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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 Walter Wolfman Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Walter Wolfman Washington. Show all posts

Thursday, November 16, 2023

Joe Krown - Tribute - New Release Review


I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Tribute, from Joe Krown, and it's a New Orleans soaked release. Opening with Allen Toussaint's, All Of It, renown piano and B3 player player really gets things going, backed by  Mark Brooks on bass, Doug Belote on drums and with some searing guitar riffs by Leo Nocentelli. Powerful opener. Dr. John's Such A Night maintains all of the spirit of the Daytripper's original with Ivan Neville on lead vocal and Kassie Netherland backing, Jack Miele and John Fohl on guitar and of course Krown really  working the piano. On Ode to Mr. Davis, Krown lays back in the slot with cool piano and B3, joined by excellent sax work by Joe Sublett, Belote and Brooks. Very nice. Lightning Hopkins' Feel So Bad, features Wolfman Washington on vocal and guitar. I have always loved his style and his vocal, paired with his own funky guitar riffs makes this my favorite track on the release. wrapping the release is a stirring original, Gumbo Boogie, with Krown really cranking up the heat. With B3 under the bottom and piano on the top, a walking bass line by Brooks and a tight drums line by Belote, this is an excellent closer. 

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  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”

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For your convenience, you can click the title of this post above to be taken to a site where this cd can be purchased - Happy Listening

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Circus Mind - Joy Machine - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Joy Machine, from Circus Mind and it's a funky music party. Opening with Are You Ready?, lead vocalist and keyboard player, Mark Reehler sets the pace backed by Chris Crosby on bass, Dave Berg on guitar, Dane roth on drums and Steve Finkelstein on percussion and featuring Brandon "Taz" Niederauer with an outrageous guitar solo. Solid opener.  Air Waves is another track with a funk laden backbeat but leaning more to jazz rock. With strong vocal blending and cool percussion by Finkelstein, this track has cool radio appeal. Longing Song is laid back and adventurous featuring rechler backing himself on keys and with a cool guitar solo by Nels Cline. One of my favorite tracks on the release, JazzFest Time has that New Orleans pumped up street jazz sound featuring Pablo Rodriquez on trombone, Michael Amendola on alto sax, Damien Pacheco on trumpet and Richard Bomzer on bari sax. This track really hums with the great percussion, punchy horn section and a terrific trombine solo by Rodriquez. Excellent! Three Muses has a real pop edge with Kevin Griffen on vocal and fat slide work by slide guitar work by Berg. Wrapping the release is Troubled Times, a solid pop track with Bill Titus with backing vocals by Elsie Testone and WW Washington and featuring some  key guitar riffs by Washington as well. A brassy send off a la BST wraps this release returning it to it's funy beginnings. 

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

Friday, May 9, 2014

Behold the Bender!


September 25–29, 2014. Riviera Hotel & Casino - Las Vegas, Nevada. The Inaugural Big Blues Bender is no ordinary music festival! Featuring a Grammy winning line-up of music superstars, including the legendary B.B. King, this event is also a complete Las Vegas vacation experience! The Big Blues Bender will feature 4 days of music, 4 nights accommodation, and multiple stages all contained in one property! More than just music, Big Blues Bender will offer activities, a custom restaurant, pro jams, pro-am jams and the Las Vegas strip at your doorstep. We’re taking over the hotel for the weekend so you and your friends can experience all the music, gaming, food & drink we have to offer all just an elevator ride away.


Haven’t booked your package yet? Book now (while supplies last) and receive drink tickets up to $50 to be used in our main music venue bars upon check-in. Refresh with a soda, grab a cocktail or buy a new friend a beer; you won’t have trouble using the Bender Bar tab drink tickets!

fifty dollar bar tab


Las Vegas has a lot of attractions to do both on and off the strip. While we plan to jam pack the 4 days with music and activities, we realize that some Benders are coming early or staying late and want to see a little more that Vegas has to offer. There are several tour operators that conduct business in Las Vegas and we are encouraging the Bender attendees to all book through our recommended partner that we will announce in the coming months.

By booking through the same operator, you can be assured that any group excursions will be with fellow Bender attendees. We’ll also do our best to negotiate the best prices with group bookings. Whether you want to see the Grand Canyon, go on a helicopter ride, Take a spin on the new High Roller or go for a round of golf, our excursion coordinator can help add that outing to make your Vegas trip a little more special!


Want to plan to meet up with fellow Benders before the event? Need a forum to collaborate the festivities with other Benders? Looking for a roommate? We’ve got the place for you! We want to make sure you have checked out the Big Blues Bender Blender on Facebook! Click to join today and say hello to your fellow Benders!


Do you want to extend your Bender holiday without having to check out and then check back into your room again? Starting today, you have the ability to book extra nights around your package and we will combine your order so that you can stay in the same room. Not only will you save time and hassle by not having to pack all your belongings for a short move, but keeping the same hotel portfolio also means that you don’t have to pay for the resort fee or hotel lodging taxes as we have included it in our costs for you!


Our Bender support specialists have been hard at work answering your questions and enquiries. We asked our team leaders what was the most common request that came through the last month. If you have Bender questions, stop in at and get answers!

Music Schedule

We know that you are eager to know who is performing when. We want to share that with you as soon as we know. We are still adding artists to the lineup and there are always last minute shuffles. We want to make the schedule and release it only one time. We plan to do this before the festival and will make sure we post it and email it out to everyone as soon as its finalized.

Arrival / Departure details and package inclusions

About a month before the event (after the final name change deadline) we plan to send out an email confirming the names and check-in and check-out dates. Our standard packages have check in on Thursday the 25th at 4PM and checkout is on Monday the 29th at 11AM.

Standard Packages sold include 1 room, Event wristbands for 2 people and accommodation for 4 nights! We don’t have any rooms remaining that allow for more than 2 people and there are a limited number of “Single King Bee” rooms if you want a room entirely to yourself.
The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band
Karen Lovely
* Artists playing multiple days.


Ready to Attend? Big Blues Bender is sold as "Packages" that include your accommodations as well as your event pass. Please note that this is the only way to attend the Bender. We want to protect your vacation investment, and Bender security will ensure only ticketed guests will enter our venues. Do not attempt to book accommodations at another hotel nor directly via the Riviera's website, as any reservation made elsewhere is not transferable to Big Blues Bender.

All rooms are double occupancy. Prices below are PER PERSON.

Smokestack Lightning

VIP Upgrade $200/pp
(Limited quantities available.)

Wang Dang Doodle VIP


Boom Boom Room

VIP Upgrade $200/pp
(Limited quantities available.)

Backdoor Man VIP


Hoochie Coochie

VIP Upgrade $200/pp
(Limited quantities available.)




We are now SOLD OUT of BIG DADDY BALLER PACKAGES. There are also only limited numbers of VIP packages and upgrades. These will be gone before you know it and if you want premium seating, VIP check-in and more, grab yours today.


We understand that not everyone’s friends can get out of work or swing a trip to Vegas. We also understand that sometimes friends come in odd numbers! We have begun two initiatives to help accommodate those single or odd numbered travelers.

We now have a facebook group where people can connect, make new friends, and find roommates for the event. Click here and join the group!

For those of you that want a room that can normally hold two Bendees, but you want it all to yourself - we've got a very limited quantity of rooms at a marginally reduced rate. Our "King Bee" package features a King bed in the Monaco tower complete with a VIP Bender band set for the King that you are!

$1399/1 person


Good news, Clark County Residents! You can still attend the Bender without purchasing a package. (Tho honestly, it would be nice not to drive home after the shows, right?) The locals ticket is strictly for Clark County residents, and upon pickup you will be required to show an ID with a valid Clark County Address. NO EXCEPTIONS and no refunds will be available for anyone who purchases a locals ticket, but can not produce a valid Clark County ID.

$350.00/per person

Monday, December 23, 2013

Walter “ Wolfman” Washington and the Roadmasters – Live at dba New Orleans - New Release Review - Stilladog - Guest Writer

As soon as I heard that Walter “Wolfman” Washington had a new live album out I had to get a copy. I have been a fan of his ever since Bman turned me on to him back in 1991. But back in October I met and made friends with him out on Duval Street in Key West. This album was recorded shortly after and was released on November 21, 2013 at the dba music club on Frenchmen Street in the Marginy. The Roadmasters consist of Jack Cruz, bass; Wayne Maureau, drums; Antonio Gambrell, trumpet; and the hardest working tenor man I know of, Jimmy Carpenter, sax. This is exactly the same band he had with him on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise when I last saw him. The horns of Gambrell and Carpenter are a frequent feature on nearly every song and they are fantastic. Better on this record than I remember on the cruise. The album starts off with an instrumental introduction, Funkyard, from the Funk Is In The House album. It’s a tune that features solos by both horn men as well Walter himself including his familiar Wolfman howl. It is quickly followed by a classic Wolfman number, I’m Tiptoeing Through, which was originally recorded for his Wolf Tracks CD in 1986 and re-released on his 2000 On The Prowl album. Walter and the band ease seamlessly into more of a Soul groove with a 6 ½ minute version of When The Answer Is Clear followed by At Night In The City. Both contain the understated tasteful picking for which Walter is famous. After that, the tempo picks up a bit with Girl I Want To Dance from his Sada album –which I just recently picked up and also highly recommend. Walter lays down some fantastic licks on this number as well along with a sprinkling of some hot trumpet. It’s at this point I got the feeling I was right there in the club the night these tracks were recorded. Walter slows the pace a bit for the next number a Bill Withers-esque, You Got Me Worried. The horn arrangements over top of the funk groove on this tune are really great. But the band quickly changes gears to nearly bossa beat with I’m In Love. Jimmy Carpenter takes a beautiful solo on this song that accentuates how diverse a sax man he is. Blue Moon Risin’, the slowest number –and closest to real blues– follows. So, at 45 minutes into the set the band then goes into somewhat of a structured jam on Tweakin’ from his Doin’ The Funky Thing release. This one injects a little hip-hop into the set as if jazz, soul, funk, and blues weren’t enough!
The only cover on the album is next with the Jimmy Reed classic, Ain’t That Lovin’ You? It is done completely Walter-style, which is to say, very tastefully. The horn heavy numbers Tailspin and Stop and Think conclude the album except for the typical Wolfman Washington exit instrumental, Wolfman Outro, complete with Wolfman howl. It’s clear that this album was recorded in front of an audience familiar with Walter’s music. He has a weekly gig at dba and obviously played the crowd favorites. I would almost call it a “greatest hits” style of live album (as many are). The only reason I would not is that it does not contain many of my favorite Walter “Wolfman” Washington tunes such as, It Was Fun While It Lasted, Crescent City Starlight, and Use Me. If you can handle the kind of musical diversity Wolfman Washington brings to the stage then this album is for you. As a side note, Walter celebrated his 70th birthday Friday night with a star studded gig at the Maple Leaf Bar out on Oak Street in New Orleans. The band included both Cyril and Ivan Neville, Anders Osborne, and Stanton Moore. So happy birthday Wolfman! This is a great album. Stilladog says, “Woof!” 

  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”


Monday, November 25, 2013

Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise #21 October 2013 - Stilladog - Guest Contributer

Welcome aboard to the world’s biggest 7 day blues party!  Yes friends, 7 days where you can’t tell the blues artists from the fans. Although everybody’s experience is different –and a blues cruise vacation is exactly what you make it– a good time is had by all… day after day!

So I’m going to tell you about my experience on my 4th LRBC a few weeks ago.   I try to get on board pretty early so I can learn the layout of the ship and how to get from concert venue to concert venue in the most efficient manner.  And by doing so you get to see and talk to some of the artists before any action really starts.  Right off the bat I ran into Cyril Neville who was as lost as my wife and I.  Later I saw Lucky Peterson on a lounge chair outside his stateroom while walking the Promenade Deck. 

The first night they always have a BBQ on the pool deck at departure. This time it was Rick Estrin and the Nightcats hosting the BBQ. The best part being when Kid Anderson went into a guitar solo playing slide with a cell phone. Next came the Virgin and Returnee Parties.  The artists for these are never announced. As a returnee I went for my free champagne at the Showroom at Sea.  And to kick it all off was Los Lobos with Lee Oskar on harp. Talk about setting the bar high.  These guys were fantastic!  I had seen Lee Oskar a few years ago with the Low Rider Band (the band formerly known as WAR but due to legal limitations cannot bill themselves as WAR any more). But I swear Lee was better with Los Lobos who were great in their own right.  The consensus opinion was that this was the best Returnee Party in history.
Lee Oskar jams with Los Lobos at the Returnee Party

After that we stayed at the Showroom to check out Walter “Wolfman” Washington.
  He was one of the artists I specifically wanted to see on this cruise.  Bman had turned me on to Walter back in about 1991 and I’d never gotten a chance to see him live.  I was not disappointed. Wolfman Washington with his jazz-infused, New Orleans funk style blues was great.  Sadly not too many people attended this show. I imagine on account of going to see Ruthie Foster instead. When Ruthie’s set ended the crowd packed into Walter’s gig for the last half hour.

As for me, when Walter’s set ended I went out to the Pool Deck to hear Royal Southern Brotherhood.  But I only heard a few tunes featuring mostly Mike Zito because I had to head back to the Showroom for Irma Thomas.  That’s the dilemma about the Blues Cruise. There’s so many good people to see and you just can’t possibly be in two places at once.  Well, Irma Thomas was great.  She did not work from a set list. She just said “This is not your regular kind of show. I’m gonna call the tunes unless there’s something special you want to hear. Let me know what it is and we’ll do it.”  Irma would not be the only artist to take that approach.

Day two was in Key West, FL.  Supposedly for Fantasy Fest which started the night before.  But by pulling into port at 8:30am all the naked spray painted Fantasy Fest breasts, and other body parts, were all in bed sleeping from the previous evening.  So we had our own Second Line parade up Duval Street led by keyboardist, Mitch Woods, dressed as Liberace and the Wild Magnolias (Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr.).  It terminated at Sloppy Joes Bar where Mitch led a jam that lasted from 10:00am until 3:00pm.
Big Chief Bo Dollis Jr. and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux lead the parade to Sloppy Joe’s

Toward the end of the jam, Walter “Wolfman” Washington joined Mitch and the band for a couple numbers. When he came down off the stage I got to talk to Walter and joke around with him. What a great guy! You may not know this, but Walter was one of the first “name” artists who started to play New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  There are many who say he saved music in New Orleans after the hurricane because so many musicians had fled to Houston, Dallas, San Francisco and all points in between to make a living since most clubs in New Orleans had shut down. But not Walter. He immediately began playing his regular gigs most notably at the Maple Leaf Bar –where he still has a weekly gig. When people saw Walter back, they came back too!

Stilladog and Walter “Wolfman” Washington sharing a joke outside Sloppy Joe’s in Key West 
 So at 5:30 the ship had to leave Mallory Square in Key West cause if any of you have ever been there for the Sunset Party (Circus) which happens every night… well you just can’t have a huge freakin’ cruise ship obstructing your view.  But that’s OK with us ‘cause Our Ship Kicks Ass and we gonna have a good time anyway.

And sure enough we did. Reason why? Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers!  Over the course of the cruise I saw these guys play 3 gigs and they were absolute Zydeco Dynamite on every one!!  Led by accordionist Dwayne Dopsie, and fueled by saxophonist Reginald Smith and washboard man, Paul LeFleur (The Marlboro Man) they rocked the ship.  What a passionate performance! I can personally attest to the fact that the man was soaked from head to toe at the end of every set.  Even the dude’s jeans were completely soaked!
Pool Deck zydeco duel between Dwayne Dopsie & Paul LeFleur

A day at sea is always filled with great blues and it took us a day and something to get from Key West to New Orleans. It was a Sunday and we got the day started with a Gospel Brunch with Ruthie Foster which was fantastic! 

The rest of day three was highlighted by more of Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, the hardest working band on the ship! A set by Popa Chubby on the Pool Deck was particularly good. Man he really ripped the place up. I was extremely impressed with Popa Chubby.   I knew he was good, but not that good!  Reminded me of Leslie West.  In fact, better than Leslie West even. And that’s saying something.  

Popa Chubby rocks the Pool Deck

Coming up the Mississippi into New Orleans I had the pleasure of enjoying the ride with Dion Pierre – bass man for the Zydeco Hellraisers and Kevin Minor –drummer for the Zydeco Hellraisers (and alumni of Hopewell High School in Aliquippa, PA) both of whom call New Orleans home.  We passed the bayous and levees.  Up past the New Orleans Battleground where Andrew Jackson and the pirate, Jean LaFitte, defeated the British in 1814.  To the canal in the 9th ward where Minor pointed out to me “That’s the canal that flooded and fucked up all this area over here.” Very few people approach the city from this direction and it was clearly impressive even to the folks who live there.

The city was impressive too. My wife and I walked about 8.5 miles that day. Started out for an Oyster Po’ Boy at Mother’s on Poydras.  Then down past the House of Blues on Decatur into the French Quarter.  Up to Preservation Hall. Past the Old Absinthe House. Over to the St. Charles Trolley and a trip out past the Garden District to the famous Maple Leaf Bar home of New Orleans blues, jazz, zydeco, and everything in between for as long as anyone can remember. A few beers and some serious music discussion with Regan the bartender and then a trolley trip back into town. Arriving just in time for a bus ride out to the Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl where we heard the wonderful guitarist June Yamagishi (who you can see in the HBO series Treme’).

June Yamagishi at Mid-City Lanes Rock N Bowl

Another day at sea followed featuring Ft. Lauderdale guitarist, Albert Castilia, whose set was accompanied by guests, Samantha Fish and Mike Zito.  It is about at this point in the trip that musicians who jam together until 4:00am every night on the pool deck begin to crash each other’s scheduled sets and you never know who you might see or where.  Johnny Winter? Kim Wilson? Rev. Billy C. Wirtz?  Andy Forrest? Dave Keyes? Jimmy Carpenter? They were all there and would just show up. It was great!!  Lucky Peterson was also a high point of the sets I saw on our way to Progreso, MX.

In Mexico, I guess the people who took the tour of the Mayan ruins enjoyed Mexico but I opted to stay on the ship and drink poolside all afternoon.  It was a good choice. It was a day of relaxation for the musicians. And they were hanging poolside too. I never intruded on their personal time but it was very cool to observe, for instance, a conversation between Kim Wilson, Rick Estrin, and Lee Oskar.  Now that’s some harp royalty right there!  Ruthie Foster and her band just kicking back with some fans. We caught a bit of Anson Funderburgh and Eric Lindell’s set early that evening too.

At 6:30 the next morning I headed back to the pool for the Sunrise Party except there was no sun.  It was cloudy and we had some pretty damn rough seas. So rough the pool water was completely splashing out 7 feet high!! Somebody smuggled in some tequila and vodka and I mixed my own Bloody Mary and hung out with my fellow cruisers for a jello shooter to celebrate our last day in Blues Heaven on water.  Had a hell of a time keeping my balance but I was better off than those who get seasick.

The feature of the last day was the Lucky Peterson Jam on the pool deck which was going great until Lucky decided to play some disco music and everybody kinda just walked away.  Right up until that it was smokin’.  But artists need to understand it’s the blues people come to hear and even though I agree with the Etta James claim that “It’s all blues, baby” other’s don’t. 

The last set I saw was Marcia Ball who also just said, “Call the tune and I’ll play it.” I had not seen Marcia since 1999 at the Superdome in New Orleans and not much has changed except we’re both older and grayer.  She still rocks on that electric piano and swings her long crossed leg the whole time.
Marcia Ball

Back in Florida I found myself waiting for my family to pick us up at the port alongside Popa Chubby. We all just turn into one big blues family on the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise.  It is an experience I highly recommend not only because the music is fantastic but it’s a very relaxing vacation.  I’ll be on the next one in January too, hope to see you on board. I’ll be hanging in the Crow’s Nest.  Just say, “Whatcha drinking, Stilladog?” And I’ll know you are a Bman’s Blues Report fan.