|March, 6 2009
Volume 4 Issue 8
WHERE ARE THE BEST BLUES JAMS?
The Blues Festival E-Guide needs your help as well. We are putting together a list of some of the best Blues Jams around the country or world for that matter. Let us know where the best jam nights are and we will try to include them on our list. Please make sure they have been ongoing at least 1 year and let us know where, when, and what makes that jam night one of the best. Tell us about how it's run, if any special guest show up to play or whatever you think makes your local jam night the best. Send your responses to Gordon@BluesFestivalGuide.com under the heading "Jam Night"
Thanks for you help and I will see you at Jam Night.
Editors Note: I would like to thank all of you who have sent in information on your local jam nights. From the responses that I have been getting, it sounds like jam nights are alive and well in the USA. - Gordon
SETH WALKER : : LEAP OF FAITH
"Seth Walker serves Southern roots guit-pickin' and blues songcraft with ease and grace. Echoing a variety of artists, from Jimmy Reed to Ray Charles, he slips expertly from loose-jointed shuffles to organ-inflected feel-good fare and a whole lot more. An old soul with new fingers, Walker cooks from start to finish." - Westword
"Seth Walker is a splendid mix of roots styles: blues, soul and Americana, featuring deep-fried guitar licks, churchy organ and crisp horns, mostly delivered over spot-on shuffles." - Creative Loafing
Music audiences around the world were first introduced to Seth Walker with the Hyena Records' release of his widely-praised 2007 self-titled long-player. It would hit the top twenty of the Americana and Living Blues charts, while receiving praise from publications like No Depression, Blues Revue, Creative Loafing and Maverick UK Magazine. The Austin-based artist hit the road extensively throughout '08, performing at world-renowned festivals like Flat Rock, Magnolia Fest and Moulin Blues. He headlined shows across the U.S., often playing to sold-out rooms, but he would also join the likes of Johnny Winter, Marcia Ball and Roberty Cray for opening appearances. With all of this contributing to his status as one of blues and roots music's fastest emerging stars, Seth returns in 2009 with Leap Of Faith-unquestionably his greatest record yet. Produced by Grammy Award-winner Gary Nicholson, the twelve-track collection showcases the stunning range of the young songwriter, singer and guitarist. With a rhythm, blues and soul drenched sound that fits comfortably between James Hunter on one side and Keb Mo on the other, be prepared to hear Seth Walker's name mentioned in the same breath as those preeminent artists over the coming year.
For more: CLICK
THE GONSTERMACHERS : : THE CRUSHING GIFT
The who? You read it right - The Gonstermachers. The name is derived from the Yiddish word, Gantseh Macher, which means "Big Shot." This Syracuse-based quartet, founded in 2003, is led by Leo Crandall (cello, guitar, ukulele, and vocals) with Curtis Waterman (harmonica, percussion, block flute and vocals), Hymie Witthoft (drums, tambour, gongs and vocals), both formerly of the Westcott Jug Suckers and Richard Curry (washtub-bass, percussion, vocals).
The use of a variety of instruments, ukulele, cello, gongs, block flute, washtub bass, gives the music a distinctive sound, not to be easily classified. It's blues, roots, Americana, rock, soul, and traditional - "A Steaming Smorgasbord of Music."
The Crushing Gift follows their debut self-titled album released in January 2007. Here's what Leo Crandall has to say about their new opus:
"I think there are interesting similarities and differences between The Crushing Gift and our first album. Like the first CD these songs get under your skin. The more you listen the more you can't shake them. Also like the first CD they are unfettered by convention. The Crushing Gift is both thicker and sparer and its songs tend to be more difficult to categorize. It is both catchy and difficult. It is not afraid to be harshly lit by a single light bulb (And Your Devil Is Comin') nor does it balk from being more thickly textured (Bushmeat). At times it feels rooted in the late 60's (Charlemagne or Baby Get Over It), at times, the late 40's (Effamira's Tango) and at times the 20's (Revelator)."
"The album is a set of reveries that are founded upon everything from the Detroit drug trade to Anglo Saxon poetry, from the spirituality of the physical to the darker side of that same coin. The songs are founded upon old photographs, martial poetry, complex brutalities of relationships, Thomas Mann, Ovid, Shakespeare, and nothing at all."
"Musically there is the typical wide range - from the very traditional to the very new. The common denominator is fire and emotion. It is mature and raw. We think it is our best work - great drums and percussion, killer harp work and cohesive songs. The back cover exemplifies the sensibility: tiny little images and ideas that bear close inspection."
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A NEW BLUES FESTIVAL IN DAYTONA?|
A new Blues Festival in Daytona Florida? Maybe...possibly....hopefully! And if local radio personality Doug Kosorek (pictured right) has anything to say about it....most definitely. |
Blues Festival E-Guide editor Gordon Bulcock (pictured left), and blues guitar phenomena Ben Robinson (pictured center) appeared Tuesday, February 24th on Doug's WAKE UP DAYTONA radio program.
Both were interviewed, and were happy to drive home the point that the Daytona area is uniquely qualified to accommodate a major blues festival.
So festival fans, cross your fingers that soon we'll be annoucing a new festival.
Let's Go Bluesin|
Oct. 17~24, 2009 Pacific Artist Line-Up Finalized!
San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, La Paz & Loreto
on the Holland America ms Veendam
Fewer Than 40 Ocean View Cabins Remain!
Reserve Yours Now! 888-BLUESIN'
(816-753-7979 int'l or cell) or click for Cabin Pricing & Details
Mavis Staples • Kenny Wayne Shepherd
Susan Tedeschi • Elvin Bishop • Buckwheat Zydeco
Phantom Blues Band w/ Special Guest Dave Mason
The Brooks Family Band (Lonnie, Ronnie Baker & Wayne Baker)
Mel Waiters • Rod Piazza & The Mighty Flyers
Tommy Castro • Coco Montoya • Roy Gaines
Michael Burks • Cafe R&B • Shane Dwight
Fiona Boyes • Lionel Young Band • Little Joe McLerran
Piano Bar Hosts:
Kenny "Blues Boss" Wayne • Taryn Donath • Leon Blue
Debbie Davies • Preston Shannon • Jam Host Randy Oxford
PLUS LEGENDARY SURPRISE GUESTS
2009 Eureka Springs Blues Weekend |
Sponsored by the 1905 Basin Park Hotel, the 2009 Eureka Springs Blues Weekend will feature Guitar Shorty, Hubert Sumlin & the Buddy Flett Band and Joe Louis Walker headlining evening shows in THE Auditorium May 28, 29 & 30 respectively. For acoustic guitar lovers, we have Delta Blues legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards headlining a special "Acoustic Afternoon at THE Auditorium" on Saturday, May 30th. Shows will also be held throughout the weekend in the 1905 Basin Park Hotel's Barefoot Ballroom and Ozark Room, Basin Spring Park, and at various venues around Eureka Springs.
This year's Blues Weekend will be a fundraiser for The Blues Foundation's Handy Artist Relief Trust and Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge. The HART fund provides assistance to musicians in need, including acute, chronic & preventive medical & dental care, as well as funeral expenses. For more information, please visit www.Blues.org. Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is located seven miles south of Eureka Springs on Highway 23. It provides lifetime refuge to abandoned, abused, and neglected "Big Cats", with emphasis on tigers, lions, leopards, and cougars. Natural habitats have been built over the past decade to allow the "Lions, Tigers & Bears" to live in more natural surroundings. For more information, please visit www.TurpentineCreek.org.
ESBW Producer Charles "Rags" Ragsdell and his wife Lori have been supporters of both organizations for over a decade. As volunteers, they help produce the Eureka Springs Blues Weekend and several other music events. Rags is also a Charter Member of The Blues Foundation, and a member of Turpentine Creek's Board of Directors.
Other headliners appearing in The Auditorium and the 1905 Basin Park Hotel Barefoot Ballroom include EG Kight, Moreland & Arbuckle, Mary Flower, RJ Mischo, Lee McBee & the Confessors, Deanna Bogart and John Nemeth. Also, International Blues Challenge winner JP Soars & the Red Hots and Ozarks Blues Society Blues Challenge winners Oreo Blue and Kory Montgomery & Isayah Warford will be opening acts.
In addition to the headliner shows and photo exhibition, there will be music in Basin Spring Park and at area clubs and restaurants.
For a complete schedule, more information or to volunteer, please visit http://www.eurekaspringsblues.com/, or call 888-855-7823.
Blues marker notes Ole Miss for its work on behalf of genre |
OXFORD - Finally, Oxford is on the map - the Blues Trail map, that is.
Scores of people attending the University of Mississippi-hosted Blues Today Symposium recently witnessed the unveiling of a bronze marker titled "Documenting The Blues."
The Mississippi Blues Trail's 62nd marker honors the university's "Living Blues" magazine, "Highway 61" radio show, Blues Archive and classes on the African-American musical genre whose roots are in Mississippi.
"We are here to acknowledge the hard work of people who have taken their interest and passion in the blues and turned it into something that shows appreciation and makes it easier to study, makes it easier to understand, gets right the story," said Dr. Ted Ownby, director of the university's Center for the Study of Southern Culture, in front of which the marker stands.
One of those was Jim O'Neal, who with Amy van Siegel founded "Living Blues" magazine in a basement in Chicago in 1970.
"When Living Blues' started É we got contributions and support from blues fans all over the world, and none of us got paid for it for years," O'Neal said. "It must be one of the longest-running music magazines in the country."
Van Siegel thanked the blues musicians who've shared the stories of their music and their lives over the years with the magazine.
"I think Living Blues' has helped them, too," she said.
Associate Professor of Music Greg Johnson said Ole Miss has more than 60,000 sound recordings along with thousands of papers and other tangibles in its Blues Archive, including a collection of B.B. King memorabilia.
"The university has a history of documenting the blues that goes way back - way beyond anybody we're talking about in this symposium," he said, noting that one student in 1905 recorded black folk music on the wax cylinders that were the high technology of the day.
"The Blues Archive has had a number of wonderful collections donated to us that really helped establish us as the place to go to study the blues, other than the Library of Congress," he said.
After the unveiling ceremony, Pontotoc blues musician Terry "Harmonica" Bean performed for the audience, starting with "Come On, Don't You Want to Go?"
The Blues Trail was established by the Mississippi Legislature and is governed by an 18-member Blues Commission, with administration by the Mississippi Development Authority to encourage fans of the blues to visit the state.
Larry Chapman, a retired history teacher from Ohio, was such a visitor.
"I'm originally from South Carolina and somehow got interested in Southern culture and then got hooked on the blues and got interested in black history," he said. "I've been to some bluegrass festivals, some folk festivals, to take in the music, and it's the same here in Mississippi - here to hear the blues."
'Eccentric Blues' slides on down to music museum|
CARLSBAD - The Museum of Making Music will present Freddie Roulette, Henry Kaiser and friends for a program called "Eccentric Blues" on Saturday. This concert is the last of a five-part series of exhibition-related events showcasing the music genres influenced by slide guitar, including blues, western swing and Hawaiian. |
Joining Roulette and Kaiser will be guitarist Scott Colby; bass guitarist Daniel Schwartz; drummer David Kemper, who is best known for playing with Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia; and keyboardist Mike Keneally, who previously played with Frank Zappa.
The audience can expect an evening of blues and jazz standards including "The Thrill is Gone," "Sleepwalk" and "Round Midnight," along with some twists.
"This is the type of thing where we are surprised - when it's not rote, when it's improvised and there are big surprises for everybody," Kaiser said.
"We go into the concert with the intention of discovering new things: not telling the same story each time, telling a new story."
Kaiser said he and the others are all driven by a sense of discovery and exploration that comes with being virtuosos.
"Freddie was a hero of mine before I grew up, even before I played guitar," Kaiser said. "I saw him over the years, and one day I said, 'Do you want to do something together?' We've made several records since then." Kaiser said that while he is known as a "crazy experimental guitarist," Roulette is remembered as the greatest virtuoso ever of lap style guitar. "He's a true individualist who has created his own style," Kaiser said. "Freddie can play one note and you know it's him. Not many people can do that."
Guests to the museum can also visit "The Magic & Mystery of Slide Guitar," an exhibit that continues through March 31. Nearly 70 rare and vintage instruments are displayed, including lap steel guitars, pedal steel guitars, Hawaiian lap steel guitars and several instruments from around the globe that represent the many cultures that employ the slide technique.
"Eccentric Blues: Freddie Roulette, Henry Kaiser & Friends"
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Where: Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Drive, Carlsbad
Tickets: $20; or $15 for museum members
Information: (760) 438-5996 or museumofmakingmusic.org
Can Louisiana Hayride return as music village?|
SHREVEPORT, La. -- Music tourism translates into a big business when the brand is right. In Memphis, Tenn., 4 million of its 10 million annual visitors flock to Beale Street. In Nashville, Tenn., nearly 3.7 million of 10.5 million annual visitors go for music-related tourism. In Branson, Mo., more than 6.5 million of its 8.4 million visitors attend live music and shows.
Shreveport-Bossier City attracts 3.1 million visitors per year. The prospect of adding the Louisiana Hayride Music Village to the Bossier City riverfront _ adjacent to the Louisiana Boardwalk shopping and entertainment development, which lures 6 million to 8 million shoppers annually _ sounds promising.
"I can't overestimate the importance of that connection," said David Dodd, president of Dadco Consulting Inc. Dodd is also an economic consultant for the Foundation of Arts, Music and Entertainment (FAME) of Shreveport-Bossier, which is working on the development with Bossier City and private investors. "We just see a tremendous amount of synergy."
As early as 1994, Maggie Warwick, owner of the Louisiana Hayride trademark and chairwoman of FAME, was working to transform the area around Shreveport's Municipal Auditorium into a $300 million arts and entertainment district. After years of planning but no building, the state Legislature set aside $500,000 of a promised $15 million to help design the Shreveport Louisiana Hayride.
The vision fell apart in 2007 over a property dispute between Warwick and Shreveport. Warwick brought the project to Bossier City in late 2007 or early 2008. Soon thereafter, the state moved its promised $500,000 from Shreveport to Bossier City.
The trick will be leveraging the history of the Louisiana Hayride _ a legendary radio show that launched the careers of Elvis Presley and Hank Williams Sr. _ into a marketable, contemporary tourism draw.
"We know the challenge," said Warwick, who's also chairwoman of the Louisiana Music Commission.
To her, a revitalized Hayride would capitalize on the region's rich history and offer concerts and programming that appeal to a diverse audience. "The world knows about Louisiana and loves Louisiana's music."
Warwick said she believes the performing arts center must, in effect, reinvent the old Louisiana Hayride radio program and broadcast it on multiple platforms, such as radio, television and the Internet.
She points to "Austin City Limits" a concert series broadcast on public television since 1976. The popular program was created to highlight original Texas music but has grown to showcase diverse music from around the globe. The show has even been spun off into a three-day music festival.
"What we have that we can link into is this absolutely indisputable heritage," Warwick said. Concerts at the Louisiana Hayride theater would be eclectic but could draw connections the region's history in country, rockabilly, R and B, blues and gospel. "I envision it as combination of young artists and old artists, and a blend of styles."
Warwick, however, said FAME would not be involved in programming. She envisions a professional management firm taking over day-to-day operations and booking the artists.
Warwick was also quick to point out that the proposed Southern American Music Museum would be a key tourism draw: "There has never been a museum that has featured music from the American South. It's such a story to tell."
Ken Shepherd, father of blues guitarist Kenny Wayne Shepherd, is a founding board member of FAME. He sees the Louisiana Hayride development working on two levels. For starters, music history lovers won't be able to resist it.
"It's really interesting to me that it's hard to find any artist that doesn't know that Elvis was discovered there, or that Hank Williams Sr. got his start there," Shepherd said.
If developers can connect that appreciation for history with music programming that captures a younger demographic, they could successfully pair the old with the new.
"There will be a bit of an education challenge there," Shepherd said, but "if the venues are right, and the management is right, and the venues are booking the artists that appeal to the younger music fans, they are going to come."
Shepherd said he and his son are even interested in pursuing branding opportunities for one of the complex's private music clubs, which could be named something like Kenny Wayne Shepherd's Barbecue Blues Cafe, according to the project's executive summary. The five-page overview also noted interest from roots music figures like Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson. Heritage matters most
If Bossier City and the Louisiana Hayride Music Village can learn one big lesson from successful music tourism destinations, it's that authenticity matters. A lot.
"The heritage has to stay in focus. You don't want to be an Anywhere, USA," said Regena Bearden, vice president of marketing for the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. "That's something that Memphis has done right."
Tourists flock to Graceland because Elvis lived there. They go to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music because it is the original site of Stax Records.
In Nashville, music tourism is a natural because the city's working music industry alone directly injects $2.64 billion into the local economy, according to a 2006 study. (Counting secondary spending and tourism dollars, the Nashville music industry totals a whopping $6.38 billion.)
"More and more cities say we're going to capitalize on music," said Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau. "It's easier said than done. There has to be demand. The piece that you have to have is that it's authentic, that it's real, that it's a part of the fabric. That allows you to extend it into the clubs and into the marketplace."
He also notes that history isn't an automatic draw. The city's Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum attracts less than 500,000 visitors a year, he said. "At the end of the day, they need private event rentals. They need endowments."
What Nashville can boast is decades' worth of live music that attracts live audiences.
The Grand Ole Opry, Spyridon said, is "a historic icon that you want to see at least once during your life."
In Branson, it has taken the city 100 years of chance and strategic planning to earn its tourism brand, said Lynn Berry, public relations director for the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
In 1907, Harold Bell Wright's popular "Shepherd of the Hills" novel set in the Ozarks ignited interest from travelers, Berry said. The Silver Dollar City theme park opened in 1960 and today attracts about 2 million visitors annually. The Presley family opened its family theater in 1967. Today Branson boasts 50 theaters and 100 shows per week.
The $420 million Branson Landing _ not unlike a Louisiana Boardwalk and anchored by two Hilton hotels _ opened in 2006. In May, Branson will open its first airport with flights to and from cities like Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago and Minneapolis.
"When you talk about vacation destinations that offer something for everyone," Berry contended, "without being prompted or without having to think about it, you think Orlando, Las Vegas and Branson."
Pam Glorioso, project coordinator for Bossier City, said it's important that the Louisiana Hayride Music Village remains consistent with the family-friendly brand of the Louisiana Boardwalk and capitalizes on the region's music history.
"It needs to be uniquely Louisiana," she said. "It's going to have that stamp of the Louisiana Hayride."
The International Songwriting Competition |
The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is excited to announce its 2008 finalists and semi-finalists. ISC received over 15,500 entries from almost 100 countries worldwide, representing a great depth and diversity of talent. Congratulations to all finalists and semi-finalists!
All Going Wrong Darren Watson - Wellington, New Zealand
Black Dog Mickey Pantelous - Athens, Greece
Blind Man Thessex Johns (Johnny Drummer) - Chicago, IL, USA
Falling Garry Meziere (Ellen Whyte) - Oregon City, OR, USA
Get Up (Raise Your Head) Marshall Okell, Mathew Cummings (Marshall & The Fro) - Byron Bay, NSW, Australia
I Pray Most Everyday Gina Sicilia - Philadelphia, PA, USA
I Wish You Well Sam McClain, Pat Herlehy (Mighty Sam McClain) - Newmarket, NH, USA
Looking the World Straight In The Eye JW-Jones ( J. Wynne-Jones) - Ottawa, ON, Canada
Mister Coffee Chris James Del Villar, Patrick Rynn - Chicago, IL, USA
My Blues Keep Bringin' Me Home Dalannah Gail Bowen, Michael Creber - Vancouver, BC, Canada
Natural Condition Karl Francis Morgan - Perth, WA, Australia
Reason To Stay Carole Fredericks, Gildas Arzel - Canandaigua, NY, USA
Somebody Else's But Mine Bob Tunnoch (Fathead) - Toronto, ON, Canada
Trapped Dorothy Ellis (Miss Blues)- Norman, OK, USA
U.P. Down Blues Uros Peric - Celje, Slovenia
A Cow Who Likes To Whistle Jill Carole (The Flutterbys) - Corte Madera, CA, USA
Banana Pie Christopher Pennington, Paul Johnston - Montreal, QC, Canada
Bongo Baby Amy Elkins (Mama Mac) - Bala Cynwyd, PA, USA
Broccoli Yet Dan Flannery (Flannery Brothers) - Bangor, ME, USA
Commotion In The Ocean John Simmons, Leah Thomas (Bus-ta-groove) - Sydney, NSW, Australia
Flip Flapjacks Marcy Marxer (Cathy Fink & Marcy Marxer) - Kensington, MD, USA
Fuss On The Bus Radha Sahar (Radha & the Kiwi Kid) - Wellington, New Zealand
Girls Vs. Boys Matt Lavan, Mike Griffith (Krazy Kuzins) - Cypress, TX, USA
Mammals Ilene Altman, Steven Equi (Leeny and Steve) - Gloucester, MA, USA
My Toothbrush Fell In The Toilet Rob Compton (Babaloo Music & Fun) - Washington, MO, USA
Scat in the Hat Chris McKhool, Kevin Laliberte - Toronto, ON, Canada
Wee Wee Dance Rob Compton (Babaloo Music & Fun) - Washington, MO, USA
We're The Chorus Dou Mannis, Brian Mann (Dr. Mac And Friends) - Santa Barbara, CA, USA
When You Grow Up Chris Bihuniak (Rock Daddy Rock) - Leawood, KS, USA
Wish Wish I Was A Fish Paul Runalls, Chris Atkinson - Regina, SK, Canada
To see all the categories: CLICK
Mick Fleetwood celebrates release of blues album|
Mick Fleetwood will appear March 20 at the Barnes & Noble store at 555 Fifth Avenue in New York City to commemorate the release of "Blue Again," the new album by his Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, according to a press release. The album, which will be released March 17, revisits the classic blues songs of early Fleetwood Mac--pre-Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham--in addition to newly written songs.
Among the songs on the album are "Fleetwood Boogie," "Stop Messin' Around" and the Peter Green-penned "Black Magic Woman," which Fleetwood Mac recorded and released in 1968. Though the British-born musician continues to be a driving force in Fleetwood Mac, which recently kicked off a world tour, he continues to feel a strong affinity for the type of music the band played in its early days. "Over my career I've been called a pop star and a rock star, yet in my inner heart, I will always be part bluesman," Fleetwood said in a statement. "On my journey from blues to a life of rock 'n' roll, I've always remembered where I started."
Mick Fleetwood Blues Band features guitarist and lead vocalist Rick Vito, bassist Lenny Castellanos and keyboardist Mark Johnstone.
DJ Bill Bowker still has Sonoma County's blues|
Longtime KRSH deejay Bill Bowker has been a fixture behind the mic in Sonoma County since 1979.
THE PRESS DEMOCRAT:
Since Bill Bowker arrived on the Sonoma County radio scene three decades ago, the snowy-haired, gold-voiced broadcaster has seen programming grow ever more syndicated, automated and homogenized. But Bowker isn't singing the blues.
He's way too busy playing them. The naturally hip granddaddy of Sonoma's radio DJs and a leading champion of good ol' blues and promising new musical talent still spins like a trusty turntable.
Bowker marks a couple of major milestones this year. It's been 30 years since he and his wife, Lavonna, and daughter, Krista, came to Sonoma County from Southern California. And he recently turned 65. "I could get Social Security," Bowker said over coffee before his afternoon show on KRSH/95.9 FM, "but I don't want to."
He's cut back on promoting live performances since his brother-like friend and partner, Doug Smith, took a motorcycle ride on his 46th birthday in 2005 and was killed in a crash. But Bowker still has his fingers in concerts around the county, and he's already at work on the next summertime Blues Festival, his signature live event.
The 15-year veteran of Sonoma County's "roots" radio station (think blues, R&B, Americana, rock, jazz, soul, gospel, reggae, world music) is also working on something exciting in Clarksdale, Miss. The long-forlorn Delta town is remaking itself as the "Birthplace of the Blues," and the DJ has a role.
"Musically, I'm drawn to the South," said Bowker, a New Jersey native who's lived most of his life in California. He has no plans to move to Mississippi, but he's working with longtime Santa Rosa developer Charles Evans to create a noncommercial radio station there.
Already, Clarksdale is attracting a quickening flow of blues pilgrims eager to absorb soulful music in the historic spot that reared John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Sam Cooke and Ike Turner.
Sonoma County's strongest link to the town is Bowker's old friend Charlie Musselwhite, the renowned, Mississippi-born bluesman. Musselwhite, who lives in Geyserville, some years back told Bowker he was interested in restoring historic buildings in Clarksdale and he asked if Bowker knew anyone with experience in such projects.
Bowker thought of Evans, whose downtown Santa Rosa projects include the building that houses Old Courthouse Square's Flavor restaurant and Upper Fourth lounge.
Musselwhite recalls that he'd been acquainted with Evans, but "we didn't really get to know each other until Bill was in the mix."
After Evans discussed with Musselwhite and his wife, Henrietta, the prospects for music and tourism-related development in Clarksdale, he went to see the place for himself. Evans was jazzed by the town's quest to renew itself by tapping deeply into its blues roots.
"There's something there, I just feel it," he said.
Today the Evans-Musselwhite partnership is pursuing several development projects in Clarksdale. Meanwhile, the Federal Communications Commission has notified Bowker and Evans their request to create a nonprofit radio station in the town has been approved.
Bowker isn't thrilled with all of the changes that have come to radio broadcasting, but he's excited that the Internet will allow him and Evans to broadcast the blues and news of Clarksdale around the world. They plan to go on the air next year.
Bowker's work on the Clarksdale project is an aside to his rigorous schedule on Santa Rosa's The Krush. He works the afternoon show and also puts on the Sunday evening "Blues with Bowker" and Monday night's "Krush Americana."
As music radio has grown increasingly formulaic and hit-driven, Bowker keeps sliding from genre to genre and from musical icons to new discoveries. He did the same thing at Sonoma County's late KVRE and KAFE.
"I've been fortunate because I've been able throughout my career to work in a format that allows of freedom," he said.
His blues playlist includes Jimmy Witherspoon, Howlin' Jack, Deborah Coleman, B.B. King, Guy Davis, The Neville Brothers and Alice Stewart.
Musselwhite said, "He has great taste in music, and he makes discoveries. He'll turn you on to things you haven't heard before."
"His radio show is like an oasis," Musselwhite said. "Radio today is so corporate and programmed, it doesn't have any humanness to it."
The stubbornly human Bowker is happy there's still a place on the dial for the music he loves, and it's his opinion that downtown Santa Rosa could use one more live music club.
Though the disc jockey is old enough to stop working, he has no intention to stop playing "There's always something that intrigues me," he said.
Aykroyd honored, student groups featured|
Dan Aykroyd has got Cultural Rhythms and Blues.
The Blues Brother and Academy Award-nominated actor was in fine form last Saturday (Feb. 28), hoofing his way onstage as the Sam and Dave classic "Soul Man" blared at the sold-out Sanders Theatre crowd. As celebrity emcee of the 24th annual Cultural Rhythms Festival and the Harvard Foundation's Artist of the Year, a bespectacled Aykroyd dazzled the audience of Harvard students, faculty, and staff with his inimitable voice and comedic overtures that have made him one of the world's most beloved entertainers.
Aykroyd's entrance came after a stunning inaugural performance by Corcairdhearg: the Harvard College Irish Dancers who made their way onstage in an explosion of fast-paced fiddle music accompanied by traditional Irish tap dancing and stomping.
"Weren't the Harvard College Irish Dancers great?" asked S. Allen Counter, director of the Harvard Foundation, during his opening remarks, which included introducing to the audience Aykroyd's wife, "Bosom Buddies" actress Donna Dixon.
"I've had the privilege of knowing [Aykroyd] for some time," revealed Counter. "When you're with him, you feel like you're learning something all the time."
The Harvard Foundation's Artist of the Year is honored for invaluable contributions to the world of entertainment - and to the world at large. Aykroyd, in his decades-long career, boasts a prolific list of films and has achieved great musical success. He is one-half of "The Blues Brothers," and has written and starred in films such as "Coneheads," "Driving Miss Daisy," "My Girl," and "Ghostbusters." Aykroyd is also a founder of the restaurant and musical venue House of Blues, which seeks, as its Web site states, to "celebrate the African American cultural contributions of blues music and folk art," as well as "to celebrate the diversity and brotherhood of world culture." Aykroyd's other philanthropic pursuits include supporting the International House of Blues Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, Eblen Charities, the Dream Foundation, and Artists Against Racism.
Counter called his friend a "distinguished gentleman of honor," and detailed their morning together, which included an early breakfast with freshmen.
"May I present to you the original Blues Brother, a very fantastic performer, an original ‘Saturday Night Live' member, and now he's here as our Artist of the Year," Counter declared, as the crowd, upon hearing the first blast of music, whooped and clapped while a boogying Aykroyd emerged.
"I never thought, in my life, I'd be honored by the Harvard Foundation," said the actor, suited all in black and catching his breath. "Being a college dropout from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
"But it's nice to be entertained for a change," added Aykroyd, whose emcee duties included interviewing the student performers. Most of his comments were admiring: "Boy, if I went into training with you I could lose some pounds," he said of the Irish dancers. And while Aykroyd was the guest of honor, the student performers were the real stars of the show.
Among the afternoon's 12 performance groups, the entertainment included mariachi dancing by Ballet Folklórico de Aztlán, a smoke dance by Harvard Intertribal Dance Troupe, a traditional "flirtatious dance" by the Ukrainian Folk Dancers (to whom Aykroyd demanded, "Where are my pierogies?"), and a graceful dance with tambourines by the Asian American Dance Troupe. But it was the renowned Kuumba Singers of Harvard College who really stirred the star. The choir's repertoire included a cappella gospel songs and haunting "Negro spirituals." Aykroyd watched the singers in awe, and, once the act was over, broke into "This Train Is Bound for Glory," much to the choir's delight.
Dean of Harvard College Evelynn M. Hammonds, along with Counter and afternoon show directors Nworah Ayogu '10 and Jackie Hairston '10, presented Aykroyd with his Artist of the Year plaque.
"I wish to thank you all," said Aykroyd, "for enlightening me through the Cultural Rhythms Festival." Reading from several pages, Aykroyd spoke at length about "the concept of collaboration," working together, and showing respect and appreciation for others' skills and talents.
The afternoon festivities were capped off with a grand finale performance by a mix of students from the groups who danced to - what else? - the "Ghostbusters" theme song.
"I'll never forget this day," Aykroyd said. "This is just great."
Who ya gonna call, indeed.
Blues' Community Cash|
PATRONS at the recent Australian Blues Music Festival united to raise more than $10,000 for the Victorian Bush Fire Appeal and other local charities.|
Festival organiser Sarah Dawson said hosting the Blues Festival had a positive flow on effect in Goulburn, with many of the local service organisations benefiting from the event.
"Goulburn really is fortunate to host the Australian Blues Music Festival each year," Ms Dawson said.
"While many businesses benefit from the influx of visitors to the City, as a council we aim to provide as many opportunities for local community groups to be a part of the Festival, so that they and their beneficiaries can benefit too."
At the All-Star Pro Jam of blues performers at the Bowling Club on Sunday night, two paintings by Bob Gammage of Theatre of Life Artistry were auctioned off to raise funds for the Victorian Bushfire Appeal, and a third painting was auctioned raising $1800 for Goulburn's Crescent School.
RUSSIAN RIVER FESTIVALS COMBINE|
GUERNEVILLE, CA (Feb. 15, 2009) - It was announced today that Russian River's two major music festivals will be combined into one weekend to provide music fans an exciting weekend of both jazz and blues music. The Russian River Jazz & Blues Festival will be held Sept. 12-13, 2009, at Johnson's Beach Resort in Guerneville, a popular resort town nestled in the scenic Russian River Valley.
This is the first year the two events will be combined into the same weekend. reviously, the Russian River Blues Festival was held in June, while the Russian River Jazz Festival took place in September. Organizers cited the economy and the desire to create something special for attendees as the reasons for change.
"This allows us to keep the Russian River festival tradition alive for its 33rd year, while enabling music fans to still enjoy their love of jazz and blues, outdoors in this picturesque setting," said Rich Sherman, president of Omega Events. "We look forward to welcoming fans back for another year of live music on the river."
The Russian River music festivals have a rich history dating back to the 1970s. Music legends have traveled to Guerneville, including blues artists such as Etta James and Al Green, to jazz musicians Stan Getz and Pat Metheny. Hundreds of thousands of fans have attended the events over the years.
RUF RECORDS ANNOUNCES MARCH 10 RELEASE DATE FOR NEW BLUES CDS FROM LOUISIANA RED AND AYNSLEY LISTER|
Ruf Records announces a March 10 release date for Back to the Black Bayou, the new CD from legendary bluesman Louisiana Red; and Upside Down, the latest CD from hotshot British power blues guitarist Aynsley Lister. Ruf is now distributed in the U.S. by the Allegro Corporation.
Recorded at Juke Joint Studio in Notodden, Norway in 2008, Back to the Black Bayou showcases Louisiana Red in a classic blues atmosphere, backed by producer Little Victor's hand picked band, along with such special guests as Kim Wilson and Bob Corritore on harmonica and Dave Maxwell on piano. The album includes contemporary recordings of some of Louisiana Red's celebrated songs, such as "I'm Louisiana Red," "Alabama Train," "Ride on Red," "Too Poor to Die" and "I Come from Louisiana" - all delivered with the same intensity and soulfulness of the originals - and a number of new songs that highlight Red's powerful vocals as well as his electric and slide guitar work. Aiding and abetting the solid blues performances on Back to the Black Bayou is the ambient sound created in the Juke Joint Studio itself, a vintage recording facility that includes the ‘60s Auditronics mixing console formerly housed in the legendary Stax Studio in Memphis, which recorded the likes of Booker T. & the MGs, Albert King and Rufus Thomas. Rare, vintage RCA Ribbon microphones and tube limiters were used to help create the warm, organic sound heard on the new CD. Producer Little Victor, who also plays guitar and harmonica on the album, provides insightful track notes about the histories of the songs and behind-the-scenes anecdotes about the sessions, themselves.
Upside Down is English guitarist/singer Aynsley Lister's fourth studio album and his first to contain all original songs. With a strong European following already in tow, Lister is poised to spread his magic in the U.S. with the release of his new CD, which deftly shows his incendiary guitar chops and strong bluesy vocals to their maximum edge. He headlines many of the major festivals throughout Europe, and his previous albums have seen him working with such illustrious producers as Jim Gaines (Steve Ray Vaughan, Santana).European critics have already hailed Upside Down as "his best album ever," (Get Ready to Rock) "bursting with killer riffs and songs" (Classic Rock). The Times of London called it simply "superb," while MOJO said, "His guitar playing is a fire hazard - exceptionally mature and exciting."
In 2006, Lister came to the States to record the Ruf Records collaborative CD with several other label artists, Pilgrimage, at studios in Clarksdale and Memphis, once again working with Jim Gaines, who had produced Aynsley's debut album for the label in 1999. In the fall of 2006, his last album, Everything I Need, was released in the U.S. in preparation for a 2007 American tour. In addition to his CD output for Ruf, Lister has released a live DVD recorded at Germany's "Rockpalast" TV show and was also part of a live DVD recorded with other label artists on the Pilgrimage tour.
Aynsley Lister was brought up on the blues and soul music of his father's record collection and learned to play at 8 years old listening to 45s from Freddie King, John Mayall and Eric Clapton. He played his first gig at 13 and by the time he was 18 had worked in various bands leading to him forming his first group. After recording two albums with that band, Lister caught the ear of Ruf Records president Thomas Ruf, who was particularly impressed with his original songs written for the second of those albums. In the summer of 1998, he officially signed a deal with Ruf and went into the studio with Jim Gaines to record his label debut, which was released in 1999.
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Pinkie Rideau & Blind Resistance:
Blind Resistance has evolved from the original Blues band which was formed in February of 2005 by Pinkie Rideau. Pinkie began her musical career late in life at 40 years old in Sacramento 4 short years ago. A devoted single mother - she waited to begin her career until after her children were grown. She then set out to do what she had always felt she was supposed to be doing - singing the Blues. Being of Cajun decent Pinkie has the Blues in her blood and family roots in the deep South. In February of 2008 she and one of her bandmates went to Memphis, Tenn. representing Sacramento in the International Blues Challenge as a duet. During the course of her young career she has worked with Blues greats such as Deacon Jones, Jerry Martini, Daniel Castro, Terry Hanck, Charlie Brechtel, and her band opened for Los Lonely Boys at the Concord Sleep Train Pavilion in 2006. There are more challenging events on the horizon that she will face head on with a Blues attitude and a soulful heart. Pinkie Rideau is on her way up and it's no lie when she sings: "It's Always Somethin."
What others say about Pinkie -
"I met Pinkie at the Sacramento State Fair in 2006 when I was performing with the house band. She came up and sang some blues and "blew our minds". Since then, I jam with her whenever possible. Luv her much."
Jerry Martini [Founding member of "Sly And The family Stone"]
"The 1st time I heard her at The Redwood City Jam I was impressed by her great phrasing, her voice and professional delivery. A crowd pleaser."
Terry Hanck (BMA Blues Award Nominee)
"Pinkie is hard worker who loves the art of music and entertainment and anything she gets - she deserves!"
Bobbie "Spider" Webb (Blues Saxaphone Great)
"A treat and a tribute to the world of Rhythm & Blues, Gospel, Blues and Soul. Incredible."
Deacon Jones (Master of the Hammond B3 Organ & John Lee Hooker's band leader for 18 years)
Look for her new cd with
Blind Resistance titled
"Extreme Blues - The Garage Sessions"
to be released March 29, 2009!
Pinkie Rideau and Blind Resistance consists of:
Pinkie Rideau - vocals & drums
Ripley Howe - bass guitar & vocals
Spike Morales - drums & bass
Mike Lenhart - guitar & vocals
It's Always Somethin' copyright 2006
Memphis Bound!!! copyright 2007
THE BLIND BOYS OF ALABAMA:preview their new release, DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS
When old school gospel music meets Big Easy rhythms, you get DOWN IN NEW ORLEANS. The Blind Boys of Alabama hooked up with Alan Toussaint, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, among others, to make it. The drummer for the Blind Boys, Ricky McKinnie, joins Elwood to talk about the amazing history of the group. Also some of the blues luminaries they have known over the years: Charlie Musselwhite, Sam Cooke, and John Hammond. And Elwood offers a taste of last year’s Blues Challenge winners, roots players Nathan James and Ben Hernandez. There is a chance for ten listeners to take home a copy of DESTINY BLUES, a 19-song disc from Florida blues treasures, Cookie Mariano and The Vagrantz.
for times and stations in your area
Click on festival name to click through to festival website.
Pickle's Blues Extravaganza
Friday-Saturday, March 6-7, 2009
Lima, Ohio, U.S.
Mississippi Blues Fest
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Greenwood, Mississippi, U.S.
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Fremont, CA, U.S.
Mr. Sam's 1st Annual Love Cruise
Thursday-Monday, March 12-16, 2009
Aboard the Carnival Fantasy Ship
From New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico
14th Annual Blue Mountains Music Festival
Friday-Sunday, March 13-15, 2009
Katoomba, New South Wales, Australia
Bonita Blues Festival
Saturday, March 14, 2009
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society
Bonita Springs, Florida, U.S.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
West Hartford, Connecticut , U.S.
St. John Blues Festival
Wednesday-Sunday, March 18-22, 2009
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
19th Annual River City Blues Festival
Friday-Saturday, March 20-21, 2009
The Blues, Jazz & Folk Music Society
Marietta, Ohio, U.S.
Tampa Bay Blues Festival
Friday-Sunday, March 20-22, 2009
St. Petersburg, Florida, U.S.
Five Towns College Blues Festival
Friday, March 21, 2009
Dix Hills, New York, U.S.
First State BluesFest
Friday-Saturday, March 27-28, 2009
Dover, Delaware, U.S.
3rd Blues & Arts Fiesta
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Presented by SF Lions Club & Mexico Living Guide
San Felipe Ball StadiumSan Felipe Baja California Mexico
Jasper's "Blue's on the Marsh"
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Ridgeland, South Carolina, U.S.
Saturday, March 28, 2009
Wausau, Wisconsin, U.S.
Springing the Blues
Friday-Sunday, April 3-5, 2009
Jacksonville Beach, Florida, U.S.
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