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Friday, November 26, 2010

Bob Dorr And The Blue Band Update

In the words of soul duo Sam & Dave, "You didn't have to shake me like you did, but you did, and I thank you. You didn't have to make it like you did, but you did, and I thank you!" I am so lucky and thankful to be living the dream. Thank you for being part of it!... Tonight, (Fri.) please join us in helping to raise money for the New Bohemia arts organization in Cedar Rapids (http://www.newbohemia.org/) at Gatherings Restaurant and Nightclub, 905 3rd St. SE. In addition to playing 8-11pm we've donated some Blue Band collectors items for the silent auction (you're gonna love that collection of Christmas flexi-discs) Doors open at 6:30...
Next Friday (Dec. 3) is the First Friday Geeezer Gig at The Hub (4th and Main, Sparkle City USA) This will be our hometown Blue Christmas party so BRING PRESENTS (if you can't bring CAKE) We play 6-9:30p...
Speaking of gigs on Friday, 5 weeks from tonight is New Years Eve! YIKES! Got yer tickets and room reservation yet? Find more info and a link to the hotel at http://www.theblueband.com/newyear.htm The price of the ticket includes access to all stages and all acts, buffet food for nearly 4 hours, champagne at midnight and anniversary CAKE! What a kick off for the 30th Anniversary Tour!...
Speaking of the 30th Anniversary Tour, the band had our annual business meeting last Sunday and despite the disappointment of losing money in the record and t-shirt business this year and only playing 60 dates, we're all feeling pretty good about moving forward with this landmark year. There is likely to be some personnel additions, as family demands on everyone takes up more and more time, but Jeff and I have persevered thru LOTS of changes in 29 years and now realize that most of the changes were invigorating and artistically positive. I'll keep you posted. Maybe it's time for YOU to play in the Blue Band!...
Before I forget, I've been invited to be a "celebrity phone answerer" for the TV8 Toys For Tots telethon in Des Moines (obviously they've dropped down to the C or D list for "celebrities") on Tuesday Dec. 7. I'm scheduled to answer calls 5-7pm. Tune into channel 8 and be generous with your pledge. Maybe I'll even be able to take your call!...
On the personal side, it's been medical month for me. Between Oct. 27 and Nov. 19th I've had a complete physical exam, colonoscopy, and root canal dental work. The results from the blood work, chest ex-ray, and colonoscopy show that I'm healthier than someone who lived pretty hard for 30 years in a row should really be! (fortunately, I've slowed WAY down in the first decade of the 2000s) When you have your health, you have everything. I feel like I've got it all! Life's good...
The Saturday night Rock 'n' Roll history radio show, Backtracks, is the annual Thanksgiving weekend Leftovers show. The last half-hour (9:30-10:00) is leftovers from the "My Wife's Records" show. The Blue Avenue blues show on Sunday (5-6:30p) continues looking back at some of the best blues discs from 2010 and the Beatles Medley, 6:30-7p, suggested by a listener in Des Moines, celebrates The Beatles songs finally being available on I-Tunes by stringing together Beatle songs with titles that start with the letter "I"! Find your frequency or listen on line anywhere on the planet at www.iowapublicradio.org...
Be careful on the Blue Highway, especially when swarms of snowflies are in the air. Rub yer washboard tie to the tune of I Thank You. Don't forget that CAKE can add just the right touch to leftovers and always remember we love you and thank you for your 29 years of encouragement to persevere. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Abe "Little Smokey" Smothers RIP

From Bob Corritore


November 23, 2010
  • RIP Little Smokey Smothers - Jan 2, 1938 to Nov. 20, 2010. Chicago blues guitarist / vocalist Abe "Little Smokey" Smothers passed away on November, 20th after a long bout of bad health, due to complications with diabetes. He was 71 years old. Little Smokey was the younger brother of Otis "Big Smokey" Smothers, with whom he is sometimes confused. A spectacular guitarist and vocalist, Little Smokey played in a more modern blues style than his older brother, who was pure downhome blues. The following bio is quoted verbatim from Wikipedia.
"Little Smokey Smothers (born Albert Smothers, January 2, 1939, Tchula, Mississippi) is an African American, Chicago blues guitarist and singer. Albert "Abe" Smothers learned guitar at the age of 15, and relocated to Chicago two years later. He soon appeared on stage playing alongside Arthur “Big Boy” SpiresMagic SamOtis Rush and Lazy Bill Lucas. In 1958 he joined up with Howlin' Wolf, and played on Wolf's recording session for Chess Records the following year. Tracks Smothers contributed to included "I've Been Abused," "Howlin' for My Darling," and "Mr. Airplane Man."
In 1961 he founded Little Smokey Smothers and the Pipeplayers. He later met Paul Butterfield and became a founding member of the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He was replaced in the band by Elvin Bishop, but developed a friendship that lasted a lifetime. Throughout the 1960s Smothers appeared withBuddy GuyJames CottonEarl Hooker, and Junior Wells. Musical opportunities dried up in the 1970s, and Smothers worked in construction. He re-appeared in the 1980s with The Legendary Blues Band. Their 1989 recording, Woke up with the Blues, included contributions from Smothers.
In 1993, Bishop made a guest appearance on Smothers first solo album with the Dutch Black Magiclabel, Bossman! The Chicago Blues of Little Smokey Smothers. The recording also included work from Smothers' cousin, Lee "Shot" Williams. Bishop and Smothers played at the 1993 Chicago Blues Festival. Smothers had open heart surgery in 1995, but the following year issued Second Time Around. Smothers performed at the 1999 San Diego Blues Festival, and at a party for Mick Jagger's 55th birthday.Alligator Records then issued That's My Partner (2000), a live album recorded in San Francisco, which saw Smothers reunited with Bishop. Smothers also appeared at the 2000 Chicago Blues Festival. In 2006 Smothers and Bishop played live at the Ground Zero club in Clarksdale, Mississippi. Latterly Smothers experienced health problems, and had both legs amputated due to diabetes.In 2009, Bishop compiled the benefit album, Chicago Blues Buddies, incorporating recordings made by Smothers and Bishop dating back to 1992. Proceeds from the album helped to pay for Smothers' medical costs. On Saturday, November 20, 2010, after a 3 1/2 week long stay in a Chicago hospital, Albert "Little Smokey" Smothers passed away due to complications of long-term illnesses."
A few items not mentioned in the Wikipedia bio were Little Smokey's´ participation in the albums Mojo Buford´s Chicago Blues Summit (produced by Steve Wisner for Mr. Blues Records), and American Blues Legends 1979 (on Big Bear Records). Also he and his brother were the cover story for an issue ofLiving Blues magazine during the 1970s titled "The Smothers Brothers Of The Blues". Smokey was a true champion and he will be greatly missed in the Chicago blues scene. God bless you Smokey.