I am a big fan of Chick Willis. Chick has been out there paying his dues for a long, long, long, time, and he still knows how to do it. Chick is currently on Benevolent Blues Records. To buy his latest CD go HERE
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Saturday, November 20, 2010
RIP Stanley "Sarge" Davis, birthday unknown to 11/12/10. Stanley "Sarge" Davis is best known as the proprietor of Lee's Unleaded Blues, a blues club located in the South Side of Chicago, that was the former location of Queen Bee's Blues Lounge. Stanley fell to cardiac arrest Friday, November 12. We send our condolences to his family and many friends. He will remembered him fondly for his kind, gregarious personality and for his great service to the blues. For information on Stanley, his life, his club, and funeral services, click here
November 18, 2010
- Dave Riley & Bob Corritore to perform in Brazil! This weekend Dave Riley and Bob Corritore bring their down-home Mississippi and Chicago blues sounds to Brazil! Special Thanks to Adrian Flores, who set up the shows, and is the leader of the host band that will accompany Dave and Bob. Bob will appear at the following venues:
11-20 Pocos & Blues, Train Station, Pocos De Caldas, Brazil, 8pm show.
11-21 Santander Cultural, Santander Hall, Porto Allegre, Brazil, 6pm show.
To see the poster for the Pocos & Blues show click here.
Dave will remain an extra week and perform at a few more locations, but Bob will head home after these shows for his performances the following weekend at the Rhythm Room on November 26th, and at the Tempe Center For The Arts on November 27th, for a special show titled "Bob Corritore & His Blues Friends" that includes Bobby Jones, Leon Blue, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey (for ticket info for the TCA click here) . Dave and Bob have never performed in South America before and look forward to the beauty of Brazil, and playing for a completely new audience.
- 2011 KBA recipients announced! Each year the Blues Foundation recognizes
outstanding contributions in the blues music industry with the "Keeping The Blues
Alive" or KBA awards. The 2011 KBA recipients have recently been announced:Agent: Intrepid Artists, Charlotte, North Carolina Blues Club: Chan’s Fine Oriental Dining, Woonsocket, Rhode Island Blues Organization: Billtown Blues Society, Williamsport, Pennsylvania Education: Gary Allegretto, Los Angeles, California Festival (International): Notodden Blues Festival, Notodden, Norway Festival (U.S.): Tampa Bay Blues Festival, St. Petersburg, Florida Film, Television, and Video: Mako Funasaka, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Historical Preservation: Canada South Museum, Windsor, Ontario, Canada International: Paul Jones, London, England Internet: Mary4Music.com, Baltimore, Maryland Journalism: Tim Parsons, South Lake Tahoe, California Literature: Mary Lou Sullivan, Coventry, Connecticut Manager: Paul Nelson, Bullseye Management, Stamford, Connecticut Photography: Bill Steber, Murfreesboro, Tennessee Print Media: Twoj Blues, Chorzow, Poland Producer: Michael Freeman, Barrington, Illinois Promoter: Didier Tricard, Montferrier sur Lez, France Publicist: Debra Regur, Blind Pig Records, San Francisco, California Radio (Commercial): Mark Pasman, WCSX-FM, Detroit, Michigan Radio (Public): Tom Wendt, KBOO-FM, Portland, Oregon Record Label: Electro-Fi Records, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
The presentation of these awards will happen in a recognition brunch ceremony on Saturday, February 5, 2011 in Memphis Tennessee. This will be part of a week of blues events associated with the International Blues Competition. For detailed information about the awards and its recipients, and to check out The Blues Foundation's most informative website, click here. Congratulations to all the 2011 KBA recipients!
- Three new blues bios forthcoming! This news from our friend, Alan Balfour who reports of three forthcoming biographies highlighting the lives of Big Bill Broonzy,Son House, and Mississippi John Hurt, to be released in the spring and summer of 2011! For information on I Feel So Good: The Life and Times of Big Bill Broonzy by Bob Riesman, click here, for information on Preachin' The Blues: The Life and Times of Son House by Daniel Beaumont, click here.
and for information on Mississippi John Hurt: His Life, His Times, His Blues by Dr. Phil Ratcliffe click here.
- Larry Taylor's new blues book! We recently became aware of a new book called Stepson of the Blues: A Chicago Song of Survival by Larry Hill Taylor. Larry is the stepson of Eddie Taylor, one of the greatest of Chicago bluesmen, and Larry's book tells his story of growing up in this household on the West Side of Chicago. Larry is also a fine blues drummer and vocalist. This book is a tell-all, and includes gritty images from Larry's very unique perspective. Please note that this is a different Larry Taylor than the well-known West Coast blues bass player. For more information on this book, click here.
- Chicago Blues: A Living History to release follow-up CD! In 2009 Raisin Music records released a concept CD that won the hearts of many a blues fan. It was called Chicago Blues: A Living History, and it presented a program that exemplified the development of Chicago Blues, featuring many of the Windy City's top blues performers; Billy Boy Arnold, John Primer, Billy Branch, Lurrie Bell, Carlos Johnson, Matthew Skoller, Billy Flynn, Johnny Iguanna, Felton Crews, and Kenny "Beedy Eyes" Smith. This CD earned Grammy, and Blues Music Award nominations, and won a Blues Blast Music Award. This group toured and made numerous high profile appearances to great fanfare. Matthew Skoller and Billy Branch report that a 2nd installment of this concept album is in the works with all of the same musicians from the first CD plus special guests Buddy Guy, James Cotton, Zora Young, Magic Slim, Ronnie Baker Brooks, and Billy Dickens. It will be released by Raisin Music in April of 2011, and will be aptly titled Chicago Blues: A Living History, The (R)Evolution Continues. For more information on Raisin Music and to check out their website click here. Congratulations to all involved in this wonderful project!
- Delmark records announces a collector's edition CD release of the classic Magic Sam / West Side Soul album! This news just in from Kevin Johnson of Delmark records; Magic Sam / West Side Soul will be re-released on January 11, 2011, in a beautifully repackaged digipak case complete with previously unissued photos and 1960s pluggers (promoting west side gigs) from the private collection of Bill Lindemann. The source material for the CD is the original 1967 analog stereo mix by Stu Black who recorded many of Delmark's classic 1960s blues and jazz recordings. These classic sessions feature Magic Sam with a great band that includes Mighty Joe Young, guitar; Stockholm Slim, piano; Earnest Johnson or Mac Thompson, bass; Odie Payne Jr. or Odie Payne III, drums. Also coming out in tandem with this release will be a West Side Soul t-shirt. For more information on Delmark records and their amazing catalog of Jazz & Blues, click here.
- New Photo Page of the 2010 Blues Music Awards! Please enjoy our new photo page of last May's 2010 Blues Music Awards. Included are images of Louisiana Red, Bobby Bland, Lonnie Brooks, Bonnie Raitt, Chris James, Bruce Iglauer, Hubert Sumlin, Little Victor, Otis Taylor, John Primer, Charlie Musselwhite, Billy Branch, Marquise Knox, Super Chikan, Billy Boy Arnold, Sonny Payne, Johnnie Bassett, Janiva Magness, Latimore, and many more! The 2011 Blues Music Awards take place in Memphis on Thursday May 5th. (for more information on the BMAs and the Blues Foundation click here). To see our new photo page of the 2010 Blues Music Awards, click here.
- Chicago Blues Guide covers the Blues Blast Music Awards! The 3rd annual Blues Blast Music Awards happened on October 28th at Buddy Guy's Legends in Chicago. Linda Cain has written a wonderful reflection of this great event (including some nice photos) that has appeared on the Chicago Blues Guide website. Click here to see! Thanks to Bob Kieser of Blues Blast Magazine for once again throwing this spectular and well run event!.
- John Lee Hooker 1960 Newport performances on YouTube! Please enjoy these wonderful performances by John Lee Hooker from the 1960 Newport Folk Festival of 1960s. John Lee Hooker is provided perfect accompaniment by the Muddy Waters Blues Band with Otis Spann and James Cotton. To see John Lee Hooker performing "It's My Own Fault" and "I Wish You Were Here", click here. And for a great version of the song "Maudie", click here.
John 'blueshammer' Hammer
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Latest news, photos, reviews, links & MUCH MORE in this issue! Scroll or Page Down!
Hey Blues Fans,
Our Fall Advertising Special ends this Saturday. If you book the space NOW you can advertise in SIX ISSUES of Blues Blast Magazine and have an ad on our website for SIX WEEKS for only $180! But you must reserve your space by this Saturday to get this lowest rate of the year. For more information see our ad below in this issue!
More photos from the King Biscuit Blues Festival fun are now on our website! To see all the Day 2 photos, CLICK HERE
We PROMISE the rest will be posted by next week. Here is a peek at some of the great fun shots from day two of this great Blues Festival. Below are Bnois King, Bob Margolin, Cleome Bove and Dr. John.
In This Issue
Blues photographer Marilyn Stringer sends Part 1 of her photo coverage of all the fun from the recent West Coast Blues Cruise.
We have five Blues music reviews this week! Ian McKenzie reviews a new CD from Joanne Shaw Taylor. Steve Jones reviews a new CD by Travis "Moonchild" Haddix and also a "new" DVD of an old live concert by Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughn. Mark Thompson reviews a new CD by Jim Kinds. John Mitchell reviews a new CD by Chris Antonik. All this and MORE! SCROLL DOWN!!!
Featured Blues Review 1 of 5
Joanne Shaw Taylor - Diamonds In The Dirt
10 Tracks: 45min 21 secs
In preparing to write this review, I must have listened to this album for the 20th time. It just keeps getting better and better. Each time I listen there is some new subtlety that worms its way into my consciousness. It is unusual to do this at the start of a review, but there is only one word to use for this one magnifique!
Second (or follow-up) CDs are often said to be a problem, artists too often deviating from a path apparently mapped out in the first set, to become self-indulgent, self-absorbed and self-satisfied. Not a trace of any of that stuff here.
Joanne grew up in the industrial area of the UK sometimes called the Black Country, not for any racial reasons but because coal mining, coke making, iron foundries and steel mills had, by the beginning of the 20th Century made it an area of pollution rarely equalled at that time, anywhere in the world. Strangely, although in the absence of coal, a similar urban/industrialisation is to be seen in Detroit city, which recently seems to have become JST’s spiritual home and refers, on her Facebook page, and with some pride, to the Detroit Red Wings as ‘her’ NHL team. That, in the time since her first album for Ruf (White Sugar) she has found a niche in the USA, is apparent from close listening to this CD. As always she has a plethora of super licks to deliver on her Tele, but it is in the singing that the biggest changes had occurred.
Joanne was recently awarded the accolade of Female Singer of the Year in the 2010 British Blues Awards and that was before this CD came out. Her singing on this album is simply magnificent. No false emotion or anachronistic growling and screaming, just controlled vocals in a rich alto voice that has echoes of Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Mavis Staples. All that time touring in the USA, listening to US music (and the singing lessons she has referred to on Facebook) has paid off.
The axe work is accomplished and all the songs were written by Joanne. The lyrics are filled with poetry and passion. Outstanding tracks include the jaw dropping opener
‘Can’t Keep Living Like This’ and the title track ‘Diamonds In The Dirt’; a loping broken-heart lyric delivered like a gospel song. Check out too ‘Lord Have Mercy’; powerful vocals with a guitar part Billy Gibbons would be proud of.
There is more than a bit of traditional gospel styling in Joanne’s delivery now. Could she be persuaded to do some traditional gospel on her next CD? However, in the meantime, this one is so good it’s already charting and must stand her in good stead for more awards.
Reviewer Ian McKenzie lives in England. He is the editor of Blues In The South (www.bluesinthesouth.com) a monthly flier providing news, reviews, a gig guide and all kinds of other good stuff, for people living and going to gigs along the south coast of England. Ian is also a blues performer (see www.myspace.com/ianmckenzieuk) and has a web cast regular blues radio show on www.phonic.FM in Exeter (Wednesdays: 1pm Eastern/ 12 noon Central).
Special pricing extended to November 20, 2010
This is our lowest pricing of the year for an affordable & effective way to get the Blues word out! This 6 week combo rate of only $180 allows you to add significant impact to any Blues ad campaign. It is a great way to kick up the visibility of you new CD release or Blues event! It is also a good way to advertise for 2011 festival bookings. Reserve your space now.
Blues Blast Magazine is a great way to promote the Blues. More than 17,000 Blues fans read our magazine each week. They are located in all 50 states and in more than 80 countries. We also get more than 1,000,000 (That's ONE MILLION) hits and more than 25,000 visitors a month on our website. (Normal 2010 Advertising rates are $45 a week for Blues Blast Magazine ads and $70 per month for website ads.)
ONLY $180 For a limited time! You can advertise your Blues event or CD in six issues of Blues Blast Magazine and on our website for six weeks for less than the cost of a small ad in your local newspaper. To get the special rate of $180 simply reserve your ad space by November 20th, 2010. Ads can be booked to run anytime between now and June 30, 2011.
So for only $180 your ad can be viewed more than 135,000 times by Blues fans who want to know about Blues events and music! Reserve your space today! Space is limited and will be sold on a first come first served basis. Ads must be reserved before November 20th, 2010. To get more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 309 267-4425 today!
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Colorado Blues Society - Boulder, CO
Sunday November 28th The Colorado Blues Society and Boulder Outlook are presenting Otis Taylor’s Trans Blues Certified Jam Work Shop. Join Otis for a rare opportunity to learn his unique perspective on music. Otis has played with a virtual who’s who of Blues stars over the years and has won numerous Blues Foundation awards. The workshop runs from 1PM to 5PM with a Live one hour jam with Otis and the Students at 6PM. Followed by an open Blues Jam hosted by Lionel Young.
The workshop is open to all ages and all levels. It’s for musicians, singers, writers and educators, even poets. All instruments welcome, acoustic and electric (bring your amp if electric). The cost is $40 per student. To reserve your spot call the Boulder Outlook at 303-443-3322. 800 28th Street, Boulder, CO. There is no specific level or age, kids are particularly welcome, as are teachers. The Colorado Blues Society will be providing four scholarships for hardship cases. www.coblues.com
Also The Colorado Blues Society is holding their 1st Annual Holiday Party & Benefit Headlining the show will be 2009 IBC winners, JP Soars and the Red Hots. Opening the event will be young guitar wizard Taylor Marvin, the Colorado Blues Society two-time Youth Showcase performer at the IBCs in 2010 and 2011.
Show starts at 6PM. Tickets are $10 and on sale at the Boulder Outlook. In addition to seeing a great show this is for a great cause. We are collecting for the Emergency Family Assistance Association ( E.F.A.A), so please bring your donations to help. EFAA can use canned goods (chili, tuna and peanut butter are hot items, but all are welcome) and also these families can use toiletries like—shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, and lotion. Tis the season for giving so bring as many items as you like! Plus, all money, after expenses will go to E.F.A.A
The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society - Champaign-Urbana,IL
The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society presents Kick Out The Blues Fall Festival, Sunday November 21st from 1-5pm at Memphis On Main, 55 East Main, Champaign Illinois. Scheduled to appear are The Kilborn Alley Blues Band, 2010 Blues Blast Award Winners for Song of the Year along with The Sugar Prophets, 2010 Illinois Central Blues Club IBC Challenge Winner and The Painkillers, a local favorite. Music starts at 1:15 pm. There is a suggested $5 donation.
Kick Out The Blues Fall Festival is a fundraiser for the newly formed Prairie Crossroads Blues Society based in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. This event will include raffles, drawings, and giveaways, as well as a potluck. There will also be Prairie Crossroads Blues Society T-Shirt sales and new membership registration available. For more information about The Prairie Crossroads Blues Society or Kick Out The Blues Fall Festival please visit us at www.prairiecrossroadsblues.org or on Facebook.
Illinois Central Blues Club - Springfield, IL
BLUE MONDAY SHOWS - Held at the Alamo 115 N 5th St, Springfield, IL (217) 523-1455 every Monday 8:30pm $3 cover. Nov 22 - Russell Miller and the Esquires of Hell Fire, Nov 29 - Scotty Daniels Blues Band, December 6 - The Mojocats, Studebaker John & the Hawks, Dec 20 - Brooke Thomas and The Blue Suns, Dec 27 - The Sally Weisenburg Blues Trio.
The Friends Of The Blues - Watseka, IL
2010 Friends of the Blues shows - Tuesday, December 14, Shawn Pittman (Texas Blues trio), 7 p.m., Kankakee Valley Boat Club, 1600 Cobb Boulevard, Kankakee IL 60901. (815) 936-1699.
|2007 Blewzzy Award Best CD Winner & Blues Blast Magazine Best Song Nominee Release Second CD|
|Steve Gerard & The National Debonaires |
Words Are Like Bullets
|Order at www.blueedgerecords.com plus CD Baby and iTunes|
Featured Blues Review 2 of 5
Travis “Moonchild” Haddix - A Dozen Times
About 30 miles north of San Diego (perhaps an hour south of Long Beach, CA) is the home of CDS Records and the Benevolent Blues label. Home blues artists like “Moonchild” Haddix, Nellie “Tiger” Travis and Chick Willis (and also home to soul men like Floyd Taylor and Jim Bennett), they offer up some powerful music.
Haddix is a wicked guitar player and great blues singer who is also a member of the Cleveland Blues Hall of Fame. Born in Walnut, Mississippi on November 26, 1938 and having spent his formative years in Milwaukee, he moved to Cleveland in 1959 after a stint in the Army. He has a plentiful discography going back the 1960’s and is veteran soul blues man. He is backed up here by Ed Lemmers on bass, Brian Hager on rhythm guitar, Gil Zachery on piano, Jeremy Sullivan on drums, Jeff Hager on trumper, David Ruffin on tenor sax, Norm Tischler on alto sax, and TJ Fortunato on baritone sax. The horn section has a beautiful and greasy west coast blues sound to it, offering up some very good solos. Records live in Cleveland (except for the final two tracks), Haddix and the band put on a driving and exciting show. All songs are originals and were penned by Haddix.
He begins he set with the biographical “They Call Me Moonchild”, a grooving and upbeat soul blues tune. He then breaks into some deep and slow blues on “First Thing Tuesday Morning”. It opens with a down home electric guitar solo that shows us the other side of Haddix’s style and he follows that track with five more hot original blues tunes including one of his “anthems” “If I’m One, You’re One Too”.
In “Winners Never Quit” he goes back to his soul side with a nice slow number. The next track is all blues called “Down Home Blues”. He finishes out the live part of the CD and the two studio numbers with a nice blend of blues and funk that features the horn section in full force.
Haddix can deliver some dirty, down home vocals that evoke his time growing up 30 miles south of Memphis. But his vocals can also be soulful, introspective and equally convincing. His guitar work is greasy and he wastes no notes; his phrasing and picking on the guitar is not overstated and offers the listener some mean licks to savor. The CD is a mostly live and completely great offering that lovers of traditional and west Coast blues will savor. Mixing “Moonchild” with a big and bad horn section gives the listener a huge pot of music to gobble up and enjoy. I recommend this one highly!
Featured Live Blues Review
2010 Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise –The Bands – Part 1
Once again, the LRBC sailed from San Diego, on Oct 17, heading to exotic Mexican ports: Cabo, Mazatlan, and Puerto Vallarta, returning a week later, happy cruisers being pried off the boat. Unlike that ill-fated Carnival Splendor, that followed us everywhere and was treated to a Coco Montoya set as we left them in Mazatlan, we had a marvelous time. The lineups and jams were as good as they get and the weather cooperated for the entire cruise.
The Blues Cruise started with the pre-party, held at the host hotel, and organized by the San Diego Blues Society. This year’s entertainment was spectacular – Earl Thomas and the Blues Ambassadors, featuring Robert Sidwell on lead guitar. His show was preceded by and later joined by Missy Andersen. Earl was looking forward to bringing all these singers together as he has known them for so many years. I heard there was an additional jam afterwards, but I missed it, opting for some sleep.
Normally I would tell a chronological tale, but with the Blues Cruise, there is too much to cover for the entire week so I am going to cover (alphabetically) half the bands this week, and the second half of the bands, special jams and events, next week. Every band plays at least three different scheduled times on the cruise but can also be found at the nightly jams at the pool deck stage or wandering around the ship, joining other bands during their sets, or at the piano bar jams.
West Coast favorite, Coco Montoya, brought his band (Brant Leeper-keys, Nathan Brown-bass, Randy Hayes-drums) and was joined every set by additional guests. The best set was on the pool deck when he called up Jimmy Thackery, who was a “floater” musician, and then Mike Morgan, who has his own band in Texas (www.mikemorganandthecrawl.com). The three of them lit the deck on fire.
Brought back by popular demand was San Diego’s own Café R&B, whose style is soul, blues, and some Broadway showmanship. Roach, the dynamic lead singer puts on a show with her singing and gyrations around the stage. They are total crowd pleasing fun! The band includes: Byl Carruthers-guitar, Bobby Pickett-bass, Don Swanson-drums, and Stevie Utstein-B3.
The variety of blues music always provides satisfaction for everyone’s taste in music. 95 years young, and one of the last original acoustic Delta Blues players, legendary David “Honeyboy” Edwards, accompanied by Michael Frank on harmonica, was a treat. He was joined by Billy Flynn (guitar) and Cedric Burnside (drums-not pictured) on this particular set. I think the opportunity to play with Honeyboy was a big thrill for the musicians as well as the cruisers.
This particular cruise had some (future CD) recording going on. One of my favorite “revues” on this ship was Elvin Bishop’s Raisin’ Hell Revue. He packed every set with a combination of talent that won’t be seen often. Elvin’s band consists of Ed Earley-trombone, Bob Welsh-guitar, Ruth Davies-bass, Steve Willis-kb & accordion, and Bobby Cochran-drums.
The Raisin’ Hell additions to the band included Finis Tasby-smooth vocals (also from Mannish Boys), John Nemeth-harmonica and vocals, Terry Hanck-sax and vocals, Kid Andersen-off the charts guitar, and Lisa Andersen-smokin’ soulful vocals. When this entire set finally converged and performed together – there was really no other place on the ship to be! Max thumbs up from me!
Another acoustic, soul stirring, performer was Eric Bibb, with Grant Dermody on harmonica. To quote Eden Brent (as closely as possible without her expressive eyes and arms), who joined me cross-legged on the floor, both of us mesmerized by Eric, “He has a direct link to God”. She may be right! In this photo Lightnin’ Malcolm provided some back up drums.
Another great traditional Chicago bluesman was Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater. I never did catch him with his headdress on (the wind took care of that at the pool deck stage) but I did enjoy his flamboyant, rocking blues sets. His band included Shoji Naito-bass and Thomas Crivellone-guitar.
The winner of the 2010 IBC is guaranteed to perform on the Blues Cruise. This year’s winner, Grady Champion, was one of the most popular performances with the cruisers. Grady’s raw energy, flirtatious hard-driving juke joint style of harmonica playing and gritzy singing, drew everyone into the obvious fun he was having. Grady loves to interact with the crowd and can barely stay on the stage with his band – he loves the crowd! And they love him. He was joined by Chris Gill-slide guitar (who has his own band), and son Marquis Champion-bass. (Not pictured Nathan Keck-guitar and Xavres Good-drums). I think Grady needs a big stage- he is a big performance!
The gospel blues and soul queen on this cruise was Irma Thomas. (Emile Hall-Sax, Robert Harvey-Bass). She can sooth your soul and raise your spirits – smiles and contentment are the result.
Although we had Johnny Winter on a previous cruise, the addition of his brother, Edgar Winter, was a much anticipated performance. And we were not disappointed. Rock & blues were tight, loud, and proud. Johnny’s band includes Paul Nelson-guitar, Vito Liuzzi-drums, and Scott Spray-bass. (Scott also played with Edgar Winter band many years ago- he really enjoyed playing with the brothers). And one set included a few extra players – Cesar Rosas and David Hidalgo from Los Lobos. Nowhere else, except the LRBC, will you see that happen!
One of the sweethearts of this trip was Kelley Hunt. Her huge, rich, soul & blues vocals and piano playing reminded me why I was so impressed when I saw her the first time in 2007 in NM. With the addition of Shawn Starski’s rock and blues guitar (formerly from Jason Ricci’s band), she kept the cruisers coming back for more. Her band also included Bryan Head-drums, Kenneth Ames-bass, and Mark Jordan-B3. They were also one of my favorites this cruise.
The last band for this issue is Kim Wilson’s Blues Allstars. Kim, who also travels with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, put together the Allstars and provided us with pure blues, including his vocals and harmonica genius. Barrelhouse Chuck added every style of blues and boogie-woogie on the keyboards and lives up to his name. Billy Flynn may appear quiet in the back of the stage but his blues guitar can out rival anyone. Equally (appearance only) quiet but never missing a beat is Larry Taylor on the standup bass and Richard Innes on drums. Rounding out this uniquely pleasing blues band are Mark Earley and Sax Gordon on the horns. (The Allstars, rotating with the Fabulous Thunderbirds, were the “house bands” at the Rhythm Room for Amanda’s Rollercoaster harmonica documentary a few weeks prior and I was happy to see them the LRBC again).
Now, just image all of these guys showing up for the jams that go on all night!! The Blues Cruise is truly a unique blues festival at sea. Next week I will cover the rest of the bands, jam, and special music events. (A full set of photos – soon- from this and other cruises can be found at mjstringerphoto.com)!
Commentary & Photos by Marilyn Stringer
|I Got The Blues... All Because Of You is an eclectic mix of female blues classics and of originals written by G'Jai. This CD will make you reminisce of a time when women reigned supreme in the Blues world.|
|I Got The Blues All Because Of You|
|Available at |
|With some blues classics like "Chirping The Blues", and a link to the present with originals like "Little Lady From Detroit". "You can't look to the future without embracing your past!"|
Featured Blues Review 3 of 5
Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughn - In Session
CD: 11 tracks
DVD: 12 Tracks
Many of you are familiar with the Stax CD made from the December 6, 1983 live session on Canadian television with the legendary Albert King both mentoring and admiring the young Stevie Ray Vaughn. Now released is the actual DVD of the session, packaged with the original CD. The DVD gives us three cuts not previously released: King’s huge hit “Born Under A Bad Sign”, Vaughn’s famed “Texas Flood” and the finale “I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town” which had been made famous by Louis Jordan and then Ray Charles. The CD gives us glimpses of how great an event this was and the relationship of these two men that day, but the DVD affirms and cements the grandeur of it all.
The CD and DVD offer a few different cuts here and there, but what certainly can be seen both visually and by listening is the admiration the legend and the protégé had for each other. The set is rather barren, King to the right, Stevie on his left, with a bass player to the left of the duo and a keyboard player to the right and drummer in a sound room on the far left. There was no audience and the sound crew’s presence was hidden and quite small; this was two greats playing for each other and boy did they ever!
King bent strings like no other man that I’ve seen. Powerful, huge, sausage-like fingers almost tear the strings across the neck of the guitar to produce sweet and eloquent notes. Vaughn gives us his take on the situation as the men trade both solos and verbal repartees back and forth for the entire session. As King plays Stevie sits like a student drinking from the fountain of greatness and when Vaughn plays King smiles and shakes his head in joyful admiration. They had played before in Austin but this day they knew what to expect and what they both could do. The combination of these two greats creates something even bigger and better than their already spectacular individual parts. At one point we can almost feel the passing of the proverbial torch from King to Vaughn as heir apparent of the guitar god. It is truly a royal event.
If you own the CD you must get this new package because the DVD is even better than you could ever expect. Buy this and then give the old CD away to someone else. If you don’t own the CD, then go get this ASAP because you have no idea what you’ve missed all these years! Albert King acting as the storied and learned mentor and yet learning from the young, humble and talented Stevie Ray is a thing to see, as is Vaughn the student, who studies the master’s every move and absorbs knowledge from the amazing and legendary Albert King. Towards the end of the finale, King breaks out a beautiful, huge briar pipe to heighten his enjoyment while Vaughn solos; at the end of the finale King puts down his guitar and stands next to the keyboard with his elbow on the equipment and chin on his hand watching Vaughn finish his solo and the song. The two men show so much respect and admiration for each other and play their asses off- if you just have the faintest of pulses of life left and nothing more, you still will love watching and listening to this! It is an amazing and historical video and album that every blues fan should own!
Blues Want Ads
Featured Blues Review 4 of 5
James Kinds - Love You From the Top
We are all familiar with the well-worn tale of a musician who career spans several decades before they finally achieve some measure of success. Perhaps the best example of the rags-to-riches story is singer Bettye Lavette, whose perseverance took her from obscurity to performing at President Obama’s inauguration festivities.
James Kinds has received some measure of recognition at several points in his career. In the late 70’s, he was considered a rising star on the Chicago blues scene. But the tide of changing musical tastes at that time made it difficult for Kinds to extend his popularity beyond the west side of the city. He later headed for Los Angeles where he did session work for Ike Turner, an arrangement that did not pan out. Another move in 1993 put Kind in Dubuque, Iowa and led to a partnership with the All-Night Riders that lasted for more than a decade. Eventually they recorded three cds on the leader’s Full Clip label. In 2008, the singer was awarded a spot in the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame.
Now the rest of the world gets a chance to experience the artistry of Mr. Kinds. The all-original set list is delivered with a vocal style that conjures up comparisons to Syl Johnson. Kinds grew up singing in the church, training that allows his voice to glide into the upper register of his vocal range. Most of the time Kinds sings with an urgency and taut emotional edge that have long been trademarks of the authentic Chicago west side sound. His guitar work features a bright tone that works well with the jangly lines he lays down.
On the title track, Kinds delivers a stirring vocal that gets a boost from the presence of Eddie Shaw on tenor sax. “Katie” is another fiery performance as Kinds professes his love for a mistreating woman with Shaw wailing away in support. The pace slows down on “Mason Dixon Line Blues” as Kinds narrates the story of his journey from Mississippi to Chicago with searing intensity. Another highlight is the vivid portrayal of his affections for another woman on “Johnny Mae”.
Kinds testifies with gospel-like fervor over potent soul groove on “I Got a Woman”, while his vocal on “Take a Look at Yourself” blurs the distinctions between soul and the church. “Body Slam” is straight-ahead rock & roll with a brief guitar solo from the leader. There are plenty of vocalists that would play up the humorous aspects of “I Didn’t Go Home” but Kinds performance makes it clear that he intimately familiar with this tale of a man getting drunk and driving another woman home. “Crack Headed Woman” suffers from weak lyrics but Kinds hits the mark on “My Mama Told Me”, a slow blues describing his mother’s attempts to protect her son from a woman that may be too hot to handle.
In addition to Shaw, Kinds gets support from Al Pool on guitar, Anthony Dotson on bass and Claude L. Thomas on drums. While the leader is a good guitar player, his solos are brief excursions that serve as a break from his singing. And that is what will excite listeners about this release – the power and heartfelt impact of Kinds vocal work. He couples sincerity with an insistent drive that enlivens each cut. conveying an honest assessment of his world and its troubles. This one is definitely worth a listen.
Reviewer Mark Thompson is president of the Crossroads Blues Society in Rockford. IL
Featured Blues Review 5 of 5
Chris Antonik – Chris Antonik
Self Release 2010
10 tracks, 43.48 minutes.
I have never been to Canada but on the basis of some of the blues music that is produced there, I need to make travel plans as soon as possible! Following Canadian acts I enjoy such as Colin James, David Gogo, JW Jones and Downchild, here comes a new name to add to the list – Chris Antonik (pronounced Ant –onic, not as in Gin & Tonic). Chris is 35 and has played with a number of bands in the Toronto area. Now he is stepping out to front a band and promote this CD which is an impressive debut.
Chris plays guitar and produced the album. Bass and drums are handled throughout by Andrew Taylor and Chris Chiarelli respectively and vocals are mainly by Josh Williams who also plays keyboards. There are a number of additional players, including a horn section on two tracks. Chris wrote or co-wrote 8 of the tracks, with two covers.
With a new artist it is important to establish that they are more than a one trick pony so it is good to note that this CD covers a lot of styles. Opener “More To Give” follows a funky groove with Hammond to the fore and double tracked guitar from Chris. An organ solo launches an impressive guitar solo.
“Roll With It” follows with more of a country blues feel, slide dobro being featured heavily on a song that encourages us to ‘go with the flow’ in life. “The King Of Infidelity” is an impressive song with a classic rock feel to it. Stately piano and plaintive guitar underpin the lyrics which are sad and reflective while the backing vocals (Suzie Vinnick) and organ launch a great solo from Chris that reminds one of classic Allman Brothers.
Horns appear for the first time on track 4 “If We Start From Here”, punctuating the staccato rhythm of a classic shuffle. Crying guitar leads on to a harp solo from guest singer Mark “Bird” Stafford with whom Chris used to play. Track 5 is a moody solo piece for slide dobro entitled “Dhyana” which again adds variety to the album. Apparently this track was recorded in one take in the stairwell of Chris’ apartment, thereby providing natural reverb!
The horns reappear on Jerry Ragavoy’s “She’s A Burglar”, made famous by Freddie King. Chris channels Freddie’s style, with lots of sustain on guitar and the version really seems to take off from its funky underpinnings. “Almost Free” is that rarest of beasts, a blues song featuring flute! Starting with a conversation between Chris’ guitar and Josh Williams’ clavinet, the flute emerges half way through to solo immediately before a lyrical guitar solo from Chris.
Chris sings on just one track, a cover of Otis Rush’s “Double Trouble”. This is a song that has been so often covered that I worry when I see it on the set list but Chris’ version is a good one, with strong guitar and piano from the outset. Chris has a light voice, but it works fine on this track, so perhaps he will be encouraged to take the lead on more songs in the future. “Reap What You Sow” is not another Otis Rush cover but an original by Chris, a slow paced blues with harmonica by vocalist Josh Williams to the fore. Final track “Persevering Kind” is different again, Chris playing acoustic alongside the banjo of Eric Prince and vocals by Henry Lees (both co-authors of the tune with Chris). The harmonies of Eric and Henry, with the acoustic sound, lead to a tune that sounds like Crowded House or a West Coast band like CSN. A rousing chorus and an optimistic lyric provide a very positive finale to the album.
Good variety of mainly original material, smooth production, clear sound and nice guitar work – I enjoyed this album and would recommend it. It is available from I-Tunes, Amazon and from the artist’s website.
Reviewer John Mitchell is a blues enthusiast based in the UK. He recently attended the Blues Blast Awards in Chicago and had a great time! Back in the USA for the January 2011 Blues Cruise!
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