CD submissions accepted! Guest writers always welcome!!

I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!


Please email me at Info@Bmansbluesreport.com
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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Quarto Valley Records artist: Sean Chambers - That's What I'm Talkin About - New Release Review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release (July 9, 2021), That's What I'm Talkin About, from Sean Chambers and I really like it. Chambers put together this release as a tribute to Hubert Sumlin who he played with  for over 4 years, in fact the title of the release is due to it being a phrase that Hubert used frequently. Opening with blues rocker, Hubert Sumlin's Chunky, a funky instrumental, features Chambers on lead guitr, Bruce Katz on B3, Andrei Koribanics on drums and Antar Goodwin on bass.  With strong blues rock guitar lead and solid phrasing, this is a super instrumental opener. Howling Wolf's Rockin' Daddy gets a really hnice Wolf like vocal lead and Chambers' guitar lead is nothing short of electrifying. On St' Loius Jimmy Oden's Goin' Down Slow, Chambers works the space with excellent phrasing and his attack has fire that I've rarely heard from contemporary blues players except SRV. Excellent! On Willie Dixon's, Taildragger, Chambers digs deep on lead vocal with gritty vocals and really potent lead guitar that just oozes blues. Katz's contribution on B3 is particularly full on tis track giving Chambers a good paring to extend his soloing. Really nice. Mississippi Sheiks composition, Sittin On Top Of The World, made highly popular by the Cream, gets a healthy rework here with a less jazzy... more bluesy approach. Chambers, whos vocal has similar characteristics to Howlin Wolf defaults to another Wolf / Dixon composition in Howlin' For My Darling with the addition of John Ginty on B3 and wth a more rocking guitar attack. Very effective. Wrapping the release is Wolf's, Louise, with super pace. Chambers digs in on his vocal attack, playing his lead guitar response with excellent efficiency and sting. With cool piano work by John Ginty and emotional guitar lead, this is an excellent closer for a really strong release. 


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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Mukthiland Records artist: Fred Hostetler - Fred's Blue Chair Blues - New Release review

 I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Fred's Blue Chair Blues, from Fred Hostetler and it's a cool set of straight forward blues and ballads. Opening with Jimmy Reed's Bright Lights, Big City, Fred Hostetler lays down the simplest of blues tracks using only his voice and an acoustic guitar. Deep Deep Well is one of my favorite tracks on the release with Hostetler on acoustic slide showing some real clean riffs and super blues feel. Taming The Wolf is another cool track with some delta style picking. This isn't hot and fancy finger work but authentic and cool leading into a cool JLH style boogie. Wrapping the release is Salt Tears with it's country style acoustic guitar feel and vocal. This is a solid set of contemporary blues with honest roots. Very cool. 


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Friday, September 4, 2020

Singer Nora Jean Wallace Deals Straight Chicago Blues on New "Blueswoman" CD Coming October 30 from Severn Records




Singer Nora Jean Wallace Deals Straight Chicago Blues on New Blueswoman CD Coming October 30 from
Severn Records

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Severn Records announces an October 30 release date for Blueswoman, the new CD from Blues Music Award-nominated singer Nora Jean Wallace. The new album was produced by Severn label head David Earl (who also plays guitar on four tracks) and recorded at Severn Studios in Annapolis. Backing Wallace’s powerhouse vocals are Severn’s A-list team of musicians, including Johnny Moeller – guitars; Steve Gomes – bass; Kevin Anker – organ; Steve Guyger – harmonica; Stanley Banks – keyboards; and Robb Stupka – drums. Multi-Blues Music Award-winner Kim Wilson is a special guest on harmonica on one track.

Nora Jean Wallace (formally Bruso) returns after 16 years since her 2004 BMA-nominated and critically-acclaimed release, Going Back to Mississippi. Blueswoman shows why Nora was born to sing the blues. A staple of the Chicago Blues scene, Nora Jean pours her heart into eight originals including the Koko Taylor inspired title track, “I’m a Blues Woman,” and “Rag and Bucket” written with co-writer, Stanley Banks. The Syl Johnson classic, “I Can’t Stop,” and George Jackson’s “Evidence” are great canvases for Nora’s powerful gift. No wonder The Chicago Sun-Times called her performance at the Chicago Blues Festival “show-stopping,” and the legendary Koko Taylor is quoted as saying, “Nora Jean sounds just like I did when I was her age!” This is a must for all fans of real-deal blues.

“During a very low period in my career, a friend reminded me that the Bible says your gifts will make room for you,” Nora Jean Wallace explains. “When I gave serious thought to that which I already knew, I never looked back. Slowly but surely my gifts indeed have made, and continue to make, room for me and this project is living proof of that.

“I left the blues scene to take care of my mom who was sick at the time (she has since passed). From the cotton fields of Mississippi to the bright and steamy windows of Chicago blues, she always supported me. I think a part of her felt guilty because I had to leave what I loved doing the most to take care of her. And although she’s gone, she’s still with me. I thank God for all she instilled me. She always told me to put God first, never quit and everything else will fall in place.

“Here I am in 2020 embarking on a renewed career in blues. The gifts that have made room for me have come in the form of creative people who’ve helped me pave a new path in the blues. I believe God had a hand in it all and has placed people in my life to make me better, stronger and more determined to do what I love best…sing the blues.”

Nora Jean Wallace is a Chicago Blues singer with deep Delta roots. Like so many blues greats that hail from the Delta of Mississippi, Nora was born and raised in Greenwood, a town in the heart of this blues-rich region. From birth her father, Bobby Lee Wallace, a professional blues singer and sharecropper, and her Uncle, Henry “Son” Wallace, a blues singer and guitar player, infused the blues in her soul. Also contributing to her musical education was her mother, Ida Lee Wallace, a gospel singer, and her grandmother, Mary, who ran a juke house. As a child, Nora would sneak down to her grandmother’s place on Friday and Saturday nights and listen to her relatives sing blues classics. It was during these years that Nora developed a love for the music of Howlin’ Wolf that has continued to the present day.
Nora’s singing career in Chicago began in 1976 when her Aunt Rose heard her sing at home and brought her to several clubs she was promoting. It was at the Majestic on the West Side of Chicago that Nora sat in with Scottie and the Oasis. She was invited to join the band and spent several years with them before Scottie’s unfortunate passing. During this time many local Chicago musicians, most notably Mary Lane and Joe Barr, encouraged Nora and taught her the finer points of her craft.
Nora’s big break came in 1985 when Jimmy Dawkins saw her perform at a local Chicago club and invited her to join his band. For the next seven years Nora toured and recorded with Jimmy and his band and appeared on two of his CDs, Feel the Blues (JSP, 1985 & 2002 with a bonus NJB track) and Can’t Shake These Blues (Earwig, 1991). She also released a single, “Untrue Lover” (Leric, 1982) and her first solo release in 2002, Nora Jean Bruso Sings the Blues (Red Hurricane).
While touring Europe, Canada, and the United States, Nora refined her performing skills and developed an international fan base. She appeared on many major festivals including the King Biscuit Blues Festival, AK, the Chicago Blues Festival and the Pocono Blues Festival.
Nora has lived a life full of passion and pain, triumph and despair, and with it has come a wisdom out of which art is born. Living involves pain but offers redemption as well. That is what the blues is all about.
“Seems like this day would never come, but through it all Severn Records has been steadfast in making sure this project would be a success,” Wallace summarizes. “With their support, I’ve been able to once again share my voice with fans and the blues community that I’ve grown to love. Big, big shout out to Stanley Banks who put pen to paper to write some incredible songs for this project as well as share his talent.”

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Austin-Based Johnny Nicholas 2019 Grammy Nominee for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package



2019 Grammy Nominee for Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package



1976 Reissue Album, Too Many Bad Habits, by Acclaimed Singer/Guitarist

Johnny Nicholas and Friends – the Box Set, the Lost Tapes and Much More, with Bonus Album of Previously Unreleased Songs  Featuring Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Boogie Woogie Red, Ray Benson and More



Deluxe Double Vinyl Collectible Box Set Includes 68-Page Historical Book with Posters,

Photos & Memorabilia

The lost recordings of heralded Austin-based blues/roots musician and songwriter Johnny Nicholas, with blues legends Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Boogie Woogie Red, Ray Benson and others, are on this 18 gram double vinyl LP reissue including a special bonus album of previously unreleased performances.

Designed by Grammy-award winning Backstage Design Studio and nominated for a 2019 Grammy – “Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package,” and also nominated for the Alex Steinweiss "Best In Show" at the 2018 Making Vinyl Packaging Awards, and Blues Blast Magazine Award for “Historical and Vintage Recording.”

The two-album set is a window into an important era in American music history in the late 1960s, when Ann Arbor, Michigan, was one of the hottest and most influential music scenes in the country. At the heart of the Ann Arbor blues revival was guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Johnny Nicholas. Arriving from the East coast for the 1970 Ann Arbor Blues Festival, he brought some of the best blues players out of retirement to play together and create these historic recordings.

This project is of great significance to blues fans everywhere for a number of reasons, not the least of which are the newly-discovered and never-before-released tracks featuring Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton and Boogie Woogie Red.

Johnny Nicholas is an under-recognized master of traditional blues, songwriting and other blues- inspired Americana genres.

He was highly regarded and considered a peer and a member of the blues family by the likes of Howlin’ Wolf, Robert Lockwood Jr, BB King, Roosevelt Sykes, Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann, James Cotton, Eddie Taylor, Houston Stackhouse and many more legends of the blues.

Deluxe Collectible Box Set Includes:

·         Two 180-gram vinyl records                                 

·         Custom intricate 68-page book

·         Digital download card

·         Extensive 1969-2018 11x40 timeline

·         Three vintage souvenir posters

·         Assorted photos and memorabilia of the era

Distributed in record stores worldwide by Monostereo and available online at www.Johnnynicholasblues.com, CD Baby and Amazon.




Disc 1 (Remastered Album “Too Many Bad Habits”)



1.        MANDOLIN BOOGIE* - Johnny Nicholas, Ray Benson, Tony Garnier, Lucky Oceans, Link Davis Jr., Bill Mabry



2.       LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVIN’ – Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



3.       TOO MANY BAD HABITS – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



4.       SITTIN’ ON TOP OF THE WORLD – Johnny Nicholas, Ray Benson, Tony Garnier, Link Davis Jr., Bill Mabry



5.       “GOT THE TRAIN?” – Johnny Nicholas, Ray Benson, Tony Garnier, Link Davis Jr., Bill Mabry, Lucky Oceans



6.       ROCK MY BLUES AWAY – Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



7.       BLUES WALK – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross, E.P. Jones



8.       GRINNIN’ IN YOUR FACE – Johnny Nicholas



9.       THE NEW CANNED HEAT BLUES – Johnny Nicholas, Big Water Horton



10.   WEST WIND – Big Walter Horton, Johnny Nicholas



11.   BLUES CAME FALLIN’ DOWN – Johnny Shines, Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross



12.   CARELESS LOVE – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



13.   GETTIN’ OUTTA TOWN – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



14.   HELLHOUND ON MY TRAIL – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gros





Disc 2 (Previously unreleased / alternate takes)



1.       MOVE ON DOWN THE LINE – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton, Johnny Shines, Tino gross



2.       PUMP JOCKEY BLUES – Johnny Nicholas, Boogie Woogie Red, Big Walter Horton



3.       BELIEVE I’LL MAKE A CHANGE – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



4.       PRISONER BLUES – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



5.       APPLE GROVE RHUMBA – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



6.       LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING (Alternate Take) Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



7.       THAT’S ALRIGHT MAMMA – Johnny Nicholas, Tino Gross



8.       HOOTIE BLUES – Boogie Woogie Red, Johnny Shines, Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



9.       MONEY MARBLES AND CHALK – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



10.   LONESOME TRAVELER – Johnny Nicholas, Big Walter Horton



11.   FROGGY BOTTOM – Johnny Nicholas, Johnny Shines, Big Walter Horton, Tino Gross



12.   SOON FORGOTTEN – Johnny Nicholas, Boogie Woogie Red, Big Walter Horton


Monday, December 3, 2018

Blues Legend Jody Williams: February 3, 1935 -- December 1, 2018


  JODY WILLIAMS: FEBRUARY 3, 1935 - DECEMBER 1, 2018

photo by Dan Machnik

Famed Chicago blues guitarist/vocalist and Blues Hall Of Fame member Jody Williams, who recorded with legends including Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Spann and his childhood friend Bo Diddley, as well as under his own name, died of cancer at the Munster Med Inn in Munster, Indiana on December 1, 2018. He lived in nearby St. John, Indiana. He was 83.



One of the last and most accomplished practitioners of the golden 1950s era of Chicago blues, Williams was well-known for his instantly recognizable stinging guitar tone, a keen vibrato and a sensibility that straddled the turf between gutbucket blues, sophisticated jazzy West Coast stylings and even vintage rockabilly, along with solid vocals and thoughtful songwriting. His often-replicated guitar parts were crucial to some of the most iconic songs of the genre, including on Bo Diddley’s Who Do You Love and I’m Bad, Howlin’ Wolf’s Evil and Forty Four, Billy Boy Arnold’s I Wish You Would and I Ain’t Got You, and Sonny Boy Williamson’s Don’t Start Me Talking.



Joseph Leon (Jody) Williams was born in Mobile, Alabama on February 3, 1935 and moved to Chicago around age five. After he began exploring music on harmonica and jaw harp, he met Ellas McDaniel (the future Bo Diddley) at a talent show. Bo taught him an open guitar tuning and they began working the streets together in 1951. Williams began playing clubs at age 17 and went on to record under his own name (including his influential instrumental anthem Lucky Lou). Williams was the first Chicago blues guitarist to master B.B. King’s stringbending-based approach and influenced the young modernists of the day such as Otis Rush and Buddy Guy. He served for years as the house guitarist at Chess Records and backed a varied list of artists including Jimmy Witherspoon, Floyd Dixon, Dale Hawkins and Bobby Charles. He played on Buddy Morrow’s big band version of Rib Joint, and dueled with B.B. King on an Otis Spann 45 for the Checker label. He also played on multiple rock ‘n’ roll package tours. In 1958 he was called to the army, serving his tour of duty in Germany. Returning to Chicago, Williams studied computers and engineering. He left the music business in the 1960s.



Williams returned to public performance in 2000. Focusing on being a band leader and songwriter, Williams recorded two very well-received CDs of predominantly original material, 2002’s Return Of A Legend and 2004's You Left Me In the Dark, both for Evidence Records. Living Blues said, "Williams is a modern-day standard bearer for a still-vital style that continues to impress, exhilarate and inspire fifty years after he first helped create it." The success of the CDs led him to play festivals all over the country in addition to dates overseas. He was inducted into the Blues Hall Of Fame in Memphis in 2013 and into the Chicago Blues Hall Of Fame in 2015.



Williams is survived by his wife Jeanne Hadenfelt, his daughters Marilyn Murphy and Sissy Williams, sons Anthony and Jason Williams, grandchildren Justin, Noel, Joseph, Joshua, River and Ethan Williams and Gerold Murphy, and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Sunday, December 9
Leak & Sons Funeral Home, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Avenue, Chicago, IL

2:00PM - Wake

3:00PM - Service

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Solid Blues Records artist: JW - Jones - Live - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Live, from JW- Jones and it's terrific. Opening with A Memo, a cool, well written rocker with a solid melody. Jones' band is Laura Greenberg on bass and vocal, Will Laurin on drums and vocals and Don Cummings on Hammond and vocals. Jones gets the opportunity to stretch a bit and with nicely phrased blues riffs, punctuates this fine opener. On BB King's Need You So Bad, Jones' vocals are firm and his guitar playing sure footed. I have heard each of his previous releases and this one really shines. Howlin' Wolf's Moanin' At Midnight has a steady rolling tempo with aggressive blues stance, breaking into a Hendrix "Voodoo Chile" posture and letting the pyrotechnics fly. Very nice. Dylan's Tonight I'll be Staying Here With You has an approach that blends Dylan, Beck and Garcia styles. Another BB King track, Early Every Morning, has a hard driving bass line putting Jones into boogie mode, dancing across the fretboard in the manner of Gatemouth Brown, but using his own phrasing making it all his own. Very nice.  Albert King's, You're Gonna Need Me, sets up nicely with a cool undertow on bass and subdued King styling on rhythm, allowing Jones to lay it out there "All Jones". Excellent! Reworking Jimmy Rogers' That's Alright, you got pure slow blues. Some of Jones best vocals in years shine here and Muddy Waters styling on slide is extremely effective. Wrapping the release is I Might Not Come Home At All with an extended guitar exploration including the Walk Don't Run, Wipeout, Daytripper, Satisfaction, James Bond Theme, Secret Agent Man, Communication Man, Baracuda, Hawaii 5-O Theme, Batman Theme, Spider Man Theme, Apache, Pipeline,  Brown Sugar, Oh Pretty Woman, Misirlou and Johnny B Goode. Excellent closer for a really solid release. I think his best yet!

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Wednesday, January 31, 2018

"They Call Me Mud" CD Coming from Mud Morganfield on March 9 via Severn Records







They Call Me Mud CD Coming from Mud Morganfield on March 9 via Severn Records



Blues Singer and Son of Legendary Muddy Waters Steps Out on New Album Recorded in Chicago with All-Star Cast



ANNAPOLIS, MD – Severn Records announces a March 9 release date for They Call Me Mud, the new CD from singer Mud Morganfield, son of the legendary blues icon, Muddy Waters. Produced by Mud Morganfield and Rick Kreher (who also plays guitar on the CD), They Call Me Mud was recorded at Joyride Studios in in Mud’s Chicago hometown. Mud penned 10 of the album’s 12 songs, with two others coming from his illustrious father’s catalog, “Howling Wolf” and “Can’t Get No Grinding.”



A stellar cast of Chicago area musicians adds some authentic, downhome blues touches to the recording, including Billy Flynn on guitar, Studebaker John on harmonica and backing vocals, Sumito Ariyo Ariyoshi on piano, E.G. McDaniel on bass and Melvin “Pookie Stix” Carlisle on drums.  Special guests include Billy Branch on harmonica, Mike Wheeler on guitar and Mud’s daughter Lashunda Williams, who joins her dad on a loving duet, ‘Who Loves You,’ where Mud gets to stretch out on some of his R&B grooves. There’s also a horn section featured on several tunes, and Mud, himself, plays bass on three tracks.     



“I think it’s the some of the best work I’ve ever done yet,” Mud Morganfield proclaims about the new disc. “I feel that with the variety of material I have on here, people will get a chance to hear the other sides of my music: everything from soul and R&B to jazz and, of course, blues. I got to play bass on three songs, too, and I’m so proud to a have my youngest daughter, Lashunda, sing with me on this album. She’s a natural, too, and regularly sings gospel at home.”   



In the album’s liner notes, co-producer Rick Kreher recalls how he found out about Mud and finally got a chance to meet and become friends with the big man. “About a dozen years ago or so, I heard that a son of Muddy Waters was popping up at clubs on the Westside of Chicago and sitting in for a couple of tunes. A few weeks later, a Chicago blues club was having their annual musicians Christmas luncheon and there was this guy who certainly looked like Muddy. As soon as I introduced myself and he began to talk, I knew without a doubt that this was Muddy’s son. No one could have that deep baritone voice and as soon as he gave that little ‘chuckle’ that Muddy always did, I was convinced. Since that first meeting, we have become great friends and have worked together on many musical endeavors. Mud Morganfield has grown into a superstar on the blues circuit. Certainly, there will be comparisons to his dad, but that can be expected and rightly so. Mud comes as close to the Muddy experience as one can get. He will always pay tribute to his dad with the Chicago blues ensemble sound that Muddy created. But, Mud was also brought up musically in the ‘70s and ‘80s when soul, Motown and R&B ruled the world. Mud played bass and performed with bands playing the hits of that era. This, along with his blues pedigree, has influenced Mud’s own songwriting skills, which are constantly evolving.”



They Call Me Mud is Morganfield’s third album for Severn Records. Son of the Seventh Son (2012) was the first recording that brought Mud into the blues limelight. Mud wrote most of the songs on that album, which was nominated for numerous blues awards and received rave reviews around the world. His last album, For Pops (2014), a tribute to his dad that featured harmonica great Kim Wilson, was showcased on National Public Radio and garnered a Blues Music Award nomination for Traditional Album of the Year.



Rick Kreher describes the music on the new disc as “a blues buffet, with something for everyone. We have a new signature song, ‘They Call Me Mud,’ a hard hitting funky blues with Mud growling it on home. Some rockin’ blues with Studebaker John on harp and Mike Wheeler on guitar going toe-to-toe on ‘“Who’s Fooling Who?’ We have a couple of Chicago blues stompers, ‘Walkin’ Cane’ and ‘Rough Around the Edge;’ a great minor blues, ‘48 Days,’ with Billy Flynn channeling the great Jimmy Johnson on guitar; a Stax groove on ‘Oh Yeah;’ and Mike Wheeler again getting funky on ‘24 Hours.’



“Then, to honor his dad once again we have Muddy’s slide guitar blues, ‘Howlin’ Wolf,’ and the roaring shuffle, ‘Can’t Get No Grindin’,’ where everyone takes a solo turn. And finally, a jazzy instrumental, ‘Mud’s Groove,’ featuring the great Billy Branch on harp. This was the kind of song that blues bands would play before the star of the show would appear to get them into the groove. This song is a perfect finale to a CD that showcases Mud’s take on the blues.”







They Call Me Mud – Track Listing

1) They Call Me Mud   

2)  48 Days

3)  Cheatin’ is Cheatin’  

4)  Who’s Fooling Who?  

5) Howling Wolf  

6)  24 Hours 

7)  Who Loves You 

8)  Oh Yeah

9)  Can’t Get No Grindin’  

10) Rough Around the Edge

11) Walkin’ Cane   

12)  Mud’s Groove

Friday, July 7, 2017

Reverbrocket Records artist: The Gordon Meier Blues Experience - Magic Kingdom - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Magic Kingdom, from The Gordon Meier Blues Experience and it's vintage Chicago blues at it's best. Opening with Howlin' Wolf's Howlin' For My Darlin', Gordon Meier is front and center on lead vocal and guitar with Lester Veith on drums and Mark Friedman on bass. Meier's vocals are deep and resonant and Dean Shot's guitar tone screams old style. John Primer's Stop Draggin' That Chain Around has great swing with backing vocals by Friedman, super slide by John Taino and harp by Dennis Gruenling. Excellent! Taino is back on slide again on original track, Just Keep Ridin'.  Really cool. Red Headed Woman is a real nice boogie with a solid a solid boogie guitar line and clean riffs. Jimmy Rogers' Gold Tail Bird is nice and slow featuring Gruenling on harp. Meier's best vocals on the release and chilling guitar work make this one of my favorites on the release. A track that screams out from the release, Johnny Otis' Signifyin' Monkey, is really funny and gritty. (Stilladog...you need this!) Predominately vocal and keys (Tom Hammer), this track is a hoot!  Muddy Waters' Gypsy Woman is thick with Chicago blues. With traditional guitar riffs and super harp by Gruenling under Meier's vocals and tasty guitar soloing, really nice track. Wrapping the release is Freddie King's. The Stumble. An excellent closer for any show and in this case a super closer for a super release with top notch guitar work from Meier and organ from Hammer.



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Monday, May 15, 2017

Bobby Rush's 'Chicken Heads' box set wins Blues Music Award in Memphis












BOBBY RUSH’S CHICKEN HEADS BOX SET ON OMNIVORE
TAKES HOME “BEST HISTORICAL ALBUM” HONOR
IN BLUES MUSIC AWARDS 
Grammy Award-winning blues legend’s career compilation
spans 50 years and more than 20 labels



MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush box set, on Omnivore Recordings, won Best Historical Album at the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards (BMAs), held at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis on May 11. The BMAs are recognized as the highest honor given to blues musicians, and are awarded by the vote of Blues Foundation members.
Nominated in multiple BMA categories for his new music throughout the night, Bobby Rush earlier this year also took home the Best Traditional Blues Grammy® for his latest release, Porcupine Meat. His lengthy career was the subject of the BMA-winning Chicken Heads, Omnivore’s four-CD, decades-spanning overview project. 
The set contains over five hours of music culled from more than 20 labels including Rush’s Checker, Galaxy, and Jewel sides, through Philadelphia International, Malaco/Waldoxy, LaJam, and Urgent cuts, as well as material from his own Deep Rush label. Chicken Heads tells the story of Bobby Rush: unfiltered, unedited and unbelievable. 



Bobby Rush, 1951
The 32-page, full-color booklet is filled with photos, ephemera, liner notes from Bill Dahl and testimonials from friends and fans including Mavis Staples, Keb’ Mo’, Elvin Bishop, Denise LaSalle, Leon Huff, Al Bell, and many more. 
Produced by Rush himself along with Omnivore’s co-founder and Grammy®-winning producer Cheryl Pawelski; Jeff DeLia, Rush’s manager; and long-time publicist Cary Baker, Chicken Heads traces the bluesman’s career, from 1964’s “Someday” to the title track, from 1979 collaborations with Gamble & Huff to tracks from 2004’s FolkFunk. With mastering and restoration handled by Grammy® winner Michael Graves, Bobby’s vintage recordings have never sounded better.
According to Omnivore’s Pawelski, “When you’ve played with Elmore James, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Jimmy Reed, you must be on to something. When you’ve had a multi-generational career in music, spanning blues, soul and funk, that’s something else.”  
# # #
  



Chicken Heads co-produders Jeff DeLia, Cheryl Pawelski, Bobby Rush
and Cary Baker

Thursday, March 16, 2017

James Cotton has passed - My thoughts are with his family

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — James Cotton, a Grammy Award-winning blues harmonica master whose full-throated sound backed such blues legends as Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson II and Howlin' Wolf, has died at age 81.
A statement from Alligator Records, Cotton's label, says he died Thursday of pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin.
The Mississippi Delta native performed professionally since age 9. Cotton backed Muddy Waters in his landmark album "At Newport" on Chess Records.

After going solo in the 1960s, Cotton released almost 30 albums, including his 1996 Grammy Award-winning Verve album, "Deep In The Blues." His most recent album, "Cotton Mouth Man" for Alligator Records in 2013, was nominated for a Grammy.

James Henry Cotton (July 1, 1935 – March 16, 2017) was an American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter, who performed and recorded with many of the great blues artists of his time and with his own band. He played drums early in his career but is famous for his harmonica playing.
Cotton began his professional career playing the blues harp in Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. He made his first recordings in Memphis for Sun Records, under the direction of Sam Phillips. In 1955, he was recruited by Muddy Waters to come to Chicago and join his band. Cotton became Waters's bandleader and stayed with the group until 1965. In 1965 he formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to record between gigs with Waters's band. He eventually left Waters to form his own full-time touring group. His first full album, on Verve Records, was produced by guitarist Mike Bloomfield and vocalist and songwriter Nick Gravenites, who later were members of the band Electric Flag.
In the 1970s, Cotton played harmonica on Waters's Grammy Award–winning 1977 album Hard Again, produced by Johnny Winter.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Blues Hall of Fame Inductees announced: Mavis Staples, Johnny Copeland, Henry Gray, Latimore and more









MAVIS STAPLES, MAGIC SLIM, JOHNNY COPELAND,
HENRY GRAY AND LATIMORE
ARE AMONG THE NEWEST MEMBERS
OF THE BLUES HALL OF FAME 
Six performers, one album, five singles, one book and one magazine founder
will be inducted at the Blues Foundation’s 38th Annual
Induction Ceremony on May 10



MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Blues Foundation welcomes the 38th class of Blues Hall of Fame inductees in a ceremony taking place on May 10, 2017. This year’s 14 richly deserving honorees represent all five of the Hall of Fame’s categories: Performers, Non-Performing Individuals, Classic of Blues Literature, Classic of Blues Recording (Song) and Classic of Blues Recording (Album).
The six performers chosen for induction include two distinctive vocalists, Mavis Staples and Latimore; a pair of legendary guitarists, Magic Slim and Johnny Copeland; and longtime Howlin’ Wolf sidemen guitarist Willie Johnson and piano-man Henry Gray. They will join the more than 125 performers who already are Hall of Fame members. The year’s non-performer selection is Living Blues Magazine co-founder and radio show host Amy van Singel, who passed away in Sept. 2016. 
The Classic of Blues Literature pick is the rightfully recognized Father of the Blues, W.C. Handy’s 1941 memorable autobiography. John Lee Hooker was among the Hall’s first inductees in 1980 and now his 1966 Chess album Real Folk Blues will enter the Hall of Fame too in the Classic of Blues Recording Album category. The quintet of Classic of Blues Recording songs includes Bo Diddley’s signature tune “Bo Diddley,” Tommy Tucker’s much covered classic “Hi Heel Sneakers,” the Albert King hit “I’ll Play the Blues For You,” Son House’s “Preachin’ the Blues” and “I Ain’t Superstitious,” which features 2017 inductee Henry Gray playing on Howlin’ Wolf’s well-known 1961 recording. 
The Blues Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony takes place Wednesday, May 10 at Memphis’ Halloran Centre for the Performing Arts and Education. Hosted by the Blues Foundation, the evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with a Cocktail Reception, followed by the Induction Ceremony at 6:30 pm. Tickets for this open-to-the-public ceremony are $100 per seat and can be purchased online at: http://bit.ly/2kVoDRG
More festivities occur the following day, May 11, with the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards. Celebrating the past year’s best in blues recordings and performances, this event will be held at the Memphis Cook Convention Center. A pre-ceremony party commences at 5:30 p.m., while the Awards Show, including a seated dinner and featuring performances by many of the nominees, starts at 7 pm. Individual tickets and tables may be purchased for $150 per seat at the same link as above. For more information, contact Barbara Newman, President & CEO; barbara@blues.org; (901) 527-2583, Ext. 12 
ABOUT THE INDUCTEES:
Performers
Henry Gray, who played piano in the Howlin’ Wolf band and other Chicago blues groups before returning to his native Louisiana in 1968, has rarely been in the spotlight, but has steadily built an impressive resume entertaining audiences around the world with his blues-drenched piano pounding. Gray, born in 1925, is still performing regularly six decades after his first recording sessions in Chicago.
Willie Johnson (1923-1995) recorded only a few songs on his own, but as a sideman his storming barrage of distortion and incendiary guitar licks in the 1950s, especially on the early records of Howlin’ Wolf, earned him a lasting reputation as a groundbreaking commando in the annals of electric guitar playing. Mentored by Wolf in their Mississippi days, Johnson played in Wolf’s band in the South and in Chicago, and recorded for Sun Records in 1955.
Mavis Staples, one of America’s premier singers of gospel and soul music, has expanded her musical mastery with her performances in more blues-based settings in recent years. The blues is nothing new to the Staples family, as Mavis’ father and founder of the Staple Singers, Roebuck “Pop” Staples, was a devotee of Delta blues master Charley Patton back in Mississippi. Mavis, born in Chicago in 1939, remains on her lifelong mission to inspire and uplift her listeners no matter what musical genre she employs.
Johnny Copeland (1937-1997) was one of a bevy of blazing guitar slingers to emerge from the vibrant Third Ward of Houston, Texas, and one of the city’s most powerful singers as well.  Establishing himself with a series of blues and soul singles beginning in 1958, he attained national prominence in the 1980s recording blues albums for Rounder Records. His daughter Shemekia has followed in his footsteps by winning multiple Blues Music Awards.
Magic Slim led one of the most relentless, hard-driving bands in Chicago blues history for several decades until his death in 2013. Born Morris Holt in Mississippi in 1937, he earned his nickname from his friend and fellow blues guitar ace Magic Sam. Slim was also known for possessing perhaps the largest repertoire of any blues artist, always able to pick up another song from the radio or the jukebox, enabling him to record more than 30 albums and garner dozens of Blues Music Awards nominations. His son Shawn “Lil Slim” Holt is ably carrying on the family blues tradition.
Latimore, the abbreviated stage name of singer, keyboardist and a songwriter Benny Lattimore, has cut a dashing figure on the Southern soul circuit ever since he began touring in the 1970s on the strength of hits such as “Stormy Monday” and his best-known original, “Let’s Straighten It Out.”  Latimore, who was born in Tennessee in 1939 but has called Florida home since the 1960s, is now a distinguished and still spirited love philosopher and elder statesman of the scene.
Individuals: Business, Production, Media or Academic
Amy van Singel, known to blues radio audiences as “Atomic Mama,” was a cofounder of Living Blues magazine in Chicago in 1970. She and her former husband Jim O'Neal published the magazine from their home in Chicago until they transferred the publication to the University of Mississippi in 1983. Her radio career began at Northwestern University and included stints at stations in Chicago, Mississippi, Memphis, Alaska and Maine. Amy died in her sleep at her home in Maine on Sept. 19, 2016, at the age at 66.
Classics of Blues Literature
Father of the Blues by W.C. Handy is a monumental opus that is indispensable to the study of American musical history. Published in 1941, the book traces Handy’s background as a trained orchestra leader, his discovery of the blues and the struggles he endured to become a successful music publisher. It is often cited as a primary resource on the earliest years of blues history. No book is more deserving of designation as a Classic of Blues Literature.
Classics of Blues Recording: Albums
The 1966 John Lee Hooker album Real Folk Blues is the latest of several Chess Records’ Real Folk Blues albums to be elected to the Blues Hall of Fame. Whereas the rest of the LPs in the series by Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and others were compilations of older recordings, the Hooker album was newly recorded in May of 1966 in Chicago. Hooker was his inimitable and spontaneous self, reworking some of his older songs and improvising new ones, accompanied by his Detroit guitarist Eddie Burns and Chicago sidemen Lafayette Leake and S.P. Leary.
Classics of Blues Recording: Singles
“Bo Diddley” was not only the 1955 hit record that made Ellas McDaniel famous — it also gave him his professional name. The famed “Bo Diddley beat,” an energized update of the old “Hambone” rhythm, rocked the world, and Bo continued to create classics for Checker Records in Chicago with his innovative blend of blues and rock ’n’ roll.
“Hi-Heel Sneakers” by Tommy Tucker was the last blues record from the mighty Chess Records catalogue to hit No. 1 on the charts. Recorded in New York in 1963, the single on Chess’ Checker subsidiary label topped the Cash Box magazine R&B charts in 1964. Tucker’s enticement to “put on your red dress” and hi-heel sneakers has resounded on countless bandstands ever since.
“I Ain’t Superstitious,” an ominous Willie Dixon composition recorded by Howlin’ Wolf in 1961, is best known to rock audiences through the Jeff Beck Group’s 1968 cover version featuring Rod Stewart on vocals. On the original session for Chess Records in Chicago, Wolf’s band included Hubert Sumlin, Jimmy Rogers, Sam Lay and 2017 Blues Hall of Fame inductee Henry Gray.
“I’ll Play the Blues for You,” recorded by Albert King in Memphis for the Stax label in 1971, was written by Jerry Beach, a longtime fixture on the Shreveport, Louisiana, music scene who died in 2016. In Beach’s lyrics, sung with warmth and tenderness by King, the blues becomes a source of soothing and comfort. King’s 45 spent eight weeks on Billboard magazine’s Best Selling Soul Singles chart in 1972 
“Preachin’ the Blues,” a two-part single by Son House on the Paramount label from 1930, is a prime example not only of House’s intensity as a Delta blues singer and guitarist but also of his lifelong inner conflict between the lure of the blues life and devotion to the church. House, who did preach in church at times, also sang of the hypocrisy he saw in religion with lyrics such as “I’m gonna be a Baptist preacher and I sure won’t have to work.”

About the Blues Hall of Fame Museum: Since opening in May of 2015, the Blues Hall of Fame Museum has become a must-see destination for blues aficionados and casual fans alike. Through its ten permanent galleries and the Upstairs Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruise Gallery’s temporary exhibit space, the museum exposes, educates, and entertains visitors, providing them a unique way to explore blues culture and history, while also highlighting its 400 inductees. Visitors can use interactive touchscreens to access databases that allow them to hear music, watch videos and read stories about every museum’s inductees. Guests can also view one-of-a-kind memorabilia, from musical instruments and tour attire to awards and artwork.
The 2017 Hall of Fame class will be represented in the special exhibit galleries beginning in early May. Located at 421 S. Main Street, Memphis, the museum is open seven days a week (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Sat., 1-5 p.m. Sun.). Admission is $10 per person, with children and Blues Foundation members free. The museum is also available for private parties and events after hours. For more information, call 901-527-2583.
About the Blues Foundation: This world-renowned, Memphis-based organization holds a mission to preserve blues heritage, celebrate blues recording and performance, expand worldwide awareness of the blues, and ensure the future of this uniquely American art form. Founded in 1980, The Blues Foundation has approximately 4,000 individual members and 200 affiliated blues societies representing another 50,000 fans and professionals around the world. Its signature honors and events — the Blues Music Awards, International Blues Challenge, and Keeping the Blues Alive Awards — make it the international hub of blues music. Its HART Fund provides the blues community with medical assistance for musicians in need, while Blues in the Schools programs and Generation Blues Scholarships expose new generations to blues music. Throughout the year, the Foundation staff serves the global blues community with answers, information, and news.