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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 South Carolina. Show all posts
Showing posts with label South Carolina. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

You Is One Black Rat - Doug Quattlebaum

b. 22 January 1927, Florence, South Carolina, USA. It was after moving to Philadelphia in the early 40s that Quattlebaum took up the guitar seriously, and toured with a number of gospel groups, claiming to have recorded with the Bells Of Joy in Texas. In 1952, he recorded solo as a blues singer for local label Gotham. By 1961, he was accompanying the Ward Singers but, when discovered by a researcher, was playing blues and popular tunes through the PA of his ice-cream van, hence the title of his album. Softee Man Blues showed him to be a forceful singer, influenced as a guitarist by Blind Boy Fuller, and with an eclectic repertoire largely derived from records. Quattlebaum made some appearances on the folk circuit, but soon returned to Philadelphia, where he recorded a single in the late 60s. He is thought to have entered the ministry soon afterwards.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Standing By The Bedside of A Neighbor - Dixie Hummingbirds featuring Howard Carroll

The Dixie Hummingbirds are an influential American gospel music group, spanning more than 80 years from the jubilee quartet style of the 1920s, through the "hard gospel" quartet style of Gospel's golden age in the 1940s and 1950s, to the eclectic pop-tinged songs of today. Formed in 1928 in Greenville, South Carolina, by James B. Davis and his classmates, they sang in local churches until they finished school, then started touring throughout the South. Lead singer Ira Tucker joined the group in 1938 at age 13, and they signed with Decca Records. In addition to his formidable vocal skills, Tucker introduced the energetic showmanship - running through the aisles, jumping off stage, falling to his knees in prayer - copied by many quartets that followed. Tucker also took the lead in the stylistic innovations adopted by the group, combining gospel shouting and subtle melismas with the syncopated delivery made popular by The Golden Gate Quartet, as well as adventuresome harmonies, which the group called "trickeration", in which Paul Owens or another member of the group would pick up a note just as Tucker left off. The group relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the 1940s. During the years, a number of talented singers starred in the group—their bass, William Bobo (known as Thunder), tenor Beachy Thompson, James Walker (who replaced Owens), and Claude Jeter, who went on to star for The Swan Silvertones. The Hummingbirds added a guitarist, Howard Carroll, who added even more propulsive force to their high-flying vocals. The Hummingbirds absorbed much from other artists as well, performing with Lester Young in the 1940s and sharing Django Reinhardt records with B.B. King in the 1950s. Tucker and the Hummingbirds inspired a number of imitators, such as Jackie Wilson and James Brown, who adapted the shouting style and enthusiastic showmanship of hard gospel to secular themes to help create soul music in the 1960s. The group recorded for a number of different labels over the years, while touring the circuit of black churches and gospel extravaganzas. They occasionally came to the attention of white listeners—at Café Society, the integrated New York nightclub favored by jazz cognoscenti, in 1942, at the Newport Folk Festival in 1966, and as backup for Paul Simon on the 1973 single "Loves Me Like a Rock". For a long time, the group was signed to Don Robey's Peacock Records, based in Houston, Texas. In 1973, Robey sold Peacock to ABC Records, which released a cover of "Loves Me Like a Rock," produced by Walter "Kandor" Kahn and the group's lead vocalist Ira Tucker, which reached #72 on Billboard Magazine's Top 100 R&B Singles chart. The single also won a Grammy for "Best Soul Gospel Performance". Kahn and Tucker produced an album for ABC entitled We Love You Like A Rock. The album contained Stevie Wonder's "Jesus Children", on which Wonder played keyboards. At that time, the group consisted of five vocalists: Ira Tucker Sr., James Davis, Beachy Thompson, James Walker and William Bobo. Howard Carroll was the group's guitarist. The group now consists of William Bright (vocals), Carlton Lewis, III (vocals), Torrey Nettles (drums/vocals),) and Lyndon Baines Jones (guitar & vocals and Ira Tucker, Jr (vocals) In 1973 The group sang the backup vocals on Paul Simon's "Loves Me Like a Rock", and "Tenderness", from his album "There Goes Rhymin' Simon". In 2003, the Hummingbirds were the subject of an award-winning book about their 75-year career span, Great God A'Mighty! The Dixie Hummingbirds: Celebrating the Rise of Soul Gospel Music [Oxford University Press] by Jerry Zolten. The book was favorably reviewed in The New York Times. 2-26-2003. In February 2008, the first feature-length documentary/concert film featuring the life and history of the Dixie Hummingbirds was released in commemoration of their extraordinary eighty years as performers. The Dixie Hummingbirds: Eighty Years Young has been shown on the Gospel Music Channel and has played at numerous film festivals. Produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jeff Scheftel, and executive produced by University of Hawaii musicologist Jay Junker, the film is now available on DVD, featuring extensive interviews with Ira Tucker, Sr., archival footage, and following the current group as they perform in numerous venues and rehearse under Mr. Tucker's spirited guidance, in their hometown of Philadelphia, and across the vast landscape of America. Ira Tucker, Sr. died due to complications from heart disease on the morning of June 24, 2008, at the age of 83. The group will go on, thereby preserving the rich legacy left by Tucker, James Davis, William Bobo, Beachey Thompson, James Walker, Howard Carroll, et al., with possible new additions to their personnel down the road.  
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Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Walk - Leroy Kirkland

Leroy Kirkland, (February 10, 1906 – April 6, 1988) was an arranger, bandleader, guitarist and songwriter whose career spanned the eras of big band jazz, R&B, rock 'n' roll and soul. Kirkland played guitar in southern jazz bands in the 1920s, and during the 1930s he worked as arranger and songwriter for Erskine Hawkins. He joined Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey in the 1940s and later in that decade began arranging music at Savoy Records in New York. He continued to arrange R&B artists for OKeh Records, Mercury Records and other companies. Some of Kirklands more successful collaborations were with Screamin' Jay Hawkins ("I Put A Spell On You, "Little Demon","Yellow Coat", etc.), Big Maybelle (Kirkland co-wrote her biggest hit, "Gabbin' Blues"). In 1956, Kirkland and his session band teamed up with 14-year-old singer Barbie Gaye to record an R&B song, "My Boy Lollipop" Kirkland's arrangement of the song resulted in a sound that was new and original, Years later, that style would become known as ska, and would influence other genres such as bliebeat, rockdtedy and most popluarl reggae. When the song was covered eight years later by Jamaican artist, millie smalls, the cover version, with little change went on to become one of the biggest selling records in It wasn't until another eight years At Savoy Records, Kirkland worked with Nappy Brown and Wilbert Harrison). Although behind the scenes for most of his career, Kirkland contributed to the recordings of music legends such as Etta James, Charlie Parker, Ella Fitzgerald, The Righteous Brothers, The Supremes, Brook Benton and the Five Satins  

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Where You Been - Lloyd Fatman Smith

Lloyd Smith was born in Spartanburg, S.C., and moved to the area as a teenager with his family. He joined the WHAT staff in 1955 and worked as a disc jockey until last September when he suffered a stroke. He played jazz, blues, rock, instrumentals and other music, sang and filled his broadcasts with humor. His most recent program was broadcast from 2 to 6 a.m. "He was always very uplifting," said Leslie Rainear, an administrative assistant at WHAT. "He really cared about other people. He always said prayers do work and he would always pray for everybody." He received his nickname, "Fatman," because he carried 290 pounds on his 6-foot-1 frame when he performed in nightclubs in the 1950s. "He used his weight as part of his comedy act on the radio and the stage," said McPherson. ''He later thinned down, but the name stuck." He was also known as "the sheriff," because he wore cowboy boots, a holster, fringed jackets, a badge, and a cowboy hat for more than 20 years, McPherson said. "Everything but a horse, thank goodness," she added.

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

Worried Blues - James "Guitar Slim" Stephens

James “Guitar Slim” Stephens was born on March 10, 1915, near Spartanburg, South Carolina. He began to play the pump organ at the age of 5, and two years later he switched to piano. Slim was so small that his feet would not even reach the organ pedals, so he has one of his brothers do the pumping while he practiced the keys. In his early teens he joined the John Henry Davis Medicine Show. He soon picked up the guitar an instrument, which he truly mastered. It was his welcoming spirit that opened the doors of the Carolina blues, a world rarely seen by an outsider to Tim Duffy.

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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Sophisticated Lady - Willie Smith

William McLeish Smith (November 25, 1910 – March 7, 1967) was one of the major alto saxophone players of the swing era. He also played clarinet and sang. He is generally referred to as Willie Smith. Born in Charleston, South Carolina, but raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Smith's first instrument was clarinet and his education was in chemistry. He received his chemistry degree from Fisk University. Nevertheless in 1929 he became an alto saxophonist for Jimmie Lunceford's band. He would be one of the main stars in Lunceford's group and in 1940 had his own quintet as a side project. His success with Lunceford had lost its charms by 1942 as he now wanted more pay and less travel. He then switched to Harry James's orchestra, where he made more money, and stayed with him for seven years. After that he later worked with Duke Ellington and Billy May. He was also part of the Gene Krupa Trio, and can be heard on the 1952 live Verve album The Drum Battle - part of the Jazz at the Philharmonic series (battle is with Buddy Rich). In 1954 he returned to Harry James's band. Added to all this he was involved in Jazz at the Philharmonic and worked with Nat King Cole. He died of cancer in 1967, in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 56.

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Monday, March 4, 2013

Martin, Bogan & Armstrong

Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong (March 4, 1909 – July 30, 2003) was an African American string band and country blues musician, who played fiddle, mandolin, and guitar and also sang. He was also a notable visual artist and raconteur. William Howard Taft Armstrong was born in Dayton, Tennessee, and grew up in LaFollette, Tennessee. As a young teenager he taught himself to play the fiddle, and joined a band led by Blind Roland Martin and his brother Carl. They toured the United States performing a wide range of music, from work songs and spirituals through popular Tin Pan Alley tunes and foreign language songs. In 1929 he recorded with Sleepy John Estes and Yank Rachell. The following year he recorded in Knoxville for Vocalion Records, with his brother Roland Armstrong and Carl Martin, billed as the Tennessee Chocolate Drops. Adding guitarist Ted Bogan, the band toured as part of a medicine show and backed blues musicians such as Big Bill Broonzy and Memphis Minnie. As Martin, Bogan and Armstrong, they also performed at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago. In 1934 Armstrong and Bogan recorded "State Street Rag" and "Ted's Stomp" on the Bluebird label, with Armstrong using the stage name "Louie Bluie" which he had been given by a fan. Although Armstrong's early recordings were in the style of country rags or blues, this was not his sole repertoire as a performer. According to his sometime accompanist, author Elijah Wald, his early theme song was the Gershwin standard "Lady Be Good", and his group's repertoire included a wide range of hit songs of the period, including Italian, Polish, Mexican and country songs which he would play to meet the varying demands of his audience. After serving in World War II, Armstrong moved to Detroit and worked in the auto industry until 1971. With a revival of interest in oldtime African American music, Martin, Bogan and Armstrong reunited to perform. The band recorded, performed at clubs and festivals and went on a tour of South America sponsored by the U.S. State Department. They played together until Martin's death in 1979. Around this time, both Armstrong and Bogan were contacted by Terry Zwigoff, a fan of their "State Street Rag" recording. Zwigoff's interest in Armstrong eventually blossomed into a one-hour documentary, Louie Bluie, released in 1985. Armstrong was later the subject of another documentary, Sweet Old Song. He continued to perform with a younger generation of musicians, and released his first solo album Louie Bluie on Blue Suit Records in 1995, earning him a W.C. Handy Award nomination. Along with his music, Armstrong was an expert painter, designing album covers for his group and occasionally for other artists, including Elijah Wald. He also made necklaces from beads, pipe cleaners and "found objects." He also spoke several languages. He died in Boston, Massachusetts, aged 94, following a heart attack.

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Monday, February 25, 2013

So Let It Be - Julian Dash

Julian Dash (9 April 1916–25 February 1974) was an American swing music jazz tenor saxophonist born in Charleston, South Carolina, probably better known for his work with Erskine Hawkins and Buck Clayton. Julian Dash was a member of the Bama State Collegians, which later became the Erskine Hawkins orchestra. In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Julian Dash recorded for Sittin' In With records and later was on the Vee Jay label with his sextets. His renditions of "Devil's Lament" and "Dance of the Mother Bird" on Sittin' In With and his "Zig Zag" on the Vee Jay label were hits in the Black community. Julian Dash can be heard at his best on the 1953 Buck Clayton Jam Session Columbia LPs, a 2-album session, one featuring an appearance by Woody Herman, among other leading jazz musicians. Julian Dash's tenor sax sound was Hawkins-like, but with less rough edges than Hawk's.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Everyday I Sing The Blues - Toy Caldwell Band

Toy Talmadge Caldwell Jr. (November 13, 1947 - February 25, 1993) was the lead guitarist, main songwriter and a founding member of the 1970s Southern Rock group The Marshall Tucker Band. He was a member of the band from its formation to 1983. Caldwell was born November 13, 1947 in Spartanburg, South Carolina, to Mr. and Mrs. Toy Talmadge Caldwell Sr. He began playing guitar before his teen years with his younger brother Tommy Caldwell. He developed a unique style of playing, playing the electric guitar using his thumb rather than a pick. Toy played basketball and football in high school with friends George McCorkle, Jerry Eubanks, and Doug Gray. While very involved in sports, the boys eventually became interested in music including jazz and blues. By age sixteen, Toy was passionate about music, sports, and his other obsession, motorcycles. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing. Caldwell decided to serve his country and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. In 1966, he reported for recruit training at Parris Island, South Carolina. After being wounded in Vietnam in September 1968, he was evacuated for 2 weeks, then returned for duty. Caldwell was discharged in 1969 and once again began playing music with his high school buddies. The Spartanburg chapter of the Marine Corps League is named the Hutchings-Caldwells Detachment in honor of Toy, his brother Tommy and another Marine He later formed the Toy Caldwell Band and released an eponymous CD in 1992; the record was later renamed Son of the South by Southern country rocker and Caldwell's personal friend, Charlie Daniels. The album was digitally re-released in 2009 through Hopesong Digital / GMV Nashville. Caldwell died on February 25, 1993, at his home in Moore, South Carolina. The cause of death was reported as cardio-respiratory arrest due to cocaine use, according to Spartanburg County Coroner Jim Burnett. Caldwell married his wife Abbie on September 12, 1969. The song, AB's Song from The Marshall Tucker Band's debut album was written for her. He was the older brother of both Marshall Tucker co-founder and bass guitarist Tommy Caldwell, who was killed in an automobile accident in 1980, and to Tim Caldwell, who a month prior to Tommy's death, was killed in a collision with a Spartanburg County garbage truck on S.C. Highway

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Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Walk - Leroy Kirkland's Rock Chas

"Once again Leroy Kirkland was in charge of the session" begins many an account of R&B and vocal group recording activity from the '40s well into the '60s, almost as many as there are jokes that begin "A man walked into a bar...." While in the latter case subsequent happenings are wildly unpredictable, a typical Kirkland summation will proceed reliably through certain steps, with an outcome guaranteed to be pleasing. A guitarist whose most illustrious training grounds were the Jimmie Lunceford and Cootie Williams big bands, Kirkland idolized jazz guitarist Tiny Grimes. Solos in the Grimes style were something he really never stopped tossing into songs as if adding a throw rug to a room. Kirkland developed into a force beyond the guitar fretboard, however, leading his own groups and serving as a combination director, conductor, and arranger. Before the man who walked into the bar had even ordered a drink, Kirkland would have decided on a configuration -- septet or larger or maybe just a quintet -- and would have been well on his way into staffing it with both people and music. Typical for a guitarist from the era prior to the axe roaring into the forefront, Kirkland envisioned the horn section as the lead instrument. He had a top-flight crew of players to prove the point, including the famed Sam "The Man" Taylor, Al Sears, and Taft Jordan. Taylor's association with Kirkland goes back to the early '40s, when both were members of a Florida-based band known as Doc Wheeler & His Sunset Orchestra. Wheeler had a big roll with a version of "Foo-Gee," a song written by Erskine Butterfield. The momentum was more than enough to get Kirkland out of South Carolina, where some members of the hit group had been both trained and brought up in the illustrious Jenkins Orphanage Band. Kirkland settled into New York City and stayed put, busy as could be under the auspices of producers who assumingly sensed his feel for the new styles that were developing, groupings that always provided just the perfect touch. A surrender of ego may never be required of a record producer, yet for an artist in Kirkland's position the resulting dynamic is not to be underestimated. Though a fine guitarist himself, Kirkland would typically turn the chair over to Mickey Baker, also no slouch. R&B buffs sometimes claim to be just as happy reading the personnel listings for certain sides as listening, at least the ones who don't like to dance. In some cases the backup players have bypassed the fame of whatever name is printed on the label. Behind the obscure Ernestine Hassel Abbott in 1953, Kirkland brought back a quartet that he had previously used to back doo wop smoothies the Mellows, topping it up to sextet status by adding Sears on alto saxophone and Bill Crump on baritone. Loose talk circulating regarding the session indicates Crump came into the picture simply because Kirkland saw him walking down the street in the afternoon. Speaking of walking, Milt Hinton's basslines are a part of many Kirkland sessions, adding an element nearing spirituality to many otherwise trivial pop numbers. In charge of several different orchestras and big bands operating under his own name, Kirkland had no problem fattening up a horn section. His backing for Dean Barlow of the Crickets, for example, includes a five-horn aggregation including Taylor, Jordan on trumpet, and trombonist Jimmy Cleveland. The outrageous singer Screamin' Jay Hawkins made some of his best recordings with the Kirkland orchestra backing him. Also linked with the early career of the Supremes, Kirkland basically overwhelms with his list of accomplishments, connections, and creations -- all the more sad that author and R&B performer Ben Sidran chooses to bring Kirkland up as an example of a great artist who died in obscurity. 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!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Lovin Home Blues - James "Guitar Slim" Stephens

James "Guitar Slim" Stephens (d.1989) was born on March 10, 1915, near Spartanburg, South Carolina. He began playing pump organ when he was only five years old, singing spirituals he learned from his parents and reels he heard from his older brother pick on the banjo. Slim was so small that his feet would not even reach the organ pedals, so he had one of his brothers do the pumping while he practiced the keys. Within a few years, Slim was playing piano. When he was thirteen, he began picking guitar, playing songs he heard at local "fling-dings," house parties, and churches. A few years later he joined the John Henry Davis Medicine Show, playing music to draw crowds to hear the show master's pitch; this took him throughout the southeastern Piedmont. It seems as if traveling was in Slim's blood from that point on; for in the next twenty or so years, he moved throughout the eastern United States living in such cities as Richmond, Durham, Louisville, Nashville, and Waterbury, Connecticut. In 1953 he arrived in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he lived for the remainder of his life playing both guitar and piano--singing the blues at house parties and spirituals at church. His first LP, "Greensboro Rounder," was issued in 1979 by the British Flyright label. 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!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

For Sale (Hannah Johnson's Big Jack Ass) Blues - Clara Smith

Clara Smith (c. 1894 – February 2, 1935) was an American classic female blues singer. She was billed as the "Queen of the Moaners", although Smith actually had a lighter and sweeter voice than her contemporaries and main competitors Smith was born in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. In her youth she worked on African American theater circuits and tent shows. By the late 1910s she was appearing as a headliner at the Lyric Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana and on the T.O.B.A. circuit. In 1923 she settled in New York, appearing at cabarets and speakeasies there; that same year she made the first of her commercially successful series of gramophone recordings for Columbia Records, for whom she would continue recording through to 1932. She cut 122 songs often with the backing of top musicians (especially after 1925) including Louis Armstrong, Charlie Green, Joe Smith, Freddy Jenkins, Fletcher Henderson and James P. Johnson (in 1929). Plus she recorded two vocal duets with Bessie Smith, and four with Lonnie Johnson. The comparisons with near namesake Bessie Smith were inevitable. Clara Smith was on the whole less fortunate than Bessie in her accompanists, and her voice was less imposing but, to some tastes, prettier, and many of her songs were interesting (and she was the second best seller on Columbia's 14000-D series, behind Bessie Smith). In 1933 she moved to Detroit, Michigan, and worked at theaters there until her hospitalization in early 1935 for heart disease, of which she died. 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!

Little Red Rooster - James Blood Ulmer

James "Blood" Ulmer (born February 2, 1942) is an American jazz, free funk and blues guitarist and singer. Ulmer plays a semi-acoustic guitar. His distinctive guitar sound on the semi-acoustic guitar has been described as "jagged" and "stinging." Ulmer's singing has been called "raggedly soulful." Ulmer was born in St. Matthews, South Carolina. He began his career playing with various soul jazz ensembles, first in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, from 1959-1964, and then in the Columbus, Ohio region, from 1964-1967. He first recorded with organist John Patton in 1969. After moving to New York in 1971, Ulmer played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Joe Henderson, Paul Bley, Rashied Ali and Larry Young. In the early 1970s, Ulmer joined Ornette Coleman; he was the first electric guitarist to record and tour extensively with Coleman. He has credited Coleman as a major influence, and Coleman's strong reliance on electric guitar in his fusion-oriented recordings owes a distinct debt to Ulmer. He formed a group called the Music Revelation Ensemble with David Murray and Ronald Shannon Jackson, with whom he recorded throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Different incarnations of the group also featured Julius Hemphill, Arthur Blythe, Sam Rivers, and Hamiet Bluiett on saxophones and flutes. In the 1980s he co-led, with saxophonist George Adams, the ensemble Phalanx. 1983's Odyssey, with drummer Warren Benbow and violinist Charles Burnham, was described as "avant-gutbucket," leading writer Bill Milkowski to describe the music as "conjuring images of Skip James and Albert Ayler jamming on the Mississippi Delta." Ulmer has recorded many albums as a leader, including three recent acclaimed blues-oriented records produced by Vernon Reid. He also performs solo. Ulmer was also a judge for the 8th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists. In a 2005 Down Beat interview, Ulmer opined that guitar technique had not advanced since the death of Jimi Hendrix.[4] He stated that technique could advance "if the guitar would stop following the piano," and indicated that he tunes all of his guitar strings to A. In spring 2011, Ulmer joined saxophone luminary James Carter's organ trio as a special guest along with Nicholas Payton on trumpet for a six-night stand of performances at Blue Note New York. 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!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Martin, Bogan & Armstrong

Ted Bogan was one of the greatest musical artists to ever emerge from Spartanburg, SC, or "South Cackalacky," as the natives would describe it. Bogan was something like a growth from a massive tulip bulb, a bloom that for some reason was never allowed to fully open. He performed and recorded beautifully throughout a career that spanned more than half a century, but was mostly known as a member of the string bands variously known as Martin, Bogan & Armstrong or Martin, Bogan & the Armstrongs. The various members played in many other formations, including the New Mississippi Sheiks, over the years, but at the crux of it all was a strange relationship between Bogan and Howard Armstrong that seems to have rivaled the hate-fest of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. Most important, however, is that Bogan was not just a country bluesman, but a skilled and versatile purveyor of a variety of classic styles who apparently held his own up against no less a genius guitarist than Les Paul. Bogan wasn't just a fancy picker, though he could do that, but an interpreter of songs who apparently should have known much greater glory from this aspect of his talent. The many new fans Bogan played for during this period may not have realized the man could indeed outdo Janis Joplin, Jimmy Stewart, and Ethel Waters in his rendition of "Summertime." Bogan learned guitar as a child, beginning with fingerpicking. His early efforts were in humble imitation of Leroy Carr and Blind Blake, artists he had heard on records. A Canadian huckster who called himself Dr. Mines hired Bogan to play in his medicine show, the story goes, and like all the details involved with Martin, Bogan & Armstrong, there is also the possibility of fiction baked in with fact. Bogan in his later years was always happy to explain the many inaccuracies or outright lies in the details of Armstrong's life story, as Armstrong was always telling it. He criticized the flamboyant Armstrong to concert organizers, backstage help, and hipsters who happened to be standing around, all part of a relationship that lasted for almost 70 years. Armstrong also would have been happy to talk about Bogan, but never found the time in his full schedule of talking about himself. Bogan's performing experiences were from the beginning ones in which diverse music played a strong part, as the medicine show also featured comedians and dancers, including historic early performers such as Ham Bone and Leroy and Bozo Brown. Dance music of the era included themes associated with the "Bucking Wing" and the "Possum Walk." Bogan's flair with this material led to live broadcast exposure in Spartenburg, traditionally a strong border location with access to North and South Cackalackears, as well as Georgians. Hooking up with fiddler and guitarist Carl Martin, Bogan relocated to Knoxville, TN, where he would become such a local institution that when it came time to paint the Knoxville Music History Mural, there was no question that Howard Armstrong, Ted Bogan, and Carl Martin would be included; after all, the trio had performed for years on Knoxville street corners as well as on radio and local television. It was during the extended Knoxville stay that Bogan strongly advanced his guitar technique, including the development of a system he called "octahaves," basically doubling one or both of the chord's lowest notes on the high strings. Bogan's style also shifted to flatpicking during this period, part of the sonic demands of playing in a group and projecting in venues such as street corners. One of the groups these players had in the '40s was the Four Keys, which toured throughout West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. In Chicago, the group recorded as a backup unit for bluesman Bumble Bee Slim and this enjoyable material has been reissued in a series of three volumes or a complete box. The group then changed its name to the Tennessee Chocolate Drops in a shrewd move that cashed in on both the race record market as well as the fanatic interest in hillbilly music on radio and records. For many years, the group worked quite successfully until the advent of jukeboxes and amplified bands eroded public support for traditional acoustic string bands. The revival of the band began in the late '70s, with Bogan and Martin still based out of Chicago. Louie Bluie, a film based on one of Armstrong's stage and recording pseudonyms, features plenty of footage of Bogan in action. 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!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

No More Blues - Dizzy Gillespie

John Birks "Dizzy" Gillespie (pron.: /ɡɨˈlɛspi/; October 21, 1917 – January 6, 1993) was an American jazz trumpeter, bandleader, composer and occasional singer. Allmusic's Scott Yanow wrote, "Dizzy Gillespie's contributions to jazz were huge. One of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time , Gillespie was such a complex player that his contemporaries ended up copying Miles Davis and Fats Navarro instead, and it was not until Jon Faddis's emergence in the 1970s that Dizzy's style was successfully recreated . . . Arguably Gillespie is remembered, by both critics and fans alike, as one of the greatest jazz trumpeters of all time." Gillespie was a trumpet virtuoso and improviser, building on the virtuoso style of Roy Eldridge but adding layers of harmonic complexity previously unknown in jazz. His beret and horn-rimmed spectacles, his scat singing, his bent horn, pouched cheeks and his light-hearted personality were essential in popularizing bebop. In the 1940s Gillespie, together with Charlie Parker, became a major figure in the development of bebop and modern jazz. He taught and influenced many other musicians, including trumpeters Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Arturo Sandoval, Lee Morgan, Jon Faddis and Chuck Mangione Gillespie was born in Cheraw, South Carolina, the youngest of nine children of James and Lottie Gillespie. James was a local bandleader, so instruments were made available to Dizzy. He started to play the piano at the age of four. Gillespie's father died when the boy was only ten years old. Gillespie taught himself how to play the trombone as well as the trumpet by the age of twelve. From the night he heard his idol, Roy Eldridge, play on the radio, he dreamed of becoming a jazz musician. He received a music scholarship to the Laurinburg Institute in Laurinburg, North Carolina, which he attended for two years before accompanying his family when they moved to Philadelphia. Gillespie's first professional job was with the Frank Fairfax Orchestra in 1935, after which he joined the respective orchestras of Edgar Hayes and Teddy Hill, essentially replacing Roy Eldridge as first trumpet in 1937. Teddy Hill’s band was where Gillespie made his first recording, King Porter Stomp. At this time, Dizzy met a young woman named Lorraine from the Apollo Theatre, whom he married in 1940. They remained married until his death in 1993. Dizzy stayed with Teddy Hill’s band for a year, then left and free-lanced with numerous other bands. In 1939, Gillespie joined Cab Calloway's orchestra, with which he recorded one of his earliest compositions, the instrumental Pickin' the Cabbage, in 1940. (Originally released on Paradiddle, a 78rpm backed with a co-composition with Cozy Cole, Calloway's drummer at the time, on the Vocalion label, No. 5467). Tadd Dameron, Mary Lou Williams and Dizzy Gillespie in 1947 Dizzy was fired by Calloway in late 1941, after a notorious altercation between the two. The incident is recounted by Gillespie, along with fellow Calloway band members Milt Hinton and Jonah Jones, in Jean Bach's 1997 film, The Spitball Story. Calloway did not approve of Gillespie's mischievous humor, nor of his adventuresome approach to soloing; according to Jones, Calloway referred to it as “Chinese music.” During one performance, Calloway saw a spitball land on the stage, and accused Gillespie of having thrown it. Dizzy denied it, and the ensuing argument led to Calloway striking Gillespie, who then pulled out a switchblade knife and charged Calloway. The two were separated by other band members, during which scuffle Calloway was cut on the hand. During his time in Calloway's band, Gillespie started writing big band music for bandleaders like Woody Herman and Jimmy Dorsey. He then freelanced with a few bands – most notably Ella Fitzgerald's orchestra, composed of members of the late Chick Webb's band, in 1942. In 1943, Gillespie joined the Earl Hines band. Composer Gunther Schuller said: ... In 1943 I heard the great Earl Hines band which had Bird in it and all those other great musicians. They were playing all the flatted fifth chords and all the modern harmonies and substitutions and Gillespie runs in the trumpet section work. Two years later I read that that was 'bop' and the beginning of modern jazz ... but the band never made recordings. Gillespie said of the Hines band, "People talk about the Hines band being 'the incubator of bop' and the leading exponents of that music ended up in the Hines band. But people also have the erroneous impression that the music was new. It was not. The music evolved from what went before. It was the same basic music. The difference was in how you got from here to here to here ... naturally each age has got its own shit". Next, Gillespie joined Billy Eckstine's (Earl Hines' long-time collaborator) big band and it was as a member of Eckstine's band that he was reunited with Charlie Parker, a fellow member of Hines's band. In 1945, Gillespie left Eckstine's band because he wanted to play with a small combo. A "small combo" typically comprised no more than five musicians, playing the trumpet, saxophone, piano, bass and drums. Bebop was known as the first modern jazz style. However, it was unpopular in the beginning and was not viewed as positively as swing music was. Bebop was seen as an outgrowth of swing, not a revolution. Swing introduced a diversity of new musicians in the bebop era like Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk, Bud Powell, Kenny Clarke, Oscar Pettiford, and Gillespie. Through these musicians, a new vocabulary of musical phrases was created. With Charlie Parker, Gillespie jammed at famous jazz clubs like Minton's Playhouse and Monroe's Uptown House. Charlie Parker's system also held methods of adding chords to existing chord progressions and implying additional chords within the improvised lines. Gillespie compositions like "Groovin' High", "Woody n' You" and "Salt Peanuts" sounded radically different, harmonically and rhythmically, from the swing music popular at the time. "A Night in Tunisia", written in 1942, while Gillespie was playing with Earl Hines' band, is noted for having a feature that is common in today's music, a non-walking bass line. The song also displays Afro-Cuban rhythms. One of their first (and greatest) small-group performances together was only issued in 2005: a concert in New York's Town Hall on June 22, 1945. Gillespie taught many of the young musicians on 52nd Street, including Miles Davis and Max Roach, about the new style of jazz. After a lengthy gig at Billy Berg's club in Los Angeles, which left most of the audience ambivalent or hostile towards the new music, the band broke up. Unlike Parker, who was content to play in small groups and be an occasional featured soloist in big bands, Gillespie aimed to lead a big band himself; his first, unsuccessful, attempt to do this was in 1945. Gillespie with John Lewis, Cecil Payne, Miles Davis, and Ray Brown, between 1946 and 1948 A longtime resident of Englewood, New Jersey, he died of pancreatic cancer January 6, 1993, aged 75, and was buried in the Flushing Cemetery, Queens, New York. Mike Longo delivered a eulogy at his funeral. He was also with Gillespie on the night he died, along with Jon Faddis and a select few others. At the time of his death, Gillespie was survived by his widow, Lorraine Willis Gillespie; a daughter, jazz singer Jeanie Bryson; and a grandson, Radji Birks Bryson-Barrett. Gillespie had two funerals. One was a Bahá'í funeral at his request, at which his closest friends and colleagues attended. The second was at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York open to the public. Gillespie, a Bahá'í since 1970, was one of the most famous adherents of the Bahá'í Faith which helped him make sense of his position in a succession of trumpeters as well as turning his life from knife-carrying roughneck to global citizen, and from alcohol to soul force, in the words of author Nat Hentoff, who knew Gillespie for forty years. He spoke about the Baha'i Faith frequently on his trips abroad. He is often called the Bahá'í Jazz Ambassador. He is honored with weekly jazz sessions at the New York Bahá'í Center in the memorial auditorium. 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!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

I Don't Want To Lose You - Steve Mancha

Clyde Wilson - Steve Mancha On Christmas Day 1945 in Walhall, South Carolina a musical legend was born. Clyde Darnell Wilson, or as all collectors and lovers of Detroit soul music know him ... Steve Mancha. Clyde moved to Detroit at the age of five years old and by 1960 he was already singing locally around the Detroit area when he met another future Detroit icon, Melvin Davis. Melvin Davis was already recording for Jack and Devora Brown's Fortune Records. Around this early time Clyde joined Melvin Davis, David Ruffin and Tony Newton in forming a group called The Jaywalkers. Any info on this group and any records that exist would be gratefully received by Hitsville. Shortly after this Clyde met and became friends with Wilburt Jackson. It was with Wilbur that Clyde formed the duo The Two Friends. They were about to record their first 45 for Harvey Fuqua's HPC label. Join us now as we explore the work of one Detroit's Northern Soul musical heroes ... Mr. STEVE MANCHA The Two Friends cut one single for Harvey Fuqua's HPC label in 1960 "Just Too Much To Hope For" b/w "Family Reunion." Most Motown collectors are probably more familiar with the version of "Too Much to Hope For" cut in 1968 for Motown Records by Tammi Terrell. HPC was a short lived label and Harvey Fuqua went on to form Harvey and TRI- Phi Records with Gwen Gordy. As a duo Clyde and Wilburs days were numbered as Gwen and Harvey put all their promoting energy into another newly formed pairing, Johnny Bristol and Jackey Beavers, who recorded surprisingly enough as Johnny and Jackie! It was through Gwen Gordy that, after struggling with sluggish sales of their labels, that they merged with Berry Gordy's expanding Motown stable. Part of this package deal meant that the artists connected with Harvey and TRI Phi were also brought under contract to Motown. Thus began the 'Motown' years of Two Friends, Johnny and Jackie, Jr Walker and The All-stars, The Detroit Spinners and many more. The Monitors - Number One In Your Heart (V.I.P.) It was in this period that Clyde was allegedly a member of Laurence Faulkon and The Stars and another group Laurence Faulkon and The Sounds. They recorded two records, firstly for MRC Records in 1962 called "I'll Marry You" and a second one on Mike Hank's MAHs label called "My Girlfriend" b/w"Why Should We Hide Our Love." Although it appears that Motown didn't record anything on The Two Friends, Clyde and Wilbur did have a hand in writing some of the songs of the time. A couple of notable songs in which they feature on the credits are "Give A Little Love" - Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and the wonderful upbeat stomper by The Monitors - "Number One In Your Heart" - VIP 25032 Steve Mancha - Did My baby Call (Wheelsville) With Motown concentrating it's efforts on other artists, here ended the relationship between Clyde Wilson and Motown. Clyde looked around for other opportunities and eventually teamed up with yet another legendary Detroit record producer, Don Davis. At this point Don Davis suggested that Clyde change his performing name and Clyde adopted Don Davis' partner Don Mancha's (Yet another legendary Detroit musical figure), surname. Hence Clyde Wilson a.k.a. Steve Mancha found himself recording for Wheelsville Records under the auspicious production talents of Don Davis. Their first work together produced an absolute classic Detroit Soul 45. Steve Mancha - "Did My Baby Call" b/w "Whirlpool" - MW 518 Mad Lads - Did My Baby Call (Volt) The record sold fairly well but not enough to become a hit even locally. The song "Did My Baby Call" was also released on the B side of the magnificent Professionals - "Thats Why I Love You" - Groove City 101. Another version of this fabulous song was also recorded a few years later by The Mad Lads - "Did My Baby Call" b/w "Let Me Repair Your Heart" - Volt 4080. The version by Steve Mancha is probably Steve's finest moment and is typical of Don Davis' production work of that period. A Trio of Mancha inspired singles In the same year Steve switched to the newly formed GrooVesville Record label and released the brilliant ballad "Youre Still In My Heart" b/w "She's so good" - GV 1001. The A side of this record is the epitome of a Detroit soulful 'beat ballad', haunting vocals mixed in with brilliant backing group. This really does it for me. The strong drum/piano led, almost midtempo track is filled with ghost like supporting voices that were to become a signature of the GrooVesville set up in the mid to late 60's. Steve's voice is fully matured now and when paired with Mr. Davis' production they became an extremely tight knit musical team. The flip side is almost equally good and produces much of the same. A tremendous double sided record. Steve Mancha - I Don't Want To Loose You (GrooVesville) The next release on GrooVesville in 1966 was the great "I Don't Want To Lose You" b/w "I Need To Be Needed" - GV 1002. This track made the RnB Chart and became a minor hit. Both sides are wonderful Detroit soul, but "I need To Be Needed" is, for me, the better side. A wonderful production with a string section probably called on from The Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Again the backing vocals are stunning, and Steve, at his best, noticeably straining vocally, every ounce of his body as he claims he needs to be needed. If you haven't heard this side, then you're in for a real treat. It was this year that Steve took a brief respite from singing solo and joined up with Eddie Anderson, JJ Barnes and Edwin Starr to form The Holidays. The group immediately cut the incredible "I'll Love You Forever" for Ed Wingate's Golden World label. The other side of this 45 (GW 36) is the uptempo instrumental "Making Up Time" and can be heard on the website under the 'Golden World Article'. The lead on this 45 is taken by Edwin Starr and the record became an RnB hit and went some way to establishing The Holidays name as a group. A Trio of Mancha singles As the members of The Holidays continued their solo careers, Steve returned to his solo recordings with GrooVesville. His next release was "Friday Night" b/w "Monday Through Thursday" - GV 1004. This was probably Steve's most uptempo record up to date, both sides being basically the same track with different but similar lyrics on each side. Thus the flip side is almost a Part 2 of the A side. Again a wonderful production with one of the best brass sections you will hear on a record, and the drum rolls are awesome. A point of note is that the dynamic duo of Popcorn Wylie and Tony Hester are credited on the A side, whilst their names are nowhere to be seen on the B Side! Ah, the wonders of sixites Detriot Soul eh? A further point of interest is that the song was also produced by Don Davis with Johnny Taylor and released on the Stax label. Although this is a great version, it is considerably funkier and I feel it has lost that 'Detroit Sound', in fact I know a few people who would swear it's a different record! 1967 saw the release of two more records on GrooVesville. First up was "Don't Make Me a Story Teller" b/w "I Wont Love You And Leave You" - GV1005. "Story Teller" is a lovely ballad in a simlar vein to "I dont Want To Lose You." It was covered by that legendary Chicago outfit The Dells in the early 70s and that too is a wonderful record. Another Trio of Mancha singles The second release of 1967 was "Just Keep On Loving Me" b/w "Sweet Baby Dont Ever Be Untrue" GV 1007. The A side, although a dancer, is one of Steves recordings that has never really taken off in the clubs (it also failed to chart). There are at least two more versions of "Just Keep on Loving Me" one by King Bee And The Sensations and one featured here by Lee Jennings on Star Track Records. This song really does deserve more turntable action. The Steve Mancha version just shades the others but all three are quality examples of the eras best soul records. 1969 saw Steve's career switch to a different label Groove City. Different label, same people and set up. The first single released by Steve on this label was "A Love Like Yours" b/w "Hate Yourself In The Morning" - GC 204. Written by Steve (under his real name and Don Davis), this song ("Hate Yourself In The Morning"), especially Steves rendition is a powerhouse of mid-tempo Detroit Soul at its very best. The credits on the label alone would be enough to get the soul fans attention. A GrooVesville production, it features Steve on the production credits. Maybe Steve felt it was time to put the lessons learned from his mentor Don Davis to the test. The result is a stunning vocal peformance interloping with a fantastic bass and drum led mid-tempo beat that uses the signature vibes so loved by soul fans everywhere. This is not the only Groove City record by Steve to be a sought after item. In my opinion the best was yet to come. The group known as The Holidays (this time minus Edwin Starr), went into the studio and recorded one of the greatest double siders of all time. The record was "Easy Living" b/w "I Lost You" - Groove City 206. "Easy Living" is one of the best mid-tempo records you will ever hear, the production, by a certain Jack Ashford (who also appears on the writing credits, along with Bobbie C. Croft), is awesome, as you would expect from a member of the legendary Pied Piper Production Team. The song contains a beautiful string arrangement that is reminiscent of Paul Riser's similar work at Motown. Steve's lead vocal is great foil to the skills of all involved. A great record in all departments. Groove City 45's The flipside, "I Lost You," is also a song written and produced by a Detroit icon, Tony Hestor. Although Mr Hestor is probably best known as half the duo of Wylie/Hestor because of their prolific output of sheer quality records. Tony Hestor was a superb songwriter, producer and artist in his own right, as this awesome song showcases. Although credited to The Holidays, this is 100% Mancha, and Mancha at his very best! The deep bass and powerful drum intro just makes your ears prick up as you know from the opening refrains that this is something special. Steves vocal just about drips with passion that only the 'Real Deal' soul-singers can get away with. A mid-tempo dancer it's a masterpiece of mid-sixities Detroit soul music. It is this side that is popular with the Northern Soul dance floors and the record comes under the 'Hard To Find' category with copies changing hands for large sums of money. The next couple of records we take a look at from Steve in this first part of his musical journey never saw a release at the time they were recorded. Long time collector and Detroit soul fan Martin Koppell gained access to the Solid Hitbound/GrooVesville masters and whilst working on the material came across a number of unreleased items that found their way to issue on the UK Goldmine's Connoisseur/Sevens labels. All are of quite extraordinary quality and should have a home in every Detroit collectors boxes. 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!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Bow-Legged Mama - Tom Delaney

Tom Delaney was one of the more popular and prolific composers of blues songs in the '20s. He was better known for the behind the scenes activity of composing, although he did make a few appearances interpreting his own songs on record. Much Delaney material was fodder for recording artists and publishers of this era, always on the lookout for new blues material at a time when the large audience for such product had just recently been recognized. Delaney's "Down Home Blues" was a fantastic success for Ethel Waters in 1924, while the Helen Gross recording of "I Wanna Jazz Some More" became famous for his rhymes about "Miss Susan Green from New Orleans." "Sinful Blues", first published in 1923, was an example of one of the many Delaney titles that fell into control of producer, publisher and record company manager Joe Davis. Davis continued exploiting Delaney material throughout the decade, examples of which include Maggie Jones recording the resigned "If I Lose, Let Me Lose" for Columbia and Clara Smith coming up with an unhassled version of "Troublesome Blues". Not every song he came up with made it all the way to a recording session or sheet music form, however. "Goopher Dust Blues", which may or may not include a spelling mistake in its title and "Grievin Mama" were Delaney titles that were never recorded for undisclosed reasons; "All the Girls Like Big Dick", on the other hand, obviously went too far even in the sex-crazed climate of the '20s. Davis wouldn't even think about releasing this song later in the '50s when naughty "party" records became a fad. Delaney's recordings on his own largely date from 1925 and include "I'm Leavin' Just to Ease My Worried Mind" and "Bow-Legged Mama". 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!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Boogie, Baby - Henry "Rufe" Johnson

Henry Johnson (* 8th December, 1908 in the union county (South Carolina); † February, 1974 in union (South Carolina)) was an US-American Bluesmusiker (guitar, oral accordion, piano, song). Johnson learned early guitar; in 1933 he also turned to the piano. In the 1970s he was discovered by Pete Lowry, played in several albums and appeared as national, possibly with "Peg Leg Sam" Jackson as well as with Willie Moore and Guitar Shorty 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!

Friday, December 7, 2012

Can You Hear Me? - Johnny Mars

Johnny Mars (born December 7, 1942) is an American electric blues harmonica player, singer, and songwriter. Over a long career, Mars has worked with Magic Sam, Earl Hooker, B.B. King, Jesse Fuller, Spencer Davis, Ian Gillan, Do-Re-Mi, Bananarama and Michael Roach. Mars was born in Laurens, South Carolina, United States to sharecropping parents. His family regularly moved house when Mars was a youngster, but at the age of nine, he was presented with his first harmonica. When he was aged fourteen, and on the death of his mother, Mars and his younger siblings moved to New Paltz, New York, and having left high school, Mars began playing in various clubs in New York. He signed a recording contract with Mercury Records whilst a member of a band named Burning Bush, and they recorded several sides with the label. By the mid 1960s, Mars had moved to California and formed the Johnny Mars Band, who found work but no recognition beyond their North California base. However, they toured with Magic Sam, and played on the same bill as Earl Hooker, B.B. King and Jesse Fuller.After advice from Rick Estrin (Little Charlie & the Nightcats), Mars toured the United Kingdom in 1972, and subsequently recorded two albums there before fully relocating to London in 1978. Mars worked with the record producer, Ray Fenwick, plus Spencer Davis and Ian Gillan. His 1984 album, Life on Mars, received critical acclaim. In 1988, Mars was a guest musician on the Do-Re-Mi album, The Happiest Place in Town. Mars later worked with Bananarama on "Preacher Man" (1990) and their 1991 cover of "Long Train Running", appearing in the group's music video for the former track. Mars also taught for 15 years in primary schools in England, and worked with teenagers in music projects. Mars continued touring across the UK and Europe where he had a strong fan base. In 1992, Mars played at the San Francisco Blues Festival. In 1999, Mars released Stateside, and On My Mind followed in 2003. In 2003 and 2004, Mars played with the The Barrelhouse Blues Orchestra. More recently, Mars teamed up with the blues guitarist, Michael Roach, and appeared at the Bath Music Festival (2008, UK), Pocono Blues Festival (US) and the Kastav Blues Festival (Croatia). In January 2010, the pair toured the Middle East 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”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Crazy He Calls Me - Etta Jones

Etta Jones (November 25, 1928 - October 16, 2001) was an American jazz singer. She is not to be confused with the more popular singer Etta James nor her namesake, a member of the Dandridge Sisters, who recorded with Jimmy Lunceford and was Gerald Wilson's first wife. Her best known recordings were "Don't Go To Strangers" and "Save Your Love For Me". Jones variously worked with Buddy Johnson, Oliver Nelson, Earl Hines, Barney Bigard, Kenny Burrell, Milt Jackson, Cedar Walton, and the saxophonist Houston Person Jones was born in Aiken, South Carolina, United States, and raised in Harlem. Still in her teens, Jones joined Buddy Johnson's band for a nationwide tour although she was not featured on record. Her first recordings—"Salty Papa Blues", "Evil Gal Blues", "Blow Top Blues", and "Long, Long Journey"—were produced by Leonard Feather in 1944, placing her in the company of clarinetist Barney Bigard and tenor saxophonist Georgie Auld. She performed with the Earl Hines sextet from 1949-1952. She had three Grammy nominations, for the Don't Go to Strangers LP in 1960, Save Your Love for Me in 1981, and My Buddy (dedicated to her first employer, Buddy Johnson) in 1999. In 2008 the album Don't Go to Strangers was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Following her recordings for Prestige, on which Jones was featured with high-profile arrangers such as Oliver Nelson and jazz stars such as Frank Wess, Roy Haynes, and Gene Ammons, she had a musical partnership of more than thirty years with tenor saxophonist Houston Person, who received equal billing with her. He also produced her albums and served as her manager, after the pair met in one of Johnny Hammond's bands. Although Etta Jones is likely to be remembered above all for her recordings on Prestige, her close professional relationship with Person (frequently, but mistakenly, identified as Jones' husband) helped ensure that the last two decades of her life would be marked by uncommon productivity, as evidenced by a string of albums for Muse Records. In 1997 she recorded The Melody Lingers On, the first of five sessions for the HighNote label. Her last recording, a tribute to Billie Holiday, was released 57 years later on the day of Jones' death. Only one of her recordings—her debut album for Prestige Records (Don't Go to Strangers 1960)—enjoyed commercial success with sales of over a million copies. Her remaining nine albums for Prestige and, beginning in 1975, her numerous recordings for Muse Records and HighNote Records secured her a devoted following. She died in Mount Vernon, New York, at the age of 72 from cancer. She was survived by her husband, John Medlock, and a granddaughter. 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!