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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 King Biscuit Boy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label King Biscuit Boy. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

40 Years of Stony Plain - New release review

I just had the chance to review the new 3 CD set, 40 Years of Stony Plain and it's a super bag of super recordings and unreleased music.

CD One called Singers, Songwriters and much more features tracks by Colin Linden; Spirit of the West; Corb Lund; Doug Sham; Harry Manx & Kevin Breit; Emmylou Harris; James Burton, Albert Lee, Amos Garrett, David Wilcox; New Guitar Summit; Rodney Crowell; Valdy & Gary Fjellgaard; Jr. Gone Wild; Tom Hus; Ian Tyson; Jennifer Warnes; Steve Earle; & Eric Bibb featuring Taj Mahal, The Blind Boys of Alabama and Ruthie Foster. This CD has a real rural feel with folk, country and grassy feel. Louis Riel by Doug Sham is a super track with a Tex Mex country sound. Rockabilly, That's Alright by James Burton and crew is another standout. New Guitar Summit's Flying Home throws a bit of swing jazz in with super nice flavor. Tim Hus's Wild Rose Waltz has real traditional country feel and is pure as snow. Eric Bibb and crew deliver a really rural rural Needed Time featuring Taj Mahal on vocals and breaking into a very sophisticated gospel style track . This is an excellent closer for Dics 1.

CD Two called Blues, R&B, Gospel, Swing Jazz and even more is full of huge names. Kenny "Bues Boss" Wayne, Joe Louis Walker, Rosco Gordon, Ronnie Earl and the Broadcasters, Mauria Muldair featuring Taj Mahal, Long John Baldry, Paul Reddick, Monkeyjunk, Jay McShann, Jeff Healey, Billy Boy Arnold, Rory Block, Big Dave McLean, Ruthie Foster, Sonny Rhodes, Jim Byrnes, Amos Garrett, Ellen McIlwaine,and king Biscuit Boy. Opening with Blues Boss on Bankrupted Blues and followed by Joe Louis Walker on Eyes Like a Cat this CD is smoking right off the top. Ronnie Earl gets a classic blues going on It Takes Time and a more contemporary blues rocker Monkeyjunk rips on Mother's Crying. Jay McShann has a really nice blues/jazz run on Goin' To Chicago and Big Dave McLean's Atlanta Moan is masterful. Ruthie Foster is one of the new artists that is in a class on her own, delivering on Keep Your Big Mouth Closed and Sonny Rhodes shuffle track, Meet Me At The 10th Street Inn in a slick blues romp. Wrapping disc 2 is King Biscuit Boy's Blue Light Boogie... always a favorite.

 CD Three is Rarities and Previously Unreleased Material opening with hot potato Ain't Gonna Do It by Duke Robillard. In My Girlish Days shows Maria Muldaur really grinding in her classic seductive style followed by her classic I Belong To The Band. David Wilcox really does a great job on acoustic instrumental, Uptown Bump, followed by 2 super tracks, I Hate That train and All Night Long by the terrific Sam Chatmon and his Barbeque Boys. Wrapping this disc and the entire package is Walter "Shakey" Horton with Hot Cottage playing a deep fried Shakey's Edmonton Blues. This is an excellent closer for a really super set. Congratulations to Stony Plain for assembling a great package.


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Saturday, March 9, 2013

STEP BACK BABY - KING BISCUIT BOY

Richard Alfred Newell (March 9, 1944 – January 5, 2003), better known by his stage name King Biscuit Boy, was a Canadian blues musician. He was the first Canadian blues artist to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S.. King Biscuit Boy played with artists such as Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, and Janis Joplin. Newell was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, and played guitar and sang, but was most noted for his harmonica playing. His stage name was taken from the King Biscuit Flour Hour, an early American blues broadcast. He was given the name by Ronald "Ronnie" Hawkins, a pioneering rock and roll musician, while he was part of Hawkins' back-up band. Newell reportedly started his career by stealing his first harmonica (Marine Band, key of B) from a joke shop near his home on Hamilton Mountain, Hamilton, Ontario. Newell played with The Barons (later renamed Son Richard and the Chessmen) from 1961 to 1965, followed by a stint with The Midknights and in the summer of 1969 helped to form And Many Others, which was Ronnie Hawkins' backing band at that time. After one LP and several US appearances, Hawkins fired the entire band in early 1970, upon which the members, including Newell, formed themselves into their own band, which they named Crowbar. Newell recorded an album with Crowbar, then embarked on a solo career, although he played with Crowbar off and on throughout his career. After leaving Crowbar, he signed a major American deal with Paramount/Epic. Seven solo albums followed, along with two Juno nominations (the Juno Awards are the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Grammy Awards). Newell released his last album in early 2003 at Race Records, an independent record label in Hamilton, Ontario. It was a collaboration with saxophonist Sonny Del-Rio (a former Crowbar bandmate and long-standing friend) entitled Two Hound Blues. The album was a combination of six lost tracks from the 1981 King Biscuit Boy album, Biscuits 'n' Gravy, and the 1991 Sonny Del-Rio effort, 40 Years of Rock & Roll and All I Got's the Blues, which was recorded in 2002. Blake 'Kelly Jay' Fordham (a former Crowbar bandmate and friend) recalled that Newell had a soft spot in his heart for 1950s doo-wop music. "We'd do a medley, four chords in F, and see how many songs we could fit into it; stuff by Johnnie & Joe - ""Over the Mountain, Across the Sea," and "You Belong to Me", or "Talk to Me", by Little Willie John. Each week we'd try to best ourselves, see who could come up with more. He would always find the most obscure stuff." Newell preferred Hohner Special 20 (diatonic) harmonicas, and was using a Danelectro amplifier late in his career. He rarely played a chromatic, either on stage or in the studio. Newell fought repeated battles with alcohol abuse throughout his life. Poor health due to alcoholism stunted his career through the 1990s. The bright spot in this time period was his release of the album Urban Blues Re: Newell in 1995. Newell succumbed to the disease at his home in Hamilton, Ontario, in 2003, just two months short of his fifty-ninth birthday.

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Sunday, May 8, 2011

Blue Light Boogie - King Biscuit Boy


Sorry but this is the best I could find. You have got to check out the old King Biscuit Boy and Crowbar albums. They are terrific! Can't find video.

King Biscuit Boy was the stage name of Richard Alfred Newell (March 9, 1944, Hamilton, Ontario - January 5, 2003, Hamilton, Ontario) a Canadian blues musician.

Newell played guitar and sang, but was most noted for his harmonica playing. His stage name was taken from the King Biscuit Flour Hour, an early American blues broadcast. He was given the name by Ronald "Ronnie" Hawkins, a pioneering rock and roll musician, while he was part of Hawkins' back-up band.

Newell reportedly started his career by stealing his first harmonica (Marine Band, key of B) from a joke shop near his home on Hamilton Mountain, Hamilton, Ontario.

Newell played with The Barons (later renamed Son Richard and the Chessmen) from 1961 to 1965, followed by a stint with The Midknights and in the summer of 1969 helped to form And Many Others, which was Ronnie Hawkins' backing band at that time. After one LP and several US appearances, Hawkins fired the entire band in early 1970, upon which the members, including Newell, formed themselves into their own band, which they named Crowbar. Newell recorded an album with Crowbar, then embarked on a solo career, although he played with Crowbar off and on throughout his career.

After leaving Crowbar, he signed a major American deal with Paramount/Epic. Seven solo albums followed, along with two Juno nominations (the Juno Awards are the Canadian equivalent of the U.S. Grammy Awards).

Newell released his last album in early 2003 at Race Records, an independent record label in Hamilton, Ontario. It was a collaboration with sax player Sonny Del-Rio (a former Crowbar bandmate and long-standing friend) entitled Two Hound Blues. The album is a combination of six lost tracks from the 1981 King Biscuit Boy album, Biscuits 'n' Gravy and the 1991 Sonny Del-Rio effort, 40 Years of Rock & Roll and All I Got's the Blues, which was recorded in 2002.

He was the first Canadian blues artist to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S., plus Rolling Stone called him "legendary".

King Biscuit Boy has played with artists like Muddy Waters, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, and his fans include Keith Richards and Paul McCartney.

As testimony to the respect that Richard Newell's playing was accorded a former King Biscuit Boy roadie recounts that Duane Allman invited the Biscuit to play harp and bottleneck slide with the Allman Brothers Band when Allman first formed it. Richie declined because he did not want to be part of an endlessly touring band.

In an interesting sidenote, although Newell was a hardcore bluesman, Blake 'Kelly Jay' Fordham (a former Crowbar bandmate and friend) recalls that Newell had a soft spot in his heart for 1950s doo-wop music. "We'd do a medley, four chords in F, and see how many songs we could fit into it; stuff by Johnnie & Joe -- Over the Mountain -- and You Belong to Me, or Talk to Me, by Little Willie John. Each week we'd try to best ourselves, see who could come up with more. He would always find the most obscure stuff."

Newell preferred Hohner Special 20 (diatonic) harmonicas, and was using a Danelectro amplifier late in his career. He very rarely played a chromatic, either on stage or in the studio, but was excellent on it, as per the chromatic solo track, Necromonica, on his Mouth of Steel recording.
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