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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 Ray Benson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Ray Benson. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Austin-Based Johnny Nicholas 2019 Grammy Nominee for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package



2019 Grammy Nominee for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package



1976 Reissue Album, Too Many Bad Habits, by Acclaimed Singer/Guitarist

Johnny Nicholas and Friends – the Box Set, the Lost Tapes and Much More, with Bonus Album of Previously Unreleased Songs  Featuring Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Boogie Woogie Red, Ray Benson and More



Deluxe Double Vinyl Collectible Box Set Includes 68-Page Historical Book with Posters,

Photos & Memorabilia

The lost recordings of heralded Austin-based blues/roots musician and songwriter Johnny Nicholas, with blues legends Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Boogie Woogie Red, Ray Benson and others, are on this 18 gram double vinyl LP reissue including a special bonus album of previously unreleased performances.

Designed by Grammy-award winning Backstage Design Studio and nominated for a 2019 Grammy – “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package,” and also nominated for the Alex Steinweiss "Best In Show" at the 2018 Making Vinyl Packaging Awards, and Blues Blast Magazine Award for “Historical and Vintage Recording.”

The two-album set is a window into an important era in American music history in the late 1960s, when Ann Arbor, Michigan, was one of the hottest and most influential music scenes in the country. At the heart of the Ann Arbor blues revival was guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Johnny Nicholas. Arriving from the East coast for the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, he brought some of the best blues players out of retirement to play together and create these historic recordings.

This project is of great significance to blues fans everywhere for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the newly-discovered and never-before-released tracks featuring Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton and Boogie Woogie Red.

Johnny Nicholas is an under-recognized master of traditional blues, songwriting and other blues- inspired Americana genres.

He was highly regarded and considered a peer and a member of the blues family by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Lockwood Jr, BB King, Roosevelt Sykes, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann, James Cotton, Eddie Taylor, Houston Stackhouse and many more legends of the blues.

Deluxe Collectible Box Set Includes:

·         Two 180-gram vinyl records                                 

·         Custom intricate 68-page book

·         Digital download card

·         Extensive 1969-2018 11x40 timeline

·         Three vintage souvenir posters

·         Assorted photos and memorabilia of the era

Distributed in record stores worldwide by Monostereo and available online at www.Johnnynicholasblues.com, CD Baby and Amazon.




Disc 1 (Remastered Album “Too Many Bad Habits”)



1.        MANDOLIN BOOGIE* - Johnny Nicholas, Ray Benson, Tony Garnier, Lucky Oceans, Link Davis Jr., Bill Mabry



2.       LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVIN’ – Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



3.       TOO MANY BAD HABITS – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



4.       SITTIN’ ON TOP OF THE WORLD – Johnny Nicholas, Ray Benson, Tony Garnier, Link Davis Jr., Bill Mabry



5.       “GOT THE TRAIN?” – Johnny Nicholas, Ray Benson, Tony Garnier, Link Davis Jr., Bill Mabry, Lucky Oceans



6.       ROCK MY BLUES AWAY – Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



7.       BLUES WALK – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



8.       GRINNIN’ IN YOUR FACE – Johnny Nicholas



9.       THE NEW CANNED HEAT BLUES – Johnny Nicholas, Big Water Horton



10.   WEST WIND – Big Walter Horton, Johnny Nicholas



11.   BLUES CAME FALLIN’ DOWN – Johnny Shines, Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross



12.   CARELESS LOVE – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



13.   GETTIN’ OUTTA TOWN – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



14.   HELLHOUND ON MY TRAIL – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gros





Disc 2 (Previously unreleased / alternate takes)



1.       MOVE ON DOWN THE LINE – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Tino gross



2.       PUMP JOCKEY BLUES – Johnny Nicholas, Boogie Woogie Red, Big Walter Horton



3.       BELIEVE I’LL MAKE A CHANGE – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



4.       PRISONER BLUES – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



5.       APPLE GROVE RHUMBA – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



6.       LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING (Alternate Take) Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



7.       THAT’S ALRIGHT MAMMA – Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross



8.       HOOTIE BLUES – Boogie Woogie Red, Johnny Shines, Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



9.       MONEY MARBLES AND CHALK – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



10.   LONESOME TRAVELER – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



11.   FROGGY BOTTOM – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



12.   SOON FORGOTTEN – Johnny Nicholas, Boogie Woogie Red, Big Walter Horton


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Johnny Nicholas & Friends - Too Many Bad Habits - New release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Too Many Bad Habits, by Johnny Nicholas & Friends and it solid hard core blues. This 2 disc masterpiece opens with Mandolin Boogie featuring Johnny Nicholas on mandolin, piano and vocal, Link Davis jr. on tenor sax, Bill Marbry on fiddle, Ray Benson on guitar, Tony Garnier on string bass and Lucky Oceans on drums. On Looks Can Be Deceivin', Nicholas teams up with Martin Gross on drums and E. P. Jones bass. Very nice. On a strong arrangement of Walter Vinson's Sitting On Top Of The World, Nicholas plays top notch piano riffs and with a sax solo by Davis, this is a super track. Another cool track is Rock My Blues Away with a standard 12 bar format but hot piano riffs and also featuring Nicholas on lead guitar. Big Walter Horton on harp and Johnny Shines sit in on Blues Walk, a crisp instrumental. Nicholas also covers Mr Son House's Grinnin' In Your Face, one of my all time favorite songs. Very nice job a capella. Big Walter joins Nicholas on Tommy Johnson's The New Canned Heat Blues. Another great track with particularly expressive vocals. Big Walter takes the lead on vocal and harp on West Wind, a real gem. Johnny Shines takes the lead on guitar and vocal on Blues Came Fallin' Down playing slide like only he can. Excellent! Gettin' Outta Town is a great boogie with Nicholas on acoustic guitar and Horton on harp. Very cool. Wrapping side one is Robert Johnson's Hellhound On My Trail with Nicholas on lead vocal and guitar, Shines on lead guitar, Big Walter on harp and Martin Gross on drums. Masterful.

Disc 2 opens with Move On Down The Line with Shines and Horton, Shines on lead guitar and Horton playing harp and sharing vocal with Nicholas. Prisoner Blues is a terrific track particularly because of Nicholas' primal vocals, floating on a cloud of Shines' lead guitar and Horton's harp. Excellent! Big Boy Crudup's That's Alright Mamma features Nicholas on wailing vocals and slide with only Gross on drums. Very effective. With Boogie Woogie Red on piano and vocal and Horton on harp, Hootie Blues is stellar. Twelve bar, Money, Marbles and Chalk  is another great track with Nicholas on lead vocal, Shines on lead guitar, Horton on harp and Gross on drums. Very nice. Wrapping the release is James Oden's Soon Forgotten with Boogie Woogie red on piano, Horton on harp and Nicholas on guitar and vocal. This is an excellent release which is literally packed full of intense blues. Beautiful!



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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Sittin On Top Of The World - Ray Benson

Ray Benson (born March 16, 1951) is the front man of the Western swing band Asleep at the Wheel. Ray Benson performing in April 2009 In 1970, Benson, a Jewish native of Philadelphia, formed Asleep at the Wheel with friends Lucky Oceans and Leroy Preston. The group relocated to Austin in 1973 after a suggestion from Willie Nelson . Since then, the group has released more than 20 albums and earned 9 Grammy awards. Though the band's lineup has changed greatly over the years (about 90 people have been part of Asleep at the Wheel at some point), Benson has always remained at the helm as the band's driving force. In addition to his work with Asleep at the Wheel, Benson is also an accomplished producer whose credits include albums by Dale Watson, Suzy Bogguss, Aaron Watson, James Hand and Carolyn Wonderland; also single tracks for Willie Nelson, Aaron Neville, Brad Paisley, Pam Tillis, Trace Adkins, Merle Haggard, and Vince Gill. In 2003, Benson released his first solo album entitled Beyond Time. Benson is also a founding member of the Rhythm and Blues Foundation, which raises money to help aging R&B artists, and a member of the board of directors of the SIMS Foundation, which provides low-cost mental health services to Austin musicians and their families. He is also a trustee for the Texas chapter of NARAS, a board member of St Davids Community Health Foundation, Board member and founding member of Health alliance for Austin musicians (HAMM). Benson is 6 feet, 7 inches tall with size 16 EEE feet.

  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 favorite band!