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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 Washington D.C.. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Washington D.C.. Show all posts

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers

Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers’ unique brand of blues is rooted in vintage 1930’s Mississippi delta blues, featuring originals and classics that range from Memphis Minnie to early Bonnie Raitt, plus their take on other genres like soul, funk, and reggae. 2012’s Boston Music Award-winners for “Blues Artist of the Year,” this band evokes a southern juke joint where the whiskey and gin are flowing and everybody’s dancing. Erin is recognized along with Bonnie Raitt, Susan Tedeschi, Shemekia Copeland, Rory Block and Ana Popovic in 2013’s “30 Women Burning Up the Blues” in The Alternate Route Magazine! The Delta Swingers features Erin on electric and acoustic guitar and lead vocals, backed by Jim Countryman on bass, Bob Nisi on drums and vocal harmonies, and a revolving cast of Boston's best blues soloists, including the blistering electrified harmonica of Richard “Rosy” Rosenblatt, the slide guitar of “Sonny" Jim Clifford and other local stars. Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers are currently hard at work on their debut album, which will be released later this year. In a genre that is often dominated by men, Erin Harpe has been hailed as "an authentic blues chanteuse", earning a reputation for her raw style and "total, selfless and compelling immersion in the music". Growing up in the Washington DC area, Erin began playing the guitar in her teens taught by her father, bluesman Neil Harpe. She soon began performing at folk festivals, coffee houses, bars, and parties in the DC area, developing a strong blues guitar and vocal style of her own. Erin relocated to Boston to develop her music career, where she met local blues talents such as Paul Rishell and Susan Tedeschi. Erin has released two acoustic blues albums, her debut Blues Roots (2002) and 2008's Delta Blues Duets, which have received rave reviews and radio airplay across the United States, as well as at least six European countries and Japan. Erin's soulful vocal style and accomplished finger-picking guitar playing has earned her many fans, including guitar great Ronnie Earl, and she is quickly becoming recognized on the international blues scene. Like her predecessors Memphis Minnie and Charley Patton, Erin has a wide appreciation of many styles of music, and ventures fearlessly outside the blues to lead her "Other Band", the electro-funk dance band Lovewhip. Erin has even been known to slip a Lovewhip song into her blues sets, and the dancers don't seem to mind a bit.  

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, April 14, 2013

I am the Blues - Bill Harris

This video for bluesman Bill Harris was produced shortly before his death in 1988 at the age of 63. Bill Harris was a classical guitar virtuoso and consumate blues musician based in Washington D.C. In the 1950s, he was a member of the legendary vocal group THE CLOVERS, who had a string of R&B hits throughout that decade. He also had a prolific solo career and released several albums. Harris owned and operated Pigfoot, a restaurant-nightclub-art gallery in Washington D.C., which is featured in the video. Narrated by Joe Pinkney  

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, April 6, 2013

I Mean You - Thelonious Monk 4tet featuring Charlie Rouse

Charlie Rouse (April 6, 1924 - November 30, 1988) was an American hard bop tenor saxophonist and flautist. His career is marked by the collaboration for more than ten years with Thelonious Monk. Rouse was born in Washington, DC in 1924. At first he worked with the clarinet, before turning to the saxophone. Rouse began his career with the Billy Eckstine Orchestra in 1944, followed by the Dizzy Gillespie Big Band in 1945, the Duke Ellington Orchestra from 1949 to 1950, the Count Basie Octet in 1950, Bull Moose Jackson And His Buffalo Bearcats in 1953, and the Oscar Pettiford Sextet in 1955. He made his recording debut with Tadd Dameron in 1947, and in 1957 made a notable album with Paul Quinichette. In the 1980s he was a founding member of the group Sphere, which began as a tribute to Monk. Charlie Rouse died from lung cancer at University Hospital in Seattle at the age of 64.

  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!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

You Don't Know What Love Is - Buck Hill

Roger "Buck" Hill (b. February 13, 1927, Washington, D.C.) is an American jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist. Hill began playing professionally in 1943 but held a day job as a mailman in his birthplace of Washington, D.C. for over thirty years. He played with Charlie Byrd in 1958-59, but was only occasionally active during the 1960s. In 1973, he recorded with Washington-area trumpeter Allan Houser. He has recorded copiously as a leader since the 1970s. Joining Buck on this song were Michael Grasso on harmonica, Steve Lesche on guitar, Steven Miller on bass, and Darrell Dunning on drums. 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”

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Saffire : The Uppity Blues Women w/ Earlene Lewis

Saffire - The Uppity Blues Women was a three-woman blues musical ensemble in the Washington, D.C. area. It was founded in 1987 by Ann Rabson, Gaye Adegbalola and Earlene Lewis. Lewis separated from the band in 1992 and was replaced by Andra Faye. The group then featured Rabson on piano, vocals and guitar, Adegbalola on vocals and guitar, and Faye on vocals, bass, mandolin, violin and guitar. Saffire's music was a combination of serious blues songs and comedic novelty songs. They played original songs (such as "Do Your Duty", "You Got to Know Him" and "Don't You Tell Me"), as well as the music of blueswomen who had inspired them, such as Big Mama Thornton, Ida Cox and Koko Taylor. Their music, both comedic and serious, tends to deal with feminist themes, which has made them popular outside of traditional blues circles. They were the first acoustic band to be signed by Alligator Records. Their song "Middle Aged Blues Boogie," written by Adegbalola, was named best original song at the W.C. Handy Awards (now the Blues Music Awards) in 1990. Saffire has shared the stage with B.B. King, Ray Charles, Willie Dixon and Koko Taylor. An announcement on the group's website in November, 2009, stated Saffire had retired and amicably disbanded. 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, January 20, 2013

All Blues - Jimmy Cobb's So What Band

Legendary jazz drummer, Jimmy Cobb, was born in Washington, D.C. on January 20, 1929. A superb, mostly self-taught musician, Jimmy is the elder statesman of all the incredible Miles Davis bands. Jimmy’s inspirational work with Miles, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderly and Co. spanned 1957 until 1963, and included the masterpiece "Kind of Blue", the most popular jazz recording in history. He also played on "Sketches of Spain", Someday My Prince will Come", "Live at Carnegie Hall, "Live at the Blackhawk", "Porgy and Bess", and many, many other watermark Miles Davis recordings. Jimmy did his first recording with Earl Bostic and played extensively with Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, Pearl Bailey, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Cannonball Adderly, before joining Miles in 1957. By 1963 Tony Williams took over the Miles drum chair in 1963 and Jimmy left Miles to continue to work with Miles’ rhythm section, Winton Kelly and Paul Chambers behind Wes Montgomery. In addition to several Winton Kelly Trio Albums, the three did albums with Kenny Burrell, and J.J. Johnson, among others, before disbanding in the late 60’s. Jimmy then worked with Sarah Vaughn for 9 years. Afterward, Jimmy continued to freelance with several great groups throughout the 70’s 80’s and 90’s including, Sonny Stitt, Nat Adderly, Ricky Ford, Hank Jones, Ron Carter, George Coleman, Fathead Newman, The Great Jazz Trio with Nancy Wilson, Dave Holland, Warren Bernhardt, and many, many others worldwide. In the early 90’s a Television Special produced by Eleana Tee featured Jimmy playing and hanging with Freddie Hubbard, Gregory Hines, Bill Cosby, Dave Leibman, Pee Wee Ellis, and others. Jimmy has played around the world from Newport to Monte Carlo, from LA to Japan. He has performed for both Presidents Ford, and Carter, the Shah of Iran and many other dignitaries in his storied career, and is quoted extensively in "Kind of Blue", the Documentary of those legendary recording sessions as well as Writing the forward for the Book --Kind of Blue-- the making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece in 2000. In 2002 Jimmy completed a "Four Generations of Miles" album with guitarist, Mike Stern, Ron Carter (bass), and George Coleman (tenor) for Chesky records. Other releases include his long awaited solo album, "Yesterdays", produced by Eleana Tee for Rteesan Productions. It features Michael Brecker on tenor, Marion Meadows on soprano, Roy Hargrove, trumpet and flugelhorn, Jon Faddis, trumpet, Eric Lewis, electric piano, Peter Bernstein, guitar, and John Weber on bass. This album was done in Jimmy’s two adopted home towns; recorded and shot in New York, and mixed and edited in Woodstock, NY. It includes a wide variety of arrangements ranging from a unique interpretation of Jimi Hendrix "Purple Haze" to ballads "Yesterdays" and blues (All Blues, Faddis, Monk) and standards, "Without a Song" and "Love Walked Right In". This major musical statement will include several music videos and a complete television documentary. Later, Jimmy’s Albums New York Time, Cobb’s Corner and West of 5th, Produced by Eleana Steinberg Tee and David Chesky were released. Jimmy’s Album New York Time played by Jimmy, Christian McBride, bass, Javon Jackson, tenor sax, and Cedar Walton, on piano incorporates songs for all moods. West of 5th features Jimmy, accompanied by Hank Jones on piano and Christian McBride on Bass, in this compilation of songs is a ballad written by Mr. Cobb in tribute to his late younger sister Eleanor. And In 2007 Cobb’s Corner was released, played by Jimmy, Roy Hargrove, Ronnie Mathews, and Peter Washington AKA The Jimmy Cobb Quartet. In June 2008, Jimmy was the recipient of the Don Redman Heritage award. Just 4 months later, on October 17 2008, Jimmy was one of 6 to be presented with the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Jazz Masters award. Jimmy remains active, not only in New York City, where he leads Jimmy Cobb’s Mob but on the international circuit including Japan, China, Netherlands, France, Germany, Italy, & South Africa. TEACHING: Jimmy is constantly being approached to teach what he knows and loves to aspiring jazz musicians all over the world. Jimmy travels every year for the last 9 years to Stanford University to teach Master Classes for the University’s Jazz Workshop. He has taught for Parsons: The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music in New York City, at the University of Greensboro in North Carolina, for The International Center for the arts at San Francisco State University, for St. Francis Xavier University in Nova Scotia Canada, for Berklee’s College of Music in Boston and at numerous educational institutions throughout the globe. 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 29, 2012

Dobro Master Mike Auldridge has passed. My thoughts are with his family

Mike Auldridge (December 30, 1938 – December 29, 2012) was widely acknowledged as a premier resophonic guitar (the instrument formerly referred to as a Dobro) player. He played with The Seldom Scene for many years, creating a fusion of bluegrass with jazz, folk and rock. Born in Washington, D.C., Auldridge started playing guitar at the age of 13. His main influence through his early years was Josh Graves who also sold him his first Dobro. A 1967 graduate of The University of Maryland, Auldridge worked as a graphic artist for a commercial art firm in Bethesda, Maryland and then for the now defunct Washington Star-News. He did not start playing music full-time until the Washington Star-News folded in 1976. Auldridge last played with Darren Beachley and The Legends of the Potomac bluegrass band[3] Past bands include Emerson and Waldron, Cliff Waldron and the New Shades of Grass, Seldom Scene (of which he was a founding member), Chesapeake, The Good Deale Bluegrass Band, and John Starling and Carolina Star (which featured three original members of The Seldom Scene). Mike was also a member of the touring bands of Lyle Lovett and Emmylou Harris. Auldridge worked with Paul Beard (Beard Guitars) to produce the Beard Mike Auldridge Models of square-neck resophonic guitars, including an 8-string version. Just one day prior to his 74th birthday, he died on December 29, 2012 in hospice care in Silver Spring, Maryland after a lengthy battle with cancer 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!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

People Get Ready - Desiree' Bassett and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter

Jeffrey Allen "Jeff Skunk" Baxter (born December 13, 1948 in Washington, D.C.) is an American guitarist, known for his stints in the rock bands Steely Dan and The Doobie Brothers during the 1970s. More recently, he has been working as a defense consultant and chairs a Congressional Advisory Board on missile defense. While working at Manny's Music Shop in Manhattan in 1966, Baxter met guitarist Jimi Hendrix, who was just beginning his career as a frontman. For a short period during that year, Baxter was a member of a Hendrix-led band called Jimmy James and the Blue Flames, along with fellow Manny's employee Randy California. Baxter also worked as a guitar tech and amplifier repairman at the long-defunct "Jack's" Drum shop on 252 Boylston Street in Boston across from the frog pond. Baxter graduated from the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut and enrolled at the School of Public Communication (now College of Communication) at Boston University in September 1967, where he studied journalism while continuing to perform with local bands. Baxter first reached a wide rock audience in 1968 as a member of the psychedelic rock band Ultimate Spinach. Baxter joined the band for their third and final album, titled III. After leaving the band, he played with the Holy Modal Rounders and backed singer Buzzy Linhart After the breakup of Ultimate Spinach, Baxter relocated to Los Angeles, California, finding work as a session guitarist. In 1972 he became a founding member of the band Steely Dan, along with guitarist Denny Dias, guitarist-bassist Walter Becker, keyboardist Donald Fagen, drummer Jim Hodder and vocalist David Palmer (and session player Elliott Randall on various tracks). Becker and Fagen were employed at the time as staff songwriters for ABC Records, and they formed the band as a vehicle to promote their songs. Baxter appeared with Steely Dan on their first three albums, Can't Buy a Thrill in 1972, Countdown to Ecstasy in 1973, and Pretzel Logic in 1974. Among his contributions was the guitar solo on the 1974 hit single "Rikki Don't Lose That Number". While finishing work on Pretzel Logic, Baxter became aware of Becker and Fagen's intentions to retire Steely Dan from touring, and to work almost exclusively with session players in the future. With that in mind, Baxter left the band in 1974 to join The Doobie Brothers, who at the time were touring in support of their fourth album What Were Once Vices Are Now Habits. As a session man, he had contributed pedal steel guitar on Vices as well as "South City Midnight Lady" on its predecessor, The Captain and Me. Baxter's first album as a full member of the group was 1975's Stampede. Baxter contributed an acoustic interlude entitled "Precis," significant turns on slide and pedal steel guitar, and the guitar solo for the hit single "Take Me In Your Arms (Rock Me A Little While)". While preparing to tour in support of Stampede, Doobie Brothers founder Tom Johnston was hospitalized with a stomach ailment. To fill in for Johnston on vocals, Baxter suggested bringing in singer-keyboardist Michael McDonald, with whom Baxter had worked in Steely Dan. With Johnston still convalescing, McDonald soon was invited to join the band full-time. McDonald's vocal and songwriting contributions, as well as Baxter's jazzier guitar style, marked a new direction for the band. They went on to continued success with the 1976 album Takin' It to the Streets, 1977's Livin' on the Fault Line, and particularly 1978's Minute by Minute, which spent five weeks as the #1 album in the U.S. and spawned several hit singles; Baxter's work on the album includes a noted performance at the end of "How Do the Fools Survive?". In early 1979, Baxter and co-founding drummer John Hartman left the band. Baxter has continued working as a session guitarist for a diverse group of artists, including Willy DeVille, Bryan Adams, Hoyt Axton, Eric Clapton, Gene Clark, Sheryl Crow, Freddie Hubbard, Tim Weisberg, Joni Mitchell, Ricky Nelson, Dolly Parton, Carly Simon, Ringo Starr, Gene Simmons, Rod Stewart, Barbra Streisand, and Donna Summer. He has worked as a touring musician with Elton John and Linda Ronstadt and Billy Vera and the Beaters. In 1990, Baxter joined John Entwistle, Joe Walsh, Keith Emerson and Simon Phillips in a supergroup called The Best. The group released a live performance video in Japan before disbanding. He also produced two albums for the hard rock band Nazareth, Carl Wilson, and Livingston Taylor, The Ventures, and Nils Lofgren. He also appeared in the film Blues Brothers 2000 and can be heard on the cast album. He was producer on a Bob Welch album in 1982, "Eye Contact". In 1994 Baxter performed on the video game Tuneland. In 1991 Baxter also produced a documentary video titled 'Guitar' (Warner Brothers VHS and LaserDisc) where he travels the world and interviews respected guitarists he admires. He continues accepting studio work; his most recent such work involved tribute albums to Pink Floyd and Aerosmith. In 2012, he appeared on keyboardist Brian Auger's Language of the Heart, and The Beach Boys' That's Why God Made the Radio. He also occasionally plays in The Coalition of the Willing, a band comprising Andras Simonyi, Hungarian Ambassador to the United States; Alexander Vershbow, US Ambassador to South Korea; Daniel B. Poneman, formerly of the United States National Security Council and now of The Scowcroft Group; and Lincoln Bloomfield, former United States Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs. On June 19, 2007, Baxter jammed with former White House Press Secretary Tony Snow's band Beats Workin at the Congressional Picnic held on the South Lawn of the White House. JBL’s Peter Chaikin interviewed CJ Vanston about his collaboration with Jeff Baxter on their forthcoming album, “Skunk. Baxter fell into his second profession almost by accident. In the mid-1980s, Baxter's interest in music recording technology led him to wonder about hardware and software that was originally developed for military use, i.e. data-compression algorithms and large-capacity storage devices. As it happened, his next-door neighbor was a retired engineer who had worked on the Sidewinder missile program. This neighbor bought Baxter a subscription to Aviation Week magazine, provoking his interest in additional military-oriented publications and missile defense systems in particular. He became self-taught in this area, and at one point he wrote a five-page paper that proposed converting the ship-based anti-aircraft Aegis missile into a rudimentary missile defense system. He gave the paper to California Republican congressman Dana Rohrabacher, and his career as a defense consultant began. Backed by several influential Capitol Hill lawmakers, Baxter received a series of classified security clearances. In 1995, Pennsylvania Republican congressman Curt Weldon, then the chairman of the House Military Research and Development Subcommittee, nominated Baxter to chair the Civilian Advisory Board for Ballistic Missile Defense. Baxter's work with that panel led to consulting contracts with the Pentagon's Missile Defense Agency (MDA) and National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He now consults to the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. intelligence community, as well as for defense-oriented manufacturers including Science Applications International Corporation ("SAIC"), Northrop Grumman Corp., General Dynamics, and General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. He has been quoted as saying his unconventional approach to thinking about terrorism, tied to his interest in technology, is a major reason he became sought after by the government. "We thought turntables were for playing records until rappers began to use them as instruments, and we thought airplanes were for carrying passengers until terrorists realized they could be used as missiles," Baxter has said. "My big thing is to look at existing technologies and try to see other ways they can be used, which happens in music all the time and happens to be what terrorists are incredibly good at." Baxter has also appeared in public debates and as a guest on CNN and Fox News Channel advocating missile defense. He served as a national spokesman for Americans for Missile Defense, a coalition of organizations devoted to the issue. In 2000, Baxter considered challenging Rep. Brad Sherman for the 24th Congressional District seat in California before deciding not to run. In April 2005, he joined the NASA Exploration Systems Advisory Committee (ESAC). Baxter was a member of an independent study group that produced the "Civil Applications Committee Blue Ribbon Study" recommending an increased domestic role for U.S. spy satellites in September 2005. This study was first reported by The Wall Street Journal on August 15, 2007. Baxter is listed as "Senior Thinker and Raconteur" at the Florida Institute for Human and Machine Cognition. Baxter is a Senior Fellow and Member of the Board of Regents at the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies 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! Click Video

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I am the Blues - Bill Harris

A guitarist who spent at least two decades on the road with rhythm & blues vocal group the Clovers, Bill "Willie" Harris had a thick background in bebop and swing guitar as well as gospel. The latter style was at his fingertips even before he discovered guitarists such as Oscar Moore on records and radio, since Harris' father was a preacher who was in the position to turn the church organist job over to his offspring. Meanwhile, Harris' mother was drumming in basic harmony and an uncle had chipped in with a guitar, apparently to be the beauty move. The Army supplied a bugle that temporarily halted progress with strings attached, so to speak. Harris was discharged in the mid-'40s and promptly began studying guitar in Washington, D.C., becoming fairly good with both jazz and classical pieces. Harris was encouraged particularly in the classics by high-up staff at the Columbia School of Music, yet seems to have picked the Clovers due to a perceived scent of economic security. The choice, interestingly enough, still wound up leading to expanded musical horizons when fellow rhythm & blues and session guitarist Mickey Baker eavesdropped on a Harris dressing-room practice session and began pulling strings for what would be a series of releases under Harris' own name, such as the 1960 Great Guitar Sounds. The previous EmArcy Solo Guitar from 1956 is considered to be the first album of solo jazz guitar ever released. During the '70s, Harris operated Pigfoot, a Washington, D.C., restaurant, nightclub, and art gallery. 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, November 2, 2012

Apolitical Blues - Mark Wenner and Little Feat

Harmonica master, vocalist and founder of The Nighthawks; rebuilder of antique motorcycles. Born in D.C. and raised in Chevy Chase, Md. Grew up listening to Black radio in D.C. and, at age 12, started going to matinees at the Howard Theatre. Graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1966. Went to Columbia University to study literature and writing. During freshman year, decided playing harmonica was more fun than being a poet. Finished undergraduate English degree in 1972 and headed immediately back to D.C. to launch The Nighthawks. The rest, as they say, is history. 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”

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Reali Records Artist: J.P. Reali - The Road To Mississippi - New Release Review

I just received the newest release, The Road To Mississippi, by J.P. Reali. This is a primarily solo acoustic recording with Reali on vocal and resonator guitar, but with backup now and again by Mark Wenner (Nighthawks) on harp, Peter Ragusa on drums and John Prevetti bass. This is a solid resonator sonata with creative lyrics and vocals by Reali. Reali wrote (or co wrote) all 12 compositions. The release captures the feel of old Delta blues but with more contemporary vocals and attack. Bloozin' In NYC, a track strongly influenced by the likes of Elmore James is the hottest track on the release but numerous Piedmont style tracks will entertain you quite nicely. 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”

Tuesday, August 7, 2012






WASHINGTON, DC – Severn Records artists The Nighthawks, whose label debut CD, Damn Good Time, is generating rave reviews and extensive radio airplay, are joining forces with their good friends and musical compadres, the Forty Fours, for a series of special East Coast shows in September. Damn Good Time is the follow-up to The Nighthawks’ Last Train to Bluesville, which garnered the band its first-ever Blues Music Award from the Blues Foundation as Acoustic Blues Album of the Year in May 2011.

The Nighthawks and the Forty Fours were born on opposite coasts 35 years apart but both bands ultimately share the same goals: to breathe new life into the deep roots of American music and perform it with an exciting vitality in today’s world. Both bands take the essential quartet format, harp, guitar, bass and drums that evolved in Chicago in the 1950s and spread to both coasts. Now, both bands come together for a five day East Coast run that should shake the walls and rattle the halls. Kicking off at one of The Nighthawks’ home venues, the State Theatre in Falls Church, Virginia, on Wednesday September 5; the show will set the Forty Fours up for a visit to XM/Sirius studios in nearby Washington, DC, for a live recording session with Bluesville’s Bill Wax on Thursday. That night, the entourage will move up to the Baltimore area for a WTMD-FM- sponsored outdoor event in West Mt. Vernon Park. Friday the 7th will find both bands at the Sellersville Theater in Upper Bucks County Pennsylvania, midway between Philly and the Allentown area. Saturday’s show will be part of the Niagara Falls Blues Festival, Toby Rotella’s annual Imperial Garage Reunion concert. The Forty Fours will precede John Primer and The Nighthawks will also back up blues legend James Cotton. Sunday, September 9, will close the grand event at Sticky Lips BBQ near Rochester, New York. The Nighthawks will then head back to the DC area for some regional dates before embarking on a three-week European tour and the Forty Fours head into the Midwest working their way back towards California.

“There are many connections between these two bands besides their mutual love for the music,” says Nighthawks founder and singer/harpist Mark Wenner. “I first met Forty Fours harp player Tex Nakamura in 1983 in Tokyo, during The Nighthawks first venture into the far east with Japan’s bluesmaster Toru Oki. We have kept in close touch and when Tex moved to LA and began travelling with the band WAR we were able to spend a lot more time together. Both bands have collaborated with the great west coast guitar slinger Kid Ramos. Kid not only played on the current Forty Fours’ release, Americana, but produced it as well. During Kid’s stint with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, he and I met and discovered a mutual interest in older American motorcycles that led to some non-music related projects; but The Nighthawks were able to host several dates for Los Fabulocos during Kid’s tenure with them, as well as bringing Kid himself east for some special guest performances. On the last west coast run for The Nighthawks, the Forty Fours and Los Fabulocos hosted the ‘Hawks for an incredible triple bill at Nick’s Taste of Texas in Covina, California. As of last week, both bands’ current CDs were flying high on XM/Sirius Bluesville's charts.”

For a hi-res photo and bio on The Nighthawks, or to arrange an interview with Mark Wenner, contact Jill Kettles at

For more on the Forty Fours, visit


Sept.5: State Theatre - Falls Church, VA
Sept 6: WTMD-FM Outdoor Event – Timonium, MD (Baltimore)
Sept.7: Sellersville Theater – Sellersville, PA
Sept.8: Niagara Falls Blues Festival – Niagara Falls, NY
Sept.9: Sticky Lips BBQ – Henrietta, NY (Rochester)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hey Mr. President - Root Boy Slim

While attending this ivy-covered bastion of the Establishment, Root Boy hooked up with Bob Greenlee, captain of the Yale football team and a fraternity brother. (Bob, incidentally, was drafted by the Miami Dolphins, certainly a unique accomplishment among bass players, many of whom look like they could be blown over by a spring breeze.) Root Boy and Greenlee formed a band, Prince La La, Percy Uptight and the Midnight Creepers. Style-wise, the Creepers were a "seminal" part of the post-British invasion New England music scene, where there greatest achievement was in never playing the same venue twice.

Time passes–ten years in fact–a period which sees Root Boy garner the wide range of experiences which he will later sing about. He attends architecture school, studies city planning, he bums around, heís arrested in Jamaica, and again in Jacksonville. Somehow, because Fate always works in mysterious ways, he and Greenlee (now known as Rattlesnake Rattles) are reunited and begin to work on musical projects again. They are joined by hot young swamp rock guitarist Ernie "Sex Ray" Lancaster who adds tasty musical hooks to the rather bizarre, scatological songs Root Boy spews out. Quick as a Hollywood movie, the shape and design of The Sex Change Band was hammered out. A hulking, sweating (I can sweat more than James Brownî), paunchy giant of a man, Root Boy the rock star has total presence and dominance over the stage, the audiences, and his music. This charisma, combined with the tightness of his band, quickly turns Root Boy into the hottest performer in the Washington D.C. area, a headliner who regularly garners many column inches for his apocalyptic performances.

These rave notices, plus a demo tape produced by DC impresarios Joe Lee and Dick Bangham caught the attention of Steely Dan's Donald Fagen and producer Gary Katz, who in turn brought the act to Warner Brothers Records. Root Boy completed his debut album, with Katz; an album that launched one of the most curious, hilarious, original, biting and outlandish careers in the annals of rock.

For fifteen years until his death in 1993, Slim toured and performed with a steady stream of top notch musicians while continuing to write and record 6 albums with Greenlee and Lancaster. His disturbing public and private personas became the stuff of urban legend in the process.
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”

Saturday, May 5, 2012

The Girl Can´t Dance - Bunker Hill

The mighty, mighty Bunker Hill was born David Walker on May 5, 1941, and was raised in the Washington, DC, area. Walker was a successful gospel singer, first with the Sensational Wonders and then with the Mighty Clouds of Joy, on whose Peacock Records sides he can be heard. Walker was also a successful boxer, boasting a creditable record of 18-7 as a Heavyweight and putting in time as sparring partner of the legendary Light Heavyweight champ Archie Moore. In the early sixties, Walker was christened Bunker Hill and under the guidance of Vernon Wray, recorded three frantic secular singles, all backed by Vernon's brother Link Wray along with the Raymen. The debut disc, "Hide and Go Seek", was Bunker Hill's biggest hit, cracking the top 40 in 1962 and becoming a regional smash in the DC area. Two highly charged singles followed, "Little Red Riding Hood and the Wolf" and the unruly "The Girl Can't Dance", and while neither did much business in their day, both enjoy serious dance floor racket time today.
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”

Thursday, May 3, 2012

White River Records artist: Jimmy Thackery And The Drivers - As Live As It Gets - New Release Review

I had a big build up of this recording, Live As It Gets, from my pal Stilladog and I couldn't wait for it to come. Well, here you go. To say they captured Thackery at his best and live is the understatement of the year. This thing rips! This is a 2 cd package opening with a 7 plus minute version of Eddie "Guitar Slim" Jones's Letter To My Girlfriend, a cool swing tune with Thackery playing great riffs and a full horn compliment thanks to the Hydraulic Horns. Blind Man In The Nightis a slower blues with shimmering chords beneath the vocals and clean riffs at the turnaround. Thackery and crew do a massive job on Johnny Guitar Watson's Gangster Of Love including a blistering solo by JP Soars mixed in with Thackery's own wizardry.Muddy Waters' Gypsy Woman gets a total rework by Thackery to the point that it is barely recognizable. He has transformed this classic into a long slow blues again with beautiful lush chords. Joe McGlohon plays a great tenor sax solo to start the ball rolling but both Thackery and Soars blow the roof off of this song. I mean it is a guitar extravaganza! The first disc is finished up with Thackery's Kicken' Chicken, a jump blues which gives Jim Spake a great opportunity to shine on the Bari sax, McGlohon to pop out some great riffs on tenor sax and Thackery to tear a hole in it with his Strat! Disc two opens with Thackery's Feel The Heat, a straight forward blues rocker with some tasty riffs in the mix. H.E. Owen's The Hustle (Is On), a shuffle track is up next. very stylish T-Bone Walker style leads are laid down on guitar and again Spake steps up for a nice long stretch with his honking Bari sax. Man can make it go! There are some vicious guitar riffs on this song so hold on tight!Thackery's Hobart's Blues is up next with a nice showcase for each of the players in a standard 8 bar blues. Wrapping up the entire package is J.B. Lenoir's I've Been Down So Long. This is what you call a screamer! At 19 minutes and 55 seconds it's a little longer than all of the other songs (6 songs spank the 9 minute mark) but there are some lengthy songs on this set of cd's so if you love to hear tight bands with super players get down and dirty and rip the lid off... pick up your!! These guys really put it all out here!!
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Here's a taste of the band:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Feel The Heat - Jimmy Thackery and The Drivers - Review

I promised you a review on the new Jimmy Thackery cd as I hear it is a barn burner but I received his most recent studio release, Feel The Heat, so I'll give it a spin while we're waiting. Ain't Gonna Do It is a jump blues giving Thackery the opportunity to demonstrate his fleet fingers and enviable style. Blind Man In The Night begins with a very clean Strat playing solo with echo as an intro but slowly turns into a full blast gritty anthem. Thackery has great control and never overplays. Hang Up And Drive is a great blues rocker that gives Thackery a great opportunity to show what he's got in his bag of riffs. This is a great tune and one likely to be on most blues rocker play lists. Bluphoria is a cool track that reminds me of another regional guitar player, the great Danny Gatton. Thackery coaxes all kind of obtuse jazzy tones out of his guitar on this definitely blues track. Everyone knows that Thackery is a great player and this is a nice change up for the recording. Bomb The Moon is another change up looking back to the surf movement. It funny that I had just made a comment a few weeks ago that's it's always nice to see artists throw a tribute to the surf scene now and again. Thackery takes it a few steps further and away from the standard ventures template. I think that you'll like it. The recording concludes with a ballad, Fading Heart with some interesting vocal arrangement and of course cool guitar interludes.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Guy Davis Set to Appear on NPR's "Talk of the Nation" Show Tomorrow, April 19




WASHINGTON, DC – Blues singer-songwriter Guy Davis, whose new “audio play” 2-CD set, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues, continues to generate critical acclaim and major radio airplay, will be a special LIVE guest tomorrow, April 19, on National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” program. Davis will perform two songs and will be interviewed by “Talk of the Nation” guest host and ABC-TV News reporter, John Donvan. “Talk of the Nation” is NPR’s live call-in talk show broadcast on over 330 member stations to over 3 million listeners each week Monday through Thursday from 2:00-4:00 PM Eastern Time. The Guy Davis live segment is scheduled for the 3:40-4:00 PM time slot. For more information on the show and to find out the time and station in your market, go to Davis, who’s been dubbed “The Ambassador of the Blues,” recently returned from performing a number of shows in Greenland and is set to tour extensively in Europe from late April through May.

Released on his own Smokeydoke Records label, The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues, marks the debut on disc for the production Guy Davis has performed off and on since 1994, and he celebrated its release with a special run of performances of the one-man play in February at the famed Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The album features a number of Guy Davis original compositions, as well as songs by such blues icons as Robert Johnson, Reverend Gary Davis, Blind Willie McTell and Big Bill Broonzy. The album is a “road story” in the truest sense. Guy Davis performs the stories and songs in character as “Fishy Waters,” who traveled throughout the south meeting a host of vivid characters and creating a lasting impression that is at times humorous and playful, at others mysterious and sometimes intensely powerful.

“Story telling is the most ancient, most powerful magic of the universe,” says Guy Davis, son of acclaimed actors Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis. “I grew up in a house full of story tellers. I met many more through the years but family members such as my grandpa Marshall (my mom’s dad) and my father were among the very best. My grandpa was famous for his rascally tales and jokes but every once in a while he’d tell about the time his mom killed and cooked his pet chicken and he didn’t realize it until after he had eaten it! My dad could tell a story over and over and make it fun every time. All these factors came together in my life and were helpful to me in writing The Adventures of Fishy Waters: In Bed with the Blues.”

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Nighthawks Leader Mark Wenner Undergoes Successful Heart Bypass Operation



WASHINGTON, DC – Seminal American roots music band The Nighthawks have announced that their founding leader, Mark Wenner, has undergone successful heart

bypass surgery and is expected to make a complete recovery. Because of the operation, Mark will stay off the road for approximately six weeks while he recovers, and the band has postponed the affected dates. The Nighthawks are expected to resume touring the end of May or early June.

Mark Wenner’s condition was diagnosed on Monday, April 9 when he went in for an angiogram/angioplasty and doctors discovered he needed the bypass operation, which was done the following day. Because they caught it early, the doctors feel very confident that his prognosis for a full recovery is excellent.

The Nighthawks debut CD for Severn Records, Damn Good Time, is scheduled for release on May 15, and the band had already scheduled a number of shows around the country to support its release. Damn Good Time is the follow-up to The Nighthawks’ Last Train to Bluesville, which garnered the band its first-ever Blues Music Award from the Blues Foundation as Acoustic Blues Album of the Year in May 2011.

Singer/harmonica player Mark Wenner is the founder of The Nighthawks, whose members also include guitarist Paul Bell, bassist Johnny Castle and drummer Mark Stutso. The new CD features a number of originals and cover songs ranging from blues and soul to rock and rhythm and blues.

Fans can keep track of Mark Wenner’s recovery by visiting the band’s website at or their Facebook page, where they can also send him get-well wishes:

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Monday, April 2, 2012

Steamboat Gwine Round Da Bend - John Fahey

John Fahey (February 28, 1939 – February 22, 2001) was an American fingerstyle guitarist and composer who pioneered the steel-string acoustic guitar as a solo instrument. His style has been greatly influential and has been described as the foundation of American Primitivism, a term borrowed from painting and referring mainly to the self-taught nature of the music and its minimalist style. Fahey borrowed from the folk and blues traditions in American roots music, having compiled many forgotten early recordings in these genres. He would later incorporate classical, Portuguese, Brazilian, and Indian music into his œuvre. Fahey wrote a largely apocryphal autobiography and was known for his coarseness, aloof demeanor, and dry humour. He spent many of his latter years in poverty and poor health, but also enjoyed a minor career resurgence with a turn towards the more explicitly avant-garde. He died in 2001 due to complications from heart surgery. In 2003, he was ranked 35th in the Rolling Stone "The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" list.
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Lets Get It On - Marvin Gaye

Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (April 2, 1939 – April 1, 1984), better known by his stage name Marvin Gaye (he added the 'e' as a young man), was an American singer-songwriter and musician with a three-octave vocal range.

Starting his career as a member of the doo-wop group The Moonglows in the late 1950s, he ventured into a solo career after the group disbanded in 1960, signing with Motown Records subsidiary, Tamla. He started off as a session drummer, but later ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist during the 1960s. He was crowned "The Prince of Motown" and "The Prince of Soul". because of solo hits such as "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)", "Ain't That Peculiar", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell.

His work in the early and mid-1970s included the albums, What's Going On, Let's Get It On, and I Want You, which helped influence the quiet storm, urban adult contemporary, and slow jam genres. After a self-imposed European exile in the early 1980s, Gaye returned on the 1982 Grammy-Award winning hit, "Sexual Healing" and the Midnight Love album before his death. Gaye was shot dead by his father on April 1, 1984. He was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
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