Delmark Doings and 2009 Blues Award Nominees for Delmark Artists
Hello and Happy Holidays to all of our friends from Chicago's Delmark Records
- "Santa's Messin' With The Kid"- Eddie C. Campbell
Santa come' once a year, we all know
Didn't use my chimney, had a key to my do'
Oh, Lord, look what Santa did
(He's messin' with me)
Call it Merry Christmas?
I say Santa's messin' with The Kid
We're excited to announce several Delmark artists were nominated for the 2009 National Blues Music Awards (formerly the Handys) in Memphis
A big Congrats goes out to the following Delmark blues artists:
31st National Blues Music Award Nominees
Album of the Year - Eddie C. Campbell, Tear This World Up (Delmark 799)
“THE KING OF THE WEST SIDE FUNK BLUES” returns with his highly anticipated comeback CD, Tear this World Up!
Eddie C. Campbell (born Duncan, MS 1939) is one of the most distinctive, original bluesman you’ll ever come across. He is one of the last of the originators of the West Side sound of Chicago blues still performing in their prime. Eddie C. is the absolute master at deep funk blues grooves, mesmerizing audiences with his devastatingly wild, vibrato guitar on his reverb-drenched metallic purple Fender Jazzmaster and his powerful, resonating, rich, & wide ranging vocals, along with a unique, personal, & witty songwriting style.
We’re more than excited to present the Delmark debut of this unforgettable Chicago Blues/funk legend, his first new recording in over a decade! Special mention must go out to our friend, blues historian/producer Dick Shurman (Dick co-produced Eddie’s classic first LP “King of the Jungle” from ’77 and many other modern blues classics, i.e, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Roy Buchanan.)
Some standout originals are the opening cut ”Makin’ Popcorn,” a relentless deep Mississippi boogie groove, while “Big World” is a hilarious original about sleepiness overcoming lust. “Voodoo’ is a spooky hypnotic groove with multiple guitar parts, and another killer funk blues is “Care”- check out his wild vocals. Eddie’s “All Nite” is a remake of one of his earliest 45’s on Hawaii Records in the late 60’s.
Magic Sam meets James Brown meets Johnny Guitar Watson on Chicago’s West Side! myspace.com/eddieccampbell
DVD of the Year - Delmark Records, It Ain't Over! Delmark Celebrates 55 Years of Blues, Live at Buddy Guy's Legends (Delmark DVD 1800/CD 800)
This DVD and CD features Zora Young (vocals), Jimmy Johnson (voc, gtr), Aaron Moore (voc, piano), the late Little Arthur Duncan (voc, harp), Lurrie Bell (voc, gtr), Shirley Johnson (voc), Eddie Shaw (voc, sax), Tail Dragger (voc), Dave Specter (gtr), Bob Stroger (bass), Harlan Terson (bass), Kenny Smith (drums), Marty Binder (drums), Roosevelt Purifoy (keys), Brother John Kattke (keys), Nick Moss (gtr), Rick Kreher (gtr), Scott Cable (gtr), Kevin Shanahan (gtr), Billy Branch (harp), & Big D (harp)
Bass player of the Year- Bob Stroger (on It Ain't Over!)
Drummer of the Year - Kenny Smith (on It Ain't Over!)
Guitarist of the Year - Lurrie Bell (on It Ain't Over!)
Harmonica player of the Year - Billy Branch (on It Ain't Over!)
Horn Player of the Year - (sax) Eddie Shaw (on It Ain't Over!)
Traditional Blues Female Artists of the Year - Shirley Johnson (Blues Attack, Delmark 798 and It Ain't Over!) and Zora Young (The French Connection, Delmark 802 and It Ain't Over!)
A big congrats and welcome home from their wildly successful European tours go out to the one and only Eddie C. Campbell and the charismatic Zora Young.
Zora Young's version of Sunnyland Slim's "Goin' Back To Memphis" on her fantastic new CD, The French Connection, now has extra special significance!
DELMARK DOINGS December 2009
Some very impressive music photography/art/history books have come out recently, and we’re excited that Delmark and Bob Koester are prominently featured in many of these beautiful artworks. These are all absolutely essential for your music and book collections- great Holiday presents!
1) DEVIL AT THE CONFLUENCE- The Pre-War Blues Music of St. Louis by St. Louis artist and music historian Kevin Belford is a fascinating illustrated history of St. Louis blues and jazz (mostly pre-war), and included is a companion CD that features all Delmark recordings of St. Louis blues legends, including Big Joe Williams, Roosevelt Sykes, and Robert Nighthawk! If you didn’t know, Delmark originated in St. Louis by Bob Koester in 1953 (named after St Louis’ Delmar Blvd) and moved to its permanent home in Chicago in ’58. Kevin Belford has contributed gorgeous cover art to many recent Delmark releases, including our 50th Anniversary Box Set, Cowboy Roy Brown, and Barrelhouse Buck. Check out Kevin’s blog, http://devilattheconfluence.blogspot.com/
2) CHICAGO FOLK- Images of the Sixties Music Scene by the late famed photographer Raeburn Flerlage is the gorgeous companion Chicago Folk photography book to Raeburn’s essential CHICAGO BLUES from ’00. Included are photos of Delmark artists Luther Allison, Billy Boy Arnold, Sleepy John Estes, Art Hodes, Hammie Nixon, Big Joe Williams, Sunnyland Slim, Speckled Red, and Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Bet you didn’t know that there was a Ramblin’ Jack Elliot Delmark LP- Talkin’ Woody Guthrie??!! You must also see the priceless image of Koester playing piano while the late guitar hero Mike Bloomfield amusedly looks over his shoulder during the Sleepy John Estes’ Delmark recording session in ’63 for Broke and Hungry. Koester’s version of “The Dirty Dozens”, perhaps?!
3) FREEDOM RHYTHM & SOUND – Revolutionary Jazz Original Cover Art 1965-83 compiled by famed DJ and BBC radio journalist Gilles Peterson and Soul Jazz Records’ Stuart Baker from the UK. ‘When jazz album covers were as fiery as the music inside!” describes this incredibly beautiful collection of rare album art. Lo and behold, the first album featured in the entire book is Delmark’s Together Alone by Joseph Jarman and Anthony Braxton from ’73! Chicago’s AACM related albums are a big focus here, and other essential Delmark albums included are (Kalaparusha) Maurice McIntyre’s Humility in the Light of Creator from ’69 and (Muhal) Richard Abrams’ Levels and Degrees of Light from ’68 and Muhal’s Young at Heart/Wise in Time from ’74. Spiritual Black Power Jazz at its best!
4) LIGHT: ON THE SOUTH SIDE – This is a stunning and entertaining inside glimpse of 70’s Chicago South Side funky blues taverns and their fans and musicians from our friends and neighbors at Chicago’s NUMERO Group record label. The book collects over 100 images by Michael Abramson and the highlight is a killer companion 2 LP set of rare 45’s of both obscure and well known Chicago blues and soul artists during the real deal “vintage” ghetto funk blues prime period of the mid 70’s. Delmark artists Syl Johnson and Detroit Junior are featured, along with Bobby Rush, Little Mack Simmons and a recording from Jimmy Dawkins’ LERIC Records. (Look for a future Delmark release of Dawkins’ LERIC records compilation!!) Also included is a great track from former Chicago soul blues man James Kinds. “The Kind Man”, who has been based in Dubuque, Iowa for decades, recently recorded at Delmark’s Riverside Studio and still has his amazing, high-pitched vocals in prime form. I also have to mention Arlean Brown’s cult classic “I’m A Streaker Baby!” Did you ever hear about the time Koester and Earwig’s Michael Frank streaked through the blues club Elsewhere back when that fad was hot??!! Man, I wish today’s blues bands could play like funk the way it was meant to be played, down and dirty - “Take your time, son!’
Delmark’s Riverside Studio Activity - 2010 Delmark blues releases!
Besides the just mentioned James Kinds session (with members of Chicago Rhythm and Blues Kings) at Riverside,
Chicago’s Delmark Records is excited and proud to present the Delmark debut recording of one Chicago’s long time favorite blues bands, Dave Weld and the Imperial Flames! This is a killer veteran all-star, real deal Chicago blues band at its house rockin’ best, led by the Hound Dog Taylor and J. B. Hutto influenced guitarist/vocalist Dave Weld. Weld’s band is one of the hardest working, longest running and most talented and cohesive Chicago blues bands around. The Imperial Flames feature the one and only Abb Locke on saxophone, the soul and blues legend, Bernard Reed on bass, and the vastly underrated Jeff Taylor on drums and vocals. These guys have recorded and played with so many heavies, including Magic Sam, Otis Rush, Howlin’ Wolf, Elmore James, Earl Hooker, The Rolling Stones, and many, many more. There will also be a very special guest second guitarist on the soon to be released Delmark CD. This long time good friend and former band mate of Dave Weld’s name is Ed, smiles endlessly, and is Lil’!
One of our favorite Chicago blues bands, Mississippi Heat, also just finished recording at Delmark’s Riverside for another anticipated future Delmark CD. More fantastic original songs from leader/harp man Pierre LaCocque and vocalists Inetta Visor and Rhonda Preston, along with special guests legends Carl Weathersby and John Primer on guitar and vocals!
Also be on the lookout for a compilation of west side guitar legend Jimmy Dawkins' LERIC record label 45 recordings from the '80's with Queen Sylvia, Tail Dragger, Little Johnny Christian, Nora Jean, Sister Margo!!
I believe an unreleased rare studio session from the late blues legend, Arthur Big Boy Crudup will see the light of day in 2010!
Jazz cornetist supreme Josh Berman and his recording debut as a leader, OLD IDEA (on LP and CD) continues to earn well-deserved rave reviews. PLAYBOY magazine just listed Josh’s debut as the top 5 of the year – yeah, I read the articles! Both DOWNBEAT and the UK’s JAZZWISE just reviewed the LP and gave it 4 stars. More vinyl from Delmark, please!
Berman along with his cohorts in the Fast Citizens, young reedists Keefe Jackson and Aram Shelton will celebrate their new Delmark release, Two Cities (referring to the Bay Area where Shelton lives and his musical collaborating home of Chicago) on Sunday, December 20th at one of Chicago’s coolest bars, The Hungry Brain. Peter Margasak wrote recently about Shelton in DOWNBEAT, “Bay Area’s Chicago Ambassador.”
The greatest jazz flutist in the world, Nicole Mitchell, is as busy as ever, as she just finished a well-received European tour with her Indigo Trio in France, Italy, and Poland, Did you see the feature article on Nicole in JAZZIZ from Neil Tesser? Did you also see Michael Jackson’s feature article in DOWNBEAT on 80 year young saxophone legend Fred Anderson? “Inspirational Motivation.” The Velvet Lounge owner continues to amaze us with his youthful energy and inspiring playing and his Velvet booking the best in creative jazz the city has to offer. Thank you, Mr. Anderson, and congrats on your new Delmark DVD and CD with saxophonist, Kidd Jordan, 21st Century Chase. Look for a special New Year’s Eve show with Fred Anderson and Nicole Mitchell at the Velvet Lounge (naturally!)
Our favorite jazz organ trio, The Deep Blue Organ Trio is currently on tour opening for FM radio rock favorites, Steely Dan! Was that Fagan and Becker shopping at JRM?
Zora Young and Eddie C. Campbell are both touring in France in support of their superb new Delmark recordings. Zora has many musical friends and collaborators in her 2nd home of France as displayed by her outstanding new Delmark recording, The French Connection, with French bluesman Bobby Dirninger and friends. Eddie C’s highly successful return to the studio, Tear This World Up, should be on every one’s best release of the year list. He stayed on top of Bill Wax’s national XM Bluesville radio charts for weeks!
The one and only Tail Dragger delighted his South American fans in Argentina on a recent tour; they have never seen anything like this real deal Chicago blues entertainer. A much-anticipated Dragger follow up Delmark DVD and CD has just been released. Live at Rooster’s Palace features the return to recording of underground guitar hero Rockin’ Johnny and his long time harmonica player with the best tone around, Martin Lang. Our friend with the unmistakable guitar sound, Jimmy Dawkins, guests on a cut, and I highly recommend you listen to the commentary tracks on the DVD for hilarious life stories from Dragger and his band and blues buddies. Rockin’ Johnny and Tail Dragger just tore it up in Madison, Wisconsin at the Frequency during their weekly Chicago Blues series. Dragger and Johnny also thankfully continue to play in some of the last of the west side ghetto clubs. A recent Birthday Party blues gig at Carolyn’s for veteran blues vocalist Mary Lane included the Rockin’ Johnny Band with many special guests, including Mud Morganfield, Milton Houston, and Tre’ (L.V. Banks’ son!)
Quintus McCormick’s Delmark debut, Hey Jodie!, is starting to making waves in the blues community. He is nominated for Blues Entertainer of the year and best blues album of the year in the 29th Annual Chicago Music Awards. Delmark Records is greatly honored for being nominated for record label of the year! Speaking of awards, Bob Koester won the 2008 Historical/Reissue Producer of the year in the August ’09 issue of LIVING BLUES.
The always tasteful blues/jazz guitarist, Dave Specter, is presenting a new series at his club in Evanston, S.P.A.C.E.- “Dave Specter’s Adventures in Guitar.” You have to check out the great review from Mark Baier in Linda Cain’s Chicago Blues Guide (http://www.chicagobluesguide.com/) of Specter’s first show with special guest, blues guitarist extraordinaire, Billy Flynn (who is on many Delmark classics.) Coming next in January is Specter with Delmark jazz recording artist and Tortoise guitarist, Jeff Parker!
Have a safe and healthy holiday season, and go out and support live music!
- Kevin Johnson, Delmark promotions
Diggin’ Deeper – Real Deal Chicago Blues you need to experience!
THE RETURN OF ROCKIN' JOHNNY!!! He’s back to re-claim his title as the “Modern King of the West Side Chicago Blues Guitar!”
Rockin' Johnny is featured on Delmark's new CD and DVD from the one and only Tail Dragger- Live at Rooster's Palace (DVD 1803/ CD 803)
We’re excited to report that one of our all-time favorite Chicago blues guitarists, Rockin’ Johnny Burgin is back on the scene after a very long and somewhat mysterious disappearance, and sounding better than ever. Johnny abruptly left the blues world to start a family, completely cutting off his ties to his blues family. It’s hard to believe that after seeing him play so well during this year’s triumphant comeback gigs that he hadn’t touched a guitar in almost a decade! It hasn’t been an easy road, but he’s thankfully now back pouring out his true to life blues for his eager fans who have been waiting, wondering, and missing this one of a kind talent.
Back in the ‘90’s, a young blues band then called Rockin’ Johnny and the La-Z-Boys created quite a stir on the Chicago Blues scene. Johnny Burgin (born in ’69, raised in Mississippi and S. Carolina,) along with his University of Chicago buddy Martin Lang on gigantic-toned harp, Sho Komiya from Japan on standup and electric bass, first Kelly Littleton (when Lil’ Ed was on hiatus) and then Kenny Smith (Willie Big Eyes’ son) on drums, and Rick Kreher (Muddy Waters’ last guitarist) on rhythm guitar developed a rabid and devoted following that centered around their weekly special guest filled Blue Monday gigs at the Smoke Daddy BBQ in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. This was not your typical North Side Chicago blues band plowing through rocked up blues for the tourists – what a refreshing and much needed addition to the scene to have a young band playing traditional ‘50’s/’60’s styled Chicago blues the way it is meant to be played – with soul, sensitivity, strength, originality & feeling! Oh yeah, and there were actually beautiful young Chicago women dancing to blues!! With the band’s encyclopedic knowledge, impeccable taste, and true feeling of postwar Chicago Blues, they are devastatingly good in a live setting. Burgin's singing is also damn good and really complements both his sensitive and powerful guitar playing. This guy plays killer originals and many classics that he makes his own (both obscure and popular) and can quote from so many guitarist's guitarists, like Luther Tucker, Eddie Taylor, Jimmy Dawkins, Fenton Robinson, Willie James Lyons, Bobby King, Hip Linkchain, Hubert Sumlin, & Magic Sam. He’s an absolute master at early ‘60’s electric blues instrumentals, ala Earl Hooker, Albert Collins, and Jody Williams, and also beautifully plays tasty jazzy, swingin’ blues ala Django Reinhardt, Lonnie Johnson, and Barney Kessel. His vaired sets also include tastes of rockabilly, dirty surf guitar, and vintage funk blues a la Johnny Guitar Watson and Bobby Rush.
Although the band centers around Rockin’ Johnny and his guitar and vocals, one aspect that set this band apart from so many others was how well they all played together as an ensemble, knowing when to play and not to play, and improvising often, never playing the same set list nor the songs the same way. They truly nailed down the power and finesse and swing of post war Chicago bands like The ACES (The much missed Myers brothers, Louis and Dave and drummer Fred Below.) In fact, the late bass legend, Dave Myers, went to go see the band so often that he was made an honorary member, and was always seen smiling and talking about how he loved the way these boys played. Special mention must go out to the best harmonica player you’re never heard of, the tremendously talented Martin Lang, with his monstrous tone and swing, heavily influenced by Little Walter Jacobs. These guys had done their homework and have collaborated with and learned from a who’s who of the elder statesmen of Chicago blues, such as the much missed blues royalty who have since passed away- The Myers bros, Big Smokey Smothers, Little Arthur Duncan, Jimmie Lee Robinson, Johnny Dollar, Jumpin’ Willie Cobbs, Golden “Big” Wheeler, Barkin’ Bill, Eddie Burks, John Brim, Prez Kenneth, Robert Plunkett, Big Mojo Elem, Yank Rachell and living legends such as Tail Dragger, Jimmy Burns, Sam Lay, Eddie C. Campbell, L.V. Banks, Johnny B. Moore, Lurrie Bell, Eddie Shaw, Billy Flynn, Billy Boy Arnold, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Mary Lane, Jimmy Dawkins, Pinetop Perkins, Little Smokey Smothers, Milton Houston, and many more.
Rockin’ Johnny first recorded as a sideman for Delmark in ‘92/’93 with the traditional Ice Cream Men backing up the down home vocalist/harp man Golden “Big” Wheeler (guitarist James Wheeler’s older bro) on Bone Orchard and the influential guitarist/bassist Jimmie Lee Robinson on his classic Lonely Traveller CD. The blues world really took notice when Rockin’ Johnny expertly backed up Jimmy Burns (Leaving Here Walking, ’96), Tail Dragger (American People in ‘99), Little Arthur Duncan (Singin With the Sun in ‘99), and Shirley Johnson (Killer Diller in ’02), all very well received Delmark albums, The band also backed up West Coast harp monster Paul deLay on deLay Does Chicago in ’99 on Evidence, with special guests Jimmy Dawkins and Zora Young. The Rockin’ Johnny Band’s own recordings are the special guest filled Straight Out of Chicago in ’98, Man’s Temptation in ’99, and a live one from ’00, More Real Folk Blues.
Rockin’ Johnny is thankfully now back busy with his own band again playing many well known clubs such as Buddy Guy’s Legends and B.L.U.E.S, and also backing up his long time friends and mentors, such as vocalists Mary Lane and Tail Dragger at some of the last of the funky West Side black neighborhood taverns. One of these taverns, Rooster’s Palace, is featured in a just released Delmark recording from the one and only Howlin’ Wolf protégé’ Tail Dragger. This very exciting DVD and CD, Live at Rooster’s Lounge, features Rockin’ Johnny and Martin Lang, along with special guest, the legendary Jimmy Dawkins on menacing toned guitar,
Check out the new issue (#149) of the outstanding Dutch Blues Magazine, BLOCK (since 1975!), on an excellent detailed feature article on Rockin' Johnny. Great pics even if you can't read Dutch. Thanks, Rien!
Kevin Johnson – “less is more” blues fanatic
Delmark Records, director of promotions
Blues and Jazz since 1953!!
"If Chuck Berry was the ROCK, and Fats Domino was the ROLL, what the @#$% was Bo Diddley?!"
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Delmark Records Update
Some great news from Chicago's legendary Delmark Records