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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 Zac Harmon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Zac Harmon. Show all posts

Friday, September 6, 2019

Catfood Records artist: Zac Harmon - Mississippi BarBQ - New release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the newest release, Mississippi BarBQ, by Zac Harmon and it's a cool contemporary blues release. Opening with Gypsy Road, a R&B style blues number with Harmon's trademark silky smooth vocals and stinging guitar work, he's got another winner. Backed by Bob Trenchard on bass, Richy Puga on drums, Johnny McGhee on guitar, Dan Ferguson on keys, Mike Middleton on trumpet, Andy Roman on sax, Nick Flood on sax and Drake Domingue on trombone, this is a solid opener. Blues rocker, Smoke and Mirrors has a cool hook, punctuated by slick guitar riffs and nice backing vocals by Janelle Thompson, Shakara Weston, SueAnn Carwell and Corey Carmichael. Crossing over to a smooth soul radio groove and title track, Mississippi BarBQ, Harmon really lays it back nice and easy. Backing vocals by Thompson, Weston, Carwell and Carmichael and a sweet melodic guitar solo by Harmon make this an ideal radio track. One of my favorite tracks on the release is up tempo shuffle, Honey Pleez with Corey Carmichael on keys, Chris Gipson on bass, Ralph Forrest on drums and Texas Slim on rhythm guitar. BB King flavored, Sunday Morning After Saturday Night has really cool guitar styling by Texas Slim in answer to Harmon's lead vocals and punchy horn accents work nicely with the organ styling of Ferguson. Another R&B style track, Since You Been gone has a great melody and cool backing instrumentation. Harmon's melodic soloing over the tight bottom of Gipson and Forrest make it another strong radio candidate. Wrapping the release is Knocking On Heaven's Door with a real soulful/gospel treatment. Harmon really digs in vocally making this my favorite track on the release. Super closer. 

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Women Rule at New Blues Festival 4 Labor Day Weekend










                                                                                          
WOMEN RULE THE MAIN STAGE AT NEW BLUES FESTIVAL IV; HEADLINING SETS BY 2017 GRAMMY NOMINEE JANIVA MAGNESS
AND QUEEN OF BLUES GUITAR, ANA POPOVIC

     ~In Conjunction with the New Long Beach Blues Society~


 





   (LONG BEACH, CA)New Blues Festival IV is proud to present some of Blues' biggest women artists this year, when the two-day festival takes place Saturday, September 2 and Sunday, September 3 (Labor Day Weekend) at El Dorado Regional Park in Long Beach, Calif. This year's festival is also being presented in conjunction with the new Long Beach Blues Society.

  Performing on the Main Stage are Janiva Magness, whose critically-acclaimed album Love Wins Again was a 2017 Grammy nominee in the Best Contemporary Blues category. Ana Popovic, the Serbian-born guitar great and six-time Grammy nominee who recently relocated to Los Angeles, is also set to perform, with other female acts including the "Queen of Steam," Michele Lundeen;  and Los Angele's own, Deb Taren Band; Shadowblue featuring Lady Faye; and Seville Street.

  Other NBF IV headliners: Blues legend, Guitar Shorty; The King Brothers; Chris Cain; Zac Harmon (performing with Chris Cain); John Clifton; Reverend Shawn Amos; Atomic Road Kings; Backwater Blues Band; and Union Hobos.

  As with previous years, there will be a full Vendor Village, Craft Beers on Tap, BBQ Vendors, Gourmet Food Trucks, and more. Additionally, enjoy music as well on the Golden Groove Stage featuring performances by many of the Southland's best Blues acts.

 Tickets now on sale For New Blues Festival IV at http://www.newbluesfestival.com/tickets.


 







                                


                           About...New Blues Festival IV  


   The New Blues Festival is now in its fourth big year, and was expanded to a two-day event in 2015 due to the overwhelming success of the inaugural NBF, when over 2,000 music lovers of all ages filled POA Park in Long Beach.

   "Los Angeles and Orange Counties have responded very well to the (New Blues Festival) concept. We definitely hit on a pent-up demand for a long-running inter-generational tradition, and we are excited to once again share all this great music with the public", says William Grisolia, Producer of the New Blues Festival.

   Past headliners at the previous two New Blues Festival events include some of the biggest names in Blues: 2017 Grammy winner, Bobby Rush; Lee Rocker; James Harman; The 44's with Kid Ramos; Brophy Dale Band; Barbara Morrison; Whiteboy James & the Blues Express; Teddy Lee Hooker; 2000 Lbs. of Blues; and Bernie Pearl, plus the best young up-and-coming blues artists, Chase Walker Band and Ray Goren.


                                                      newbluesfestival.com

                         facebook.com/theNewBluesFestival
                                             
                      http://www.longbeachbluessociety.org/


                                

       

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

New Anthem for the Blues!




blindpigrecords.com
 AWARD-WINNING BLUES ARTIST PENS NEW ANTHEM FOR THE BLUES!

Acclaimed bluesman Zac Harmon, winner of both major awards from the Blues Foundation – the International Blues Challenge and the Blues Music Award – has come up with a new anthem for the genre - "Long Live The Blues."  The song, which he co-wrote with John Hahn and Christopher Troy, is a powerful, upbeat declaration that the blues "is here to stay."

In the current Living Blues magazine Zac was asked about the song:

Living Blues: You pull no punches on that one with those who think the blues may be dying or dead.
Zac: Well, that song is an anthem for all the bluesmen in America.   I just kind of feel like blues is the roots and the father of most of your popular musical art forms in America, but yet blues always has to take a backseat to everybody.  And so, this is just an anthem for all of us, to say "We're still here, and we're gonna be here."

To watch a great video of Zac and his band performing this new anthem for the blues, please click HERE.  Kindly share this video by posting on your Facebook page, social media or website.

"Long Live the Blues" is a track from Zac’s new Blind Pig release entitled Right Man Right Now.  Living Blues said the CD "is Harmon is at his best: a smooth, polished sound grounded in traditional blues stylings yet thoroughly modern in sensibility. The future of the blues is in very good hands, indeed.” 

Upcoming dates for the Zac Harmon Band:
Oct. 8
Helena, AR
King Biscuit Blues Festival
Oct. 18
Fredricksburg, TX
Blankets and Blues
Oct. 29
Sioux City, IA
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Oct. 30
Topeka, KS
Uncle Bo's
Oct. 31
Topeka, KS
Uncle Bo's
Nov. 14
Fort Dodge, IA
Starlight Village
Dec. 11
Richardson, TX
Freddy King Winter Blues


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

King Biscuit Blues Festival




blindpigrecords.com
ACCLAIMED BLIND PIG ACTS AT THE KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL

Two highly acclaimed blues acts with new releases out on Blind Pig Records - the Zac Harmon Band and the Andy T-Nick Nixon Band - will be performing at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena, Arkansas, one of the most iconic and longest running blues festivals in the U.S.

ZAC HARMON BAND 
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 8th  4:00pm - 5:10pm
Zac is one of the blues’ strongest live performers, thrilling fans everywhere from Memphis to Mumbai.  BluesWax said, “Harmon’s stage show is like a Blues symphony where he segues from one song to the next without a moment’s hesitation, building a head of steam that is orgasmic. His hour on stage went by in an instant.”
Jazz Now said, “His show affirmed all the hoopla that surrounds those dubbed as the hottest new act… Soulful vocals, breathtaking showmanship… His flashy guitar style belies the solid sound that he radiated on every tune, admirably backed by a fantastic band.”

To watch a video of "Long Live the Blues," a track from Zac's new CD Right Man RIght Now, please click HERE.

Blues Symposium on Saturday
On Saturday Oct. 10th Zac Harmon will participate in the "Call and Response" Blues Symposium at the Malco Theater.  From 12 noon until 1:00 pm he will discuss the special magic of the Delta that gave rise to America’s music, the blues. Also on the panel are Memphis singer/songwriter Reba Russell, Bubba Sullivan, one of the founders of the King Biscuit Festival, Matt Marshall, editor of American Blues Scene, and moderator Don Wilcock, award-winning blues journalist.  The Blues Symposium is free to the public.

ANDY T-NICK NIXON BAND 
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 10th  5:30pm - 6:40pm
The blues has a history of great partnerships and  Andy T and Nick Nixon definitely belong in that select group. Proof positive comes with their new release, Numbers Man, which debuted last month on the Billboard blues chart. The album was produced by noted Texas guitarist Anson Funderburgh, who will sit in with the band for their festival appearance.
Andy T’s jazz-tinged guitar style is influenced by T-Bone Walker, B.B. King, Magic Sam, and Albert Collins among others, yet it remains his own. The velvet-voiced Nixon, part of Nashville’s thriving blues and R&B scene in the 60’s and 70’s, sings in a style that recalls Jimmy Witherspoon and Billy Eckstine. Even though he’s now in his 70’s, Nixon’s voice still has all the power and energy of a man half his age and it’s crystal clear that this man was born to sing the blues.

Combined with Andy T’s bold, vibrant tones and equally rooted guitar style, it makes for a uniquely satisfying brand of soulful blues.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

New Zac Harmon video!



blindpigrecords.com
"LONG LIVE THE BLUES" - NEW VIDEO FROM ZAC HARMON

Blind Pig Records has released a video of the Zac Harmon Band performing "Long Live The Blues," a track from their new Blind Pig album entitled Right Man Right Now that could become the anthem of the genre. 
Zac is one of the blues’ strongest live performers, thrilling fans everywhere from Memphis to Mumbai.  Jazz Now said, “His show affirmed all the hoopla that surrounds those dubbed as the hottest new act… soulful vocals, breathtaking showmanship… His flashy guitar style belies the solid sound that he radiated on every tune, admirably backed by a fantastic band.”

Harmon's distinctive style combines the best of old-school soul-blues artists with modern lyrics and themes that bring the blues into a new century.

To watch the video, please click HERE.

Friday, August 28, 2015

King Biscuit Blues Festival "Call and Response, The Blues Symposium" rocks Helena, Arkansas!





King Biscuit Blues Festival presents 5th annual "Call and Response, The Blues Symposium" in historic Helena, Arkansas


 


 
Call and Response Blues Symposium Looks into The Origins of Delta Blues at The King Biscuit Blues Festival
 
(Helena, Arkansas) — What is about the Delta that gave rise to America’s music, the blues? Artists, journalists and presenters will discuss the special magic that defines the King Biscuit Blues Festival and inspires the world’s music at the Fifth Annual Call and Response Blues Symposium, a featured event of the 30th annual King Biscuit Blues Festival.  “Memphis is blues, but this is it,” says singer/songwriter Reba Russell about The Biscuit, America’s foremost showcase of authentic blues at the Call and Response Blues Symposium that begins at noon on Saturday, October 10 at the Malco Theater on Cherry St. “This is the freaking deal. It’s like are you kidding me? I totally think there is something that rises up from that river and that dirt there. I think that the ancestry, the ghost, everything remains there.” 
 
Joining Reba in the first of two hour-long sessions is Jackson, Mississippi native and Blind Pig recording artist Zac Harmon who is on a mission “to bring the moniker of the blues back to Mississippi because I think that Mississippi has gotten the short end of the stick when it comes to the spoils of the blues.” Rounding out the first hour are Bubba Sullivan, one of the founders and Godfather of King Biscuit from its inception; Matt Marshall, editor of American blues Scene, the most popular blues website in the world; and moderated by King Biscuit’s own veteran blues journalist Don Wilcock.
  
Roger Stolle, filmmaker, columnist, oft quoted authority on Delta blues and owner of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art in historic Clarksdale, Mississippi, hosts part two of the symposium at 1:15 p.m. with four of the most colorful southern juke joint owners: Red Paden of Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seaberry whose juke is in Merigold, Mississippi; Henry “Gip” Gipson of Gip’s Place in Bessemer, Alabama; and Teddy Johnson of Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary, Louisiana.
 
The fifth annual Call and Response, The Blues Symposium is free to the public thanks to the support of our wonderful sponsor: Economy Drugs.
 
Part One 12:00 to 1:00 p.m.
 
Bubba Sullivan
Bubba Sullivan likes to tell people that Robert Lockwood, Jr. carried more history to his grave than any man that ever was. Truth be known? Bubba’s in the same category except he’s still with us. The historian for the Sonny Boy Blues Society, he’s been involved in booking and hosting the King Biscuit Blues Festival since the first one in 1986 when he helped secure an evangelist’s trailer as the first stage for $25. He’s proprietor of Bubba’s Blues Corner, the official record store of the festival that was jump started with the encouragement of ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons.
 
Zac Harmon
Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, guitarist/organist,/singer/songwriter Zac Harmon was a childhood friend of Sam Myers who embarrassed him as a teenager by stopping him mid-song to tell him the Jimi Hendrix cover he was doing wasn’t blues. Zac has written songs for Evelyn “Champagne King, Freddie Jackson and the O’Jays. As an in-demand L.A. session musician, he was booked out three and four years in advance. His just released fifth album Right Man * Right Now on Blind Pig Records features four songs written or co-written by John Hahn, Shemekia Copeland’s manager/songwriter, and  Zac does a killer scratch vocal cover of John Lee Hooker’s “I’m Bad Like Jesse James.” The CD mixes old school and new school blues with guest artists Bobby Rush, Lucky Peterson and Anson Funderburgh.
 
Reba Russell
Reba Russell calls herself “a stepchild of the blues. I don’t really run in the mainstream circle.” ” On “Blues Is Mine,” she sings, “I’m not privileged/I’m not rich/But I’m one hell of a bitch.” A perennial favorite at the Biscuit, she expresses her love for the festival in “Heaven Came to Helena.” In 1992 when Rufus Thomas heard her cover band that had been voted the best in Memphis, he told her, “You got it! Use it! Do it!” She fired the band and never looked back. She’s done background vocals for John Nemeth, Tracy Nelson, Huey Lewis & The News, Jimmy Thackery, Jerry Lee Lewis and U2 on “When Love Comes to Town”  for Rattle & Hum at Sun Studios. Reba has won three Premiere Vocalist Awards from the Memphis chapter of the National Recording Arts and Sciences. She has eight independent CDs with originals and covers by artists like Willie Dixon, Memphis Minnie, Tracy Nelson, and Walter Trout. Her eighth CD 8 was recorded in four different studios and mixed at Ardent Studios in Memphis for BEB Productions standing for Blue-eyed Bitches Production.
 
Matt Marshall
Matt Marshall is the Steve Jobs of tomorrow’s music journalism and the editor of American Blue Scene Magazine, the popular and exciting quarterly subscription blues music magazine. The magazine’s digital side, with thousands of free articles, is the most popular blues music website in the world, and commands nearly half a million visitors a year. Matt and his staff channel the very heart of the blues community. It’s as much about connecting people who love the blues with each other and the musicians as it is about capturing the pulse of the blues community. Whether it’s an intimate discussion with blues icon Buddy Guy or being the first to break the story of Johnny Winter’s passing, Marshall understands the relationship between contemporary blues culture, the fan and the digital frontier.

Don Wilcock co-moderator, Part One
Award winning editor, writer, film maker and blues society founder Don Wilcock organized the Call and Response Symposium five years ago and is currently working on a coffee table book on The Biscuit with award winning photographer Bob Van Degna. He has interviewed more than 5000 artists in nearly a half century as a music journalist and was writing for Blues World in England before there was an American blues magazine.  He is a recipient of the Blues Foundation’s Keeping The Blues Alive in Print Journalism Award, writes for The American Blues Scene and is a weekly music columnist for two dailies in New York’s Capital Region. He is the author of the 1991 authorized biography of Buddy Guy Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues that set the stage for Guy’s multi-Grammy-winning career surge.
 
Part Two 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.

Red Paden
Sixty-something Big Red has operated his quasi-legal Red’s Lounge in Clarksdale, Mississippi, for more than three decades, but he’s been in the juke-running business for most of his life. Through the years, bluesmen like Robert Belfour, “T-Model” Ford and “Big Jack” Johnson have graced Red’s carpet-remnant stage on weekends while locals, tourists and notables like Robert Plant, Tom Waits, Samuel L. Jackson and Steven Seagal listened, bathed in red light. Customers are treated to sayings like: “The game’s for life.” “I’m backed by the river, fronted by the grave.” And, “I kill for fun.” Red’s has been much celebrated — from the LA Times to We Juke Up in Here!

Willie “Po’ Monkey” Seaberry
In 1963, Mr. Seaberry opened his juke (which doubles as his home) in a cotton field near Merigold, Mississippi. Now in his mid-70s, he still drives a tractor on the land, and his weekly Thursday parties night have become legendary. As a deejay spins discs, a mix of regulars and tourists drink, dance and shoot pool. The host parades through the crowd in colorful zoot suits, often wearing humorous two-sided placards. Occasionally, a nearby university books live blues there on off-nights. Signs on the exterior tell visitors to pull up their pants among other helpful hints, making the juke a photographer favorite. It’s appeared in countless publications.

Henry “Gip” Gipson
Ninety-something Gip Gipson is a gravedigger, blues musician and juke runner. His Gip’s Place in Bessemer, Alabama, nearly defies description. "The place is almost frightening in the daytime," noted one long-time regular in a recent article. "At night, though, it's pure magic." The juke opened in 1952 in what is now a large, residential neighborhood. His Saturday night blues parties are the stuff of legend with everyone from Willie King to Bobby Rush performing. In recent years, area law enforcement has raided his establishment, and local politicians have attempted to shut it down. But Gip’s is still there (though now BYOB), and its owner is beloved by his fans.

Teddy “Lloyd” Johnson
Teddy’s Juke Joint in Zachary, Louisiana, opened for business 36 years ago, but not the building. The building — once a simple shotgun shack — was Teddy Johnson’s family home. In fact, he was born in it 69 years ago. Through the years he’s added on to the structure, so now the colorfully-decorated juke includes a long wooden bar, deejay booth, performance stage and soul food kitchen. Mr. Teddy’s wife Nancy handles the food while family members and friends help out behind the bar (which features a liquor license — a rarity in a juke joint!). In addition to food, drink and music, the smiling owner is known for his colorful outfits, often complete with cape.

Roger Stolle
Roger Stolle owns Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art store in Clarksdale, Mississippi — which just celebrated 13 years. He is a Blues Music Magazine columnist, Juke Joint Festival co-founder, Hidden History of Mississippi Blues author, former Sirius-XM Bluesville contributor, and co-producer of blues films like Hard Times, M for Mississippi and We Juke Up in Here. He is co-creator of the forthcoming Moonshine & Mojo Hands web series and a recipient of both Keeping The Blues Alive and Blues Music Awards. An authority on Delta blues and tourism, he has been quoted by The New York Times, The Economist and Travel+Leisure. His web site is www.cathead.biz.

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