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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 Otis Clay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Otis Clay. Show all posts

Friday, September 22, 2017

Nola Blue Records artist: Benny Turner - My Brother's Blues - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, My Brother's Blues, from Benny Turner and it's great! Benny pay homage to his big brother and best friend, Freddie King and does it with style. Opening with Big Legged Woman, Benny is on lead vocal and bass, showing excellent vocal style and tone. A punchy horn section featuring Barney Floyd on trumpet and Jason Mingledorff on sax really sets the track off and the solid foot pedal of Jeffrey "Jellybean" Alexander and the riding organ work of Keiko Komaki plays nicely with rhythm guitar fills by Derwin "Big D" Perkins and lead guitar runs by June Yamagagishi. Excellent! Have You Ever Loved A Woman is a definite highlight on this release with soulful vocals by Turner, backed by Earl Smith and suppressed but critical horn work and organ by Davell Crawford, and Jack Miele plays some real tasty guitar lead to ice the cake.  Swinging I'm Tore Down features Otis Clay, Turner and Marva Wright on lead vocals and it's a powerful threesome. June Yamagishi has lead guitar on this one and with Freddie King like flavor, the track rocks. Another of my favorites on the release is You've Got To Love Her With A Feeling when Turner's vocals are particularly strong and Floyd and Mingledorff are so tight it hurts. Joe Krown's piano and organ work is super and Yamagishi is pure in the slot. Mingledorff really shines on sax on See See Baby, a cool laid back boogie. Carolyn Wonderland sits in on Mojo Boogie with some great slide guitar and Krown's piano work is stellar. On Wee Baby Blues, a low slung blues Wonderland and Kathy Murray join Turner for the richest vocals on the release. Turner has lead guitar on this one and solo lap steel is handled by Roosevelt Collier. Very nice! BB King's Ghetto Woman is another super track with super bluesy guitar lead by Yamagishi and super horn reinforcement by Floyd and Mingledorff. Again, Turner's lead vocals are strong and undeniable. Wrapping the release is a powerful rendition of Don Nix's Same Old Blues. Turner is at his most soulful backed by the gospel like piano styling of Chizuko Yoshihiro. Tracy Griffin on trumpet and Greg Dawson on sax add real fullness and Yamagishi's lead guitar work is inspired on this super closer for a strong release. Very cool!

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

MP Media Congratulates Its Artists for Garnering 8 Blues Blast Music Award Nominations



Mark Pucci Media is happy to announce that our artists have received 8 nominations for the upcoming Blues Blast Music Awards! Here’s the entire list of our nominees & we’d appreciate your consideration in voting for these well-deserved artists. Information on how & when to vote is listed at the end.

2015 Blues Blast Music Award Nominations

Traditional Blues Album
·         Mud Morganfield & Kim Wilson - For Pops (A Tribute to Muddy Waters)
Soul Blues Album
·         Otis Clay & Johnny Rawls - Soul Brothers
·         Tad Robinson - Day Into Night
Rock Blues Album
·         Tinsley Ellis - Tough Love
Acoustic Blues Album
·         Big Dave Mclean - Faded But Not Gone
·         Rory Block - Hard Luck Child
Live Blues Recording
·         John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Live in 1967
Historical Or Vintage Recording
·         John Mayall's Bluesbreakers - Live in 1967
Voting Is Open To The Public - Fan voting begins July 15, 2015 and continues until September 15, 2015 on our website at www.BluesBlastMagazine.com. Voting is free and open to anyone who is a Blues Blast Magazine subscriber. You do not have to be a current subscriber to vote! You are automatically signed up as part of the voting process on our website if you are not currently a subscriber. Blues Blast Magazine subscriptions are FREE and you may unsubscribe at anytime!

2015 Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremonies - The 2015 Blues Blast Music Awards ceremonies will be held at The Fluid Events Center in Champaign, Illinois on Friday, September 25th, 2015. The awards ceremony will feature music by the artists nominated. Tickets for the event will go

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Bonedog Records artists: Billy Price and Otis Clay - This Time For Real - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (May 19, 2015), This Time For Real, from Billy Price and Otis Clay and it's one of the best R&B flavored releases I've heard in a long time. Opening with Somebody's Changing My Sweet Baby's Mind, Clay and price show just how nicely their vocals work well together, squeezing ever drop of soul out of the track with backing by Duke Robillard (guitar), Mark Teixiera (drums), Brad Hallen (bass), Bruce Bears (keys), Doug Woolverton (trumpet) and Mark Earley (sax). This track reminds me a lot of the days of Price working with Roy Buchanan and Earley's sax work is really nice! On I'm Afraid Of Losing You, Clay's strength is more prominent with backing vocals by Theresa Davis, Dianne Madison and Diana Simon creating a more spiritual feeling and an Al Green groove. Very nice! Going To The Shack has a funky rhythm with Clay and Price balancing nicely with the horns. Bears takes a key solo leading into a funky "King" like groove from Robillard. All Because Of Your Love is a really solid track with a warm vocal harmonizing on the chorus. Clay and Price trade off lead vocals with full horn backing making this a perfect radio track. Earley opens Love Don't Love Nobody with a rich sax intro over gospel like piano work from Bears. Both Clay and Price take turns on lead vocal and I particularly like Clays vocals on this track. The backing vocals on this track give it a nice "Philly" sound making it one of my favorite tracks on the release. Excellent! I'll Never Do You Wrong is a great track with strong vocal harmonies. This track brings to mind early Impressions with a really tasty guitar solo from Robillard. With a Spinners like groove, Don't Leave Me Starving For Your Love, has a solid sway and calm instrumental backing. This is my choice for my favorite track featuring the vocals of Price. Bobby Womack's Broadway Walk really picks up the tempo with rock pace and Robillard responds with a fun solo giving the track more pop. Book Of Memories is a strong southern soul track featuring the strength of Clay and Robillard's guitar adornment is spot on. Bears plays one of his classic piano solos giving the track an authentic early feel. Too Many Hands is a sturdy R&B track with Price and Clay pushing and the horns giving it up. A very nice high stepper. Robillard sets the stage on Tears Of God with light shimmery guitar chords. Price takes the first verse but joined by Clay on the chorus. Clay takes verse 2 and the band keeps everything light giving it more impact. Deep sax work by Earley and tight trumpet by Woolverton joined by Bears on keys gives this track a certain presence. Very clean! Wrapping the release is Sam and Dave's You Got me Hummin'. These guys sing like they have been together like Sam and Dave for a long time. Very nice wrap to a fun CD. BY the way I really like the cover shot!

Couldn't find a video on Clay and Price together but this track is smokin'!

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Friday, September 5, 2014

Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls Team Up as "Soul Brothers" for New CD Coming from Catfood Records On October 21


Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls Team Up as Soul Brothers for New CD Coming from Catfood Records On October 21

EL PASO, TX – Catfood Records announces an October 21 release date for Soul Brothers, the new album featuring Blues Hall of Fame singer Otis Clay and Blues Music Award winning vocalist Johnny Rawls for what promises to be one of the musical highlights of the year.

Produced by Johnny Rawls and recorded at Sonic Ranch in Tornillo, Texas, Soul Brothers showcases the deep soul/blues veterans at their very best. They’re backed by the solid, in-the-pocket band, The Rays: Richy Puga (drums), Bob Trenchard (bass), Johnny McGhee (guitar), Dan Ferguson (keyboards), Andy Roman (sax), Mike Middleton (trumpet) Robert Claiborne (trombone), Nick Flood (sax) and The Iveys - Arlen, Jessica and Jillian - (background vocals).
Also joining in the sessions was Southern California percussionist Jon Olazabal.

Last year saw Otis Clay join Johnny Rawls as a special guest on three tracks of his multi-Blues-Music-Award-nominated CD, Remembering O.V., which paid tribute to Rawls’ late friend and mentor, O.V. Wright and featured nine songs associated with Wright, plus an original cut, “Blaze of Glory,” that saluted the legendary soul man. Remembering O.V. also won the latest Living Blues Magazine Critics' Poll for “Southern Soul Album of the Year.” 

The 10 tracks on Soul Brothers showcase original songs from Rawls, Clay, Trenchard, Al Basile, Darryl Carter and Jose Hernandez, plus soul-powered takes on a versatile mix of tunes popularized by Dave Mason (“Only You Know and I Know”), Jimmy Ruffin (“What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”), Tyrone Davis (“Turn Back the Hands of Time”) and Kay Kay Greenwade (“Waiting for Dreams”).

Both men are uniquely qualified to sing the gospel of soul music. Johnny Rawls was O.V. Wright’s music director and guitarist back in the 1970s and after his mentor died in 1980 he played a large role in keeping Wright’s band going strong into the 1990s. (They backed and opened for R&B stars like Little Johnny Taylor, Little Milton and Bobby “Blue” Bland). In his own long-established solo career, Rawls continues to draw inspiration from Wright’s Southern soul music, as well as the other greats.

Although he had some early success at other labels, Otis Clay made his bones starting in the early 1970s during his stay at the legendary Hi Records in Memphis, under the tutelage of the great Willie Mitchell, who produced a long string of soul music classics for Clay, including “Trying to Live My Life Without You.” During that time, he also became an international touring star, drawing huge crowds throughout Europe and in Japan, too. He was enshrined in the Blues Music Hall of Fame in 2013, a testament to his ongoing success as a recording artists and touring performer.

While both Otis Clay and Johnny Rawls traveled in the same circles back over 40 years, they never really connected on a personal level for many years. “We really got to know each other well starting about 10 years ago,” says Rawls. “I was a big fan of Otis. Working with O.V. was a wonderful experience, and now getting a chance to work with Otis is even better. We have a lot in common: both of us come from a gospel background. We had a lot of fun recording this album.”  

Clay’s comments echo Rawls’ feelings. “We knew each other before we knew each other,” jokes Otis. “O.V. Wright and I go back to when we were both doing gospel music and our careers were very similar. Johnny absorbed all that great music from O.V and we had such a good time recording these songs. For me, it’s a good feeling to talk to someone like Johnny about names, places and events we’re both familiar with from back in the day. There’s so much that we have in common. And Bob Trenchard is really tuned into all this music and just let us go for it.” 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

A Reunion Party Weekend 35 Years In The Making!


** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE **

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.


A PASSION FOR AMERICAN BLUES MUSIC

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 http://library.umkc.edu/spec-col-collections/grand-emporium
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 (bluescruise.com) 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.


THE "CRUISER REUNION WEEKEND" MUSIC LINEUP

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. royalsouthernbrotherhood.com
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. joanneshawtaylor.com
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. otisclay.net
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". rickestrin.com
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. ronniebakerbrooks.com

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. edenbrent.com


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 bluesin@bluescruise.com


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' • BluesCruise.com

legendary.blues.cruise

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Catfood Records artist: Johnny Rawls - Remembering O.V. - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, Remembering O.V. from Johnny Rawls and it's quite tasty! Rawls was OV Wright's musical director and guitarist in the 70's and kept Wright's band together for quite some time. Opening with Into Something (I Can't Shake Loose) Rawls and guest singer Otis Clay create a driving R&B atmosphere that makes you want to get up and move. Precious, Precious, with more of a soul swing, let's Rawls deliver vocally with backing from Andy Roman (sax) Mike Middleton (trumpet) and Robert Claiborne (trombone). Johnny McGhee (guitar) and Richy Puga (drums) add substantially with rhythm on a solid bass part by Bob Trenchard. On soul classic, Blind Crippled and Crazy, Rawls delivers one of the nicest renditions in years. This song has a real warmth that should make it a new classic from this release. On Poor Boy, a pop soul track, Rawls does a great job at getting a super groove. Ferguson lays down a nice organ solo followed by cool riffs by Mc Ghee. On Nickel and a Nail, Rawls and Clay do an absolutely beautiful job for putting it all out there. This is not just a remake of a classic but a very strong new interpretation of a classic track and worth the purchase just for this track. Excellent! On slow blues track, Eight Men, Four Women, Rawls really draws you into his world as a great singer and is nicely complimented by The Iveys. Dont Let My Baby Ride is a strong R&B track with nice horn and vocal backing. Ace Of Spades is a cool R&B track with a great hook and punctuating horn work. On high stepping I've Been Searching, Rawls really sets a smokin groove again creates one of this tracks that you keep listening for. His vocal poise and arrangement is tight. Ending with Blaze Of Glory, and teaming with Otis Clay, the release is wrapped just as the song describes, in a Blaze of Glory. Super backing vocals by the Iveys and the exchange by the two vocal champs makes this a great track for completion. This is the best release by Rawls in recent memory and certainly one for all fans of R&B/Soul style blues to check out. It isn't one just for the shelf but one that you';re likely to listen to over and over.

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 Not from this release but a good representation of Rawls in action:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Don't Love Nobody - Otis Clay

Otis Clay (born February 11, 1942, Waxhaw, Bolivar County, Mississippi, United States) is an American R&B and soul singer, who started in gospel music. Clay was born in rural Bolivar County, Mississippi to a musical family, who moved in 1953 to Muncie, Indiana. After singing with local gospel group, the Voices of Hope, he returned to Mississippi to sing with the Christian Travelers, before settling in Chicago in 1957. There, he joined a series of gospel vocal groups including the Golden Jubilaires, the Famous Blue Jay Singers, the Holy Wonders, and the Pilgrim Harmonizers, before making his first solo secular recordings in 1962. They were unissued, and Clay joined the Gospel Songbirds, who recorded in Nashville in 1964 and who also included Maurice Dollison who sang R&B under the name Cash McCall, and then the Sensational Nightingales. In 1965 Clay signed with One-derful! Records in Chicago, to make secular recordings. After releasing a series of gospel-tinged soul records, his first hit came in 1967 with "That's How It Is (When You're In Love)", which reached # 34 on the R&B chart, followed by "A Lasting Love" (# 48 R&B). In 1968 the record company folded and his contract was bought by Atlantic Records, who launched their subsidiary Cotillion label with Clay's version of the Sir Douglas Quintet hit, "She's About A Mover", produced at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals. The record became Clay's biggest pop hit, reaching # 97 on the Hot 100 (# 47 R&B). However, follow-ups on Cotillion, including "Hard Working Woman" produced by Syl Johnson, and "Is It Over?" produced by Willie Mitchell in Memphis, were less successful. Clay moved to Mitchell's Hi Records in 1971, and made many of his best known soul blues records for the label. His biggest hit came with "Trying To Live My Life Without You," a # 24 R&B hit in late 1972, which he followed up with "If I Could Reach Out". "Trying To Live My Life Without You" was later covered by Bob Seger, whose version made # 5 on the pop chart in 1981. After several more Hi singles and the album I Can't Take It, Clay moved to Kayvette Records, where he had his last national hit single in 1977, "All Because Of Your Love" (# 44 R&B). He later recorded for the Elka and Rounder labels, as well as his own Echo Records for whom he recorded the original version of "The Only Way is Up" in 1980. He has remained a popular live act in Europe and Japan, as well as the US, and has recorded two live albums, Soul Man: Live in Japan and Respect Yourself, recorded live at the Lucerne Blues Festival in Switzerland. In the 1990s he also recorded two soul albums for Bullseye Blues: I'll Treat You Right and the Willie Mitchell-produced This Time Around. In 2007, he recorded the gospel album Walk a Mile in My Shoes. He has been a nominee for a Grammy for Best Traditional R&B Vocal Performance. As a resident of Chicago's West Side, he is actively involved in community-based economic and cultural initiatives, including the development of The Harold Washington Cultural Center. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”