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Friday, February 29, 2008

Blue Band Update


The latest from Bob Dorr

There's nothing like standing on an aluminum extension ladder with a three pound hatchet chipping away ice dams on the gutters around your house in a driving snow storm to put ya in the mood for a Blue Note! Unless it would be digging out from another 4" of drifted snow. This stopped being funny weeks ago on our return trip from Fairfield. I'll get to that later...

Wow, it's been almost 3 weeks since one of these notes. I've been flattered by the many (ok, it was 8, but that's alot for me) notes from people saying they were worried that they'd been dropped from "the list" because they hadn't gotten one of these recently. Lots of stuff is happening. I'll get to that later...

Tonight. Leap Night. Feb. 29. We're playing an open to the public, free of charge, anniversary party for Lynda and Dave Holliday at Checker's Tavern in Cedar Rapids (3120 6th St SW Cedar Rapids-8:00 p.m.-midnight www.checkerstavern.com) Yes, they were married on Feb. 29, so they're celebrating their 4th wedding anniversary. It only SEEMS like 15! (rim shot!) Lynda hasn't told Dave yet that this is how they're celebrating their anniversary! (double rim shot!) Join in the SURPRISE! And another surprise-it's been so long that we've played in Cedar Rapids that I'm going to celebrate and indulge in a SEVEN piece band! Iowa Blues Hall of Famer Tommy "T-Bone" Giblin will be the keys player and "Uncle Al" Naylor the trumpet player that joined us on New Years Eve and at Fairfield has promised to bring along a sax playing friend of his, so we'll have two horns, keys, and Jeff's guitar. This is gonna be FUN! (it'll be fun just figuring our how we're gonna get all 7 of us up on the Checker's stage!) remember, it's a celebration so BRING CAKE!!...

It's time for Iowa Public TV's Festival (fundraising) I've been invited to co-host a few of the music related nights starting with 3 cool shows next Thursday (Mar. 6) beginning at 6:30pm- The Best of Olde Time Country Music (I just love those old black & white takes of legendary performers in their hey day) followed by Johnny Cash-A Man & His Mission and later that night, an in-concert setting with Martina McBride. I'll also be co-hosting the Elvis Lives-25th Anniversary Concert on Mar. 12, and, on Mar. 13, Grand Ol' Opry's Vintage Classics. Need more info? www.iptv.org...

Next Friday, Mar. 7 is the next TGIF party at The Hub, 4th & Main, here is Sparkle City. Bunky Marlow is scheduled to join us again on saxophone. And then, two weeks from tomorrow, Saturday March 15 is THE FIRST OUTDOOR DATE OF THE SEASON!! (yes, I know that we've got 30" of snow and ice on the ground, but YOU'VE GOT TO BELIEVE! YES WE CAN!!) Anyway we're set to be part of the weekend-long St. Patricks Celebration, outside in a heated tent, at The Twisted Parrot, 6500 Hickman Rd., Windsor Heights, IA (suburban Des Moines) www.thetwistedparrot.com we play 7-11pm...

The good news: we continue to add a few summer dates each week. The bad news: we're hurtin' for work in April and May. Keep us in mind for that WELCOME SPRING bash on your deck at your acreage on the outskirts of town...

Oh yeah, the drive home from Fairfield (Feb. 16) First, it was exhilarating to play for the hip audience and dancers at the Hospital fundraiser. Everyone there was so concerned about our 3 1/2 hour trip home in the freezing rain that they helped us get on the road early. We actually made record time until we got 2 miles inside the limits of Black Hawk County (19 miles from house) where it seemed that the DOT had sent out the Zamboni machine rather than the salt truck. We started to come upon what looked like, in the distance, a parking lot full of flashing lights. The only way I was able to stop the band truck was by slowly inching to the side of the road so that the rumble strips caught my tires and the friction allowed us to slowly slide to a stop. I called 911 to let them know of the mess and that all we really needed was a salt/sand truck (or two) because the temperature was still about 30 degrees. We finally saw a salt truck SEVENTY FIVE minutes later. We snaked our way thru the cars in the ditch and the jack-knifed semis and made the final 19 miles in ABOUT AN HOUR! (and Holy Cow, did I ever have to pee!) (too much information?) But that's not the bad part. After that ordeal, I headed to my basement bedroom only to find about an inch of (very cold) water had leaked onto the floor from the pouring rain because of the damn ice jams that had formed in the gutters. (the same damn ice jams, now 5 inches thick, that I was doing the hatchet job on this afternoon) Two hours later I had sopped up enough water to reach the bed without having splashes of water over my slippers, but I was wound up from all the commotion (and the frequent cursing of Mother Nature and her unrelenting bitchiness this winter) so I decided (what was I thinking?) to get the two days of mail in my PO box at the post office a mile away. The only thing in the box was a notice that I was being audited by the Iowa Department of Revenue...

The "other" bit of news: I've been told that in order to be hip and happenin' The Blue Band needs a My Space page. (I've since been told that since people "my age" have finally caught up to My Space, that it's no longer "cool") (I might be old, but at least I'm slow) Anyway, I'm told that we now have a My Space location at http://www.myspace.com/bobdorrandtheblueband and that we have four whole friends. This is twice as many friends as I've ever had in my life! Altho' I think it's kind of creepy to get email messages saying "someone wants to be your friend" (it's kind of stalker like in an odd way, isn't it?) I'll be your friend if you'll be mine...

And finally, since there's no Blue Band gigs the next two Saturdays, I'll be doin' my Backtracks Rock'n'Roll History show LIVE on Iowa Public Radio 7-10p on both Mar. 1 and Mar. 8. Listen anywhere on the planet at www.kuniradio.org phone in requests, suggestions, or salutations at 1-800-772-2440, ext. 5. Talk to me babies...

See ya on the Blue Highway (find yourself a sand truck to follow in the freezing rain) Keep playing your washboard tie (the ripples in the tie could double as traction for your tires on the ice) Support Public TV, wish the Hollidays a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY tonight at Checkers and thank them for bringing The Blue Band back to Cedar Rapids by BRINGING CAKE! We love you, Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Eric Sardinas: Come On In My Kitchen

A very nice version of Robert Johnson's Come On In My Kitchen. Sardinas can play it all from acoustic delta, to rocking smoking guitar!


Eric Sardinas Press Release


New release from Eric Sardinas


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:


SLIDE GUITAR MASTER ERIC SARDINAS RETURNS
WITH HIS SIGNATURE DEEP SOUTHERN BLUES ON
NEW CD AND DIGITAL RELEASE

ERIC SARDINAS AND BIG MOTOR SET FOR RELEASE
FEB 19TH ON FAVORED NATIONS RECORDS



"Sardinas finger-picks his guitar into a frenzy in a dazzling
display, he is nothing short of a wild man."
LA Times

(Los Angeles, CA)
– On his fourth album, Eric Sardinas and Big Motor, blues virtuoso Eric Sardinas delivers a powerful musical statement that stands as his most accomplished release to date, fueled by a wily sense of adventure, imagination and ferocious lead guitar finery.

The opening track “All I Need” sets the pace and highlights Eric’s diverse influences, from the likes of the Chicago and southern Delta Blues sound to good old Rock and Roll. Other standout tracks are “Find My Heart”, “This Time”, and the floor-shaking cover of “Burning Love”, originally made famous by Elvis Presley. The eleven new tracks on Eric Sardinas and Big Motor drive forth with a strong mix of melody, energetic rhythms, and the unbelievable talent you’ve come to expect from Sardinas.

U.S. RELEASE: February 19th, 2008 - CD available at all upcoming Eric Sardinas live performances and online at MusicToday.com, FavoredNations.com, and Myspace.com/ericsardinasband. Digital downloads can be purchased at all online music stores.

CANADA RELEASE: April 1st, 2008 - Full commercial CD and digital release

INTERNATIONAL RELEASE: April 28th, 2008 - Full commercial CD and digital release

Eric Sardinas has garnered acclaim for his explosive live performances, which clearly demonstrate his consummate six-string agility. With a full-blown worldwide tour building in support of the release, Eric will once again stake his claim on the music world with his unique brand of gutsy guitar driven blues/rock.

“Eric is single-handedly turning the polite world of acoustic Dobro into a mean sounding machine of blues and rock.” - Eddie Kramer (Producer/Engineer - The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin)

“Eric Sardinas is the next generation of rock/blues…”Paul Hanson, The Daily Vault




Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Buddy Miles RIP


Sad news from Texas, Buddy Miles has died. Miles was well known in Des Moines and would drop in to jam at the Cloud on Sunday Nights. He was best known for his brief stint with Jimi Hendrix and the Band Of Gypsies. The following is an obit from Illinois Blues.


IllinoisBlues.com is saddened by the passing of drum legend Buddy Miles.
He will be missed!

Buddy Miles 9/5/1947 – 2/26/2008
Legendary Drummer Buddy Miles passed away this Tuesday, peacefully at his home
in Austin, TX. He was (60) sixty years old. He suffered from congestive heart
failure but the official cause of death is not known.

Buddy performed with some of the greatest names in music including Stevie Wonder,
Muddy Waters, Michael Bloomfield, Wilson Pickett, Stephen Stills, Neil Young,
David Crosby, Jack Bruce, Eric Burden, Peter Torque, Billy Gibbons, Prince,
Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Vaughan, Rick James, Kool and the Gang, Jr. Brown,
Ike Turner, Pinetop Perkins, Jr. Wells, Koko Taylor, Johnny Taylor, Barry White,
Aretha Franklin, George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Carlos Santana, Robert Lockwood, Jr.,
Billy Cox, David Bowie and others.

Buddy Miles recorded over 70 albums and performed in numerous world tours, television
commercials and videos. He is best known for his work with Jimi Hendrix
and bass player Billy Cox in Band of Gypsys.

Band of Gypsys recorded one album appropriately titled “Band of Gypsys” in 1970 at
Fillmore East in New York. Two of the songs on the album were written by Miles.
("We Gotta Live Together" and "Changes”).

In lieu of flowers; the family has asked to please make donations to the
Jazz Foundation of America specifically in Buddy Miles' name to assist with
funeral, and other expenses at www.jazzfoundation.org ; The Jazz Foundation of
America, at 322 West 48th Street, New York, NY, 10036, Attn.: Amy Cusma.

Blues Historian Review: Honeydripper Soundtrack


Unfortunately, it looks like the film is still too far away for me too catch. However, I did get the chance to listen to a fine CD of classic blues, R&B, and gospel to listen too. The offical soundtrack of Honeydripper starts up with a great jump blues called Honeydripper Lounge, then is follow by a work type song called Tall Cotton. No Matter How She Done It is a classic W C Handy style blues sung by Mable John, plus some outstanding piano work by Sonny Leyland. Then a spiritual by the New Beginnings Ministry called Standing By The Highway. Following the New Beginnings Ministry is an interesting surprise, Hank Williams, Move It On Over. Of course I would love to know what part this plays in the movie. What many people don't know about country music is how much the blues influence it. starting with the "Singing Breakman" Jimmy Rogers, who sang blues songs and added yodels to it, and that tradition of using blues continued with Hank, who was influenced by Rogers. Another classic recording of Lil Green singing Why Don't You Do Right, follows Hank. Keb Mo reinterprets the classic gambling gone wrong blues Stack O Lee, which is an old blues fable about two gamblers. The next song is a return to spiritual music with the New Beginnings Ministry, then Danny Glover sings Going Down Slow. Glover does a good job singing that classic slow blues song. Once again Sonny Leyland is plays an outstanding piano. The soundtrack then returns to Memphis Slim's recording of Bertha May. Bertha May is one of those strange recordings in the blues pantheon. Instead of playing piano, Slim is either playing a tinky electric piano, or possibly a melotron, ( I can't really tell and there is no date on the recording) (The only other strange blues recording that is similar to this was an old recording of Otis Spann playing piano blues on a harpsichord, very strange indeed:-) Finally Gary Clark Jr. has three songs in a row. I can only assume this is the part of the movie that he shows up in "Guitar Sam's" place and rocks the house. I am a little disappointed that the three songs seem a bit sloppy, and slapped together, but again, I can only assume that this has something to do with the movie. I have seen Clark on Youtube, and he certainly can play. I think that not being able to see the movie and being able to reference the song to the scene really effects what I can write about it. It is quite possible that they had to play the songs that way for the scene. Barrence Whitfield then follows Clark's numbers with a rocking Music Keeps Rollin On. The last song on the disc is Ruth Brown singing Things about Coming My Way. I can only assume that this was one of the last recordings done by Brown who died in November of 2006. This is a great song by Brown who was an early star of Rock and Roll, and Soul.

It would really have been nice to see the movie, before reviewing the disc. I think it is hard to get a feel for what the music is trying to say without having a visual reference. However, this is a nice collection of old and new blues, and with the exception of the Clark tracks, the songs are incredibly tight and well played. I know that this movie is about a guitar player in the 50s, but the piano players steal the show on the disc. Jessie Williams, Sonny Leyland, and Tom West, play their fingers off on this CD. I know I am probably biased toward piano players since I play blues piano myself, but I know good blues players when I hear them, and these guys rock. Over all, this is a great disc, and one to add to your collection. It has a nice combination of blues and blues influenced music from the turn of the century up to the 1950s, that it is worth buying just so you can hear just how much blues is the father of rock and roll.

Simply The Blues Fest, May 9th And 10th Fort Madison Iowa

May 9th & 10th - Fort Madison, IA


Simply the blues fest takes place in Fort Madison Iowa on May 9th and 10th. This is one of the early bluesfests of the year. Check out their website HERE for more info.

Jason Ricci Press Release

This is an update from yesterdays press release. This one includes Ricci's schedule.


ARTIST: JASON RICCI & NEW BLOOD

FORMAT/GENRE: HARP BLUES/JAMBAND

CD: ROCKET NUMBER 9 – NOW AVAILABLE

WEBSITE: http://www.jasonricci.com

For more information on Jason Ricci and New Blood and their new CD, “Rocket Number 9,” or to request interviews or set up features or show reviews, please contact Chip Schutzman at Miles High Productions: chip@mileshighproductions.com or 323-806-0400.

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TO VIEW JASON RICCI ON YOUTUBE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0m18rLUlQGo

TO ADD YOURSELF TO JASON RICCI’S FRIEND NETWORK ON MYSPACE OR TO LISTEN TO HIS LATEST SONGS: http://www.myspace.com/jasonricciandnewblood

JASON RICCI BIO

In just a few short years, Jason Ricci has compiled a musical resume and Blues credibility that most musicians don’t achieve in a lifetime. By the time he was 21, he had won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest, had performed on the main stage at the King Biscuit Blues Festival, been featured on the Memphis evening news, and had worked with Susan Tedeschi, Billy Gibson, and Bobby Little.

Before you knew it, Jason was gigging with Jr. Kimbrough’s son, David, and frequently performed with Junior himself as well as with R.L Burnside in clubs throughout the South. During this period Jason recorded Down at the Juke with Kinney Kimbrough.

After Junior’s death, Jason returned home to Portland, ME and formed a band with guitarist Nick Curran. A year later, Jason won the Mars National Harmonica Contest, beating out over 1,000 contestants, and earned himself the opportunity to perform with the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Hohner harmonicas quickly signed Jason on as an endorsee.

After touring nationally with Big Al and the Heavyweights, Jason released a solo album, Feel Good Funk, but he needed new blood to take his music where he wanted it to go. Jason joined with young guitar phenom Shawn Starski, flamboyant Argentine drummer Maki Bergara, and veteran first Beale St. bassist Slim Louis to form, appropriately, Jason Ricci and New Blood.

JRNB has been on a rigorous, 300 gig-a-year schedule for a couple years now, thrilling audiences, defying musical genre labeling, and constantly evolving. No two JRNB shows are alike. After one deportation and one retirement, Steve Johnson now supplies an infectious swing on drums, and Todd “Buckweed” Edmunds brings a jazzy funky groove on bass that adds a whole new dimension to the band’s sound.

The band has released two albums – Live at Checkers and Blood on the Road, and the awards and accolades have flowed in – including the coveted “Muddy Waters Award” for most promising new talent.

However, Jason Ricci is no flash in the pan. He is a seasoned, road-tested and proven musician with a fire and passion to take his music to unheard of heights and innovations. He is an inspiration, a rare talent, and is a performer not to be missed.

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Rocket Number 9 Now available at Amazon, ITunes and most record stores!

JASON RICCI AND NEW BLOOD TOURDATES:

February

28 Teaneck, NJ Mexicali Blues

29 Blawnox, PA Moondog’s

March

1 Cleveland, OH Winchester

2 Lawrenceville, PA Lakeview Lodge

5 St Louis, MO BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups

11 Topeka, KS Varsity Blues

12 Evergreen, CO Little Bear

14 Canon City, CO Merlino’s

15 Boulder, CO Boulder Outlook Hotel

27 Mobile, AL Blues Tavern

28 Auburn, AL Bourbon Street

29 Macon, GA 550 Blues

April

5 Jacksonville Beach, FL Springin’ The Blues Festival

6 Cocoa Beach, FL Beach Shack

June

8 Hughesville, PA Billtown Blues Festival

13 Chattanooga, TN Riverbend Festival

28-29 Winterpark, CO Blues From The Top Festival

July

5 Thunder Bay, ON Thunder Bay Blues Festival

31 Bellingham, WA Downtown Sounds Summer Alley Concert Series

August

1 Deming, WA Mt Baker Blues Festival

30-31 Johnstown, PA Johnstown Folk Festival

For more information on Jason Ricci & New Blood, please contact Chip Schutzman at Miles High Productions: chip@mileshighproductions.com or 323-806-0400.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Taylor Hicks: What'd I Say

A very cool cover of Brother Ray's great hit from the 1950s, by Taylor Hicks.

Andy Coats & The Bank Walkers: Electric Spanish Love

Former Iowan, Andy Coats and his trio the Bank Walkers performing live in front of the cameras!


Taylor Hicks: Limbo

Another Taylor Hicks video found by one of our great readers. Thanks!!


Sean Costello Press Release

Sean Costello press release via email

“Young Voice of the Blues!”

SEAN COSTELLO – BACK TO BASICS, BACK ON THE ROAD,

BACK IN BUSINESS. A BRAND NEW CD SHOWS WHY SOME

CALL HIM A BLUESMAN FOR THE 21ST CENTURY

At this moment in his musical life, Sean Costello (www.seancostello.com) is all about getting back to basics, keeping it simple, traveling along American roots (for the music) and American routes (for the gig).

All this is to be found in singer, guitarist, songwriter Costello’s latest CD, “We Can Get Together” (Delta Groove), his fifth in a decade-long recording career (the distinctive Costello lead guitar has been included on another dozen or so).

The new CD focuses on Costello’s songwriting and his road tested current guitar-bass-drums trio. The essentials.

Costello has had his share of CDs featuring horn sections and special star guests. This time Aaron Trubic (bass), Paul Campanella Jr. (drums) and Costello (vocal, guitar) are front and center, just as they are on the road on stage in clubs and concerts.

“It’s back to basics, a move to show what we are, who we are and what we do,” notes Costello.

The CD is also a shift away from, but still inclusive of, the blues power that brought Costello early (teenage) attention and fueled his career. “Now,” says Costello, “I’m working on expanding my vocal direction and writing songs.”

This direction includes more than a nod towards another Costello musical passion - the kind of soul music that came out of the Stax Record company a quarter century ago.

Although perhaps best known for his unsullied guitar chops, Costello’s voice has its own distinction, existing somewhere between Tom Waits’ gravel and Howlin’ Wolf’s ferocity. Costello went to the Performing Arts High School in Atlanta but never studied voice, just concentrated on first and lasting love, the guitar.

He may think, today, that this was no bad thing. “A lot of great singers, the ones that I admire, are not technically good singers but they get the emotion, the soul, across in what they do. Which is better,” notes Costello. “That’s what I try to do…”

And, apparently, successfully. He’s been called a Bluesman for the 21st Century, one that incorporates the eclectic mix of music that has surrounded him since the days in Philadelphia when street corner doo wop entranced his young ears. He has had the chance, during his recording and playing vocation, to play with traditionalists (B.B. King), gospel (Five Blind Boys of Alabama), the new wave (Susan Tedeschi), Dylan expatriates (Levon Helm) and any number of the bluegrass, folk or rock community who crossed his path, all without disregarding his bedrock blues elements but using them as energy to extend his musical thinking.

One aspect of life Costello shares (by choice) with those early blues traditionalist is the wandering..The road life.

Again Costello keeps it simple and basic. The Costello trio do their traveling from gig to gig by van, comfortable, roadworthy, and by choice. Life on the road for the trio—no roadies, no driver— would appear to be hard traveling. Costello admits to racking up 10,000 miles in one five week period. And moving cross country from Key West to Vancouver, driving and playing, in another.

But it is their preferred method of locomotion—only Costello’s European tours alter their arrangements. “We travel, playing two nights at a time, maybe three, then load up and hit the road,” admits Costello. “With that kind of proximity you get to know your music… and your musicians. The music on this album would not have turned out so well, had it not been road tested and refined on the road before audiences of real live people.”

Life inside the Costello van has an established routine. Music is probably the main topic—their own and other groups. Audio books are listened to and Costello is currently learning French through headphones in preparation for the next transatlantic excursion.

“We also do a lot of complaining—food, hotels, sound systems, management—joking!! We’ve developed complaining into an art form!”

Sean Costello was born in Philadelphia and raised, from age 9, in Atlanta (a city with a strong sense, and long history, of the blues). About to graduate high school with a local rep. as a guitar hero, he was offered a record gig. With Susan Tedeschi. For $600 dollars.

It was one of those died-and-gone-to-heaven moments, especially as the album became a hit, Costello joined Tedeschi and his own career was off, running in high gear. He remembers the time between age 19 and 23 as fat years, full of work, awards (from the Memphis Blues Society, W.C. Handy award nomination), in and out of the recording studio, and earning the respect of his peers, such as B.B. King, Bo Diddley, Buddy Guy, Pinetop Perkins, James Cotton. A time when Costello could indulge in Guitarist Fantasy No 1 (no, not that!). Amassing a collection of vintage and exceptional guitars. He owns a 1953 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop, one of around two dozen in existence, he believes. Purchased for $7000, now worth $40,000, stashed away and certainly not part of the van’s equipment..

Then came a died-and-went-to-hell moment. Signed to a biggish label with a biggish advance, the recording, an expensive, ambitious project, was completed and about to be released. Then an internal crisis hit the label, the powers that be became the powers that went and Costello’s work became more or less history, dying without promotion or enthusiasm.

“Some days I’m not pleased with the industry,” he understated wryly some time later.

But Sean Costello regrouped, went back to Atlanta, starting writing and playing and getting some priorities in shape. In fact, to quote his CD, “We can get together.” “All I ever wanted to do was play the guitar well and I’ve been fortunate to be able to make a good living doing it,” was his philosophy.

Make that his basic philosophy.

And Sean Costello is back to basics….

Jason Ricci Press Release


Just received this via email

JASON RICCI & NEW BLOOD’s “ROCKET NUMBER 9,” NOW AVAILABLE

“One of the biggest regrets I have is that I never got to see Jimi Hendrix, but seeing Jason Ricci’s literally breathtaking and physics defying show...is probably the closest I will get. Ricci did for the electric and acoustic harmonica what Hendrix did for the guitar: took it somewhere it’s never been.” (Brad Kava/SJ Mercury News)

Van Nuys, CA - Eclecto Groove Records is proud to announce the release of Nashville-based JASON RICCI & New Blood’s ROCKET NUMBER 9. ROCKET NUMBER 9 was produced by Grammy-winning producer JOHN PORTER (Roxy Music, Buddy Guy, Ryan Adams) and recorded at The House of Blues Studio in Encino, CA. The 12 tracks (11 originals + a Sun Ra cover) are an eclectic mix. Jason Ricci & New Blood fuse blues, rock, funk and jazz into a seamless cohesion. Critics have compared them with acts as diverse as The Rolling Stones, John Coltrane and Lou Reed. Jason Ricci & New Blood deliver a level of musical virtuosity, while effortlessly keeping the fun, angst and energy of a punk rock band, with the skill, refinement and reflection typical of a jazz ensemble.

As a blues band Jason Ricci & New Blood have individually and collectively won various accolades and distinguished awards from blues organizations around the world.

As a jam band, tapers have archived shows from the shores of France and Belgium to San Francisco and weekly Internet downloads, often in the thousands, have surpassed heavily bootlegged acts such as The Grateful Dead and Phish. Jason Ricci’s self-released 2006 CD "Blood On The Road" sold over 12,000 copies in under a year from stage, by word of mouth and through the Internet.

Jason Ricci is that rare individual that comes along once in a generation – a unique artist with the ability to help shape and redefine the sound of his chosen instrument . His style is varied and his influences far reaching, having spent countless hours absorbing everything from Sun Ra to Little Walter, The Rolling Stones to the Pixies, Lou Reed to Govt. Mule, and everything in between.

By the time Ricci was 21, he had won the Sonny Boy Blues Society contest, had performed on the main stage at the King Biscuit Blues Festival, and had worked with Susan Tedeschi, Billy Gibson, and Bobby Little. Soon Ricci was gigging with Junior Kimbrough’s son, David, and frequently performed with Junior and R.L Burnside in clubs throughout the South.

After Junior’s death, Ricci returned home to Portland, ME and formed a band with guitarist Nick Curran. A year later, Ricci won the Mars National Harmonica Contest, beating out over 1,000 contestants. Hohner harmonicas quickly signed Jason on as an endorsee.

In 2001, after touring nationally with Big Al and the Heavyweights, Ricci relocated to Nashville. He released his first solo album, Feel Good Funk, but he needed new blood to take his music where he wanted it to go. Ricci joined with young guitarist Shawn Starski, flamboyant Argentine drummer Maki Bergara, and veteran first call Beale Street bassist Slim Louis to form, appropriately, Jason Ricci & New Blood.

Since that time Jason Ricci & New Blood has been on a rigorous, 300 gig-a-year schedule thrilling audiences, defying musical genre labeling, and constantly evolving. No two Jason Ricci & New Blood shows are alike. Steve Johnson now supplies an infectious swing on drums, and Todd Edmunds brings a jazzy funky groove on bass.

At the age of 33, Jason Ricci is a seasoned, road-tested and proven musician with a fire and passion to take his music to new heights and innovations. He is an inspiration, a rare talent, and a performer not to be missed. Together with guitarist Shawn Starski, who brings with him an arsenal of creative talent and fresh ideas, and Grammy Award winning producer John Porter at the helm, on ROCKET NUMBER 9 Jason Ricci & New Blood have created a visionary and sonically explosive masterpiece that is sure to shake your foundations.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Artist Of The Week: Son House


The artist of the week is Son House. Son was one of the great delta bluesmen of the 1920s-30s. House knew and played with Charlie Patton, Honeyboy Edwards, Robert Johnson, Willie Brown, and many other great Mississippi Bluesmen. Son had his own unique style that influenced many blues performers even the great Robert Johnson was heavily influenced by Son. Son also may have contibuted to the legend that Robert had sold his soul to the devil when he was asked about the topic in the late 60s. To watch the videos look for the youtube video box titled artist of the week on the right side of the blog.

Photo Of The Week: Gary Jackson

This weeks photo is of Gary Jackson. Gary is an Iowa Blues Hall Of Fame artist, and still sings from time to time in town. Gary was one of the great soul singers in Des Moines during the 70s and traveled around many bands. Currently he works for UPS, and when he is in the area he still blows away lucky crowds who happen to see him sing.

Poll Results

Of course it was not a scientific poll, but the results were interesting. Most people receive their news from the net, and that was expected. However, I was surprised that few people get their news from radio. I guess since radio especially talk radio, is so biased to one political point of view, that most people find their news from other sources. I did look at some stats the other day in regards to the power of talk radio, and it is obvious that the power that they have over political speech has waned over the years. This is probably good for the country because open debate and dialog is what made the country great. I think too many times people have believed that there is only two answers to every problem, and that everything is basically right or wrong. Reality is far more complicated than that. It really takes everyone working together and finding common ground to solve the big issues. Hopefully, that is the direction we are heading.

Black History Month Stories About The Blues

The Cincinnati Enquirer, has a series of articles about the blues. I am not sure I buy into the death of the blues article that talks about youth and the blues. I know from experience that blues is in one of its currents ebbs, but that will soon change. I am not sure what will light the next blues fire, but it is due soon. To read the articles available from the Cincinnati Enquirer Click HERE.