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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 Mike Packer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mike Packer. Show all posts

Thursday, April 26, 2012

BETE STUY Headed for greatness! - Mike Packer guest writer

This lady is headed for greatness. Coming out of Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn NY BETTE STUY got her chops singing in church. She has worked with some of the biggest names in the business. Ray Charles took an interest in one of her songs and invited her to collaborate but unfortunately he passed on before the relationship fully developed. Bette has toured the world. She performed live on a popular Dutch radio show on Yorin FM to a European broadcast market of over 15 million listeners.

Bette Stuy and her band can be seen electrifying crowds at various New York City clubs such as BB Kings, The Knitting Factory and Groove where Chaka Kahn got her start. In her spare time she volunteers at ' God's Love We Deliver' A charitable organization that provides food for the less fortunate.

On Sunday May 20 @ Kenny's Castaways in New York City Bette Stuy will be inducted into the Blues Hall Of Hame as a great blues artist from New York. Like I said in the beginning of this profile "destined for greatness!": - Michael Packer
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Monday, March 19, 2012

LARRY WALSTON JR/ AKA/ LARRY LUV - Mike Packer correspondent

I get alot of CDs in the mail from artists, bands and musicians of all styles of music and it is rare that someone really knocks me out. I am not really into the new R& B format of singing. I am old school, Smokey Robinson, Al Green and Sam Cook is what I grew up with and what I still love but when I put Larry Luv's disc on and heard his unique vocal stylings I was instantly impressed. This kat can sing.

Larry Luv is Larry Walston Jr. who grew up in Greenville, North Carolina and has been singing since he was 5 years old. He has sung in church choirs and talent shows for the last 18 years. Larry has a dream of being discovered so he decided to put together a 4 song demo of songs. Included is a masterful a capella version of Sam Cook's "A Change Is Going To Come". Larry knows his roots which I really admire because many young generation blacks don't even know who Sam Cook is and as long as Larry keeps singing he will not only be keeping his dream alive but he will also be keeping the music we all know and love alive as well.

Check out Larry Luv's video. You will see what I mean.
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Friday, December 16, 2011

SCOTT WEIS BAND - Mike Packer correspondent

So let's groove back to the days when rock music had freedom, the days of The Fillmore, when rock was pure and inovative and the musicality was key. Let us now say we have The Scott Weis Band.
The Scott Weis Band is Scott Weis (guitar-vocals), Todd Lake (bass) and Dave Becker on drums. Scott and his crew raise the level of blues and rock with their high energy infused style blending a little Memphis soul to set you musically free. They have been gaining friends and fans across the country one step at a time.

The Scott Weis Band as shared the stage with many of the greats such as BB King,, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and have done numerous gigs as support act for Blues Traveler. John Popper of Blues Traveler says about The Scott Weis Band " This band smokes and has a ton of soul that will rock your world ". If you enjoy killer guitar like I do you will love them. This band is good!!!!
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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

JASON YUDOFF - TRAGIC HERO - Mike Packer correspondent

Jason Yudoff is a true and talented musician from New York City whose lyrics expose a man whose art is born from an analytical mind and the heart of an eternal romantic. His bluesy rock melodies about love, life and loss, swarm alongside powerful keyboard riffs and Jason's growl adds a lethal injection of blue-eyed soul, that in it's hottest moments, leap right out of the speakers and demands nothing short of the listeners undying attention.

Jason toured internationally playing keyboards and percussion in the original cast of "Top Dogs" (from the producers of "Stomp") including two appearances on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno":.Jason is also known as the anti-cocktail pianist eschewing standard songs and adding funky, improvisational themes to the music for clubs and corporate functions like the U.S Open and The Tribeca Film Festival. He also fronts his own band Jason Yudoff and The New Hotness":

Jason's voice is already a well recognized instrument. He has recorded well over 1500 commercials for Pepsi, MacDonalds, AT&T, Toyota, ESPN and animated shows like MTV's ":Celebrity Deathmatch" voicing Johnny Knoxville and Saturday Night Live's "TV Funhouse" voicing a Backsreet Boy.
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Thursday, November 17, 2011

TIM SEARCY - WE CAN ALL MAKE A DIFFERENCE- Mike Packer correspondent

Tim Searcy is no ordinary song and dance man. I realize that this blog is about blues but after hearing his music which is rooted in gospel and R&B and the fact that he is Al Green's cousin I couldn't resist to write this article. The man is good.

Tim Searcy has starred with Grammy and Tony award winners Jeniffer Holiday and Stephanie Mills in the Hit Broadway musical tour of "Your Arms Too Short To Box With God". Tim who resides in Las Vegas also recently won two Las Vegas Toddy awards for best male vocalist and best in show for his live performance of his new hit single "We Can Make A Difference ":. To top this off his rendition of the hit song " I Can't Make You Love Me" made famous by Bonnie Raitt was just reissued by Interscope Records last week.

The blues is not a melody. It is not a chord or a beat or a rhythm or a tone. The blues is a state of mind. It's the human condition and in Tim Searcy's case he makes you feel good! He is dedicated and passionate about his music which is what he does best! I believe Tim Searcy is destined for great things! Check him out!
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Friday, November 11, 2011

Cant Be Satisfied - THE LIVIN' THE BLUES BAND - Mike Packer correspondent

The Livin' The Blues Band is a 4-piece outfit from the New York/New Jersey area who play Chicago Blues. They are pure entertainers and top musicians who know what the audience desires and know how to deliver the goods. High energy is what Livin' The Blues is all about.

The band consists of razor edge vocals and firey harmonica by frontman Jack Bernice. Jack sat in with my band @ BB Kings in New York City one night and drove the crowd wild! Hap Moore is the guitar player and he is simply fabulous. Mark Jacobs is solid on bass and the keeper of the clock Rich Rogers on drums rounds out this exciting blues band.

If you have not witnessed one of their shows you are truly missing out on a complete entertainment extravaganza. Catch them if you can! They can be seen and heard @ The New Park Tavern, 250 Park Avenue, East Rutherford New Jersey.
“Like” Bman’s Facebook page. We use Facebook to spread the word about our blog. We will not hit you with 50 posts a day. We will not relay senseless nonsense. We use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on our blog each day. In this way we can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


The Michael Packer Blues Band rolled into Chicago from New York City on Wednesday morning October 19th tired, ragged but ready to donate their time for a celebration of David Honeyboy Edwards life in a evening performance of blues. Buddy Guy's Legends club opened about 11 am and to my surprise and delight when I introduced myself and told the manager that we had just drove from New York. He said ":Welcome!" and with open arms proceeded to show us 2 green rooms upstairs where we could relax and take it easy so we would be ready for the nights event. They basically gave us the run of the joint. My hat goes off to the management and staff @ Buddy Guys. They made us feel at home and we were. Home of the blues in Chicago.

The night started with a VIP party and acoustic acts with everyone telling their Honeyboy Edwards stories. To me the highlite was listening to Liz Mandeville who has recorded several CDs for Earwig Music which is owned by Honeyboy's manager and side-kick for 40 years Michael Frank. I had the honor of presenting Michael Frank with a Blues Hall Of Fame Award as well as a Blues Hall Of Fame Legendary Blues Artist Award for Honeyboy which was given to his family.

My band shortly took the stage and brought our New York blues to Chicago and got the party started. By the looks of the faces of the crowd we brought some joy and that is what Honeyboy was all about so we did our job. It then proceeded into a jam with guest artists most notably Earwig Artist Tim Woods and Blue Skunk artist harmonica ace Deak Harp. Grammy nominees Ronnie and Wayne Brooks and their band took the stage with the marvelous Chicago harp player Billy Branch. The night concluded with the real deal Chicago Bluesman Johnny Drummer.

The event was a huge success raising money for The Honeyboy Edwards Fund @ The National Blues Museum. The Michael Packer Blues Band made our way into the night soon after Johnny Drummer sang "Sweet Home Chicago". We had a gig in New Jersey the next day. The Chicago blues and Honeboy Edwards were still in are heads but most of all in our hearts when we headed east on route 80 as we took the blues highway home.
“Like” Bman’s Facebook page. We use Facebook to spread the word about our blog. We will not hit you with 50 posts a day. We will not relay senseless nonsense. We use it only to draw attention to some of the key posts on our blog each day. In this way we can get out the word on new talent, venues and blues happenings! - click Here

Sunday, September 18, 2011

LOW SOCIETY - SCREAMING BLUES - Mike Packer correspondent

"Low Society" is guitarist Sturgis Nikides who did some time as sideman with John Cale of the legendary Velvet Underground.and Texas vocal slinger Miss Mandy Lemons who reminds me of another Texas blues belter Lou Ann Barton who sang with the late Stevie Ray Vaughn. Mandy Lemons is a powerhouse and Low Society presents an exciting, raw, in your face style of american blues.

Their new CD "High Time": is a fine example of modern day blues played by a kat (Sturgis Nikides) who studied the genious of Charlie Patton and applied it to his music. Sturgis can play the blues as shown in the incredible originaL track "Dead Man's Shoes": In all honesty there isn't a bad cut on this album but "Texas Goodnight" is one that really stands out from the rest. It is pure poetry with lyrics like "from Houston (a city in Texas) to Houston (a street in NYC pronounced Howston). It is just a cool song.

Low Society are based in New York City and have some shows coming up in October. So if your in the New York area make it a point to check them out. They are a fun listen and not your typical 1-4-5 blues band.

Oct. 1 - Delancy Bar - NYC
Oct. 2. Washington New Jersey (Festival in the Bouroughs/blues stage)
Oct. 7 Hank's Saloon - Brooklyn
Oct. 15 Desmonds - NYC

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Remembering 911- BLEECKER STREET- Correspondent Mike Packer

Good night New York, I'll be seeing you in my dreams
When I wake up tomorrow, I'll be walking your streets again
Fifth avenue, Broadway, down to the Battery.
New York, New York, you've been so good to me.
You gave me Derek Jeter, the Yankees, year after year
but when your Towers went down I've been sensing a bit of fear.
Hey New York, this morning I saw your gal.
I passed her in the harbor as your Staten Island Ferry went by.
She seemed tired and poor, I think there was a tear in her eye.
New York, New York I got the blues
But watch out New York, I'm coming through
So good morning New York lets have a better day.
I'll do my best by going my own way
uptown, downtown, over to Herald Square.
New York, New York, your home sweet home to me.
I love your spirit, your people, your resiliency
and tonight I'll be toasting you down on Bleecker street

The blues is not a beat, a rhythm, a note or a chord. It is a state of mind. The human condition. It is a way of life.


Friday, September 2, 2011

My Friend "Honeyboy Edwards" - Correspondent Mike Packer

I have to admit I am probably one of the luckiest musicians in the world to be able to say I knew and played guitar with Honeyboy Edwards. I have been playing 2nd guitar with him for the last year and a half and sometimes with my band which was nicknamed "The Honeyboy Band". Even at 96 he could still play. His slide work was still top shelf."Sweet Home Chicago", "Dust My Broom". I certainly admired his playing, I was learning from the master but it was his manner, his voice and his storytelling was what I found most compelling.

Honeyboy knew and played with Robert Johnson. He was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1942. Those recordings are simply fabulous. Honeyboy was an american legend in blues history but it took years to gain the respect from the music world. It did finally happen. In 2006 he won a grammy for his "The World Don't Owe Me Nothing" CD and in 2010 he won the Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award.

I went to Clarkdale Missisippi last April and played guitar with Honeyboy on the mainstage @ The Juke Joint Festival which was Honeyboy's last gig. I could actually see and feel that his touring days were coming to an end. I saw the plantations and the cottonfields and realized what he must have endured growing up. His grandfather was a slave and his father a sharecropper who bought him his first guitar at the age of 8. Honeyboy was the blues.

Honeyboy Edwards is the last of the true Delta bluesman. I am proud to say I knew and played guitar with him. I will keep his name alive by mentioning his name at every gig I play from now on until I meet up with him again down that blues highway.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

PEARLLEATHA JACKSON- Correspondent Mike Packer

Gospel singer Pearl Jackson hails from Poughkeepsie New York. She began singing as a child and she was a third generation member of The Church Of God In Christ. Her mother the late Evangelist Bessie Mae Brown encouraged Pearl to sing with the choir.

Pearl Jackson went on to perform with many in the gospel arena. She worked with The Mid-Hudson Chapter of Gospel Music of America under the leadership of the late great the Rev. James Cleveland. Her first group was the Pearson singers and performed on stage with gospel legend Pastor Shirley Caesar in North Carolina. She also sang with the Supreme Tones of Quality for four years.

Recently Pearl Jackson has decided to go on her own singing the music she loves. Her first CD " Sweet Is His Love" is testimony to this. She not only sings about God's love through song and praise but practices it any her everyday day life. She is truly a remarkable lady with a lot of talent. She just doesn't talk the talk. She walks the walk. There is a song on this album which I found most interesting. It is called "Wade In The Water". It made me envision and old time river baptism and reminded me of the deep south and what it must have been like back in the days of slavery when all they had to hold onto was their faith and the hope that their lives would get better. If that is not the blues what is? Pearl is also contemporary. She has a swinging original called " He Is Mine" that would have the devil singing God's praises on this one.

Pearl Jackson is working on another album called "Rejoice" and is featured in the off-Broadway musical "The Michaels".

Thursday, August 18, 2011

RHETT TYLER BENEFIT - Mike Packer correspondent

Guitarist Rhett Tyler is best known for his explosive style of scorching modern blues guitar. Rolling Stone magazine called Rhett "The certain face of future blues"..

Rhett Tyler was born in San Antonio Texas and raised in Mississippi, Ohio and St. Louis Missouri. Rhett attended Berkley School of Music and Mannes College of Music in the early 70's where he honed his skills as a player. He soon became band leader for R&B recording artist Ruth Copeland performing at large concert venues such as the Baltimore Civic Center where Rhett blew the roof off the place and got his first standing ovation. In the 80's Rhett formed the band "Early Warning" and recorded 3 CDs. Most notably were his CD's " Passion " and " Get Tough " which were licensed to the prestigious german based Herman label for european distribution. Rhett has performed at many clubs and festivals world-wide and has shared the stage with some of the greats like Johnny Winter, Elvin Bishop and Lonnie Brooks.

Rhett's career had been rolling along quite nicely. He is going to be inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame in September but life has a way of throwing a few curves at us when we least expect it. This summer Rhett got seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. He nearly died. He has survived and is recouperating at his home in upstate New York.

The blues community which it does so often to help their fellow musicians are throwing a party in honor of Rhett to help raise money for his medical bills. It will take place Sunday August 21, 2011 @ 2pm at Brians Backyard BBQ, 1665 Route 211 East, Middletown NY TEL- 845-692-3227. The benefit was organized by Roxy Perry who is known as the New York Queen of the Blues. Now I know why they call her the queen. She is a fabulous singer but it goes further then that she has a big, big heart. This is going to be a fantastic event so please come out and help Rhett get on his feet and playing his guitar again. He's awsome!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

BRIAN'S BACKYARD BBQ - Correspondent Mike Packer

Sometimes legends begin quietly. It all started in 1993 as a family reunion in the backyard on a summer's day at Brian and Robin Remaly's house in rural Cambell Hall in upstate New York. Brian & Robin decided it was time that they would have a down home backyard BBQ so everyone could have a chance to taste Brians famous BBQ ribs and enjoy some blues. The backyard BBQ was so successful that it has been running now for 17 years as an annual event and has gotten bigger and better. In 2004 Brian's nephew William passed away at a young age and the festival continued in his honor. William loved music. The list of performers grew Popa Chubby, Junior Mack, Michael Hill, SaRon Crenshaw. The late great Blind Pig recording artist Bill Perry was a mainstay at the festival.

Brian and Robin started to believe that they weren't meeting these great musicians by chance and there must be a reason they were put in their path. They believed they were getting a little nudging from their late nephew William who was telling them to keep the blues alive. In 2010 Brian & Robin made the decision to open a restauraunt and blues club nearby in Middletown NY. Brian and Robin's new venture is keeping William Remaly's spirit alive and besides the artists I mentioned above Alligator Records Michael Burkes has graced their stage as well as Sugar Blue, Alexis Suter, Little Sammy Davis and many others. Brian's Backyard BBQ has been named a great blues venue by The Blues Hall Of Fame and will host a Blues Hall Of Fame Induction Day on Sunday September 25th, 2011 where tribute will be paid to a number of New York blues artists and of course to Brian and Robin who helped make it happen along with nephew William who I know is smiling in blues heaven

Brian's BBQ is located at 1665 Route 211 Est, Middletown NY TEL- 845-692-3227

Thursday, August 4, 2011

SIX STRING SHOWDOWN - Mike Packer correspondent

New York City was alive with the blues last Sunday July 31, 2011 when the New York City Blues Society featured 13 of the finest blues guitar players in the NYC area. The event was called " The Six String Showdown" and took place at the historic Kenny's Castaway's on Bleecker Street in Greenwhich Village.

It was an all day affair. New Jersey bluesman Nasty Ned and his terrific band started off the party with some slamming Chicago blues. Ned happened to be the only harp player invited to this guitar shindig. Ned's house band did an excellent job of backing up the long list of performers: Andy Story, Bennett Harris, Myself (Nasty Ned & Ed Jackson joined me on stage), Bill Sims, Chris Berguson, Dave Fields, Geoof Hartwell, Jason Green, David Coppa, Joe Taino, Johnny Childs, Matt Daniels and Brooklyn's own Michael Hill.

Johnny Childs who is the founder of The NYC Blues Society hosted this event of 200 plus blues fans and musicians. Johnny who is a fabulous guitarist along with his gal Jesse created a down home atmosphere which was appreciated by all who attended.

Some of the highlights for me was seeing Bill Sims Jr. perform. Bill is a legendary NYC guitarist. I have known Bill since the early days @ Dan Lynch Blues Bar and he is truly authentic. Bill will soon be inducted into The Blues Hall Of Fame in September.
I also completely enjoyed the guitar playing of 27 year old Matt Daniels who is down right phenomenal. He is also a member of The Mikey Jr. Blues Band from South Philly.
It is hard for me to feature all the guitarists here in this blog but I guarantee you they all are exciting and if your in the New York City area check them out. There is a thriving blues scene in NYC and we are keeping the blues alive!
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

THE BLUES LOVERS - New Correspondent Mike Packer

Woodstock, the little village located in upstate New York primarily known for the 1969 rock concert that tried to change the world and in some ways did. Nowadays there is still music there and good music at that but not like it was in it's heyday when you could walk around town and go from bar to bar and be able to listen and see artists like the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. In 1975 Muddy Waters recorded his last album @ Levon Helm's studio who was the drummer for Woodstock's own "The Band". Today Levon is still keeping the music alive with his Midnite Rambles that feature guests like Steve Earl and Emmy Lou Harris but in town not too far from Levon's barn there is a house built out of logs appropiately named "Logstock" and the blues is getting some well deserved recognition by it's owners Rob Ramirez and Joni Elenson. Rob & Joni happen to be the one of biggest fans and supporters of blues music I know. They are constantly throwng parties for the community where practically the whole town shows up with food and drink and that Woodstock spirit. It is a real refreshing thing to see. They also put on events to help people in need like the local womans shelter or an individual who might be going through hard times. At these events you don't know who might show up like Michael Lang (original Woodstock producer) and musicians such as the electrifying Alexis P. Suter with her band doing her gospel-blues thing on Rob & Joni's living room stage or the legendary Commander Cody/aka George Frayne playing Logstock's baby grand piano with a 17 year old Woodstock guitar prodigy named Connor Kennedy. "Logstock" has also become home to the local musicians where they are free to perform giving them an outlet that is getting harder to find these days. The parties are out of this world, food, drink and great people. Rob & Joni are definitely keeping the Woodstock tradition alive. Peace, love, music and good fun!

When Rob & Joni are not @ Logstock they are out on the road traveling in their RV motor home like rock stars on tour. They hit every festival and club on the east coast. They also go on the Legendary Blues Cruise twice a year and have become good friends with artists like Kenny Neal, Cyril Neville, Tommy Castro, Deanna Bogart, Kim Wilson, David Maxwell ( who introduced me to Rob & Joni) and Elvin Bishop to name a few. The list goes on and on. Rob,Joni and Logstock have also had their pictures featured in the prestigious Big City Blues magazine owned and operated by another friend Robert Whitall Jr.. Rob & Joni are also big time supporters of the thriving New York blues scene especially giving assistance to a new blues club in Middletown NY called Brian' Backyard BBQ. The owner of the venue Brian Remaly has been booking national and local acts and I believe is destined to become a major blues venue. They also are frequent patrons of a sushi restaurant in Woodstock called "Harmony" which is owned by Albert Grossman's chef. Albert Grossman was the legendary manager to the stars Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Peter, Paul and Mary. Harmony is a venue where the local talent can perform and have their chance to shine.

Without a doubt the hugest contribution by these folks is coming up at the end of August (26th thru 28th) "Bluestock" to be held @ Hunter Mountain, NY about 20 miles from Woodstock. "Bluestock" was Rob's idea. He desperately wants the music scene to be what it was like in Woodstock's heyday. He feels music is the answer to our growing economic problems. If there were more venues with live music it would create jobs not just for musicians but for everyone as well. That is why "Bluestock" is so important. The festival will create work. "Bluestock" is being produced by another one of their friends named Steve Simon who is known for his St. John Island Blues Festival in the Carribean. "Bluestock" is in in good hands and will feature Greg Allman, Buddy Guy and a cast of the best blues musicians in the world.

Rob & Joni are living the dream and because of this dream they are keeping the dreams alive for blues musicians like myself and many, many others. The music can't live without the support of the fans. Thank you both Rob & Joni for being my friend and for keeping the blues alive. - Michael Packer - NYC blues musician