Search The Blues Historian Website With Google

Google
 

Send Me Your Blues News

Contact me at
bluesman2001@hotmail.com


Link Exchange

If you have a website, and would like to exchange links just email me at the above address.

The Iowa Blues Showcase is on the AIR

Download the latest podcast on ITUNES

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Bowlfull Of Blues, Newton Iowa, June 22nd

Coming Events

The next General Membership meeting will be held sometime after the Bowlful of Blues.
Meetings are held at the VFW, 315 ist Ave. W. in Newton.
The next organizational meeting for the Bowl is Sunday, June 22nd at 3pm at Maytag Park. Volunteers are needed for a variety of tasks.

16th Bowlful of Blues

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The schedule is set for the 2008 edition of the Bowlful of Blues. SSBS sends out a huge THANKS to all the members and volunteers who have kept the tradition alive all of these years. It's been nothing but good times (and some hard work in the heat!).
The gates open at Noon and the show begins at 1:00 pm. Remember, you can bring a cooler of your favorite beverages (no glass please) along with your blankets and lawn chairs! Bring your family and friends for a footstompin' good time!

1:00-2:15 pm Hot Tamale and the Red Hots
2:00-2:45 pm Rob Lumbard
2:45-4:00 pm Thunderbird Kingsley
4:00-4:30 pm Rob Lumbard
4:30-6:00 pm Jeff Banks and the Pain Killers
6:00-6:30 pm Rob Lumbard
6:30-8:00 pm Sumpin' Doo
8:00-8:30 pm Rob Lumbard
8:30 pm Watermelon Slim and the Workers

Watermelon Slim and the Workers

At least once in every man's life everything seems to come together magically. When the road leading to such times is long and grueling, the zenith becomes exponentially more rewarding. Bill Homans a.k.a. Watermelon Slim is the extraordinary wheel man behind this redemption story road trip. In December 2006 Watermelon Slim garnered a record-tying six 2007 Blues Music Award nominations for Artist, Entertainer, Album, Band, Song, and Traditional Album of the Year. Only the likes of B.B. King, Buddy Guy and Robert Cray have ever landed six. His 2006 self-titled release was ranked #1 in MOJO Magazine's 2006 Top Blues CDs, won the 2006 Independent Music Award for Blues Album of the Year, hit #1 on the Living Blues Radio Chart, debuted at #13 on the Billboard Blues Radio Chart ahead of both Robert Cray and North Mississippi Allstars, and won the Blues Critic Award for 2006 Album of the Year.
In April, 2007 Watermelon Slim and The Workers released The Wheel Man, his second for NorthernBlues Music and his fourth album in five years. Jerry Wexler, a huge Watermelon Slim fan after hearing Slim's 2005 self-titled release, eagerly offered to write the liner notes upon listening to early tracks saying Slim "is a one-of-a-kind pickin' 'n'n singing Okie dynamo." The CD hit #1 on the Living Blues Radio Charts, #2 on the Roots Music Blues Charts and debuted in the Top 10 in Billboard's Blues charts.
The Memphis Flyer led it's terrific CD review with the question "Does anyone in modern pop music have a more intriguing biography than Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans?" Slim was born in Boston and raised in North Carolina listening to his maid sing John Lee Hooker and other blues songs around the house. His father was a progressive attorney and ex-freedom rider and his brother is now a classical musician. Slim dropped out of Middlebury College to enlist for Vietnam. While laid up in a Vietnam hospital bed he taught himself upside-down left-handed slide guitar on a $5 balsawood model using a triangle pick cut from a rusty coffee can top and his Army issued Zippo lighter as the slide.
Returning home an fervent anti-war activist, Slim first appeared on the music scene with the release of the only known record by a veteran during the Vietnam War. The project was Merry Airbrakes, a 1973 protest tinged LP with tracks Country Joe McDonald later covered.
In the following 30 plus years Slim has been a truck driver, forklift operator, sawmiller (where he lost part of his finger), firewood salesman, collection agent, and even officiated funerals. At times he got by as a small time criminal. At one point he was forced to flee Boston where he played peace rallies, sit-ins and rabbleroused musically with the likes of Bonnie Raitt.
He ended up farming watermelons in Oklahoma - hence his stage name and current home base. Somewhere in those decades Slim completed two undergrad degrees in history and journalism.
While roommates, buddies and musical partner with the heavy drinking Henry 'Sunflower' Vestine of Canned Heat, Slim was able to finish a masters degree and member of Mensa, the social networking group reserved for members with certified genius IQs.
Throughout his storied past, it has always been truck driving that Slim returned to. While trucking and hauling industrial waste for thankless bosses at hourly wages to support himself and his family, his id yearned for release of the musician inside. Many of Slim's current songs began a cappella in his rig keeping him awake and entertained.
In 2002 Slim suffered a near fatal heart attack. His brush with death gave him a new perspective on mortality, direction and life ambitions. He says, "Everything I do now has a sharper pleasure to it. I've lived a fuller life than most people could in two. If I go now, I've got a good education, I've lived on three continents, and I've played music with a bunch of immortal blues players. I've fought in a war and against a war. I've seen an awful lot and I've done an awful lot. If my plane went down tomorrow, I'd go out on top."
If it's any indication from raving reviews and features in Guitar One, HARP, Blues Revue, Toronto Star, Chicago Sun-Times, NPR, House of Blues Radio Hour, BBC's World Service Programme, XM Satellite Radio and others, Watermelon Slim may have finally settled in on his chosen vocation.
On drums, we have Michael Newberry. Michael has been a part of the mid-western music scene since his early days as drummer for the legendary Fortune Tellers. After a long stay and four French records for the New Rose label, Michael took over the drummer's chair for Norman's short lived but highly explosive roots-rock band the Ban-Lons. After recording their album for Lunacy Records, Michael joined San Diego's Forbidden Pigs for a few tours before coming home to form The Deviants with Scott Keeton. Michael has played drums a dozen times for Bo Diddley and for Bob Margolin, Carey Bell, Hubert Sumlin and Robert Lockwood Jr.
Ronnie McMullen Jr played his first gig when he was 15, his mentor Norman Atherton introduced him as "Little Ronnie Mack". " Norman was my dad's childhood friend, he taught me to play guitar, and we all shared a love of the blues." In 2002 Ike Lamb introduced Ronnie to Sweet Brenda. Ronnie played with Brenda's band for a total of 4 years. In 2006 they participated in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. Ronnie has also been a member of the Scott Keeton Band. Ronnie has shared the stage with many great artists but here are a few: Bo Diddley, Big George Brock, Magic Slim, Jimbo Mathus, and most recently Buddy Guy. Ronnie has been traveling the world as a member of Watermelon Slim & The Workers since 2006."I thank God for giving me the gift of music, and all of those who have given me the oppurtunity to play the blues."
On the electric bass, we have Cliff Belcher. Born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, Cliff started playing bass at 15. In 1974 Cliff went to a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert in and saw The Texas Cannon Ball, Freddie King, "kick the crap out of those young white boys." In 1984 Cliff moved down to Austin and got to see and play with some of the world's best blues players. While in Austin, Cliff was fortunate to be a part of recording projects that included Doyle Bramhall Sr. as producer. Next came more time touring and recording with bands in Austin, Fort Worth, Dallas, and Colorado Springs. In 1988, Cliff moved to Oklahoma City where he has stayed busy recording and touring with the best bands in the area such as Big G, The Snakeshakers, and now Watermelon Slim & The Workers.
Slim and the Workers will punch in around 8:30pm.


Sumpin' Doo

George Davis (left) was born June 18th, 1945, in Des Moines, Iowa. George began singing at the age of 9 with his siblings, Gilbert (right) and Audrey, as The Davis Trio. At 12, he became the lead vocalist in the group, Little George & the Del-Rays. They performed throughout the state and in Omaha, Nebraska, but most of the engagements were on clubs on Center Street here in Des Moines.
While in high school, George spent a great deal of time song writing, and at 17 the Del-Rays were signed with a newly founded record company in Des Moines - Success Records. The Del Rays later changed their name to The Blendtones and released their first record titled Lovers, written by George. The record climbed to #3 in Los Angeles, behind #2 "Just One Look" (by Doris Troy) and the #1 hit "Fingertips" (by 12 year old Stevie Wonder).
In the summer of '63, the group went on a very successful tour on the West Coast. While on tour, Success records signed more local groups including The Martinels, The Extensions, and The Casualtones. Upon completion of the tour, it was suggested that an album be produced featuring all of the artists that were currently signed with the company. Hence, the album Only For Teenagers And Swinging Adults was born. Four of the songs on the album were written by George, including "The Slide", (performed by The Blendtones), and "Baby Think It Over" (performed by the Martinels).
At 18, George began taking guitar lessons and within a year the group, The Soul Brothers, was formed. The players consisted of Harlan Thomas on keyboards, Ron McClain on bass, Gene Jackson on drums and both "Chicago Rick" Lussie and George on guitars. The group also featured several vocalsists, including Willis Dobbins, Brother Butch Edmonds, and Anita Cooper. The Soul Brothers were featured as the house band at the San Francisco Lounge on Ingersoll Avenue in Des Moines for a number of years.
In '65, George got his greeting from Uncle Sam. After serving 2 years in the Army, which included a year in Vietnam, George returned home and returned to his spot in the band, who were anxiously awaiting him. Being the youngest and only unmarried member of the group, George was ready to go on the road. The rest of the group had job and family obligations. George got a call from his brother Gilbert, who had relocated to New Jersey sometime in '68. he told George the area was wide open for musicians and that was all George needed to hear. George and longtime drummer friend, Billy Crawford, took off for the Garden State. The pair arrived in New Jersey and joined forces with brother Gilbert. They called themselves The Chosen Few and began playing almost immediately at the Orchard Lounge in Asbury Park two nights a week. Weekends were reserved for a vocal group known as The Fabulous Broadways, who were backed by a 4-piece band that featured a 270 lb. sax player named Clarence Clemons. At that time Clarence was also playing semi-professional football and worked as a live-in counselor at an all-boys detention center.
The months that followed brought some new members to the group, such as Jesse McFarland on organ and sax player Ronnie Bright. J.T. Bowen joined as a front man, which increased the groups versatility and popularity.
In early 1969, The Chosen Few and The Fabulous Broadways joined forces and became an East Coast powerhouse. They did shows from Atlantic City to Washington D.C., and also appeared in Des Moines during the annual Drake relays on several occasions. During their last trip to Des Moines, they acquired another vocalist, the aforementioned Butch Edmonds, who's rendition of James Brown set New Jersey on fire.
Not long after their return to Jersey, The Broadways were signed to Stang Records, which was owned by the "Love Is Strange" duo of Mickey & Sylvia. They began working on their first release and were spending a lot of time in the studio. However, The Chosen Few were becoming more independent and performing 5 to 6 nights a week. The Broadways started having serious problems with lead singer, Billy Brown, failing to dub the lead on their first release and the company let them go and gave the song to another Jersey group called, The Moments, and the big hit, "Not On The Outside", was born.
Over the next few years, The Chosen Few remained one of Jersey's popular groups, which led to the loss of some of its finest musicians such as Clemons, who joined Bruce Springsteen, and multi-talented Desi Norman, who joined the famous guitar player, Grant Green and his band.
After the breakup of The Chosen Few, George was offered a position with a group from North Jersey, called The Everyday People. There had been a friendly common bond between the two groups, because they each played at many of the same clubs, and would often refer each other to new club owners.
At the time, Everyday People had already recorded a hit single, "The Bounce," and were in the studio working on their first album. George has said that although The Chosen Few was the best show group of his choice, Everyday People was definitely the most talented group he had ever performed with. "We were seven pieces strong, with seven voices. I had never been in a group where everybody could sing both lead and background."
About a year later, Gilbert Davis reunited with his brother, and joined the group. After signing with De-Light Records, the name of the band was changed to Hot Line. The group recorded a popular single called "Juice It Up," and soon started a long tour from Atlantic City to several areas of Canada, including Nova Scotia. This tour included two weeks at the Rockhead’s Paradise Club during the ’76 Olympics.
They were welcomed back home with a two-night, 4-show stint at the famed Apollo Theatre with eight other acts, including Barbara Mason ("Yes I’m Ready"), Funkhouse Express, and The Joneses. The success was short-lived, however, as the new era of Disco moved in, putting most groups out of business.
Sumpin' Doo is George Davis-guitar, vocal; Jeff Daniels-organ; Gilbert Davis-bass; and Ben Williams-drums. George and Gilbert will be displaying their Hall of Fame chops around 6:30pm.

Jeff Banks and the Pain Killers

Jeff Banks and the Painkillers are Jeff Banks – vocal and guitar, Jon Locker – bass and Paul Thompson – drums. ”If you like hard driving, real deal, no BS blues, (I know that’s right), this is your show. When Blues moved up from the Delta and went to electric in the cities, heavy cats like Wolf, Muddy, and John Lee plugged in and supercharged the blues. Jeff Banks and the Pain Killers follow this tradition. The band kicks serious ass!
Jeff draws on a very wide range of influences from Delta to Texas roadhouse to Hendrix/Santana. The guitar playing is fearless and the vocals are fierce. This IS the best show in Austin right now”.- Catfish (Blues Universe) Prescribed dosage is heavy and time of eargestion is 4:30pm.

Thunderbird Kingsley

Powerhouse grain belt blues/roots band THUNDERBIRD KINGSLEY approaches the distinct musical form of the blues in a raw and captivating way. Their performances are defined by snarling, gravelly vocals, booming, hypnotic barrelhouse guitar work, and foot-stomping, steam-train rhythm. With powerfully sincere musical arrangements from the late 19th century Mississippi Delta, to the electrified glory days of Maxwell Street, Thunderbird Kingsley's low-down songs about love, loss, murder, graveyards and backroom gambling are literal conduits of raw emotion. Their music is a brutal and heart-felt reminder of an American musical tradition to which every music fan today owes a huge debt.
With the release of their self-titled debut album in September 2007, THUNDERBIRD KINGSLEY has recently garnered the attention of award-winning international blues magazine Blues Matters!, and is featured in their May/June '08 issue. (#43) The band is thrilled with the impact they are making, and plans to continue bringing their signature brand of "low-down, gut bucket, barrelhouse blues" to music fans everywhere.

Hot Tamale and the Red Hots

If you want to be entertained, hear great music and meet some one-of-a-kind people, you must see this band! Their energy both on stage and off is second to none!
Lead vocalist, Cindy Grill, has been singing professionally for 26 years. She has a dynamic range and the soul of a true blues vocalist. She follows the long line of great female blues vocalists not only in talent but in showmanship as well. Cindy is not only extremely talented but also one of the most sincere people you will meet, always smiling and taking time for her fans. She will get you up on your feet dancing, and she may even join you. She's one-in-a-million!
Alan Smith, guitar and vocals, fell in love with the guitar at the age of 13 while growing up in England. Like most young Englishmen in the 50's, he heard American Roots music interpreted by young Brits. His early influences were the Shadows, the Beatles and the Stones. After moving to this country at the age of 14, he continued to play and learn different styles. Alan has played in several bands in the Des Moines area including Neon Blues and Cousin Eddie. He is an eclectic listener and digs the guitar from A to Z (Atkins to Zappa). Alan even owned and operated a music store in Perry for a few years, where he was able to translate his love of guitar into his business.
Kevin Bodtke, another founding member, lends the true blues soul with his harmonica. Kevin has a unique style of blues in this area. Kevin can truly use his "harp" to lay down a rhythm, such as many of the old greats (Sonny Boy, Little Walter, etc.). This gives the music a fuller sound that lets you know you're hearing the blues!
The drummer, Bobby Cassady, is no stranger to the Des Moines blues scene. Bobby has played with probably every musician in this town at one time or another. He even played with Fat Package and they won the 1998 Iowa Blues Challenge and then went on to compete in Memphis at the International Blues Challenge. Bobby loves the blues and we love him!
Rod Moulin plays bass with Hot Tamale. Another veteran of the Des Moines blues scene, Rod lays down a rock solid bass line that the blues was built on. Rod has been playing with Hot Tamale since November 2005, when the band opened for Dr. John at the Val Air Ballroom.
Hot Tamale and the Red Hots will be getting well done on the blistering Maytag Bowl stage, starting the show at 1:00 pm.

Rob Lumbard

Rob Lumbard was born in and lives in Des Moines, Iowa. He got some of his early musical education sitting in with musicians in the bars up on Forest Avenue and on Harding Road in Des Moines. Rose Marie Webster, Luther Allison, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee were some of the people he bugged until they would let him play harp or a little guitar with them.
Rob gigged around doing a solo act until he joined The Wapsie River Band in 1980. He barnstormed the Midwest with them for ten years handling vocals, guitar, slide guitar, harp and banjo. Quite a few of the songs he's written were inspired by things he saw or heard during this time of playing biker bars and dives. In 1990 Rob went back to playing solo and soon found himself opening up for Lyle Lovett, The Band, The Austin Lounge Lizards, Dan Hicks, Jerry Jeff Walker, Norman Blake, Steve Forbert, Leon Redbone and countless Blues acts that came through town. This, coupled with a weekly gig at a local hot spot, Flanagan’s, enabled him to record a couple of cds on the Hot Fudge label. Rob was also a part of the trio Two Bobs and a Babe which included Hot Fudge label-mates Bob Dorr and Molly Nova.
Rob's music is Blues/Folk based but depending on where he's playing, you might find him covering a jazz standard, Robert Johnson, Lyle Lovett or doing a set of his own tunes.
Rob's Finger-picking guitar style can be traced back to his high school years of listening to Hot Tuna, Doc Watson and all the Blues and Bluegrass albums he could get his hands on. His slide playing has been influenced by Johnny Winter, Lowell George and Ry Cooder. For slide, Rob uses a '29 National and for most of his regular guitar work he uses a '35 Epiphone archtop.
Rob's song writing has been heavily influenced by the Texas songwriters and tends towards self-deprecating humor. This year will find him playing at festivals, bar rooms, resturants, churches, many private parties and even a Bluegrass festival in August. Rob's songs can be heard on KUNI radio. His voice can be heard on a radio ad for The Dock restaurant. His music has appeared in several Public Television projects, one of which received an EMMY award!
Rob will be performing solo acoustic sets in between bands, keeping the music flowing all day long!

No comments: