Joe Walsh, Elton John and Stephen Stills, among others. Passarelli also plays bass, Hammond organ, and piano on the album, which also features band co-leader Robert Morrison (guitar/vocals); Larry Thompson (drums); and guest musician, Otis Taylor, on banjo.

   Jon Solomon of Denver's WESTWORD Magazine, in a review of Blind & Blues Bound, writes, "On the fiery opener 'Matches Don't Burn Memories' Dr. Izzy digs in, recalling some of Lucinda Williams' grittier efforts...she's equally compelling on the slower, more soulful cuts, such as 'One Last Walk.' Read the entire review here - "Dr. Izzy and her fellow musician's greatest gift is their lyrical and instrumental talent," writes BLUES BLAST. "One cannot deny the power of either. When you're 'Blind and Blues Bound,' troubles can bring triumph!"  


March 6 (Fri.)                  THE TOAD TAVERN                 Littleton, CO
March 26 ((Thur.)            NISSI'S                                    Lafayette, CO 


Monday, October 13, 2014

The John Weeks Band - John Weeks Band - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, The John Weeks Band, by the John Weeks Band and it has a cool flavor. Opening with All Night, a laid back 12 bar number, Weeks on guitar and vocal, Andras "AC" Csapo on keys, Curtis Hawkins on bass and Tim "Chooch" Molinario on drums set the pace. Devil In My House has a bit more of a easy rock feel with Csapo on harp backing acoustic guitar and vocal by Weeks. Instrumental jump track Why Don't We Sleep On It, really kicks. Led by AC on harp and with a nice walking bass line by Hawkins, this track is built to spill. Weeks shows he knows his way up and down fretboard as he trades riffs with AC on harp. Very nice! How Can You Love Me settles down in a nice slow groove. Featuring cool organ work from AC, Weeks is back on lead vocal and quiet, steady guitar solo. I Want To Get Back Home has a definite rock beat with a taste of funk. AC steps up with fine lead harp work and Weeks plays some of his tastiest guitar riffs on the release. You Never Say What You Mean has a bluesy Latin feel, accented by Chooch's finesse on drums. AC takes a real nice organ ride on this track leading to a nice open solo from Weeks on guitar as well. Very nice! Wrapping the release is the funky Moving On. With Hawkins and Chooch setting the rhythm, Weeks lays down some of his nicest riffs and best tone on the release.

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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Yonder Mountain String Band Announces 4-Night NYE Run @ Boulder Theater!

Yonder Mountain String Band
Announces 4-Day NYE Run @ Boulder Theater
December 31, 2014 - January 3, 2015
Boulder, CO

Boulder, CO -- Thursday, September 25, 2014 -- New Year's Eve in Boulder, CO has become a tradition for Yonder Mountain String Band. Come ring in the New Year at the Boulder Theater for a 4-night run with plenty of foot stompin' and hand clappin' as Yonder burns it down with special guest violinist Allie Kral and mandolin player Jake Jolliff; additional special guests will be announced in the coming weeks. This year, YMSB kicks off the run on Wednesday, December 31, 2014. On New Year's Day, the venue will roll out some mighty fine Bloody Marys and other libations to help fans start the year off right as YMSB keeps the party going through Saturday, January 3, 2015. Pre-sale tickets are now available via YMSB's Tour Page with the general on-sale starting this Friday, September 26, 2014 via the Boulder Theater box office and online. Leading up to the NYE run, YMSB will be on the road for their Fall Tour 2014 with headlining stops at the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival (Oct. 4: Raleigh, NC), Mulberry Mt. Harvest Festival (Oct. 16 - 18: Ozark, AR), and select venues in the South, East Coast, and Midwest. For some fun in the sun this December 11 - 15, don't miss YMSB's Strings & Sol happening in Puerto Morelos, Mexico. YMSB interviews and hi-res photos are available upon request.

Bluegrass is a music steeped in tradition, but over the past decade and a half -- much of it spent on the road -- Yonder Mountain String Band has spearheaded a renegade movement to rewrite the definition of the genre. Alongside other neo-bluegrass friends such as Leftover Salmon, Sam Bush, Bela Fleck, The Travelin' McCourys, and Railroad Earth, YMSB has thoroughly revitalized and contemporized bluegrass and introduced it to many thousands of new fans. Rolling Stone said that YMSB "liberates bluegrass' hot-shit riffing and blue-sky harmonies from its hidebound formalism," while Paste Magazine wrote, "The Yonder Mountain boys have found a formula that works: take rootsy bluegrass influences, add in some rock 'n' roll, and seek out an adventurous audience."

Yonder Mountain String Band is comprised of Adam Aijala (guitar, vocals), Dave Johnston (banjo, vocals), Ben Kaufmann (bass, vocals), and select special guest artists who will appear with the band throughout 2014. Two standout musicians regularly performing live with YMSB are Jake Jolliff (mandolin, vocals) and Allie Kral (fiddle, vocals). Jolliff is an award-winning mandolin player (First Place, National Mandolin Championship 2012, Walnut Valley Festival), and was a founding member of the disbanded Americana outfit, Joy Kills Sorrow. Kral is well-known as the former fiddle player for Cornmeal (2003 - 2013), and she's worked alongside various notable artists including moe., Railroad Earth, Warren Haynes, and others. For confirmed line-up information, please see the tour dates listed below.

With the band having one of the strongest touring bases in the industry, fans and critics alike have been drawn to both their live shows and singular studio albums. Reporting from the All Good Music Festival (2009), journalist Jarrett Bellini from CNN Showbiz Tonight notes, "The trophy for best musical set goes to Yonder Mountain String Band who, as the sun began to set, left it all on the stage for an hour and a half. The pickers from Colorado had the audience dancing and shaking, kicking up a joyful storm of dust into the cool summer sky."

YMSB has evolved into something of a phenomenon on the concert and festival circuit. The band has sold out Colorado's famed Red Rocks several times, and played sold-out shows with Grateful Dead and Furthur bassist Phil Lesh at his Terrapin Crossroads venue in August 2012. They also host three singular music festivals every year -- Northwest String Summit (now in its 14th year and hosted by YMSB every year), Harvest Music Festival (where they will host for the fifth time in October 2014), and Strings & Sol (Yonder hosts for the third year-in-a-row in Mexico in December 2014) -- and have consecutively sold out runs of shows at Telluride Bluegrass Festival year after year. Every other year, YMSB also hosts Kinfolk Festival @ Planet Bluegrass. In all, Yonder Mountain logs over 100 live dates per year.

Yonder has always played music by its own design. Bending bluegrass, rock and countless other influences, they've come to pioneer a sound that they alone could only champion. With a traditional lineup of instruments, they may appear to be a traditional bluegrass band at first glance but they've taken the customary old-timey instrumentation to new heights, transcending any single genre. Yonder has become a regular performer at major music festivals like the iconic Telluride Bluegrass Festival, Summer Camp, and DelFest as well as massive multi-stage events like Bonnaroo and Austin City Limits Festival.

YMSB is currently working on a new full-length studio recording; fans can expect a new album to be released in early 2015.

For more information on Yonder Mountain String Band, please visit

10/4 - Raleigh, NC - Wide Open Bluegrass*^
10/16 - 10/18 - Ozark, AR - Mulberry Mt. Harvest Festival*^#
10/23 - Augusta, GA - Riverwalk Revival*^
10/24 - Birmingham, AL - Iron City Music Hall*
10/25 - Athens, GA - Georgia Theater*
10/26 - Savannah, GA - Trustee Garden*
10/29 - Louisville, KY - Mercury Ballroom*^
10/30 - Chattanooga, TN - Track 29*^
10/31 - Roanoke, VA - Shaftman Performance Hall @ Jefferson Center*^
11/1 - Winston-Salem, NC - Ziggy’s*^
11/5 - Milwaukee, WI - Turner Hall Ballroom*^
11/6 - Minneapolis, MN - First Avenue*^
11/7 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues*^
11/8 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues*^
11/12 - Burlington, VT - Higher Ground Ballroom*^
11/13 - Boston, MA - House of Blues*^
11/14 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts*^
11/15 - Brooklyn, NY - Brooklyn Bowl*^
12/11 - 12/15 - Puerto Morelos, Mexico - Strings & Sol*^
12/31 - 1/3 - Boulder, CO - Boulder Theater*^

Special Guest Performers:*Jake Jolliff (mandolin, vocals)
^Allie Kral (fiddle, vocals)
#Jerry Douglas (dobro)

Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Denver's First Family of the Blues," Hornbuckle, Returns Home For 'Virtue & Vice' Tour

   (DENVER, CO) - Hornbuckle, "Denver's First Family of the Blues" recently celebrating 20 years together as a band, have come home. The brothers - guitarist/vocalist Michael Hornbuckle and brother, bassist/vocalist Brian Hornbuckle - kick off a two-month 'Virtue & Vice' tour of their home state with a show on Friday, May 23 at Dickens Opera House in Longmont (complete itinerary below). Virtue & Vice is the title of their recently-released album to critic's acclaim.
"Hornbuckle's sound is fresh and interesting...on Virtue & Vice these guys have managed to find a way to give the blues a mainstream, pop-driven sound, while at the same time staying true to their bluesy roots. The songs themselves are nothing short of excellent."       
                                     ROCK OVER AMERICA
"Not since ZZ Top and Stevie Ray Vaughn has there been a band that could wind a mean bar room boogie and bring the blues home like the Hornbuckle Brothers. Michael & Brian Hornbuckle take their inherited skill and bring serious fire to the front house in Virtue & Vice, their latest, and what will probably be recognized as one of the best new independently produced albums of the year."
                                                  XOMBIEWOOF MAGAZINE
  In a recent interview Michael Hornbuckle was asked about the difference between the music scenes in Los Angeles (where he has recently settled) and Denver. "The difference is significant. You would think that the huge population and the incredible talent that is in L.A. would equate to packed clubs that pay well, but that is not necessarily the case. There are gems in L.A. where you can see world-class players performing for tips in a small bar.  L.A. is geared for production and that’s what most the serious cats do there. They play live for fun but the paying work is in a studio somewhere. Denver, on the other hand, is geared for live music. If you can play then you can gig.  We have the occasional breakout act, but mostly it’s about building a following and playing the rounds. The Metro Denver area is very spread out, so each city has its own crowd. It’s because of that that there is a circuit a band can do without burning out the area. Denver is not like, say Kansas City, where you are accessible to the whole MidWest to play clubs. Denver is far from any other major market so people here appreciate what they have and support their musicians."
     In discussing their new album, Brian Hornbuckle says, "On “Virtue and Vice” we try and cover a lot of ground; sixteen songs of memories, love, lust, protest and personal discovery. We really tried to infuse as many influences as possible while still keeping continuity from song to song. We did some reggae in “Complicated”, funk in “Slave to the Benjamins,” a Latin feel on “Moment In Time” and a 70’s rock feel in “Ride Away”. All of it injected with the blues since that is still the main language we speak musically."

May 23 (Fri.)              DICKENS OPERA HOUSE               Longmont, CO
June 1 (Sun.)        ZIGGIES LIVE MUSIC                      Denver, CO
June 7 (Sat.)         ANGELO'S CD (IN-STORE GIG)      Denver, CO
June 14 (Sat.)           ZIGGIES LIVE MUSIC                                Denver, CO
June 27 (Fri.)        STARGAZERS THEATER                 Colorado Springs, CO
July 5 (Sat.)          THE ORIENTAL THEATER               Denver, CO
July 6 (Sun.)         ZIGGIES LIVE MUSIC                      Denver, CO
July 18 (Fri.)             ZOO BAR                                                        Lincoln, NB
July 19 (Sat.)        ZIGGIES LIVE MUSIC                      Denver, CO
July 23 (Wed.)      HERMAN'S HIDEAWAY                   Denver, CO  
July 26 (Sat.)        CONTINENTAL ROOM/LOUNGE     Denver, CO

Rock Over America - CD Review
All Access Magazine - Interview
Xombiewoof - CD Review

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Bald Headed Woman - Cool Papa Sadler

Haskell Robert Sadler, also known as Cool Papa Sadler (April 16, 1935 — May 6, 1994) was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Born in Denver, Colorado, Sadler played a number of times at the San Francisco Blues Festival. He was one of the members of the San Francisco Bay Area blues scene from the 1960s through to the 1990s. Sadler wrote "747" as recorded by Joe Louis Walker. He died in Berkeley, California in 1994  

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Catfish Blues - Corey Harris

Corey Harris was born in Denver, Colorado to parents from Texas and Kentucky. He is a guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and band leader who has carved out his own niche in blues. A powerful singer and accomplished guitarist, he has appeared at venues throughout the North America, Europe, Brazil, The Caribbean, West Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. He began his career as a New Orleans street singer, travelling throughout the southern U.S. In his early twenties he lived in Cameroon, West Africa for a year, which had a profound effect on his later work. He has recorded many old songs of the blues tradition while also creating an original vision of the blues by adding influences from reggae, soul, rock and West African music. His 1995 recording, Between Midnight and Day, is a tribute to the tradition of acoustic blues. Subsequent recordings, such as Greens From the Garden (1999), Mississippi to Mali (2003), and Daily Bread (2005) show Harris’ maturation from interpreter to songwriter. Some of his imaginative compositions are marked by a deliberate eclecticism; other works stay true to the traditional blues formula of compelling vocals and down-home guitar. With one foot in tradition and the other in contemporary experimentation, Harris is a truly unique voice in contemporary music. He has performed, recorded, and toured with many of the top names in music such as BB King, Taj Mahal, Buddy Guy, Henry Butler, R.L.Burnside, John Jackson, Ali Farka Toure, Dave Mattews Band, Tracy Chapman, Olu Dara, Wilco, Natalie Merchant, and others. His additional recordings include Fish Ain’t Bitin’ (1996), Vu-Du Menz (with Henry Butler, 2000), Downhome Sophisticate (2002), and Zion Crossroads (2007).blu black ( 2010 ). In 2003 Harris was a featured artist and narrator of the Martin Scorcese film, “Feel Like Going Home,” which traced the evolution of blues from West Africa to the southern U.S. In 2007, he was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Fellowship – commonly referred to as a “genius award” – from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The annual grant, which recognizes individuals from a wide range of disciplines who show creativity, originality and commitment to continued innovative work, described Harris as an artist who “forges an adventurous path marked by deliberate eclecticism.” That same year, he was also awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree from Bates College, in Lewiston, Maine.

 If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Concord Music Group/Telarc Artist: Otis Taylor - My World Is Gone - New Release Review

I just received a copy of the newest recording, My World Is Gone, by Otis Taylor. This recording will hit the streets on February 12, 2013. This is one of the most unisual contemporary releases that I have heard in a long time. The release opens with the title track, My World Is Gone, which was developed after discussions with Mato Nanji (Indigenous) backstage at the Jimi Hendrix tribute concert in reference to his Native American Nakota Nation and the simplicity of his comment. Nanji plays some really sweet acoustic lead guitar on this track. Huckleberry Blues is a really cool track with Taylor on banjo and Ron Miles on coronet. This track has a dance beat and a loose jazz feel. I can't tell you why...I just like it. Sand Creek Massacre Mourning has a strong feel of back country music with Taylor on banjo and interesting guitar effects by Nanji. The Wind Comes In has a real feel of John Lee Hooker from his prime time with a Mali twist. This is really a cool track. Taylor again on banjo (and of course vocals) and Nanji on lead guitar. Girl Friend's House is a curious track about chance encounter. It is as simple as a blues track gets with Taylor on banjo and again featuring Ron Miles on coronet. Jae Jae Waltz is a great little back country track done as authentically as I can imagine on a contemporary recording. The honesty of this track as well as many of the others on this recording are particularly noteworthy. Gangster And Iztatoz Chauffeur is a track that could easily be from a Ali Farke Toure release. It retains sounds of the pure African blues and I really like it. I commend Shawn Starski and Taylor for their capture of the Mali sound. Green Apples follows in this same groove but with more direct vocal attack. The addition of Miles on coronet adds a nice flavor to this track as well. The recording is completed with a more straightforward rock like track with a happy theme...imagine that. It is actually a pretty cool track and one that may actually see a good amount of airplay. Other artists on the disk are Larry Thompson, Anne Harris, Todd Edmunds and Brian Juan. I think that this is Taylor's best creation in years and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's cool to see someone stand up and do something different... and to see it be interesting. Hope you give it a spin! This CD is certain to win Taylor new fans.

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

SuperCool (This is amazing)

“just put me in a wheel chair and get me to the show” – Jeffrey Marshall SuperCool is a band with an incredible story, and the musical goods to back it up. Jeffrey Marshall (bass and vocals) was born with no arms or hands, and has an amazing self taught bass technique which has to be seen to be believed. Jeffrey jokes about obviously not being enthusiastic about sports as a kid, thus leaving music as his main pursuit. He has had to figure out how to play the bass without any possibility of learning his instrument by seeing how others do it. Not only is he a soulful bass player, delivering dynamic and passionate bass lines, but is able to do this while singing lead and playing harmonica. Daniel Levanti (guitar and vocals) has honed his guitar skills at Berklee College of Music, and through touring during his years in Europe. Daniel’s guitar playing has over the years with Supercool evolved into a style identifiable throughout the textures of diverse sounds and emotions which the band has come to be known for. David Koller (drums and vocals) is an extremely accomplished musician from Prague, and an icon of the Czech music scene. From 1987 to 2005 he was drummer, guitarist, and lead singer for the band, Lucie, which turned out dozens of songs now thoroughly imbedded in the culture of Czech and Slovak rock and pop music. Since then he’s delved into his solo work with a zeal and intention that’s recently earned him comparisons with the likes of Sting and Peter Gabriel. His most recent album, “Ted A Tady” (”Here and Now”), released in late 2010, has already been nominated for best album of the year. Part of their intriguing story is that these musicians all met in Prague, Czech republic. Jeffrey one day pulled out a map at home in Denver Colorado, after friends had encouraged him to travel. He closed his eyes and randomly pointed his toe at it. By chance his toe landed on Prague. Soon after Jeffrey was there, where he was later to meet Daniel, who’s story of how he came to find himself in Prague goes actually along somewhat similar lines. He too was itching for a change after he felt his days in Boston had run their course. Sipping coffee on Newbury St. he overheard someone telling exalted stories about the city he’d just returned from… Prague. He’d heard enough, and resolved to get there somehow. Roughly a year later Daniel and Jeffrey inevitably crossed paths, with the help of some friends, in the Prague music scene. From this moment they’ve been an inspiration to each other as songwriting partners and friends. At first collaboration, they both fell immediately in love with the sound they created together. Despite the apparent randomness of their hooking up, they have found a solid musical partnership. As roommates they were able to share and unite emotions and experiences and turn them into songs. Jeffrey mentions an example: “when you are dealing with Czech women, you never run out of love songs”. Soon after they began creating music together, there was a gap that needed desperately to filled, that of the drummer, of course. Fortunately enough, and this is one in a litany of examples where the legendary “Prague magic” has materialized on the Supercool stage, Daniel’s future wife, Katia, whom he’d just met at their first official concert, was a good friend of David. After an introduction David invited the guys to his studio where they recorded a demo with Pavel Razim on drums. This led to a succession of talented drummers, which included also Vasek Polansky and Barry Becker, who all appeared on the band’s first album, Supercool, Greatest Hits Vol. I, available on Earwave Records. It was only much later, in 2005, that while organizing a benefit concert for the studio full of guitars (one of Daniel’s and seven of Jeffrey’s), that were stolen in Prague while Daniel and Jeffrey were in Nashville checking out the music scene, that Supercool as it exists now, first took the stage. Meant to be a one night line-up, the band clicked so well that the notion was immediately born that this band should play together. So now, five years and a dozen cities later, Supercool has released their second album, Greatest Hits Vol. II. It’s available now from Championship Music ( 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!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Otis Taylor's 'My World is Gine' CD features Indigenous' Mato Nanji


My World Is Gone explores the struggles of Native Americans
with contributions from Indigenous frontman/guitar virtuoso Mato Nanji
BOULDER, Colo. — Roots music visionary Otis Taylor’s 13th album, My World Is Gone, set for release February 12, 2013 on Telarc, a division of Concord Music Group, is a lightning bolt of musical creativity and social commentary. Its songs crackle with poetic intelligence and a unique, adventurous sound that balances the modern world with echoes of ancient Africa, Appalachia and more.

To call Taylor a cutting edge artist is an understatement. Although his music is based in the blues and folk realm, his meticulously crafted recordings crash the barriers of jazz, rock, funk, Americana and myriad other genres to create a hybrid that Taylor labels “trance blues.” And that signature style serves as a backbone for his frank tales of struggle, freedom, desire, conflict and, of course, love.

The central theme of My World Is Gone was fueled by Taylor’s friend Mato Nanji, the singer-guitarist and cornerstone of the band Indigenous. “Mato inspired the entire direction of this album,” Taylor relates. “We were talking about history backstage at a Jimi Hendrix tribute concert that Mato had just played, and, in reference to his people, the Native American Nakota Nation, he said ‘My world is gone.’ The simplicity and honesty of those four words was so heavy, I knew what I had to write about.”

Taylor had already begun composing new tunes with other themes for his follow-up to 2012’s critically heralded Contraband. Three of those — “Green Apples,” “Gangster and Iztatoz Chauffeur” and “Coming With Crosses” — appear on My World Is Gone.

But inspired by Nanji — who plays electric and acoustic guitars on six tracks and joins Taylor on vocals for several songs — and by his own understanding of Native American culture developed in part through dealing in Indian art as a young man, Taylor embarked on a soul-searching journey into the past and present, and into the psyche, of America’s indigenous people.

“I’ve written songs about slavery, but here in America that’s considered part of the past,” Taylor explains. “What’s happened and what’s happening to Native Americans is still going on. A lot of people forget that. This is a reminder.”

With his customary brevity, power and grace, Taylor conveys his stories in intimate detail and uses his rich baritone voice to give his characters breath and humanity. The album starts on point with “My World Is Gone,” portraying how the gilded seductions of the white man’s culture undermined the Native American way of life. The melancholy in Taylor’s and Nanji’s vocal performance, as they sing from the perspective of an Indian tormented by temptation and loss, is buoyed by the gentle melodies of Anne Harris’ fiddle and Nanji’s electric and acoustic guitars — the acoustic six-string an Otis Taylor signature model, with only 14 frets, built by the premier instrument makers at Santa Cruz Guitars.

Taylor revisits his song “Lost My Horse,” which originally appeared on 2001’s White African, with a new arrangement that features him and Nanji trading guitar and mandolin lines.

“In the days of the frontier, having a horse could be a matter of life or death, or comfort or poverty, and the horse has been an important part of Native American culture in the west, so the song fit perfectly,” he explains.

“Sand Creek Massacre Mourning,” which recounts the murder of 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho victims by Col. John Chivington’s cavalry in 1864, rests on the backbone of Taylor’s banjo, his primary instrument. He’s played mostly electric banjos on previous albums, save for 2008’s roots-focused Recapturing the Banjo, but on My World Is Gone Taylor employs
four-, five- and six-string acoustic models. “I wanted to get back to that organic sound, because the banjo’s spoken to me since I was a kid,” he says. “Its voice instantly brings you back in time, and so much of My World Is Gone is about history and tradition that its sound is perfect for these songs.”

Nanji again shares vocals with Taylor on “Blue Rain in Africa,” in which a Native American reflects on the survival of his culture, despite the odds, after seeing the birth of a white buffalo — a rare and highly sacred event — on TV. The song’s threads of hope are a striking contrast to “Never Been to the Reservation,” with its lyrics about “babies sleeping on the ground,” although both numbers benefit from Nanji’s burnished blues licks.

While Taylor’s vision can be dark and ominous — the title “Coming With Crosses” is self-explanatory — his songs often celebrate hope and beauty in poignant ways. “Jae Jae Waltz” uses its spare construction of banjo, drums, bass and guest Ron Miles’ cornet to tell a story of a widow’s search for new love, and “Sit Across Your Table” celebrates the comfort and joy a workingman takes in his marriage. The song is also a surprising foray into untempered rock ’n’ roll, with a wailing guitar solo by Shawn Starski.

Starski and Taylor are versatile musicians who make their six-strings sound like an African kora on both “Green Apples” and the quirky Elmore Leonard-like tale “Gangster and Iztatoz Chauffeur.” Starski is the latest addition to Taylor’s touring band, which also includes Anne Harris on fiddle, Larry Thompson on drums and bassist Todd Edmunds, who has replaced Taylor’s daughter Cassie, a fixture of his earlier albums and groups. She now leads her own band, Cassie Taylor & the Soul Cavalry.

Otis Taylor’s own parents were an important part of his musical foundation. His father was a passionate jazz fan who encouraged his son to become a musician. His mother has become the subject of several of Taylor’s songs. Although he was born in Chicago in 1948, his parents relocated their family to Denver when Taylor was a small child in part to protect their son from the harsh realities of urban living. In addition to listening to jazz in his father’s record collection, he fell deeply under the spell of the Mississippi Delta legend John Lee Hooker, whose spare, almost mystical sound still resonates in Taylor’s own work.

“I get a lot of my sense of space and my vocal phrasing from John Lee Hooker, whose music, especially his solo recordings, is so heavy and has so much space that it sounds like it’s alive,” Taylor explains. His other vocal totem is James Brown, whose shouts and howls inspire the thunderous vocal declamations that punctuate many of Taylor’s own recordings.

As a young man, Taylor mastered the banjo and moved on to the harmonica and guitar. He performed with electric guitar virtuoso Tommy Bolin as T&O Short Line, and by 1974-76, he was playing bass as part of the Boulder-based rock group Zephyr. Taylor even jammed with Jimi Hendrix once and pursued his muse to Europe, but frustrations with the music business led him to retire from performing in 1977. He became a dealer in art and antiques, and pursued another of his passions, bicycle racing, as a coach.

In the ’90s, the door to Taylor’s musical past was pried open by friends in the Boulder area, and in 1996, he independently released his debut album, Blue Eyed Monster. With the release of his next two discs, When Negroes Walked the Earth and White African, he began to shake up the blues world with his marvelously original music and his unflinching tales about racism, struggle and heritage. Over the years, Taylor has garnered more than a dozen Blues Music Awards nominations, and White African won Best Debut Album. He is also regularly nominated as an instrumentalist, and won a Blues Music Award for his imaginative banjo playing in 2009. Also, his albums Double V, Definition of a Circle and Recapturing the Banjo took Downbeat’s Best Blues CD awards in 2005, 2007 and 2008, respectively. In all, Taylor has won five DownBeat awards. He has also been nominated twice for the prestigious
Académie Charles Cros award in France.

His 2009 recording, Pentatonic Wars and Love Songs, was released in the same week that two of Taylor’s songs were heard by millions in Michael Mann’s blockbuster movie Public Enemies starring Johnny Depp and Christian Bale.

In 2010, Taylor started his own annual Trance Blues Festival in Boulder, Colorado, which brings a broad cast of professional and amateur musicians together for three days of performances, jams and workshops.

“The thing about music is that it’s not just a spectator sport,” Taylor says. “In a world where there’s a lot of misunderstanding, music can help people communicate and break down barriers, and start to really see each other for who they are.

“I write songs about people remembering, bearing witness,” Taylor continues. “I’ve learned that if you write about things that are important, people will listen. That’s one of the reasons why I wrote the songs that I did for My World Is Gone.

“I push myself to be prolific and to make every new album better than the last one for personal reasons, too,” he relates. “A few years ago I had a cyst removed that was attached to my liver and spine. It was a life-threatening situation — really painful. I didn’t know if I was going to survive the surgery. I came to grips with the idea that the albums I’m making are going to be my legacy. And I want the people who love me — my family, my friends — to be proud.”

# # #

For more information about Otis Taylor, please contact:
Cary Baker
Conqueroo • (323) 656-1600 •
Mike Wilpizeski
Concord Music Group • 718-459-2117 •
Tour Publicity: Kelly Johanns-DiCilloConcord Music Group • 216-464-2313, x2470 •

If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, ”LIKE” ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorite band!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Smokin' Banana Records Artist: Monkey Paw Finger - Smokin' Banana - New Release Review

Been listening to Smokin' Banana, the new release from Monkey Paw Finger. This is a pretty cool cd with a little taste of everything and a lot of fun. The band is primarily Michael J Hartman (guitars, bass, keys, drum machine, percussion and vocals) and David L Vacek (Vocals, Harmonica and percussion. First up is Bad Little Girl, a stripped down rocker that I really like. It's got everything that a song needs, cool lyrics, slide guitar, a rockin' beat and distorted harp. Chicken Shack Shakin' has another stripped track but this time more of a funky Latin beat. As stripped down as this is you find some real tasty harp and guitar riffs popping out. Sunshine and Rain is a full out rocker ... a lot of sound for two guys. My Next Sin actually crosses over to more of a country sound but these guys can pull it off ... chicken pickin' and all. I Ain't No Saint takes more of a direct blues attack but with some heavy overdrive on the amp. The riffs are tasty over structured chords. Rusty Traveler actually has a bit of a Todd Rundgren sound to it with the Philly sound creeping in. Overall a cool track. The recording end up with a full out bttw rocker, Wanted Man. Rippin slide, hammerin' drums, and talk of running from the law. These guys had a bunch of fun making this cd and I'm sure a lot of you will enjoy it!
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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sally Mae - Willie Houston

A Life in the blues, best describes 84-year old Louisiana delta blues man Willie Houston. Willie was born to perform and his life-long love of the blues has never faltered. From his humble beginnings in the delta cotton fields to the blues stages of America, the blues have been a way of life for Willie Houston.
We are pleased and excited that Willie calls Colorado his home. Willie has played his delta blues in thousands of juke joints, clubs, bars, and event halls for more than 60-years.
With the release of his 2001 CD "Bluesman Willie Houston" he has a newfound popularity that has opened many ears to this grand electric delta style of an art form that has a very limited number of surviving alumni.
It is well known that for every bluesman like BB King, John Lee Hooker or Muddy Waters there were literally hundreds of delta bluesmen from that same era that didn't go to Memphis or Chicago. They were never heard by the likes of Alan Lomax or had a chance to record for the Library of Congress.
So goes the story of Willie Houston. Now at long last Willie Houston's time has come. With his self-titled CD on the Fasttrack label he has attracted attention from radio stations, newspapers and blues fans alike. If afforded the opportunity you simply must see, "Bluesman" Willie Houston.
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Monday, April 16, 2012

Hi Ho Silver - Cool Papa Sadler

Haskell Robert Sadler, also known as Cool Papa Sadler (April 16, 1935 — May 6, 1994) was an American blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Sadler played a number of times at the San Francisco Blues Festival. He was one of the members of the San Francisco Bay Area blues scene from the 1960s through to the 1990s. Sadler wrote "747" as recorded by Joe Louis Walker.

He died in Berkeley, California in 1994
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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hide and Seek - Stickman - New Release Review

I just received a new recording, Hide and Seek by Neil Haverstick who goes by the name Stickman. This recording is a guitar players daydream. It explores every type of sound that can be made with a fretless guitar, Oud, 12,19 and 36 tone guitars, slide, fretless banjo and 12 and 19 tone bass when complimented by vocal, Djembe and drums. I mean I myself have thought of creating things like this when you start a theme and add textures to it with different instruments. Goin' To Memphis opens the recording with an Oud and is supplemented with what to me sounds like a flute. Very primitive and tribal sounding to me. I like it. Blue Delta is a slide lead track with an eerie swamp sound from Oud and Fretless Guitar. Very cool. Blues Ain't Nothing is a more conventional blues rock style song with a 12 tone Tele, vocals, bass and drums. There are some more conventional blues guitar riffs for those of you who are less open to experimentation. Big Ol' Train has a bluegrassy sound with fretless banjo and vocals although this turns into a full out rocker on 19 tone electric guitar and full band compliment. Cool concept. Wolf at the Door has a drone note that plays under the melody of an 36 tone tele and 12 tone bass. It has a primitive blues sound and is quite interesting. Then a straightforward contemporary but still primitive continuation with vocals. Stickman gets some really great grinding tones on this song. Lenny Bro is a solitary blues guitar instrumental type song with deliberate melancholy melody using 12 tone Tele and Pimentel classic. Charlene is a grimy blues rocker with 19 tone guitar that has a very conventional structure. I think just about anyone could relate to it. Hide and Seek is a quirky nursery type song developed into a textural acoustic number with experimental string instrumental sounds on fretless guitar and Oud. Blues For North Africa starts off with the African drum and is joined by textural fretless guitar instrumental sounds. Animal Boogie begins with a trap drum solo which sets the scene for a Freeway Jam type song. In this case instead of going the entirely primitive Stickman takes it in the experimental or improvisational jazz direction on 12 tone tele and bass. Last Night is an ethereal vocal chant. Although this may not appeal to the mainstream blues fan, I really think this recording merits the attention of anyone who is interested in guitar, textural music and soundscape. I really found it a pleasure to listen to although it's difficult to explain. Possibly that's good!
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Goin' To Chicago -- James Van Buren

Thanks to artists like James Van Buren, blues and jazz are alive and well. Since 1956 when James formed the “Blues Kings” to play the type of music that he loved listening to as a child, James has created an unforgettable style and sound.

In 1985, James formed his own label and launched his debut album “We Will be Together Again”. His second album, “It‘s all Over” earned James national recognition with the album making the Top 20 list on NPR. His third album, “I Ainít Doin’ Too Bad” took James to higher levels of recognition with the song “Three Handed Woman” being one of James’ top selling songs.

Several albums have followed each as enjoyable and diverse as the last. Fans from around the world know that James’ music always reflects feelings from his heart and sounds from his soul.

As Phil Upchurch put it, “James is as original in his song as Joe Williams or Billie Holiday. The other thing I like about his style is that you can hear him smiling”.

Fans from James’ home state of Colorado, have adopted “James’ Baseball Song” as the anthem for their Colorado Rockies baseball team. Since 1996, this song has been chorused by hundreds of fans and has been released as a popular single.

There is no doubt that we will be enjoying a lot more music from this unique artist. He is a tireless supporter of Jazz in his community, giving generously of his time to support growth of the arts. His warm, open personality contributes to his ability to draw strong crowds, a loyal following and make new friends
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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Instrumental - Al Chesis & The Delta Sonics

The Delta Sonics have been playing in Colorado since 1992, and have established themselves as one of the finest blues acts in the area with their solid musicianship and exciting live performances. Their musical stylings include Chicago Blues, West Coast Swing, New Orleans R&B, and some early Rock n' Roll.

Besides averaging 120 gigs a year, the band was featured at notable regional festivals like the Mile High Blues Festival (2009), Blues From the Top (2006 & 2007) Greeley Blues Fest ( 2006 & 2009)Belvedere Blues Fest ( 2008) , Pearl St. Brews and Blues Fest (2007 & 2009) and the Cherry Creek Arts Festival Main Stage( 2009) to name a few.
Al Chesis was one of the only local harmonica players to be featured at the SPAH Convention held in Denver in 2006 and also appeared on Mark Hummel's Harmonica Blowout with harp heavyweights Magic Dick, Kim Wilson, Jason Ricci, and Mark Hummel himself in Denver and Colorado Springs in October 2008.

The band was featured at the 1997, 1998, and 2001 Denver Blues & Bones Festival, the Boulder/Lyons Blues Festival five times, the Yellowstone Jazz Festival, and the Westword Music Showcase in 1996 and 1997. They have opened for many nationally known blues artists, including Koko Taylor, Junior Wells, Taj Mahal, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, The Radiators, the Fabulous Thunderbirds, Tommy Castro, and Charlie Musselwhite.. In 1999 and 2004, the band brought blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins to Colorado for two successful tours. Most recently, The Delta Sonics have also backed Steadyrollin Bob Margolin , Big Bill Morganfield, Bo Diddley (2004), and Pinetop Perkins on their recent club and festival performances in Colorado. They are a sought after back-up band for national blues artists.
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