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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 Gregg Allman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gregg Allman. Show all posts

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman has died - My thoughts are with his family

Gregg Allman, one of the founding members of The Allman Brothers Band, has died. He was 69.
The southern rocker's passing was announced on his official website, adding that Allman "passed away peacefully at his home in Savannah, Georgia" on Saturday.
Allman's death comes after rumors circulated last month that he had entered hospice care. A rep for the rocker told ABC News that the rumors were not true.
Still, Allman had been suffering from ill health in recent years, dealing with a respiratory infection, a hernia, a liver transplant and an irregular heartbeat.
Back in March, he canceled all his 2017 tour dates to support his upcoming album "Southern Blood" due to his health.
Michael Lehman, a close friend of Allman's, said in a statement posted to his website: "I have lost a dear friend and the world has lost a brilliant pioneer in music. He was a kind and gentle soul with the best laugh I ever heard."
"His love for his family and bandmates was passionate as was the love he had for his extraordinary fans. Gregg was an incredible partner and an even better friend. We will all miss him," the statement concluded.
Allman is survived by his wife Shannon Allman along with their four children and three grandchildren.
According to his website, "The family will release a statement soon, but for now ask for privacy during this very difficult time."

Friday, May 22, 2015

13th Almost Annual Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival - Concert Review - Stilladog - Guest writer

This year’s festival started off under partly cloudy skies with Patty Reese rendering an acapella version of the Star Spangled Banner.  As she sang you could gaze out over the Chesapeake Bay and imagine, as I did, the British warships heading back out to sea after failing to capture Fort McHenry.  Then a moment of silence was observed for the passing of BB King.

The festival kicked off with the Marcus King Band followed by a female band of local DC musicians put together specifically for this performance called the Sisterhood of Soul.  Then a last minute substitute band, The Record Company, replacing the previously booked Davy Knowles.  The highlight of these opening acts, in fact one of the true high points of the whole festival, was the performance turned in by Little Margie Clark of Sisterhood of Soul. The little old lady (formerly of the 60s group The Jewels) packed a powerful voice. And when she ad libbed some serious scat she blew the lid off that place!  Man, I can’t even tell you what language she was signing in!!  The most outstanding version of an improvised scat vocal I’ve ever heard on a record or in person… and that’s counting Ella Fitzgerald!  The horn section for Sisterhood of Soul was outstanding.  I really wish they’d have turned those horns loose on their set finale Turn On Your Lovelight.

The meat of the lineup started when Tommy Castro and The Painkillers took the stage at mid-afternoon.  The set they played was clearly the best I’ve ever heard Tommy play.  I’ve seen him at least 7 or 8 times and have not come away impressed.  This time I came away singing his praises.  He dropped his horn section a couple years back and his new lineup has taken some time to come together.  But they are a tight outfit now!  The highlight of his set was his cover of the Wet Willie standard, Keep On Smilin’.

The Painkillers were followed by Bobby Rush making his second appearance at the festival.  His was the usual standard entertaining Bobby Rush set full of good music and a few laughs. 

Next up was Beth Hart who has the most amazing voice.  Extremely powerful.  She was holding the mic at her waist and it was picking up her voice like other singers who are damn near swallowing it!  I did not know what to expect from her as my only exposure was on some duet performances she recorded with Joe Bonamassa.  But she wowed me and pretty much everyone within earshot, which probably included some fishermen way out under the Bay Bridge!

Immediately after Beth Hart concluded her set the thunder and lightning rolled in bringing some heavy rain with it.  This delayed the start of the Gregg Allman set by more than an hour and 15 minutes.  Finally, with lightning still off in the distance and the crew squeegeeing water off the stage,I left for the evening.  By all accounts those who stayed were thoroughly impressed with Gregg’s band and his set.  Everyone mentioned his tribute to Dickie Betts and the quality of musicianship the whole band displayed.

Day two started off the way day one ended with cloudy skies and spitting rain.  But by the time the Chesapeake Bay Blues Band took the stage it had cleared.  They are another “festival specific” band featuring Mark Wenner on harp and vocals and Tommy Lepson on keys. It essentially consisted of what amounted to the “Old Nighthawks,” guys who once played in the Nighthawks of the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.  They ripped through a very hot set of blues standards in which everyone got a vocal or two and they set the bar higher for the remainder of the day.

Next up was Jarekus Singleton.  I was looking forward to hearing him as I had heard mixed reviews on his first album and wanted to make my own decision. Some folks said he was great and the new savior of the blues.  Others said he was a highly overrated product of the music industry hype machine.  I found neither to be true.  A lot of folks really enjoyed his set.  I found it to be excessive and self-indulgent.  He has talent and a big upside.  But he is far from being the future of the blues.

Mingo Fishtrap wrapped up the afternoon with a mixed bag set that was well received.  Their set included everything from a New Orleans second line to country blues to straight ahead gut-bucket. And then the rain came.

As Shemekia Copeland took the stage she announced “Here I Come!  And Here Come The rain!”  Shemekia is the absolute Queen of the Chesapeake Blues Fest and has appeared more times than any other artist.  The fans love her and she loves playing this festival.  It was the usual high energy, superb performance we’ve come to expect from Shemekia.  As always she paid tribute to her father Johnny “Clyde” Copeland, but this weekend she also paid tribute to the late B.B. King who had passed just two days day before.

The artist I most wanted to see was Charlie Musselwhite.  I had never seen him perform and I was not disappointed.  In fact, I liked seeing him live more than I liked him from listening to his albums.  He had an outstanding playlist of his older stuff, newer stuff, blues classics.  A thoroughly enjoyable set.

Jonny Lang came on.  Pleased many people with his guitar antics.  He was largely popular.  I have however grown weary of his faux ”pain with every note” stage act.  He is another hugely talented guitarist who can’t decide whether he wants to play rock, blues, prog, or Christian music.  All I can say is constant thrashing may entertain some, but it becomes tiresome to me.

And finally the incomparable Buddy Guy closed out the show.  His was a rip snortin’, hell raisin’, string stetchin’ masterful performance.  It was his usual act complete with a walk through the audience during an extended version of “Slippin’ Out,”  The entire set was done with precision, and on this night, extreme passion.  I think Buddy felt the need to set the record straight about who the premiere guitarist at that festival was and was also feeling a pain in his heart about the loss of his friend, BB King.  Those elements combined to yield the best performance I’ve ever seen of Buddy Guy.  Ironically the first time I saw him perform was as part of BB King’s Blues Revue (with Koko Taylor) back in the early 90s and thought his performance that night could never be matched (he absolutely cut Eric Johnson’s head off that night!).  When Buddy brought out his young protégé Quinn Sullivan to help close out the festival I believe we came closer to seeing the future of the blues then than ever.

As I’ve probably said in previous reviews, this festival has probably one of the most beautiful settings as any in the country.  It’s right on the Chesapeake Bay with the Bay Bridge as a backdrop.  The festival is non-profit and all proceeds go to charities that actually get the money!  It’s a good time, it’s a good place and it’s a good cause.  If you ever get the chance to come on down to my place, the largest estuary in the United States, please check out this festival.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

2015 Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival welcomes Gregg Allman - Buddy Guy – Beth Hart – Jonny Lang

The Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival with Gregg Allman, Buddy Guy, Beth Hart, Jonny Lang and many more at Sandy Point State Park, Annapolis, MD 
on Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th, 2015!  Buy tickets today!
Two incredible days of live music on the beautiful shores of the Chesapeake Bay.  On Saturday, May 16th and Sunday, May 17th, 2015, the Chesapeake Bay Blues Festival will return to Sandy Point State Park in Annapolis, Maryland.  
Boasting one of our best line-ups ever, the festival will feature performances by: Gregg Allman, Buddy Guy with special guest Quinn Sullivan, Beth Hart, Jonny Lang, Charlie Musselwhite, Bobby Rush, Tommy Castro and the Painkillers, Shemekia Copeland, Mingo Fishtrap, Jarekus Singleton, the Sisterhood of Soul, the Marcus King Band and the Chesapeake Bay Blues Band.  

The festival also includes a variety of food, including local favorite crab cakes and oysters, Beer, wine, smoothies, a large crafter village with something for everyone, and a kids activities!

The net proceeds from this event will go to several worthwhile and very special charities, including: Special Love, Inc., Camp Face, We Care and Friends and League for People with Disabilities.  

Tickets are on sale now!   For all the details, please visit our website at!  For more updates, follow us on Facebook.  Come and get Hooked on the Blues!
General Admission tickets are available advanced prices now on our website at

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Monday, May 5, 2014

17th Annual Doheny Blues Festival

Get ready for a weekend of blues, roots, and rock music at the 17th Annual Doheny Blues Festival on May 17 & 18, 2014. Enjoy 20+ performances on three different stages, tasty microbrews, local vendors and delicious food. Headlining the 2014 festival are Gregg Allman, The Doobie Brothers, Gov’t Mule, Buddy Guy, and Vintage Trouble. Also joining the line-up are Keb’ Mo’, James Cotton & Friends, Ruthie Foster, Charles Bradley & The Extraordinaires, The Mannish Boys Revue, and John Németh & The Bo-Keys. Grab your friends and family and head down to Dana Point’s Doheny State Beach for the Doheny Blues Festival on May 17 & 18, 2014

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Gregg Allman's Vast Musical Legacy Is Honored on "All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman," Out May 6 on Rounder


Gregg Allman’s Vast Musical Legacy Is Honored On All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman, Out May 6 on Rounder

Rolling Stone Premieres “Midnight Rider”
Watch Here:


Nashville, TN – April 2, 2014 – On January 10, 2014, a multi-generational assortment of musicians from the worlds of rock, blues and country joined together at Atlanta's historic Fox Theatre for a once-in-a-lifetime all-star performance to pay tribute to the life and music of the legendary singer/musician/songwriter Gregg Allman.  That live musical event can now be experienced via the new multimedia package All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman, set for release by Rounder Records on May 6th, 2014

Shot in high definition video with 5:1 Dolby sound, this 1-DVD, 2-CD package (also available in multiple format variations including Blu-Ray) captures the four-hour concert event in its entirety.  The show features a diverse assortment of high-profile Allman admirers paying tribute to the iconic veteran rocker, delivering distinctive new performances of classic material drawn from his four and a half decades as a recording artist; encompassing his landmark work with the legendary Allman Brothers Band as well as his parallel solo career.

The variety of the artists paying tribute to Allman, and the diversity of their interpretations of his songs, attests to the broad appeal of Allman's talents, which transcend stylistic and generational boundaries.  With musical direction by noted producer/musician Don Was, several of the guest performers are drawn from the Allman Brothers Band's extended musical family, including current ABB guitarists Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks (who also appears here with his wife and frequent musical partner Susan Tedeschi) and Gregg's talented son Devon Allman.

The prestigious slate of performers also includes such Allman contemporaries as Jackson Browne, Dr. John, John Hiatt, Taj Mahal, Wet Willie singer Jimmy Hall and classic soul man Sam Moore (of Sam and Dave fame), along with such younger acts as Robert Randolph, Keb' Mo', Widespread Panic and Pat Monahan of Train.  Such notable guest performers as Eric Church, Trace Adkins, Vince Gill, Martina McBride, Zac Brown, Brantley Gilbert and Jess Franklin represent the world of country music, long a key component in Allman’s musical consciousness.

All My Friends: Celebrating the Songs & Voice of Gregg Allman would not be complete without Allman's own authoritative voice, which is spotlighted here on collaborative readings of landmark tunes with Gregg's onetime L.A. roommate Jackson Browne ("These Days," "Melissa"), Vince Gill and Zac Brown ("Midnight Rider") and Taj Mahal ("Statesboro Blues").  Gregg also joins with the Allman Brothers Band to deliver fiery readings of the classics "Dreams" and "Whipping Post," which precede a set-closing "Will the Circle Be Unbroken," performed by the show's full cast.  With the recent announcement that the Allman Brothers Band will cease touring at the end of 2014, these may be among the last recordings of the band on stage.

The All My Friends show features a celebrated house band that includes Don Was on bass, former Allman Brothers Band members Chuck Leavell (keyboards) and Jack Pearson (guitar), ex-Black Crowes guitarist Audley Freed, Wallflowers keyboardist Rami Jaffee and renowned drummer-to-the-stars Kenny Aronoff.

As Allman later enthused, "That show was one of the highlights of my life.  It was great to see old friends, and everyone was so gracious and really poured their souls into my songs.  It was a very special night."

In most video formats, All My Friends also features extensive bonus video material, including 26 exclusive interviews with the show's performers, candid behind-the-scenes material, and historic footage of a special presentation to Allman.

Gregg Allman is one of rock's most acclaimed and beloved icons, possessing a distinctively soulful voice and singular songwriting ability that resonate through a musical career that spans nearly half a century.  Gregg, along with the Allman Brothers Band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame in 1995.  At the 54th Annual Grammy Awards in 2012, the group was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The same year, Gregg's critically acclaimed tell-all memoir, My Cross to Bear, spent several weeks as a New York Times Bestseller.

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Track listing:

CD 1
            1.          Come and Go Blues – Warren Haynes
                        (Gregg Allman)
            2.          End of the Line – Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks
                        (Gregg Allman-Warren Haynes-John Jaworowicz-Allen Woody)
            3.          Stand Back – Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks
                        (Gregg Allman-Raymond Berry Oakland III)
            4.          You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had – Devon Allman, Jimmy Hall and  Robert                                          Randolph
                         (McKinley Morganfield)
            5.          Please Call Home – Sam Moore
                        (Gregg Allman)
            6.          Just Another Rider – Keb’ Mo’
                        (Gregg Allman-Warren Haynes)
            7.          Before the Bullets Fly – Brantley Gilbert
                        (Warren Haynes- John Jaworowicz-Henry Jack Williams)

            8.          Let This Be a Lesson to Ya – Dr. John
                        (Gregg Allman-Malcolm Rebennack)
            9.          Queen of Hearts – Pat Monahan
                        (Gregg Allman)
            10.        One Way Out – John Hiatt
                         (Sonny Boy Williamson-Elmore James-Marshall Sehorn)
            11.        Statesboro Blues – Taj Mahal and Gregg Allman
                        (Blind Willie McTell)
            12.        Just Ain’t Easy – Widespread Panic
                        (Gregg Allman)
            13.        Wasted Words – Widespread Panic and Derek Trucks
                        (Gregg Allman)
            14.        I’m No Angel – Trace Adkins
                        (Tony Colton-Phil Palmer)

CD 2

            1.          Trouble No More – Trace Adkins
                        (Muddy Waters)
            2.          Multi-Colored Lady – Vince Gill
                        (Gregg Allman)
            3.          All My Friends – Martina McBride
                        (Scott Boyer)
            4.          Can You Fool – Pat Monahan and Martina McBride
                        (Michael Smotherman)
            5.          Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More – Eric Church
                        (Gregg Allman)
            6.          Win, Lose or Draw – Eric Church
                        (Gregg Allman)
            7.          These Days – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman
                        (Jackson Browne)
            8.          Melissa – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman
                        (Gregg Allman-Steve Alaimo)
            9.          Midnight Rider – Vince Gill, Zac Brown and Gregg Allman 
                        (Gregg Allman-Robert Kim Payne)
            10.        Dreams – The Allman Brothers Band
                        (Gregg Allman)
            11.        Whipping Post – The Allman Brothers Band
                        (Gregg Allman)

            12.        Will the Circle Be Unbroken – full cast

            1.          Come and Go Blues – Warren Haynes

            2.          End of the Line – Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks

            3.          Stand Back – Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks

            4.          You Can’t Lose What You Ain’t Never Had – Devon Allman, Jimmy Hall and Robert                                        Randolph

            5.          Please Call Home – Sam Moore

            6.          Just Another Rider – Keb’ Mo’

            7.          Before the Bullets Fly – Brantley Gilbert

            8.          Let This Be a Lesson to Ya – Dr. John

            9.          Queen of Hearts – Pat Monahan

            10.        One Way Out – John Hiatt

            11.        Statesboro Blues – Taj Mahal and Gregg Allman

            12.        Just Ain’t Easy – Widespread Panic

            13.        Wasted Words – Widespread Panic and Derek Trucks

            14.        I’m No Angel – Trace Adkins

            15.        Trouble No More – Trace Adkins

            16.        Multi-Colored Lady – Vince Gill

            17.        All My Friends – Martina McBride

            18.        Can You Fool – Pat Monahan and Martina McBride

            19.        Ain’t Wastin’ Time No More – Eric Church

            20.        Win, Lose or Draw – Eric Church

            21.        These Days – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman

            22.        Melissa – Jackson Browne and Gregg Allman

            23.        Midnight Rider – Vince Gill, Zac Brown and Gregg Allman

            24.        Dreams – The Allman Brothers Band

            25.        Whipping Post – The Allman Brothers Band

            26.        Will the Circle Be Unbroken – full cast

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Alligator Records artist: JAMES COTTON - COTTON MOUTH MAN - New release Review - Ellis James guest contributer

Blues harmonica legend, James Cotton releases his new CD “Cotton Mouth Man” which will be available at local and online record stores beginning May 07, 2013. May is also a time in which Cotton’s 77 year old face fills the cover of the current issue of Living Blues magazine. Writer and walking Blues almanac, David White provides a 10-page look at a career spanning nearly 60 years. This CD was premiered at a live performance, Saturday, May 25, 2013 at the Tupelo Music Hall in Londonerry, New Hampshire.

Cotton Mouth Man follows the trend of collaboration and featuring key players to round out the disk filled with 13 no-nonsense blues tunes. This by no means is a compromise but in this case is a certain gift to the listener. Guests as they appear in order are Joe Bonamassa, Gregg Allman, Keb’ Mo, Warren Haynes, Ruthie Foster, Delbert McClinton and vocalist Darrell Nulisch, long time veteran of Cotton's road band. The backbone of Cotton's band on this CD are the great Tom Hambridge on drums, Rob McNelley on guitar, Chuck Leavell  on keys, and Glenn Worf  on bass.The title track, Cotton Mouth Man,  features Joe Bonamassa on  guitar played with the fervor and sound of  Ten Years After at Woodstock. Next up is Midnight Train  featuring Gregg Allman. Subtle harmonica intro that kicks into a full band punch. A healthy and strong sounding Gregg Allman delivers the vocals and organ amongst great doses of Cotton’s distinctive harmonica and tasty guitar licks from beginning to end. Mississippi Mud featuring Keb Mo is next as acoustic juke joint piano lays down the solid foundation for Cotton’s harp, tasty electric guitar with Mo’s distinctive and cool vocals covering the top. This is one cut wherein there is an extra nice harmonica bridge solo that is quite cool. A none too subtle homage is given to Muddy Waters in both name dropping tip of the hat and song title inference. Something For Me wakes things up with the Warren Haynes' slip and slide which seems to fit hand and glove to the harmonica work. Touches of the ZZ Top like ‘buzzin’ and processed vocals add to an over all effect. Heartfelt female vocals from Rutie Foster gives a great change up in style in the Wrapped Around My Heart torch song.  A more complex harmonica arrangement meshes perfectly with the blistering guitar riffs and passionate lyrics.  
Saint on Sunday gives a two-for-one “Devil on Saturday and Saint on Sunday” view of two women rolled into one. This is a straight ahead driving song with prominent harp and bass line with the organ taking a more subtle back seat. Delbert McClinton lends his distinctive vocal delivery and guitar to a definite dance tune. Hard Sometimes reminds us the of difficulties of getting someone out of your mind with a funky double entendre to boot.  Drums and Bass are featured more than other cuts in the respect lent to Young Bold Women. Three words that work well together in describing what makes everything alright. Beginning with an almost a Calypso skip beat morphs into a straight up basic 4/4 blues beat only to bounce back and forth between the timing changes resulting in a song that would be easy to believe as a fun romp for the players to perform. Story telling is  key to the lucky find of a Bird Nest On the Ground. Once again a good Cotton bridge solo which stands out as my favorite example of James’ notable talent on this recording. I have to admit that Keb’ Mo is one of my favorites for vocal style and his ability to tell a story. Wasn’t My Time To Go draws in the listener with more round house piano and subtle harp with what sounds like a tasty arch-top
Blues is Good For You is a pleasant bass-driven walking blues with a simple story filled with references to Southern style and a strong platform for Cotton to blow his blues away. This is sure to bring a tap of the toe and a smile to your face. Bonnie Blue features Cotton on vocals and harmonica laid over a basic resonator guitar.  It’s great to hear Cottons voice both because of the texture that he gives to the song and as a testament to his right to call himself a bluesman. 

If you are a fan of harmonica blues then this is certainly a release that demands your spin time and attention. Less is more in this case. Production values are superior and a definite recommended collection!

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! Here's James live in concert. Not a cut from his current release.