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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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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Every Day I Have The Blues - Jimmy D Lane

Jimmy D. Lane (born July 4, 1965, Chicago, Illinois, United States) is an American electric blues guitarist.
Lane was born to the Chess blues musician Jimmy Rogers and his wife Dorothy. In his childhood, he got to know many older bluesmen who worked with his father, including Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Mabon, Little Walter and Albert King. Lane would say years later, "I feel blessed and fortunate to have known all those cats and I do not take it for granted."In 1998, Lane played for the then President Bill Clinton. Lane moved to Canada in 2007 and began, the now completed, double album project with his wife Beverly Butler'Lane.

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”

Monday, December 31, 2012

Going Down Slow - St. Louis Jimmy Oden

James Burke "St. Louis Jimmy" Oden (June 26, 1903 – December 30, 1977) was an American blues vocalist and songwriter. Born in Nashville, Tennessee, United States, Oden sang and taught himself to play the piano in childhood. In his teens, he left home to go to St. Louis, Missouri (c. 1917 ) where piano-based blues was prominent. He was able to develop his vocal talents and began performing with the pianist, Roosevelt Sykes. After more than ten years playing in and around St. Louis, in 1933 he and Sykes decided to move on to Chicago. In Chicago he was dubbed St. Louis Jimmy and there he would enjoy a solid performing and recording career for the next four decades. While Chicago became his home base, Oden traveled with a group of blues players to various places throughout the United States. He recorded a large number of records, his best known coming in 1941 on the Bluebird Records label called "Goin' Down Slow." Oden wrote a number of songs, two of which, "Take the Bitter with the Sweet" and "Soon Forgotten," were recorded by his friend, Muddy Waters. In 1948 on Aristocrat Records Oden cut "Florida Hurricane", accompanied by the pianist Sunnyland Slim and the guitarist Muddy Waters. In 1949, Oden partnered with Joe Brown to form a small recording company called J.O.B. Records. Oden appears to have ended his involvement within a year, but with other partners the company remained in business till 1974. After a serious road accident in 1957 he devoted himself to writing and placed material with Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf ("What a Woman!") and John Lee Hooker. In 1960 he made an album with Bluesville Records, and sang on a Candid Records session with Robert Lockwood, Jr. and Otis Spann. Oden died of bronchopneumonia, at the age of 74, in 1977 and was interred in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois, near Chicago. 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, October 7, 2012

Smokestack Lightning - Don't Laugh At Me - Howlin Wolf with Clifton James

One of the best blues lineups you'd likely dream of. Howlin Wolf : Vocal Guitar Sunnyland Slim: Piano Hubert Sumlin: Guitar Willie Dixon: Bass Clifton James: Drums One of a half-dozen essential drummers from the Chicago scene, Clifton James was closely associated with the mighty guitar slinger Bo Diddley for 16 years. This places James front and center at the creation of one of the most important beats in rock music, known as the "Bo Diddley beat" -- as if there was anything else it could be called. Actually, there might just be some other things that this beat might be called, as it is traceable back to ceremonial drummers of the African nation of Burundi, as well as forward into the avant-garde rock of Captain Beefheart, who often credited this beat as being the source of most of his songs. Although in the latter case, at least one of his Magic Band drummers, Jimmy Carl Black, has indicated that the exact instructions were to "play the Bo Diddley beat backwards." James worked off and on with Diddley, who also adopted the African traditions of praising himself through song, from 1954 through 1970, and is also heard on straight-ahead Chicago blues recordings by artists such as Sonny Boy Williamson II, Muddy Waters, and Buddy Guy. The drummer was also one of the Chicago players who was involved in bringing this great genre of blues directly to audiences, when the public's interest in the style mushroomed in the '60s. As a member of the Chicago Blues All Stars in the late '60s, under the loose direction of bassist and songwriter Willie Dixon, he toured Europe, the United States, and Canada, hitting many cities where this style of blues had never been performed live. Other members of this group included pianist Sunnyland Slim, harmonica champ Shakey Walter Horton, and the fine guitarist Johnny Shines. He had also toured Europe in 1964 as part of an especially stripped down Howlin' Wolf quartet rounded out by Slim and Dixon. A live recording released by this outfit, although not legitimate, is certainly worth seeking out. Better known, but not as strong musically, are the European recordings of Sonny Boy Williamson II, which combined Chicago bluesmen with members of the British blues-rock combo the Yardbirds. Another all-star outfit was the Chicago Blues Band, which included both Shines and John Lee Hooker in the frontline, despite the fact that the latter blues great was not from the Windy City at all. The Super Super Blues Band The drummer was also a popular choice if a loose jam session was the order of the day, as he had a pleasant, giving personality that helped smooth out any rough spots that might occur between these highly competitive blues stars. Although albums such as Super Super Blues Band, featuring four of the top names in Chicago blues, or Two Great Guitars, which brings together archrivals Diddley and Chuck Berry, tend to be disappointing, the tracks show off the ease with which James can lay down a nice groove, even if the stars can't seem to think of anything to do on top. James was also granted the occasional vocal number when performing with these type of all-star outfits, and sang the blues with enough aplomb to make some listeners wish he had had more of a solo career. He has led bands occasionally, including a tour of Holland in the '70s. 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”

Monday, December 23, 2013

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

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

  If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Blind and Dumb Man Blues - Big Smokey Smothers

Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers (March 21, 1929 – July 23, 1993) was an African American, Chicago blues guitarist and singer. He was once a member of Howlin' Wolf's backing band, and worked variously with Muddy Waters, Jimmy Rogers, Bo Diddley, Ike Turner, J. T. Brown, Freddie King, Little Johnny Jones, Little Walter, and Willie Dixon. His younger brother, Abe (born Albert, January 2, 1939), became known as the bluesman Little Smokey Smothers, with whom he is sometimes confused.
Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers was a sideman of Howlin Wolf in the 50s. In the early 60s he got this rare but well deserved turn on the mike - backed by a mean Chicago blues band featuring future great Freddie King.
Confusingly, Otis' brother Little Smokey is also a blues guitarist. You will notice therefore we have genuine Smothers brothers here.
Smothers was born in Lexington, Mississippi, and was taught by his aunt to play both harmonica and guitar. Smothers relocated to Chicago in 1946, and his debut stage performance occurred with Johnny Williams and Johnny "Man" Young. In the early part of the 1950s, Smothers played alongside his own cousin Lester Davenport, plus Arthur "Big Boy" Spires, Earl Hooker, Henry Strong, and Bo Diddley.

In 1956 and 1957, Howlin' Wolf invited Smothers to play as his rhythm guitarist on several Chess tracks, including "Who's Been Talking," "Tell Me," "Change My Way," "Goin' Back Home," "The Natchez Burning," and "I Asked For Water." Smothers secured a recording contract with Federal Records in August 1960. With Sonny Thompson as his record producer, and Freddie King on lead guitar, Smothers saw the resultant album, Smokey Smothers Sings the Backporch Blues released in 1962. Another four track session followed, including "Twist With Me Annie", a reworked version of "Work with Me, Annie." As a part-time member of Muddy Waters' backing band, Smothers also cut "I Got My Eyes on You," in 1968.

Otis 'Big Smokey' Smothers help to form the Muddy Waters Junior Band as tribute to his friend and blues legend, Muddy Waters. While Muddy Waters was touring abroad (Europe, overseas), Smothers would perform as lead guitarists with the Muddy Waters Junior Band.

The 1970s were a lean time for Smothers, but he finally returned to recording in 1986, when Red Beans Records issued his album, Got My Eyes On You. His backing band were billed as The Ice Cream Men, a nod to Smothers working as an ice cream vendor back in the 1950s.

Smothers wrote songs for Muddy Waters, and has a catalogue of songs to his credit including his, "I've Been Drinking Muddy Water", "Ain't Gon Be No Monkey Man", and "Can't Judge Nobody."

Latterly suffering from heart disease, Smothers died in Chicago at the age of 64, in July 1993
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”

Friday, July 29, 2011

Tribute to Elmore - Sunnyland Slim & Eddie Taylor

Eddie Taylor (January 29, 1923 – December 25, 1985) was an American blues guitarist and singer.
Born Edward Taylor in Benoit, Mississippi, as a boy Taylor taught himself to play the guitar. He spent his early years playing at venues around Leland, Mississippi, where he taught his friend Jimmy Reed to play guitar. With a guitar style deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta tradition, in 1949 Taylor moved to Chicago.

While Taylor never achieved the stardom of some of his compatriots in the Chicago Blues scene, he nevertheless was an integral part of that era and is especially noted as a main accompanist for Jimmy Reed as well as working with John Lee Hooker, Big Walter Horton and others. Taylor's own records "Big Town Playboy" and "Bad Boy" on Vee Jay Records became local hits in the 1950s.

Taylor's son Eddie Taylor Jr. is a blues guitarist in Chicago, his stepson Larry Taylor is a blues drummer and vocalist, and his daughter Demetria is a blues vocalist in Chicago. . Taylor's wife Vera was the niece of bluesmen Eddie "Guitar" Burns and Jimmy Burns.

Taylor died on Christmas Day in 1985 in Chicago, at age 62, and was interred in an unmarked grave in the Restvale Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1987.

Albert "Sunnyland Slim" Luandrew (September 5, 1907 – March 17, 1995) was an American blues pianist, who was born in the Mississippi Delta and later moved to Chicago, to contribute to that city's post-war scene as a center for blues music.[2] Chicago's broadcaster and writer, Studs Terkel, said Sunnyland Slim was "a living piece of our folk history, gallantly and eloquently carrying on in the old tradition."
Sunnyland Slim was born in 1906 on a farm in Quitman County, near Vance, Mississippi (some sources erroneously give this date as 1907). He moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1925, where he performed with many of the popular blues musicians of the day. His stage name came from a song he composed about the Sunnyland train that ran between Memphis and St. Louis, Missouri. In 1942 he followed the great migration of southern workers to the industrial north in Chicago.

At that time the electric blues was taking shape there, and through the years Sunnyland Slim played with such musicians as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Robert Lockwood, Jr., and Little Walter. His piano style is characterised by heavy basses or vamping chords in the left hand and tremolos with his right. His voice was loud and he sang in a declamatory style.

Sunnyland Slim's first recording was as a singer with Jump Jackson's band on the Specialty label in September 1946. His first recordings as a leader were on the Hy-Tone and Aristocrat labels in late 1947. Slim continued performing until his death in 1995.

He had released one record on RCA Victor using the moniker 'Dr. Clayton's Buddy': "Illinois Central" b/w "Sweet Lucy Blues" (Victor 20-2733).

In 1988 he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship.

Sunnyland Slim died in March 1995 in Chicago, after complications from renal failure, at the age of 88.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Moon Is Shinin - Alex Wilson

ALEX WILSON grew up in a family of talented musicians..... Alex's grandmother, Rosa Saviano was a renowned professional jazz singer in Chicago in the 1940's and 50's. Tom Wilson, Alex's father, is a multi-faceted musician who has had the distinct pleasure of accompanying nearly every blues performer to pass through the Milwaukee/Chicago music scene in the last thirty years. Marc Wilson, Alex's uncle AND drummer, is one of the most sought after drummers in the country. He's played with B.B.King, Big Walter Horton, Buddy Guy, Jimmy Rodgers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Susan Tedeschi, Anson Funderburgh and Sam Meyers to name but a few..... Alex picked up the guitar at five years old and never put it down. Immersed in the Milwaukee blues scene, Alex was surrounded, and influenced by such local luminaries as Stokes, Lee Gates, Jim Liban and Milwaukee Slim..... Alex formed his own garage band at thirteen. By seventeen he began to dig deep into the blues, learning the songs and styles of masters such as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter, Buddy Guy, Jimi Hendrix and Magic Sam..... At seventeen Alex began playing professionally and by twenty-one he had joined Milwaukee's Blue Rubies and was performing regionally while still playing part-time with his own band. Playing up to 25 gigs a month, Wilson honed and sharpened his skills as a singer/songwriter, guitar player and over all entertainer..... In '05 and '06 Alex began to focus solely on his own project, booking shows, finding his own sound and the right players from the mid-west music scene to take his show on the road. .... With Alex's uncle Marc Wilson on the drums, and Alex's brother Matthew singing harmonies and playing bass, Alex is running with one of the toughest bands on the scene today. It's no surprise that they won the 2007 WAMI (Wisconsin Area Music Industry) Award for blues group/artist of the year..... After playing a series of shows for the Chinese New Year in Beijing with Grammy nominated blues harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, Alex returned to the states to find himself a triple nominee for the WAMI Awards in 2008!.... A versatile musician, Alex effortlessly switches between genres. He plays everything from sweet Beale Street blues to West coast swing. From hard Texas grinders to stone cold Chicago grooves with a feeling that's said to be timeless. Alex's style and tasty originals matched with his undeniable stage presence and unmistakable guitar style will drive you to the dance floor. His long-awaited and freshly nominated debut CD, Tell Me Why, has been released on "Rathskeller Records"..... To say that Alex Wilson is one to look out for down the road is an understatement. Taking the Midwest by storm, this young musician is a force to be reckoned with......... MARC WILSON, born in Chicago, raised in Milwaukee, picked up his first drum stick at age 12. With "Stone-Cohen Blues Band" his first band in high school to the "Alex Wilson Band" today, Marc has been in the blues business for 30 + years..... Marc got a solid foundation early on, traveling with an inner-city gospel group, playing churches through out the Chicago/Milwaukee area. Soon after this time, Marc joined the popular regional band "Brian Lee Band"..... In 1978 Marc moved to Lincoln, Nebraska and started playing with the "Heart Murmurs", the house band for the infamous "Zoo Bar". At the "Zoo Bar" Marc had the unique opportunity to play with all the great touring blues bands of our time. This is where he met Anson Funderburgh and Sam Meyers which led his path to Texas, where he toured extensively throughout the US and Europe with "Anson and the Rockets", winning 4 WC Handy awards in 1988. During this period Marc also recorded on Black Top records with many other blues artists..... In 1989 Marc hooked-up with another guitar slinging band, "Mike Morgan and the Crawl" which was also very successful in the US and overseas, and had their tunes recorded on some national TV shows. Marc also played with Marcia Ball while in Texas..... Coming full circle, Marc moved back to his roots in the Chicago/Milwaukee area to play with his old friend, harmonica great, Mathew Skoller and the "Mathew Skoller Band". With family in Milwaukee, Marc also found himself playing with his two nephews in the "Alex Wilson Band". This band is 100 percent Wilson, featuring Marc's two talented nephews Alex and Matthew Wilson, creating a very special family affair..... Marc has traveled to 4 continents and recorded tracks on over 50 CD's which include critically acclaimed records by Anson and the Rockets, Snooks Eaglin , Joe Guitar Hughes, Nappy Brown, Henry Qualls, and Robert Ealey to name a few. Marc also has recorded some tracks on a major motion picture "China Moon"..... Marc has had the privilege to play on stage with blues masters, contemporaries and rockers such as BB King, Buddy Guy, Big Walter Horton, Jimmy Rodgers, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Vaughn, Susan Tedeschi, Boz Skaggs, Donovan, Charlie Musselwhite, and Johnny Johnson, and the beat goes on and on......... MATTHEW WILSON was born in to a world of music. Surrounded by roots music and musicians from the time he was in the cradle, Matthew has led a life of musical privilege. As a small child, he was in regular attendance of the performances of his father and uncle. By 5, Matthew was given drum sticks and had been taught basic rhythms and beats that would only continue to grow stronger with age. These experiences planted a seed that would eventually blossom into a talented, young musician..... With a foundation in the blues, Matthew developed a grade school love of the Beatles. This relationship was interrupted when a friend gave him Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced". Within a year, Matthew formed his first band..... At the same time, Matthew began to frequent his father's open blues jam at Milwaukee's Up 'n' Under Pub, where he began regularly performing with his father Tom and brother Alex. By age 10, he was sitting in, playing guitar and bass and at 14, he became part of the house band, playing with such local luminaries as Stokes, Lee Gates, Milwaukee Slim, Jim Liban and blues legend Hubert Sumlin. These weekly jams are where Matthew first cut his teeth, playing guitar, bass and drums. .... In 2006, Matthew began singing and playing bass with his brother, Alex Wilson. Since then Matthew has been privileged to play with WAMI award-winning drummer Craig Panosh, funk drummer and pioneer Clyde Stubblefield, formerly with James Brown, two time W.C Handy award winning drummer AND uncle, Marc Wilson, and most recently with Grammy nominated blues legend, Charlie Musselwhite..... Things have been going very, VERY well for this bright, young musician and the future only looks brighter!.... .. ..
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”

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

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival: Trampled Under Foot Reunion, Much More!


Two Big Days - Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26
At Winter Park, CO


    (WINTER PARK, CO) - This year's 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival features its finest music lineup yet, with a reunion by renowned Blues-Americana group, Trampled Under Foot! The festival - presentede by the Grand County Blues Society- takes place Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, at Hideaway Park, 78820 US Highway 40, in Winter Park. A portion of the festival's proceeds benefit Blue Star Connection, now in it's tenth year of providing access and ownership of musical instruments for children and young adults with cancer and other serious challenges, as well as providing music therapy departments with instruments. Tickets (now through Sunday, May 15): $20. (1-day Pass) or $35. (2-day Pass), available at the website, Radio Shack in Fraser; and the Winter Park Visitor's Center. Ticket prices after May 15: General Admission 1-Day Pass (Saturday or Sunday), $28., General Admission 2-Day Pass $49. Kids 13 and under, free. Buy tickets/additional info:

           All other Festival information:

    Grand County Blues Society Mission Statement is "To support the Blues by bringing National and International Blues Artists to Grand County on a regular basis, and to bring Blues Education into the schools of Grand County." 

Trampled Under Foot reunites for the 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival. 
They perform on Saturday, June 25 in the headlining slot.

   Each day of Blues From The Top features a star-studded lineup. Saturday it's a Trampled Under Foot Reunion Show, the Albert Castiglia Band (with Josh Smith and Kate Moss), Monkey Junk, Kara Grainger, Josh Hoyer & Soul Collective, and the Austin Young Blues all-Stars featuring Michaela Rae, Michael Hornbuckle and others. Sunday's lineup is headlined by guitarist Eric Gales, Samantha Fish Band, Jimmy Hall with My Blue Sky, Willie K and the Warehouse Blues Band, John Nemeth with Deana Bogart and Jimmy Carpenter, and the High Mountain Gospel Choir with Renee Austin, Tempa Singer, Southern Review, Bart Szop, and more.
Both days also feature a "Keeping The Blues Alive" stage with many of today's best young national and regional blues talent.  

        Colorful blues guitarist Eric Gales (pictured) headlines the Sunday, June 26  star-studded 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival lineup.

About The 14th Annual Blues From The Top Festival Headliners

   Trampled Under Foot: The soul blues trio Trampled Under Foot consists of siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals) and Kris Schnebelen, (drums). They grew up with the blues in Kansas City. Their father, Bill, was a blues guitarist in the band Little Eva and would regularly take his three children to jam sessions. Growing up, the siblings played separately in numerous bands over the years. Danielle was in Fresh Brew (1999-2004), Kris was a staple at blues clubs, and Nick was in Killing Floor (or K-Floor), and briefly, Buddahead. Missing the family camaraderie, the siblings formed Trampled Under Foot in 2000. The band released four studio sessions: Trampled Under Foot (2006), May I Be Excused in (2008), and Wrong Side of the Blues in (2011). They also issued Live at the Notodden Blues Festival in 2010. The combination of those releases and non-stop touring caught the attention of the jazz and blues label Telarc, who signed the band in 2013. They issued their fifth studio album, Badlands, that same year. In 2016 the famed trip reunites to perform at the 14th Blues From The Top Festival.
     Eric Gales: Blues guitar phenom Eric Gales was born and raised in Memphis, learning to play at age four from older brothers Eugene and Manuel in imitation of their upside-down, left-handed style (a tradition actually passed down from their grandfather, Dempsey Garrett Sr., who was known to jam with the likes of Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf). Winning his first blues contest at 11, four years later Eric signed to Elektra to issue his 1991 debut LP, recorded with Eugene on bass; Picture of a Thousand Faces followed in 1993. Manuel (who previously performed under the alias Little Jimmy King) reunited with his siblings for 1995's Left Hand Band, credited to the Gales Brothers. A newly matured Gales returned in spring 2001 to release his debut for MCA, That's What I Am. Often billed as the second coming of Jimi Hendrix, Gales, an adequate singer at best but a dynamite guitarist, suffered for the comparison. With Gales always influenced by Hendrix and the power trio format, his next albums, 2006's Crystal Vision and 2007's Psychedelic Underground, both released by Blues Bureau Records, seemed like facsimile Hendrix albums, right down to the album art. His next two releases from Blues Bureau, 2008's The Story of My Life and 2009's Layin' Down the Blues, found the Hendrix influence muted somewhat, but Gales, a breathtaking guitarist at times, still seemed to be looking for a way out of the Hendrix shadow and into his own voice. Gales returned in 2010 with Relentless, a collection of 13 originals, and followed it with the passionate Transformation a year later in 2011. The all-instrumental Ghost Notes arrived in the fall of 2013.




Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Wolf Pack - Kid Thomas

Kid Thomas wasn't just a Little Richard-clone, though his wild singing style and specially his incredible hairdo made him look like one. Actually he was a real blues man, a harmonica player, who named Little Walter (Jacobs) for his biggest influence and a teacher. Think 'bout that, unbelievers!
.. Kid Thomas was born Louis Thomas Watts on June 20, 1934, in Sturgis, Mississippi (I guess it may be necessary to mention, that this Kid Thomas is NOT the same person as Kid Thomas Valentine, famous jazz musician from New Orleans). Louis, alongside his parents V.T. and Virgie moved to Chicago in 1941. There he learnt to play the harmonica from a guy called Little Walter Smith, while he - in exchange - teached him to play the drums (Thomas' original instrument)! At that time he also got his nickname ('cause of his young age and tendency to a vicious lifestyle...).
..At some point Kid founded an own group and they managed to get a recording session for King-Federal (which actually was just a demo session). In Cincinnati, April 18, 1957 they recorded eight tracks, and two of them ended up to be Kid Thomas' first single release: "Wolf Pack" (a.k.a. "Wolf Call") and its flip-side, Screamin' Jay Hawkins-soundalike "The Spell". Those two and the six unreleased songs ("Jivin' Mess", "Come Here Woman", "She's Fine", "Here's My Story", "Ride On, Ride On" and "Beulah Come Back" a.k.a. "Beulah Lee") were so tough harmonica rhythm'n'blues, that Kid made his way straight to the heavyweight. And even harder stuff was to come later!
..In 1957 Kid Thomas heard 'bout Little Richard and changed his performance and outlook more into rock'n'roll. These two wild rockin' screwballs even met each other in 1957, and - the story tells that they really got along...
..One day, two hitch-hikers from Kansas came to Chicago and saw Kid and the group doin' a rehearsal at the Cadillac Baby's, which was their regular stage club. A little bit later Kid received a letter from these same guys and they wanted to book him to play in Wichita, Kansas! So - Kid and his boys stole (!) a car and drove there, playin' couple of months regularly at the Sportsman's Lounge (working also with Hound Dog Taylor, whom he had previously known in Chicago) - until the band (and the car) broke up and Kid had to return to windy city (Kid had some shorter club-vacancys in Wichita also after that).
..The future didn't look very rosy for Kid and he spent several years doin' minor part-time jobs and some occasional club gigs. At that time he worked for instance with Magic Sam and Otis Rush. Thomas got back to Wichita in 1958 and then to Denver, Colorado. Not until he settled in Los Angeles, California, in the late 1958 or early 1959, he could finally continue his musical bizness seriously. That moment really came true in 1960, when music-backgrounder and the Modern Records' A&R man George Mottola produced his single on Brad Atwood's TRC-Transcontinental label (Mottola made a hit "Goodnight My Love" for Jesse Belvin in 1956 and co-wrote the Eddie Cochran/Jimmy Madden-song "Jeanie Jeanie Jeanie" with Rickie Page. He also worked with Lee Hazelwood makin' "Lou Be Doo" for Sanford Clark). "Rockin' This Joint Tonite" backed with "You Are An Angel" was an A-class rock'n'roll-single, real wild and furious stuff. Kid plays his harmonica like a saxophone and howls like a madman! The record itself was even a tiny success in Chicago, although the TRC Records folded right after its release. Anway, it gave Kid enough courage to set up a new gig group. The Rhythm Rockers toured around all through the first part of 1960's, doin' club gigs, playin' mostly twist and other hip-music.
..In the mid 60's Thomas contracted with L.A.-based Muriel Records, that waxed two his singles under pseudonym Tommy Louis (and the Rhythm Rockers). The first release included "The Hurt Is On" and "I Love You So", which were basic blues ballads with funky incluences and sharp Buddy Guy/B.B. King-styled guitar solos (by Kid's regular guitarist Marshall Hooks). On the contrary, the second Muriel-release was like a flashback from Kid's rock'n'roll past: a truly blast-off full of speed, anger and lunacy! To make a long story short, "Wail Baby Wail" backed with "Lookie There" were simply the best kind of rockin' r'n'b that anyone made anywhere in 1965!
..Sadly none of Muriel singles succeeded and the next years Thomas had to make his living by singin' in private parties and lousy beer joints, like Cozy Lounge in South East Los Angeles. In the late 60's he made a single for Cenco-label. In this last studio session Kid recorded instrumental songs called "Cozy Lounge Blues" and "Willow-brook", and a new version of "You Are An Angel" (the last two were the single-songs). Still in the same year a blues researcher Daryl Stolper made him an interview, that was originally published on Blues Unlimited no. 72 in May of 1970 - just a month later Thomas' tragic death.
..Thomas, who lived then in Beverly Hills, worked as a lawn mowin' man. He owned a pick-up, that he used in his work. On September 3, 1969, a 10-year old boy was ridin' his bicycle, when he was struck by a van driven by Thomas, and died. Thomas got arrested and charged of manslaughter and drivin' with a revoked license. Finally the homicide case was dismissed because of insufficient evidence, but he was due back in court on the latter charge. Outside the courthouse waited the dead boy's father, who pulled out a gun and shot him down. Kid Thomas, 36, died almost immediately at 9:20 a:m at UCLA Medical Center, Beverly Hills on April 5, 1970.
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