CLICK ON TITLE BELOW TO GO TO PURCHASE!!!! CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!

Please email me at
Showing posts with label Conqueroo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conqueroo. Show all posts

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Bobby Rush garners second consecutive Grammy nomination plus Blues Music Award noms

  Rush’s Decisions, recorded with funk band Blinddog Smokin’
and special guest Dr. John,
continues to grab accolades with 
four Blues Music Award nominations 

LOS ANGELES, Calif. —Twenty years in the making, Decisions, the first collaboration between blues legend Bobby Rush and Southern California band Blinddog Smokin’, featuring six-time Grammy winner Dr. John, is being rewarded with end-of-the-year music industry honors including a recent Grammy nomination in the Best Blues Album category. 
Also this week, Bobby Rush picked up four Blues Music Awards from the Blues Foundation, including B.B. King Entertainer of the Year and Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year. Decisions secured a Best Soul Blues nod and Best Song nom for “Another Murder in New Orleans,” written by Carl Gustafson and Donald Markowitz, performed by Rush and Dr. John w/Blinddog Smokin’.
Gustafson, the band leader, vocalist, and harmonica player of Blinddog Smokin,’ says, “I’d really like to see people in the United States take a look at [Bobby Rush and Dr. John] and see what they have before they’re gone, and feel their power, feel their love . . . Who knows how long Bobby or Mac are going to last? Now we have a chance. We have the two of them together for the first time in their careers, and they’re two of the rarest characters in American music culture.”
“Just to be in the running and to be involved is meaningful,” says Rush on receiving his third Grammy nod. “It makes me feel like a winner already. I want to thank everyone in the category, the voters, and anyone that had anything to do with helping me get to where I am right now. I want to thank everyone from a fan standpoint and from a voter standpoint for everything they have done for Bobby Rush. I’m happy to be an old man but this makes me feel young again.”
In October, Decisions won Best Soul Blues Album at the Blues Blast Music Awards, where Rush was also singled out with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Decisions is the first-ever teaming on record of three unlikely friends united by their love of the blues Rush and Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack were both born in the same town of Homer, Louisiana.  
Rush, 80 years old, continues his late-career emergence from the Chitlin’ Circuit underground to music mainstream. His crossover arguably began after achieving a Grammy nomination in 2000 for his album Hoochie Man, being featured in the “Road to Memphis” segment of the 2004 Martin Scorcese documentary The Blues, and last year’s Grammy-nominated record Down in Louisiana, which recently won Soul Blues Album of the Year at this year’s Blues Music Awards. 
Rush performed in July on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon with Dan Aykroyd and The Roots, as a part of the promo for the film Get On Up. Dan Aykroyd noted, “Okay, so like James Brown is gone, eh, and Richard Penniman a.k.a Little Richard … he’s not going to tour no more, and B.B. King is slowing down. Bobby Rush is the last one left of that generation.”
In September the documentary Take Me to the River came out in theaters nationwide, with a soundtrack on Stax Records/Concord Music Group. The film is about the soul of American music and follows the recording of a new album featuring legends from Stax Records and Memphis, mentoring and passing on their musical magic to stars and artists of today. Rush co-stars alongside Terrence Howard, Snoop Dogg, the late Bobby “Blue” Bland, Mavis Staples, Charlie Musselwhite, among others.
Rush, born Emmett Ellis, Jr., started playing music in his early teens, changing his name out of respect for his preacher father and fronting, for a time, a band that featured a young Elmore James on guitar. In his 20s, Rush landed in the booming Chicago blues scene where he bumped up against Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and, most notably, a back-alley neighbor, blues harmonica great Little Walter, whose example inspired Rush to master the instrument. In the ’80s Rush relocated to his current home of Jackson, Mississippi, where he embarked on the hard-touring career that has earned him the title of King of the Chitlin' Circuit.
Meanwhile, about the time Rush was making his name in Chicago, Blinddog Smokin’ leader Carl Gustafson was learning the blues in, of all places, Laramie, Wyoming. He ran away from home at 16, making it as far as the railroad tracks and the Pic-A-Rib Café. Through the owner, Miss Peggy, and her son Ricky, Gustafson learned about African-American culture and through the establishment’s jukebox he discovered the sounds of American blues and R&B, an experience detailed in Gustafson’s 2010 memoir Ain’t Just Blues, It’s Showtime: Hard times, heartache, and glory along Blues Highway.
In 1964, Gustafson started his first band, a James Brown-inspired 13-piece revue called Ali Baba & the Thieves. In 1993 he founded Blinddog Smokin’, which has become a force on the blues scene, playing 200-320 dates a year at juke joints, clubs, and festivals around the world, including the Snowy Range Music Festival (which Gustafson directs) in Laramie, and the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, where in 1995 he met Bobby Rush. 
“Bobby was performing, and I was just mesmerized with his show,” Gustafson recalls. “I met him afterwards, and it’s a weird thing: we just had a connection and struck up a friendship. We started calling each other and checking in on each other, and over the years started touring together. One thing led to another, and we just got this strong bond between us.”
Nineteen years later that friendship finally spilled over into the recording studio, with Gustafson and his band — including drummer “Chicago” Chuck Gullens, bassist Roland “Junior Bacon” Pritzker, keyboardist/vocalist Mo Beeks, guitarist Chalo Ortiz, and backing vocalists Chris White (nephew of folk singer Josh White) and Gustafson’s wife Linda — backing Rush on ten songs plus a bonus song on Decisions.
The leadoff track, “Another Murder in New Orleans,” paired Rush with another longtime friend, New Orleans music legend Dr. John. Two of the most colorful figures in the blues, Rush and Dr. John — whose real name is Malcolm John “Mac” Rebennack Jr. — have known each other for more than 50 years, first meeting as young men in their 20s on the early 1960s R&B circuit and remaining good friends ever since.
“When they’re telling stories it’s hilarious because they’re talking about bluesmen so ugly they had to turn their backs to the audience to play guitar,” says Gustafson, a mutual friend of both men. “And in some cases running from the same women.”
Despite their decades-long relationship, Rush and Dr. John had never recorded together until “Another Murder in New Orleans.” Written by Gustafson and Decisions producer Donald Markowitz (an Oscar, Golden Globe, and Grammy winner for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack smash “I’ve Had the Time of My Life”), the song addresses in graphic terms the street violence that has ravaged that city post-Hurricane Katrina, offering a message for change. The track was cut in New Orleans in 2012 around Mardi Gras. The setting inspired Gustafson to ask if Rush’s old friend might want to guest on the song, which the 74-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer eagerly did.
“We come up as kids together, man, but I never even thought about recording together before,” says Rush. “How great is it that this late in the game we can do something together while we can still talk about it and smile about it and laugh about it? It came to pass, and I’m so proud I did this with Dr. John.” 
“Another Murder in New Orleans” and Rush’s morals-seeking title track “Decisions” are the rare serious notes on an otherwise light-hearted blues romp that is rooted in Rush and Gustafson’s friendship. Other songs include the autobiographical “Bobby Rush’s Bus,” about the singer’s constantly-moving tour vehicle, “Funky Old Man,” the rap-flavored “Dr. Rush,” the acoustic jam “Too Much Weekend,” and “Skinny Little Women,” which tackles an issue Rush has been preoccupied with for some time.
“Little bitty woman why you always in the mirror talking ’bout how good you look/You ought to be doing like that fat woman in the kitchen seeing ’bout how good you cook,” sings Rush, who had one of his biggest successes in the ’90s with the album Lovin’ a Big Fat Woman. “It’s a joke-y thing. But if you notice that little skinny ladies all the time they look cute and good and smell good and look good. All that’s good but the big lady has got somebody, too. She needs some lovin’, too.”
Bobby Rush continues to perform more than 200 concerts a year and into 2015 will do so in support of the latest Grammy nominated album Decisions, see his upcoming announced dates below. On the horizon, be on the lookout for a definitive anthology of Bobby Rush.
BOBBY RUSH on tour December 19 – JACKSON, MS – Christmas Party
December 20 – MEMPHIS, TN – Minglewood Hall
December 23 – NEW ORLEANS, LA – Loyola University Hospital Holiday Party
December 27 – LULA, MS – Isle of Capri Casino
January 10 – TALLAHASSEE, FL - BCC January 17 – Robinsonville, MS – Sam’s Town Casino
January 18 – 25 – Blues Cruise from Ft. Lauderdale, FL
March 13 – DETRTOIT, MI – Detroit Opera House
March 14 – MERRILVILLE, IN (CHICAGO metro) – The Blues is Alright Tour
April 17 – CHICAGO, IL – Buddy Guy’s Legends
April 16 – JACKSON, MI – UAW Hall (7pm & 10pm)
April 25 – SARASOTA, FL – SunCoast Blues Festival
September 10-12 – Las Vegas, NV – Big Blues Bender (specific date TBA)
# # #
Music video for "Another Murder in New Orleans" by Dr. John and Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin’ from the Grammy nominated album Decisions:
Watch Dan Aykroyd talk about Bobby Rush on The Tonight Show:
Watch Bobby Rush and Dan Aykroyd with The Roots perfrom on The Tonight Show:
Watch the trailer for the film Take Me to the River with Bobby Rush:
Watch Bobby Rush with Blinddog Smokin' live here:

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Big Legal Mess artist: Leo Welch - Sabougla Voices - New release review

I just received the new release (January 7, 2014), Sabougla Voices, from Leo Welch and I love it. Raw energy and gritty music. Opening with Praise His Name,Welch unleashes a great howling feel good track reminiscent of Jesse Mae Hemphill or RL Burnside. Awesome. Chased by paired guitar and raw backing vocals this track is really tops! You Can't Hurry God has a bit of that Louisiana street sound and a lot of piano with drums. Welch's unique vocal style keeps this deal real. On Me And My Lord, Welch lays back into a easy paced exchange not unlike Rollin' and Tumblin' with his own vocals echoed by female backing. There's no polish here and none needed. Perfect. Take Care Of Me Lord is a really cool shuffle track. Welch sings with super confidence and his backing vocals give the music super reality. This is old style blues music at today's best. Mother Loves Her Children takes the pace down again to a slow blues tempo along the lines of It Hurts Me Too. Welch does some of his best vocal work on this track and it is likely to best appeal to more mainstream listeners. Praying Time has all of the enthusiasm of a gospel tent on Saturday night. It's hard not to enjoy this music. It's great! Somebody Touched Me opens with a cool raggedy guitar riff and you immediately have my attention. You can't make this stuff up. This is the real deal! In traditional gospel style, Welch sings the opening and is echoed by vocal backing. A Long Journey has deep R&B roots and heartfelt vocals. Simple accompaniment with guitar and drums enhances the appeal of this as with most every track on the release. His Holy Name springs back to the revival tent tempo with only light percussion and jangly guitar. It is obvious that Welch lives this music. Wrapping the release is The Lord Will Make A Way, a solid blues track with obvious religious overtones. With only the simplest of guitar accompaniment, Welch sings beautifully for a simple clean and memorable conclusion. Oh Yeah... And I really dig the cover!!

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page. I use Facebook to spread the word about my blog (Now with translation in over 50 languages). I will not hit you with 50 posts a day. I will not relay senseless nonsense. I use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on my blog each day. In this way I can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here Get Facebook support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blind Willie Johnson all-star album in the works...


Salute to legendary gospel singer-guitarist Blind Willie Johnson,
 with new recordings by Tom Waits, Sinead O’Connor,
Lucinda Williams, Luther Dickinson, Cowboys Junkies, Derek Trucks & Susan Tedeschi, Blind Boys of Alabama and Rickie Lee Jones, is a Kickstarter project in the works.

LOS ANGELES, Calif. — Johnson's music was charred with purgatorial fire — more than sixty years later, you can still
smell the smoke on it.—Francis Davis, The History of the Blues 

More than 60 years after his death, Blind Willie Johnson continues to capture listeners in a way that few singers or musicians have equaled. The list of artists he has influenced goes back to Robert Johnson and forward to the White Stripes. The most obviously indebted would include several generations of hard country gospel singers, from the Blind Boys of Alabama to the Staple Singers, and the most soulful and virtuosic slide guitarists, from Mississippi Delta bluesmen to Ry Cooder.

Raising $125,000 in 30 days for an album of new recordings celebrating the music of Blind Willie Johnson is a risk that music producer Jeffrey Gaskill finds completely worthwhile. “I think when Blind Willie Johnson sat down in the recording studio in the late ’20s he understood the importance of posterity, that he was recording something to be heard by future generations. Today, his music is on a spaceship representing mankind in outer space and yet many of his recordings are virtually unknown.” But Gaskill realizes, “It’s a labor of love that will not be supported by a record label; God Don’t Never Change will
only happen if it’s going to be funded by appreciators of good music.”

According to the Encyclopedia of American Gospel Music, “It would be impossible to list every musician influenced by Blind Willie Johnson, because it would require mentioning almost everyone who ever listened to one of his records.” In
his time, Johnson was considered a singing gospel preacher. Today, he is called a “holy bluesman,” reflecting all of the blues and rock fans and musicians who have been inspired by his work. Either way, there is no more compelling voice in early American music. His music lives on, both in the gospel world and in genres he never could have imagined, and it is
a fitting honor that his legacy be saluted and carried forward into the 21st century.

In order to raise enough money to fund the project, a group of rare and collectible items are available for sale. The
fundraiser’s crown jewels include The Blind Pilgrim Collection, a set of five, unique handcrafted cigar-box
guitars made from the wood of Johnson’s 1930s Marlin, Texas home. For sale individually, the guitars are a limited, numbered set exclusively for this effort.

The Kickstarter fund raising effort begins on October 16 and ends on November 16, 2013.

The project features several rewards for investors at several levels. One-of-a-kind collectibles, content exclusives, and premiums for backers of the album include:

· Backer-only “making-of-the-album” video updates
· Exclusive CD version of the album
· Limited-edition Blind Willie Johnson T-shirts
· Set of two 180-gram LPs in a gatefold package (includes re-mastered, original Blind Willie Johnson recordings)
· Limited, signed and numbered art prints
· Box set in a hardbound case that includes 10” vinyl 33 RPM singles for each track, with a
new recording on one side and the original Johnson recording on the flipside
· Advance digital download of the new album two weeks before release
· Hand-crafted cigar-box guitars made from the wood of Johnson’s Texas home Kickstarter campaigns operate under an “all-or-nothing” funding model so if the Blind Willie Johnson project doesn’t reach its goal at the end of the 30 days the
recording won’ happen.

The project can be followed on

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Soul icon Darondo dies at 67

1946 – 2013
Omnivore Recordings is saddened to report the passing of funk and soul icon Darondo from heart failure this past Sunday (June 9).
Born and bred in Berkeley, California, Darondo – given name William Daron Pulliam – first played professionally at the age of 18 in The Witnesses, a blue-eyed soul troupe resident at East Bay teen club the Lucky 13 in the 1960s, but it wasn’t until the early 1970s that the singer-guitarist hit his stride. He fashioned a unique blend of street soul, informed by Al Green, the Dells and others, but always identifiable by his own special delivery, sliding from gravelly baritone to wailing falsetto in the space of a measure.
By the late 1970s Darondo had left the music business and his subsequent adventures – cable video personality, globe-trotting entertainer, unorthodox therapist, and rebirth as a cult performer in the late 2000s – make for a colorful story that demonstrated the compassion and humanity of this unique individual.
Darondo’s recording career was sporadic originally stretching to just three self-penned singles, “How I Got Over,” “Legs,” and “Didn’t I,” the last named released on the Berkeley-based Music City label in late 1973. “Didn’t I” has subsequently become the artists signature tune, having been sampled and featured on soundtracks, and for many this heartbreaking downtempo ballad is their introduction to the intoxicating world of Darondo.
In 2008, reissue producer Alec Palao uncovered the tapes for two albums worth of material recorded by Darondo during his tenure at Music City in 1973 and 1974, which were subsequently assembled as Listen To My Song: The Music City Sessions, released on Omnivore Recordings/BGP in 2011. The appearance of a full set of Darondo in his prime, preening and pleading in equal measure on a brace of fantastic originals, was greeted with unanimous acclaim, not least by the artist himself, who had despaired of ever hearing the recordings again. His first reaction to hearing the dacades old masters was to excitedly proclaim, “This is the root, you got the root!”
For those who are not familiar with the idiosyncratic genius of Darondo, Listen To My Song: The Music City Sessions is indeed the root, and a fine tribute to the unique artistry of this one-of-a-kind individual.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Classic Southern soul from Minaret Records reissued on Omnivore Recordings August 13

The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976 features
Willie Cobbs, Big John Hamilton, Leroy Lloyd & the Dukes, Doris Allen
and other under-the-radar soul greats.
VALPARAISO, Fla. — For decades, Memphis and Muscle Shoals have been praised as the premier Southern soul recording capitals, and rightly so. But any comprehensive list of important R&B studio destinations should also include Valparaiso, located on Florida’s Panhandle, not far from the Alabama state line. That’s where Finley Duncan established the Playground Recording Studio in 1969, producing a series of stunning singles for his Minaret Records label (distributed by Shelby Singleton’s SSS International Records) that inexplicably avoided the charts but stand tall with legions of R&B aficionados.
Having explored the California East Bay’s vibrant soul/funk scene with its three-volume Music City Sessions, and solo outings by Darondo (Listen to My Song: The Music City Sessions) and The Two Things in One (Together Forever: The Music City Sessions), Omnivore Recordings now celebrates Southern R&B with The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976. Street date is August 13, 2013.
This two-CD, 40-track collection gathers all of the A’s and B’s of Minaret’s soulful sides for the very first time. Many of these tracks have been out of print for decades, commanding top dollar on the collector’s market. While the music is enticing enough, the package features a full-color booklet with extensive liner notes by music historian Bill Dahl detailing the history of the label and studio, as well as the stories of the artists whose work is showcased on these 20 singles.
Minaret boasted a stable of soul and blues artists who were rich in talent, even if not in hits. Big John Hamilton was one of Minaret’s anchoring artists, represented here with 18 tracks (including four duets with Doris Allen). Among his backing musicians were Muscle Shoals stalwart Spooner Oldham and the Memphis Horns. Hamilton was managed by fellow Minaret artist and guitarist Leroy Lloyd, whose instrumental “Sewanee Strut” is featured here. No Minaret artist boasted the track record of harpist Willie Cobbs, best known for the widely covered blues classic “You Don’t Love Me.” His 1968 session (“I’ll Love Only You” “Don’t Worry About Me”) is included in this collection.
Featuring photographs and commentary from Playground staff past and present, The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976 adds to Omnivore’s reputation as “the Smithsonian of record labels, finding, preserving and championing some of the greatest (and most endangered) music of the past 50 years,” according to Popshifter’s Cait Brennan.
If you’re wondering which side of the street has the best music, it’s South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976.
Big John Hamilton: “The Train,” “Big Bad John,” “I Have No One,” “I Just Want To Thank You” (1967)
Genie Brooks: “Fine Time,” “Juanita” (1967) 
The Double Soul: “Blue Diamonds,” “I Can’t Use You” (1968)
Big John Hamilton: “Big Fanny,” “How Much Can a Man Take” (1969)
Big John Hamilton: “Pretty Girls,” “Before the Next Teardrop Falls” (1969)
Johnny Dynamite: “The Night the Angels Cried,” “Everybody’s Clown” (1969)
Genie Brooks: “Helping Hand,” “South Side of Soul Street” (1969)
Big John Hamilton: “Breaking Up is Hard to Do,” “Love Comes and It Goes.” (1969)
Leroy Lloyd and The Dukes: “Sewanee Strut,” “A Taste of the Blues (1969)
Willie Cobbs: “I’ll Love Only You,” “Don’t Worry About Me” (1969)
Big John Hamilton: “If You’re Looking for a Fool,” “Take This Hurt Off Me Fool” (1969)  
Doris Allen: “A Shell of a Woman,” “Kiss Yourself for Me” (1969)
Gable Reed: “I’m Your Man,” “Who’s Been Warming My Oven” (1969)  
Big John Hamilton & Doris Allen: “A Place in My Heart,” “Let a Little Love In” (1969)
Willie Gable: “Row Row Row,” “Eternally”  (1969)
John Hamilton & Doris Allen: “Them Changes,” “Bright Star” (1970)
Big John Hamilton: “Lift Me Up,” “Just Seeing You Again” (1970)
Count Willie with LRL and The Dukes: “I’ve Got To Tell You” (1975)
LRL and The Dukes: “Double Funk” (1975)
Big John Hamilton: “I Got To Get Myself Somebody,” “Free Me” (1976)
Hear a preview of Omnivore Recordings'  The South Side of Soul Street: The Minaret Soul Singles 1967-1976 here

Founded in 2010 by highly respected, longtime industry veterans Cheryl Pawelski, Greg Allen, Dutch Cramblitt, and Brad Rosenberger, Omnivore Recordings preserves the legacies and music created by historical, heritage, and catalog artists while also releasing previously unissued, newly found “lost” recordings and making them available for music-loving audiences to discover. Omnivore Recordings is distributed by Caroline.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Rounder Records : History's Swamp People Celebrate The History and Culture of the Deep Delta - New Release Review

I just received History's Swamp People, and new release from Rounder Records. This 13 track compilation showcases current and past masters of regional music. Opening with Steel Bill's Swamp People, this is a Cajun house party. Dominated by a contemporary blend of funk, fiddle and blues rock, this track also features a nice clean guitar solo from Bill. Next up is a 1969 hit track, Amos Moses, by Jerry Reed. This track was always a crowd favorite and has just a taste of country picking on an otherwise rock track. Buckwheat Zydeco comes on pure cajun with Zydeco La Louisianne and an accordion romp. Everybody loves Tony Joe Whites Polk Salad Annie, up next and another top track from 1969. Amanda Shaw plays French Jig, a cajun fiddle track accompanied primarily by drums. Nice track. The Neville Brothers come on with the high polish on Fire On The Bayou, a funky track with sophisticated instrumentals and vocals. This is a track with real movement and voodoo overtones. Very cool. Chris Ardoin is up next with What's In That Bayou, an accordion lead swinger. Nice vocals harmonies and concise instrumentation makes this one of the coolest tracks on the release. Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet delivers a traditional arrangement of Kolinda in french for a real flavor of the regional roots. Hank Williams (Sr.) is a really great addition here with his version of Jambalaya. This of curse is an absolute standard of delta country roots. Excellent! Zachary Richard performs a funky hop track, Cocodrie, with lots of horns and and solid vocals. Keys provide much of the bottom of this track and there is also a really tasty guitar solo here as well. Jumpin' Johnny Sansone lays down the Crawfish Walk, a springy twisting rocker. Nice sax work and hot harp plays over this modern track. Very cool. D.L. Menhard plays Cajun Saturday Night, another regional country style track. This track has a real warm, welcoming sound to it with slide and fiddle. I really like it. Bobby Charles' 1955 hit See You Later Alligator, is a great finish to what is not just a compliation of related tracks but actually a pretty cool cd to listen to when you need a pick me up.

  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, May 1, 2013

Delbert McClinton & Glen Clark reunite for album after 40 years, New West Records June 18

Delbert & Glen . . .
Blind, Crippled And Crazy, co-produced by Gary Nicholson,
due out June 18 on New West Records, blends masterful songwriting,
musical maturity and down-home humor
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Three-time Grammy winner Delbert McClinton’s 28th album Blind, Crippled and Crazy, set for release on June 18 on New West Records, blends R&B, country, blues and rock ’n’ roll with humor, heart and roadhouse virtuosity. The disc also reunites McClinton with his longtime friend and musical running partner Glen Clark, making these 12 songs the first time the seminal roots music duo Delbert & Glen have recorded since 1973.
“We’ve always had an amazing rapport as musicians and friends, but we’ve been off living our own lives,” McClinton explains. “For the last decade Glen and me have been talking about doing another album, and everything fell into place last year here in Nashville with my songwriting partner Gary Nicholson.”
Besides co-writing several tracks, Nicholson co-produced the LP with McClinton and Clark and played guitar alongside drummer Tom Hambridge, fellow six-stringer Bob Britt, keyboardists Kevin McKendree and Bruce Katz, and other members of McClinton’s touring band as well as blues guitar hero Anson Funderburgh, who guests on “Oughta Know,” a hot-licks fest penned by McClinton’s son Clay.
Blind, Crippled And Crazy’s opening Texas shuffle “Been Around a Long Time” sets a reverberating tone of self-deprecating humor, as does the album’s title.
“We’re a couple guys who started playing together in ragtag bands around Fort Worth in the ’60s,” Clark relates, “so we like to poke some fun at ourselves for being older now.”
Clark picked up the tune’s tag line many years ago from a feisty 102-year-old woman in Arkansas, who told him, “Sonny, I ain’t old. I’ve just been around a long time,” and the song finally emerged during the disc’s 2011 writing sessions.
The loping and textured “More and More, Less and Less” resonates similarly as it dismisses the excesses of youth, although its acoustic guitar bedrock and the yearning timbre of McClinton’s vocal performance and his haunting harmonica solo add poignancy, too.
“The bottom line is that we’re still bulldogs on a pork chop, but our teeth are ground down, so it takes longer to chew that thing up,” Clark says, chuckling a bit. “But we still get it right down to the bone.”
That also explains the amount of sheer growl in Blind, Crippled And Crazy’s grooves. “World of Hurt” is a snarling six-string rocker about biting heartbreak, and “Good as I Feel Today” rings like a great lost Little Feat number — although McClinton and Clark come by its drawling melody, swaggering rhythm and buttery slide guitar via their own assimilation of R&B, blues, country and nascent rock in the 1950s and early ’60s.
They were schooled by the sounds of Ray Charles, Charles Brown, Little Richard, Bob Wills, Elvis Presley and Hank Williams courtesy of the radio and their siblings’ record collections. Then they graduated to playing the roadhouses of their native Texas.
Musical mutual admiration rapidly followed. “Delbert was the first great singer I ever saw in person, so he’s always been one of my biggest influences,” Clark relates. In turn, McClinton testifies that “Glen is one of the few people I can really duet with. Our phrasing just compliments each other, and our voices sound great together. I have more fun singing with Glen than anybody else.”
Clark left Texas in the early ’70s for the lure of Los Angeles’ big-time music business, and after a while McClinton followed. Soon the collaborators landed a record deal and cut two albums, 1972’s Delbert & Glen and the follow-up Subject to Change. Both of these now-hard-to-find classics plumbed the same turf as Blind, Crippled And Crazy, albeit in the sweeter vocal registers of younger men.
McClinton’s “B Movie Box Car Blues” from Delbert & Glen was re-cut six years later by the Blues Brothers for the double-platinum-selling Briefcase Full of Blues and has become a standard of the genre. In a twist of fate, Clark would later play keyboards with the Blues Brothers after becoming music director for Jim Belushi in 1997.
Delbert and Glen began their four-decade hiatus after both men moved back to Texas separately to follow romance and their solo careers. Clark returned to Los Angeles in 1977. He became a popular songwriter, authoring tunes for Rita Coolidge, Etta James, Loretta Lynn, Wynonna Judd, Kris Kristofferson and many others. He also hit the road with his keyboards, touring with Kristofferson, Bonnie Raitt and others before beginning his dozen years with Belushi, which included nine years as composer for the sitcom According to Jim.
Of course, McClinton became an international star in the realms of blues and traditional country music, cross-pollinating the genres into his own unique sound. Since 1980, when his sixth solo album The Jealous Kind sparked the top 10 hit “Givin’ It Up for Your Love,” he has remained one of the most respected figures in American roots music. In 1992 the man who gave John Lennon his first harmonica lesson — when McClinton toured England in the early ’60s as part of Bruce Channel’s band — won his first Grammy Award, for the duet “Good Man, Good Woman” with Bonnie Raitt. That was followed by a second win in 2003 for Nothing Personal in the Best Contemporary Blues Album Category. In 2006, he won a third Grammy for his Cost of Living album. McClinton’s songs have also been recorded by a who’s who of country music royalty including Vince Gill, Wynonna Judd, Garth Brooks, Emmylou Harris, Martina McBride and Trisha Yearwood.
Over the decades his blend of soaring blue-eyed soul singing sprinkled with red Texas dust, the emotional wealth of his songwriting and his command of virtuoso supporting ensembles has built McClinton a wildly avid fan base in the United States and Europe. They are nearly like Deadheads in their willingness to travel to repeated shows and their level of support. Each January they turn the Delbert McClinton & Friends Sandy Beaches Cruise, a weeklong music festival he hosts aboard luxury liners, into a sell-out.
“The bottom line is, at this point I don’t believe in doing anything that’s not fun,” McClinton says, “and recording Blind, Crippled And Crazy was a blast. Me and Gary, who I’ve known for 40 years starting back in Texas, handpicked every musician on the record and made sure every song was perfect. The title, from the old soul tune, is something I’ve wanted to use for years. And singing with Glen again — between the way our voices mix and his sense of humor — makes me excited about us taking this music out on the road together.
“I’ve got a good deal in life,” McClinton continues. “I’ve got a lot of good people for fans who support me — although I’ve won over each of them one-by-one on the road. I can pick and choose whatever I want to do. And I’ve never had to keep a job for long, thank God, because jobs stink. I know. I’ve had a lot of them, and I know why I got fired from every one. And believe me, making this album and singing these songs with Glen is nothing like a job.”
# # #

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!

Mississippi blues legend Bobby Rush readies 'Down in Louisiana'

Share This:
home about us artists testimonials contact
twitter facebook


New studio album Down in Louisiana, due February 19, 
updates the sounds of the swamps and the juke joints
JACKSON, Miss. —Bobby Rush’s new Down in Louisiana, out February 19, 2013 on Deep Rush Productions through Thirty Tigers, is the work of a funky fire-breathing legend. Its 11 songs revel in the grit, grind and soul that’s been the blues innovator’s trademark since the 1960s, when he stood shoulder to shoulder on the stages of Chicago with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter and other giants.
Of course, it’s hard to recognize a future giant when he’s standing among his mentors. But five decades later Down in Louisiana’s blend of deep roots, eclectic arrangements and raw modern production is clearly the stuff of towering artistry.
“This album started in the swamps and the juke joints, where my music started, and it’s also a brand new thing,” says the Grammy-nominated adopted son of Jackson, Mississippi. “Fifty years ago I put funk together with down-home blues to create my own style. Now, with Down in Louisiana, I’ve done the same thing with Cajun, reggae, pop, rock and blues, and it all sounds only like Bobby Rush.”
At 77, Rush still has an energy level that fits his name. He’s a prolific songwriter and one of the most vital live performers in the blues, able to execute daredevil splits on stage with the finesse of a young James Brown while singing and playing harmonica and guitar. Those talents have earned him multiple Blues Music Awards including Soul Blues Album of the Year, Acoustic Album of the Year, and, almost perennially, Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year.
As Down in Louisiana attests, he’s also one of the music’s finest storytellers, whether he’s evoking the thrill of finding love in “Down in Louisiana” — a song whose rhythmic accordion and churning beat evoke his Bayou State youth — or romping through one of his patented double-entendre funk rave-ups like “You’re Just Like a Dresser.”
Songs like the latter — with the tag line “You’re just like a dresser/Somebody’s always ramblin’ in your drawers” — and a stage show built around big-bottomed female dancers, ribald humor and hip-shaking grooves have made Rush today’s most popular blues attraction among African-American audiences. With more than 100 albums on his résumé, he’s the reigning king of the Chitlin’ Circuit, the network of clubs, theaters, halls and juke joints that first sprang up in the 1920s to cater to black audiences in the bad old days of segregation. A range of historic entertainers that includes Bessie Smith, Cab Calloway, B.B. King, Nat “King” Cole and Ray Charles emerged from this milieu. And Rush is proud to bear the torch for that tradition, and more.

“What I do goes back to the days of black vaudeville and Broadway, and — with my dancers on stage — even back to Africa,” Rush says. “It’s a spiritual thing, entwined with the deepest black roots, and with Down in Louisiana I’m taking those roots in a new direction so all kinds of audiences can experience my music and what it’s about.”
Compared to the big-band arrangements of the 13 albums Rush made while signed to Malaco Records, the Mississippi-based pre-eminent soul-blues label of the ’80s and ’90s, Down In Louisiana is a stripped down affair. The album ignited 18 months ago when Rush and producer Paul Brown, who’s played keyboards in Rush’s touring band, got together at Brown’s Nashville-based Ocean Soul Studios to build songs from the bones up.
“Everything started with just me and my guitar,” Rush explains. “Then Paul created the arrangements around what I’d done. It’s the first time I made an album like that and it felt really good.” Rush plans to tour behind the disc, his debut on Thirty Tigers, with a similar-sized group.
Down in Louisiana is spare on Rush’s usual personnel, — Brown on keys, drummer Pete Mendillo, guitarist Lou Rodriguez and longtime Rush bassist Terry Richardson —  but doesn’t scrimp on funk. Every song is propelled by an appealing groove. Even the semi-autobiographical hard-times story “Tight Money,” which floats in on the call of Rush’s haunted harmonica, has a magnetic pull toward the dance floor. And “Don’t You Cry,” which Rush describes as “a new classic,” employs its lilting sway to evoke the vintage sound of electrified Delta blues à la Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. Rush counts those artists, along with B.B King, Ray Charles and Sonny Boy Williamson II, as major influences.
“You hear all of these elements in me,” Rush allows, “but nobody sounds like Bobby Rush.”
Rush began absorbing the blues almost from his birth in Homer, Louisiana, on November 10, 1935. “My first guitar was a piece of wire nailed up on a wall with a brick keeping it raised up on top and a bottle keeping it raised on the bottom,” he relates. “One day the brick fell out and hit me in the head, so I reversed the brick and the bottle.
“I might be hard-headed,” he adds, chuckling, “but I’m a fast learner.”
Rush quickly moved on to an actual six-string and the harmonica. He started playing juke joints in his teens, wearing a fake mustache so owners would think him old enough to perform in their clubs. In 1953 his family relocated to Chicago, where his musical education shifted to hyperspeed under the spell of Waters, Wolf, Williamson and the rest of the big dogs on the scene. Rush ran errands for slide six-string king Elmore James and got guitar lessons from Howlin’ Wolf. He traded harmonica licks with Little Walter and begin sitting in with his heroes.
In the ’60s Rush became a bandleader in order to realize the fresh funky soul-blues sound that he was developing in his head.
“James Brown was just two years older than me, and we both focused on that funk thing, driving on that one-chord beat,” Rush explains. “But James put modern words to it. I was walking the funk walk and talking the countrified blues talk — with the kinds of stories and lyrics that people who grew up down South listening to John Lee Hooker and Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf and bluesmen like that could relate to. And that’s been my trademark.”
After 1971’s percolating “Chicken Heads” became his first hit and cracked the R&B Top 40, Rush’s dedication increased. He relocated to Mississippi to be among the highest population of his core black blues-loving audience and put together a 12-piece touring ensemble. Record deals with Philadelphia International and Malaco came as his star rose, and his performances kept growing from the small juke joints where he’d started into nightclubs, civic auditoriums and, by the mid-’80s, Las Vegas casinos and the world’s most prominent blues festivals. Rush’s ascent was depicted in The Road to Memphis, a film co-starring B.B. King that was part of the 2003 PBS series Martin Scorsese Presents: The Blues.
In 2003 he established his own label, Deep Rush Productions, and has released nine titles under that imprint including his 2003 DVD+CD set Live At Ground Zero and 2007’s solo Raw. That disc led to his current relationship with Thirty Tigers, which distributed Raw and his two most recent albums, 2009’s Blind Snake and 2011’s Show You A Good Time (which took Best Soul Blues Album of the year that’s the 2012 BMAs), before signing him as an artist for Down in Louisiana.
Although his TV appearances, gigs at Lincoln Center and numerous Blues Music Awards attest to his acceptance by all blues fans, Rush hopes that the blend of the eclectic, inventive and down-home on Down in Louisiana will help further expand his audience.
“But no matter how much I cross over, whether it’s to a larger white audience or to college listeners or fans of Americana, I’ll never cross out who I am and where I’ve come from,” Rush promises. “My music’s always gonna be funky and honest, and it’s always gonna sound like Bobby Rush.”


11271 Ventura Blvd. #522 Studio City, California 91604
11271 Ventura Blvd. #522 Studio City, California 91604
Tel: (323) 656-1600