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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 Lazy Lester. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lazy Lester. Show all posts

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yardbirds, Mitch Ryder, Lazy Lester, Joe-El Sonnier, Robby Krieger headline Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival, May 27-28





THE YARDBIRDS, MITCH RYDER, ROBBY KREIGER,
JO-EL SONNIER, BIG BAD VOODOO DADDY, LAZY LESTER,
DWAYNE DOPSIE,
BIG CHIEF MONK BOUDREAUX & THE GOLDEN EAGLES
DOUG KERSHAW AND MICHAEL DOUCET,

HEADLINE 28th ANNUAL
SIMI VALLEY CAJUN & BLUES MUSIC FESTIVAL,
SATURDAY-SUNDAY, MAY 27-28
Los Angeles area’s largest Cajun, Zydeco, Blues and Roots music festival, featuring two stages, a Mardi Gras parade, crafts and dozens of
food booths, takes place Memorial Day weekend.



The Yardbirds
Lazy Lester
Miitch Ryder



Dwayne Dopsie
Jo-El Sonnier
Doug Kershaw



SIMI VALLEY, Calif. — The 28th annual Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival will once again enliven Memorial Day weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 27 and 28, at Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, 5005 Los Angeles Ave., in Simi Valley. The event features a full stage for each of its musical genres. The spirited music will go non-stop each day from 12 noon until 7:30 p.m. (or 10:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m.).
Single Day tickets are $25 for adults (13 and over); $45 for a 2-day pass; children 12 and younger are free. New this year will be a limited number of SuperTicket passes. For $124 for a single day or $199 for both days, SuperTickets holders get a reserved seat, in the shade, directly in the front of the blues stage as well as private bar access (and two complimentary drinks) and other exclusive “backstage experiences.” Tickets are available on the festival’s website: http://www.simicajun.org/. (Note: the only tickets available at the gate are single-day, $30)
Headlining the blues stage this year will be the pioneering blues-rock band the Yardbirds, the Robby Krieger Band (celebrating 50 years of the Doors' music), Mitch Ryder, Lazy Lester and the Big Bad Voodoo Daddy; as well as L.A.-based roots-rockers the 44’s, soulful SoCal songstress Alex Nester and festival returnees Kelly’s Lot. Another festival favorite, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, returns for the fourth straight year and will be performing at both stages. 
On the Cajun and Zydeco stage will be the “original ragin’ Cajun” fiddler Doug Kershaw; Grammy-winning accordionist Jo-El Sonnier and the Cajun Trio featuring Michael Doucet, David Doucet and Mitch Reed. Performing on this stage too are Crawdaddio and the Bayou Brothers, who also will back Lazy Lester on the blues stage, while Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles will play on both the Cajun/Zydeco and Blues stages.
The annual Mardi Gras Parade will take place both days, and everyone is invited to join in with the marching bands, stilt walkers and other costumed characters. Also, during the breaks at the Cajun/Zydeco stage, dance instructor AJ Gibbs will lead the crowd in free dance lessons.
About the headliners:
The Yardbirds: In the mid-’60s, the Yardbirds revolutionized music as they pushed British blues rock into psychedelia and heavy metal. Godhead guitarists Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page all spent time in the band, playing alongside core members Jim McCarty (drums), Chris Dreja (rhythm guitar/bass) and the late Keith Relf (vocals/harmonica). McCarty recently assembled a new touring line-up that includes guitarist Johnny A (Peter Wolf), bassist Kenny Aaronson (Joan Jett, Hall & Oates), veteran harpist Myke Scavone and vocalist/guitarist John Idan, who has been a Yardbird since the Nineties. The group performs at the festival on Saturday, May 27.
The Robby Krieger Band: Regularly cited as one of rock’s all-time top guitarists, Krieger shot to fame in the Doors. The Los Angeles native wrote or co-wrote some of the band’s signature tunes, like “Light My Fire,” “Love Me Two Times,” “Touch Me” and “Love Her Madly.” The Robby Krieger Band will celebrate 50 years of the Doors’ music when then make their Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival debut on May 27.
Mitch Ryder: If you have ever heard Bruce Springsteen perform his “Detroit Medley,” you know Mitch Ryder’s impact on rock history. The medley’s main songs — “Devil With a Blue Dress,” “Jenny Take a Ride,” “Good Golly Miss Molly” and “C.C. Rider” — are all tunes Ryder popularized while fronting the Detroit Wheels in the mid-’60s. The powerhouse vocalist has remained a popular performer, especially in Europe. This year finds Ryder readying a new album and working on a stage musical based on his novel Hide Your Love Away. Experience Ryder’s dynamic rock & soul sound on the blues stage Sunday.
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy: For nearly a quarter century, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy has been combining the old with the new. Folks can’t help but to dance to the band’s exhilarating blend of jazz, swing and Dixieland with rock ’n’ roll energy. Formed in Ventura, California, the band has recorded 10 albums and played over 2700 live shows, including playing for three U.S. presidents. Rather remarkably, the group remains composed of its core members: Scotty Morris (lead vocals and guitar), Kurt Sodergren (drums), Dirk Shumaker (bass), Andy Rowley (baritone saxophone), Glen "The Kid" Marhevka (trumpet), Karl Hunter (saxophones and clarinet) and Joshua Levy (piano). They’ll make their second Cajun & Blues Festival appearance when they hit the blues stage on Sunday.
Doug Kershaw: Known as the “original ragin’ Cajun,” Kershaw found crossover success during the late ’60s when his fierce fiddle playing and hippie-style appearance won favor with young rock audiences. His career started in the mid-’50s when he teamed with his brother Rusty to become a popular country duo, scoring hits with “Diggy Diggy Lo” and the autobiographical “Louisiana Man.” Kershaw, who was inducted in the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009, will perform on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on May 27.
Lazy Lester: The story goes that, in the mid-’50s, Lazy Lester met Lightin’ Slim by chance on a bus. Slim needed a harmonica player for a recording and Lester could play the harp. He wound up playing on many of Slim’s Excello albums before making his own Excello debut in 1957. The Blues Hall of Famer’s best known tunes include “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter,” “I Hear You Knockin’,” and “I’m Gonna Leave You Baby.” After taking a hiatus, Lester returned to music in the late ’80s and he has made several albums since. Now in his 80s, Lester still blows a mean, swamp-bluesy harp. He’ll take the blues stage on May 27, backed by the Bayou Brothers.
Jo-El Sonnier: Hailed as the “King of Cajun Music” for the past 25 years, Sonnier is a wizard of the accordion. The much-in-demand musician has recorded with such stars as Johnny Cash, Alan Jackson, Robert Cray, Neil Diamond, Mark Knopfler, Elvis Costello, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton. A multi-Grammy nominee himself, Sonnier won a Grammy for Best Regional Roots Music Album in 2015. He returns to Simi Valley for the second time, performing on the Cajun stage Saturday and Sunday.
The Cajun Trio: Michael Doucet, David Doucet & Mitch Reed: These three musicians were all founding members of BeauSoliel, the internationally renowned, multi-Grammy winning group that Garrison Keillor hailed as the "best Cajun band in the world." This trio, with Michael Doucet on fiddle, his brother David on guitar and Mitch Reed on various string instruments, showcases its virtuosity by slipping effortlessly among musical genres. They will play, along with a special surprise guest, both days of the festival.
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles: A true ambassador of New Orleans, Joseph Pierre “Big Chief Monk” Boudreaux is the leader of the Golden Eagles, a New Orleans Mardi Gras Indian tribe. They are known for their elaborate attire, which includes handmade suits adorned with brightly colored feathers, intricate beadwork, rhinestones and ruffles, as well as their music, which combines folk traditions with funk and R&B. Boudreaux, a 2016 recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Award, brings his Golden Eagles to the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Saturday and the blues stage on Sunday.
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers: A Cajun & Blues Festival favorite, Dwayne “Dopsie” Rubin returns to Simi Valley for the fourth straight year. He also will be hard to miss since he will be performing on both the blues and Cajun/Zydeco stages on Saturday and back on the Cajun/Zydeco stage on Sunday. The son of Zydeco legend Rockin’ Dopsie Sr., Dwayne has carved out his own successful career. His highly energetic Zydeco style has earned him a Grammy nomination and the title of “America’s Hottest Accordion” player.
The blues stage once again was booked by Martin Fleischmann and his company, Rum & Humble. For more than 20 years Rum & Humble has played a key role in presenting some of the world’s great musical talent (Radiohead, King Sunny Ade, and the Rolling Stones, to name a few) to Los Angeles audiences, in venues like the Hollywood Bowl, the Orpheum Theatre and the Santa Monica Pier. They also have been a pioneer promoters in the field of Latin alternative music; Fleischmann is one of the co-founders of L.A.’s Congo Room. Additionally, Rum & Humble has collaborated closely with artists such as Jackson Browne and Paul Oakenfold as well as with a varied roster of corporate and non-profit clients, such as KJAZZ Radio and the National Geographic Society.
The Cajun & Blues Festival has received national press accolades: “Everywhere you turned, there was something exciting happening,” wrote Blue Revue editor Art Tipaldi, who travelled to L.A. from New England. After attending last year’s concert, Jazz Weekly’s George W. Harris proclaimed: “Forget the Playboy Jazz Festival, the Simi Valley Cajun & Blues fest beats the older and richer sister. This is coming from a jazzer, yet still, pound for pound and dollar for dollar, I have more fun here than in Hollywood … it “delivered music made to last … can’t wait until next year.”
Besides the great music, festival-goers can enjoy great food too. Southern BBQ and authentic Cajun-Creole cuisine, such as jambalaya and crawfish, are available at dozens of food booths, which will also feature a variety of other dining options. There will be rows of craft booths and retailers to check out as well.
To get to the Rancho Santa Susanna Community Park, take California Hwy. 118 (Ronald Reagan Freeway) north from L.A. Exit at Stearns Street and go a couple blocks south. Ample free parking is available, with the main lot at the Simi Valley High School; a free shuttle takes to you to the park. This year, the festival has added thousands of square feet of additional tenting for shade at no additional charge. Low back chairs are recommended; however, pop-ups will no longer be allowed in the festival grounds.
100% of the festival’s profits are donated to charitable, educational and humanitarian causes on a local, national and international level. A list of these organizations may be found at < http://www.simicajun.org/who-benefits/>.  
The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival is a presentation of the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise.

Schedule — subject to change:

SATURDAY MAY 27th
BLUES STAGE
Kelly’s Lot
Lazy Lester
The Yardbirds
The Robby Krieger Band
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
CAJUN/ZYDECO STAGE
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
Cajun Trio featuring Michael Doucet, David Doucet and Mitch Reed
Mardi Gras Parade
Jo-El Sonnier
Doug Kershaw  
SUNDAY MAY 28th
BLUES STAGE
Alex Nester
The 44’s
Mitch Ryder
Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Golden Eagles
CAUN/ZYDECO STAGE
Bayou Brothers
Crawdaddio
Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers
Mardi Gras Parade
Cajun Trio featuring Michael Doucet, David Doucet and Mitch Reed
Jo-El Sonnier  


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Made Up Midnight - Jimmy Vaughan Lazy Lester John Nicholas


When it comes to Americana Roots Music and especially the Blues, the late great Stephen Bruton knew what he was talking about. Those who knew him knew that he always got to the point. His description of his long time friend and musical comrade in arms is succinct and quite a heady compliment, but then, Johnny Nicholas is an amazing talent.

For four decades Johnny’s consummate musicianship and vocal skills have graced live music scenes across the country and abroad. He has toured, performed and recorded with many true blues and Americana Roots Music legends including:

Mississippi Fred McDowell, Robert Lockwood Jr., Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Roosevelt Sykes, Nathan Abshire, Robert Pete Williams, Eddie Taylor, Billy Boy Arnold, Hound Dog Taylor, Johnny Young, Houston Stackhouse, and Boogie Woogie Red.

He recorded and toured with Johnny Shines and Snooky Pryor, producing and playing guitar on their W.C. Handy Award-winning album Back to the Country. He was a lead vocalist and multi-instrumentalist with Asleep at the Wheel when they won their first of many Grammy Awards.

He gave Blues Guitar Icon Ronnie Earl his first gig in the now legendary band Guitar Johnny and the Rhythm Rockers.

He has also shared the stage and performed with the likes of Howlin Wolf, BB King, Muddy Waters, Bonnie Rait, Eric Clapton, Pops and Mavis Staples, Delbert McClinton, Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard,and Jimmie Vaughan among many others.

He can wow a festival crowd of thousands or a small room of devotees. There are mysteries within this history, but remember that true history is written in the uncharted depths of a passionate spirit striving to fathom the mysteries, the pain and the joy of life and love. Here’s what you need to know about Johnny Nicholas—the rest and the best is all in his music.

Johnny discovered the blues at an early age, grooving to the great R&B that was blasting from the airwaves in the late 50’s and early 60’s—Jimmy Reed, Lightnin Slim, Slim Harpo, Lloyd Price, Larry Williams, Little Walter, Ray Charles and The Howling Wolf were all Big Blips on this impressionable young man’s radar screen. Like fellow Greek-American Johnny Otis had a generation earlier, this Johnny easily made the leap into the soulful world of the Blues, a music very similar in feeling and expression to the Rembetika music he heard as a child in the Greek community.

In 1966, he hopped the train to New York City to see his idol the Wolf. He ended up hanging with Wolf’s band at the Albert Hotel by day (where Wolf’s band AND Muddy’s band and Otis Spann were all staying) and at Ungano’s nightclub by night where the Wolf was holding musical court while on a two week prowl of the Big Apple. This experience cemented his love of the blues while providing inspiration and a gateway to friendships and musical adventures that would help mold a successful career and still smolder in this talented and restless soul. The common thread between all these influences is that of a true storyteller and troubadour, a living connection to the roots of American music that started in the Mississippi Delta and continues to flow down the river of traditional and contemporary sounds that emanate from Johnny Nicholas.
If you like what I’m doing, 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, June 20, 2012

Cotton Pickin' Blues - Louisiana Red & Lazy Lester

Back when blues was king and South Louisiana was the breeding ground for a blast of some of the most memorable American music ever recorded, at the heart of it was Lazy Lester. Those days are gone, and so too are most of its luminaries. And yet Lester carries the tradition almost single-handedly around the world several times over each year. As a true living legend, his talents are as much in demand as ever. After all, there aren’t many living bluesmen who’ve had major hits, as Lester did on Excello Records in the 1950s and ‘60s, and are still performing with the gusto and precision of their youth. Lester hasn’t lost a thing, and as his voice has richened with age, you could make a strong case for him being in his prime now. Leslie Johnson was born June 20, 1933 in the small town of Torras, Louisiana near the Mississippi state border to Robert Johnson and Maggie Hartford. He was raised mostly in Scotlandville, a suburb of Baton Rouge. As a boy, he worked as a gas station attendant, woodcutter and at a grocery store, where he purchased a harmonica and Little Walter’s famous “Juke” record. Lester began to blow harp, and in a relatively short time became somewhat proficient. One of his brothers had a guitar, which Lester also had learned to strum. He credits Jimmy Reed and Little Walter as his main blues influences, and you can easily hear Reed’s vocal style in Lester’s singing. But Lester isn’t shy about telling anyone that his first love was and still is country – the real, traditional kind. He got hooked early on Jimmie Rogers. In his late teens, Lester joined his first ever band, a group called the Rhythm Rockers that included Big John Jackson on guitar, Sonny Martin on piano and Eddie Hudson as singer. Lester blew harp. The group played primarily high school dances, and Lester also began to sit in with Guitar Gable’s band on club gigs. It was in the mid-1950s, on a bus, that fate turned Lester’s way, and the roots to what would become classic music began to grow. As Lester tells it, he was living in Rayne, Louisiana at the time and was on the bus riding home. Lightnin’ Slim, who was already an established recording artist, was also on the bus and was headed to Crowley to cut a record at Jay Miller’s Studio, where so much of the material for the Nashville-based Excello Records was being recorded. Since Crowley was just seven miles further than Rayne and because Lester had a serious itch to be around big-time music making, Lester decided to stay on the bus and accompany Slim to the studio. When they got there, the scheduled harp player, Wild Bill Phillips, didn’t show for the session. Lester told Slim that he had actually played with Slim’s band and thought he could handle the harp parts for the session. Remarkably, Slim and Miller gave Lester that chance, and he did not disappoint. A classic pairing was born, and Lester became a mainstay on Slim’s Excello recordings and his gigs. He’d follow Slim’s guitar licks with short, stabbing solos after Slim’s trademark prodding of, “Blow your harmonica, son.” Producer Jay Miller was impressed by Lester’s work with Lightnin’ Slim, and in 1957 Lester debuted as a lead artist on Excello, recording “I’m Gonna Leave You Baby” backed with the instrumental “Lester’s Stomp” with accompaniment from Guitar Gable’s band, which included Gable’s brother Yank on bass and Clarence “Jockey” Etienne on drums. Before the record’s release, Miller had decided that “Lazy Lester” had more of a ring to it than “Lester Johnson.” Miller is said to have come up the nickname based on Lester’s slow, lazy style of talking. And as Lester’s said, “I was never in a hurry to do nothing.” In any case, the name’s stuck for almost 50 years now. Lester’s first legitimate hits came in 1958 with the release of “I’m A Lover Not A Fighter” backed with “Sugar Coated Love.” Those two songs established Lester as a star. Record buyers went gaga when they heard that nasal-pitched voice and the harp work that imitated the voice note for note. The arrangements were tight yet still sounded homemade or organic. There was a rhythmic edge to the sound – something that we now know as the “Excello Sound.” These songs went as far as any others in establishing that association. Jay Miller, who wrote the songs along with much of the Excello output, realized quickly that Lazy Lester was a perfect vehicle for his budding vision, and the two collaborated on many great songs and arrangements to come. Lester hit again with the follow-up record, “I Hear You Knockin’”/“Through The Goodness of My Heart,” which featured a young Warren Storm on drums. Storm would go on to become a major Excello artist himself. For almost a decade, Lester remained as a regular Excello artist. Other notable songs from his 15 records for the company include “You Got Me Where You Want Me,” “Patrol Blues,” “Whoa Now,” “If You Think I’ve Lost You,” “The Same Thing Could Happen To You” and “Pondarosa Stomp.” In fact, his “Pondarosa Stomp” number is the namesake for one of today’s most important roots-based music festivals. The Ponderosa Stomp (note the slight spelling difference), begun in 2002, is a two-night celebration held each year in New Orleans between the weekends of the Jazz & Heritage Festival. It features the most legendary surviving blues and early rock and roll artists. The 2006 Stomp will be in Memphis May 9 and 10 and will benefit New Orleans and Gulf Coast musicians affected by Hurricane Katrina. Lester’s song, an instrumental number, was named after a slang term (Pondarosa) for the Angola State Prison, rather than as a tribute to the TV show Bonanza. Lester was a constant in Miller’s studio, serving in the role of accompanying musician and arranger when he wasn’t the lead artist himself. Lester did everything. He sang. He played the harp. He played the guitar. And he provided every conceivable kind of percussion from actual drums to whacking on cardboard boxes, wood blocks or saddles, tapping newspapers in his lap, or even banging on walls. All told, he played on sessions for Lightnin’ Slim, Slim Harpo, Katie Webster, Lonesome Sundown, Whispering Smith, Silas Hogan, Henry Gray, Tabby Thomas, Nathan Abshire, Johnny Jano and many, many others. Excello was more than just a blues label, and Lester’s innate talents served every type of session Miller produced, including Cajun, country, swamp pop, rock ‘n’ roll, R&B and blues. As Lester tells it, he knew the country music better than the guys who showed up to play it. But initially Miller wouldn’t allow Lester to perform on those sessions, believing that country was “white” music and having a black man on the record would hurt its sales. “That’s when I was ‘Colored,’” Lester likes to joke, poking fun at the changing labels for minorities through the years. Lester would teach the white country artists how to play the songs before they rolled tape. Finally, it got to the point where some of the country artists said to Miller, “Why don’t you just let Lester play on the song? He knows it better than any of us.” Lester still loves country and includes in all of his performances beautiful renditions of standards by Jimmie Rogers and Hank Williams. Through all of his influences and associations, Lester’s crafted a style as unique as his nickname. He calls it “swamp blues,” and it’s a mixture of blues, swamp pop and classic country. Lester says it’s a “down home” music without the additions and subtractions that other more urban-styled blues has included. Lester called it quits with Excello and Miller around 1966 and worked various day jobs including road construction, trucking and lumberjacking. Around 1969, he moved to Chicago for a very brief stint. In 1971, he reunited with his old buddy Lightnin’ Slim for a concert in Slim’s new hometown of Pontiac, Michigan. On the trip, Lester met Slim Harpo’s sister who also lived in Pontiac, and in 1975, he moved to Pontiac to be with her. After he moved, he retired from music. Like so many musicians, he’d tired of the garbage that can go with making your living as a performer. After a few years, he resumed some occasional playing with a few of the Detroit blues artists. Finally, in the late ‘80s, he began performing regularly and realized he was in significant demand. In 1987, he recorded Lazy Lester Rides Again for the Blue Horizon label in England. The record was released on Kingsnake in the U.S. and won a W.C. Handy Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album. In 1988, Alligator Records released Harp & Soul, further alerting the world that Lazy Lester was done resting. Since, he’s recorded two records for Antone’s and one direct-to-disc for APO Records. All of his Excello material has been reissued by various labels, primarily in the United States and England. Through the popularity of these recordings and as the Excello story has become the stuff of legend, Lazy Lester has enjoyed tremendous popularity worldwide. In 1998, he was inducted into the Louisiana Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, he played at Radio City Music Hall in New York as part of Martin Scorsese’s Year of the Blues super concert that resulted in his Lightning In A Bottle documentary. The concert included what was perhaps the most impressive lineup of blues stars ever assembled. Lester recently moved to Paradise, California to be with his girlfriend, Pike. He regularly performs both as a solo artist (with acoustic guitar, rack harmonica and foot percussion) and as the front man with a band, playing either harmonica or guitar. He knows more jokes than many comedians, and he’ll almost always include a few in his performances. Talk to him off stage, and he’ll tell you quite a few more. He’s just one of the guys and goes about his business without any pretense or ego, always accessible to his fans. You’d be well advised to see him when he hits your town. If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bye Bye Baby - Lazy Lester


Lazy Lester (born Leslie Johnson, June 20, 1933, Torras, Louisiana) is a blues harmonica player, whose career spans the 1950s to the 2000s.

Best known for regional hits recorded with Ernie Young's Nashville, Tennessee based Excello label, Lester also contributed to songs recorded by Excello label-mates including Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim, and Katie Webster. His songs have been covered by (among others) The Kinks, Freddy Fender, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Edmunds, Raful Neal, Anson Funderburgh, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. In the comeback stage of his career (since the late 1980s) he has recorded new albums backed by Mike Buck, Sue Foley, Gene Taylor, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, and Jimmie Vaughan.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oh Baby - LAZY LESTER - Stan Noubard Pacha (on Guitar)



Lazy Lester (born Leslie Johnson, June 20, 1933, Torras, Louisiana) is a blues harmonica player, whose career spans the 1950s to the 2000s.

Best known for regional hits recorded with Ernie Young's Nashville, Tennessee based Excello label, Lester also contributed to songs recorded by Excello label-mates including Slim Harpo, Lightnin' Slim, and Katie Webster. His songs have been covered by (among others) The Kinks, Freddy Fender, Dwight Yoakam, Dave Edmunds, Raful Neal, Anson Funderburgh, and The Fabulous Thunderbirds. In the comeback stage of his career (since the late 1980s) he has recorded new albums backed by Mike Buck, Sue Foley, Gene Taylor, Kenny Neal, Lucky Peterson, and Jimmie Vaughan.
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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cotton Pickin' Blues - Lousiana Red


The current blues scene in the U.S. and Europe is characterized by a wide variety of styles and musicians. However, as the years go passing by there are fewer and fewer artists left that were active during the formative years of blues music, those who participated in the development of the music.

Thus, it is all the more important and cause for celebration that there are still artists such as Louisiana Red.

Louisiana Red has lived the Blues. And Louisiana Red not only plays the Blues, he lives it through his guitar and his singing. Strongly influenced by Muddy Waters, Lightnin‘ Hopkins and Arthur Crudup, he has long ago found his own voice, his own style, his own form of expression.

When Red performs, the songs are often only launching pad for expressing his immediate feelings in the almost lost tradition of spontaneous composition that goes back to the original Delta Blues artists an even further to the West-African griot bards.

In a career spanning over half a century, Louisiana Red has played with just about every major bluesman you can name, some of the most memorable encounters being his jams with B.B.King and Muddy Waters.

But it doesn’t matter who he plays with or where he appears - Louisiana Red brings the same intensitiy and enthusiasm to every stage he appears on, whether in front of 10,000 people at a festival or 100 people in an intimate club.

Louisiana Red’s albums have been called masterpieces by critics, and in 1983 he won a W.C. Handy Award as best traditional blues artist. After living in Germany for 20 years, he has made a several triumphant comeback tours in the United States.

But if you ask Red about it, he won’t tell you much about his success. He’ll much rather talk about his latest CD project, about a new song or a new guitar lick. Because Louisiana Red is constantly creating, always searching für another expression of his blues. For once, the hyperbole ist justified: Louisiana Red is the Blues.
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