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 Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
Showing posts with label Houston. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Houston. Show all posts

Friday, November 1, 2019

Sparky Parker - In The Dark - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, In The Dark from Sparky Parker is it's an energy packed fireball. Opening with title track, In The Dark, a solid radio rocker, lead singer and guitarist Sparky Parker shows his showmanship with solid vocals and use of wah wah on his rhythm work under the lead. With Kevin Berry on drums and Phillip Lock on bass, a cool opener. This Old Thing has great rhythm, super tone and stinging guitar riffs under solid melody making it another strong radio contender. Games has a classic blues guitar styling and Parker's vocals really shine on one of my favorites tracks on the release. Sleepy Town is blues but a newer, less formal styling, strong lead guitar and nicely blended vocals gives it a great unique appeal. Excellent! The rolling Stones' country rocker, Dead Flowers, is always a great track and this is no exception. Parker takes the pace up just a notch and with a tight rhythm and simple paired vocals gives this track a great country flavor. Escape To Quintana is a really cool surf style instrumental with blazing tom toms and freewheeling lead guitar … what's not to love! Wrapping the release is Slim Harpo's Shake Your Hips but with a high octane pace. Keeping this track pared back but adding a little juice is difficult but Parker does it just right. His guitar riffs are just right and with a driving bass line by Lock and tight riffs by Berry. Super closer.


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Monday, September 10, 2018

Connor Ray Music Set to Release New CD from Houston-Based Duo, Dry Johnson, "Long Live Them Blues Vol. 1", On October 5









Connor Ray Music Set to Release New CD from Houston-Based Duo, Dry Johnson,

Long Live Them Blues Vol. 1, On October 5



HOUSTON, TX – Connor Ray Music announces an October 5 release date for the debut CD from Houston-based duo, Dry Johnson, Long Live Them Blues, Vol. 1.   



Dry Johnson is comprised of bassist Terry Dry and drummer Matthew Robert Johnson, who collectively have formed the powerhouse rhythm section backing award-winning Texas guitarslinger Mike Zito for almost two years. Zito returns the favor on Long Live Them Blues, Vol. 1 by playing guitar and singing on several tracks of the new disc. Zito also joins another Houston favorite, Annika Chambers, for a soul-searing vocal duet on the lead-off song, “Daddy’s Got a Cadillac.”



Other special guests on the Dry Johnson debut include legendary singer (and Connor Ray labelmate) Trudy Lynn, guitarists John Del Toro Richardson, Mighty Orq and James Wilhite, harmonica ace Steve Krase, and beloved Houston musician Kevin “Snit” Fitzpatrick on vocals. 

All of the songs on the new CD are originals, with the exception of a nifty cover of Johnny “Guitar” Watson’s “Hit the Highway.”



“Getting this out has been a year and a half in the making,” admits Matthew Robert Johnson.” Terry and I originally thought up the idea after a gig with Mike Zito in a hotel room in Florida. We discussed the idea of doing a project as a rhythm section, with all of the artists that we have either worked with in the past, or would like to work with in the future...and Dry Johnson was born. I can only hope that we have done this great city and its incredible musical legacy some justice with this recording.”

“I met Matthew Robert Johnson and Terry Dry in St. Louis around 2002 when I opened a show for Hadden Sayers,” writes Mike Zito in the album’s liner notes. “I still remember thinking they sounded really good and had a big sound.

“Matt and Terry share a love for the American art form. The blues brought them together and has given them a musical purpose to work toward. Matthew's drumming is strong and immense, while Terry's bass playing is solid and straight forward. Together they make a sound that is large and tight, round and moving. Always musical and consistent, they work together to form a foundation that any guitarist, vocalist or band can make great music with.

“When I was ready to put together a band based in Texas, my first choice was to get Matthew and Terry and build on that big sound. They have delivered in spades. Dry Johnson has stood the test of time. Rarely do musicians stay together this long or continue to complement one another, but Dry Johnson forges the Blues that brought them together. It was only a matter of time for the duo to make their own album and showcase more of their talent. I am very excited to have been included on this debut recording and I am proud to have Dry Johnson backing me on stages all over the world.”

Terry Dry and Matthew Robert Johnson met for the first time in Fargo, North Dakota in 1998 and played together a few years later in Houston, Texas. They have continued playing music together off and on for 20 years. Throughout that time, they have learned to back many guitar players and singers on bandstands, festivals and recordings.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Badass Blues Straight Out Of Houston, Texas: Lovelace Brothers New Single, Tour












'BADASS BLUES' STRAIGHT OUT OF HOUSTON, TEXAS: LOVELACE BROTHERS RELEASE NEW SINGLE, GET READY TO TOUR THE U.S.




   (Houston, TX) - Straight out of Southeast Texas, home of ZZ Top, the late, great Johnny Winter, and Janis Joplin, The Lovelace Brothers have released a smokin' new single, "Leaving," (purchase the single at CD Baby, here) and are readying a U.S. tour for the Summer of 2017, Billy Lovelace, the group's guitarist-vocalist and principal songwriter, has announced.

  The Lovelace Brothers, who made their mark in Houston's underground blues scene, are truly one of Houston's Best-Kept Secrets. The Lovelace Brothers are fronted by Texas Blues guitarist Billy Lovelace Jr., with other band members being brother (drummer) Paul Lovelace and (bassist) Sean Lewis. They own a heavy Texas Blues sound "Selling Your Soul at the Railroad Tracks...the Dark Blues...Dirty and Heavy," asserts Lovelace. They're once again primed and ready to "electrify you with their talent, music, and live shows and brand of music called "Texas Electric Blues."



             
                                 About...The Lovelace Brothers 

 
   In the mid 1970’s, a young 10-year old named Billy Lovelace started his career and love of music with, in his words. “A Beat Up Norman Electric”. Playing the guitar was a natural gift and talent for Billy, one that started him on the path to creating his own sound and gift of performance. Under the training of historically great artists and the direction of Tower of Power’s Saxophonist  Dick Wilkie, and Audio Engineering from Les Williams. He soon moved to Los Angeles, working in the music industry at recording studios while also performing with many popular bands, honing his craft and growing his name.

  "We are from a somewhat of a music-involved family," explains Billy Lovelace Jr. "On my father’s side, my grandfather owned in the 1950s – 70s KOGT in Orange, Texas where his father (Bill Lovelace Sr.) was a disc jockey. My uncle owned a blues bar in Austin called Mamma’s Money, which I was told, The Fabulous Thunderbirds played at, among others. I also had a few uncles that were musicians. On mamma’s side there were some gospel & bluegrass groups. If I wasn’t in the music business, I would probably have been a chef or in the fishing and boating business. But that’s another story."

  In December of 1996, Billy was shot by an unknown assailant. Upon moving back to Houston in 1987, Billy teamed with brother Paul in Houston-based bands, Symon Bar Sinister and Think Tank, the latter band achieving some big-time prominence in Houston, with Music News writing, "Think Tank is a Texas blues-rock band in the style of Stevie Ray Vaughan-meets-Jimi Hendrix. In fact, they played a couple of tunes by both artists that would've made old Jimi and Stevie proud." From there, Think Tank morphed into what is today the Lovelace Brothers with fellow Houstonians, brother Paul Lovelace on drums and Sean Lewis on bass.

  Now, it's the start of a whole new beginning for The Lovelace Br others. "We just released “Leaving” an original, and “Come On” by New Orleans blues great Earl King. The next songs to be released will be another original, & “Going Down” by Freddie King. And then, the sky's the limit!"



   "Texas is a major influence. We’re from Southeast Texas. I was born in Louisiana but raised as a child in Orange TX. which borders Louisiana, so being raised on the border, Louisiana is a dominate influence as well." 

               Billy Lovelace Jr., in an interview with INDIE PULSE MUSIC




The Lovelace Brothers are on Amazon Music, Spotify, Google Play Music









   










    


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Acclaimed Houston Blues Singer Trudy Lynn Signs with Piedmont Talent for Booking Representation; Nominated for Blues Music Award





Acclaimed Houston Blues Singer Trudy Lynn Signs with Piedmont Talent for Booking Representation

Trudy Lynn Just Nominated for a Blues Music Award in Traditional Blues Female Category

HOUSTON, TX – Connor Ray Music artist Trudy Lynn, whose latest CD is drawing rave reviews and substantial radio airplay for I’ll Sing the Blues for You, has been signed by Piedmont Talent for booking representation. Trudy was also just announced as a nominee for the Koko Taylor Award (Traditional Blues Female) by the Blues Foundation in Memphis for the upcoming Blues Music Awards in May.

“Piedmont Talent is honored to add Blues/Soul legend Trudy Lynn to our roster,” said Piedmont Talent CEO Jay Stollman in making the announcement. “Trudy’s profound talent and acclaimed musical history clearly define her as the ‘real deal’....a standout among the field of Blues vocalists, past and present. Simply put, Trudy Lynn sings the Blues as the Blues deserves to be sung....with heart, soul, passion and authenticity!”

The new CD from the acclaimed Houston-based blues singer features 10 tracks dripping with blues, soul and R&B, and includes her unique takes on songs from Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulsom, Memphis Minnie and Johnny Copeland, among others, as well as the funky original, “Thru Chasin’ You,” destined to be a fan favorite. Backing Trudy on the new album are Steve Krase on harmonica, David Carter on guitar, Terry Dry on bass, Randy Wall on keyboards and Matt Johnson on drums.  

“Choosing material for this album was quite an adventure,” Trudy said about I’ll Sing the Blues for You. “In my musical career, there are so many blues artists that I have been inspired by.”

In the new album’s liner notes, Trudy explained how its title came about. “As I’ve said in a previous recording of mine, ‘Everybody’s Got a Blues Song to Sing.’ One day my daughter gave me a gift of business cards, and on the top of each card was, Trudy Lynn: I’ll Sing the Blues for You! As I was looking at the cards, she said, ‘Mama, that’s what you do. You sing the blues for everybody.’ During so many of my performances, a fan will come up to me to say, ‘You were singing that song for me. That’s why I came!’ I take these compliments as stars in my crown, like flowers in my garden.”

I’ll Sing the Blues for You is Trudy Lynn’s 12th solo album and her third release on the Connor Ray Music label, following up on 2014’s Royal Oaks Blues Café, which hit #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart; and 2015’s Everything Comes with A Price, which spent four months on the Living Blues Radio Chart. Trudy is also a five-time Blues Music Award nominee and was inducted into the Houston Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Trudy Lynn was born Lee Audrey Nelms in Houston’s Fifth Ward, where she began singing as a teenager. After high school, Lynn went to visit her aunt in Lufkin, where a club called the Cinderella needed a singer. She decided Lee Audrey Nelms wasn't going to cut it as a stage name. The club had a bunch of cartoon character names painted on the wall and she noticed “Trudy,” which she quickly paired with Lynn. “Lynn was something in those days,” she recalled. “Gloria Lynne, Barbara Lynn. I thought, ‘I’m going to be one of those Lynns, too, baby.’”

Prior to striking out on her own, Trudy was the vocalist for such Texas greats as I.J. Gosey and Clarence Green, where Trudy spent five years as the vocalist for his band. Green was a stern mentor, but Lynn credits him with helping her become a professional. “He molded me well,” she says. “He's still in me because of what he taught me. It takes that.” After leaving Green’s band, Lynn began performing on her own. For years she struggled to get recorded in a manner deserving of her talent, until 1989 when Trudy signed with John Abbey’s famed Ichiban label and provided the opportunity for her to tour the world and perform at the most prestigious festivals, including Lucerne and the Chicago Blues Festival. While at Ichiban, producers had a strong hand in directing her recordings. Since joining forces with harmonica wizard Steve Krase and the Connor Ray Music label in 2014, Lynn has played curator for herself. She has been writing original songs that blend nicely with the vintage material. The songs are mostly about good times and bad men. “Each one of these songs means something to me,” she states. “I truly understand something about each one of them.”

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Connor Ray Music Set to Release New CD from Acclaimed Houston Blues Singer Trudy Lynn, "I'll Sing the Blues for You," on October 21





Connor Ray Music Set to Release New CD from Acclaimed Houston Blues Singer Trudy Lynn, I’ll Sing the Blues for You, on October 21

Trudy Lynn Will Celebrate New Album’s Release with a Special Show at Houston’s Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club on Saturday, October 22


HOUSTON, TX – Connor Ray Music announces an October 21 release date for I’ll Sing the Blues for You, the new CD from acclaimed Houston-based blues singer Trudy Lynn. I’ll Sing the Blues for You features 10 tracks dripping with blues, soul and R&B, and includes her unique takes on songs from Big Mama Thornton, Lowell Fulsom, Memphis Minnie and Johnny Copeland, among others, as well as the funky original, “Thru Chasin’ You,” destined to be a fan favorite. Backing Trudy on the new album are label president Steve Krase on harmonica, David Carter on guitar, Terry Dry on bass, Randy Wall on keyboards and Matt Johnson on drums.  

Trudy Lynn will celebrate the new album with a special CD release party show at Houston’s famed Big Easy Social and Pleasure Club on Saturday, October 22.

“Choosing material for this album was quite an adventure,” says Trudy about I’ll Sing the Blues for You. “In my musical career, there are so many blues artists that I have been inspired by.”

In the new album’s liner notes, Trudy explains how its title came about. “As I’ve said in a previous recording of mine, ‘Everybody’s Got a Blues Song to Sing.’ One day my daughter gave me a gift of business cards, and on the top of each card was, Trudy Lynn: I’ll Sing the Blues for You! As I was looking at the cards, she said, ‘Mama, that’s what you do. You sing the blues for everybody.’ During so many of my performances, a fan will come up to me to say, ‘You were singing that song for me. That’s why I came!’ I take these compliments as stars in my crown, like flowers in my garden.”

I’ll Sing the Blues for You is Trudy Lynn’s 12th solo album and her third release on the Connor Ray Music label, following up on 2014’s Royal Oaks Blues Café, which hit #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart; and 2015’s Everything Comes with A Price, which spent four months on the Living Blues Radio Chart. Trudy is also a five-time Blues Music Award nominee and was inducted into the Houston Music Hall of Fame in 2015.
Trudy Lynn was born Lee Audrey Nelms in Houston’s Fifth Ward, where she began singing as a teenager. After high school, Lynn went to visit her aunt in Lufkin, where a club called the Cinderella needed a singer. She decided Lee Audrey Nelms wasn't going to cut it as a stage name. The club had a bunch of cartoon character names painted on the wall and she noticed “Trudy,” which she quickly paired with Lynn. “Lynn was something in those days,” she recalls. “Gloria Lynne, Barbara Lynn. I thought, ‘I’m going to be one of those Lynns, too, baby.’”

Prior to striking out on her own, Trudy was the vocalist for such Texas greats as I.J. Gosey and Clarence Green, where Trudy spent five years as the vocalist for his band. Green was a stern mentor, but Lynn credits him with helping her become a professional. “He molded me well,” she says. “He's still in me because of what he taught me. It takes that.” After leaving Green’s band, Lynn began performing on her own. For years she struggled to get recorded in a manner deserving of her talent, until 1989 when Trudy signed with John Abbey’s famed Ichiban label and provided the opportunity for her to tour the world and perform at the most prestigious festivals, including Lucerne and the Chicago Blues Festival. While at Ichiban, producers had a strong hand in directing her recordings. Since joining forces with harmonica wizard Steve Krase and the Connor Ray Music label in 2014, Lynn has played curator for herself. She has been writing original songs that blend nicely with the vintage material. The songs are mostly about good times and bad men. “Each one of these songs means something to me,” she states. “I truly understand something about each one of them.”

Monday, February 15, 2016

Houston, Texas-Based Glenna Bell Presents "Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas" on April 15




Houston, Texas-Based Glenna Bell Presents Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas on April 15

HOUSTON, TX – Singer-songwriter Glenna Bell announces an April 15 release date for her new CD, Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas, the provocative new album of songs from the native Texan. Produced by Mark Abernathy and  recorded at Sugar Hill Studios in Houston, The Finishing School in Austin and Sea Fog Studio in England, Lone Star offers an authentic array of songs ranging in mood and tempo from a cover of the chart-topping ballad, “Everybody’s Changing,” by the UK band Keane, which showcases its writer Tim Rice-Oxley on piano and harmonium, to Glenna’s all-original “Pig in Lipstick Blues,” featuring veteran Austin players Johnny Nicholas (Asleep at the Wheel) on boogie-woogie piano/guitar and George Reiff (Joe Walsh) and Rick Richards (Ray Wylie Hubbard) on bass and drums. 

Themes run the gamut from story-songs of Glenna’s life in Texas (“Poor Girl (in Blue),” “Shiner Bock & ZZ Top” and “What It Was Was The Art Guys”); to upbeat old-school pop-rock love songs (“So in Love with You” and “Tonight’s the Night”); to the enigmatic and haunting "Christmas Is Coming,” a pre-release for the 2015 holiday as a follow up to “Be My Valentine (On Christmas),” which garnered 194,000 streams on Spotify after being selected for their special holiday playlist in 2014; plus a uniquely Texan and deeply sincere take on Don Henley’s “Heart of the Matter,” featuring George Reiff and Rick Richards on bass and drums and a soaring steel guitar part by Austin’s Mike Hardwick (Jerry Jeff Walker).  Lone Star also boasts a gorgeous cover for both vinyl and CD formats (distributed by Burnside Distribution) designed by French-Canadian artist, Natali Leduc, with captivating photography by Amy Morris shot on location at Glenna’s hundred year old wood frame house at the shadowy-sunshiny edge of downtown Houston.

“As life accelerates and the world becomes increasingly more complicated, I wanted to take a step back, slow down and spend time alone at home writing this collection of songs that are meant to be heard in private spaces and enjoyed from the perspective of a listener, much as a reader would consume a good book, rather than from the vantage point of someone who is out to drink and dance the night away to the backdrop of a band,” says Glenna about Lone Star.  “The theatrical element of Perfectly Legal: Songs of Sex, Love and Murder continues to be ever present in my writing and performance (and “Pig in Lipstick Blues” is even quite danceable!), but here the primary focus is on the sincerity and authenticity of lyric and vocal supported by real instruments played adeptly by human hands.  I hope that people everywhere will appreciate this introspective take on Texas, which reminds me of how I first learned to listen and to love music—singing along to records and radio amidst acres of East Texas thicket and the quiet, distant voices of the past.  I hope that you will take a step back with me now, slow down for a half hour or so, and take some time to listen alone because there is nothing else like it and there really is ‘no place like home’.”

Glenna Bell is a graduate of the prestigious University of Houston Creative Writing Program, where she studied with Pulitzer prize-winning playwright, Edward Albee, and she is an established country-blues-folk artist who has been honored by the State of Texas in a House Resolution recognizing her musical contribution to the stateLone Star is the fifth installment in a series of self-released albums that chronicle the experiences of a woman, a worker, a wanderer, a dreamer, a thinker, a seer, a stubborn free spirit who refuses to fail. Her last album, Perfectly Legal: Songs of Sex, Love and Murder, generated both extensive radio airplay and rave press reviews.
Glenna Bell regularly performs at a number of Houston venues, including La Carafe (Third Tuesdays @ Historic La Carafe in February, March, April and May) and The Nightingale Room in Downtown Houston (March 10). She’ll also be appearing during SXSW in Austin as part of “Big Kev’s Roots Rock Revolution Radio Showcase at the Opa! Wine and Coffee Bar.

For more information on Glenna Bell and Lone Star: Songs and Stories Straight from the Heart of Texas, please visit www.glennabell.com

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HAMILTON LOOMIS -- October 2014 Schedule

TEXAS: Come on out and welcome Hamilton & Band back from their Europe tour! Our Houston show  (Last Concert Cafe) on Fri. Oct. 3 features the youngest bands to ever do a show with Hamilton (ages 9, 11, 13, & 13)...see the listing below for details!



10/3/14 Houston, TX Last Concert Cafe (w/guests Campfire Soul & Rusted Avenue) 8pm TICKETS

10/4/14 Houston, TX Guitars N Cars Fundraiser @ Sam Houston Racepark 6pm TICKETS


10/10/14 Breda, NETHERLANDS Blues Night Breda @ Mezz 8pm


10/11/14 Dunkerque, FRANCE Bay Car Blues Festival 11:30pm


10/24/14 Beaumont, TX Madison's 9:30pm


10/25/14 Houston, TX Private Event


10/30/14 Ganado, TX Rear Window Listening Room 8pm


10/31/14 Galveston, TX Crow's Cantina 9pm Halloween Party!


11/1/14 Conroe, TX Dosey Doe Music Cafe
8pm TICKETS

Please forward this email to any of your friends/family in these cities!!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Help Me - Alan Haynes

Alan Haynes (February 19, 1956), born in Houston, Texas, is an American Texas Blues guitarist. Alan has been playing professionally since the 1970s and has performed with a variety of Blues legends that include Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Winter, Albert Collins, Albert King, The Fabulous Thunderbirds (1980's version with Jimmie Vaughan), Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker, and Otis Rush among others. He now resides in Austin, Texas and plays locally in and around Texas' major cities, especially Houston (where he performs nearly every month), occasionally in Dallas and Fort Worth, and also Europe, where he has a large following in Scandinavian countries, Germany, Denmark and Israel. In the late 1970s Alan joined the Texas Boogie Band as a second guitarist but eventually became the main guitarist. Alan moved to Austin, TX in the early 1980s. While playing with the Texas Boogie Band, Haynes got to open and share the stage with legendary Blues artists such as Muddy Waters. Alan and the Texas Boogie Band were, by that time, the house band at the Texas Opry House, also getting radio broadcasting in Houston (on 101KLOL). Alan would later lead his own band, "Alan Haynes and the Stepchildren" and release his first EP, "Seventh Son" in 1984 under the Orphan label. Stepchildren included legendary Blues-Rock drummer Uncle John Turner, who had played with the likes of Johnny Winter during the late 1960s and early 1970s and recorded milestone Blues albums. Alan was inducted into the "Buddy Magazine Texas Tornado List" in 1980 and his band was voted "Best Blues Band" by the "Music City Austin - Music Poll" in 1985. Later on, for about six years in the 1990s, Alan was the house band at Antone's "home of the Blues." During those years, in 1994, Alan released his second studio album, Wishing Well. This time he had life friends and former Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble rhythm sections Chris Layton on drums, Tommy Shannon on bass, and Reese Wynans on keyboards. Alan also counted on Preston Hubbard from the Fabulous Thunderbirds and George Rains (Jimmie Vaughan's drummer) for this album.[1] The result was earned Haynes a featured article in the "Guitar Player" magazine in August 1995. Alan would later continue playing locally and in Europe and would record two more albums on his own, but this time capturing the emotions of live performances. These two, "Live at the Blue Cat Blues" recorded in Dallas in 1998 with Jim Suhler and "Live at the Big Easy" recorded in Houston in 2001 would result in Haynes' last works to date.  

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!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Git Go - Maurice Simon and The Pie Men

Maurice James Simon (born March 26, 1929, Houston, TX) is a jazz saxophonist. A high school classmate of Eric Dolphy (1945-6) Simon appears on an early 1945 Los Angeles recording in a band led by Russell "Illinois" Jacquet and which also included Teddy Edwards, Charles Mingus, Bill Davis and Chico Hamilton. In 1948, again with Jacquet as leader, Simon was in an all-star band recording in Detroit, which included Sonny Stitt, Leo Parker, Sir Charles Thompson, Al Lucas and Shadow Wilson He went on to join the Gerald Wilson Orchestra which also included Snooky Young, Red Kelly and Melba Liston. In 1950 he recorded for Savoy Records backing Helen Humes in a big band with Dexter Gordon, Ernie Freeman, Red Callender and J.C. Heard. In the 1970s he was a member of the Duke Ellington orchestra. He also played with Fats Domino, Papa John Creach, Big Maybelle, Faye Adams, Bumble Bee Slim, Percy Mayfield and B. B. King.

 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!


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Milton Hopkins and Jewel Brown

Milton Roosevelt Hopkins was born in Houston’s Fifth Ward on January 30, 1934. His first musical influences came from the numerous bands in his neighborhood of Trinity Gardens and one local gospel quartet in particular. He picked up an old guitar with 4 rusty strings that was hanging from a nail on the back porch. It wasn’t long before he formed a band with other aspiring neighborhood musicians. One of the first gigs found Johnny “Guitar Watson” sitting in. This was the beginning of a career that led Milton to play with B.B. King, Little Richard, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, The Drifters and many, many other great Blues and R&B artists. Milton tried copying some licks from his famous cousin, Lightnin’ Hopkins, but soon realized he had to find his own way. The artists that sought his talents were playing more modern styles of Blues and R&B. His talent and work ethic brought him to the attention of Little Richard, who formed a band with Milton and Grady Gaines called the Tempo Toppers in 1950. While creating Rock and Roll history, Milton did not feel comfortable with the wilder side of the band so he quit in 1952. Mr. Hopkins has always stayed away from the drinking and drugs that so many people associate with the world of music. His hero was Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown and he wanted to stay true to the style of his guitar idol. By 1953 the legendary Don Robey formed Peacock Records and Milton was recruited to do session work with some gospel groups they were recording. There he met his first “teacher”, Joe Scott, who taught him the various chords and where to play them which became the basis for his distinctive rhythm guitar style. He soon went on the road with the late, great Johnny Ace and Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton. The untimely death of Johnny Ace found him back in Houston in 1954. In 1956, Milton Hopkins was drafted into the Army where he was trained as a mechanic while stationed in El Paso. The following year he returned to Houston and was ready to use his new training but there were no jobs available in a time of segregation. He continued playing the music and had the opportunity to play with his musical hero, Gatemouth Brown. Things were on the upswing and he reunited with Grady Gaines joining The Upsetters. The Upsetters soon became one of the premier R&B/Rock & Roll bands in the country and were the band of choice for performers such as Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and The Drifters. Barry Gordy was starting Motown Records in Detroit and tried to convince Milton to join his studio band – a decision Milton regrets declining. Milton left The Upsetters in 1963 and wound up in San Francisco. He met Lewis Madison, an original member of James Brown’s band The Famous Flames. He also worked briefly with Marvin Gaye and Lou Rawls. One night he was asked to substitute for the guitarist for Sly Stone’s band playing blues. He knew then that as much as he loved Jazz and R&B, the Blues was his true musical path. In 1971 he ran into B.B. King who remembered him from his days with The Upsetters and asked Milton to join the band. For the next 8 years Milton Hopkins was B.B.’s rhythm guitar player and traveled around the world with the premier blues band of his era. Milton Hopkins’ famous cousin, Lightnin’ Hopkins, was one of the most famous bluesmen in the world but usually played solo. Unfortunately, Milton only had the chance to play with his cousin once during his days in San Francisco. He saw him again later when they shared a dressing room in London but their paths seemed to move in different directions leaving few chances for collaboration. Milton has these words of sage advice for aspiring musicians: “You’ve got to stay clean and try to practice good musicianship. The way you dress and the way you present yourself on stage is half the game.” Milton Hopkins has always stayed true to these words and that is why he is so well respected as a serious entertainer and musician in the Blues world and the music world in general. Milton Hopkins has been featured in Living Blues magazine and has a Houston Blues Society Lifetime Achievement Award. He has long been recognized as Houston’s best rhythm guitarist and, among the people who know him, as a great human being. 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!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

I'm Bad - Katie Webster

Katie Webster (January 11, 1936 – September 5, 1999), born Kathryn Jewel Thorne, was an American boogie-woogie pianist. Webster was initially best known as a session musician behind Louisiana musicians on the Excello and Goldband record labels, such as Lightnin' Slim and Lonesome Sundown. She also played piano with Otis Redding in the 1960s, but after his death went into semi-retirement. In the 1980s she was repeatedly booked for European tours and recorded albums for the German record label, Ornament Records. She cut You Know That's Right with the band Hot Links, and the album that established her in the United States; The Swamp Boogie Queen with guest spots by Bonnie Raitt and Robert Cray. She performed at both the San Francisco Blues Festival and Long Beach Blues Festival. Webster suffered a stroke in 1993 while touring Greece and returned to performing the following year. She died from heart failure in League City, Texas, in September 1999. 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, December 29, 2012

Bad Feeling - Goree Carter

Goree Carter (December 31, 1930 - December 29, 1990) was an American R&B singer and rock and roll guitarist, best known for his 1949 single, "Rock Awhile," which is considered a strong contender for the "first rock and roll record" title and featured an over-driven electric guitar style similar to that of Chuck Berry several years later Goree Carter was born in Houston, Texas. In 1949 he and his jump blues band, The Hepcats, signed for Freedom Records, a local record label set up by Sol Kahal, and recorded the label's first release, "Sweet Ole Woman Blues." As well as Carter, the band featured two saxophones, trumpet, piano, bass and drums Carter's electric guitar style was influenced by Aaron "T-Bone" Walker, but was over-driven and had a rougher edge which presaged the sound of rock and roll a few years later. His single-string runs and two-string "blue note" chords anticipated, and may have influenced, Chuck Berry. At the age of 18, he recorded his best known single "Rock Awhile" in April 1949. It has been cited as a strong contender for the title of "first rock and roll record" and a "much more appropriate candidate" than the more frequently cited "Rocket 88" (1951) by Ike Turner. The intro to "Rock Awhile" also resembles those in several Chuck Berry records from 1955 onwards. However, "Rock Awhile" was not as commercially successful as later rock & roll records. Carter recorded for several labels in the early 1950s, including Imperial, Coral and Modern, but last recorded in 1954. Carter continued to play occasional local gigs in Houston and sat-in with visiting artist B.B. King; his last live performance was in 1970. He died in Houston, at the age of 59, in 1990 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, December 28, 2012

I'll Tell It Wherever I Go - Willmur Lttle Axe

Willmer "Little Ax" M. Broadnax, (December 28, 1916[1] – 1994) also known as "Little Axe," "Wilbur," "Willie," and "Wilmer," was an African-American hard gospel quartet singer. A tiny man with glasses and a high, powerful tenor voice, he worked and recorded with many of the most famous and influential groups of his day. Broadnax was born in Houston in 1916. After moving to Southern California in the mid-40s, he and his brother, William, joined the Southern Gospel Singers, a group which performed primarily on weekends. The Broadnax brothers soon formed their own quartet, the Golden Echoes. William eventually left for Atlanta, where he joined the Five Trumpets, but Willmer stayed on as lead singer. In 1949 the group, augmented by future Soul Stirrer Paul Foster, recorded a single of "When the Saints Go Marching In" for Specialty Records. Label chief Art Rupe decided to drop them before they could record a follow-up, and shortly thereafter the Golden Echoes disbanded.[1] In 1950, Broadnax joined the Spirit of Memphis Quartet. Along with Broadnax, the group featured two other leads -- Jethro "Jet" Bledsoe, a bluesy crooner, and Silas Steele, an overpowering baritone. This was one of the most impressive line-ups in quartet history. The Spirit of Memphis Quartet recorded for King Records, and Broadnax appeared on their releases at least until 1952. Shortly after that, however, he moved on, working with the Fairfield Four, and, in the beginning of the 60s, as one of the replacements for Archie Brownlee in the Five Blind Boys of Mississippi. Until 1965 he headed a quartet called "Little Axe and the Golden Echoes," which released some singles on Peacock Records. By then, quartet singing was fading as a commercial phenomenon, and Broadnax retired from touring, though he did continue to record occasionally with the Blind Boys into the 70s and 80s. Upon his death in 1994, it was discovered that Broadnax was female assigned at birth. 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!