CLICK ON TITLE BELOW TO GO TO PURCHASE!!!! CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

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!

Please email me at
Showing posts with label The 44's. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The 44's. Show all posts

Friday, July 26, 2019

Rip Cat Records artist: Forty Fours - Twist The Knife - New Release review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Twist The Knife, from the 44's and it's hot! Opening with excellent, original instrumental track, Cutting Deep, the band holds a tight blues rally while lead guitar player, Johnny Main tears it up. Excellent style and chops makes this one of the coolest new tracks I've heard this year. With Eric Von Herzen on harp, Mike Hightower on bass, Gary Ferguson on drums and Junior Watson on guitar, this is a massive opener. On Howlin' Wollf''s Howlin', Main sings with a raspy, Wolf like voice and rolls immediately into a nice long guitar solo, also nicely worked over by Von Herzen on harmonica. Very cool. On Morganfield's Champagne and Reefer, Main sings soulfully and Von Herzen really has nice tone with an excellent harp solo. Very cool. Doyle Bramhall II's Rosie is up next with it's swampy drive and droning lower end. Main really takes advantage of this primal feel with wailing guitar soloing, complimented by Von Herzen's fat harp work. Very nice! James Harmon's Helsinki Blues is up next with it's even pace and low key bottom. Excellent vocals and stinging guitar riffs by Main make this another of the best tracks on the release. Very nice. Wrapping the release is T-Bone Walker's 44's Shuffle with a real nice intro by Von Herzen. Main's vocals are smooth and steady Von Hersen really digs in on this one with some of his nicest playing on the release. This is a great shuffle and a really solid closer for a strong release. 

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 


“Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Rockin' Johnny Burgin at the Rhythm Room - March 9, 2019

We all see ordinary talent in shows around town but there are a few bands that will draw me out late at night every time they tour because of their artistry and Rockin' Johnny is definitely one. When I saw that he was playing the Rhythm Room, definitely the best place to see a band in Phoenix, I made it a date. The club was packed and I sat in the corner because I arrived just before the show started but I wouldn't miss it. Johnny came on stage carrying his classic Emperor and his classic tone. He did a short set, maybe 6 or 8 tracks and he didn't take a note to get on track. He was hitting on 12 cylinders from note one. I don't know if you've seen Johnny, but this is a guy who is all about style. He isn't Jeff Beck who wrote every trick in the books, nor Joe Bonamassa who plays every Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton riff. This is a pure Chicago blues guy who has been around the block and has assembled some absolutely terrific old style riffs that he applies at just the right time and in style. He's a serious player and an excellent singer. I don't think that he knows how good a singer he is having played lead guitar behind leaders like Tail Dragger but this guys vocals are strong and sometimes downright exceptional. But the really cool part about Johnny's playing is his style. Here's a guy who is standing up with a band of 3, carrying most of the weight himself, and then just blowing out a riff that curls your hair. We're not talking about blistering speed like a metal rocker. We're talking old school riffs that make you was a great riff and the man can go! But here's the great part... after he plays it, he seems to look around quietly and say to himself... I did it... and smile with accomplishment.  No pretense...pure love for his trade. The band took a short break and then club owner and world renown harp player Bob Corritore stepped up to the mic announcing that they had some surprises for the crowd. Due to a larger blues event, Blues Bash, that was happening in Phoenix this weekend, there were a number of performers on hand. A man with deep blues roots and quite a pedigree, Jimi "Prime Time" Smith was there and took the stage with Rockin' Johnny and Corritore. The crowd really loved Smith with is silky vocals and license plate guitar. He put on a really good show including walking the audience while playing and singing.

Johnny Main, guitar and lead vocals of the 44's set up (using Rockin' Johnny's guitar) and a really hot guitar player that I hadn't seen, Henry Carvahal (Rod Piazza Mighty Flyers among others) was on fire. This guy is a powerhouse and has great hands. matched with the balance of RJB's band these guys were electric.

After another short break, Rockin' Johnny took the stage again with Corritore, and local blues legends, singer George Bowman, and guitar player Donnie Dean. This bands focus was primarily prime Chicago style blues providing a stable base for players who don't play together daily and Corritore's harp work was really strong. Bowman's vocals were solid and guitar exchanges between Dean and Burgin really cool. After maybe another 5 tracks, Burgin took the stage back to his basic 3 piece ensemble and closed out the night. He brought along a solid bodied Danelectro and in open tuning, played some really nice slide. Johnny really knows how to put on a show and with a sea of talent in the room, this was a really great show for what is a fairly small club. This was likely one of the best blues shows in Phoenix for 2019. If it sounds like I had fun, I rolled into bed around 2am. This band literally played till shutdown. Very very nice. Watch for a review of Corritore's upcoming release, Do The Hip-Shake Baby! in the next few weeks. 

View Bman Blueswriter's profile on LinkedIn

  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”

 For added exposure - Blues World Wide Group "LIKE" 

 “Like” Bman’s Facebook page and get support for your favorite band or venue - click HERE

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Smokin Joe Kubek has passed - My thoughts and prayers are with his family

Johnny Main of the 44's has posted that Smokin Joe Kubek has suffered a heart attack in his room before his show. He is reportedly passed. I will provide more information as I have it. It is a sad day indeed.

Born in Grove City, Pennsylvania, Kubek grew up in the Dallas, Texas area. In the 1970s during his teen years, he played with the likes of Freddie King and in the 1980s began performing with Louisiana-born singer, Bnois King. In 1985, Kubek released his first record on Bird Records, a 45 RPM single with the tracks "Driving Sideways" (written by Freddie King and Sonny Thompson) and "Other Side Of Love" (written by Doyle Bramhall, Sr.). The single was executively produced by Clint Birdwell and co-produced by Charley Wirz and Kubek. The two tracks reappeared on Kubek's 2012 album, Let That Right Hand Go, produced by Clint Birdwell and issued on Birdwell's label, Bird Records Texas. The album is a collection of mostly unreleased material recorded since the 1980s (with the 1985 single's track, "Other Side Of Love", entitled "The Other Side Of Love"). In 1991, Kubek released his first full-length album entitled Steppin' Out Texas Style (Bullseye Blues Records) and has since released over a dozen albums on various labels.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Blues at the Beach

Hit up your family and friends and make plans for a day at the beach!
The Blues at the Beach will be held at the beautiful Ventura State beach. One of the last hidden jewels on the west coast, just south of the historic Ventura Pier and Promenade. Come and spend the day with like minded people enjoying the Blues at the Beach. The festival includes Live Music, Car Show with classic cars, trucks and motorcycles, Vendors, Kid Zone, and non stop fun for the whole family!
Discounts on host hotels walking distance from the festival.

Elvin Bishop
"…careening slide and razor-edged bursts, all delivered with unflagging enthusiasm and wit." – Rolling Stone Magazine
"One of the genre's most distinctive guitar stylists, melding a slashing attack with a keen ear for melody." – East Bay Express

The Mannish Boys Revue
featuring Sugaray Rayford
with special guests Rusty Zinn or Paul Size
"…no finer collection of blues talent exists today in one band."
– Blues Revue Magazine
"Sugaray Rayford is a revelation as he powerfully moans the blues…" – Blues in Britain Magazine
"Rusty Zinn... one of the fastest rising guitarists in the blues world. Noted for his incisive, consistently inventive playing and soul-drenched singing..." - Lee Hildebrand
"Paul Size's chops remain top-notch since leaving The Red Devils." - No Fightin
"...blistering guitar by Paul Size [who] reaches deep into the blues fountain..." - Mudcat Ward

James Harman
"Harman's in your face harp stylings made it clear why he is recognized as one of the best harp players on the blues circuit."
- Blues on Stage
"James Harman as one of the most exciting blues traditionalists."
- All Music

The 44's
"One of the hardest working hardest paying Blues outfits anywhere."
- American Blues News
"Low down Chicago blues spiced with rock and roll." - Muzik Reviews

Shawn Jones
"A dynamic stage performer who impresses equally with his stunning guitar work and soulful vocals." - Maverick Magazine, UK
"Shawn Jones is one of those rare artists that can burrow their way into your soul." - Blues Matters Magazine

The R&B Bombers
Joyful, elegant, irrepressible, communicative, The R&B Bombers deserve all these adjectives and their musical qualities really prove it." - La Hora del Blues. Barcelona (Spain)
"The rhythm section and 4 horns adhere to the swinging verities with vigor and interest." - Downbeat Magazine

Guy Martin Band
"Martin music is a far cry from that one-beat, one-song, cry-in-your-beer style of blues...rockin' Texas blues by way of California..." - Los Angeles Times
"A steady diet of pulse pounding powerhouses...hard driving fret work of an extremely talented player." -

WHEN: November 2, 2013


San Buenaventura State Beach
901 San Pedro St, Ventura, CA

Presented by Roadshow Revival and Totally Local VC
Sponsored by Players Casino

Buy your presale tickets online today and save! For a limited time get 20% off!!!
General Admission tickets using the code: ELVINATTHEBEACH
General Admission - NOW $25 - DAY OF $30
Got Blues Section - $50 / VIP Players Casino - $100 / Youth (6-12) - $5

01. All sales are final; there are no refunds.
02. All prices listed are "per person".
03. Tickets/Wristbands are non-transferable and non-exchangeable.
04. We are not responsible for lost or stolen Tickets/Wristbands, including those delivered by mail.
05. All customers purchasing a ticket to the Blues at the Beach Festival agree to the festival guidelines.
06. General admission tickets will be $5 more day-of-show, while supplies last.
07. Artists and times are subject to change without notice; the festival is rain or shine.
08. Ticket policies, festival guidelines and important information is available on the Roadshow Revival Website.
09. Tickets purchased online are emailed to purchaser. It is your responsibility to print the ticket and present it at the gate. We are not responsible for lost email/tickets. If you don't receive your tickets via email please contact us.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Blues Guns A'Blazin: Johnny Main, Tex Nakamura of The 44s Play The VCBS Jam This Wednesday!

          Johnny Main (l) and Tex Nakamura (r) of the celebrated blues group The 44s are the very
       Special Guests at this week's Ventura County Blues Society-sponsored jam, Wed., March 6.
   (VENTURA, Calif.) - Someone better alert the Ventura Fire Department that the flames sure to be emanating from The Tavern in Ventura this Wednesday night, March 6 aren't from the popular nightclub catching fire; but rather, from the sure-to-be blazing performances of guitarist Johnny Main and harpist Tex Nakamura, who join host Tommy Marsh and Bad Dog for this Wednesday night's Ventura County Blues Society-sponsored Blues Jam. Main and Nakamura are one-half of Rip Cat Records' recording artists The 44s, one of the most in-demand blues groups in the Southland. The Tavern is at 211 Santa Clara Ave. 9 p.m. And best of's free! Info: (805) 643-3264
    Check out a great interview with Tommy in the latest issue of Blues E-News


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Rip Cat Records artist: The 44's - Americana - New Release Review

The new 44's cd, Americana, is gonna hit the air on April 17 and it's a winner. The opening track, Hanging Tree, is a raw boogie that will be hard to top. Overdriven tube amps, harp, grinding voice... are you kidding me? Cocaine gets right onto the groove with Chicago style harp and the loping guitar rhythm. Tex Nakamura isn't at all shy with his harp and plays like a seasoned vet. Dixie is an uptempo track again with strong harp work and vocals by Johnny Main. She's Poison conjures up the image of a dark smoky bar in Chicago. There are some great guitar riffs by Johnny Main as well as guest Kid Ramos. Pleading My Case is right out of Elmore James bag of tricks and Ramos screams away on guitar with a thick juicy slide. It's a great track! Mr. Operator is the first song that is down and dirty and the guitar intro is really beefy. This is a strong track and has just the right amount of reverb and presence to stick the guitar right in your face for punctuation. Really nice chops. About 3 and a half minutes into the song there are some pinched harmonics on the bottom which I rarely hear anyone do that are very effective and is topped off with some cool whammy effects. Slip Slidn' Thang is another track featuring some cool slide work with a really thick warm feel. This is another track that is just sweet. 99 to Life takes you deep into Chicago and a strong track to show off Nakamura's feel on the harp and he does just that! Main plays some nice riffs at the end of the track that push you right up to the ending riff with Ramos. Hard Times is an acoustic number and really effective. Primarily harp, voice, acoustic guitar and brushes. Just a great feel. The 44's do a cover of Wolf's Mr. Highway Man and do it justice. Tasty guitar riffs are throughout the track and it's peppered with harp. The set is wrapped up by Hold On, one of the longer tracks on the recording giving each player a chance to show a bit including special guest Ron Dziubla on horns. This is a great ending track with both players getting guitar space that keeps you wanting more. I also want to mention that the other key players in the band are Mike Turturro on bass and J.R. Lozano on Drums. I think that this is a really strong effort. This is real blues Chicago style with a contemporary flare. I really like it!
If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”