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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 Maryland. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maryland. Show all posts

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Alabama Train - Louisiana Red w/ Bill Dicey


Born in Annapolis, Maryland, BILL DICEY began playing harmonica at age 8 when his father handed down his first Hohner Band Harp. Harmonicas were scarce at that time, so Bill learned to play his one harp in five different keys. Learning from the street musicians, young Bill used his talent to attract customers for his shoe shine business. Early influences on his technique included saxmen David "Fathead" Newman and clifford Scott, and Blues harp greats Jimmy Reed, Sonny Boy Williamson ( Rice Miller), and later on Little Walter. Associations with Sonny Boy and Buddy Moss helped him in developing a style uniquely his own. Bill teamed up with Buddy Moss in the late 60's for many sessions which included engagements at colleges and clubs throughout the South, when Buddy turned over the reins of command, Bill brought the "Atlanta Blues Band" to New York City.

Widely know and respected in the Blues world, Bill has performed with, opened for or recorded with a breathtaking array of talent including Sonny Boy Williamson, T-Bone Walker, Maria Muldaur, Bonnie Raitt, John Hammond, Phoebe Snow, Otis Spann, Slim Harps, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Louisiana Red, Roosevelt Sykes, Arthur Crudup, Big Mama Thornton, Charles Walker, Howling Wolf, Lightning Hopkins, the Coasters, Elvis Presley and Victoria Spivey.

Bill died at his home in 1993 of Cancer.
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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Baltimore Buzz- Eubie Blake


James Hubert Blake (February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983) was an American composer, lyricist, and pianist of ragtime, jazz, and popular music. In 1921, Blake and long-time collaborator Noble Sissle wrote the Broadway musical Shuffle Along, one of the first Broadway musicals to be written and directed by African Americans. Blake's compositions included such hits as, "Bandana Days", "Charleston Rag", "Love Will Find A Way", "Memories of You", and "I'm Just Wild About Harry". The musical Eubie! featured the works of Blake and opened on Broadway in 1978.
Blake was born at 319 Forrest Street in Baltimore, Maryland to former slaves John Sumner Blake (1838–1917) and Emily "Emma" Johnstone (1861–1917).
He was the only surviving child of eight, all the rest of whom died in infancy. In 1894 the family moved to 414 North Eden Street, and later to 1510 Jefferson Street. John Blake worked earning US$9.00 weekly as a stevedore on the Baltimore docks.

In later years Blake claimed to have been born in 1883, but his Social Security application and all other official documents list his year of birth as 1887.
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sweet Home Chicago / Bye Bye Baby - Johnny and Shuggie Otis with Roy Buchanan

Johnny Otis was born December 28, 1921 in Vallejo, California. He grew up in a predominantly black neighborhood in Berkeley, California, where his father owned and operated a neighborhood grocery store. He began his musical career in 1939 as Johnny Otisa drummer with Count Otis Matthew's West Oakland House Rockers. In 1943, at the recommendation of Nat "King" Cole and Jimmy Witherspoon, he moved to Los Angeles to join Harlan Leonard's Kansas City Rockets at the Club Alabam. By 1945 he was leading his own band, and had his first big hit that year with "Harlem Nocturne". In 1948 he joined with Bardu and Tila Ali, and Johnny Miller to open The Barrelhouse in Los Angeles, which was the first nightclub to feature Rhythm & Blues exclusively. In 1950 he had ten songs that made the Top 10 on Billboard Magazine's Best Selling Retail Rhythm & Blues Records list. With this success, he went on the road with his California Rhythm & Blues Caravan, and became the hottest musical attraction in black America. In the early 1950's, remaining active as a writer, performer, and producer, Johnny began a radio career and became one of the most popular disc jockeys in southern California. His career in radio has now spanned almost 50 years. His early radio broadcast success led to a weekly variety show on television. "The Johnny Otis Show" was on TV in Los Angeles for eight years.

Johnny Otis discovered many legendary Rhythm and Blues singers such as Esther Phillips, Willie Mae "Big Momma" Thornton, Etta James, and the Robins (who later evolved into the Coasters), all of whom were at one time featured vocalists in his band. He also discovered Sugar Pie DeSanto, Hank Ballard and the Midnighters, Jackie Wilson, and Little Willie John. He produced, and with his band played on the original recording of "Hound Dog" with "Big Momma" Thornton. He produced and played on Johnny Ace's "Pledging My Love", and produced some of Little Richard's earliest recordings. On his own Blues Spectrum lable, Johnny has recorded and played with Rhythm & Blues pioneers such as Big Joe Turner, Gatemouth Moore, Amos Milburne, Richard Berry, Joe Liggins, Roy Milton, Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Charles Brown, and Louis Jordan. Johnny played the drums on Charles Brown's first major hit "Driftin' Blues" in 1946. He also recorded with Illinois Jacquet, and Lester Young. One of the many highlights of his long career was when he performed as a drummer with the great Count Basie Orchestra.

In the 1960's Johnny served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Mervin Dymally, whose career he followed from the State Assembly, State Senate, Lieutenant Governorship of California, to the U.S. Congress. His first book "Listen To The Lambs", which addressed the 1965 race riots was published in 1968. His next book, "Upside Your Head! Rhythm & Blues on Central Avenue" was published in 1993. Many of his paintings, sculptures, and wood carvings are displayed in "Colors and Chords - The Art of Johnny Otis" which was published in 1Johnny Otis and Louie Jordan995. His most recent book, "Johnny Otis - Red Beans & Rice and Other Rock 'n' Roll Recipes" was published in 1997.

Johnny Otis's song writing credits include "Every Beat of My Heart", (a song he wrote originally for Jackie Wilson, but was made a hit by Gladys Knight and the Pips), "Roll With Me Henry", (also known as "The Wallflower"), "So Fine", "Willie znd the Hand Jive" (which sold over 1.5 million copies), and many, many others.

Johnny has been inducted into the Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame, into the Blues Hall of Fame and into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The Archives of African American Music and Culture at the University of Indiana has cataloged hundreds of hours of his past radio shows for his interviews, comments, insights, and historical significance.

He has remained active in his recording studio and has put out 6 CD's on his label since the mid-nineties.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

Eller Soul Records artist: Andy Poxon - Red Roots - New Release Review


I just received a copy of Andy Poxon's recording Red Roots. Clever title for a kid playing blues roots music with a large red "natural". The recording is comprised of 13 original tunes with a number of different flavors. There are tastes of Boogie, Funk, Country, Soul, Pop, and a good dose of Blues. Being from Maryland, Andy likely gets exposed to everything as it is a melding pot of music in that musical hub. Andy is actually a pretty good singer in the style of young Jimmy Hall and shows real potential as a guitar slinger. The recording overall is a great first effort and I'm anxious to see how he does as he matures. His playing shows real depth in melodic understanding and I feel that once given the opportunity to explore a bit more, he could be a real powerhouse. There were a few standout tracks on the recording, Hottest Thing in Town, a Boogie played on guitar a 'la Gatemouth Brown, No Love a funkier tune sung over a blues base and Is There Anything I Can Do which resembles a Don Robey song but plays out very nicely. Definitely worth the listen and catch him live and see what he can do!
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Marcel Marsupial Records artist: Boy Wells - Blue Skies Calling - New Release Review


I just received the new recording from Boy Wells called "Blue Skies Calling". I have to admit I was unaware of Wells until he was called to my attention only a few months ago. The recording starts out with a horn driven song that you'd never expect.... I mean if you like that jam groove with sax and trumpet with guitar overlay...you'll love this. The recording continues with a more southern rock tune with the slide guitar and harp blazing. The third track, "Bring it Back" is a stand out track with great horns, vocals and guitar. The recording progresses into a jazzy blues on the fourth track but then makes an abrupt turn on the title track for more of a southern country ballad (a'la Dickey Betts). On the 6th track, Love in Vain" which we previewed in our previous post for the announcement of this cd, Wells conjures up the environment of a smokey 50's blues ballad with the screaming horns, and screaming guitars that is likely to please anyone who listens. The recording then returns to more of a ballad driven tune that could easily have been penned by JJ Cale again with strong guitar support.A continuation of the southern rock sound with the twin guitar leads and solid vocals. Tova, an acoustic instrumental is a nice break near the end of the cd folowed by Devils Backbone Blues which is pretty much a raw blues tune with voice, tambourine and resonator (possibly one of the best tunes on the cd. "Tin Winter" is pure bluegrass and a lot of fun. The recording is concluded with "Traveller" which is another bluegrass type tune. Overall this recording takes you on a pretty nice audible journey through America. Enjoy the ride. I do have to say as a separate comment, he can really play. This cd touches on most every genre a man would likely hear growing up in southern Maryland. Wells like many others boys his age at the time were drawn to the guitar by the likes of Duane Allman. He met guitar legend Danny Gatton when he was in his teens and they became friends ... Wells taking guitar lessons and learning about hot rods...another of Gatton's passions. Wells is joined on this recording by John Prevetti on bass (Danny Gatton), Bruce Crump on drums (Molly Hatchett), Rickie Simkins on violin and mandolin (Emmylou Harris) among others. Also included on this recording is an unbelievable extra... a recording of a 1 hour guitar lesson between Wells and Gatton. This is worth half the price of admission itself. If you don't know Gatton...check my library. That man was a terrific showman and guitar player!
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Sorry but i am not able to find a video to accompany this review
03 - Boy Wells - Bring It Back.mp3

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Boy Wells Audio clip - Love In Vain


One of our viewers volunteered this audio clip of Boy Wells to supliment the video posted earlier. I am still working on getting a video!

Enjoy

Bman
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06 - Boy Wells - Love In Vain.mp3

Friday, October 28, 2011

Guitarist Boy Wells, and friends finding Marcel Marsupial


Blue Skies Calling introduces undiscovered guitar treasure and musical master Boy Wells, a veteran of the rooted Southern rock scene in the geographical and multi-stylistic pocket around the nation’s Capital, now residing in the artistically fertile hills of Central Texas. The album is a harmonic and sonic as well as personal and spiritual journey through the musical tradition at the heart of the American roots idoim that bloomed below the Mason-Dixon line. With the guitar of Boy Wells as the guide, Blue Skies Calling travels through blues, rock’n’roll, country, bluegrass, jazz and more to reveal a rare and brilliant instrumentalist, songwriter and singer steeped in the musical real deal. A friend and protégé of the late, great guitar legend Danny Gatton, Wells made his bones with countless gigs, many road miles and uncounted hours in the studio, and now steps into the spotlight to share all that he knows and feels about music and life as well as his instrumental prowess, touch and emotive power.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

GUITARIST/SINGER BOY WELLS HEARS BLUES SKIES CALLINGON NEW CD COMING NOVEMBER 22



GUITARIST/SINGER BOY WELLS HEARS BLUES SKIES CALLING
ON NEW CD COMING NOVEMBER 22
MASTERFUL PLAYER’S ALBUM SHOWCASES HIS BLUES, ROCK, COUNTRY AND FUNK ROOTS; INCLUDES BONUS CD-ROM OF LATE ‘70S WELLS GUITAR LESSON WITH THE LEGENDARY DANNY GATTON
WIMBERLEY, TX – Guitarist/singer Boy Wells announces the November 22 release of his debut CD, Blue Skies Calling, featuring a dozen original songs on his own Marcel Marsupial Records. The album will be available at CDBaby, iTunes and other fine outlets.
Blue Skies Calling introduces music fans to a largely undiscovered stellar guitarist and musical master in Boy Wells. Wells is a veteran of the southern rock scene that was rooted in the geographical and multi-stylistic pocket around the nation’s capital, who now resides in the artistically fertile hills of Central Texas. The new CD is a harmonic and sonic - as well as personal and spiritual - journey through the musical tradition at the heart of the American roots idiom that bloomed below the Mason-Dixon Line. With the guitar of Boy Wells as the guide, Blue Skies Calling travels through blues, rock ‘n’ roll, country, bluegrass, jazz and more to reveal a rare and brilliant instrumentalist, songwriter and singer steeped in the musical real deal. A friend and protégé of the late, great guitar legend Danny Gatton, Wells made his bones with countless gigs, many road miles and uncounted hours in the studio, and now steps into the spotlight to share all that he knows and feels about music and life as well as his instrumental prowess, touch and emotive power.
The new album was recorded by Dave Hanbury at House of Jam Recording in Beltsville, Maryland, and features Boy Wells on vocals, lead, slide and acoustic guitar, joined by a cast of stellar musicians, including former Danny Gatton bassist John Prevetti, drummer Bruce Crump (Molly Hatchet) and Rickie Simpkins on violin and mandolin, whose credits include work with Emmylou Harris. Other players include Andy Hamburger on drums, Bill Watson on saxes, Brian Simms on keyboards, Jimi Lee on harmonica, Brad Clements on trumpet and Becky Taylor on banjo.
A special bonus on the Blue Skies Calling CD is the inclusion of a CD-ROM featuring a one-hour guitar lesson given to Wells by Danny Gatton. “I played a 1955 Les Paul of Danny’s for over 20 years,” says Boy Wells. “Danny called me before he died and asked me to put a vocal tape together for his label at the time. He needed a singer after his singer, Billy Windsor, had passed. He remained a friend, a good one all those years. This lesson was in the late ‘70s; it’s me and Danny in the living room of his house on Holly Lane in Indian Head, Maryland. It’s killer stuff.”
The music on Blues Skies Calling covers a wide palette of colors from American music. Whether it’s the New Orleans funk/jazz opener, “Mr. Coluzzi;” the blasting blues of “World Weary and Blue,” “Love In Vain” and “Devil’s Backbone Blues;” the southern rock of “Bring It Back,” “Broke Down,” “Mon Angel” and the title track; the improvisational instrumentals, “Marcel Marsupial” and “Tova;” or the two closing bluegrass/country-flavored tracks, “Tin Winter” and “Traveller,” Boy Wells takes the listener on a beautiful musical journey, accented by his tasteful and masterful guitar work.
The distinctive artwork on the CD is by Texas artist Scott Wade, best-known for his amazing “dirty car art,” which has earned him a place in Ripley’s Believe It or Not
(www.dirtycarart.com). And by the way, that’s Boy Wells’ hand on the cover, the product of a broken pinky earned while playing baseball as a kid. “When I started playing guitar, it was a great asset because of how it jutted out. It was naturally set for guitar playing,” says Wells.
Boy Wells started playing guitar at the age of 16 when he heard a Duane Allman solo on The Allman Brothers Band classic, “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed.” “Before that, I never even considered playing guitar,” he remembers. “I was stunned by the guitar; it seemed to ‘speak’ on a spiritual level to me. I've been playing ever since that day.
“I grew up in the same area Danny Gatton was from in southern Maryland. I met Danny when I was around 17 after a friend of his heard me cranking an amp outside one day and introduced me to Gatton. He became a mentor to me and gave me many lessons, advice, rides in old cars, guitar repair gigs, old car parts etc. - you name it.”
Boy Wells started playing professionally in the Washington, DC, area in the late ‘70s, working the country bars on U.S. Route 1 in Virginia and Maryland. He hit a few early high notes opening for the likes of Maybelle Carter, the Osborne Brothers and Billy Joe Shaver. Moving into more blues and southern rock into the early 80s, Wells started a band called Blue Southern and played DC clubs like Danny Gatton’s Beneath It All, The Crazy Horse and Desperadoes, when the country rock and southern blues scene was vibrant in the DC area and outward. For several years during that time, he played at the annual 4th of July big celebration shows on the Washington Monument grounds, opening for artists such as The Beach Boys, The Ventures and others.
During the mid to late ‘80s, he played in a modern rock band and after that, in the early ‘90s, Wells played in an Allman Brothers tribute band - Southern Legend - with former Molly Hatchet drummer Bruce Crump, while also playing in several other blues bands throughout Virginia and the South.
After tragedy struck his family and he lost both his son and daughter, Boy Wells moved to a town outside of Austin in 2006 and started playing the clubs in Austin and that entire region of Texas. After a bout with Meniere’s Disease (a debilitating disorder of the inner ear that can affect hearing and balance), which laid him up for literally a couple of years, Boy Wells got back into writing and recording, which became the genesis for the release of Blue Skies Calling.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

BUZZ ME - DEANNA BOGART


Deanna Bogart (born September 5, 1959, Washington, D.C.) is an American blues singer, pianist, and saxophone player.

She began her career in the Maryland-area with the ensemble Cowboy Jazz, and following that band's breakup in 1986, a stint playing with Root Boy Slim. In the early 1990 she began her solo career.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MARYLAND ROCKERS CLUTCH TEAM UP WITH NEW BELGIAN BREWING FOR BRAND NEW DARK AND SOUR ALE



American Beer masters New Belgium Brewing Company have teamed up with Maryland based veteran songwriters and touring icons CLUTCH to brew, bottle and distribute the brand new CLUTCH beer! The 9% alcohol by volume dark sour ale joins NBB's Lips of Faith Series, adding to a beer family which already includes the highly popular Fat Tire Ale, which is now sold in over 32 of the 48 continental United States. The beer is available in 22 oz. bottles and a limited amount of kegs. New Belgium and CLUTCH (the band) will officially unleash the ale at a very special kickoff event at the Red Palace in Washington DC on Monday night August 29th, at which members of CLUTCH and their label Weathermaker Music will be present. Admission will be limited. For more information about CLUTCH, the music makers and micro brewers and their dark sour ale, please consult the following...

http://www.prorock.com

http://www.weathermakermusic.com

http://www.newbelgium.com

Prior to this cross-marketing match made in heaven, CLUTCH had just completed a highly successful North American headlining tour. The band's schedule for the final few months of 2011 continues with a three week European tour beginning in Frankfurt, Germany on Halloween as direct support to Danish rockers Volbeat, which will see the band play large scale venues in historic European cities like Milan, Paris, Brussels, Munich, Vienna, etc. Following the dates with Volbeat CLUTCH will be embarking on a headlining Scandinavian run that will bring them all the way to Helsinki, Finland. After the Scandinavian dates CLUTCH will be back stateside for their traditional Northeast Holiday Headline run. It doesn't stop there though, directly following the Holiday shows, CLUTCH will gear up for a three week run of the UK, as direct support for classic Irish rockers Thin Lizzy!

Before these two mammoth European Rock & Roll tours, the band will take part in another iconic American musical event, as CLUTCH will, for the first time in their 20 year history, play Washington DC's premiere radio show, The HFStival takes place on September 17th, along with Flogging Molly, Gin Blossoms, Incubus, Dr. Dog, Lionize, etc.. at Meriwether Post Pavillion. Get more info, including ticket information at:

http://whfs.radio.com/shows/hfstival/

Monday, July 11, 2011

You Can't Keep a Big Man Down - Big Joe and the Dynaflows new release review


They say you can't judge a book by it's cover but in this case I think the name says it all. The name fits their sound and they keep the swing blues cranking throughout. For me the standout track is "Nothin" But Trouble", a slow blues with tasty guitar riffs.

Check it out!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Rare Danny Gatton Interview


Danny Gatton (September 4, 1945 – October 4, 1994) was an American guitarist who fused rockabilly, jazz, and country styles to create his own distinctive style of playing. A biography, Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki, was published in 2003. It has a voluminous discography. Gatton was ranked 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time in 2003. On May 26, 2010, Gibson.com ranked Gatton as the 27th best guitarist of all time.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Redneck Blues - Danny Gatton


Danny Gatton (September 4, 1945 – October 4, 1994) was an American guitarist who fused rockabilly, jazz, and country styles to create his own distinctive style of playing. A biography, Unfinished Business: The Life and Times of Danny Gatton by Ralph Heibutzki, was published in 2003. It has a voluminous discography. Gatton was ranked 63rd on Rolling Stone magazine's 100 Greatest Guitarists of all Time in 2003. On May 26, 2010, Gibson.com ranked Gatton as the 27th best guitarist of all time.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Black Napkins - Frank Zappa


Is this Blues?

Frank Vincent Zappa (play /ˈzæpə/; December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer, and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, electronic, orchestral, and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. Zappa produced almost all of the more than 60 albums he released with the band The Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist.

While in his teens, he acquired a taste for percussion-based avant-garde composers such as Edgard Varèse and 1950s rhythm and blues music. He began writing classical music in high school, while at the same time playing drums in rhythm and blues bands—he later switched to electric guitar. He was a self-taught composer and performer, and his diverse musical influences led him to create music that was often impossible to categorize. His 1966 debut album with the Mothers of Invention, Freak Out!, combined songs in conventional rock and roll format with collective improvisations and studio-generated sound collages. His later albums shared this eclectic and experimental approach, irrespective of whether the fundamental format was one of rock, jazz or classical. He wrote the lyrics to all his songs, which—often humorously—reflected his iconoclastic view of established social and political processes, structures and movements. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship.

Zappa was a highly productive and prolific artist and gained widespread critical acclaim. Many of his albums are considered essential in rock and jazz history. He is regarded as one of the most original guitarists and composers of his time. He also remains a major influence on musicians and composers. He had some commercial success, particularly in Europe, and for most of his career was able to work as an independent artist. Zappa was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1995 and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

Zappa was married to Kathryn J. "Kay" Sherman from 1960 to 1964. In 1967, he married Adelaide Gail Sloatman, with whom he remained until his death from prostate cancer in 1993. They had four children: Moon Unit, Dweezil, Ahmet Emuukha Rodan and Diva Thin Muffin Pigeen. Gail Zappa manages the businesses of her late husband under the name the Zappa Family Trust.
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Friday, April 22, 2011

OK Gunslingers...Step Up


This is a typical night with Danny Gatton. Danny was a fabulous guitar player and played everything from blues and boogie to ballads and country. Check it out.