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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 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise. Show all posts

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Reunion Party Weekend 35 Years In The Making!



KANSAS CITY (April 24, 2014) – The hottest ticket in the Blues, The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, which sails on the high seas twice a year, is hosting their Annual Cruiser Reunion shows for 3 nights this year. Based in Kansas City, the LRBC is the brainchild of Roger Naber, (former co-owner of the Grand Emporium live music venue) who is also celebrating 35 years as a music promoter in tandem with the music on stage. With the next two sold-out upcoming LRBC's, Kansas City music fans will have an opportunity to see six varied internationally famous acts at the well known and respected Knuckleheads honkey-tonk venue.
Performing over the 3 day Memorial Day weekend soiree, May 23, 24 & 25, will be Blues Hall of Famer, Otis Clay and his 10 piece band, Royal Southern Brotherhood, an all-star band which includes music royalty names such as Cyril Neville and Devon Allman, Alligator recording artist, Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, Ronnie Baker Brooks, more blues royalty and a cruiser favorite, pianist Eden Brent, three-times Blues Music Award recipient, plus English guitar slinger, Joanne Shaw Taylor. One of the announced Special Guests who will be in Kansas City for the entire weekend will be pianist Leon Blue, who performed with the legendary Albert King 35 years ago for Naber's first Uptown Theater promotion.
To wrap up the weekend, there will be a Free Cabin For Two drawing, for the October 24-31, 2015 LRBC # 25, which will sail on the Holland America ms Westerdam from Ft. Lauderdale, FL. The winning ticket will be drawn just before the final performance on Sunday night. One does not need to be present as any person who attends any of the 3 nights of the Anniversary Reunion will be have a chance to win the prize.


roger naberRoger Naber's 35 Year Anniversary as a music promoter is considered quite a milestone for what began simply as a passion for American Blues Music. In Kansas City, Roger is mostly known as the co-owner of the Grand Emporium live music venue from 1985-2004. During his 20 year run as booking proprietor, he featured live music 6-7 nights a week at the well established venue.
Blues giants such as John Lee Hooker, Buddy Guy, Bobby "Blue" Bland, Koko Taylor, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Robert Cray performed, plus the newer generation, Derek Trucks, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Jonny Lang and Joe Bonamassa. Jazz, reggae and rock musicians such as Harry Connick Jr., Wynton Marsalis, The Neville Brothers, Chick Corea, Jimmy Cliff, Dave Mathews, Wilco, Flaming Lips, and The Wallflowers also had their turn at the midtown venue. The Grand Emporium twice received the Keeping The Blues Alive Award as "Best Blues Nightclub." The Grand Emporium musician and poster archives can still be seen at the UMKC Marr Sound Archives, UMKC Miller Nichols LIbrary, 5100 Rockhill Road, Kansas City, MO 64110 or online at
A pioneering entrepreneur, Naber co-founded the KC Blues Society in 1980, while serving as President for 13 years, the KCBS was honored with a Keeping The Blues Alive Award as best non-profit by the Blues Foundation in Memphis. He co-founded the Kansas City Blues Festival in 1981, the Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival in 1990, and promoted the city's Annual Thanksgiving Blues Breakfast Dance for more than 20 years.
Taking to the ocean and sands, Naber co-founded the Ultimate Rhythm & Blues Cruise 1992 with his Grand Emporium partners, and more recently, the Blues Industry's highly popular and successful Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises ( in 2001. Naber was again awarded "Promoter of the Year" by the Blues Foundation for the LRBC in 2005. In 2003, he became a founding partner in Cloud 9 Adventures, which promotes the Jam Cruises, Holy Ship and various international land music events.
Today there are many music cruises sailing the high seas in the wake of the original Blues Cruise Charter Naber and his partners sailed in 1992.
blues cruise
Roger has been a tireless worker for the blues industries non-profits. Most recently, the LRBC has raised in excess of $300,000 for the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis which is becoming a reality this summer across the street from the Civil Rights Museum. In total, the cruises have raised in excess of $600,000 for various non-profits' needs.
After 35 years in the business, Naber still maintains that "it's all about the music" and spends the cruise off-season scouting talent and promoting upcoming cruises at land festivals nationwide.


Friday, May 23rd:
Royal Southern Brotherhood
Royal Southern Brotherhood
is an American blues and blues rock supergroup, consisting of singer and percussionist Cyril Neville, from the famed iconic Neville Brothers Band, co-band leader, vocalist and guitarist Devon Allman, son of Gregg Allman, co-band leader, vocalist and guitarist Mike Zito, drummer Yonrico Scott, formerly of Derek Trucks Band whose recording career looks like a Who's who, and bassist Charlie Wooton, also of Bonerama and his own band Charlie Wooten Project.
Joanne Shaw Taylor
Joanne Shaw Taylor
, raised in England and discovered by Dave Stewart of the Eurithmics, Joanne has won numerous awards in England and now has released 4 album CDs on Germany's RUF Records. Joanne is making her first KC appearance just coming off a tour of Australia performing at the acclaimed Byron Bay Blues Festival. A powerful blues rocker not to be missed.
Saturday, May 24th:
Otis Clay
Otis Clay
is an American treasure, having been inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame this past year. He's one of a handful of Deep Soul singers who still command the Hi Records Memphis sound, much in the vein of Otis Redding and Solomon Burke. His song "Trying To Live My Life Without You" was one of Bob Seger's bigger hits. Otis brings a 10-piece group of horns, keys and backup singers.
Rick Estrin
Kicking off the show will be Rick Estrin & the Nightcats, one of blues most colorful frontmen. Rick ranks up as one of the world's premier harmonica players, song writers and frontmen in the blues world having won the BMA in 2013 in the harmonica category. Rick and the San Francisco based band recorded and videotaped a homage underground track to the LRBC simply titled, "I Met Her On The Blues Cruise".
Sunday, May 25th:
Ronnie Baker Brooks
Ronnie Baker Brooks
will be showcasing his new 7-piece band which he is bringing to the West Coast cruise in October. The son of Blues Hall of Famer, Lonnie Brooks, Ronnie also has Rodd Bland, son of the late Bobby Bland, on drums. Carrying o the torch of the masters, Ronnie and the full band have a new CD due for release this year.

Multiple Blues Music Award Winner and LRBC Piano Bar favorite, Eden Brent brings her band as she is touring in support of her latest CD, "Jigsaw Heart". Little Boogaloo as she is known to her Mississippi music fans carries on the deep style of the Boogaloo tradition she learned first hand.

How to obtain tickets and lodging:

Tickets are only $50 per person for a 3 Day Pass!

Click to purchase your 3-Day Pass direct from the venue

Specific show tickets are also available @ $20/night in Advance or $25/night at the Door

A downtown host hotel has been pre-arranged for those traveling with
a limited number of hotels rooms still available until May 2nd!

Aladdin Holiday Inn, 1215 Wyandotte St., Kansas City, MO 64105
Reservations: 866-270-9274 and reference "LRBC Blues Cruise Reunion" or visit this link

2715 Rochester • Kansas City MO, 64120
(816) 483-1456 / (816) 483-6407
Voted KC's Best Live Music Venue 9 years running

# # #
For information or further press inquiries:
Contact LeAnne Clay: (816) 753-7979 or

A special thank you to Cruiser Reunion Party Weekend sponsor, Holland America Line!

313 Lawrence Ave. • Kansas City, MO 64111 • 816-753-7979 • 888-Bluesin' •

Monday, November 25, 2013

Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #21 October 2013 - Stilladog - Guest Contributer

Welcome aboard to the world’s biggest 7 day blues party!  Yes friends, 7 days where you can’t tell the blues artists from the fans. Although everybody’s experience is different –and a blues cruise vacation is exactly what you make it– a good time is had by all… day after day!

So I’m going to tell you about my experience on my 4th LRBC a few weeks ago.   I try to get on board pretty early so I can learn the layout of the ship and how to get from concert venue to concert venue in the most efficient manner.  And by doing so you get to see and talk to some of the artists before any action really starts.  Right off the bat I ran into Cyril Neville who was as lost as my wife and I.  Later I saw Lucky Peterson on a lounge chair outside his stateroom while walking the Promenade Deck. 

The first night they always have a BBQ on the pool deck at departure. This time it was Rick Estrin and the Nightcats hosting the BBQ. The best part being when Kid Anderson went into a guitar solo playing slide with a cell phone. Next came the Virgin and Returnee Parties.  The artists for these are never announced. As a returnee I went for my free champagne at the Showroom at Sea.  And to kick it all off was Los Lobos with Lee Oskar on harp. Talk about setting the bar high.  These guys were fantastic!  I had seen Lee Oskar a few years ago with the Low Rider Band (the band formerly known as WAR but due to legal limitations cannot bill themselves as WAR any more). But I swear Lee was better with Los Lobos who were great in their own right.  The consensus opinion was that this was the best Returnee Party in history.
Lee Oskar jams with Los Lobos at the Returnee Party

After that we stayed at the Showroom to check out Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
  He was one of the artists I specifically wanted to see on this cruise.  Bman had turned me on to Walter back in about 1991 and I’d never gotten a chance to see him live.  I was not disappointed. Wolfman Washington with his jazz-infused, New Orleans funk style blues was great.  Sadly not too many people attended this show. I imagine on account of going to see Ruthie Foster instead. When Ruthie’s set ended the crowd packed into Walter’s gig for the last half hour.

As for me, when Walter’s set ended I went out to the Pool Deck to hear Royal Southern Brotherhood.  But I only heard a few tunes featuring mostly Mike Zito because I had to head back to the Showroom for Irma Thomas.  That’s the dilemma about the Blues Cruise. There’s so many good people to see and you just can’t possibly be in two places at once.  Well, Irma Thomas was great.  She did not work from a set list. She just said “This is not your regular kind of show. I’m gonna call the tunes unless there’s something special you want to hear. Let me know what it is and we’ll do it.”  Irma would not be the only artist to take that approach.

Day two was in Key West, FL.  Supposedly for Fantasy Fest which started the night before.  But by pulling into port at 8:30am all the naked spray painted Fantasy Fest breasts, and other body parts, were all in bed sleeping from the previous evening.  So we had our own Second Line parade up Duval Street led by keyboardist, Mitch Woods, dressed as Liberace and the Wild Magnolias (Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr.).  It terminated at Sloppy Joes Bar where Mitch led a jam that lasted from 10:00am until 3:00pm.
Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux lead the parade to Sloppy Joe’s

Toward the end of the jam, Walter “Wolfman” Washington joined Mitch and the band for a couple numbers. When he came down off the stage I got to talk to Walter and joke around with him. What a great guy! You may not know this, but Walter was one of the first “name” artists who started to play New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  There are many who say he saved music in New Orleans after the hurricane because so many musicians had fled to Houston, Dallas, San Francisco and all points in between to make a living since most clubs in New Orleans had shut down. But not Walter. He immediately began playing his regular gigs most notably at the Maple Leaf Bar –where he still has a weekly gig. When people saw Walter back, they came back too!

Stilladog and Walter “Wolfman” Washington sharing a joke outside Sloppy Joe’s in Key West 
 So at 5:30 the ship had to leave Mallory Square in Key West cause if any of you have ever been there for the Sunset Party (Circus) which happens every night… well you just can’t have a huge freakin’ cruise ship obstructing your view.  But that’s OK with us ‘cause Our Ship Kicks Ass and we gonna have a good time anyway.

And sure enough we did. Reason why? Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers!  Over the course of the cruise I saw these guys play 3 gigs and they were absolute Zydeco Dynamite on every one!!  Led by accordionist Dwayne Dopsie, and fueled by saxophonist Reginald Smith and washboard man, Paul LeFleur (The Marlboro Man) they rocked the ship.  What a passionate performance! I can personally attest to the fact that the man was soaked from head to toe at the end of every set.  Even the dude’s jeans were completely soaked!
Pool Deck zydeco duel between Dwayne Dopsie & Paul LeFleur

A day at sea is always filled with great blues and it took us a day and something to get from Key West to New Orleans. It was a Sunday and we got the day started with a Gospel Brunch with Ruthie Foster which was fantastic! 

The rest of day three was highlighted by more of Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, the hardest working band on the ship! A set by Popa Chubby on the Pool Deck was particularly good. Man he really ripped the place up. I was extremely impressed with Popa Chubby.   I knew he was good, but not that good!  Reminded me of Leslie West.  In fact, better than Leslie West even. And that’s saying something.  

Popa Chubby rocks the Pool Deck

Coming up the Mississippi into New Orleans I had the pleasure of enjoying the ride with Dion Pierre – bass man for the Zydeco Hellraisers and Kevin Minor –drummer for the Zydeco Hellraisers (and alumni of Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, PA) both of whom call New Orleans home.  We passed the bayous and levees.  Up past the New Orleans Battleground where Andrew Jackson and the pirate, Jean LaFitte, defeated the British in 1814.  To the canal in the 9th ward where Minor pointed out to me “That’s the canal that flooded and fucked up all this area over here.” Very few people approach the city from this direction and it was clearly impressive even to the folks who live there.

The city was impressive too. My wife and I walked about 8.5 miles that day. Started out for an Oyster Po’ Boy at Mother’s on Poydras.  Then down past the House of Blues on Decatur into the French Quarter.  Up to Preservation Hall. Past the Old Absinthe House. Over to the St. Charles Trolley and a trip out past the Garden District to the famous Maple Leaf Bar home of New Orleans blues, jazz, zydeco, and everything in between for as long as anyone can remember. A few beers and some serious music discussion with Regan the bartender and then a trolley trip back into town. Arriving just in time for a bus ride out to the Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl where we heard the wonderful guitarist June Yamagishi (who you can see in the HBO series Treme’).

June Yamagishi at Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl

Another day at sea followed featuring Ft. Lauderdale guitarist, Albert Castilia, whose set was accompanied by guests, Samantha Fish and Mike Zito.  It is about at this point in the trip that musicians who jam together until 4:00am every night on the pool deck begin to crash each other’s scheduled sets and you never know who you might see or where.  Johnny Winter? Kim Wilson? Rev. Billy C. Wirtz?  Andy Forrest? Dave Keyes? Jimmy Carpenter? They were all there and would just show up. It was great!!  Lucky Peterson was also a high point of the sets I saw on our way to Progreso, MX.

In Mexico, I guess the people who took the tour of the Mayan ruins enjoyed Mexico but I opted to stay on the ship and drink poolside all afternoon.  It was a good choice. It was a day of relaxation for the musicians. And they were hanging poolside too. I never intruded on their personal time but it was very cool to observe, for instance, a conversation between Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, and Lee Oskar.  Now that’s some harp royalty right there!  Ruthie Foster and her band just kicking back with some fans. We caught a bit of Anson Funderburgh and Eric Lindell’s set early that evening too.

At 6:30 the next morning I headed back to the pool for the Sunrise Party except there was no sun.  It was cloudy and we had some pretty damn rough seas. So rough the pool water was completely splashing out 7 feet high!! Somebody smuggled in some tequila and vodka and I mixed my own Bloody Mary and hung out with my fellow cruisers for a jello shooter to celebrate our last day in Blues Heaven on water.  Had a hell of a time keeping my balance but I was better off than those who get seasick.

The feature of the last day was the Lucky Peterson Jam on the pool deck which was going great until Lucky decided to play some disco music and everybody kinda just walked away.  Right up until that it was smokin’.  But artists need to understand it’s the blues people come to hear and even though I agree with the Etta James claim that “It’s all blues, baby” other’s don’t. 

The last set I saw was Marcia Ball who also just said, “Call the tune and I’ll play it.” I had not seen Marcia since 1999 at the Superdome in New Orleans and not much has changed except we’re both older and grayer.  She still rocks on that electric piano and swings her long crossed leg the whole time.
Marcia Ball

Back in Florida I found myself waiting for my family to pick us up at the port alongside Popa Chubby. We all just turn into one big blues family on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.  It is an experience I highly recommend not only because the music is fantastic but it’s a very relaxing vacation.  I’ll be on the next one in January too, hope to see you on board. I’ll be hanging in the Crow’s Nest.  Just say, “Whatcha drinking, Stilladog?” And I’ll know you are a Bman’s Blues Report fan.       

Friday, March 30, 2012

It's "All Jams on Deck" for Blues Fans on New DVD from Acclaimed Filmmaker Robert Mugge



ATLANTA, GA - All Jams on Deck, the new 96-minute documentary by famed music filmmaker Robert Mugge ( is now available on DVD for the enjoyment of blues fans everywhere. Produced by Mugge and his partner Diana Zelman, executive produced by CEO Roger Naber of Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, LLC (, and shot/recorded entirely on Naber's October 2010 Blues Cruise to the Mexican Riviera, this Mug-Shot Production is the first film ever to focus on the art form of blues jamming. It also happens to be nominated for Best DVD in the Blues Foundation's 2012 Blues Music Awards competition, with the winner to be announced at the 33rd Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis on May 10th.

All Jams on Deck was premiered on the October 2010 and January 2011 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises and is now being made available to blues fans and musicians everywhere. Aside from a shipping and handling fee of $5.95, DVD copies can be acquired free of charge by ordering from the Blues Cruise website: In addition, a 12-minute and 36-second trailer for the film can be viewed along with the DVD package design and liner notes at the Mug-Shot Productions website:

Featured in All Jams On Deck are dynamic performances by such major blues artists as Tommy Castro, Elvin Bishop, Marcia Ball, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Kim Wilson, Lee Oskar, Commander Cody, Coco Montoya, Lowrider Band, Larry McCray, Rick Estrin, Jimmy Thackery, Sista Monica Parker, John Nemeth, Steve Berlin, Vasti Jackson, Leon Blue, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Eden Brent, Mike Schermer and many more. Also included are discussions of the history, techniques and etiquette of blues jamming featuring the artists themselves, as well as SiriusXM Radio's Bluesville Program Director Bill Wax and blues and jazz historian and producer Bob Porter. .

Early reviews of the new DVD have been glowing. “Originally available as a souvenir for voyagers on the legendary Blues Cruises, All Jams on Deck is becoming known as a film all blues lovers in general should enjoy. It's also a primer for blues performers looking for tips from the pros... Every musician should see this film at least once. Odds are, you'll want to go on a Blues Cruise yourself to enjoy what hot licks sound like after-hours." - Wesley Britton, Blog Critics and Seattle Post Intelligencer

"All Jams on Deck...offers some terrific highlights from the after-hours jams that take place on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruises. It is actually also a nice primer for performers to learn from the professionals how to run jams... Quite a lot of fun..."

- Gregory Johnson, President, Cascade Blues Association

"I have had the pleasure to watch Robert Mugge's All Jams on Deck, a documentation of late night jams on the Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise... This is a film that anyone who loves contemporary blues would enjoy...a great documentary."

- Bman's Blues Report

Many of the performances in the film were captured during the after-hours "pro jams" that take place nightly on the ship's aft Pool Deck, each of them overseen by a different major artist or band. Among the songs recorded during those jams are "A Good Fool Is Hard To Find" and "I Feel That Old Feeling Coming On" led by Tommy Castro; "I Woke Up Screaming," led by Marcia Ball; "Last Dirty Deal," led by Coco Montoya, "Kim's Jam" and "Take A Little Walk With Me," led by Kim Wilson; and "Lowrider Jam," led by the Lowrider Band. Jams captured in other show settings include Elvin Bishop and John Nemeth leading a performance of Bishop's classic "Fooled Around And Fell In Love;" Elvin Bishop sitting in with Johnny and Edgar Winter on "Johnny's Jam;" Vasti Jackson sitting in with Coco Montoya for Jackson's "Hurricane Season;" Vasti Jackson and Laith Al-Saadi demonstrating blues guitar techniques; Kim Wilson and Lee Oskar demonstrating blues harp techniques; Commander Cody and Rev. Billy C. Wirtz demonstrating blues piano techniques; and a stageful of top keyboard players from Leon Blue and Steve Willis to Eden Brent and Kelley Hunt performing ensemble versions of "Honky Tonk Train" and "Boogaloo's Boogie."

All Jams on Deck is director Robert Mugge's second blues DVD release of 2012. The first was Big Shoes: Walking and Talking the Blues, his 90-minute portrait of Ted Drozdowski's blues band, Scissormen, now available from VizzTone as a combination DVD and soundtrack CD. All Jams on Deck is also the second film produced by Mugge and Diana Zelman with Roger Naber serving as executive producer. The first film the three made together was Deep Sea Blues, a 118-minute portrait of the January 2007 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise to the Caribbean which is available on DVD from Micro Werks.

In the words of the The Hollywood Reporter, "Filmmaker Robert Mugge has...established himself as the cinema's foremost music documentarian." Over the past three-and-a-half decades, he has made dozens of music-related films and TV series, including such acclaimed documentaries as Gospel According to Al Green, Deep Blues, Pride and Joy: The Story of Alligator Records, Hellhounds On My Trail: The Afterlife of Robert Johnson, Last of the Mississippi Jukes, Gather At The River: A Bluegrass Celebration, Black Wax (with Gil Scott-Heron), Blues Divas (with Morgan Freeman), and The Kingdom of Zydeco (with Beau Jocque and Boozoo Chavis). In 2005, just after Hurricane Katrina, Mugge collaborated with Diana Zelman on New Orleans Music In Exile for Starz Entertainment Group, and the two have been working together ever since.

Mugge currently serves as the Endowed Chair Professor of Telecommunications at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Four of his graduate and undergraduate production students (Joseph Vella, Andrew Bissonnette, Derek Cox and Derek Hall) served as primary crew members for the production. Mugge edited the film in Muncie and supervised post-production at The Dive in Philadelphia. In addition, Steve Savage served as music mixer in San Francisco and George Hunt created the commemorative painting incorporated into the DVD menus and package designed by Scott Burnett at the LRBC offices in Kansas City.

Executive producer Roger Naber is a blues music industry visionary, a former Kansas City club owner, a blues deejay, and a charter cruise pioneer whose first Blues Cruise sailed in 1992. His January 2012 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise to the Caribbean was his 25th music cruise, with many yet to come. In October of 2012, he is launching a new Southeastern Caribbean Blues Cruise departing from San Juan, Puerto Rico with one of his best artist lineups ever.

In the words of Robert Mugge, "I made my 1986 film Saxophone Colossus because I wanted to know more about jazz improvisation and so chose to work with Sonny Rollins, the greatest living jazz improviser. More recently, Roger Naber proposed that Diana and I produce a film about the late-night pro jams that are the highlight of his twice-yearly Blues Cruises, and I saw this as an opportunity to make a film about jamming and improvising among top blues artists. The result of this collaboration, All Jams on Deck, serves not only as the record Roger wanted of some of his late-night pro jams, but also as the film I envisioned about all aspects of blues jamming. In the end, everyone is happy, especially blues fans and musicians around the world: the musicians because they now have an effective primer for jamming with their peers; and the fans because we're giving away DVDs of this exciting film for free. At a time when the music business and the home video business are both coming apart at the seams, we have devised a new business model to get the film out to everyone we know will enjoy it. And that crazy business model is just to give it away via the Blues Cruise website. Nothing will make us happier than if every blues fan on the planet goes to and requests a copy of his or her own!"

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”

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Your Free DVD copy of “All Jams On Deck”

All Jams On Deck

All Jams On Deck
A film by Robert Mugge

All Jams On Deck Robert Mugge

For many, the highlights of every Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise are the scheduled “pro jams” presented late each night on the aft Pool Deck. On the October 2010 Blues Cruise from San Diego to the Mexican Riviera, music filmmaker Robert Mugge and his crew documented those late-night jams, as well as others taking place throughout the weeklong cruise. The result is a 96-minute music documentary titled ALL JAMS ON DECK which captures exciting and unpredictable performances by such major blues artists as Tommy Castro, Elvin Bishop, Marcia Ball, Johnny and Edgar Winter, Kim Wilson, Lee Oskar, Commander Cody, Coco Montoya, Lowrider Band, Larry McCray, Rick Estrin, Jimmy Thackery, Sista Monica Parker, John Nemeth, Steve Berlin, Vasti Jackson, Leon Blue, Rev. Billy C. Wirtz, Eden Brent, Mike Schermer, Kelley Hunt, and many more. Also included are discussions of the history, techniques and etiquette of blues jamming featuring the artists themselves, as well as SiriusXM Radio’s Bluesville Program Director Bill Wax and blues and jazz historian and producer Bob Porter. The twice-yearly Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise was founded in 2001 by Roger Naber, a blues music industry visionary and charter cruise pioneer whose first Blues Cruise sailed in 1992. Robert Mugge, who has been dubbed “king of the American music documentary” by Paul Malcolm (LA Weekly), and his partner Diana Zelman previously collaborated with Naber on the 2007 film DEEP SEA BLUES. Enjoy this unique opportunity to see multiple band leaders performing together with their tremendous talents and exuberance!

Request Your Free DVD copy of “All Jams On Deck” below.

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”

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Kenny Wayne Shepherd with Buddy Flett

Kenny Wayne Shepherd (born Kenny Wayne Brobst, June 12, 1977, Shreveport, Louisiana) is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released several studio albums and experienced a rare level of commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician
Shepherd graduated Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, Louisiana. The guitarist is "completely self taught", and does not read music. Growing up, Shepherd's father (Ken Shepherd) was a local radio personality and some-time concert promoter, and had a vast collection of music. Shepherd got his first "guitar" at the age of three or four, when his grandmother purchased a series of several plastic guitars for him with S&H Green Stamps, which Shepherd has said he would "go through like candy".
Shepherd stated in a 2010 interview that he began playing guitar in earnest at age seven, about six months after meeting and being "pretty mesmerized" by Stevie Ray Vaughan, in June 1984, at one of his father's promoted concerts. His self-taught method employed a process of learning one note at a time, playing and rewinding cassette tapes, utilizing "a cheap Yamaha wanna-be Stratocaster...made out of plywood, basically", learning Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Albert Lee licks from his father's vast music collection.

At the age of 13, Shepherd was invited on stage by the New Orleans bluesman Bryan Lee. After proving his abilities, he decided on music as a career. Demo tapes were made and a two-camera video was shot at Shepherd's first performance at the Red River Revel Arts Festival in Shreveport. It was this video performance that impressed Giant Records chief Irving Azoff enough to sign Shepherd to a multiple album record deal.

From 1995 on, Shepherd took seven singles into the Top 10, and holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard Blues Charts with Trouble Is.... In 1996, Shepherd began a longtime collaboration with vocalist Noah Hunt, who provided the vocals for Shepherd's signature song, "Blue on Black". Shepherd has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and has received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards and two Orville H. Gibson Awards.

In September 2008, Fender Musical Instruments Corp. released the Kenny Wayne Shepherd Signature Series Stratocaster, designed exclusively by Shepherd. In 2007, he released a critically acclaimed and two time Grammy nominated DVD–CD project, 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads. This documents Shepherd as he travels the country to jam with and interview the last of the authentic blues musicians. As they tour the backroads, Shepherd, with members of the Double Trouble Band, play with a host of blues greats including Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown and Bryan Lee, Buddy Flett (with whom he jams at Lead Belly's grave), B. B. King, blues harp master Jerry "Boogie" McCain, Cootie Stark, Neal Pattman, John Dee Holeman, Etta Baker, Henry Townsend with Honeyboy Edwards, and a concert session with the surviving members of Muddy Waters' and Howlin' Wolf's bands, including luminaries such as Hubert Sumlin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith and Pinetop Perkins. In 2010 Shepherd was nominated for a Grammy for Live In Chicago which featured performances with Hubert Sumlin, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Buddy Flett and Bryan Lee. Most recently in 2011, Shepherd released his 7th CD entitled How I Go on Roadrunner Records.
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Your Turn To Cry - Bettye LaVette

Bettye LaVette (born Betty Haskins, January 29, 1946) is an American soul singer-songwriter who made her first record at sixteen, but achieved only intermittent fame until 2005, with her album, I've Got My Own Hell to Raise. Her eclectic musical style combines elements of soul, blues, rock and roll, funk, gospel, and country music.
LaVette was born in Muskegon, Michigan, and raised in Detroit. Unlike many of her contemporaries, she did not begin singing in the church, but in her parents' living room, singing R&B and country and western music. She was signed by Johnnie Mae Matthews, a local record producer. In 1962, aged sixteen, she recorded a single, "My Man - He's a Lovin' Man", with Matthews, which became a Top Ten R&B hit after Atlantic Records bought distribution rights. This led to a tour with rhythm and blues musicians Clyde McPhatter, Ben E. King, Barbara Lynn, and then-newcomer Otis Redding.
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Sippiseekinsaw - Super Chikan & The Fight Cocks

James "Super Chikan" Johnson (born February 16, 1951, Darling, Mississippi) is an American blues musician, based in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He is the nephew of fellow blues musician Big Jack Johnson.

One commentator noted that Super Chikan, along with Big Jack Johnson, Booba Barnes, R. L. Burnside, and Paul "Wine" Jones were "present-day exponents of an edgier, electrified version of the raw, uncut Delta blues sound.
As an adult, Super Chikan began driving a truck for a living. During the long stretches on the road, he began composing his own songs. When he showed some of the songs to his friends, they convinced him to go to a recording studio and record them. He then started playing with some renowned local musicians, but he decided he would rather perform on his own than try to conform his style to that of his bandmates. He did so, and in 1997 he released his debut album, Blues Come Home to Roost, influenced by such musicians as Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, and Chuck Berry. He went on to release What You See (2000), Shoot That Thang (2001), Chikan Supe (2005), and Sum Mo Chikan (2007). In the Clarksdale area, he is probably best-known for performing regularly at Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero blues club and for being Freeman's favorite blues performer. He also played support to Steven Seagal's band, 'Thunderbox.'

Super Chikan's latest release was Chikadelic, which was distributed by BluesTown Records. It was recorded in Notodden, Norway's Juke Joint Studios, and was released at the 2009 Notodden Blues Festival. Super Chikan was backed by Norway's, Spoonful of Blues.
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Blues Falling Down Like Rain - Kenny Neal

Kenny Neal, born in New Orleans and raised in Baton Rouge, began playing music at a young age. Learning the basics from his father, singer and Blues harmonica master, Raful Neal. Kenny is known as a modern swamp-blues master and multi-instrumentalist, that draws musically from the sizzling sounds of his native Louisiana.
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I'll Play The Blues For You - Homemade Jamz Blues Band

Ryan Perry (19) -- vocals, guitars

Kyle Perry (17) -- bass

Taya Perry (13) – drums

“These young kids have got energy, talent and do the blues proud with their own flavor. I believe they’ve got a GREAT future ahead.” – B.B. King

How does a seven-year-old kid get the blues? Ryan Perry, now 16, laughs heartily at the notion—like he’s a father himself, maybe even a grandfather, as if fondly recalling his precocious past self. “We haven’t had any bad xperiences as a family,” says Perry, who sings and plays guitar in the Homemade Jamz Blues Band (HJBB) with his brother Kyle (14, bass) and sister Taya (10, drums). He understands the irony of a world-weary anklebiter but more importantly the simple, youthful concept of doing what comes naturally.

HJBB started in Baumholder, Germany when father Renaud Perry returned from military service in Korea. Young Ryan found a Stratocaster copy among dad’s bags and wanted it. A week later, Ryan had composed a short instrumental tune (which he’d play at his school talent show) and was playing along to commercials. When the family relocated to Tupelo, the passion stayed with him. Returning home, Ryan, now 11, dove head first into the blues.

“I heard B.B. King, Albert King and Stevie Ray Vaughan,” he recalls, “and I would listen to them all the time and try to emulate them.” Having found his muse, Ryan’s playing progressed “like, tenfold. As soon as I knew which direction to go, it really took off.”

Two years later, Ryan was playing live with a drum machine and little brother Kyle, then nine years old, wanted in on the action. After first trying piano and becoming frustrated that he didn’t progress as fast as Ryan, Kyle switched to bass, teaching himself the nuances of the instrument and its role in the blues. Soon he was playing out with his brother, as confident as any wizened old pro and digging his role. “[I] keep the timing and lock down the beat along with the drummer, which allows the lead guitar player to do his own thing while everyone is juking to the beat.”

Eventually proud papa Renaud called Robert Stolle of Clarksdale’s storied Ground Zero Blues Club and insisted on an audition, HJBB—Ryan, Kyle and an unrelated drummer wowed Stolle enough to get a booking. When that drummer didn’t work out, seven-year-old Taya wanted to give it a shot. Already possessing a rhythmic sense from playing tambourine, Taya settled onto the stool and in two months was providing the beat behind Ryan and Kyle. “It's very exciting to play drums,” she says.

It’s likewise energizing to watch HJBB work out, and soon the cherubic trio was a hot ticket. Ryan’s gruff vocals and visceral, stinging, guitar licks, Kyle’s solid rumble and Taya’s cool stomp have electrified crowds across the country, up and down Memphis’s famed Beale Street and on the festival and blues cruise circuit. The band saturated their local media, appearing numerous times in several local papers and national blues magazines, and on local and national TV—including a feature segment on CBS Sunday Morning when the band played the WC Handy Festival last July. Even B.B. King said in a YouTube video, “In my 82 years, I’ve never seen something musically… so remarkable.”

As well, HJBB won the 3rd Annual MS Delta Blues Society of Indianola’s Blues Challenge (2006), and were the youngest band ever to compete in the International Blues Challenge (2007), taking 2nd in a field of 157 bands. Fred Litwin, president of the esteemed label NorthernBlues Music, was a judge for the event. Fred called HJBB and announced he was keen to make them the youngest blues band to sign with a major record label. “Mister Fred,” as the Perrys call him, made it happen. True to their name, the band recorded Pay Me No Mind at home, over three days in January 2008.

Rife with powerful, puissant songs (lyrics by Renaud, music by HJBB) that lyrically and musically epitomize the blues, Pay Me No Mind blends Chicago and Mississippi juke joint blues, copping the gritty slickness of the former and the dirty soul of the latter—never betraying its authors’ age. The trio exudes nothing but confidence and attitude as they sing of betrayal, love, hard times and other bad things gone down as if they’ve lived a life rich in strife. They are, to be sure, a veritable blues explosion poised to make the big sound.

Which again begs the question: how do a seven-year-old and his younger siblings get the blues? Ryan says they just “connect” with the music, like it’s hard-wired into them. He and his siblings don’t think in those terms. “We all love the blues,” he says matter-of-factly. “For some reason it just comes naturally to us.” Write on our Facebook Wall or post your Photos of great blues events! ”LIKE”

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Coco Montoya with Debbie Davies

Davies rise to the upper echelon of blues music started at an early age as she absorbed the music heard constantly in her home. Her (professional) musician parents were either sitting at the piano or spinning discs on their turntable, filling the air with the sounds of big band jazz, harmony vocal groups, or the pop icons of the day. But the young Davies was particularly attracted to the bluesier sounds of her father’s Ray Charles records, and by the age of 12 realized that her affinity for an instrument was not for the piano, but for the guitar.

Growing up in Los Angeles in the 1960’s, she found that being a female guitar player meant only one thing: acoustic guitar. Electric guitars were still toys meant only for boys. But when Debbie heard the sounds of the British blues-rock bands, particularly the electric guitar of Eric Clapton with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, she became completely captivated. Going against the grains of society’s accepted roles of the time, Debbie pursued her dream with the passion of an artist and the soul of a rebel.

Davies cut her teeth playing in blues and rock ‘n roll bands in the San Francisco Bay area before returning to Los Angeles in 1984, where she landed the lead guitar spot in Maggie Mayall and the Cadillacs, an all-female band led by wife of British blues pioneer, John Mayall. In 1988 she was recruited by Albert Collins to join the Icebreakers, and for the next three years she was a featured guitarist performing behind one of the most innovative bluesmen of all time. “I stepped through a door into the real blues world when I joined Albert’s band,” Davies says. “It’s one thing to listen to the records and pull off the licks, or sit in the audience watching these artists play. But actually going out and touring with one, turned the blues into something completely three-dimensional for me. I knew then what a special opportunity this was, but I know it even more now.” During her tenure with Albert, Debbie was invited to perform on John Mayall’s 1990 album, A Sense of Place, and in 1991 she recorded with Albert Collins and the Icebreakers on the Grammy nominated self-titled release for Point Blank/Virgin Records.

In the summer of 1991 Debbie became lead guitarist for Fingers Taylor and the Ladyfingers Revue, which served as the opening act for Jimmy Buffett’s “Outpost” tour. In September 1993 she came out with her debut solo release, Picture This, on Blind Pig Records, which featured a cameo by Collins on “I Wonder Why.” People like to ask Debbie if she learned her technique from Collins, to which she gently points out that she had to play well from the start to hold her own with Albert at every performance. However, the experience taught her lessons in being a better musician, both onstage and off. Says Davies, “It was the most powerful band I had ever played with, so I learned to dig even deeper into myself to pull out the music. Albert was a man of so much grace and kindness, so I can only hope that I was able to absorb some of his humanity too.”

Since 1993, Debbie has produced nine solo recordings and two collaborative CD’s, one with guitarists Tab Benoit and Kenny Neal, and another with guitarists Anson Funderburgh and Otis Grand. The roster of other artists who have joined Debbie in the studio on her recordings reads like a who’s who of the blues: Albert Collins, Ike Turner, James Cotton, Mick Taylor, Peter Green, Coco Montoya, Duke Robillard, Tommy Shannon, Chris “Whipper” Layton, Sugar Ray Norcia, Mudcat Ward, Charlie Musselwhite, Bruce Katz, Per Hanson, Noel Neal, and Rod Carey. She has received eight nominations for Blues Music Awards, and in 1997 won the award for Best Contemporary Female Blues Artist. She is nominated yet again in this category for 2008.

Her 2007 Telarc Records release Blues Blast is highly-acclaimed and is a pressure cooker recording that showcases her seasoned guitar and vocal capabilities. It includes guest appearances by three high-profile bluesmen: guitarists Tab Benoit and Coco Montoya, and harpist Charlie Musselwhite. A twenty-year veteran of the road, Debbie Davies is truly one of the leading lights on the contemporary blues music scene today.

"Debbie is one of the direct links to the originators of this music. She knows what the blues is all about and you can hear it in the passion of her playing." - COCO MONTOYA

"Debbie is an incredible guitarist who plays with great taste and can cook like mad. Debbie plays from the heart and her heart has a lot to say. She inspires me. Besides being a fine musician she's also an outstanding person that I am very glad to call a
friend of mine." - CHARLIE MUSSELWHITE

"I don't often give endorsements or references, but once in a rare while I hear a musician of such talent that I want people to know. I believe my reputation backs up my ability to recognize
exceptional blues guitarists. Such a one is Debbie Davies. Hear her now." - JOHN MAYALL

Coco Montoya (born Henry Montoya, October 2, 1951, Santa Monica, California) is an American blues guitarist and former member of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers.
Montoya is left-handed but plays "upside-down right-handed" guitar. In other words he can play a guitar strung for right-handed playing, with bass strings at the upper edge of the fretboard and treble strings at the lower edge, rotating the guitar so he stops the strings with his right-hand and picks them with his left hand. Thus for him the treble strings are at the upper edge, and the bass strings are at the lower edge. Few other blues guitarists play their guitars left-handed and strung differently, although two exception would be Doyle Bramhall II and Albert King. This contrasts with the style of fellow left-handers Jimi Hendrix and Tony Iommi, amongst others, whose guitars are re-strung for left-handers or who just play left-handed guitars without restringing (which is of course nowadays a bit easier because of enough left-handed guitars available).

Most current pictures of Montoya playing show him with a guitar such as a Fender Stratocaster, with a left-handed body (a mirror image of the right-handed body), a neck and headstock typical of a right-handed Stratocaster, so the tuners are on the bottom edge for him, and the strings arranged "upside-down" relative to the left-handed body.

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Down On Bending Knees - Philipp Fankhauser

Philipp Fankhauser is a Swiss blues singer/guitarist who experienced Top Ten success in his homeland after two decades of recording activity. Born in 1964 in Thun, Switzerland, he began playing music during the late '70s after taking an unlikely interest in the blues as a teenager. His interest in the blues was compounded after he attended the 1981 Montreux Jazz Festival, where he witnessed firsthand a performance by Albert Collins.
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Big Lovin' Woman - Shemekia Copeland

Shemekia Copeland (born April 10, 1979) is an American electric blues vocalist.Copeland was born in Harlem, New York City, United States. She is the daughter of Texas blues guitarist and singer Johnny Copeland. She began to pursue a singing career in earnest at age 16, when her father's health began to decline; he took Shemekia on tour as his opening act, which helped establish her name on the blues circuit. Copeland graduated in 1997 from Teaneck High School in Teaneck, New Jersey.

She landed a recording contract with Alligator Records, which issued her debut album, Turn the Heat Up! in 1998, following it up with a tour of the blues festival circuit in America and Europe. Her second album, Wicked, was released in 2000 and featured a duet with one of her heroes, Ruth Brown. It earned her three Blues Music Awards.

The follow-up record, Talking to Strangers, was produced by Dr. John, and in 2005 she released The Soul Truth, produced by Steve Cropper.

In 2008, Copeland signed with Telarc International, and released her first album, Never Going Back with that label in February 2009. She won the "Rising Star - Blues Artist" in Down Beat magazine's critics poll announced in the December 2009 issue.

Copeland participated in the Efes Pilsen Blues Festival in 2009. On June 12, 2011 at the 2011 Chicago Blues Festival, Copeland was presented Koko Taylor's crown, and officially given the honor as the new "Queen of the Blues" by Koko Taylor's daughter, Cookie Taylor.
Here's Shemekia on the cruise:
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Stop It Baby - Shakura S'Aida

Shakura S'Aida is a Canadian blues and jazz vocalist, songwriter and actress. She is sometimes credited as simply Shakura, and should therefore not be confused with the Colombian pop star Shakira.

She was born in Brooklyn and lived in Switzerland before moving to Canada.

S'Aida was lead singer of the 13-piece world music ensemble Kaleefah before embarking on her solo career. She has also performed as a backing vocalist for Rita MacNeil and Patti Labelle, as well as with jazz musicians such as Jimmy Smith and Ruth Brown. She has also been nominated for several Juno Awards for her music.

As an actress, she starred in a Toronto production of George Boyd's Consecrated Ground in 2004, as well as Sudz Sutherland's Doomstown in 2006.
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Black Cat Blues - Cafe R&B

Cafe R&B is a five-piece band from the Los Angeles area consisting of female singer Roach, guitarist Byl Carruthers, keyboardists John "JT" Thomas, Harry Cohen and Stevie Utstein, bassist Bobby Pickett, and drummer Don Swanson and Adam Gust.

Longtime music fans may remember lead singer "Roach" from her days fronting Los Angeles' "Roach and the White Boys" in the early 80s. Critics in the U.S. and Europe have compared her hard-rocking vocals to the likes of Etta James, Tina Turner and Aretha Franklin. HITS Magazine declared: "Imagine Etta James riding a Harley out of an active volcano, and you'll have some vague inkling as to the vocal power..." Her producer/husband, Byl Carruthers, does amazing guitar work and writes the band's original material. When not producing music, he also produces and directs television shows - his credits include "Oprah," "Spy TV," and others. He’s also known as a walking encyclopedia of the blues, and has written liner notes for several blues compilations.

Cafe R&B has passion for gritty, hard-hitting early blues and R&B. For the past ten years, Cafe R&B has honed their legendary live performance skills at venues and blues clubs throughout the U.S., such as the House of Blues and "Buddy Guy's Legends," the legendary San Francisco Blues Festival in 2005, Fire on the Mountain Blues Festival in '05, 06, and '07, and the Long Beach Blues Festival, Chicago Blues Festival 2010 just to name a few. In Europe, they have performed at jam-packed and sold-out residences in London, Barcelona and Paris. In May 2010 they headlined the 19.Grolsch Blues Festival in Schoeppingen/Germany and the Jazz Festival in Cloppenburg/Germany. In Oct. 2009 and 2010 they performed on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise. Here's footage from 2012:

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When My Left Eye Jumps - Tommy Castro Band

Born in San Jose, California in 1955, Castro first picked up a guitar at age 10. He came under the spell of Eric Clapton, Elvin Bishop, Mike Bloomfield and other blues-rock players. As he got older, Castro moved forward by investigating the past, falling in love with the blues guitar work of Muddy Waters, B.B. King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Elmore James and soul singers like Ray Charles, Wilson Pickett and James Brown. By his late 20s he was playing in a variety of San Francisco-area blues and soul bands.

Castro joined Warner Brothers’ artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s. The celebrated rocking soul band had a huge fan base and toured the U.S. constantly. He honed his chops with The Dynatones on the road for two years, performing live all across the country and backing major artists like Carla Thomas and Albert King. He formed the first incarnation of The Tommy Castro Band in 1991, achieving local popularity and winning the Bay Area Music Award for Best Club Band in both 1993 and 1994. With his local fan base quickly expanding, he released Exception To The Rule on Blind Pig. He began touring nationally with his band, picking up new fans everywhere he went. The album won the 1997 Bay Area Music Award for Outstanding Blues Album, and Castro also took the award for Outstanding Blues Musician that same year.

In the mid-1990s The Tommy Castro Band served as the house band for three seasons on NBC Television’s Comedy Showcase (airing right after Saturday Night Live), bringing him in front of millions of viewers every week. Beginning in the mid-1990s, Castro released a series of critically acclaimed CDs for Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street Records as well as one on his own Heart And Soul label. In 2001 and 2002 the legendary B.B. King asked Castro to open his summer concert tours. Castro received an open invitation to join the King Of The Blues on stage for the nightly finale. For the last 15 years, Castro has rarely been off the road, playing over 150 shows a year, each one a spontaneous and exhilarating testament to the power of live music.

Connecting with his audience and sharing his enthusiasm with his fans is something Castro does naturally and effortlessly. With his horn-fueled, blues-rocking, road-tested band behind him, Castro never fails to sweep his audience out of their seats and onto the dance floor. His ability to ignite a raucous good-time party – along with the recent CDs Hard Believer and Tommy Castro Presents The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Revue – Live! – assure that Tommy Castro and his band are in constant demand. Listening to Castro’s recordings and seeing him live, believing is not only easy, it’s a whole lot of fun.
Here's a track of TRommy on the Cruise...I think it sounds great!
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