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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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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Willie Kent featuring Guy King

Listen to the music: when he sings, Willie Kent’s voice blazes out from the heart of the blues. Below the singing, you hear his bass guitar, flawless and rich. Between these two runs the music, a deep, honest blues that flowed from rural Mississippi to urban Chicago and remembers everything it learned along the way. Willie Kent was born in 1936 in the small town of Inverness, Mississippi, just a hundred miles south of the border with Tennessee, and the blues ran all through his childhood. His first experience singing came in church, where he went "all the time" with his mother and brother. "Blues and gospel come from the same place," he would say later in life. "They're both from the heart." But the blues always called to him. Dewitt Munson, a neighbor wending homeward late nights with a guitar in his hand and a bottle in his pocket, would stop a while at the Kent porch to rest, letting the young Willie hold his guitar while he told stories. Through radio station KFFA’s famous "King Biscuit Time", Willie basked in the sounds of Arthur Crudup, Sonny Boy Williamson, and especially Robert Nighthawk. By the time he was eleven, he was regularly slipping out to the Harlem Inn on Highway 61 to hear it all live: Raymond Hill, Jackie Brenston, Howlin’ Wolf, Clayton Love, Ike Turner, Little Milton. He left home at the age of thirteen. In 1952 he arrived in Chicago, where he soon was working all day and listening to music all night. One of his co-workers was cousin to Elmore James - and Willie Kent (still underage) took to following that famous bluesman from club to club, absorbing his music. Each weekend he’d go out looking for blues, and he found it: Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, J.B. Lenoir, Johnnie Jones, Eddie "Playboy" Taylor, A.C. Reed, J.B. Hutto, and Earring George Mayweather. His love for the music led him further and further into it. He bought himself a guitar, and in 1959 through guitarist friend Willie Hudson, linked up with the band Ralph and the Red Tops, acting as driver and manager and sometimes joining them onstage to sing. He made a deal with Hudson, letting him use the new guitar in trade for lessons on how to play it. One night’s show was decisive: the band’s bass player arrived too drunk to play, and because the band had already spent the club’s deposit, they couldn’t back out of the gig; so Willie Kent made his debut as a bass player, on the spot. He never looked back. From that point on, his credits as a musician read like a "Who’s Who" of Chicago blues. After the Red Tops, he played bass with several bands around the city and stopped in often for Kansas City Red’s reknowned "Blue Monday" parties. He was increasingly serious about his music and formed a group with guitarists Joe Harper and Joe Spells and singer Little Wolf. By 1961, he was playing bass behind Little Walter, and by the mid-60’s was sitting in with Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Junior Parker. Toward the end of the 60’s, he joined Arthur Stallworth and the Chicago Playboys as their bass player, worked briefly with Hip Linkchain, then played bass behind Jimmy Dawkins. He joined Jimmy Dawkins on his 1971 European tour, but when they returned to the States, their paths diverged: Dawkins wanted to keep touring and turned over his regular gig at Ma Bea’s Lounge to Willie Kent, who wanted to stay in Chicago. For the next six years, the Ma Bea’s house band was known as Sugar Bear and the Beehives, headed by Willie Kent (the Sugar Bear himself) with guitarist Willie James Lyons and drummer Robert Plunkett. In that setting, he set the tone of the club and backed up a stellar guest list including Fenton Robinson, Hubert Sumlin, Eddie Clearwater, Jimmy Johnson, Carey Bell, Buster Benton, Johnny Littlejohn, Casey Jones, Bob Fender, Mighty Joe Young, B.B. Jones, and Jerry Wells. (For a taste of the music, check out the superb 1975 recording Ghetto – Willie Kent and Willie James Lyons live at Ma Bea’s.) Willie Kent had played occasionally with Eddie Taylor’s blues band during the late 70’s, and in 1982 became a regular member of the band, which then included Eddie Taylor on guitar, Willie Kent on bass, Johnny B. Moore on guitar, and Larry and Tim Taylor on drums. His relationship with Eddie Taylor was both a solid friendship and a warm musical partnership (evidenced in Eddie Taylor’s fine recording Bad Boy on Wolf Records). After the death of Eddie Taylor, Willie Kent devoted his energies to his own band, Willie Kent and the Gents, with Kent on bass and vocals, Tim Taylor on drums, and Jesse Williams and Johnny B. Moore on guitar. And the Gents endured. Over the years, the composition of the group shifted as musicians joined or moved on, but the music remained as clear, powerful and steady as the bass line that held it true: a pure Chicago West Side blues. By the end of his life, Willie Kent was well-known and respected in the blues world, but getting there wasn’t easy. In 1989, a series of heart problems led to life-changing triple bypass surgery. As he healed, he spent time reflecting on blues music, his career, and the future. He gave up his day job and turned his full attention to music. His discography bears witness: before 1989, there were just two recordings to his credit; in the years since, he had ten releases under his own name, recorded behind many other blues artists, and appeared in countless blues compilations. He always thought his singing should get more recognition than it did; but his bass playing earned him many honors.

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Shoot My Baby - Tracy Nelson w/ Marcia Ball

“Tracy Nelson isn’t so much a singer as she is a force field — a blues practitioner of tremendous vocal power and emotional range.” - Alanna Nash, Entertainment Weekly “ . . . a bad white girl . . .” —Etta James, from her autobiography, Rage To Live She has one of the signature voices of her generation. That natural gift has always guided Tracy Nelson’s soul; indeed allowed her to both write and seek out the deeper songs regardless of niche or genre. A fierce singer of truth, a fountain of the deepest heartache, she is an ultimate communicator and has regularly destroyed audiences across decades of performing. She is one of the few female singers who has had hit records in both blues and country genres, performing with everyone from Muddy Waters to Willie Nelson to Marcia Ball and Irma Thomas, with Grammy® nominations for both her country and blues efforts. John Swenson, writing in Rolling Stone, asserted, “Tracy Nelson proves that the human voice is the most expressive instrument in creation.” With Victim of the Blues (Delta Groove), her 26th album in just over five decades, she has circled fully, back to the original music from South Side Chicago that mesmerized her teenaged mind in the mid-1960s. “Several years ago,” Nelson reveals now, “I was driving with a friend across Montana, tooling down I-90 hauling a 1962 Bambi II Airstream trailer, the one that looks like a toaster. We were making a trip to Hebron, North Dakota where my grandfather homesteaded and built up a 2000+ acre ranch which he sold in the early ’60s.” The current owners were about to tear down the old claim shack and she wanted to go back there one last time. The car windows were down and national blues DJ Bill Wax was on their XM Satellite Radio — the great Otis Spann’s “One More Mile,” from his 1964 Prestige album, rolled out of the truck speakers. “It had always been a song I wanted to do” Nelson recalls, “and that started me thinking about all the great Chicago blues songs and artists I had heard in my formative years, especially Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. This was around the time I made my first record, Deep Are the Roots.” She thought too of just a few years ago when she was touring nationally as part of a well-known Chicago blues revue, playing a lot of blues festivals. “The music I heard back in the day in Chicago and what I was hearing from the current crop of blues acts bore little relation to each other.” From that memorable day in the Badlands hearing “One More Mile,” she decided it was time to make a record she says, with “some of those fine old songs and be as true and authentic to the style as a Norwegian white girl (is that redundant?) from Wisconsin could manage it.” This new album, Victim of the Blues, is a hand-picked collection of songs, most written by Nelson’s early heroes: Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Percy Mayfield, Lightning Hopkins, Joe Tex and Howlin’ Wolf. She has chosen 11 songs of the day, ones that were spilling out of AM radios from second-story apartments, rolled-down car windows, and live from darkened clubs with exotic names like El Macambo. The album kicks off with a rollicking Wolf tune, “You Be Mine,” propelled by piano man Jimmy Pugh (Robert Cray, John Lee Hooker, Etta James) and tough guitarist Mike Henderson (The Bluebloods), with slapping doghouse bass from Byron House (Robert Plant’s Band of Joy) consummately conjuring Willie Dixon, as Tracy Nelson’s voice soars. One contemporary song, “Lead a Horse to Water,” Nelson notes, “is by a wonderful singer/songwriter named Earl Thomas, who should have been born in that era.” The snaky, shimmery Pops Staples sound from guitarist Henderson along with the gospel background vocals (Vicki Carrico, Reba Russell, John Cowan, Terry Tucker and Nick Nixon) would make Mavis grin. A pair of Jimmy Reed (“the great Chicago blues communicator” —Robert Santelli) classics follows: “Shoot Him” pops like a wry firecracker, complete with rimshot/gunshot from drummer John Gardner (Earl Scruggs, The Dixie Chicks, James Taylor) and Henderson’s unexpected (and dismayed) shout. Nelson’s pal and guest singer/piano woman Marcia Ball jumps in on the action too. And on “It’s a Sin” Nelson delivers perfect slow-drag vocals. (Lyrics on both are by Mary Reed, Jimmy’s longtime collaborator and wife.) Women howling never sounded so damn classy in Wolf’s “Howlin’ for My Baby.” Here Nelson is joined by Texan and her fellow Blues Broad, Angela Strehli. “One More Mile,” the Otis Spann song that inspired the whole album, is a true tribute to the Delta/Chicago bluesmen who brought their soul and musical skill to future generations, and could be considered a bookend to Nelson’s 1968 version of her Memphis Slim namesake song, “Mother Earth.” Again, Nelson just tears it up, deeply, cathartically, achingly. Percy Mayfield’s minor-key masterpiece “Stranger in My Own Hometown” is seductively propulsive thanks to Gardner’s brushes and Pugh’s touch on the Hammond B-3. The dramatic and tender caution Nelson offers in “The Love You Save,” a 1966 Joe Tex gem, pleads for intimate understanding in a timely, worldly way. A New Orleans second-line beat infuses Nelson’s take on the dark Lightning Hopkin’s “Feel So Bad” with the notion to dance away the pain. And when Nelson intones “feel like a ball game on a rainy day,” you can taste the humidity, and the clouds overhead. “Without Love,” written by Danny Small, made famous by Tom Jones, Irma Thomas and Elvis Presley, closes, magnificent in presentation, humble and redemptive — ”I had conquered the world, but what did I have? Without love, I had nothing at all.” Singer John Cowen matches Nelson’s explosive power as he takes the high part and goes to church. The only piece on this album from the first generation blues era — replete with banjo, steppin’ bass from House and Pugh’s whorehouse piano — is by Ma Rainey, whom Nelson defines as “my first musical influence when I started to sing seriously. It’s the title tune, ‘Victim of the Blues’ — and the story of my life . . .” Nelson’s listening education began in the early 1960s when, while growing up in Madison, Wisconsin, she immersed herself in the R&B she heard beamed into her bedroom from Nashville’s WLAC-AM. “It was like hearing music from Mars,” she recalls of the alien sounds that stirred her so. As an undergrad at the University of Wisconsin, she combined her musical passions singing blues and folk at coffeehouses and R&B at frat parties as one of three singers fronting a band (including keyboardist Ben Sidran) called the Fabulous Imitations. She was all of 18. In 1964 she went to Chicago to record her first album, Deep Are the Roots, produced by Sam Charters and released on Prestige Records. “We hired Charlie Musselwhite to play harp on that record and he and I connected and hung together for a while. I’d go visit him in Chicago and he’d take me to the clubs on the South Side. That’s where I first met Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf.” A short time later, Tracy moved to San Francisco and, in the midst of that era’s psychedelic explosion, formed Mother Earth, a group that was named after the fatalistic Memphis Slim song (which she sang at his 1988 funeral). Mother Earth the group, true to its origin more grounded than freaky, was nonetheless a major attraction at the Fillmore, where they shared stages with Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Eric Burdon. In 1968 Mother Earth recorded its first album, which included Nelson’s own composition “Down So Low.” It became her signature song, and is considered by all a staggering achievement in the canon of rock music. Esquire magazine called it “one of the five saddest songs ever written.” It has been regularly covered by great women singers through the years, including Etta James, Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur and, in 2010, Cyndi Lauper, who chose it for her own Grammy-nominated blues album. In 1969, the second Mother Earth album, Make a Joyful Noise, was recorded in Nashville, leading Tracy to rent a house and later buy a small farm in the area where she still lives today. As a side project, she soon recorded Mother Earth Presents Tracy Nelson Country for which she coaxed Elvis Presley’s original Sun-era guitarist Scotty Moore to co-produce (with Pete Drake) and play on her rendition of Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup’s “That’s All Right Mama.” In a way, the phenomenon that is Tracy Nelson is encapsulated in that circumstance: it’s a blues song, made famous by a rock ’n’ roller, recorded on a country album by a folkie turned Fillmore goddess, produced by a rockabilly legend and the preeminent pedal steel player of the day. After six Mother Earth albums for Mercury Records and Reprise Records, Nelson continued to record throughout the ’70s as a solo artist on various labels. In 1974, she garnered her first Grammy nomination for “After the Fire Is Gone,” a track from her Atlantic Records album, a hit duet with Willie Nelson that Tracy reprised on her 2003 album, Live From Cell Block D. Willie (who, despite the rumors, is not related to Tracy although he contends they just might be “the illegitimate children of Ozzie and Harriet”) said of Tracy’s remarkable pipes, “that tremendous voice has only gotten better over the years.” The highlight of Nelson’s tenure with Rounder Records throughout the 1990s was surely Sing It!, the brilliant, big-selling 1998 album starring Nelson, swamp blues/rocker Marcia Ball and soul queen Irma Thomas. “She has a magnificent voice. She can truly sell a song,” said Thomas, and music critics enthusiastically agreed —”Nelson repeatedly stops the show with her enormous, wraparound voice, transforming tunes like ‘In Tears’ from simple country-flavored ballads into cathartic emotional experiences,” wrote Michael Point (Austin American-Statesman). And drawing from the recent albums she did with Memphis International, Nelson gave fans worldwide the chance to hear her live (in the great jailhouse album tradition of Johnny Cash and B.B. King) when she released Live From Cell Block D, recorded at the West Tennessee Detention Center in Mason, Tennessee. It was a profound experience for her and reinforced “the value of sharing music in every venue imaginable.” In late July, 2010, Nelson was featured on NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” a little more than a month after the tragic fire that took the 100+ year old farmhouse she shared with longtime partner Mike Dysinger. She was just beginning to deal with the aftermath of losing her home and many of her personal belongings. “The firemen told us they could save one room — we had to decide —we said ‘the studio.’” This album, Victim of the Blues, is the album that miraculously survived the fire. And that is the reason that the first people Nelson thanks in this album’s notes are the Burns, Tennessee Volunteer Fire Department. To date, there have been several benefits across the country to assist the two in rebuilding their farmhouse on the land they love. Seeing as how her first Grammy nomination was for “After the Fire Is Gone,” with Willie Nelson, she would say drolly, “It seemed like the perfect thing to call these events.” Nelson had titled this album before the fire, so the irony is not missed on her. Victim of the Blues is as deeply felt as anything she has recorded in her exceptional career; she is a soul survivor. - Mindy Giles 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!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bright Lights, Big City - Milwaukee Slim


The HouseRockin’ Blues Revue is a Milwaukee-based Chicago style blues band...a six piece powerhouse that pays tribute to the blues masters of the 50’s and 60’s. With members who’ve played with the likes of B.B. King, The Legendary Blues Band, Percy Mayfield, Billy Flynn, Stokes, and Jim Liban to name just a few, this band will get ‘em movin’ and keeps ‘em groovin’. The HouseRockin’ Blues Revue dishes out the old school stylings and emotions of such legends as Muddy Waters, Jimmy Reed, Elmore James, Hound Dog Taylor, Jimmy Rogers, Howlin’Wolf, Big Walter, and Little Walter. PARTIAL SONG LIST Baby what you want me to do, Blow wind blow wind, Down home blues, Going to Chicago, Have a good time, Hog for you, Hoochie Coochie man, I got my mojo working, I’m ready, Long distance call, Mannish boy, Mellow down easy, My babe, My baby she left me, Pride & joy, Rock me baby, Sloppy drunk, Stormy Monday, Sweet home Chicago, Talk to me baby, Teeny weeny bit, That’s alright, The blues is alright, The sun is shinin’’, Tore down, Walkin’ through the park, Worried about you, Biographical Information of our members Milwaukee Slim - vocals, guitar Slim formerly played with Midwest Blues All Stars and played with both groups for a few years. Without a doubt, Milwaukee Slim is one of the best and most well known blues singers in Milwaukee. Born in Mississippi in 1940, Slim moved first to Memphis, then up to Chicago and in 1965, to Milwaukee. He has played and recorded with Billy Flynn, Piano Willie, Jim Liban, Barrelhouse Chuck, Calvin Jones, Smokey Smothers, Midwest Blues All-Stars, and the Milwaukee Slim Blues Band. He has also shared the stage with Stokes, Leroy Airmaster, Legendary Blues Band, Reverend Raven, Hubert Sumlin and Little Charlie & the Nightcats, to name just a few. Mary Davis - vocals, keyboard Originally from Memphis Tennessee, Mary has performed locally, nationally and internationally...from the “King Biscuit Festival” in Helena Arkansas, to the “Blues to Bop” festival in Lugano Switzerland. Her earliest and strongest influence was her brother, Ralph Davis. Her cousin is Koko Taylor. She also leads the Mary Davis Trio, and has graced the stages of Jimmy McCracklin, B.B. King, Percy Mayfield, Stokes, and many others, too many to mention here. Mary also plays the flute, saxophone, and guitar. Glen Goebel - harmonica, vocals Glen began playing harp in 1985, and was gigging by 1990. Mentored by Chris Beggan, Jim Liban and Steve Cohen, he soon developed his own style. Paying homage to the “old school” legends like Little Walter and Jimmy Reed, Glen has mastered his own brand of harmonica voodoo. A vocalist with the Gesu Choir, and an original member of Real Thing, he has played with Mrs. Smith & the White Boys, Casper, Nuclear Blues and the T. W. Blues Band...Glen has also been a guest performer for Taj Mahal, Stokes, Chris Beggan, Steve Cohen and the Milwaukee Slim Band. Kevin Cannon - bass, drop D guitar (in lieu of bass), and vocals. With a style influenced by Albert and B.B. King, Kevin holds down the bottom for the House Rockin’ Blues Revue. The host of the Saturday morning blues program on WMSE 91.7 FM since early 1980’s, Kevin played bass for Chris Beggan, a gig highlighted by being the opening act for Jimmy Rogers in 1991. He’s played with Real Thing, Bluezilla, and Downtown Loop. Dave Conley - guitar, slide guitar, bass, vocals . Dave started playing guitar in 1963. His early bands oriented toward the Rolling Stones and blues. A self taught slide player, he picked up open tunings and was influenced by the great Hound Dog Taylor. He played with various blues bands during the 80's and 90's including; Chris Beggan, Real Thing, Bluezilla, Big Johnson and Lee Gates. Dave hosted blues jams at Sande's National Pastime, along with playing the bass with Joe Balistreri, the Milwaukee Slim Blues Band, Tommy Blood, Jim Kay and Downtown Loop. James Davis- drums James’drumming experience is extensive and varied, including The Davis Family Band, And the Mary Davis Trio with Lem Banks
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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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Sunday, June 3, 2012

Tribute Little Walter - Jimmy Rogers


Jimmy Rogers (vocal & guitar), Louis Myers & Luther Tucker (guitar), Dave Myers (bass), Al Duncan (drums), Rod Piazza (harp) and Honey Piazza (piano)
Jimmy Rogers (June 3, 1924 – December 19, 1997) was an American Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters' band of the 1950s.
Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane in Ruleville, Mississippi on June 3, 1924 and was raised in Atlanta and Memphis. He adapted the professional surname 'Rogers' from his stepfather's last name. Rogers learned the harmonica alongside his childhood friend Snooky Pryor, and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in East St. Louis, Illinois, where he played with Robert Lockwood, Jr. among others, before moving to Chicago in the mid 1940s. By 1946 he had recorded as a harmonica player and singer for the Harlem record label run by J. Mayo Williams. Rogers' name did not appear on the record, which was mislabeled as the work of "Memphis Slim and his Houserockers."

In 1947, Rogers, Muddy Waters and Little Walter began playing together as Muddy Waters' first band in Chicago (sometimes referred to as "The Headcutters" or "The Headhunters" due to their practice of stealing jobs from other local bands), while the band members each recorded and released music credited to each of them as solo artists. The first Muddy Waters band defined the sound of the nascent "Chicago Blues" style (more specifically "South Side" Chicago Blues). Rogers made several more sides of his own with small labels in Chicago, but none were released at the time. He began to enjoy success as a solo artist with Chess Records in 1950, scoring a hit with "That's All Right", but he stayed with Muddy Waters until 1954. In the mid 1950s he had several successful releases on the Chess label, most featuring either Little Walter Jacobs or Big Walter Horton on harmonica, most notably "Walking By Myself", but as the 1950s drew to a close and interest in the blues waned, he gradually withdrew from the music industry.

In the early 1960s Rogers briefly worked as a member of Howling Wolf's band, before quitting the music business altogether for almost a decade. He worked as a taxicab driver and owned a clothing store that burned down in the Chicago riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. He gradually began performing in public again, and in 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, Rogers began occasionally touring and recording, including a 1977 reunion session with his old bandleader Muddy Waters. By 1982, Rogers was again a full-time solo artist.

In 1995 Rogers was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

He continued touring and recording albums until his death from colon cancer in Chicago in 1997. He was survived by his son, Jimmy D. Lane, who is also a guitarist and a record producer and recording engineer for Blue Heaven Studios and APO Records.
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Monday, February 4, 2013

Time For A Change - Jody Williams

photo credit: Dan Machnik
Joseph Leon Williams (born February 3, 1935), better known as Jody Williams, is an American blues guitarist and singer. His singular guitar playing, marked by flamboyant string-bending, imaginative chord changes and a distinctive tone, was influential in the Chicago blues scene of the 1950s. In the mid 1950s, Williams was one of the most sought-after session guitarists in Chicago, yet he was little known outside the music industry since his name rarely appeared on discs. His acclaimed comeback in 2000 led to a resurgence of interest in Williams’ early work, and his reappraisal as one of the great blues guitarists Born in Mobile, Alabama, United States, Williams moved to Chicago at the age of five. His first instrument was the harmonica, which he swapped for the guitar after hearing Bo Diddley play at a talent show where they were both performing. Diddley, seven years his senior, took Williams under his wing and taught him the rudiments of guitar. By 1951 Williams and Diddley were playing on the street together, with Williams providing backing to Diddley's vocals, accompanied by Roosevelt Jackson on washtub bass. Williams cut his teeth gigging with a string of blues musicians, notably Memphis Minnie, Elmore James and Otis Spann. After touring with West Coast piano player Charles Brown, Williams established himself as a session player with Chess Records. At Chess, Williams met Howlin’ Wolf, recently arrived in Chicago from Memphis, Tennessee, and was hired by Wolf as the first guitarist in his new Chicago-based band. A year later Hubert Sumlin moved to Chicago to join Wolf's band, and the dual guitars of Williams and Sumlin are featured on Howlin’ Wolf’s 1954 singles, "Evil Is Going On", and "Forty Four", and on the 1955 releases, "Who Will Be Next" and "Come To Me Baby." Williams also provided backing on Otis Spann’s 1954 release, "It Must Have Been The Devil", that features lead guitar work from B. B. King, one of Williams’ early heroes and a big influence on his playing. Williams’ solo career began in December 1955 with the upbeat saxophone-driven "Lookin' For My Baby", released under the name Little Papa Joe on the Blue Lake label. The label closed a few months later, leaving his slide guitar performance on "Groaning My Blues Away" unreleased. By this time, Williams was highly sought after as a session guitarist, and his virtuosity in this capacity is well illustrated by his blistering lead guitar work on Bo Diddley's "Who Do You Love?", a hit for Checker Records in 1956. (Rock musician Marshall Crenshaw listed Williams' guitar solo on "Who Do You Love" as one of the greatest guitar solos ever recorded.) Other notable session work from the 1950s include lead guitar parts on Billy Boy Arnold's "I Ain't Got You" and "I Wish You Would", Jimmy Rogers’ "One Kiss", Jimmy Witherspoon’s "Ain't Nobody's Business" and Otis Rush’s "Three Times A Fool". In 1957, Williams released "You May" on Argo Records, with the inventive b-side instrumental "Lucky Lou", the extraordinary opening riff of which Otis Rush copied on his 1958 Cobra Records side "All Your Love (I Miss Loving)". Further evidence of Williams’ influence on Rush (they played on a number of sessions together) is Rush’s solo on Buddy Guy’s 1958 debut, "Sit And Cry (The Blues)", copied almost exactly from Williams’ "You May" Only after his retirement did he consider picking up his guitar again, which had laid untouched under his bed all the while. "One day my wife said if I started playing again I might feel better about life in general," he told Hoekstra of the Chicago Sun-Times. In March 2000, he went to see his old friend Robert Lockwood, Jr. play, and grew nostalgic for his music days. Back at home, an old tape of himself playing moved him to tears and inspired him to pick up his guitar again. He returned to playing in public in June 2000, when he was featured at a club gig during the 2000 Chicago Blues Festival. He gained much encouragement in this period from Dick Shurman, who eventually produced his comeback album, Return of a Legend (2002), on which his bold playing belies his thirty-year break from music. "He plays with a verve and vigor that sound as good today as it did on the classic records," wrote Vintage Guitar magazine. Williams continues to perform around the world, mainly at large blues festivals, and can often be seen sitting in with blues guitarist Billy Flynn at Chicago club appearances. 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!

Monday, December 31, 2012

One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer - George Thorogood And Destroyers

2120 South Michigan Avenue, home of Chicago’s Chess Records, may be the most important address in the bloodline of the blues and rock ‘n’ roll. That address – immortalized in the Rolling Stones’ like-named instrumental, recorded at an epochal session at Chess in June 1964 and included on the band’s album 12 X 5 – serves as the title to George Thorogood’s electrifying Capitol/EMI salute to the Chess label and its immortal artists. Thorogood has been essaying the Chess repertoire since his 1977 debut album, which included songs by Elmore James and Bo Diddley that originated on the label. He has cut 18 Chess covers over the years; three appeared on his last studio release, 2009’s The Dirty Dozen. On 2120 South Michigan Avenue, he offers a full-length homage to the label that bred his style with interpretations of 10 Chess classics. The album also includes original tributes to the Windy City and Chess’ crucial songwriter-producer-bassist Willie Dixon, penned by Thorogood, producer Tom Hambridge, and Richard Fleming, plus a cranked-up version of the Stones’ titular instrumental. Chess Records had been making musical history for a decade before it moved into its offices on Michigan Avenue, in the heart of the Windy City’s record business district, in 1957. Leonard and Phil Chess, sons of a Polish immigrant family and South Side nightclub operators, bought into a new independent label called Aristocrat Records in 1947. The brothers bought out their partners in 1950 and gave the label the family name; by that time, they had racked up blues hits by Muddy Waters, Sunnyland Slim, Robert Nighthawk, and St. Louis Jimmy. Chess’ studio spawned timeless ‘50s and ‘60s recordings by Waters, Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, and Howlin’ Wolf, which served as inspiration for the Stones and their blues-rocking brethren, and then lit a fire under their successors George Thorogood and the Destroyers. Thorogood recalls, “I remember as a teenager reading about Mick Jagger meeting Keith Richards on a train. Jagger had a Chuck Berry record, and he said he wrote to Chess Records and got a catalog sent to him. Just out of curiosity, I took out one of my Chess records, got the address, and I wrote to Chess Records. And they sent me a catalog of the complete Chess library, and I started buying up these Chess records. I bought every single one of them I could possibly get. “And I remember reading the backs of those Chess records and seeing the address, 2120 South Michigan Avenue, and I said, ‘That’s the same address as the Rolling Stones’ instrumental!’ And I started putting one and one together and coming up with a big two.” Over time, Chess’ catalog and artists became the sources of Thorogood’s higher education in music. “That was my school, the college that I had to learn my trade in,” he says. “I had to figure out how these people did these things.” The new album also celebrates the performers who shared stages with Thorogood and the Destroyers and encouraged them when they were just coming up on the East Coast blues scene. He says, “The people who helped me out were all the guys in Muddy Waters’ band, all the guys in Howlin’ Wolf’s band. They were wonderful to me, and they wanted to help me. They saw what I was trying to do.” 2120 South Michigan Avenue isn’t just Thorogood’s salute to a great record label – it also pays homage to the tough, larger-than-life men who made the music. “It was a lifestyle as well as an art form, as far as music goes,” Thorogood notes. “They were singing about what their life was like on a daily basis. Sonny Boy Williamson and Wolf and Muddy Waters – they didn’t think they were the baddest cats in the world, they knew they were the baddest cats in the world. They had to be, or they wouldn’t have survived. There’s nothing glamorous in it – that’s just the facts. They had to fight their way through on a daily basis just to keep their heads above water. That’s very clear in a lot of their songs.” Some of the songs from the Chess catalog heard on 2120 South Michigan Avenue were staples of the Destroyers’ live repertoire; Thorogood says, “A lot of the things I recorded I was doing 25 or 30 years ago, and I had stopped doing them.” He adds that since many Chess recordings have become linchpins of the rock and blues repertoire, both on record and in concert, some careful winnowing had to be done for the album: “We did a lot of research and said, ‘Wait a minute, the Rolling Stones did that song, John Hammond did that song.'" Producer Tom Hambridge is the ideal collaborator for 2120 South Michigan Avenue. A veteran of tours with Chuck Berry, Roy Buchanan, the Drifters, and other stars, Hambridge won a 2010 Grammy for his work on Buddy Guy’s Living Proof, and wrote the album’s Guy-B.B. King duet “Stay Around a Little Longer.” He received Grammy nominations for Guy’s Skin Deep (2008), Johnny Winter’s I’m a Bluesman (2004), and Susan Tedeschi’s Just Won’t Burn (1998). He also fronts his own band, Tom Hambridge & the Rattlesnakes. The special guests on 2120 South Michigan Avenue sport direct connections to Chess and Chicago’s blues scene. Guitarist Buddy Guy made his Chess label debut 51 years ago. Thorogood remembers, “I went to [the Austin blues club] Antone’s for the first time in 1977, and I saw Buddy Guy play. It was the first time I saw him, and I never forgot that he led off with [Chess artist Tommy Tucker’s] ‘High Heeled Sneakers.’ I thought that was just unbelievable. Buddy just tore it apart, like he does everything – that’s his style.” Harmonica master Charlie Musselwhite is heard on two of the album’s tracks, a cover of Little Walter’s hit “My Babe” and the Stones’ “2120.” “Memphis Charlie” haunted Chicago’s South Side clubs in the ‘60s, learning at the feet of Chess titans like Little Walter Jacobs and Sonny Boy Williamson and hanging out with such like-minded contemporaries as Paul Butterfield, Mike Bloomfield, and Elvin Bishop of the pathfinding Paul Butterfield Blues Band. Thorogood says, “I don’t play harmonica. Little Walter plays harp, and Sonny Boy Williamson plays harp, and Howlin’ Wolf plays harp. So I said, ‘Well, what am I gonna do about this?’ It’s an easy choice. I said, ‘There’s only one cat we can get to play ‘My Babe’ by Little Walter, and that’s Charlie.’ He’s the last cat!” Through the entire project, Thorogood and the Destroyers attempted to put their own distinctive spin on the Chess material while maintaining fidelity to the originals’ attack. “When you do Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley, when you play Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, there’s no experimenting,” Thorogood explains. “That’s a religion, and you’ve gotta do it right.” The historic music heard on 2120 South Michigan Avenue didn’t merely change George Thorogood’s life, as he himself notes. “It’s not a musical phenomenon, it’s a social phenomenon. The man who created rock ‘n’ roll was Chuck Berry, and he listened to Muddy Waters. Bo Diddley went to the same school and listened to the same people. Rock ‘n’ roll changed the whole world. That never would have happened if it hadn’t been for Chess Records. It’s the source of the whole thing.” 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!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Have You Ever Loved A Woman - Freddie King


Freddie was born in Gilmer Texas on September 3 1934 with the given name of Freddy King to Ella May King and J.T. Christian. My father's mother told him that her grandfather ( who was a full-blooded Choctaw Indian) prophesied to her that she would have a child that will stir the souls of millions and inspire and influence generations. My grandmother and her brother Leon played the guitar. Freddie's mother recognized early her first born interest in music. She and her brother Leon began teaching him to play rural country blues at the age of six. His early music heroes were Sam Lightnin Hopkins (who he credits his proficiency of the down home thumb-finger picken style) and Louis Jordan (the jump blues saxophonist). He told me that he would play Jordan's record over and over again until he could match his horn, note for note. This discipline would have a major impact on his phrasing.

His first guitar was a silvertone acoustic. His most prized guitar at that time was his Roy Roger acoustic. In a interview years later he recalled going to the general store to order it. The store owner asked him if his mother knew he was trying to order a guitar on her store account. Freddie replied " no". The store owner told him to get permission. His mother said "no". She told him, "if you want a new guitar you will have to work for it." He stated that he picked cotton just long enough to earn the money to purchase a Roger's guitar.

By 1949 two of Freddie's uncles, Felix and Willie King had already moved to Chicago. They were earning good money working in the steel mill. Ella now married to Ben Turner saw opportunity for her family in Chicago. Freddie's father J.T. didn't want Freddie to go to Chicago, He wanted Freddie to finish high school and go to college in Texas like some of his family. J.T.'s sister Melissa was a teacher at the local black school. Ella and J.T. agreed to let Freddie finish high school. The family left for Chicago in the fall of 1949.
Freddie and his family moved to Chicago in 1949. This was a dream come true. He was now living on the southside of chicago, the playground of the post -war blues greats Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, T-Bone Walker, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson and others. At age16 Freddie would sneak in to the clubs (on double dares from his friends) to listen and watch these blues greats perform. One night he bet his friends that, not only would he sneak into the club, but he would also sit in with the house band and play his box guitar. Freddie won the bet. After sitting in with the band, the club owner realized how young Freddie was. He ordered the bouncers to escort him out of the club. Howlin Wolf intervened by telling the club owner" the kid is with me. Howlin was impressed by the way Freddie picked the acoustic guitar. Howlin told Freddie" young man you pick that guitar like a old soul"..."The lord sure enough put you here to play the blues" This would be the beginning of a great friendship. Howlin took young Freddie under his wing and taught him how to take care of himself in the streets of Chicago. Along with Muddy Water and his side men EddieTaylor, Jimmy Rogers, Robert Lockwood Jr.and Little Walter they accepted him into their inner circle. These guys were the cream of the crop the best that Chicago blues had to offer. Freddie started hanging out and jamming with Muddy's sidemen. My father credits Eddie Taylor with teaching him how to use the metal index finger pick and a plastic thumbpick verses the flat pick. My father really respected these guys talents as musicians and grew to understand their true worth.



By 1952 Freddie had met and married a Texas girl, Jessie Burnett. She proved to be the foundation and maturity he needed. She also would be the inspiration and co-contributor to some of his compositions. He worked in the steel mill during the day and worked gigs at night. He would ocassionally work as a sideman in recording sessions. He and his running buddies Jimmy Rogers and Eddie Taylor were young, fresh and eager to venture out in search of something new, something different. The southside of Chicago served up its blues with the big blues band sound that included a rhythm section, horns, a piano,and sometimes a harp. The westside of Chicago with its small taverns, eagerly embraced these young blues maverick and their blues sound that consisted of a electrifying lead guitarist who usually doubled as the lead vocalist. a bassman, and drummer. Freddie jumped at the chance that the westside travens offered. So he along with two other young guys, guitarist Jimmy Lee Robinson and drummer Sonny Scott formed his first band,"The Every Hour Blues Boys".

In 1953 Freddie cut several sides for the Parrot Label. He continued to do session recordings whenever possible.

It was not until 1956 that Freddie recorded a 45 with a local label El-Bee. Side A was a duet with Margaret Whitfield "Country Boy" and side B was a fast tempo blues, " Thats What You Think". His friend Robert Lockwood Jr. added guitar licks. Chess Records was one of the biggest blues labels at that time. Their home office and recording studio was located in Chicago. Many big name Chicago blues artists were signed, Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf and Little Walter, just to name a few. My father auditioned several times with no success. They stated that he sounded vocally like B.B. King. He would later say that Chess rejection was a blessing in disguise, because it forced him to develope his own vocal style.

It is now 1957 and Freddie is performing with bluesmen like blues pianist Memphis Slim ( who left the Chicago scene to find success in France.) and blues guitarist Magic Sam Maghett( a good friend and neighbor). As a favor Freddie did some uncredited session work for Magic Sam who at the time was signed to the Cobra Label. 1958 Uncle Sam came calling on the blues community. My father was not drafted because he had no arch support (flat feet). Magic Sam was not so lucky he was drafted.

1959 Freddie is rejected once more by Chess Records, but he meets Sonny Thompson a pianist who happens to be a contract artist and front man for King/Federal label. Sonny recognized something unique about Freddie's blues style.

In 1960 Freddie signed with Syd Nathan's King /Federal Label. Syd Nathan was a total control freak, a smart hard nose businessman who at times could be fairer than most record label owners of this period. His contract artists range from Blues, Freddie King ,Albert King,Johnny "Guitar" Watson, Memphis Slim, John Lee Hooker and others, Country & Western, Ferlin Huskey, The Stanley Brothers, Hank Penny, Grandpa Jones and others, R&B, Hank Ballad, Bill Doggett, James Brown, Little Willie John, Little Esther Phillips, The Platters, The Ink Spots, Chantals, Royals,and others, Jazz, Nina Simone, Carmen McRae, Errol Garner, Bobby Scott, Bobby Troup and others, Gospel artists and International artists. All artists recorded at one location in Cincinnati Ohio, at the Brewster locations. Records were mastered, pressed,stored, and distributed from this location. The album covers were designed and printed from the same location. Yes Syd Nathan was a control freak. Freddie's time with King label was bitter sweet. He was happy to be under contract, but he did not like being control and manipulated artistically. Nathan would suggest ideas for songs that Freddie disagreed with. Nathan wanted Freddie to cover some of his country and western artist tunes. Freddie had always been a fan of C&W but Nathan and Freddie could never agree on which tune to record. Then one day Nathan over heard a studio jam session that consisted of some country and western musicians and Freddie doing a blues swing version of" Remmington Ride". Nathan quickly had Freddie nail that tune to vinyl. The collaboration of Freddie King and Sonny Thompson on instrumentals such as "The Stumble," "Low Tide," "Wash Out," "Sidetracked," "HeadsUp," "Onion Rings," "The Sad Nite Owl," and "Hide Away", contains some of the most brilliant and most awsome guitar licks in blues history. Instrumentals like these would soon wake up the young British music community to a new groove " Blues Rock".

Many of Freddie's songwriting credits under the King label contract were shared with Sonny Thompson. They would have marathon sessions of 16 hrs and more. The first 45 release: side A " Have You Ever Loved A Woman", side B "Hide Away". Both sides were big hits on the R&B charts. The surprise was the Hide Away release. It became a crossover hit on the Pop chart reaching # 29. This was a first, a blues artist registering a hit on the Pop chart. No other blues artist had accomplished this before. Young whites were digging Freddie's blues style. Nathan quickly capitalized on it. He insisting that Freddie and Sonny concentrate on instrumentals. Freddie sold more albums during this period (1961-63) than any other blues artist including B.B. King.
It is now 1962 and Freddie was still riding the crest of success from his King recordings. Freddie King was hotter than molten steel. But with success comes the down side. Freddie Loved the Chicago night life. Gambling til dawn in the backroom of Mike's cleaners and getting into mischief with his cronies.My mother was now a housewife with six children. She didn't like what the Chicago nightlife was doing to her husband, it provided to many distractions. The fall of 1962 she left her husband and she and her six children moved to Dallas Texas. After she arrived in Dallas she called Syd Nathan demanding that he send her royalties that she knew her husband was entitled to. She stated that she needed it for her children and herself to start a new life. Nathan proved to be a few notches above the other record company owners of this period. He sent my mother two thousand dollars. My mother place a down payment on a house. It did not take my father long to realize that his family was not returning to Chicago. Freddie left his beloved Chicago and joined his wife and children in Dallas in the spring of 1963. Freddie's move to Texas proved to be a blessing in disguise. Freddie began fine tuning his vocals he evolved from a B.B. king singing style to his own more soulful sound. Music was changing and so was he. He was experimenting with and incorporating different types of music. Freddie's contract with King ended in 1966. Gone were the big name revues and national tour packages, but Freddie continued to draw pack houses where ever he performed black and white clubs. He got an opportunity in 1966 to do a series of appearances on a R&B program called "The!!!Beat". The Beat had this 60's "Mod"look that featured a house band lead by Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, artists like Otis Redding, Etta James, Little Milton, Carla Thomas, and Louis Jordan. to name a few appeared weekly. These appearance caught the attention of Atlantic Records front man King Curtis.

In 1968 Freddie signed a contract with Cotillion Records a subsidiary of Atlantic Records. Two albums were released:

Freddie king is a Blues master

My Feeling for the Blues

Both releases were soulful and funky and showcased his singing talents,both albums had moderate success. Freddie was disappointed in the lack of success in the two releases. His spirits was soon lifted with the success of his first overseas tour in 1968. He was originally booked for a month and it was extended to three. He was amazed by his popularity in England, a new generation of young white musicians like Eric Clapton,MickTaylor, and others were trying to emulate Freddie King. In 1969 Freddie hires a new manager Jack Calmes. Jack is young, white and part of the "counter culture" that has discovered the blues. Jack helped orchestrate Freddie's career into high gear with the 1969 Texas Pop Festival,there he shared billing with Led Zeppelin, Sly and the family stone,Ten years After, B.B. King, among others, " Led Zeppelin's guys were standing there watching him perform with their mouth open" Jack said. Calmes secured a contract deal for Freddie with Leon Russell's new label Shelter Records . Leon had been a fan of Freddie's sizzling guitar style for years. Leon was now creating the Oklahoma blues culture with the start up of his own label. Leon Russell record label included Joe Cocker and The Nitty Gitty Dirt Band. Leon spared no expense the sessions were top shelf he flew the studio crew to Chicago and recorded the first album "Getting Ready" at the old Chess Records studio. Freddie was allowed to showcase his showmanship, Leon wanted the listening audience to experience the brilliance and raw essences of Freddie King. Shelter was the perfect springbroad for Freddie's style of blues, hard driving and in your face. This collaboration put Freddie into the mainstream of the white blues /rock explosion. The release of "Getting Ready" produced Freddie's signature blues/rock hit "Going Down".
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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Rolling Stone - Paris Slim & Peter Dammann


Guitarist Frank "Paris Slim" Goldwasser is no stranger to those who've been paying attention to the West Coast blues scene over the last two decades. Born in Paris, France in 1960, his initial blues inspiration came from Hound Dog Taylor's "NATURAL BOOGIE" LP. After working his first professional gig at age 21 supporting visiting U.S. bluesman Sonny Rhodes, Rhodes invited him to move to the San Francisco Bay Area. With the commitment of a true believer, Franck packed his bags and moved to the Bay Area within a year, whereupon he was immediately hired by Troyce Key (who gave him the stage name of Paris Slim) to play in the house band at Key's legendary Eli's Mile High Club in Oakland.

He eventually assumed leadership of the group while Key took a professional hiatus, and became deeply immersed in the area's then-vibrant blues scene. He racked up three years touring with Jimmy McCracklin, as well as positive reviews for appearances at most of the prominent local venues with a distinguished roster of blues talent including Lowell Fulson, Percy Mayfield and Charlie Musselwhite. Four years after his first single was issued in 1984 on San Francisco's Backtrack label, his CD debut "BLUES FOR ESTHER" appeared, a strong outing which received a nomination from the prestigious W.C. Handy Awards. Its follow-up, "BLEEDIN' HEART", was co-produced with Joe Louis Walker, who guested along with Sonny Rhodes. An ongoing list of other sessions and frequent European touring (most prolifically as part of the Fedora Records house band behind Clay Hammond, Jimmy Dawkins, Homesick James and others) followed. Relocating to Southern California in 1998, he became a fixture on the vibrant L.A. blues scene, and continued to absorb new influences and hone his art. His recent CD "BLUJU" was produced by Randy Chortkoff, and has garnered acclaim as one of the most progressive blues releases in years while still remaining firmly rooted in the blues tradition. His association with Chortkoff led to a spot as regularly featured guitarist in the rotating cast of The Mannish Boys both in the studio and on the road.



Peter Dammann is a man of extraordinary talents and abilities. Not only is he a freelance writer, a dedicated family man and a topnotch Blues guitarist with The Paul deLay Band, but he is also the Talent Coordinator for The Miller Genuine Draft Waterfront Blues Festival. And, on top of all that, he's also a cordial and friendly human being as well! Peter took time out of his busy schedule preparing for this year's Waterfront Festival to talk with BluesNotes about his exciting and interesting life in the world of music.
Peter is well-schooled in the music he loves, the Blues. He recalls, "I grew up around Chicago, that's where I really learned to play. I played in a garage band in high school. The keyboard player from that band, Jimmy Pugh, now plays with The Robert Cray Band. We were playing Kinks and Rolling Stones covers and later Hendrix, Cream. Then, one summer around 1967 or '68, we heard about the first Chicago Grant Park Festival which was the precursor of all the Chicago Blues festivals that have come since. Muddy Waters, Lucille Spann, Howlin' Wolf, Willie Dixon, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, Otis Rush, Jimmy Dawkins, Luther Allison, Koko Taylor; everybody was there! It was unbelievable. It was the first time I felt like I'd heard real music. After that festival we drove back to the suburbs and became a Blues band."

Peter spent some time jamming down at the infamous Maxwell Street Market and at the clubs on the Chicago's Southside. He continues, "I would go down to Maxwell street on Sundays. It was a thieves market. They would have barbecues going all over the place, sort of like Saturday Market here, but in a more ethnic part of town. On nearly every corner there would be a power cord hanging out of a window. At the bottom of the power cord there would be a small drum set and an amplifier or two and a guitar player and maybe a harmonica player. There would be little bands set up all over and they would all be competing for the crowds."
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Friday, January 20, 2012

Walking By Myself - Jimmy Rogers, James Cotton and Luther Tucker


Luther Tucker (January 20, 1936 — June 18, 1993) was an American blues guitarist.

While soft spoken and shy, Tucker made his presence known through his unique and clearly recognizable guitar style. Tucker helped to define the music known as Chicago Blues, but played everything from blues to soul, rock, jazz and gospel, when given the chance. While never achieving the fame and notoriety of some of his contemporaries he was considered a great guitarist whether playing his own lead style or playing on the recordings of B. B. King, Mel Brown, Pat Hare, or Elmore James. He is considered one of the most prominent rhythm guitarists of Chicago Blues along with Eddie Taylor, Jody Williams and Freddie Robinson.
In 1952 he began playing with his uncle, J.T. "Boogie" Brown, saxophonist, studio musician, and sideman to slide guitarist, Elmore James. Tucker was soon back with Mr. Robert Jr. Lockwood, who was one of the most sought after sidemen and studio guitarists on the Chicago blues scene. Robert Jr. went to the musician's union asking that Tucker be allowed to play in clubs, and reassured the Union that he would act as a guardian to him and keep the 16-year old Tucker out of trouble. Robert Jr., who was capable of playing Delta Blues had been B.B. King's rhythm guitarist in 1948-1949 and brought a unique jazz style to (the new style known as) Chicago Blues. A tough task master, Robert Jr. drilled in to Tucker everything from minor diminished ninth and thirteenth chords to big bar-chords and the subtle nuances of jazz guitar. Initially, Robert Jr. played lead guitar and Tucker played bass on a tuned-down six-string guitar (the Fender bass had not yet been invented) or Tucker would play rhythm guitar. Tucker learned to read music and began working as a studio guitarist at an early age. If someone wanted Robert Jr., they also got Tucker as part of the package. They worked with Little Walter off and on for seven years. First, as part of a twosome with Robert Jr., and later as a lead guitarist, Tucker recorded on numerous classic sides behind [(Little Walter)], Sonny Boy Williamson II, Jimmy Rogers, Muddy Waters, and [(Howlin' Wolf)]. He also recorded with Otis Rush, Snooky Pryor, and after moving to the West Coast, John Lee Hooker, Robben Ford, and Elvin Bishop.

In the late 1960s Tucker had been working in Muddy Waters' band along with harmonica player, James Cotton, and drummer, Francis Clay. In 1968, a cooperative band was put together composed of Tucker on guitar; drummer, Sam Lay (best known for his work with Paul Butterfield); bassist and alumni of Howlin' Wolf's band, Bobby Anderson; Alberto Gianquinto, a pianist equally comfortable playing jazz, blues or classical music; and harmonica man and singer, James Cotton. First night out, the emcee at the club asked the band's name so he could announce them. For lack of a name, one of the band said, The James Cotton Blues Band. The name stuck. After a while, Sam Lay was replaced by Francis Clay. Clay, a veteran of Dizzy Gillespie's and Cab Calloway's big bands, Jay McShann's group and Muddy Water's band, brought a new dimension to the band and Tucker further developed his skills, playing soul tunes and jazz arrangements, utilizing the octave, minor and diminished chords he had learned from Robert Jr. The group traveled the country from Fillmore West, in San Francisco to Fillmore East in New York, and on to Great Britain, Europe and other points, sharing the stage with the biggest rock acts of the 1960s and 70's. The band spent a great deal of time in Northern California and in 1973 Tucker left The James Cotton Blues Band and relocated to the town of San Anselmo, California.

For several years he worked with John Lee Hooker's band, Grayson Street, L.C. "Good Rockin'" Robinson, and as a house musician at Clifford Antone's club in Austin, Texas. He finally formed the Luther Tucker Band where he also became known as a very competent and soulful singer. He played in clubs in the San Francisco Bay Area until his death. Tucker played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1973, 1976, and 1979. He would also play as part of supporting bands behind visiting friends and bluesmen including Fenton Robinson, Freddie King and Jimmy Reed.

Luther Tucker died of a heart attack in June, 1993 in Greenbrae, California, at the age of 57. His body was returned to Chicago, where he is buried in Restvale Cemetery in an unmarked plot. He recorded two albums, one incomplete, both released following his death
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Monday, April 2, 2012

Help Me - Paul Orta


Paul Orta has fronted his band The Kingpins (a.k.a. The International Playboys) and various other groups around the world. He has played in the U.S.A., Spain, England, Ireland, France, Norway, Germany, Belgium, Italy, Austria, Russia, Portugal, Poland, Brazil, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark & The Netherlands. He has opened for B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Van Morrison, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, Junior Walker, James Cotton, Buckwheat Zydeco, Dennis Quaid band with Huey Lewis to name a few. Paul Orta is also on: see discography.

Paul Orta born in Port Arthur, Texas (hometown of Janice Joplin) was first influenced by Louis Armstrong at the age of 7. After 9 years of playing the coronet in the school band, Paul Orta quit because the band never played blues or Jazz. Within a half a year he picked up the Harmonica and in three months, he was in his first professional band (The Bayou Boogie Band) when he was 16. They played in Golden Triangle (southeast Texas) and Louisiana for three years.

In 1979 Paul Orta moved to Austin, Texas and he won Kerrville Folk Festival in 1980. Later he formed The Backdoor Men with Port Arthur native Bill Jones (guitar) and with help of Eddie Stout (bass) evolved into The Kingpins. Afterwards he entered the “Antones the University of the Blues”. Playing with blues greats as Jimmy Rogers, Snooky Pryor, Eddie Taylor, Sunnyland Slim, Hubert Sumlin, Luther Tucker, Ted Harvey, Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Pinetop Perkins, Wayne Benett, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Henry Grey and Robert Lockwood Jr. Everytime Snooky played at Antones annual festival he invited Paul Orta to play with him . Jimmy Roger also employed him as harp player for the festivals. One his favorite memories is was playing a weekly gig for 3 months with Sumlin (Howlin Wolf’s guitar player).

Paul Orta has also toured and recorded with Texas Guitar Tornado U.P. Wilson (U.S.A. and Europe). He can be heard on over a dozen albums and be heard on over 3 dozen different compilations and various albums in North & South America, Europe, Japan, Africa and Australia. In addition he has performed with second generation bluesmen like Kim Wilson, Derek O’Brian, Tommy Shannon and many others.

Past members of Paul Orta’s band have included Uncle John Turner (Johhny Winter), Keith Ferguson (The Fabulous Thunderbirds), Mike Kindred (Stevie Vaughn), Wesley Starr (Delbert McClinton), Jimmy Carl Black (Frank Zappa) and Freddie Waldon (Anson Funderburg and the Rockets).
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Sam Lay Blues Band


Sam Lay (born March 20, 1935, Birmingham, Alabama, United States) is an American drummer and vocalist, who has been performing since the late 1950s.
Lay began his career in 1957, as the drummer for the Original Thunderbirds, and soon after became the drummer for the harmonica player Little Walter.

In the early 1960s, Lay began recording and performing with prominent blues musicians such as Willie Dixon, Howlin' Wolf, Eddie Taylor, John Lee Hooker, Jr. Wells, Bo Diddley, Magic Sam, Jimmy Rogers, Earl Hooker, and Muddy Waters. The recordings Lay made during this time, along with Waters' Fathers and Sons album recorded in 1969, are considered to be among the definitive works from the careers of Waters and Wolf.[citation needed]

In the mid 1960s, Lay joined the Paul Butterfield Blues Band and recorded and toured extensively with them. Bob Dylan, with Lay as his drummer, was the first performer to introduce electric-rock at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965. Lay also recorded with Dylan, most notably on the Highway 61 Revisited album.

Lay's drumming can be heard on over 40 recordings for the Chess Records label, with many notable blues performers. He has toured the major blues festivals around the US and Europe with the Chess Records All-Stars.

In the late 1980's Sam Lay was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis. He was recently inducted into the Jazz Hall of Fame in Los Angeles, and the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. He was nominated eight times for the coveted W. C. Handy Award for "Best Instrumentalist" including a recent 2005 nomination.

Lay has two recent recordings with his own band on Appaloosa Records and Evidence Records, and two recordings on Alligator Records with the Siegel-Schwall Band.His own 1969 release on Blue Thumb Records, Sam Lay in Bluesland, was produced by Michael Bloomfield and Nick Gravenites. He was nominated in 2000 for a Grammy Award for his performances on the Howlin' Wolf Tribute CD, and was honored by the Recording Academy in January 2002 with a Legends and Heroes Award for his significant musical contributions. He was prominently featured on a PBS-TV broadcast of seven episodes on the History of the Blues, produced by Academy Award winning director Martin Scorsese.

Lay also shot many home movies of fellow blues performers in small Chicago venues of the late 1950s and 1960s. These home movies were seen in the PBS special History of the Blues.
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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis


Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis (March 2, 1925 – December 28, 1995) was an American electric blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. He played with John Lee Hooker, recorded an album for Elektra Records in the mid 1960s, and remained a regular street musician on Maxwell Street, Chicago, for over 40 years.

He was also known as Jewtown Jimmy, and is best remembered for his songs "Cold Hands" and "4th And Broad"
He was born Charles W. Thompson, in Tippo, Mississippi. In his teens, Davis learned to play guitar from John Lee Hooker, and the two of them played concerts together in Detroit in the 1940s, following Davis' relocation there in 1946. Prior to his move to Detroit, Davis had worked in traveling minstrel shows. This included a spell with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. Davis later spent nearly a year living in Cincinatti, Ohio, before he moved to Chicago in 1953. He started performing regularly in the marketplace area of Maxwell Street, playing a traditional and electrified style of Mississippi blues.

In 1952, he recorded two songs under his real name for Sun Records. They were "Cold Hands" and "4th and Broad", and despite being offered to both Chess and Bullet, they were not released. The exact timing of Davis' adoption of his new name is uncertain, but in 1964, under his new pseudonym, he waxed a couple of tracks for Testament. They appeared on the 1965 Testament compilation album, Modern Chicago Blues. His songs were "Crying Won't Make Me Stay" and "Hanging Around My Door".The album also included a track from another Chicago street performer, John Lee Granderson, as well as more established artists such as Robert Nighthawk, Big Walter Horton, and Johnny "Man" Young. Music journalist, Tony Russell, wrote it was "music of great charm and honesty".

In 1966, Davis recorded a self-titled album for Elektra Records, which Allmusic's Jason Ankeny called "a fine showcase for his powerful guitar skills and provocative vocals". Davis recorded several tracks for various labels over the years without commercial success.

He owned a small restaurant on Maxwell Street called the Knotty Pine Grill, and performed outside the premises during the summer months.[4] Davis continued to play alfresco in Chicago's West Side for decades, up to his latter years. In July 1994, Wolf Records released the album, Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 11, the tracks of which Davis had recorded in 1988 and 1989. The collection included Lester Davenport on harmonica, and Kansas City Red playing the drums.

Davis died of a heart attack in December 1995, in his adopted hometown of Chicago. He was 70 years old
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Chicken House Shorty - Shorty Gilbert

Shorty moved to Chicago in 1969 at the age of 18. He started gigging on bass with Homesick James, Eddie Clearwater and Kansas City Red. He's also backed up Little Johnny Taylor and Jimmy Reed. But by far the biggest feather in his cap is when Shorty was asked to join Howlin Wolf's band by the Wolf himself in 1974. He held that position until 1976 when the Wolf passed away. After that he joined Eddie Shaw's Wolfgang who he's played with for over 35 years, touring all over the world. If you support live Blues acts, up and coming Blues talents and want to learn more about Blues news and Fathers of the Blues, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! ”LIKE”

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Nothing In This World - James Peterson

Alabama-born and Florida-based guitarist, singer, and songwriter James Peterson played a gritty style of Southern-fried blues at times reminiscent of Howlin' Wolf and other times more along the lines of Freddie King. He formed his first band while he was living in Buffalo, New York and running the Governor's Inn House of Blues in the 1960s. He and his band would back up the traveling musicians who came through, including blues legends like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Big Joe Turner, Freddie King, Lowell Fulson, and Koko Taylor. Peterson was born November 4, 1937 in Russell County, Alabama. Peterson was strongly influenced by gospel music in the rural area he grew up in, and he began singing in church as a child. Thanks to his father's juke joint, he was exposed to blues at an early age, and later followed in his footsteps in upstate New York. After leaving home at age 14, he headed to Gary, Indiana, where he sang with his friend John Scott. While still a teen, he began playing guitar, entirely self-taught. Peterson cited musicians like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf (Chester Burnett), Jimmy Reed, and B.B. King as his early role models. After moving to Buffalo in 1955, he continued playing with various area blues bands, and ten years later he opened his own blues club. Too Many Knots In 1970, Peterson recorded his first album, The Father, the Son, the Blues on the Perception/Today label. While he ran his blues club at night, he supplemented his income by running a used-car lot during the day. Peterson's debut album was produced and co-written with Willie Dixon, and it featured a then-five-year-old Lucky Peterson on keyboards. Peterson followed it up with Tryin' to Keep the Blues Alive a few years later. Peterson's other albums included Rough and Ready and Too Many Knots for the Kingsnake and Ichiban labels in 1990 and 1991, respectively. Don't Let the Devil Ride The album that put Peterson back on the road as a national touring act was 1995's Don't Let the Devil Ride for the Jackson, Mississippi-based Waldoxy Records. Throughout the '90s and up to the mid-2000s, Peterson was also an active live presence on the Tampa, Florida blues scene, and the 2000s also saw Peterson record another duo album with son Lucky, 2004's If You Can't Fix It on the JSP label. Peterson returned to Alabama in the mid-2000s, and died of a heart attack there on December 12, 2010. A master showman who learned from the best and knew how to work an audience, James Peterson left a legacy not only as an accomplished blues guitarist, but also as a crafty songwriter endowed with a deep, gospel-drenched singing style. 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!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis


Maxwell Street Jimmy Davis (March 2, 1925 – December 28, 1995) was an American electric blues singer, guitarist and songwriter. He played with John Lee Hooker, recorded an album for Elektra Records in the mid 1960s, and remained a regular street musician on Maxwell Street, Chicago, for over 40 years.

He was also known as Jewtown Jimmy, and is best remembered for his songs "Cold Hands" and "4th And Broad"
He was born Charles W. Thompson, in Tippo, Mississippi. In his teens, Davis learned to play guitar from John Lee Hooker, and the two of them played concerts together in Detroit in the 1940s, following Davis' relocation there in 1946. Prior to his move to Detroit, Davis had worked in traveling minstrel shows. This included a spell with the Rabbit Foot Minstrels. Davis later spent nearly a year living in Cincinatti, Ohio, before he moved to Chicago in 1953. He started performing regularly in the marketplace area of Maxwell Street, playing a traditional and electrified style of Mississippi blues.

In 1952, he recorded two songs under his real name for Sun Records. They were "Cold Hands" and "4th and Broad", and despite being offered to both Chess and Bullet, they were not released. The exact timing of Davis' adoption of his new name is uncertain, but in 1964, under his new pseudonym, he waxed a couple of tracks for Testament. They appeared on the 1965 Testament compilation album, Modern Chicago Blues. His songs were "Crying Won't Make Me Stay" and "Hanging Around My Door".The album also included a track from another Chicago street performer, John Lee Granderson, as well as more established artists such as Robert Nighthawk, Big Walter Horton, and Johnny "Man" Young. Music journalist, Tony Russell, wrote it was "music of great charm and honesty".

In 1966, Davis recorded a self-titled album for Elektra Records, which Allmusic's Jason Ankeny called "a fine showcase for his powerful guitar skills and provocative vocals". Davis recorded several tracks for various labels over the years without commercial success.

He owned a small restaurant on Maxwell Street called the Knotty Pine Grill, and performed outside the premises during the summer months.[4] Davis continued to play alfresco in Chicago's West Side for decades, up to his latter years. In July 1994, Wolf Records released the album, Chicago Blues Session, Vol. 11, the tracks of which Davis had recorded in 1988 and 1989. The collection included Lester Davenport on harmonica, and Kansas City Red playing the drums.

Davis died of a heart attack in December 1995, in his adopted hometown of Chicago. He was 70 years old
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Sunday, September 30, 2012

My Head Is Bald - Tail Dragger with Jimmy Dawkins and Lurrie Bell

James Yancy Jones, aka Tail Dragger, was born in Altheimer, AR, in 1940. He was brought up by his grandparents and was influenced as a child by the electric Chicago blues of Muddy Waters, Sonny Boy Williamson, and especially Chester Burnett, the Howlin' Wolf. Jones was a Howlin' Wolf devotee, right down to his deep, gruff voice. After moving to Chicago in the '60s, he began playing with blues legends on the West Side and South Side. It was Howlin' Wolf who gave Jones the title "Tail Dragger" because of his habit of showing up late to gigs. When Jones first appeared on the Chicago blues circuit he was known as Crawlin' James. A number of local West Side and South Side blues artists, including Hubert Sumlin, Carey Bell, Eddie Shaw, Mack Simmons, and Willie Kent, got their start playing in Tail Dragger's bands. American People The difficult lifestyle that contributes to many blues lyrics caught up with Tail Dragger in 1993 when he shot and killed fellow bluesman Boston Blackie, supposedly over profits owed from a show. Jones spent 17 months in an Illinois jail. Following years of playing juke joints and releasing a handful of singles, his first full-length disc, Crawlin' Kingsnake, was released in 1996. Three years later he returned with American People on the legendary Chicago blues and jazz label Delmark. My Head Is Bald: Live at Vern's Friendly Lounge followed in 2005 on Delmark, which also released a DVD of the show under the same title. If you like what I’m doing, Like ---Bman’s Blues Report--- Facebook Page! I’m looking for great talent and trying to grow the audience for your favorites band! - ”LIKE”

Tuesday, June 26, 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 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, May 23, 2011

Gold Tailed Bird - Jimmy Rogers - Ronnie Earl


Jimmy Rogers (June 3, 1924 – December 19, 1997) was a blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player, best known for his work as a member of Muddy Waters' band of the 1950s.
Jimmy Rogers was born James A. Lane in Ruleville, Mississippi, on June 3, 1924, and was raised in Atlanta, Georgia and Memphis, Tennessee. He adapted the professional surname 'Rogers' from his stepfather's last name. Rogers learned the harmonica alongside his childhood friend Snooky Pryor, and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in East St. Louis, Illinois (where he played with Robert Lockwood, Jr., among others), before moving to Chicago in the mid 1940s.[citation needed] By 1946 he had recorded his first record as a harmonica player and singer for the Harlem record label, run by J. Mayo Williams. Rogers' name did not appear on the record, which was mislabeled as the work of "Memphis Slim and his Houserockers."

In 1947, Rogers, Muddy Waters and Little Walter began playing together as Muddy Waters' first band in Chicago (sometimes referred to as "The Headcutters" or "The Headhunters" due to their practice of stealing jobs from other local bands), while the band members each recorded and released music credited to each of them as solo artists. The first Muddy Waters band defined the sound of the nascent "Chicago Blues" style (more specifically "South Side" Chicago Blues). Rogers made several more sides of his own with small labels in Chicago, but none were released at the time. He began to enjoy success as a solo artist with Chess Records in 1950, scoring a hit with "That's All Right", but he stayed with Waters until 1954. In the mid 1950s he had several successful releases on the Chess label, most featuring either Little Walter Jacobs or Big Walter Horton on harmonica, most notably "Walking By Myself", but as the 1950s drew to a close and interest in the blues waned, he gradually withdrew from the music industry. In the early 1960s he briefly worked as a member of Howling Wolf's band, before quitting the music business altogether for almost a decade. He worked as a taxicab driver and owned a clothing store that burned down in the Chicago riots that followed the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. He gradually began performing in public again, and in 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, Rogers began occasionally touring and recording, including a 1977 reunion session with his old bandleader Waters. By 1982, Rogers was again a full-time solo artist.

In 1995 Rogers was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.

He continued touring and recording albums until his death from colon cancer in Chicago in 1997. He was survived by his son, James D. Lane, who is also a guitarist and a record producer and recording engineer for Blue Heaven Studios and the APO Records label.
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Friday, November 9, 2012

Fourteen Stories - Red Lotus Revue - New Release Review

I just received the new (11/6/12) release, Fourteen Stories by Red Lotus Review. Red Lotus is named for it's debut at the Red Lotus Society in San Diego by founding members Karl Cabbage (vocal and harp), Jimmy Zollo (guitar) and Pete Fazinni (guitar). Drums are handled by Kurt Kalker. This recording includes 7 original tracks and 7 older classics. First up is Suzanne which actually reminds me of a Frank Black track (Nadine) and I really like it. This has just the right amount of overdrive on the harp with great riffs and Cabbage with a super dark blues voice. The drums are kept to a solid rhythm and guitar adds texture. For the second time in not so long a time I have to apologize for myself knowing a blues track first by a rock band. I Ain't Got You, made popular by Jimmy Reed was first exposed to me by the Yardbirds. RLR does a great job on this track with very tasty harp work, underlying guitar work and Cabbage's vocals are strong. Smokey Smothers' Drinkin' Muddy Water is up next and classic guitar styling throughout supporting clean vocals by Cabbage makes for a very enjoyable track. Johnny Shines' Please Don't has a crisp rockin' blues tempo with a nice understated guitar lead and strong harp riffs. Cabbage's vocals suit the tune to a tee. SB Williamson's Key To Your Door is done at a moderately slow pace giving both guitar and harp nice openings for short tidy riffs. Both take a nice extended bridge solo making this one of the coolest tracks on the recording. Original track, Homebody, is done with an understated light pace early on and then breaks down to a deeper rhythm track. I also want to mention that the guitar tone on this track is particularly cool. Another original track, Barkin', has that Chicago lope and is another contender for coolest track on the recording. With plenty of guitar, harp and swingin' vocals this track just has it! Another Johnny Shines track, Fish Tail, has a bit more of a primitive sound with resonator slide work and drum brush work. Kept light, it allows focus on the interesting vocal style of Cabbage to dominate an equally interesting instrumental track. Jimmy Reed's Honest I Do sets up really nicely for this band playing into the strong suit of the vocal, guitar and harp styling of this band. Sounds like it was written for them. Original track, River, opens with some nice acoustic slide work but quickly becomes a rockin' blues frenzy along the lines of Rollin' And Tumblin'. Another original, Smoker, nods to the 50's R&B but with an interesting modern chord change giving it a fresh sound. Howlin' Wolf track You Can't Be Beat, follows and has some really sweet "under the cuff" lead guitar riffs that compliment the track nicely. The final track, Santee, is cut out of the "Red Hot" cloth and done in a retro styling with mono sounding recording techniques. More hot licks and riffs from the guitars and harp make this a cool track to wrap it all up.

  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”