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Monday, February 18, 2008

Delmark Records Update

Cool news from Delmark!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

**DELMARK IS HAVING A PARTY! 55th Anniversary All-Star Chicago Blues Tribute Concert at Buddy Guy's Legends - Friday, March 7, 2008

To celebrate Delmark and Bob Koester’s 55th year in the music business, I am excited to announce that we’re throwing a special all-star tribute concert with a who’s who of Chicago Blues on Friday, March 7th at Buddy Guy’s Legends. Delmark artists and friends Dave Specter, Byther Smith, Jimmy Dawkins, Tail Dragger, Jimmy and Syl Johnson, Little Arthur Duncan, Shirley Johnson, The Big DooWopper, Zora Young, Aaron Moore, Lurrie Bell, Michael Coleman, Eddie Shaw, and many more special guests (Friendly Chap?!) are scheduled to perform so far! This can’t miss milestone tribute concert will also be videotaped for future broadcast on satellite television. We are also planning a commemorative Delmark CD compilation for our 55th Birthday. I hope you can come join us at Legends for this well deserved party for the Delmark family; if not, stay tuned for another Delmark tribute concert at the Old Town School of Folk Music in the fall!


The Hoodoo Man strikes again! Junior Wells and Buddy Guy’s landmark Chicago blues album on Delmark, Hoodoo Man Blues, was recently inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame! (wish they would have notified us…) Thank you for honoring this absolutely timeless recording!!
While we are on the topic of awards, we also just found out that Delmark’s landmark 1958 album from Big Joe Williams, Piney Woods Blues, has been inducted into the National Blues Hall of Fame in the Classics of Blues Album recordings category! “Big Joe Williams, whose 1935 classic “Baby Please Don’t Go” is already in the Blues Hall of Fame in the singles category, had been recording singles, first on 78 rpm and then 45 rpm, for over two decades when a new label called Delmar released his first 33-1/3 rpm album in 1958. The label was launched by a young Bob Koester in St. Louis, and later changed its name to Delmark in Chicago, where Koester continues to record blues and jazz today. The Big Joe sessions are from St. Louis, featuring Williams on his nine-string guitar accompanied by J.D. Short on harmonica and guitar. Williams was a spontaneous spirit both in the studio and on the streets. A notorious rambler, he had vanished by the time the album came out and Koester’s liner notes stated “his exact whereabouts is unknown.” It seems he was actually in California, where he cut an LP for another then-new and now-venerable label, Arhoolie, but he became a regular in the Delmark stable and at one point lived in the basement of Koester’s Jazz Record Mart in Chicago.”- committee chair Jim O’Neal

*SPRING 2008 DELMARK RELEASES for end of April, beginning of May:

1) We are thrilled with the return of outstanding blues guitarist Dave Specter to Delmark recording activity. This anticipated release will be both a DVD and CD from 2 live shows recorded last year at Rosa’s Lounge and Buddy Guy’s Legends. “Live In Chicago” (DVD 1794/DE 794) will be a Specter “all-star blues revue” with special guests vocalists Tad “Mr. Soul/Blues” Robinson, the ageless Jimmy “The Bar Room Preacher” Johnson, and Sharon “The Texas Fire” Lewis each showing their talented skills while Specter lays down his deep blues/jazz guitar grooves.
2) Fantastic harp player/bandleader Pierre Lacocque and Mississippi Heat also return with their 2nd release on Delmark; this one is a new ambitious studio CD, “Hattiesburg Blues” (DE 795) featuring their lead vocalist Inetta Visor, and Chicago blues guitar legends Lurrie Bell and Carl Weathersby. The Chicago Horns and latin pecussionist Ruben Alvarez will also add significantly to this varied disc of many new original compositions.

3) We are proud to release the Delmark debut recording as a leader of bassist Jason Ajemian (Chicago Underground Trio, Born Heller, Lay All Over It) along with saxophonist Tim Haldeman, and drummer Nori Tanaka. Ajemian and his inventive group of creative jazz players from the prolific Chicago scene recorded “The Art of Dying” (DE 581) with vibist Jason Adasiewicz, trumpeter Jaimie Branch, and guitarist Matt Schneider.
4) Rounding out our first of 2008 Spring releases is “Whippin’ The Keys” (DE 248), a masterful ragtime piano session from influential Trad Jazz pianist Wally Rose. These 20 selections were originally on two Blackbird LPs from 1968 and 1971 and reissued here for the first time.

I want to personally thank all of the writers, photographers, editors, radio DJ’s, and music directors who have been spreading the Delmark love. Flautist Nicole Mitchell and her Black Earth Ensemble will be featured in the next DownBeat, and look for a Little Arthur Duncan and the BackScratchers feature in Living Blues, DownBeat, and Big City Rhythm & Blues. Sabertooth was just featured on the nationally syndicated radio The Grateful Dead Hour- a first for Delmark. Ari Brown, Brad Goode, Keefe Jackson, and Jimmy Blythe (DownBeat Hot Box!) releases all have been getting rave reviews and significant airplay.

*Delmark artists TAIL DRAGGER and Syl Johnson to perform at the 7th Annual Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans at the House of Blues, - April 29, 30, 2008 in New Orleans, LA- Check out the full lineup at
Our favorite low down blues singer and entertainer supreme, "Crawlin' James" Jones, aka the TAILDRAGGER!! is set to perform at the STOMP in New Orleans during the famous New Orleans Jazz Festival. Tail Dragger and his "facts of life blues preachin" has been all over lately- interviewed on nationally syndicated House of Blues Radio Hour, completing an almost 2 month tour of Europe with Lurrie Bell and Eddie Taylor, Jr and performing at the prestigious Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise in A Howlin' Wolf tribute with Eddie Shaw, Henry Gray, and Hubert Sumlin (who he performed with for years in Chicago ghetto blues clubs after the Wolf died!) Tail Dragger will also be performing in Oakland on March 29 as part of the Bay Area Blues Society's West Coast Blues Hall of Fame awards and accepting Delmark's award as blues record company of the year! Mr. "My Head Is Bald" Tail Dragger also has a recent feature story in the French blues magazine, ABS, and an upcoming issue of Back to The Roots, the Belgium blues magazine.
This is a rare chance to see one of the best soul singers of all time, Syl "Is It Because I'm Black" Johnson, at one of our favorite music festivals, New Orleans' Ponderosa Stomp. Dr. Ike and the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau are presenting their 7th annual festival celebrating unsung heroes of blues, funk, soul, rockabilly, garage rock, New Orleans R&B and Swamp Pop- the architects of American Roots Music!! Syl "Back In the Game" Johnson will also be performing with the legendary Memphis Hi Rhythm Section Hodges Brothers at the official Stomp in New Orleans!!!

Stay tuned for future spring/summer Delmark releases: badass one-of-a- kind blues guitarist/vocalist Byther Smith, along with the debut Delmark recording from jazz trumpet phenom Corey Wilkes! Corey, along with colossal saxophonist/AACM leader Ernest Dawkins, and percussionist/leader Kahil EL’ Zabar are wrapping up their successful annual Ethnic Heritage Ensemble February tour to celebrate Black History Month.

-Kevin Johnson
Delmark promotions
773 539 5001
4121 N. Rockwell
Chicago, IL 60618

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