RIP George "Mojo" Buford - November 29, 1929 - October 11, 2011. Best known as the longtime harmonica player in the Muddy Waters Band, George "Mojo" Buford was well known for his beautiful, raw-edged harmonica style, and his rich, emotional vocals. He died in a hospital in Minneapolis this morning after suffering with various health issues since early this summer. He was 81 years old. Born in Hernando, Mississippi in 1929, Mojo relocated to Memphis, Tennessee at an early age, then landed in Chicago in 1952, and in 1962 he would find a home in Minneapolis. He had numerous periods of employment in the Muddy Waters Band spanning 4 decades; first in 1959, again in 1967, again in the early 1970s, and was part of Muddy's final band lineup of 1980. Mojo Buford was a sensitive ensemble harmonica player and could provide a gorgeous textural backing for any Chicago blues song. Mojo was also a master of the more difficult Chromatic harmonica. He would record many fine sides as both a leader and as a frontman. His own albums appear on Mr Blues, JSP, P-Vine, Blue Moon, Blue Loon, Fedora, Rooster, Blues Record Society and other labels. Mojo and Luther "Georgia Boy" Johnson were also featured vocalists for two albums on the Muse label that showcased the Muddy Waters Band of the 1960s. There was also a notorious LP on the Vernon label titled Ray Charles / On Stage At The Palladium, which actually only had 2 Ray Charles songs with the remainder by "Mo Jo & The Mo Jo Chi Fours." Collectors marvel over this false advertising - and the Mojo sides are just great! In addition to appearing on numerous sides by Muddy Waters, Mojo's harp graced recordings by Jo Jo Williams, Otis Spann, and Texas Red. Mojo was also responsible for helping Bob Margolin land his job in the Muddy Waters Band. Special thanks to drummer/manager Doug McMinn, who's efforts in the later part of Mojo's career kept him working and in the public eye. Mojo's passing, along with the recent deaths of fellow Muddy Waters alumni Pinetop Perkins, Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, and Calvin Jones, leaves us with a huge void in our hearts as we remember the sound of that glorious band. Mojo was a sweet and generous individual with a beautiful toothy grin and a kind word for every situation. He will forever be remembered in blues history as one of the great harmonica masters of the Muddy Waters Band. To hear Mojo performing "Don't Go No Further" click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah9rK0354wk. To hear Mojo's great harmonica backing on Jo Jo Williams "All Pretty Woman" click http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaLCrsvMWMs To see a photo of Mojo. Pinetop Perkins and Willie "Big Eyes" Smith at last year's King Biscuit Blues Festival, courtesy of Bob Margolin, click here http://www.bobcorritore.com/images/Willie Smith 02.jpeg. God bless you George "Mojo" Buford.
Sunday, October 16, 2011
TONIGHT (Fri.) the return of the original Geeezer Gig at The Hub, 4th and Main, Sparkle City USA. It's the first of eight second-Fridays of the month (Oct.-May) (Thank God, I can count on The Hub for that gig fix) Pizza by the slice, TGIF adult beverage specials, great house sound system, spacious dancefloor, famous musicians like Bob Guthart sitting in with the band, other Geeezers of all ages actin' the fool and havin' fun, what's not to like, right Avis? We play 6-9:30-ish, cover, which goes to pay the band is only $5 (but feel free to put the change from that $20 in the tip jar) Just to celebrate the first Geeezer gig of the season, someone should probably bring CAKE!...
OK, let's just go ahead and do that other gig in this month's gig bag. We can get more, can't we? Saturday night marks our return to The 503, 503 Estes St. in Iowa Falls. Yes, Jackie the bar manager is the same bar manager that was at Dan's Place in Iowa Falls when The Little Red Rooster Band played there in 1977 (http://www.theblueband.com/archives1.html) (who IS that long tall skinny guy with the hat and beard?) Free food while it lasts, in house TV system so you can watch the band no matter what room you're in, inexpensive drinks and some friendly ol' Rooster Boosters in the audience (they're probably STILL drunk from those nights in 1977) We play 9-mid...
And then...nothin'. Nothin'? Nothin'. For three weeks. Unless you've got a gig we can have. (hey, I'd share mine with you, if I had any...) I'm already gettin' the shakes. ssszzzssszzzsshhhh. Call me for that Haunted House Party or Holiday party you're planning at your mansion on the outskirts of town (http://www.theblueband.com/contactBob.htm)
Saturday and Sunday night's radio shows are all new, with Saturday's Backtracks show being one of those 3-fer editions, playing three selections from each of the 15 featured artists (http://iowapublicradio.org/studio-one/backtracks/) and Sunday's Blue Avenue program having an hour of new blues releases plus live recordings of The Holmes Bros when they played at the Des Moines Temple for Performing Arts in May of 2010 (http://iowapublicradio.org/studio-one/blue-avenue/) Next week's Backtracks show (Oct. 22) will be a LIVE show (if we can't find a gig) Feel free to respond to this note if you have requests for that program, remember, the show deals exclusively in songs that are at least 25 years old...
My friend The Wizard responded to last week's note saying "It takes a big man to confess the trials and tribulations of his life to a long list of E-mail addresses! Although you pretty much need to go where they are, we Catholics have priests for that sort of thing. If a priest gets out of the business, can he then tell what he heard in the confessional? Now there's a scarry thought!" Well, I'm not a Catholic (those confessionals would be epic) and I AM in need of some advice and insight from my closest friends (which would be the less than 500 people on this list) So, when you see The Blue Note in your in- box in the coming weeks, beware that it's more of a personal dialog nature than Blue Bizness. Read it or delete it...
Remember, New Year's Eve tickets (there's less than 400 available) and room packages are now on sale (http://www.theblueband.com/newyear.htm) NYE is on a Saturday this year, come on down and check in on Friday, Rob Lumbard has already agreed to provide some tunage and I hope to find some more free entertainment for the pre-party. Let's make a weekend of it. PARTY IN YOUR ROOM!!...
See ya on the Blue Highway, rub yer washboard to the tune of I've Been Workin' (but not for long), help find "the stuff" for the gig junkies in your life (along with enough CAKE to tide us over for three weeks), and always know that we love you. Bob Dorr & The Blue Band
Cover Photo © 2011 Marilyn Stringer
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In This Issue
Terry Mullins has our feature interview with Nick Moss.
We have five CD reviews for you this week! Steve Jones reviews a new CD from Candye Kane. Rainey Wetnight reviews a new CD from Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo. John Mitchell reviews a new CD from Earl Green & The Right Time. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD from EG Kight. Ian McKenzie reviews a new CD from Big Joe Shelton. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
From The Editor's Desk
Hey Blues Fans,
As you all know we recently lost Blues legend Honeyboy Edwards who passed away on August 29th. There is going to be a great benefit next week for the Honeyboy Edwards Fund For The Blues At The National Blues Museum. This fund supports the efforts to start the National Blues Museum in St Louis and their exhibits to help keep the memory of Honeyboy Edwards alive. It is a great cause and is being put together by our good friend Michael Frank, Honeyboy's manager, musical partner and CEO of Earwig Records.
The event will be held at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago on October 19th and admission is only $20. Musicians scheduled to perform include Johnny Drummer, Michael Packer Blues Band, Rich Sherry, Eric Noden, Fruteland Jackson, Fernando Jones, Liz Mandville, Albert Bashor, Billy Branch, Rob Stone and Paul Kaye.
You can help this effort to keep the memory of Honeyboy Edwards alive in a couple of ways. First you can attend the event and buy some items from the silent auction. You can also help by being a volunteer at the event.
Michael asked us to pass on the following request for a few good volunteers to help make this event happen.
"To keep Honeyboy's legacy and that of his contemporaries alive, We are producing a Honeyboy Tribute show and fundraiser Wednesday October 19 at Buddy Guy's, officially starting at 9 pm. We are looking for at least 6 volunteers to help us before the show starts. We need some volunteers at 5 and more by 7 pm. We will need help to escort VIPS to their tables, and to set up our silent auction and help run it and man our merchandise table. In exchange for helping, for at least a couple of hours on a schedule we will set in advance, we will provide you complimentary admission. Otherwise the door charge is $20. We will not be comping our friends that night, because the event is our first fundraiser for the Honeyboy Edwards Educational Fund For the Blues. We would appreciate your helping us find volunteers, by getting the word out to folks you know. Anyone interested should email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and provide their phone number too.
If you can help please contact Michael today. For more information on the event see their ad below in this issue. For more information on the National Blues Museum, visit www.nationalbluesmuseum.org.
Good Blues To You!
We made it to the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena Arkansas last weekend. This is one of the largest festivals we get to see with more than 40 artists performing over 3 days on 4 stages. Some of the headliners at this event included Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush, Delbert McClinton and Keb Mo.
We will post more photos of all the fun at this great event in an upcoming issue.
Featured Blues Interview - Nick Moss
When you’ve got a band that’s been nominated for Band of the Year five straight times at the Blues Foundation’s Blues Music Awards (BMAs), you know you’ve got one heck of a band.
So much so, that with nominations in that category in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and this year, one might think that Nick Moss and the Flip Tops have their names written in permanent ink on the ballots.
So what does Mr. Moss have up his sleeve to earn a sixth consecutive nomination next spring?
Business as usual, maybe?
Just show up, plug in and play, right?
Never one to take the path of least resistance over the course of his 20-plus years of playing the blues, Nick Moss has shaken things up by recruiting a whole new batch of musicians – first hitting the studio with his new guys, then taking them on a lengthy trek across the United States and beyond to showcase his explosive new mates.
“It’s been a year of change. This band is really something else. After the tour’s first show in Phoenix, people were coming up and saying they loved the new material and the new band,” said Moss. “When our new record comes out, I think it’s going to turn some heads with this group of guys that are playing with me now.”
Moss’ new band-mates include Patrick Seals, drums; Travis Reed, keyboards; Matthew Wilson, bass; and Michael Ledbetter, guitar and vocals. If the last name ‘Ledbetter’ rings a bell, it should. Michael Ledbetter is a distant relative of the King of the 12-Strig Guitar, the late, great Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter.
Not only has Moss had to get used to the idea of looking around on stage and seeing a different group of guys surrounding him, he’s also had to become accustomed to leading a cast of considerably younger musicians for the first time in his career.
“Yeah, I could be their daddy. That makes me the elder statesmen in the band, which is kinda weird for me, especially since I’m still 12-years-old in my head,” he laughed. “It’s pretty funny to watch these guys, because I know how I was when I was their age. It’s kind of entertaining in its own way. I say, ‘wow! Is that the stuff I did and the way that I acted?’ But musically speaking, this is probably one of the most exciting groups that I’ve been a part of in a long time.”
Moss and his new road warriors have been testing a batch of fresh new songs off his up-coming release, Here I Am, currently scheduled for a Nov. 22 release date.
“It follows along the lines and the style of the last CD I did, Privileged,” said Moss. “Whereas Privileged was a nod to the guys in the world of rock that I grew up listening to – guys that turned me on to the blues – this album has more of a focus on me, but still with a modern, rock-edged feel to the blues. This album sounds a little more like ‘me.’ Luckily, Privileged was pretty well received, so that really encouraged me to do this new one. I’m really happy with the way this new CD turned out.”
The first single off the album, “It’ll Turn Around,” has received a slew of favorable reviews, even though it might take Moss’ diehard fans a bit by surprise.
“It’s got a really positive message, with a gospel-kind of flavor to it,” he said. “It’s something that I’ve never really done before. It’s even got backup singers on it.”
Another break with tradition occurred when Moss left the friendly confines of his own home studio - where the bulk of his other discs were recorded – for Evolution Recording Studios in Elgin, Illinois.
“This gave me a chance to get out of my environment, my comfort zone,” said Moss. “Sometimes that can actually help with motivation. I think at times in the past, I’ve gotten complacent just because I’ve got a studio right below my feet. And this (recording at Evolution) helped shake that up a bit.”
Though his first seven albums could be comfortably labeled as traditional Chicago-styled blues, the truth is, Nick Moss has always been as equally inspired by the rock bands that he grew up listening to in the 1970s, as he has been by the forefathers of the blues.
“I never really set out to go in any certain direction. I just try and play what I feel like playing. But before my last album, I felt like I had been at a bit of a standstill and was getting stale. I love traditional Chicago blues. That stuff is in my heart and I still play it,” he said. “But I just kind of felt stuck in the mud a little bit. So Privileged and my new record are even larger steps to try and get new fans that maybe wouldn’t have bought my other records, because they were ‘too blues sounding’ to come aboard. And that really worked with Privileged. I managed to maintain the fans that I already had – they enjoyed it – and I also picked up a whole new section of fans, too. It got a bunch of AAA and college-radio jamband play, which none of my other CDs had managed to do. ”
While it’s not something he’s spent a lot of time dwelling on, Moss has had to shake free of the same burden that a lot of entertainers, musicians and actors alike, are shackled with - having a certain label slapped on you, thus automatically narrowing the scope of your work.
“Over the years, I seemed to have acquired this tag of being just a Chicago blues player. And that really didn’t bother me. But what bothered me was that I knew that I had a lot more influences than just the straight Chicago blues – influences that have made me the singer, songwriter and guitar player that I am today. And this new CD, I hope, goes to showing people that,” Moss said. “The title track has a line that goes, ‘what you see is what you get, don’t make a mistake and place the wrong bet.’ But it still makes me feel good and I do appreciate it when someone says, ‘oh, man. He’s a Chicago blues guitar player.’ I really appreciate it when someone thinks that highly of me to give me that tag, because that puts me in a class with all the guys I love. Guys like Buddy Guy, Magic Sam and Earl Hooker and all those guys. And even those guys had a hard time at what they were labeled as sometimes. I mean, they all played different things. Earl Hooker … that guy could play any style of music you threw at him.”
As evidenced by his nominations in the Best Instrumentalist – Guitar category at the BMAs, Moss knows his way around the fret-board.
But as he found out early in his solo career, just because you have unlimited potential and a world of talent to draw from, the path to making a name for yourself in the music business can still be a long and sometimes cruel one to embark on.
Even if you have a couple of impressive names like Jimmy Rogers and Jimmy Dawkins penciled onto your resume.
“Well, I was just fresh off the sideman thing and thought it would be easy (a solo career),” he said. “I had just got done playing with Jimmy Rogers and thought that everyone in the world should know me. But when I tried to sign with record labels, it was like, ‘you’re just a sideman. Nobody knows you.’ That was the first thing that people told me – I was an unknown, even though I’d spent four years with the legendary Jimmy Rogers and a few years with Jimmy Dawkins. I was just a sideman.”
Undaunted, Moss just did what any aspiring artist would do.
He created his own venue to get his music out to the public.
Thus, Blue Bella Records, named after an aqua-blue 1971 Lincoln Mk III that Moss owned while living in California (“I still miss that damned car,” he said), was born.
“It’s just as simple as being able to put out a product. I couldn’t get anyone (record labels) interested in putting my stuff out, so I decided to do it myself,” he said. “To be honest, I was so naïve, and had no idea what the business was about. But that same naivety also drove me to do a solo thing to begin with, so really it was just another dumb move on my part that happened to pan out. I just didn’t know any better.”
Even though Blue Bella Records has been around since 1998 and has issued discs by favorites like the Cash Box Kings, Kilborn Alley Blues Band and Bill Lupkin, Moss is still grappling with the learning curve associated with being a label owner and business executive.
“After 11 or 12 years of doing this, it is still a learning experience,” he said. “But fortunately for me, I have my wife Kate who has grabbed the reigns tightly by herself. She’s the one that makes things run smooth for the label.”
It’s not just as a label owner, but also as an in-demand producer, that keeps Moss’ phone ringing off the hook these days.
And as one might think, Nick Moss the producer is influenced by Nick Moss the musician when it comes to helming the project of another band.
“I do tend to put myself in their shoes a lot and be another member of the band, even if I’m not playing an instrument,” he said. “I think it really helps to know the band you’re producing. I really want to hear a bunch of the band’s records and see them play live before signing on to produce them. I want to grasp what the band is about. When I produce, I want the person listening to the CD feel like they’re setting in a club watching the band play. I really try and get the most live performance (in the studio) out of a band that I can. And I think a lot of that comes from being a musician myself.”
Though Moss’ sound was no doubt shaped from tours of duty with Jimmy Rogers, Jimmy Dawkins and The Legendary Blues Band, his very first influence – the spark that started the fire – was found a lot closer to home. Matter of fact, it was found just down the hallway of his childhood home.
“My first influence on the guitar was my brother Joe. My parents bought us both guitars for Christmas one year and he was the one that first really took to the instrument,” Moss said. “He (Joe) was a natural. Right away, he could play a song. By the end of the week, he could play a handful of songs. By the end of the month, he was playing a whole record’s worth of songs and by the end of the summer, he was in a band. And my uncle Randy, who was my dad’s younger brother, was kind of like an older brother to me and Joe. He turned us on to so many cool records and bands – like Free, Traffic, Blind Faith, Hendrix and Zeppelin – so those were the bands we grew up with listening to in the 70s.”
Though his first exposure in the wild world of gigging came as a bass player, even laying down the low-end in Jimmy Dawkins’ group, Moss was particularly drawn to the unique sound of a guitar player that certainly did not get his due, at least during his too-brief time on earth.
“Paul Kossoff from Free. Now more than ever, I really appreciate that dude’s tone and style and phrasing. He was just a blues player; I don’t care what anyone says. He had the most wicked vibrato. And guys like Page and Hendrix were next. And Stevie Winwood, as a guitar player, is hugely underrated. As great a keyboard and organ player as he is, I think he’s just as killer of a guitar player. Those guys were my first real influences. And then reading Cream and Circus, magazines like we used to read before there was Guitar World, you’d see Page or one of those guys say, ‘oh, I just love Otis Rush or Willie Dixon.’ And my brother figured out that our mom had some of those guy’s records, along with some B.B. King records, so we went through her records and figured out who Page and those guys were talking about. And then, come to find out, half those guys were Chicago dudes, living right in our own backyard. So we’d go look for those guys and things just snowballed from there. We just could not get enough of those guys.”
Once he was turned on to the music, Moss was so hungry to keep digging through the blues that he likened his musical archeology hunt to “an addiction” and he couldn’t stop from finding out who inspired the cats that he was beginning to love.
“That was the thing that I really liked about exploring the blues – after you got into one guy, you wanted to know who his influences where, so you started chasing down those records,” Moss said. “So it was like a thing where the rock guys led me to the blues guys and then the blues guys led me to more blues guys and eventually, here I am at age 41 and the blues guys have led me back to the rock guys. The whole idea is to soak up as much of this stuff as you can and then hopefully, a little bit of you comes out. If you’re lucky, you take everything that you know and have been taught, give it the respect it’s due, play it the best that you can and put a little bit of yourself in there. And then if you’re even luckier, someone will go, ‘wow, you’ve got a really nice style. I hear this guy and that guy in your style, but you’ve still got your own thing going.’ That’s a really cool thing to hear.”
So how has Nick Moss managed to forge a decade-plus solo career, become a label owner and turn into a grizzled-old bandleader?
The way he explains it, it might be simpler than you think.
“If you don’t have respect for what you do, you can’t love it. And I respect the music so much, that I love what I do – playing music,” he said. “And to have longevity in this business, you have to be able to put your blinders on and just hack away, man. Just see if you can find that light at the end of the tunnel.”
Interviewer Terry Mullins is a journalist and former record store owner whose personal taste in music is the sonic equivalent of Attention Deficit Disorder. Works by the Bee Gees, Captain Beefheart, Black Sabbath, Earth, Wind & Fire and Willie Nelson share equal space with Muddy Waters, The Staple Singers and R.L. Burnside in his compact disc collection. He's also been known to spend time hanging out on the street corners of Clarksdale, Mississippi, eating copious amounts of barbecued delicacies while listening to the wonderful sounds of the blues.
Featured Blues Review 1 of 5
Candye Kane (featuring Laura Chavez) - Sister Vagabond
Candye Kane’s life has been filled with challenges. Pancreatic cancer, a difficult childhood, a teen mother and more diversity of problems than any one person should have to put up with. Yet she sings with great aplomb and abandon, belting out one hit song after another. “Superhero” was her album that really showed she had stepped up her game, and this new one is equally outstanding and poignant, if not even better!
She begins this outstanding studio recording with Johnny "Guitar" Watson's “I Love to Love You,” a sultry and sexy rendition with some wicked guitar by Laura Chavez. Kanes’ vocals are always a bright spot, being likened by some to being a modern day Bessie Smith. But while we expect Candye’s big presence, Laura Chavez has completed her coming of age and gives her all in song after song. She is one of the hottest guitar players out there right now! This duo could not be more different personally and stylistically- Kane is the ebullient, effusive and outgoing showman while Chavez is quiet and restrained except when her six stringed axe is blazing, which is what she does on each of the tracks.
Nine of the tracks were written collaboratively by Kane and Chavez. They start off with a 60’s sounding song that could have easily been King and Goffin writing for the Shirelles. “Love Insurance” is a bouncy track featuring Kane’s vocals and a nice horn section. She likens love to needing insurance, written when she in dire need of health insurance and she made the leap from health to love in this fun yet poignant track. Irony and humor fill “You Never Cross My Mind”; Chavez delivers a very swinging tune to Kane’s lyrics and plays some excellent guitar while Sue Palmer on keys adds dimension to the cut. They bring some accordion and horns to “Have A Nice Day”, giving the track a distinctive New Orleans flair (along with more catchy lyrics). There’s a lot of dark and down tempo stuff here, all good and interesting, too. Excellent song writing and delivery by Kane and Chavez top to bottom on their tracks.
The other covers bear some mention. Kane does a self-proclaimed greased-up version of the Brenda Lee song “Sweet Nothing”, and sells the sound quite well. It’s grittier and far further down in the dirt than Ms. Lee could ever take it. Steve White wrote “Down With the Blues” for Candye and passed away from throat cancer while the CD was being made. Acoustic, slide and baritone guitars give this a dark sound and Kane’s vocals also get the effect going; a very touching piece. Jack Templeton wrote the last of the covers (along with Glenn Frey) and James Harman adds some down and dirty harp to this one. Kane let’s loose and delivers another great song.
This is a superb follow-on to Candye Kane’s exceptional Superhero album. In my mind, both vie for top spot in her repertoire. Stylistically this is a big deeper and darker, but I can’t decide which I liked better. Suffice it to say that if you want to hear one of the best female singers out there accompanied by one of the best up and coming guitar players in the world collaborating on lots of really nice original tunes and great covers, get your wallets out now. Highly recommended!
Reviewer Steve Jones is secretary of the Crossroads Blues Society and is a long standing blues lover. He is a retired Navy commander who served his entire career in nuclear submarines. In addition to working in his civilian career, he writes for and publishes the bi-monthly newsletter for Crossroads, chairs their music festival and work with their Blues In The Schools program.
Featured Blues Review 2 of 5
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo - 10:49
10 songs; 44 minutes
Styles: Electric Blues Rock
Each CD that Blues Blast Magazine receives is a surprise package. It's a mystery that can only be solved by peeling off the plastic wrap and revealing the music inside. Judging by the sunlit-forest cover art of “10:49,” the second release from Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo, one might expect a religious, inspirational album. However, the inspiration found within these ten explosive songs is one to party, and the only gospel proclaimed is that of blues rock! If one prefers raw energy over esoteric lyrics and guitar volume over guitar tricks, then the Hoodoo's “voodoo” will definitely cast a spell.
“Boom Boom” starts 10:49 off with the bang of rat-a-tat drums and power slide guitar. It's gleeful and disjointed, although one might wish the instrumentation was more precise as Williams sneers, “Boom, boom, shot you down!” on the chorus.
If that leaves listeners blinking in shell-shock, they'll be delightfully distracted by the band's cover of D. Bartholomew and C. Kenner's “Sick and Tired.” Frustrated by his lazy lover, the narrator of this smoking peppery song laments, “I cook in the evening. You're still in bed—got a rag tied around your head. Whoa, baby!”
More vim and vigor comes from drummer Eric Shackelford's “Red Head Women.” Not only does it feature the catchiest refrain of any number on “10:49,” but also Jimmy Voegli's blazing piano.
The title track is the CD's most traditional blues song, and most evocative. Aaron Williams plays some keening acoustic-resonator slide guitar setting up Ken Olfus guest-starring on equally-powerful vocals and harmonica.
“Tease Me, Please Me” is a lesson for the ladies, and “She's Good at What She Does” shows what might happen if they follow it. This final track is brutally honest: “She's good at what she does. I wouldn't ever call it love. We get together because—she's good at what she does.” From first note to last, none of the musicians ever let up on the voltage!
Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo have been a traveling trio since 2008, with their first compilation, “It Ain't Easy,” bringing many awards. The band was nominated for Blues Artist of the Year by the Wisconsin Area Music Industry and six Madison Area Music Awards, walking away with five (including the highly-coveted Artist of the Year). Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo prove that the magic and the mystery of their work are simply waiting to be discovered nationwide. They're eclectic, they're electric, and they're energetic!
Reviewer Rainey Wetnight is a 31-year-old female Blues fan. She brings the perspective of a younger blues fan to reviews. A child of 1980s music, she was strongly influenced by her father’s blues music collection.
Blues Blast Music Awards - Listen Online Live
Great News! Our friends at GLT Blues Radio 24/7 are going to stream the audio from the 2011 Blues Blast Music Awards at Buddy Guy's Legends LIVE on October 27th!
Tune in FREE to hear Nick Moss Band, Reverend Raven And The Chain Smokin' Altar Boys, Karen Lovely Band, Eddie Turner, Bob Corritore w/Dave Riley, Rich Del Grosso & Jonn Richardson, Peter Parcek, The Sugar Prophets, Teeny Tucker Band , Reba Russell Band, Gina Sicilia with Dave Gross, Matt Hill, Chris O'Leary Band, Vincent Hayes Project, Rob Blaine's Big Otis Blues, Tony Rogers, and more as they perform LIVE from the greatest Blues club in the world, Chicago's own Buddy Guy's Legends. The broadcast will begin at 6:00pm CST sharp!
If you have never listened to GLT Blues Radio 24/7 be sure to check it out now by CLICKING HERE. Then be sure to bookmark their station and tune in.
We think they have THE best commercial free, all Blues, all the time internet radio station on the planet! So check them out and see what we mean.
Fans in the Bloomington/Normal and Central Illinois area will also be able to hear the show live on their regular FM radio dial at 89.1 FM or 103.5 FM in the Central, IL area.
Thursday October 27th, 2011 Buddy Guy's Legends, Chicago, IL
plus a few surprise guests!Advance tickets are $30 plus $3 handling. To get YOUR tickets now CLICK HERE
PLEASE NOTE: *Tickets are General Admission. Doors open at 5:00pm. Show starts at 6:00pm.
Seating is "first come first served". Show sold to SRO (Standing room Only) Get there EARLY for a seat! NO REFUNDS!
Want guaranteed seating right in front of the stage?
Buddy Guy's Legends has limited seating. With our Mini Sponsorship packages you can be sitting right in front of the stage to hear performances by the 2011 Nominees!
Our Mini Sponsor packages begin as low as $250 for two people and include guaranteed seating, Blues memorabilia "Goodie Bag", limited edition event poster, limited edition Blues Blast Awards T-shirts and sponsor's name listed in the souvenir awards program. Limited number of sponsorships available, first come first served! For more information CLICK HERE
Featured Blues Review 3 of 5
Earl Green & The Right Time – Live At Brönte Blues Club
Self Release 2011
12 tracks; 70.58 minutes
Earl Green is best known from his time as vocalist for Paul Lamb and the Kingsnakes and as a stalwart of the blues scene in London. However, for a singer of Earl’s class he has not been widely recorded over the years, so this release is very welcome. The Right Time has been Earl’s main outlet for some years now and the band is a well-established team. I have had the pleasure of seeing them a number of times at clubs and festivals and always hoped that they would release a CD of their performances, so a CD recorded live is perfect. The band consists of Earl on vocals, Les Back and Ron Warshow on guitars, Mike Paice on sax and harp, Emil Engström on bass and Daniel Strittmatter on drums.
The Brönte Blues Club is a small venue in a village hall in deepest Yorkshire, Northern England. They clearly did a terrific job in enabling this recording: the sound is crystal clear and the audience enthusiastic, but respectfully silent during the songs, leaving their applause and shouts of encouragement for the appropriate moments between songs. I imagine that the band played for longer than the 12 tunes on the CD but at a running time well over the hour the CD represents good value.
The material comes from a wide variety of sources, mainly the greats of the blues, both ‘classic’ and contemporary, so we get T Bone Walker, Bobby Bland and Elmore James as well as Duke Robillard and Rick Estrin in the set. The CD is well sequenced, with plenty of variety in mood and pace: for instance, opener “T Bone Shuffle” is followed by the soulful Little Milton tune “That’s What Love Will Make You Do” (recently covered by Janiva Magness) and then Percy Mayfield’s “Danger Zone”, a slow ballad on which everyone shines, Earl’s vocal outstanding and all three front line players taking superb solos.
After that initial trio of tunes Les Back switches to slide for “Done Somebody Wrong”, the stop/start rhythm being assisted by Mike Paice’s harp. Probably best known from the Allman Brothers’ version on “Live at Fillmore East”, this is also an excellent rendition. “That’s Better For Me” was a tune I did not know, the shortest track on the CD and something of a jump blues tune. However, the next one was certainly more familiar, a stunning version of “Ask Me About Nothin’ But The Blues”, written by Deadric Malone and Henry Boozier, but best known for Bobby Bland’s version. I have to say that Earl’s vocal here is outstanding and you could hear a pin drop as he expresses the anguish and pain of the man who has lost his love. The tune is an extended version, so we also get a sax feature from Mike Paice who seems to have caught the tone of despair from the lyrics.
After all that angst the band sensibly opts to lighten the mood with Roscoe Gordon’s “No More Doggin’”. That familiar loping rhythm carries us along with Mike Paice’s harp supporting and both guitarists cutting loose, Les Back again on slide. Keeping up the pace the band brings us “I Don’t Believe”, written by Don Robey and Manuel Charles, another one from the Bobby Bland songbook but also covered more recently by Joe Bonamassa. Mike Paice is back on sax and Ron Warshow’s guitar underpins the vocal lines very well. “It’s My Own Fault” is credited to John Lee Hooker on the CD but although JLH did do a song by that name, the version here is far closer to the BB King song, not least in the lovely plucked guitar solo in the middle of the song.
Moving to some more recent material, the band tackles Rick Estrin’s “Living Hand To Mouth”, a jaunty tune featuring Mike Paice’s harp and some tasty guitar. Duke Robillard’s “Anything It Takes” is a swinging number with more impressive sax, as well as a ringing solo by Les Back who really swings here. Closing the CD is an extended version of Deadric Malone’s “Don’t Cry No More”, another Bobby Bland song which has teases of Gershwin’s “Summertime” and Wilson Pickett’s “Land Of A Thousand Dances” woven into the song. A storming sax solo graces the middle section.
Summary: this is a CD that everyone who was there will want as a souvenir of a great night at the Brönte Blues Club. However, in my view it is a must have disc for all lovers of great blues music – highly recommended.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He also travels to the States most years to see live blues music and is currently planning his trip to the Blues Blast Awards in October.
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The Golden Gate Blues Society - Redwood City, CA
On Sunday, November 13, The Golden Gate Blues Society of the San Francisco Bay Area presents the International Blues Challenge Final Round. Pinkie Rideau and Blind Resistance, The David Landon Band, Paula Harris and Blu Gruv, and The Delta Wires hit the stage at San Francisco’s award- winning home of the blues, Biscuits & Blues, located at 401 Mason Street near Union Square, from 2 until 6 pm on Sunday, November 13. Admission for members of The Golden Gate Blues Society is $15, and for nonmembers $20. Membership is available at the door.
Judges for the Finals include Sista Monica Parker, "the lioness of the blues;" Lee Hildebrand, journalist for Living Blues; and Frank DeRose, leader and bass player with 2011 TGGBS International Blues Challenge winners Tip of the Top. For more info visit www.tggbs.org
Blues Society of Western PA - Pittsburgh, PA
On October 22 at the Clarion Hotel, 401 Holiday Drive, Pittsburgh, PA The Blues Society of Western PA presents Blues Goes Pink- Divas Return Show from 1 pm – 9 pm. $12 to public, $10 to all blues members from any society. All proceeds to benefit Adagio Health to provide breast cancer and cervical cancer screenings for underinsured women in Western PA. For more information visit Blues Society of Western PA at www.bswpa.org or call 724-378-8926
The Windy City Blues Society - Chicago, IL
The Windy City Blues Society is proud to announce the 2011 Chicago Blues Challenge (CBC). The CBC is a series of musical competitions that will determine which blues band will represent Chicago and The Windy City Blues Society at the Blues Foundation’s 2012 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis, Tennessee.
The Chicago Blues Challenge will be held on Sundays in October culminating in the Finals in November. Venues will be announced shortly on the Windy City Blues Society Website.
The Chicago Blues Challenge Finals will be held Sunday, November 13. For more information about the Windy City Blues Society and the Chicago Blues Challenge please visit www.windycityblues.org or visit our Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter Sites.
The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society - Champaign, IL
The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society will be holding its Blues Band Challenge on Saturday, October 22, 2011. This event will take place at Memphis on Main, 55 E. Main St., in downtown Champaign. Our winner will be heading down to Memphis, Tennessee to compete in The International Blues Challenge in January. For more information about this exciting event, please visit our website at www.prairiecrossroadsblues.org.
Colorado Blues Society - Boulder, CO
The Colorado Blues Society we will hold our Youth Showcase auditions at the Dickens Opera House in Longmont, CO on Oct 23 . Last year our S/D winners, Big Jim Adam and John Stilwagen made the Finals in Memphis while our Band entry, the Lionel Young Band, WON the Band Finals in Memphis. The CBS' entry was the Solo Duo Memphis winner in 2008, and winning BSPCD in 2010, so you can be sure there will be plenty of talent at all of these great events! www.coblues.com
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
The Illinois Central Blues Club presents "Blue Monday" every Monday night for the last 25 years - BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. Oct. 17 – Southside Jonny & Kicked to the Curb, Oct 24 – Bruce Katz, Oct. 31 – Studebaker John and the Hawks. icbluesclub.org
The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
2011 Friends of the Blues shows - Friday, October 28, The Reba Russell Band, 8 pm, Kankakee Valley Boat Club,November 10, Ivas John Band, 7 pm, Venue TBA, December 1, Dave Herrero, 7 pm, Kankakee Valley Boat Club. For more info see: http://www.wazfest.com/JW.html
West Virginia Blues Society - Charleston, WV
The West Virginia Blues Society will be holding it's 5th. Annual Appalachian Blues Competition Oct. 22, 2011. The Blues Society will be sending two acts to Memphis, Tn. for the International Blues Challenge, Band Div. and Solo/Duo Div. If, you think your Act is ready to take the next step, then, this IS the competition to enter ! For Application and Rules contact Competition Director Jack Rice at, email@example.com or 304-389-1439.
Competition will be held at: The Sound Factory 812 Kanawha Blvd E, Charleston, WV 25301-2807 · 1 (304) 342-8001 Stay tuned for more info at, www.wvbluessociety.org
Featured Blues Review 4 of 5
EG Kight - Lip Service
Blue South Records - Vizztone Label Group
Many blues fans are unfamiliar with EG Kight, even though she has garnered numerous Blues Music Award nominations in the Contemporary Blues Female Artist of the Year category over the last decade. Surrounded by music all of her life, Kight had a career as a country singer until one fateful day when she discovered the work of KoKo Taylor and knew that she wanted to be a blues singer. One listen to her latest release with be all it takes to convince you that she made the right decision.
Kight’s singing voice is a marvelous instrument with full of southern soul and plenty of power. And, like all accomplished vocalists, she keeps her voice under control while still being able to generate a low-down feeling like she does on “I Can’t Turn Him Off”. On a disc full of highlights, her duet with John Nemeth on “Somewhere Down Deep” is a standout track with both voices soaring in gospel intensity as they describe a failing love affair. On the ballad “That’s How a Woman Loves”, Kight delivers a subdued performance that still resonates with a potent emotional impact.
Kight is also a fine songwriter, composing three tunes on her own and co-writing all but one of the rest of the set list, with help from Tom Horner on half of the tracks. Their wry description of the current financial issues notes that times are so bad that even the “Sugar Daddies” have been forced to scale back on their gifts to their uptown girls. The rockin’ title track gets a boost from Marcus Henderson’s alto sax and Randall Bramblett on piano. Kight begins by describing her disgust at the way men had treated her before adding a twist at the end that changes the meaning of the title phrase. On Paul Hornsby’s moody ballad “It’s Gonna Rain All Night”, Kight sounds like an accomplished torch singer, serenading the late-night customers of a classy bar. The stripped-down accompaniment on “I’m Happy With the One I Got Now” features Tommy Talton on slide guitar as Kight tells the world about her good-lovin’ man.
The disc is dedicated to the late KoKo Taylor, who Kight describes as a friend and mentor. Her “KoKo’s Song” is the best of the many songs I have heard that were written in tribute to the undisputed Queen of the Blues. The band lays down a tough, propulsive rhythm punctuated by Henderson’s sax and Adam Mewherter on trombone. The music and Kight’s forceful vocal capture the essence of Taylor’s style without resorting to sheer imitation. On “I’m In It to Win It” and “Goodbye”; the proceedings take on a decidedly funkier approach as Kight continues her examination of the trials and tribulations of love.
The leader gets support from large cast of musicians. The primary contributors are Talton on lead guitar, Johnny Fountain on bass, Bill Stewart on drums plus Bramblett and Hornsby on keyboards. Kight handles the rhythm guitar parts and the backing vocals with an assist from Kimberly Welch.
During a recent road trip, I decided to listen to Lip Service in preparation for writing this review. After two songs, my wife asked who was singing and grabbed the CD package. Usually she is telling me to turn the music off. But she quickly recognized that EG Kight is a very talented singer and songwriter. My wife’s reaction to a few minutes of her spellbinding music speaks volumes on how good this disc is.
You don’t want to miss this highly recommended recording. Help make EG Kight a household name !!!!.
Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL. He has been listening to music of all kinds for fifty years. The first concert he attended was in Chicago with The Mothers of Invention and Cream. Life has never been the same.
For those of you who are planning to come to Chicago for the Blues Blast Music Awards at Buddy Guy's Legends in October, our official hotel for the awards is the Essex Inn located just around the corner from Legends.
It is a nice hotel within walking distance. Get your reservation before they are gone.
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Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
Big Joe Shelton - The Older I Get The Better I Was
Alt 45 records
10 tracks 37:50
Far too often these days, bands and individual musicians label themselves As ‘BLUES’ but when you listen to them they really ain’t. Big Joe Shelton, on the other hand is the real deal! Born and raised in northern Mississippi, on the Black Prairie region, Joe has been steeped in the blues since early childhood. The lucky **** was befriended by Big Joe Williams and learned at his feet. He learned well!
This CD is Shelton’s second CD for Alt 45 Records and was recorded in BB King’s studio in Itta Bena, MS. and follows his award winner Black Prairie Blues. This one will follow a similar stellar path.
The music is sometimes raw and often, Joe’s lyrics are very funny. Over all, the effect of the album is to make you realise that all those calls to Keep The Blues Alive are really unnecessary as Big Joe and his like are doing it by doing their thang. God bless ‘em.
The music on the CD is wonderful. The opener, a super little shuffle called Hole In Yo’ Soul says it all and comes with with a chorus that goes “If you don’t dig the blues you got a hole in your soul” (AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH, WE CHORUS). The track comes – as do many others - with some sizzling, big toned harp work from the man himself.
The title track The Older I Get The Better I Was is a delightful song best related to by people who are past their prime (age wise) on the theme of, what I used to do all night, now takes me all night to do, (Another shout of AIN’T THAT THE TRUTH.) Super harp work here too. The rest of the band are on very fine form too. The remainder of the tracks, in a similar vein are right up there in ‘award winning’ territory.
I must mention before I end this review, the super track called Psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen, that opens with some drum work reminiscent of a New Orlin’s marching band which and develops into funky horn driven stunner, complete with accordion, tuba and a tenor solo…what more can you ask. Check the lyrics: Down in Louisiana where the alligators grow With Poke Salad Annie and Marie Laveaux. lives the woman of my dreams; She’s the psychoanalyst Voodoo Queen. (All the lyrics for all the songs are at http://www.bigjoeshelton.com/lyrics_oig.htm )
Lots of air-play for this CD, no doubt about that and there’s not a track you could not play!
Reviewer Ian McKenzie is a Brit Living in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South a monthly publication giving info on news, gigs and reviews of events and CDs for the south if England. Ian has two blues radio shows one broadcast on Phonic FM in the UK (12 noon Central, 6pm UK) on www.phonic.fm on Wednesdays and the second airing on KCOR (Kansas City On Line Radio) on Fridays (12 noon Central, 6pm UK) www.kconlineradio.com.
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