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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 Oklahoma. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Oklahoma. Show all posts

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Going to Chicago - Little Jimmy Rushing

James Andrew Rushing (August 26, 1901 – June 8, 1972), known as Jimmy Rushing, was an American blues shouter and swing jazz singer from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, best known as the featured vocalist of Count Basie's Orchestra from 1935 to 1948.

Rushing was known as "Mr. Five by Five" and was the subject of an eponymous 1942 popular song that was a hit for Harry James and others -- the lyrics describing Rushing's rotund build: "he's five feet tall and he's five feet wide". He joined Walter Page's Blue Devils in 1927, then joined Bennie Moten's band in 1929. He stayed with the successor Count Basie band when Moten died in 1935.

Rushing was a powerful singer who had a range from baritone to tenor. He could project his voice so that it soared over the horn and reed sections in a big-band setting. Basie claimed that Rushing "never had an equal" as a blues vocalist. George Frazier, author of Harvard Blues, called Rushing's distinctive voice "a magnificent gargle". His best known recordings are probably "Going to Chicago" with Basie, and "Harvard Blues", with a famous saxophone solo by Don Byas.
Rushing was born into a family with musical talent and accomplishments. His father, Andrew Rushing, was a trumpeter and his mother, Cora, and brother were singers. Rushing toured the Mid-West and California as an itinerant blues singer in 1923 and 1924 before moving to Los Angeles, California, where he sang with Jelly Roll Morton. Rushing sang with Billy King before moving on to Page's Blue Devils in 1927. He, along with other members of the Blue Devils, defected to the Bennie Moten band in 1929.

Moten died in 1935, and Rushing joined Count Basie for what would be a 13-year tenure. Due to his tutelage under his mentor Moten, Rushing was a proponent of the Kansas City jump blues tradition, best evinced by his performances of "Sent For You Yesterday" and "Boogie Woogie" for the Count Basie Orchestra. After leaving Basie, his recording career soared, as a solo artist and a singer with other bands.

When the Basie band broke up in 1950 he briefly retired, then formed his own group. He also made a guest appearance with Duke Ellington for the 1959 album Jazz Party. In 1960, he recorded an album with the Dave Brubeck Quartet, known for their cerebral cool jazz sound, but the album was nonetheless described by critic Scott Yanow as "a surprising success."

Rushing appeared in the 1957 television special Sound Of Jazz, singing one of his signature songs "I Left My Baby" backed by many of his former Basie band compatriots.

His 1970 album, The You And Me That Used To Be, was named Jazz Album of the Year by DownBeat Magazine in 1971.

After he became ill with leukemia in 1971, Rushing's performing career ended. He died on June 8, 1972, in New York, and was buried at the Maple Grove Cemetery, Kew Gardens, in Queens, New York.
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

That's What's Knockin' Me Out - Jimmy Liggins

Jimmy Liggins (October 14, 1922 – July 18, 1983) was an American R&B guitarist and bandleader.
Liggins was born in Newby, Oklahoma, United States. He started out as a professional boxer at age 18 under the name of Kid Zulu, then he quit boxing and took up driving his brother Joe's outfit around on tour. Following the success of his brother, Jimmy Liggins started his own recording career as a singer, guitarist, and leader of the 'Drops of Joy', on Art Rupe's Specialty label in 1947. One of his early releases, "Cadillac Boogie" was a direct forerunner of "Rocket 88", itself often called the first rock and roll record.

Recordings such as "Tear Drop Blues" (1948) and, later, "I Ain't Drunk" (1953), featuring leading saxophone players such as Maxwell Davis, made him one of the most successful bandleaders in the jump blues period of the late 1940s and early 1950s.

Liggins left Specialty in 1954, recording "I Ain't Drunk" (1954), later covered by Albert Collins, at Aladdin, before fading from the scene. His wild stage presence and manic delivery also had a direct and lasting impact on Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Bill Haley and Elvis Presley.

Liggins died in July 1983, at the age of 60, in Durham, North Carolina.
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Talking Dustbowl Blues - Woody Guthrie

Woodrow Wilson "Woody" Guthrie (July 14, 1912 – October 3, 1967) was an American singer-songwriter and folk musician whose musical legacy includes hundreds of political, traditional and children's songs, ballads and improvised works. He frequently performed with the slogan This Machine Kills Fascists displayed on his guitar. His best-known song is "This Land Is Your Land." Many of his recorded songs are archived in the Library of Congress. Such songwriters as Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Pete Seeger, Joe Strummer, Billy Bragg, Jeff Tweedy and Tom Paxton have acknowledged Guthrie as a major influence.

Guthrie traveled with migrant workers from Oklahoma to California and learned traditional folk and blues songs. Many of his songs are about his experiences in the Dust Bowl era during the Great Depression, earning him the nickname the "Dust Bowl Troubadour." Throughout his life Guthrie was associated with United States communist groups, though he was seemingly not a member of any.

Guthrie was married three times and fathered eight children, including American folk musician Arlo Guthrie. Guthrie died from complications of Huntington's disease, a progressive genetic neurological disorder. During his later years, in spite of his illness, Guthrie served as a figurehead in the folk movement, providing inspiration to a generation of new folk musicians, including mentor relationships with Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Bob Dylan.

Woody Guthrie was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame in 1997.
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Monday, July 9, 2012

The Honeydripper - Joe Liggins & The Honeydrippers

Joe Liggins (July 9, 1915 – July 26, 1987) was an American R&B, jazz and blues pianist, who was the frontman in the 1940s and 1950s with the band, Joe Liggins and his Honeydrippers.
Liggins was born in Guthrie, Oklahoma, United States, and moved to San Diego, California in 1932. By the time he moved again, to Los Angeles in 1939, he began playing with various groups, including Sammy Franklin's California Rhythm Rascals. When Liggins asked him to record his song "The Honeydripper", Franklin declined, prompting Liggins to start his own band, which created many more hits in the next years, including "Got a Right to Cry" and the widely covered songs, "Tanya" and "Roll 'Em". Earl Hooker is noted for his cover of "Tanya". The original Joe Liggins and His Honeydrippers recordings were issued on the Exclusive Records imprint of brothers Leon and Otis Rene. Joe Liggins' Honeydrippers was formed in the basement of the Los Angeles home of the saxophonist Little Willie Jackson, who co-founded the group and who, at the time of his death in 2000, was the last original surviving member of the Honeydrippers.

In March 1954, the band took part in a benefit show held at the Club 5-4 in Los Angeles for the wife of Stan Getz.

Joe joined his brother Jimmy at Specialty Records in 1950, where he gained more hits including: "Rag Mop", "Boom-Chick-A-Boogie", "Pink Champagne", and "Little Joe's Boogie". His songs were mostly a blend of jump blues and basic R&B. With Roy Milton, he was an architect of the small-band jump blues of the first post-war decade. Liggins often toured with such acts as Jimmy Witherspoon, Amos Milburn and the jump blues shouter H-Bomb Ferguson. His 1950 releases, "Pink Champagne" and "I Gotta Right to Cry," both sold over one million copies and were awarded gold discs.

Although Liggins' success stopped in the late 1950s, he led a big band until his death following a stroke, in Lynwood, California, at the age of 72.

His band was often a staple on the US Billboard R&B chart in those years, with their biggest hit being "The Honeydripper", released in 1945. That single topped the R&B chart, then called the race chart, for 18 weeks. More than 60 years later, "The Honeydripper" remains tied with Louis Jordan's "Choo Choo Ch'Boogie" for the longest-ever stay at the top of that chart. It logged a reported two million sales.
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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Hunter Wolfe Update

We have been blessed to have played a number of well known, large venues. The Jefferson Theater and the National are among the list. On the 4th we performed to 10,000 strong for Independance Day. It was very exciting and we had a blast.
We have been receiving reviews of our album "The Go" from around the world. Countries like Belgium and Canada are in the mix.
Three of the tracks off our album made it into the Indie Charts and have been holding steady at #7 for over a month now. Two of those tracks are more of our heavy blues songs and we are excited about this because it means we are bringing the blues to people that wouldn't necessarily be listening to it otherwise.

Last month we were the most requested band on Smokestack Lightnin' out of Florida. In second was the Firm (Jimmy Page, Paul Rodgers), third, the Black Keys and seventh, the White Stripes. We are very blessed and very excited!
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Monday, July 2, 2012

Drink You Up - Mike Hammar and the Nails

Mike Hammar has been playing the blues up and down the state of California for the past 25 years. This Oklahoma born Native American was brought up on the blues by his father Mike Hammar, Sr. who introduced him to the music of Lightin' Hopkins, Gatemouth Brown, T-Bone Walker, and BB King. After years of being a sideman, Mike set out to create his own legacy. He put together a hard working blues band in 2001 and swore he would do his best to write, record, and perform his own style of blues. Mike Hammar and his band, The Nails, released their first album "Going Home" in the summer of 2004. Their album has received airplay on American Roots Music Radio in Norway, England, Germany, Belgium, Canada, and on the college radio circuit here in the United States. In 2009, Mike and the band won the prestigious Monterey Bay Blues Festival's Battle of the Blues Bands. They followed that up with the release of their second album "Recipe for the Blues" in the summer of 2010. This sophomore effort presented 12 eclectic blues tunes written and produced by Mike Hammar. One of the songs from this album "This Ain't Goodbye" was nominated for an an Independent Music Award. Blues for the Gulf selected another song from the album, "Before Miss Katrina", to be part of a national multi-artist digitally released album in 2010. Mike's music has been featured on Sirius XM Radio's BB King Bluesville station. Mike and his crew have had the honor of opening for some of the biggest names in modern blues. They continue to make their mark on the California blues scene with well crafted original music and heart felt performances. Mike's band consists of "Harmonica Jim" Pedersen, Sparky Gehres on the bass, Greg Merino on drums, and Allan "B3blues" Carroll on the Hammond organ. This unique blues crew offers a refreshing new feel to a traditional American genre of music. Influenced by many blues styles, their sound is eclectic, enthusiastic, and energetic.
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Blue Suede Shoes/Proud Mary - Jesse Ed Davis

Jesse Edwin Davis (September 21, 1944 – June 22, 1988) was an American guitarist. He was well regarded as a session artist.His death in 1988 is attributed to a drug overdose. Born in Norman, Oklahoma, Davis began his musical career in Oklahoma City. His father, Jesse Ed Davis II, was Muscogee Creek and Seminole while his mother's side was Kiowa. He graduated from Northeast High School in 1962. Davis began his musical career in the late 1950s playing in Oklahoma City and surrounding cities with John Ware (later Emmylou Harris' drummer), John Selk (later Donovan's bass player), Jerry Fisher (later Blood, Sweat & Tears vocalist) Mike Boyle, Chris Frederickson, drummer Bill Maxwell (later Andrae Crouch and Koinonia) and others. By the mid 1960s Davis had quit the University of Oklahoma and went touring with Conway Twitty. Davis eventually moved to California, where, through his friendship with Levon Helm, he became friendly with Leon Russell. He became a session player before joining Taj Mahal and playing guitar and piano on his first three albums. Davis played slide, lead and rhythm, country and even jazz during his three-year stint with Mahal, making an appearance with the band as a musical guest in The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. The period Davis spent with Taj Mahal was the closest he came to being in a band full-time, but after the 1969 album Giant Step, he turned to session work for the likes of David Cassidy, Albert King and Willie Nelson. In 1970 Jesse played on and produced Roger Tillison's one and only LP for Atco Records, a division of Atlantic. Jesse and Roger − a fellow Oklahoman − were joined at the Record Plant by Bobby Bruce (fiddle), Larry Knechtel (organ and harmonica), Stan Szeleste (piano); Billy Rich (bass); Jim Keltner (drums) and Sandy Konikoff (percussion); Don Preston and Joey Cooper took care of the vocal accompanists. "Roger Tillison's Album" was recorded live. This album was finally released on CD by Wounded Bird Records in 2008, with Davis providing electric guitar, bottleneck (slide) guitar and banjo. The Woody Guthrie-penned tune "Old Cracked Looking Glass" has become a standard for Oklahoma bands. Davis recorded his first solo album when Atco Records signed a contract with him to record two albums with the label. The result of that engagenment was the self-titled album Jesse Davis (1971), which featured backing vocals by Gram Parsons and appearances by Leon Russell and Eric Clapton, among others. After guesting with Russell on Bob Dylan's "Watching the River Flow" single, Davis went on to work with George Harrison, performing at the ex-Beatle's Concert for Bangla Desh extravaganza at Madison Square Garden, along with Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Russell, Keltner, Clapton and others. Later in 1971, Davis produced and played on Gene Clark's second solo album, White Light. Two more Davis solo albums followed: Ululu (1972), which included the original release of Harrison's "Sue Me, Sue You Blues", and Keep Me Comin (1973), occasionally listed as Keep On Coming. Around this time, Davis began playing with John Lennon, for whom he provided lead guitar on Walls and Bridges (1974) and Rock 'n' Roll (1975). He also added guitar to Gene Clark's No Other album in 1974. As well as his work with Lennon, Davis guested on a number of ex-Beatle solo albums in the mid '70s − Harrison's Extra Texture (1975) and Starr's Goodnight Vienna (1974) and Ringo's Rotogravure (1976). Prison minister and former band manager Marty Angelo writes about his experiences with Jesse Ed Davis in his book Once Life Matters: A New Beginning (ISBN-0961895446; pages 85−87). Angelo states he was introduced to Davis by drummer Gary Mallaber in 1972 while Davis was living in Marina Del Rey, California. Davis then introduced Angelo to John Lennon, who in turn introduced Angelo to heroin. Davis' session work continued for the rest of the decade, and he also performed with The Faces as second guitarist throughout their final US tour, in the late summer and fall of 1975. In addition to the artists listed above, Davis contributed to albums by the likes of Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Leonard Cohen, Keith Moon, Jackson Browne (he played the solo on "Doctor My Eyes", from Browne's 1972 debut), Steve Miller, Harry Nilsson, Ry Cooder, Neil Diamond, Rick Danko and Van Dyke Parks. In and out of clinics, Davis disappeared from the music industry for a time, spending much of the 1980s dealing with alcohol and drug addiction. He played in The Graffiti Band, which coupled his music with the poetry of American Indian activist John Trudell. In the spring of 1987, The Graffiti Band performed with Taj Mahal at the Palomino Club in Hollywood. At this show, George Harrison, Bob Dylan and John Fogerty got up from the audience to join Davis and Taj Mahal in an unrehearsed set which included Fogerty's "Proud Mary" and Dylan's "Watching the River Flow", as well as classics such as "Blue Suede Shoes", "Peggy Sue", "Honey Don't", "Matchbox" and "Gone, Gone, Gone". 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”

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Dream Walking - Derrick Big Walker

Born in 1953 Fort Sill Lawton, Oklahoma, where his father, Golden Glove Boxer, Roy C Walker was stationed.
In 1962 Derrick moved to San Francisco with his mother, who worked in a Community Theater, where Big also acted in several children's productions. In San Francisco during this time the new music of Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane etc, influenced him and his music. He was also a big fan of Clover

who had great influence on Derrick's decision to become a musician.

Derrick Walker, took some harmonica lessons from Paul Butterfield, he helped teach Derrick to sound like himself and play melodies, "not just licks". Bobby Forte - Villa Nova Dupré who played with BB King during the 60's and 70' s and Nole Juks who play with Jimmy Witherspoon

gave him saxophone lessons.

Derrick played with The Eddie Ray Rhythm And Blues Band,and the Luther Tucker Band backing artists such as Lowell Fulson, Percy Mayfield, Big Mama Thornton, Sonny Roads, Jimmy McCracklin and Sugar Pie De Santos. Derrick played with Michael Bloomfield and he was on his LP recording "Cruising for a Bruising".

Derrick began playing with a band called the Soul Rebels (1981), who were working for Bill Graham as a warm up band in Bill's nightclubs. They fronted acts such as the Dead Kennedy's, The Ramones, Greg Kihn, The Beat and many others. The bandleader was Dean Devnear, bass and drums were manned by the Stench Brothers who where a big part of Pearl Harbor and the Explosions. The Soul Rebels were considered San Francisco's most popular band at the time.

Derrick went to Europe in 1983, playing Saxophone on the streets, small clubs and festivals with Red Archibald. 1985 forming his own band playing the streets and culbs in Holland, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain. touring with Big Walker and his.

``The Black & White Blues Band. ``

1987-92 playing the blues harp with the ``Grinders``in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Germany.

He is the composer of "Stars in the Sky" and performed in two songs in the international film that made use of his music "Freud leaves Home".

2000. Derrick has undertaken several tours of Norway and Denmark, and regular club appearances in Sweden, with his new band the ``Blue Souls.``

He appeared often with folk blues artist Eric Bibb and played on several of Eric's CDs, and recorded gospel with Cyndee Peters on "Songs From The Heart".

He played harmonica and acted in The Broadway musical ``Big River.``

He appeared with Blues legend Jimmy Dawkins and Singer Zora Young at The Great British R'n'B Festival in Colne as well as touring playing festivals in Denmark and Sweden.
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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Jimmy Nolen

Jimmy Nolen (April 3, 1934 – December 18, 1983) was an American guitarist, known for his distinctive "chicken scratch" lead guitar playing in James Brown's bands.
Born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, United States, Nolen took up the guitar at the age of 14, teaching himself on a Harmony Acoustic guitar. Having played the violin since the age of 9, Nolen already had a sound musical foundation upon which to base his T-Bone Walker-inspired guitar playing. Nolen was "discovered" in a club in Tulsa, Oklahoma by Jimmy Wilson, a blues singer famous for his 1953 hit "Tin Pan Alley." Soon afterward, Wilson offered Nolen a job in his band. He took Nolen back to Los Angeles, California to play in a studio band with popular southern California players Monte Easter (trumpet) and Chuck Higgins (tenor saxophone). During this period Nolen recorded his own commercially unsuccessful singles, mostly for King Records' Federal subsidiary, on which he both sang and played period-inspired blues songs.

In 1957 Nolen began to play for Johnny Otis, replacing the ailing Pete "Guitar" Lewis. He was the principal behind Otis' hit "Willie and the Hand Jive." He remained in Otis’ band until 1959 when he formed his own group, The Jimmy Nolen Band. They performed in small clubs and ballrooms in California and Arizona's "chitlin' circuit", backing many of the blues greats that passed through California. The principal influences that inspired his guitar technique were, T-Bone Walker, B.B. King and Lowell Fulson. The Jimmy Nolen band was popular but never released any records since their primary purpose was to work as live backup for more famous acts. In the early 1960s Nolen began playing with the backing band for harmonica legend George "Harmonica" Smith.
Nolen developed a style of picking known as "chicken scratch," in which the guitar strings are pressed lightly against the fingerboard and then quickly released just enough to get a muted “scratching” sound that is produced by rapid rhythmic strumming of the opposite hand near the bridge. This new guitar style was affected not only by Nolen’s choice of two and three note chord voicings of augmented 7th and 9th chords, but also by his strumming straight 16th note patterns, as in James Brown’s "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag." Nolen’s choices of guitars and amplifiers also affected the sound for which he would be nicknamed. In his first recordings with James Brown, Nolen used a Gibson ES-175 and an ES-5 switchmaster, both hollow body jazz guitars equipped with single coil P-90s. He also relied on a Gibson Les Paul Recording model with single coil pickups, an Acoustic Black Widow, and a Fresher Straighter, which were also single coil instruments. The single coil pickups on these guitars produced a thin "chanky" sound; Nolen ran these guitars through a Fender Twin Reverb with the treble set at 8 out of 10. The result of these factors was a rhythm guitar sound that seemed to float somewhere between the low-end thump of the electric bass and the cutting tone of the snare and hi-hats, with a rhythmically melodic feel that fell deep in the pocket. A good example of such tone would be in James Brown’s "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "I’ve Got The Feeling." Nolen had been experimenting with the sound prior to his joining James Brown: it can be heard on the Johnny Otis song "Willie And The Hand Jive" (1958) and an obscure 45 RPM single called "Swinging Peter Gunn Theme (Parts 1&2), released in 1960 on the Fidelity label, a subsidiary of Art Rupe's Specialty Records.
Nolen remained with Brown until December 18, 1983, when he died of a heart attack in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Monday, April 2, 2012


Claude Russell Bridges (born April 2, 1942), known professionally as Leon Russell, is an American musician and songwriter, who has recorded as a session musician, sideman, and maintained a solo career in music.

Born in Lawton, Oklahoma, he began playing piano at the age of four. Russell attended Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. At this time he was already performing at Tulsa nightclubs. After moving to Los Angeles, he became a session musician, working as a pianist on the recordings of many notable musical artists since the 1960s. By the late 1960s, Russell diversified, becoming successful as an arranger and wrote/co-wrote songs. As a musician, he worked his way from gigs as a sideman to well known performers. By 1970 he had graduated to solo recording artist, although he never ended all his previous roles within the music industry.

Russell was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on Monday, March 14, 2011, at a black-tie dinner at The Waldorf-Astoria hotel in Manhattan.
Russell began his musical career at the age of 14 in the nightclubs of Tulsa, Oklahoma. He and his group The Starlighters, which included J.J. Cale, Leo Feathers, Chuck Blackwell and Johnny Williams,[5] were instrumental in creating the style of music known as the Tulsa Sound. After settling in Los Angeles, he studied guitar with James Burton. Known mostly as a session musician early in his career, as a solo artist he has crossed genres to include rock and roll, blues, and gospel music, playing with artists as varied as Gary Lewis, George Harrison, Delaney Bramlett, Ringo Starr, Doris Day, Elton John, Ray Charles, Eric Clapton, The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Willie Nelson, Badfinger, Tijuana Brass, Frank Sinatra, The Band, Bob Dylan, Glen Campbell, and The Rolling Stones.
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Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reconsider Baby - Lowell Fulson

Lowell Fulson (March 31, 1921 – March 7, 1999) was a big-voiced blues guitarist and songwriter, in the West Coast blues tradition. Fulson was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He also recorded for business reasons as Lowell Fullsom and Lowell Fulsom. After T-Bone Walker, Fulson was the most important figure in West Coast blues in the 1940s and 1950s
According to some sources, Fulson was born on a Choctaw reservation in Oklahoma. Fulson stated that he was of Cherokee ancestry through his father, but he also claimed Choctaw ancestry. At the age of eighteen, he moved to Ada, Oklahoma, and joined Alger "Texas" Alexander for a few months in 1940, but later moved to California, forming a band which soon included a young Ray Charles and tenor saxophone player, Stanley Turrentine. He recorded for Swing Time Records in the 1940s, Chess Records (on the Checker label) in the 1950s, Kent Records in the 1960s, and Rounder Records (Bullseye) in the 1970s.

Fulson was drafted in 1943, but left the United States Navy in 1945. His most memorable and influential recordings included: "Three O'Clock Blues" (now a blues standard); the Memphis Slim-penned "Everyday I Have the Blues"; "Lonesome Christmas"; "Reconsider Baby" recorded in 1960 by Elvis Presley and in 1994 by Eric Clapton for his From the Cradle album as well as by Joe Bonamassa); and "Tramp" (co-written with Jimmy McCracklin and later covered by Otis Redding with Carla Thomas, ZZ Top (on 2003's Mescalero), Alex Chilton, and Tav Falco.

"Reconsider Baby" came from a long term contract agreed with Chess Records in 1954. It was recorded in Dallas under Stan Lewis' supervision with a saxophone section that included David "Fathead" Newman on tenor and Leroy Cooper on baritone.

Jackie Brenston played in Fulson's band between 1952 and 1954.

Fulson stayed with the Checker label into 1962, when he moved to the Los Angeles-based Kent Records. 1965's "Black Nights" became his first hit in a decade, and "Tramp," did even better, restoring the guitarist to R&B stardom.

In 1993 at the Paramount Theatre in Oakland, California a show entitled "California Blues - Swingtime Tribute" opened with Fulson plus Johnny Otis, Charles Brown, Jay McShann, Jimmy Witherspoon, Jimmy McCracklin and Earl Brown. Fulson's last recording was a duet of "Every Day I Have the Blues" with Jimmy Rogers on the latter's 1999 Atlantic Records release, "The Jimmy Rogers All-Stars: Blues, Blues, Blues."

A resident of Los Angeles, Fulson died in Long Beach, California, in March 1999, at the age of 77. His companion Tina Mayfield stated that the causes of death were complications from kidney disease, diabetes, and congestive heart failure. He was the father of four and grandfather of thirteen.
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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Cry Baby Cry - Effie Smith

Born Effie Bly, 10 April 1914, Oklahoma and Died 11 February 1977 , Los Angeles, California Smith made her first professional splash in the '40s, when she appeared as a regular guest on broadcasts of the Armed Forces Service Radio. Much of this material has been reissued as collector's broadcast transcripts, and reveals a performance opportunity that not only included a hungry, appreciative audience, but a whole world of possible connections and influences for a young performer.

Effie Smith took part in broadcasts with artists such as tenor saxophone colossus Coleman Hawkins, bandleader and composer Benny Carter, and even pianist and eventual classical conductor Andre Previn at the age of 16. Smith cut one her earliest sides, "Answer to R.M. Blues" and "It's Been So Long," for the Miltone label in 1947.
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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Steal Away - Ted Taylor

Austin Taylor, better known as Ted Taylor (February 16, 1934 – October 2, 1987) was an American soul musician.

Born in Okmulgee, Oklahoma, United States, Taylor sang with The Cadets/The Jacks in the 1950s. He sang lead vocals on The Cadets' "Do You Wanna Dance (Hey Little Girl)" and "I Cry" and also on The Jacks' "Away" and "My Darling." He did not appear on The Cadets' biggest hit "Stranded In The Jungle" in 1955. For that session, he was replaced by singer Prentice Moreland. Taylor left The Cadets/The Jacks to begin a solo career which began with two singles on Melatone Records in 1957. He would later release singles on Ebb Records and Duke Records from 1957 to 1959; in the 1960s he recorded for Ronn Records and Okeh Records in blues and soul styles. In the 1970s he recorded disco for TK Records.

Taylor died in a car crash in Lake Charles, Louisiana in 1987, aged 53.
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Since I Lost Your Love - Garrett "Big G" Jacobson

A dynamic and soulful guitarist and singer, Garrett “Big G” Jacobson is Oklahoma's favorite working blues artist. Rooted firmly in the blues, but heavily influenced by soul and jazz, Jacobson's unique sound is best described as soul-blues with a dose of funk. Originally a pianist, Garrett began playing guitar at age ten. At age twelve, his playing caught the attention of local blues legend and Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame inductee D.C. Minner, with whom Garrett played for the following three years. It was during his tenure with Minner that he became known as Big G. In 1998, Garrett released his first CD, Rhythm Attack, and began booking clubs, casinos and festivals throughout Oklahoma at age fifteen. To date, he has released a total of four CD's which have received critical praise in such publications as Living Blues, Blues Revue and Southwest Blues. His latest CD release, In Person (2011), captures the dynamics and energy of his live show. Garrett and his working band, consisting of a tight rhythm section and horns, serve up an offering of soul-blues with the raw energy and spontaneity that only a live recording can capture. Having performed extensively since '98, Garrett “Big G” Jacobson delivers a world-class show that is sure to please.
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Monday, January 23, 2012

New Release: The Go - Hunter Wolfe & ARE - Review

I just got a copy of the new Hunter Wolfe and ARE release entitled The Go. This is a really cool 13 original track release by Hunter. This kid was listening when he first learned blues music. You don't need all that extraneous crap going on if you write strong music and sing it with conviction. This is stripped down gut bucket blues primarily primitive slide, understated vocals and drums although there are a few featured guests including Cassie Taylor on Bass and vocals on a few tracks, Jackie Scott on vocals on a track, Lamar on vocals on one track and Lee Tee on one track. This is basically Hunter just singing and wailing away on guitar with ARE hammering away on drums. It's great! Hunter is a really strong vocalist and knows his way around the guitar. He partner is really a pretty solid drummer (and I'm critical). I don't want to draw any comparisons to Black Keys or White Stripes or any other stripped down contemporary blues bands as I think it would take away from how I really feel about their originality. I really do think that they are creating something special here without all of the commercial hype that goes along with it. If you like the raw blues and don't have to have all the dancers and glitzy lights...and don't need the ever escalating guitar solos... here is the next great thing. This band gets my endorsement and you won't see Beavis and Butt-head looking at each other in disbelief on this's for real! Hope that you can find a copy!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

My Dog - Elvin Bishop

One of the coolest guitar players on the gotta listen...and by far one of the coolest guitars... I've heard some great guitars but Red Dog is one of the best guitars on the planet... and Elvin has a great time!! Love this guy!!
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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Hootie's Blues - Jay Hootie McShann

Jay McShann (January 12, 1916 – December 7, 2006) was an American Grammy Award-nominated jump blues, mainstream jazz, and swing bandleader, pianist and singer.

During the 1940s, McShann was at the forefront of blues and hard bop jazz musicians mainly from Kansas City. He assembled his own big band, with musicians that included some of the most influential artists of their time, including Charlie Parker, Bernard Anderson, Ben Webster and Walter Brown. His kind of music became known as "the Kansas City sound"

McShann died on December 7, 2006, at St. Luke's Hospital in Kansas City. Jay McShann was survived by his companion of more than 30 years, Thelma Adams (known as Marianne McShann), and three daughters - Linda McShann Gerber, Jayne McShann Lewis, and Pam McShann.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Ten Years - Hunter Wolfe & ARE

Hunter Wolfe (Tulsa, OK) – National Slide Guitar Champion, two-time International Blues Challenge Showcase performer, and Blues Foundation Generation Blues recipient.

Hunter has performed with Legendary Mississippi Delta Bluesman, David Honeyboy Edwards at the famed Blues Alley in Washington, DC, and has opened for many major music acts including Robin Trower and Kansas.

He attended Fernando Jones’ Columbia College Blues Camp in Chicago, IL and subsequently did two speaking engagements at the College focused on playing the blues and the use of a slide in his music, and in the summer of 2009 Hunter embarked on his first overseas tour, a 10-engagement stint in London, England.

ARE, who co-wrote The Go album with Hunter stands strong in her own right. She has shared the stage with players such as Darrell Rose (Dave Matthews Band) and Bo Bobbic (The Clovers), and along with Hunter, sat in with the P-funk band Let The Monkey Go.

The Go is Hunter’s first full-length album, recorded by Bobby Read at Small World Audio near Wolfe’s current home in Virginia. In his 25 years of recording, Read has produced many records in several different genres and as the horn player for Bruce Hornsby, has two Gold Records to his credit.

For the genre bending The Go album, anchored by Hunter’s vocals and various guitar stylings and ARE’s signature drums, together creates a sound that sets them apart most other up and coming breakthrough Duos..

The Go also features guest artists and duets, one with Cassie Taylor who also played bass on three tracks.
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Sunday, December 25, 2011

Dengue Woman Blues - Jeffrey "Houseman" Clemens

G. Love drummer Jeffrey "Houseman" Clemens hosting his Monday night blues gig at Douglas Corner in Nashville. Featuring Kenny Vaughan and Jack Silverman on guitar, Johnny d'Artenay on bass.

Born in Oklahoma, raised in Denver, Kenny Vaughan's earliest memories of music are his father's jazz record collection: "My dad listened to Jimmy Smith, Mose Allison, Count Basie, Woody Herman, Miles Davis, Tony Mottola, and used to take me to hear Johnny Smith play at Shaner's in Denver. My neighbor, Charles Sawtelle, listened to Flatt and Scruggs and played Salty Dog on his Martin guitar for me. I knew then and there that I wanted to do that! I got my first electric guitar when I was twelve. The first thing I played was 'Folsom Prison Blues'. My first band played Stones, surf, '60's garage punk, and Memphis soul. I saw the Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Cream, Howlin' Wolf, Captain Beefheart, Buck Owens and The Buckaroos, The Dead, The Doors, Peter Green's Fleetwood Mac, Johnny Winter, John Mayall, and Led Zep's first stateside gig, all before I was sixteen!" Vaughan studied with guitarist Bill Frisell, which led to gigs with a local progressive jazz group. "Bill really opened my approach to my playing," he explains. At eighteen, when his family moved to rural Kansas, Kenny opted to stay in Denver, and after answering an ad in the paper, he began working seven nights a week playing country music on the local honky-tonk scene. "I played with some real characters," Vaughan recalls, "Great players and singers. We played mostly '50's and '60's country. It was like another world

Silverman spent the first couple decades of his musical career playing in rock and jazz bands in Providence, R.I., New York City, and his hometown of Cleveland, before moving to Nashville in the late ’90s. For years he worked as a sideman with artists such Jason White, Jim Hoke, Kristi Rose, Brady Seals and Mitch Ryder, to name just a few. After years of playing other people’s music, he decided it was time to start bringing to life the odd little symphony he’d been hearing in his head for years.

After a couple of years composing music and gigging around Nashville, Silverman decided it was time to record. He tapped world-renowned bassist Viktor Krauss, known for his work with artists as broad-ranging as Lyle Lovett and Bill Frisell, to produce and play bass on the album. Krauss was a natural fit — in addition to his seminal work with Frisell, he’s released two critically acclaimed albums of his own instrumental music, and has performed with Silverman for years. The record also features stellar contributions from drummer Derrek Phillips (Charlie Hunter, Greg Osby), keyboardist Tyson Rogers (Tony Joe White, Don Williams, Chris Stamey and cutting-edge jazz outfit The Blueprint Project) and finally trombonist Roy Agee, whose twisted musical contributions on several tracks serve as the perfect brass counterpoint to Silverman’s own demented digressions.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

You Better Think - Elvin Bishop and friends

Relaxed accoustic set of "Think" with Elvin, Kid Andersen, John Nemeth and Finis Tasby Saturday afternoon Notodden Blues festival 2011
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