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

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Ray Manzarek Dies at age 74

photo: Bob Hakins

Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of the one of the most popular American rock groups of all time, The Doors, passed away today at the age of 74.   He was at a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany undergoing alternative medical treatments for cancer.
Manzarek formed The Doors in 1965 after a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The band went on to become one of the most successful rock 'n' roll acts to emerge from the 1960's, selling more than 100 million albums worldwide, and receiving nineteen Gold, fourteen Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone.   In 1993, The Doors were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
It is Manzarek's keyboard work that serves as the iconic opening to one of the group's biggest hits, "Light My Fire."   And his keyboard-as-lead-instrument stylings were prominent on their other ground-breaking hits such as "L.A. Woman," "Break On Through to the Other Side," "The End," and "Hello, I Love You."
Manzarek, one of the most influential keyboard players in the history of rock music, went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right following Morrison's death in 1971.
Manzarek's last release, Translucent Blues on Blind Pig Records, was a 2011 collaboration with slide guitar master Roy Rogers.  It is a hard driving record with influences from blues, rock and jazz and lyrics that include tinges of poetry and literature.  Minneapolis City Pages called it "very nearly a masterpiece that emphasizes Doors-like driving roadhouse blues-rock tinged with noirish overtones."
Manzarek, a Chicago native, said of the album, "This is a head-first dive into American contemporary Blues.  Roy and I take the unique art form of the Blues and add a 21st century twist to the genre."
Rogers issued a statment saying, "I am very saddened that my great friend and collaborator Ray Manzarek passed away today at the age of 74.  Always stretching the boundaries in music, art and poetry - this is one of the true rock icons that had heart, intellect and talent - and a terrific sense of humor.  He was a great friend and will be missed."
To watch Ray performing "Blues In My Shoes" with the Manzarek-Rogers band, please click HERE.  To hear Ray and Roy discussing another collaboration, "Hurricane," please click HERE.
For more information visit

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Chesepeake Bay Blues Fest - Blues Ace Reporting

Blues Aficionado Allen "Blues Ace" Anthony was on the scene for the festival as usual and brought us some great photos as well as short commentary. The picture of

Motor City Josh is of him (left) and his brother bringing the house down at the end of their set. What a pleasant surprise that band was! I had no idea how good that guy was.

Mac Arnold made his guitar out of a gas can. While it’s more of a guitar than many of Super Chikan’s glorified Diddley Bows, it also sounds it’s best when played with a slide rather than any primitive attempts at fretting notes or chords. (More to come on Mac Arnold). He spent a lot of time in the LA music scene for much of his career and has semi-retired back to South Carolina where he bases his band, Plateful of Blues. Another interesting thing about him is that he grew up with James Brown and played in high school bands with “The Godfather of Soul.”

John Mayall played a nice set. Did 3 songs off the Bluesbreakers “Beano” albums. Parchman Farm, and a few others. Also did a song, L&M Blues, aka Ridin’ On The L&M, which I know from other blues artists covers of it. But he introduced it as being a Lionel Hampton composition which I did not know.

Little Feat is always interesting every time I’ve seen them and this was no exception. They called out Nighthawks harpist Mark Wenner to play a couple songs, in particular Dixie Chicken, which is what they were playing when the photo was taken. First time I ever heard them play Dixie Chicken “stand-alone.” All of the half dozen times I’ve seen them they have morphed Dixie Chicken into a medley of some sort which almost always included Tripe Face Boogie. But this was about a 12-14 minute rendition of Dixie Chicken by itself. Their set was cut short by the demands that Kenny Wayne Shepherd take the stage at exactly his scheduled time. Fred Tackett looked like he was ready to break the band into Feats Don’t Fail Me Now as an encore, but they swept their carcases off the stage promptly. They even said, “We’d like to play one more but our time is up.” They were having fun and the crowd was heavily into it.

Then Kenny Wayne came on and played a standard set.

Ray Manzarek-Roy Rogers was very good by my estimation but I don’t think too many people got as excited by them as I did. Manzarek at one point played an instrumental solo of The Crystal Ship that was the highlight of their set. They also did Riders On the Storm where Manzarek sang and the crowd loved that but it was just OK. He also announced some kind of 40th anniversary of Jim Morrison’s death concert in Paris next month where they were going to play.

Roy Rogers did not have his guitar coming through the PA like it should have. It was weak so it’s hard to tell how good he was really. It was the only issue I had with the sound production for the whole two days of the festival.

Ronnie Baker Brooks damn near stole the whole show. He was terriffic! Way better than Lonnie Brooks was a couple years back. Looking forward to seeing him on the Cruise.

The Lee Boys were great. It’s a band of all family, either brothers or nephews, cousins, and uncles. They call their music “Sacred Steel” which is a base of gospel with generous portions of blues, jazz, mixed with part soul, r&b, and country. It’s is much like Robert Randolph. This band is basically a top notch rhythm section in support of their centerpiece, keystone, and focal point, Roosevelt “The Dr.” on pedal steel and lap slide guitar. I got to say, in a head-cuttin’ contest with the Devil on pedal steel, and my soul on the line, I might take Roosevelt over anybody alive including Robert Randolph! That dude was awesome.