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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

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Nighthawks Are Having a "Damn Good Time" on Label Debut for Severn Records, Out May 15




ANNAPOLIS, MD – Severn Records announces a May 15 release date for Damn Good Time, the label debut from seminal American roots music band, The Nighthawks, distributed in the U.S. by City Hall Records. 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 are: Mark Wenner - vocals, harmonica; Johnny Castle - vocals, bass; Paul Bell -guitar; and Mark Stutso - drums, vocals. The new CD was recorded at the Severn Studios in Annapolis and produced by The Nighthawks and David Earl.

“This is a totally cool moment to be into my 41st year as a Nighthawk, the last of the originals, as we release our first album with the band as it is today, the band I have been working toward since early 1972,” says Mark Wenner. “Paul Bell and Johnny Castle are deep into a decade with the band. Mark Stutso, after two years of hard road and 500 shows, at last appears on his first album as a Nighthawk. Singing lead on five tunes and involved in the creation of four, he and Johnny are a magnificent groove machine. And the harmonies! I dreamed of them, too, when I began dreaming of a band like this.”

Going into their fifth decade, The Nighthawks are blessed to have three strong lead singers, and they take advantage of the unique qualities of the trio of Wenner, Stutso and Castle. The wide array of originals and covers demonstrates The Nighthawks’ great strength as a true American roots music band. They roar through a repertoire of everything from blues and soul to rock and rhythm and blues on Damn Good Time. Bassist Johnny Castle contributes the romping “Bring Your Sister,” and also sings on a version of Jimmy McCracklin’s “Georgia Slop.” The band also taps into the songbooks of good friends and kindred spirits Billy Price and Norman Nardini, and serves up spirited takes on classics from Elvis (“Too Much”), Nat King Cole (“Send for Me”) and Wilbert Harrison (“Let’s Work Together’), as well as a raucous “Smack Dab in the Middle.”

In addition to their stellar catalogue of acclaimed albums released since 1974, The Nighthawks have long enjoyed wonderful touring and recording relationships with some of the best and brightest names in roots and blues music. On their 1978 release, Jacks and Kings, they backed up such blues all-stars as Pinetop Perkins, Luther “Guitar Junior” Johnson, Calvin Jones and Bob Margolin, and backed up John Hammond on his Hot Tracks album. The Nighthawks have toured with John Hammond, as well as John Lee Hooker, Hubert Sumlin, Elvin Bishop, Tracy Nelson and Eddie Hinton, and have played with such national treasures as Muddy Waters and Carl Perkins. Over the years, several other star artists have become de facto members of the band at various times, including Gregg Allman, Warren Haynes and Bob Margolin.

The Nighthawks continue to be one of the hardest-working bands on the road and have an extensive national and European tour set up to promote Damn Good Time, including showcase club dates and festival shows. The band is booked by Blue Mountain Artists (

To download a hi-res color photo of The Nighthawks, click on this link: The Nighthawks Photo

Photo credit: Sam Holden. For more information, visit and


4/27 Luna Live Lake Charles, LA

4/28 Hotel Sorella Houston, TX

4/29 Sunset Station San Antonio, TX

4/30 Antone’s Austin, TX

5/1 Mid-City Lanes New Orleans, LA

5/3 The Bloodhound Auburn, AL

5/4 Blind Willie’s Atlanta, GA

5/6 Beale Street Music Festival Memphis, TN

5/11 The Hamilton Washington, DC

6/8 Fridays on the Square Harrisonburg, VA

6/15 South Park South Park, PA

6/17 Crossborder Blues, Brews & Que Wilson, NY

6/22 Blue South Restaurant Roanoke, VA

6/23 Abingdon Blues Festival Abingdon, VA

6/28 Songbird Café & Music Hall Beulah, CO

6/29 Louisville Street Faire Louisville, CO

6/30 Smokin’ Moe’s Winter Park, CO

7/1 Blues from the Top Winter Park, CO

7/3 Lee Richardson Zoo Garden City, KS

7/5 21st Saloon Omaha, NE

7/6 Zoo Bar Lincoln, NE

7/7 Knuckleheads Saloon Kansas City, MO

7/13 Evenings on Main Luray, VA

8/18 Rollin’ on the River Keokuk, IA

9/19-10/7 Europe

10/27-11/3 Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise

Additional dates forthcoming ….

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

If Heartaches Were Nickels - Dudley Taft

Dudley S. Taft (born July 4, 1966, Washington, D.C.) is an American musician. Taft is a blues musician that also was a songwriting member of Seattle band Sweet Water and member and chief songwriter of Seattle, Washington based rock band Second Coming.
Taft started a blues/rock band in 2007 under his own name, with Scott Vogel on drums and Evan Sheeley on Bass. Their first CD, entitled "Left For Dead" was released in March 2010, with a mixture of originals and traditional blues covers. The album was given five stars by John Vermilyea on [Blues Underground Network][1]. In 2011, Taft signed a two record deal with the German based label M.i.G. "Left For Dead" was released world-wide release on August 26th, 2011, with the addition of a bonus track "When The Levee Breaks". Dudley Taft toured the Netherlands in January 2012. Reviews from, Keysandchords and more all rated ***** 5 stars for the "Left for Dead" CD. A DVD was released on March 5th, 2012 called "Dudley Taft live at Highway 99," performed August 6th, 2011 in Seattle, Washington.
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Sunday, February 26, 2012

How Green Was My Valley - 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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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Hot Tuna Tours!

Cash Edwards Music Services
Feb. 22 Camden Opera Hse, Camden, ME
Feb. 23 Infinity Hall, Norfolk, CT
Feb. 24 The Colonial Thtr, Keene, NH
Feb. 25 Swyer Thtr - The Egg, Albany, NY
Feb. 27 Rams Head Tvrn, Annapolis, MD
Feb. 29 The Birchmere, Alexandria, VA
Mar. 01 Jefferson Thtr, Charlottesville, VA
Mar. 02 Keswick Thtr, Glenside, PA
Mar. 03 Whitaker Ctr, Harrisburg, PA
Mar. 05 The German Hse, Rochester, NY
Mar. 06 The Ark, Ann Arbor, MI
Mar. 08 The Englert Thtr, Iowa City, IA
Mar. 09 Old Town School of Folk Music,
Chicago, IL
Mar. 10 Cedar Cultural Ctr, Minn, MN
Mar. 11 Pabst Thtr, Milwaukee, WI
Mar. 15 20th Century Thtr, Cincinnati, OH
April 19 Wanee Festival, Live Oak, FL
June 30 Caramoor Festival, Katonah, NY
July 09 The Arts Center, Carrboro, NC
July 10 Bijou Thtr, Knoxville, TN
July 11 Diana Wortham Thtr @Pack Place, Asheville, NC
July 13 Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA
July 14 Tampa Bay Perf. Arts Ctr, Tampa, FL
July 17 One World Thtr, Austin, TX
July 18 Kessler Thtr, Dallas, TX
July 20 Oriental Thtr, Denver, CO
July 21 Third Street Perf. Arts. Ctr, Carbondale, CO
July 25 Mesa Arts Ctr. Mesa, AZ
July 26 Orpheum Thtr, Flagstaff, AZ
July 27 Anthology, San Diego, CA
July 28 Rio Thtr, Santa Cruz, CA
July 30 & 31 Sweetwater, Mill Valley, CA
Aug. 02 Tower Thtr, Ben, OR
Aug. 04 Mnt Baker R&B Fest., Bellingham, WA (Electric)
Nov. 30 TBA, New York City, NY
Dec. 01 TBA, New York City, NY
Mar. 06-10, 2013 The Breezes,
Grand Negril Resort, Jamaica

For Immediate Release: Jan. 25, 2012
Hot Tuna Tours!
(Austin, Texas) Hot Tuna, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, rev up their audiences with groundbreaking music and insightful original songs that keep them a moving musical force. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees from their legendary Jefferson Airplane days, Hot Tuna updates their repertoire always keeping a roisterous sound and a wry sense of humor. Adding depth to the duo are mandolin virtuoso Barry Mitterhoff and drummer Skoota "The Funky" Warner. (
On December 10, 2011, at a Rex Foundation fundraising event, musician Jorma Kaukonen and his wife, Vanessa, told how they provided hundreds of youths in the neighboring Appalachian community access to music and culture through scholarships, classes and workshops at Fur Peace Ranch which were made possible by receiving a Rex Ralph Gleason Award. "I was inspired by the positive impact of their selfless, meaningful actions, " said Sandy Sohcot Executive Director, The World As It Could Be Human Rights Education Program. For more information on this wonderful organization please visit:
Jorma will be Performing:
Jan 27 Iao Theater, HI
Jan 28 Royal Kona Resort, HI
Jan 29 Palace Theatre, HI
Feb 3 & 4 McCabe's, Santa Monica, CA
Feb 8 Billboard Live, Osaka, Japan
Feb 9 Billboard Live, Tokyo, Japan
Feb 11 Yugong Yishan, Beijing, China
Feb 12 Yuyintang, Shanghai, China
Jack Casady was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award on October 22 at Bass Player Live!
“I must pay homage to Jack Casady as one of the towering figures in the comprehensive history of the bass. As far as original conception - well played, superbly applied - there are but few players with the kind of originality and power as Jack Casady,” said Antony Jackson. Casady was presented with the award which he took in touching tribute to wife his Diana. “When you find somebody in your life that grounds you it just makes everything better. It makes you play better, makes you think better and makes you a better human being,” said Casady.

Casady proceeded to offer anecdotes on the various paths throughout his career before performing a ferocious forty-five minute acoustic duo set with Hot Tuna mate, Jorma Kaukonen.
Listen to Antony Jackson's induction speech and Jack Acceptance on Youtube:

"Hesitation Blues" performed that night by Jack and Jorma, Hot Tuna acoustic duo:

The Fur Peace Ranch is a center of musical activity. Workshops with Jorma, Jack and many talents occur through out the year. Read about the fun:

"Jefferson Airplane Bandmates Teach Guitar to Rock Star Wannabes”
– Jim Clash, Bloomberg-BusinessWeek

"Jefferson Airplane Alumns Run the Real School of Rock"
– Sean Edgar, Paste

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

John Cephas on Playing Skip James

John Cephas was born in Washington D.C. in 1930 into a deeply religious family and raised in Bowling Green Virginia. His first taste of music was gospel, but blues soon became his calling. After learning to play the fingerstyle of alternating thumb picking which defines the Piedmont blues John began emulation the records he heard by Blind Boy Fuller, Blind Blake, Gary Davis and other early Piedmont artist.

Aside from playing the blues, he worked early on as a professional gospel singer, a carpenter, and Atlantic fisherman. By the 1960?s he was starting to make a living from his music.

Among some of Johns many endeavors, John served On the Executive committee of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, and has testified before congressional committees. John Cephas is also the founder of the Washington, D.C. Blues Society.

Johns deepest wish in this world John says is, ” I would like to see a revival of the country blues by more young people, more people going to concerts, and learning.
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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Ice Cream Man - Robert Lighthouse

Robert Lighthouse, a native of Sweden, first came to the United States at the age of 18, determined to learn more about the music he loves -- Mississippi Delta Blues.
For eight years he traveled around the country visiting blues Meccas like Chicago's famed Maxwell Street and New Orleans, the cradle of the blues.
He settled in Washington, DC in 1988 and established a cult following as a street musician.
He toured Belgium and Holland with the Charlie Sayles Band and then landed his own steady gig at City Blues Cafe in D.C.
Robert has represented the DC area at the Blues Foundation IBC's twice, once with his band and once as a solo.
His critically acclaimed debut CD, "Drive-Thru Love", was released in 1998.
His long awaited follow up Deep Down in the Mud was released in the summer of 2007 and also has received much critical acclaim.
Robert's simultaneous work on guitar and harmonica on has received rave reviews in major blues publications throughout the United States, Europe and Australia. Write on our Facebook Wall or post your Photos of great blues events! Here

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Caldonia - Jorma Kaukonen, George Porter, Geoff Achison

In a career that has already spanned a half-century, Jorma Kaukonen has been the leading practitioner and teacher of fingerstyle guitar, one of the most highly respected interpreters of American roots music, blues, and Americana, and at the forefront of popular rock-and-roll. He was a founding member of two legendary bands, The Jefferson Airplane and the still-touring Hot Tuna, a Grammy nominee, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and the most in-demand instructor in the galaxy of stars who teach at the Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp that he and his wife operate in picturesque Southeastern Ohio.

The son of a State Department official, Jorma Kaukonen, Jr. was born and raised in the Washington D.C. area, with occasional extended trips outside the United States. He was a devotee of rock-and-roll in the Buddy Holly era but soon developed a love for the blues and bluegrass that were profuse in the clubs and concerts in the nation’s capitol. He wanted to take up guitar and make that kind of music himself. Soon he met Jack Casady, the younger brother of a friend and a guitar player in his own right. Though they could not have known it, they were beginning a musical partnership that has continues for over 50 years.

Geoff Achison has a reputation as a formidable acoustic and electric guitarist, a capable vocalist and a composer of good, funky songs without the cliches. IT'S BLUES JIM ... BUT NOT AS WE KNOW IT! Having taught himself to play in the isolation of rural Australia, he has developed a blues/funk style all his own that can be delicate one moment and explosive the next. Unaware of how the sounds he was hearing on his limited record collection were produced, he invented some of his own techniques - without the aid of pedals or gadgets. As a result, watching this guy wrench sounds from his simple set-up can be something of a spectacle. Geoff also possesses a soulful voice that has evoked favorable comparisons to Joe Cocker or Warren Haynes. An award winning songwriter to boot, Geoff’s live set features an infectious mix of catchy original tunes, improvised jamming and inspired versions of blues & soul classics.
 Having taught himself to play in the isolation of rural Australia, he has developed a blues/funk style all his own that can be delicate one moment and explosive the next. Unaware of how the sounds he was hearing on his limited record collection were produced, he invented some of his own techniques - without the aid of pedals or gadgets. As a result, watching this guy wrench sounds from his simple set-up can be something of a spectacle. Geoff also possesses a soulful voice that has evoked favorable comparisons to Joe Cocker or Warren Haynes. An award winning songwriter to boot, Geoff’s live set features an infectious mix of catchy original tunes, improvised jamming and inspired versions of blues & soul classics. He has toured regularly around the globe and won honours on 3 continents.

George Porter, Jr. (born December 26, 1947 in New Orleans, Louisiana) is a musician best known as the bassist and singer of The Meters. Along with Art Neville, Porter formed the group in the mid 60's and came to be recognized as one of the progenitors of funk. The Meters disbanded in 1977, but reformed in 1989. Today the group is called the Funky Meters, and Porter is still a member.

He had been active in playing with his own group the Runnin' Pardners, and also other projects such as The Trio with Johnny Vidacovich, New Orleans Social Club, and Deep Fried but is now focusing his efforts on his own band Porter Batiste Stoltz. He is frequently in demand, and has been performing and recording with wide range of artists including Dr. John, Paul McCartney, Robbie Robertson, Willy DeVille, Robert Palmer, Patti Labelle, Jimmy Buffett, David Byrne, Johnny Adams, Harry Connick Jr., Earl King, Warren Haynes, Tori Amos, and Snooks Eaglin among many others.

Porter joined John Scofield's Piety Street Band in 2008 to tour and to record. Jon Cleary and Ricky Fataar are also members of this band.

In 2010 replaced Reed Mathis in Bill Kreutzmann's newest band, 7 Walkers.

Also in 2010 He is performing with Runnin' Pardner at New Orleans' Voodoo Experience

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01/06/12 Lobero Theatre
Santa Barbara, CA
Acoustic Hot Tuna
also David Bromberg

01/07/12 The Fillmore
San Francisco, CA
Electric Hot Tuna
also David Bromberg

01/08/12 Paradise Performing Arts Center
Paradise, CA
Acoustic Hot Tuna
also David Bromberg.

01/27/12 Iao Theater
Wailuku, HI
Jorma Kaukonen Also Chris Smither Tickets

01/28/12 The Royal Kona Resort
Kailua-Kona, HI
Jorma Kaukonen Also Chris Smither Tickets

01/29/12 Palace Theatre
Hilo, HI
Jorma Kaukonen Also Chris Smither Tickets

02/03/12 McCabe's Guitar Shop
Santa Monica, CA
Jorma Kaukonen Two shows each night. 8pm & 10pm.

02/04/12 McCabe's Guitar Shop
Santa Monica, CA
Jorma Kaukonen Two shows each night. 8pm & 10pm.

02/08/12 Billboard Live
Osaka, Japan
Jorma Kaukonen

02/09/12 Billboard Live
Tokyo, Japan
Jorma Kaukonen

02/11/12 Yugong Yishan
Beijing, China
Jorma Kaukonen

02/12/12 Yuyintang
Shanghai, China
Jorma Kaukonen

02/22/12 Camden Opera House
Camden , ME
Acoustic Hot Tuna

02/23/12 Infinity Hall
Norfolk, CT
Acoustic Hot Tuna
New Venue!

02/24/12 The Colonial Theatre
Keene, NH
Acoustic Hot Tuna

02/25/12 Swyer Theater-The Egg
Albany, NY
Acoustic Hot Tuna

02/27/12 Rams Head Tavern
Annapolis, MD
Acoustic Hot Tuna

02/29/12 Birchmere
Alexandria, VA
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/01/12 Jefferson Theater
Charlottesville, VA
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/02/12 Keswick Theatre
Glenside, PA
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/03/12 Whitaker Center
Harrisburg, PA
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/05/12 The German House Theater
Rochester, NY
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/06/12 The Ark
Ann Arbor, MI
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/08/12 The Englert Theatre
Iowa City, IA
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/09/12 Old Town School Of Folk Music
Chicago, IL
Acoustic Hot Tuna
Two shows: 7pm & 10pm

03/10/12 Cedar Cultural Center
Minneapolis, MN
Acoustic Hot Tuna
Two shows: 5pm & 9pm

03/11/12 Pabst Theater
Milwaukee, WI
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/15/12 20th Century Theater
Cincinnati, OH
Acoustic Hot Tuna

03/17/12 Fur Peace Station
Pomeroy, OH
Acoustic Hot Tuna
also John "Hurl" Hurlbut. SOLD OUT!

04/19/12 Wanee Music Festival
Live Oak, FL
Electric Hot Tuna
Mushroom Stage. 7pm-9pm

05/18/12 Nelsonville Music Festival
Nelsonville, OH
Jorma Kaukonen

08/02/12 Tower Theatre
Bend, OR
Acoustic Hot Tuna

08/04/12* Mount Baker Rhythm & Blues Festival
Deming Log Show Fairgrounds, Bellingham, WA
Electric Hot Tuna
correct venue

08/11/12 Fur Peace Station
Pomeroy, OH
Acoustic Hot Tuna
Jack & Jorma. Also The Persuasions

11/10/12 Fur Peace Station
Pomeroy, OH
Electric Hot Tuna
with Bill Kirchen. SOLD OUT!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Eyesight To The Blind - Mike Tash and the Bad Influence Band

Bad Influence, the premier Washington, DC band, has been playing their brand of blues-infused, high energy music since the humble beginnings in 1988.

Ever-growing crowds turn out for the band's scorching hot and sinfully addicting blues-infused fare, charged with a masterful blend of sensuously rough edges wrapped in soulful smoothness, riveting rock currents and potent shots of swing and American roots. All this is signed, sealed and delivered in a suggestive, in-your-face finesse captivating even the most stoic of mind, body and spirit.

The award-winning Bad Influence features Bob Mallardi on bass and vocals; Hohner endorsed artist Roger Edsall on harp and vocals; Epiphone endorsed artist Michael "Jr" Tash on guitar and vocals; and Sonor endorsed David Thaler on the drums.
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Monday, July 11, 2011

You Can't Keep a Big Man Down - Big Joe and the Dynaflows new release review

They say you can't judge a book by it's cover but in this case I think the name says it all. The name fits their sound and they keep the swing blues cranking throughout. For me the standout track is "Nothin" But Trouble", a slow blues with tasty guitar riffs.

Check it out!