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Saturday, December 1, 2007

Bringing Back The True Blue

Okay, after that last post I need to put something up that will make me feel better:-)

These guys were the true blues. These bluesmen played the blues not for the money, because lord knows there was no money to be made playing blues in Iowa, but they played it for the love the of music. Of all of them Perhaps Jimmy Pryor was the most remarkable. He started playing the blues in high school which would make him one of those artists who was both Pre-war and Post-war. From the 1930s until his death just a few years ago Jimmy Pryor played the blues as much, and as long as he could. He left Detroit Michigan, to move to Des Moines Iowa in 1960, because Des Moines in 1960 still had clubs open 24 hours. He played his heart out, and kept on playing until he died in 2006.

Louis McTizic was a wonderful man who despite daily dialysis that HE TOOK BY HIMSELF EVEN ON THE FREAKING ROAD, kept performing until he died. Louis was a kind man that took time to talk to his fans, and he held together one of those wonderful jam/blues bands that true blues lovers love to watch. Louis had some great side performers like Frenchy Campbell who could belt out Muddy like the old man himself, Sam Cochran an outstanding bass player, and Ethaline Wright who was a fine guitarist and singer herself.

Chicago Rick Lussie was a dear friend of mine that learned to play the blues on the Southside of Chicago. Much like Mike Bloomfield, and Paul Butterfield. Rick was one of those white kids who loved the blues and learned from the masters himself. Rick came to Iowa in 1960 to work as a teacher by day and musician at night. He stumbled upon Center Street in Des Moines, which was the black business district, and joined in with the rest of the blues players. He played the blues until he died much too young a few years ago.

John Woody Wood, a good friend (we shared a birthday) and always first call drummer. He lived life large, and was always pursuing a career in music. They Call Me Mr. Cleanhead was one of his favorite songs, and he performed it often. He was a brother to me, and almost every blues cat that played in Iowa. He left for California in 2002, and many of us took bets on when he would return, since he always returned home in a year or two. However, Woody never made it back. He suffered from Cancer and we lost one of our dearest friends in the blues.

Gary Smith died just a few months ago, and I am still saddened by his death. He had such a positive outlook on life, and considering his early life, or his childhood that was amazing. I think Gary was someone who certainly had a right to sing the blues because he lived them. However, no matter how bad things got with the death of his love Clover Buckingham, and his eventual loosing fight with Cancer he never seemed down. When I talked to him a few weeks before he died he told me he was going to get back to playing soon. I guess he didn't want me to worry about him, which was typical of Gary. He was such a kind person looking out for everyone else but himself. We truly need more Gary Smiths in the world.

I suppose that when I read something that riles me up, it is always important to think about what is right in the world, and about the people who have helped me be where I am. I suppose I get angry thinking of the hard work that my friends have made and never made a dime at it, versus bands that seem to fall into money and fame. However, I think that if I had the money and fame it would just bring more grief. It is nice to be semi anonymous and to be able to perform what I what and not want some corporate hack wants. Perhaps Capra was right. It is a wonderful life:-)

Punk Rock Blues

Interesting article from the Belfast Telegraph (Click HERE), about the rebirth of the blues, or perhaps I should say an interpretation of the rebirth of the blues punk rock style. I suppose I am getting old, but to me the sale line of "Not The Same Old Blues Crap," really bothers me. I took a good listen to the music both on the Punk Rock Blues website, and the myspace page for Not The Same Old Blues Crap and I understand why these Neo-punk bands are attracted to the roughness of the blues, but what exactly is the same old blues crap??? I also can't get to excited about rehashed Rolling Stones circa 1964. Seriously this has all been done before. White guys screaming, ( not singing) and loud bands.

I do understand the punk ethic. I also understand the reaction against clean, processed, over practiced pretentious blues bands. Perhaps that is a real problem in England and Northern Ireland. Here in the states is isn't a big problem anymore, since there is no money in playing blues, so only those who love the blues play the blues. So I would really like to know what they mean by not the same old blues crap, because at least around here I kinda of like the same old blues crap.

I suppose the thing that really riles me is the title of the article in the Telegraph, Bringing Back The True Blues. Now I don't want all the Punk Rock Blues performers to get angry, because I assume that it was the reporter for the Belfast Telegraph that came up with that title, but that has to be one the dumbest things I have read this year. There is nothing about it that is even true. If you want someone who is bringing back the TRUE BLUES then look to Keb Mo, or Corey Harris, or any of a number of acoustic blues musicians who play both delta, piedmont and contemporary styles of blues. Seriously if I had to pick who I want to lead the blues army into the next 50 years I will take Keb, or Corey. They are THE REAL DEAL! Nothing against this new(okay semi new) Punk Rock Blues style, but they are not bringing back trues blues in any sense of the word.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Johnny Copeland: Devils Hand

Another great clip of Johnny Copeland from Germany in 1984.

Johnny Copeland

Here is a great video of Johnny Copeland playing in Austin Texas in 1988.

Stevie Ray Vaughn And Johnny Copeland: Little Sister

Two great guitarist that have left us too early. Stevie Ray, and Johnny Copeland. It gives me the blues just thinking about the fact that they are gone. It is a good thing that we have such a great archive of videos that keep them alive.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Singapore Blues An Interview with Paul Ponnudurai

I have never heard of this guy, but hey it nice to know that even Singapore has the blues. Read about Paul Ponnudurai in this online article in the Star Online HERE.

Shemiekia Copeland Interview

The Telegraph from Nashua New Hampshire has an interview with the lovely Shemiekia Copeland. To check it out Click HERE.

Murali Coryell Tour Information

Just got this tour information from Murali Coryell. Check him out if you are in the area.

famous people have been showing up at Murali Coryell shows all over
the country. You could be next!

Friday, November 30th, 2007
solo acoustic - 8:00pm
1735 Little Britain Rd
Rock Tavern, NY
845 496-9807

Saturday, December 8th, 2007
Keltic House -
1004 Main St. Plaza
Fishkill, NY
845 896-1110

Friday, December 14th, 2007
Bull's Head Inn -
solo acoustic - 9:00pm
120 Sarah Wells Trail
Campell Hall, NY
845 496-6758

Tuesday, December 18th, 2007
Buddy Guys Legends -
754 S. Wabash
Price: $10

Friday, December 21st, 2007
Manhattan's -
1516 Adams St.
Toledo, OH 43624
419 243-6675

an evening of blues/soul/rock w/special guests!

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007
Manhattan's -
1516 Adams St.
Toledo, OH 43624
419 243-6675
Price: TBA

an evening of blues/soul/rock w/special guests!

Friday, December 28th, 2007
Benji and Jakes -
5 Horseshoe Lake Rd
Kauneonga Lake, NY

Friday, January 11th, 2008
Fat Fish Blue -
21 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, OH

Cleveland's best live music bar & restaurant

Saturday, January 12th, 2008
Fat Fish Blue -
21 Prospect Avenue
Cleveland, OH

Sunday, January 13th, 2008
Your Place Lounge -
17326 East Warren Ave.
Detroit, MI 48224
(313) 881-4850

with special guests

Saturday, January 19th, 2008
JJ's Blues -
3439 Stevens Creek Blvd
San Jose, CA 95117
Price: TBA

Friday, April 18th, 2008
Columbia-Greene Community College -
The Coryell's featuring Larry Coryell & Murali Coryell - 7:00pm
4400 Route 23
Hudson, NY 12534
518 828-4181
Price: TBA

an evening of jazz/blues/rock & soul

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Bobby Darin: Lonsome Whistle

This is an old Hank Williams song. It is country, but a blues influenced country song. Hank followed a long line of country artists influenced by the "Singing Brakeman" Jimmie Rogers who basically took blues songs and added a yodel brake to them, and created country music. Also note in the beginning of the song Bobby is shaking his hand. This was due to his heart condition which was causing his hand to go numb. What people don't realize about Bobby Darin is that the saying "the show must go on" was something he took way to literally true. He performed 10 shows before his death while suffering from blood poisoning. Now I don't know if Bobby would still be alive today had he took care of it right away, but what I do know is that for him the fans came before his health. I also know that Darin did not die from snorting Cocaine which a new book(that I wont mention either the title or the author) recently put. I just wish that people in the media would quit being lazy and do a little research. It would have taken a couple seconds of a google search to find out how Bobby died. Lazy, lazy, lazy.

Bobby Darin: Simple Song Of Freedom

I had this video posted on my old blog. It has a gospel feel to it, and it truer today then it was 40 years ago.

Jason Ricci And New Blood: Hip Shake

A clip of Jason Ricci and New Blood.

JD And The Striaght Shot Press Release

One of the nice things about being a blues blogger, is I get press releases! I am always interested in helping out new bands! I just got this press release from the good folks at Ariel Publicity. These guys are out of New York. On their myspace page they have a nice latin based song. Click HERE to hear it. To check out their home page and to get tour information Click HERE. Here is a bio from Ariel Publicity:

About The Artist

Dolan and The Straight Shot – guitarist and chief songwriter, Bruce Koplow; bassist, Sue Williams; drummer, David Longworth and keyboardist, Jonny Rosch – put slow-burning blues jams together with ballads and tight rockers on NOTHING TO HIDE.

Despite some graying, Dolan says his generation – inextricably linked to the music of the ’60s – remains passionate about music and continues to turn out in droves for concerts. “This album is about growing up without growing old, which is what my generation is trying to do right now,” Dolan says. “These are classic rock songs for the classic rock generation.”

Read a complete biography


For a guy who spends 9 to 5 holding the reins of power at two successful businesses, Jim Dolan knows how to kick out the jams.

By night, he is the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for JD & The Straight Shot. By day, Dolan is the chairman of Madison Square Garden and the president and CEO of Cablevision Systems Corporation. The odd marriage of artistic sensibility and business acumen, Dolan says, give him a sense of balance in his life.

“I’m just like thousands of guys who picked up a guitar when they were 15, except that I never put it down,” he says. “Music is one of my earliest passions and has always been a part of my life. One of my biggest thrills came a few years ago when I stepped onstage in front of a paying crowd for the first time. The crowd had no idea who we were, but we won them over. It was such an amazing feeling.”

Always content to play his music for family and friends, Dolan broke out of his shell almost seven years ago and started a band with coworkers. The group played company functions and entertained crowds with covers of classic rock hits. Based on the success of those performances, Dolan brought together his first proper band – The Straight Shot – three years ago. In 2005, JD Records released the quintet’s debut, NOTHING TO HIDE.

Dolan and The Straight Shot – guitarist and chief songwriter, Bruce Koplow; bassist, Sue Williams; drummer, David Longworth and keyboardist, Jonny Rosch – put slow-burning blues jams together with ballads and tight rockers on NOTHING TO HIDE.

Despite some graying, Dolan says his generation – inextricably linked to the music of the ’60s – remains passionate about music and continues to turn out in droves for concerts. “This album is about growing up without growing old, which is what my generation is trying to do right now,” Dolan says. “These are classic rock songs for the classic rock generation.”

Jim "JD" Dolan
Born and raised in New York, JD has been singing and playing guitar for most of his life. Though primarily known for his business career, he has never lost his passion for music. This is his first professional effort. It definitely will not be his last.

Bruce Koplow
Bruce grew up in Cleveland, Ohio and began playing the guitar at the age of nine. By the time he reached his teens he was already playing gigs and pursuing the life of a professional musician. His insatiable appetite for Blues and Rock 'N' Roll combined with an individualistic view of the world inevitably lead him to the art of songwriting. Consequently he has become this band's most prolific contributor. As a gifted guitarist, Bruce has performed and recorded with countless bands in New York, California and Europe. Although he has remained faithful to Blues-based music, he embraces all long as it's good.

Jonny Rosch
It was always Jonny's dream to make a living as a professional musician. Armed with this purposeful and almost prurient passion, he embarked the journey of pursuing this lifelong ambition. Seemingly unaware that he was devoid of any talents or even the ability to feign competency on any musical instrument, he threw himself head first (literally) into the seductive world of the music business. Unburdened and unshackled by the natural constraints that normally accompany the harsh realities of the aforementioned truths, Jonny ventured forth, eventually carving out a relatively comfortable niche on the corner of 42nd Street and 8th Avenue in New York City, singing songs for a dime and playing his plastic lobster claw harmonica. On their way to a performance at B B Kings Blues Club, JD and the Straight Shot discovered Jonny plying his trade. Recognizing the innocence of his spirit and identifying with his commitment to seek out his muse, the band took him under their wing and eventually let him into the fetch coffee and clean ashtrays and such. Currently, he resides at the bands recording/rehearsal facility oblivious to the fact that he is under house arrest. He has been known to reach level 2 on several Nintendo GameBoy games.

Bob Dorr IPTV And IPR Update

Bob Dorr is the hardest working man in Iowa:-) Besides his radio gig at KUNI, and his outstanding band The Blue Band. He also helps raise money for IPTV. Here are some updates from the hardest working man in Iowa Showbiz:-)

There are no Blue Band dates this week (bad time of year to be out of work) so there is NO Blue Note either...

However, my Iowa Public Broadcasting career is in full swing! Iowa Public Television has invited me to be part of the fundraising team for two GREAT shows. TONIGHT (11/28) The Eric Clapton Crossroads Special 8-11pm. If you like guitar playing, you're gonna LOVE this one! Recorded last July in Chicago, this is the first time this special has aired. Then, tomorrow night, (11/29) 7:30-8:30, the Man In Black-Johnny Cash! This is another NEW special! As the Federal and State governments cut back on funds for the Public Broadcasting System (don't get me started on what could be accomplished with just one month's worth of Iraq spending) it becomes more and more incumbent on viewers/listeners to support Public Broadcasting. IPTV is the ONLY state-wide TV network and one of the state's most valuable resources. I'll be waiting to hear your phone call of support. I'm gonna bet that DVD of the Clapton show would make a great stocking stuffer for someone on your list! (stuff 'er? YOU stuff 'er, you brought 'er!) Please be generous in support of IOWA public broadcasting. More info:

And speaking of Public Broadcasting, because there is no Blue Band date this weekend, (and this is NOT a Blue Note) I'll be doing my Rock'n'Roll history show, Backtracks, on Iowa Public Radio-KUNI, LIVE this Saturday night, 7-10pm!! Suggestions/requests/salutations: 1-800-772-2440, ext. 5. You can get more info, listen on line, or even make a Christmas donation of support (!) at

Next weekend is Tour DeCasino week for the Blue Crew. Fri. 12/7 at Prairie Meadows Finish Line Lounge in Altoona. Sat. 12/8 at The Riverside Casino, south of Iowa City...

Since this is NOT a Blue Note, I won't tell you of my RETURN trip to the HyVee last week...

It's important to support things you enjoy/use/need. Write a check to your favorite Iowa Public broadcasting station-you'll be amazed at how great it makes you feel that you supported something you love and use. And then make plans to join The Blue Band sometime soon (that New Year's Eve reunion show is really gonna be fun. Tickets available NOW. More info:

I gotta git to Des Moines. It takes the make-up artist extra time with me! If she could only make me look 15 years younger and 20 pounds lighter! (that might take WAY too much time) We love you, Bob Dorr & The Blue Band

PS-since there is no Blue Band show this weekend, you might want to check out Wonderful Wally the Alligator Rassler (Christopher Wilcox) and his comedy routine in Cedar Rapids. His email note says: Friday night at Little King Komedy (Deli) where I will be joining Bustin Dustin and a Cedar Falls Comedian for a DVD recording of our stuff! I will be doing a longer set at Little King. Little King is smoke and alcohol free but I hope to have fun anyway! Little King Deli is located at 211 2nd St SE and the show will run from 7:30 until aprox. 9:00 PM.

Jason Ricci Interview

From Scripps News comes an interesting interview with Jason Ricci. As far as I am concerned you judge a person by their talent, not their personal life. That said, check out the interview because regardless of what he is, or what he has done, he has played with the real deals.

I think the most telling part of the article is the part about being banned by festivals and boycotted by a blues society. Here is a quote from the article by Ricci:

"I've had some death threats. We've been banned from several clubs and festivals. We've been boycotted by a blues society in Ohio. ... Why I'm out is not that I'm on some crusade to be some greatest gay blues artist, I just don't want to make up stories about why I don't have a girlfriend."

When blues societies play politics they miss out on what the blues is all about. If you don't book someone because of their music that is one thing, but to not book someone because of there lifestyle choice is criminal. It is discrimination, and anyone with just an inkling of the history of the blues should realize just how bad discrimination was to the people who played the blues in the past.

IT HAS TO BE ABOUT THE MUSIC PEOPLE!!! You are an idiot if you make it about anything else. What are you freaking afraid of???? Do you think that his sexual preference will rub off on you???? Is it his past drug use??? How many freaking blues songs from the past are about drugs and alcohol???? Seriously, you don't have a leg to stand on, if you are making an argument against this guy or any artist when you move away from the music. Keep your freaking politics out of the blues PLEASE!!

To check out the interview Click HERE.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Albert Collins: Honey Hush

Here is a nice live shot of Albert Collins, the Master of the Telecaster:-)

Otis Rush And Eric Clapton: Double Trouble

What I love about Clapton is his respect for the music and the people who originated it. There are tons of videos with Eric playing along with the guys who paid the dues well before Clapton picked up a guitar. I also think Clapton just gets better as he ages. I guess that is the beauty of the blues, it is like a fine wine it only gets better with age!

Otis Rush: I Can't Quit You Baby

Classic Otis Rush!!!!!!!!!!!! Now that's what I call the blues!!!!

Blog Critic: Otis Rush 1956-58 The Cobra Recordings

A review of a reissue of Otis Rush's recordings from Cobra. I have a similar release of Otis Rush and Buddy Guy. It is some great stuff. This is a must buy if you like Chicago Blues.

To Check out the Review Click HERE.

Andy Coats

My good friend and former Iowan Andy Coats now living and playing in North Carolina is playing quite a few gigs right now. Just thought I would let you in on some of his shows by passing on his emails. Also check out his website on the links below.

Come check out my first gig at this venue:

Andy Coats, solo
Sat., Dec. 1, 8-11 pm
The Bean and Barrel
50100 Governors Dr
Chapel Hill, NC 27517
(919) 967-9990

Hope to see you there!


Monday, November 26, 2007

Peter Green And Fleetwood Mac: World Keep On Turning

Here is a classic clip of early Fleetwood Mac with Peter Green.

Peter Green And Fleetwood Mac

This is an interesting article about the early Fleetwood Mac, and Peter Green. Some of you may not know that Fleetwood Mac was a blues band in its early days. This short article (Click Here) from the Star Online in Malaysia tells the story of Peter Green and Fleetwood mac. One thing that the article doesn't mention is that Peter Green has done some outstanding blues work, including a tribute album to Robert Johnson well before Eric Clapton did his.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Artist Of The Week: Brian Seltzer

One of the finest Rockabilly, Swing, Jump Blues, guitarists around is Brian Seltzer. Seltzer is an incredible guitar player that have moved beyond the retro/rockabilly that he was known for in the Stray Cats, to hot jump blues/swing performer. Seltzer has gained some commercial success a quite a few years ago with Jump Jive and Wail, yet, since corporate radio has taken over the air waves, it may be tough for him to return to the charts. However, those of us who love jump blues will like the videos in the box on the left side of the blog. Give the ol' Stray Cat a listen to!!

Photo Of The Week: The Blue Band At The Iowa State Fair

You have heard of the three tenors! Well here are the Three Tenor Saxes! Bob Dorr has a revolving door of players who come in go in the band. For most bands that is bad news, but for the Blue Band this is good news because the cats that come and go who play sax are some of the best players in the state of Iowa. This photo was shot a few years back during the Iowa State Fair. The fair is probably the most popular Blue Band gig they have. It is almost like a reunion time for fans of the band who come from all over the country just to see the band at the fair! Hot August nights, and cool blues, sounds like a party!