|September 12, 2008
Volume 3 Issue 34
MAGIC SLIM & THE TEARDROPS : : MIDNIGHT BLUES
Magic Slim is the greatest living proponent of the intense, electrified, Mississippi-to-Chicago blues style that spawned much of the music played by modern blues artists and rockers. It's no wonder that Magic Slim and the Teardrops, considered by many to be "the last real Chicago blues band," have become one of the busiest and best-loved blues bands around
When word got out that Magic Slim was looking for a few guest Teardrops, the Chicago rhythm & blues community responded with a resounding "Yeah!" Joining him on this incredible set of real Chicago Blues with a dash of Country and a bit of Soul thrown in are James Cotton, Little Ed, Lonnie Brooks, Otis Clay, Gene Barge, Elvin Bishop and the Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings horn section. Slim is a national treasure, one of the few true "bluesmen " still around, and at seventy years young he is playing and singing with as much passion and strength as ever.
"Midnight Blues" is another round of what Slim does best: Some of the toughest straight-ahead blues you can find that are still delivered by the guy who created them." - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
SCISSORMEN : : LUCK IN A HURRY
“This isn’t just a band — it’s a mission,” says Scissormen’s slide guitar demon Ted Drozdowski. “We believe the blues is as blood and guts vital and relevant as it was when the music’s giants walked the Earth, if it’s played right. So that’s how we play it — respecting the music’s roots, but not at the expense of its future.”
If that sounds audacious, you haven’t seen one of the Nashville-based group’s live shows, where just a guitarist and drummer harness up the spirit of the Mississippi hills and make it sound like a juke joint armada. That approach has won Scissormen fans across the US and Europe, where they’ve played everything from jukes to coffeehouses to blues, rock and punk clubs to major festivals including Bonnaroo 2008 and France’s prestigious Cognac Blues Passions Festival.
“Our gigs prove that the blues can reach everybody — including people who think its music only their parents or grandparents would like,” says Ted. “Of course,” he adds, “our music also reaches their parents and grandparents.”
And Scissormen’s live audiences reach back, challenging Ted’s unique, fiery slide guitar approach by passing him, well, just about anything to play with: shoes, straws, martini glasses, keys, a lit blowtorch, full dinner plates, a machete, a 9-mm pistol.
Now that place has a name: Luck in a Hurry. Scissormen’s first nationally distributed album packs the band’s inventive and exciting energy into 11 slide-powered songs including nine originals. The music knits the inspiration of Ted’s musical mentors and friends like R.L. Burnside, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Junior Kimbrough and Sonny Sharrock together with his experience as a rock-based improviser and songwriter.
Scissormen’s guests on Luck in a Hurry include Morphine drummer Billy Conway, the late veteran blues pianist Teo Leyasmeyer and Dicky Barrett, the powerhouse frontman for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Dicky applies a layer of vocal gravel to the defiant anti-anthem “Whiskey and Maryjane,” which also guests Ted’s former psychedelic rock band Devil Gods. Ted’s longtime musical foil Rob Hulsman, a vet of cow punk renegades 9 Pound Hammer, and Larry Dersch play drums. And Dan Kellar adds violin to two songs, including the guitar-violin-drums trio “Mattie Sweet Mattie.”
“What these songs have in common are deep roots, great big guitar tones, and a lotta soul,” says Ted. “They were performed live in the studio so we could keep things raw and spontaneous — the way we like ’em. ”
And that’s just one more reason why Luck in a Hurry captures the heartbeat of modern blues — and the pulse of its future.
EG KIGHT : : FEEL SO GOOD
Over the last 10 years EG Kight has had made quite a name for herself in the blues world. She’s been nominated for multiple BMA awards, had her songs recorded by Koko Taylor, released several CDs on her own label and has toured non-stop. “It’s Hot In Here” marks EG’s first release for M.C. Records.
“It’s Hot In Here” combines blues and americana music in her own unique southern style. Special guests include Greg Piccolo and Bob Margolin. Eleven of the 12 songs on “It's Hot In Here” were written or co-written by EG. A must for fans of Delbert McClinton and Marcia Ball.
Check out these great reviews!
“The album showcases Kight's astonishing textured voice and cagey songwriting”
The Sun Gazette
“It's Hot in Here," features her blazing guitar work and fiery, resonant voice. “
“EG Kight has hit a home-run with this excellent album.” The Planet Weekly
Enter this contest and win! |
Working on the next contest - keep watching for our announcement.
BLUES DOCUMENTARY SET FOR CLARKSDALE PREMIERE|
All-New Delta Blues Documentary Set
For Film Premiere in Clarksdale, Mississippi
(CLARKSDALE, MS) A hotly anticipated new film celebrating the raw, raucous spirit of Mississippi's surviving blues scene will have its worldwide premiere on Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Delta Cinema at #11 Third Street in downtown Clarksdale, Miss. The film, "M for
Mississippi: A Road Trip through the Birthplace of the Blues," follows blues producers -- Roger Stolle of Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art and Jeff Konkel of Broke & Hungry Records -- on a weeklong journey across Mississippi visiting a dozen of the state¹s most fascinating blues figures in rustic environments ranging from juke joints to cotton fields.
"We planned this road-trip movie for two years," said Stolle. "We avoided big concert stages and rock-star narrators in favor of intimate houseparties and rockin' Delta juke joints. The results speak for themselves."
The premiere screening of the 94-minute film will be both preceded and followed by live music from artists featured in the film. Blues guitarist Bill Abel and 81-year-old harmonica player "Cadillac" John Nolden will perform a brief set at the Delta Cinema at 6:00p.m., prior to the film's inaugural showing. After the 6:45pm screening, the action heads down the street to the world-famous Ground Zero Blues Club where the line
up will include such renowned bluesmen as T-Model Ford, Robert "Bilbo" Walker and Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson.
The premiere will be held as tens of thousands of blues lovers converge on the Delta for the Arkansas Blues & Heritage Festival (www.bluesandheritagefest.com) held in nearby Helena, Ark. "The former 'King Biscuit' is one of the region¹s biggest festivals," Konkel said. "And there are always plenty of related events going on that week which
makes it all the more special. It¹s a perfect time to visit the Delta."
"M for Mississippi," which was filmed early this spring, is a co-production of Broke & Hungry Records,Cat Head Delta Blues & Folk Art and Mudpuppy Recordings. The motion picture follows Konkel and Stolle as they travel the dusty highways and byways of
Mississippi, calling on such seminal blues figures as James "T-Model" Ford, Robert "Wolfman" Belfour, Terry "Harmonica" Bean, Wesley "Junebug" Jefferson, Jimmy
"Duck" Holmes, Pat Thomas, L.C. Ulmer, Robert "Bilbo"Walker and more. Joining Stolle and Konkel on the journey were filmmaker Damien Blaylock and co-producer Kari Jones of Mudpuppy Recordings. Recording engineer Bill Abel followed in his weathered Volvo station wagon packed with recording equipment. Over the next week, the tiny caravan traversed the state of Mississippi visiting some of the state's most original blues figures while the camera rolled.
The resulting film shines a long-overdue spotlight on these men, their music and the land from which the blues sprang. More than just a collection of concert performances, "M for Mississippi" collects the sounds, the images and the feel of both the performers and their native landscape -- an environment essential to their livelihoods and inseparable from their art.
"We aimed to capture the essence of the Delta's blues survivors and show why the blues simply had to come from a place like Mississippi," explained Konkel. The film is being released on DVD this fall along with a companion CD soundtrack. Pre-orders are being accepted through the film¹s official Web site at http://www.mformississippi.com . Items pre-ordered through the Web site are expected to ship by mid-October. A larger international rollout will follow with the DVD and CD soundtrack expected in stores beginning November 18. The DVD's bonus features include deleted/extended scenes, closed captioning, behind the scenes footage and more.
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN TAPES UNCOVERED|
FROM THE AUSTIN CHRONICLE:
THEY CALL ME HURRICANE
Thirteen previously unheard months in the life of Stevie Vaughan
Out of a comfortable, undistinguished house in university-area Austin, several boxes of vintage studio tapes were moved to safekeeping last month. The several dozen reels from a long-shuttered studio emitted small, gray dust clouds as they were tagged and shuffled into brown cardboard boxes. Many were simply late-1970s recordings for commercial projects or forgotten local bands like the Stallions.
Then there were the notables: Doug Sahm, Alvin Crow, and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
On that last one, forget the "Ray" part. These tapes are a microcosm of Stevie Vaughan's music before the world knew him, unexamined until now. Between January 1978 and February 1979, Vaughan recorded numerous sessions at Hole Sound Recording, a studio owned by a local musician named Perry Patterson. It was a flux period for the sometimes homeless, usually carless, and always hungry to play Vaughan.
This audio snapshot is crucial in Vaughan's development because it frames him after his departure from the Cobras, where he was a featured guitarist singing four songs – his first foray to the microphone. His vocal set was astonishing to Cobra fans who knew him only as Jimmie Vaughan's little brother, screwing his face up and wailing on his Strat with the Nightcrawlers for "Boom Boom" only a few years before.
He'd already started dressing sharp in that Texas pachuco-mafia style developed by the Thunderbirds and Cobras, favoring caps, fedoras, and berets to cover the thinning hairline that made him self-conscious. The heavy adenoidal intonation caused from his repeatedly smashed nose gave his vocals a buttery quality, achy and yearning. His playing burst forth from deep within, as if his fingers couldn't move fast enough over the guitar strings. No question that Vaughan was stepping up as a player.
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SWEET MAN IS GONE: NEW BLUES MYSTERY BY PEGGY EHRHART|
“Would you miss me if I was gone?” Jimmy says, looking at me so intently that I shiver.
“Yeah,” I say, when the shiver passes. “I would. I really would.”
Blues-singer Maxx Maxwell is smart, talented, and gorgeous--at least since she had her nose fixed, went blonde, and bought a push-up bra. Her band, Maxximum Blues, is really taking off, thanks to the talents of guitarist Jimmy Nashville.
But then Jimmy plunges to his death from his ninth-floor window. The cops say it was suicide, but Maxx decides to investigate on her own. Her quest reveals a surprising number of people who had reason to kill Jimmy, and the reader is kept guessing until the final pages.
Here’s what Mark Coggins, award-winning mystery writer and creator of August Riordan, the bass-playing detective, had to say about Sweet Man Is Gone:
“In an evocative, stripped-down writing style, Ehrhart drops us smack dab in the middle of the New York indie music scene and Maxx's struggle to solve the mystery surrounding the death of a bandmate, never sparing the grit, humor and hand-to-mouth nature of this intriguing world she clearly knows firsthand. A satisfying debut that reads as much like memoir as a work of fiction--so effective is Ehrhart's voice and narrative skill.”
Peggy Ehrhart is a former college English teacher who took up blues guitar in midlife. One thing led to another and eventually she formed her own band. The musical details in Sweet Man Is Gone are drawn from real life--as are the stresses and strains within Maxx’s band.
If you like the blues and a good mystery, check out Sweet Man Is Gone.
Visit Peggy Ehrhart on the web at www.PeggyEhrhart.com.
THE BLUES FOUNDATION IS ACCEPTING DONATIONS FOR KOKO TAYLOR'S BAND|
FROM THE BLUES FOUNDATION:
As many of you know, The Blues Machine, Koko Taylor’s band, was involved in a serious van accident near Black River Falls, Wisconsin early morning on Saturday, August 23. Some remain in the hospital and it will be awhile before they are able to return to performing.
You may contribute to a fund set up for The Blues Machine members by mailing a check to The Blues Foundation, 49 Union Avenue, Memphis, TN 38103-2492 or making an online donation by going to www.blues.org/hart/donate and put Koko Taylor in the "Referred" by box. Lets really show them some love.
Traveling in the van were guitarist Calvin "Vino" Louden, guitarist Shunsuke Kikuta, bassist Ricky Nelson, drummer Brian Parker, keyboardist Stanley Banks, driver Jesse Hutson and road manager Lee Threatt (husband to Joyce “Cookie” Threatt, Koko’s daughter).
Louden, Kikuta, Nelson, Parker, and Banks all suffered broken bones and required surgery. Hutson and Threatt were treated and released from the hospital. We wish them all a speedy recovery.
BEYONCE GAINS WEIGHT & STUDIES ADDICTION TO PLAY ETTA JAMES|
Beyonce has been piling on the pounds to play jazz and blues great Etta James in new movie Cadillac Records.
The sexy singer/actress has reportedly gained 20 pounds for the role, but admits that wasn't the hardest part of her transformation. That came when she decided to visit a drop-in center for drug addicts in Brooklyn, New York - where she studied James' drug issues.
Beyonce says, "I was really afraid. I didn't know what I would see, because I'd never seen anything like that.
"I didn't want to ask questions that were inappropriate, but (the people there) were very open and I have a new understanding. I never judge, but I just didn't understand how, if you had children and so many things to lose, you could be so deep into your addiction that you just let all of that go."
MISSISSIPPI DELTA HOSTING GROUP OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL JOURNALISTS|
JACKSON, Miss., - Representatives with the Tourism division of the Mississippi Development Authority (MDA) will host a group of international media for a tour of the Delta, September 9-15, 2008. The media tour is scheduled to coincide with opening of the B.B. King Blues Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. |
The group consists of 24 journalists representing media from Germany, England, Netherlands, France and Ireland. The combined exposure in print and electronic media exceeds 16 million potential impressions.
“This is a tremendous opportunity to showcase the Mississippi tourism product to our potential international visitors,” said Craig Ray, director Tourism Development. The international travel segment is a component of the tourism marketing strategy for MDA. “International visitors are seeking an authentic southern experience. With Mississippi known as the ‘Birthplace of America’s Music’, what better way to share with the media, the people, places and things that make our state truly unique, “ Ray added.
Highlights of the tour include; Highway 61, America’s Blues Alley, Mississippi River Museum, Delta Blues Museum, Rock’N’Roll Museum, Hopson Plantation, Airport Grocery, Po’Monkey’s Lounge, B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center, Viking Cooking School, Lusco’s, Cat Head Records, Riverside Hotel and Ground Zero.
Partners with MDA include; Tunica Convention & Visitors Bureau, Clarksdale Tourism Commission, Cleveland Chamber of Commerce, Greenwood Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the B.B. King Museum and Interpretive Center.
BLUES FOUNDATION NEEDS FOOTAGE|
Got 2007 International Blues Challenge Footage?|
A television network is looking for footage it can use of Homemade Jamz Blues Band at the 2007 International Blues Challenge, performing and/or receiving their 2nd place award. If you have high quality footage, let The Blues Foundation know ASAP.
JIMMY THACKERY RIDES HIS OWN TRACK ON NEW TELARC RECORDING|
Inside Tracks due at retail on October 14, 2008
After more than thirty years, guitarist Jimmy Thackery has learned that the smartest career track is the one that tunes out all the distracting noises and follows the sound of his own muse. Although still a gritty hard-rocking blues guitarist when the occasion demands, he has spent recent years exploring some of the more nuanced corners of the American roots music spectrum.
Inside Tracks, the new release from Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers, is due in stores on October 14, 2008. The album is a continuation of the creative shift that began in 2007 with his previous Telarc recording, Solid Ice. Like its predecessor, Inside Tracks leads to a place where country, R&B and even a touch of surf music all fit seamlessly with Thackery’s trademark guitar blues.
While some of this may be uncharted water for both Thackery and his fans, Inside Tracks is another step in his realignment of artistic priorities. The focus now is a little more on substance and a little less on flash.
“It’s about the writing now,” Thackery explains. “It’s not just about the hot dawg guitar player. For a long time, that was the thing that everyone assumed would be the selling point. Everybody likes a revved-up blues guitar player, but how many records can you make like that? I’ve done forty or something. I lost count back in the ‘90s of the exact number. I think I’ve proved that I can do that, so I figured it was time to do some real writing, regardless of whether it was consistent with people’s expectations. Fortunately, Telarc has taken a very hands off approach and given me room to do just that.”
For Jimmy Thackery, there’s much more to the blues than the standard 12-bar shuffle punctuated by a flashy guitar solo. In the end, it’s much more about the heart and soul and less about formulas and preconceived notions.
“A lot of people who are making blues records are just trying to make another T-Bone Walker record or another George Thorogood record,” he says. “Those are a couple of fine guitar players and songwriters, but I’ve pretty much done that, many times over. I’m at a point where I’m going to record the kind of music that I want to play and I want to listen to. If you’re writing stuff to please yourself, it’s going to translate to the people you’re trying to reach.”
Inside Tracks is Thackery’s chosen mode of transportation on the journey of self-discovery. Hop on the rails and take the ride with him.
Jimmy Thackery and the Drivers’ Inside Tracks (CD-83683) is due at retail on October 14, 2008.
STONY PLAIN TO RELEASE RONNIE EARL’S HOPE RADIO SESSIONS DVD ON OCTOBER 14
EDMONTON, AB – Stony Plain Records has set an October 14 release date for Ronnie Earl and The Broadcasters’ Hope Radio Sessions DVD, which includes alternate versions of some performances from his landmark Hope Radio audio CD, plus two rare solo acoustic guitar selections and an interview with the legendary – and reclusive - guitarist.
Produced by Philip Palombo and Paul Hubbard, the Hope Radio Sessions DVD was filmed live over two nights at Wellspring Sound in Acton, Massachusetts, last April. It features Ronnie Earl backed by his regular band, The Broadcasters.
Released in November, 2007, the Hope Radio CD garnered universal acclaim for Ronnie Earl and demonstrated his mastery of the blues and jazz idioms, as well as his love of spiritual music. Several of the songs on that album were tributes to some of his guitar mentors, such as “Blues for Otis Rush,” while others reached out to shed light on Earl’s personal messages (“Blues for the Homeless”).
“Ronnie Earl is at his mesmerizing best when communicating with an audience,” said Nate Dow of the Boston Herald in his review of the CD. “This all-instrumental set allows the subtlety of Earl’s genius to shine.”
In addition to several alternate performances of songs from the CD, the new Hope Radio Sessions DVD includes bonus footage that features Earl in a rare solo acoustic performance of “I Shall Not Be Moved,” as well as an 11-minute interview with the artist.
As if in anticipation of this DVDs release, perhaps Eric C. Shoaf in his Vintage Guitar magazine CD review summed it up best when he stated: “When it’s time for spiritual rejuvenation, it’s time for a visit from Ronnie Earl, pastor of the church of tone … Given that Earl rarely tours, it’s the closest that most fans will get to a performance … Come in, listen, and be healed!”
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MISSISSIPPI VALLEY BLUES FESTIVAL HINGES ON FUNDRAISING|
The future of the IH Mississippi Valley Blues Festival may hinge on a campaign to raise $100,000 in seed money for next year’s event.
“It’s very iffy that we will have a festival if we don’t have $50,000 raised by the end of the year,” said Karen MacFarland, a spokeswoman for the Mississippi Valley Blues Society, which produces the annual summertime event.
The combination of the economic downturn and a weather-forced change in venue is to blame, said Ricardo Burris, the president of the Blues Society.
The festival was moved for the third time in its 24-year history after Mississippi River flooding forced it from its traditional home in Davenport’s LeClaire Park. The location was changed to the streets of downtown Davenport, the RiverCenter and the Adler Theatre for the July 3 to 5 event.
Burris estimated the total crowd at 6,000 people. It had drawn 12,000 to 13,000 in one night during previous years.
“Anytime you change the venue, you lose about 30 percent of your crowd. Think about that on a shoestring (budget), where everything’s counted out down to the dollar,” he said. “The best thing about the Quad-Cities and the Blues Fest is that we’ve always got this core crowd of 6,000 people. They were there at this fest in Davenport. We get another 6,000 from across the country and around the world.”
The first of several concerts as part of the fundraising campaign will be Sept. 23 at the Redstone Room inside the River Music Experience, downtown Davenport. It will feature Davenport native Michael “Hawkeye” Herman, who has received international acclaim in the blues community.
Other plans for raising money include selling $1,000 Silver Anniversary Club memberships in honor of the festival’s 25th anniversary and increased sponsorships and grants. MacFarland said the group also is seeking a portion of the money raised through area hotel and motel taxes.
According to the Quad-Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau, the festival’s economic benefit to the area is $2.5 million annually, a news release from the Blues Society states.
The “seed money” guarantees performers for the festival, MacFarlane said. In past years, performers have included such blues stars as Koko Taylor, Ike Turner and Robert Randolph and the Family Band.
Money raised by the society keeps its Davenport office open and funds the Blues in the Schools program as well as the festival. MacFarland and Burris said there is enough money for both the office and the school program to continue operating.
“We like to be self-sufficient, and we have been self-sufficient for the past 24 years,” MacFarland said. “We just don’t have it to have a festival in 2009 unless we raise more money.”
Members of the Blues Society are optimistic that the event will continue.
“We’ll make it. If we don’t get to the level of festival we’ve been putting out, we’ll put out a festival for whatever we have,” Burris said. “We’ll never give up, we’ll just scale back.”
He said society members are looking to themselves for the financial assistance as well.
“In ’93 (when floods forced the festival out of LeClaire Park), a lot of people came forward in our own organization and gave an extra 100 bucks,” he added. “It’s just too good of a thing. People aren’t going to let it go under.
“The main thing is that the fest lives on.”
ROWAN BLUES & JAZZ SOCIETY NEWS|
Can you believe that we are celebrating our Tenth Year !!!
This year several musicians who have performed at our previous festivals will be returning to in Salisbury, NC to peform at our tenth festival.
Jazz great, Joe Robinson of Winston - Salem ,NC has returned by popular request eight of the past ten years. He is now our favorite regional jazz headliner. He always introduces the audience to new talent. When we honored John Coltrane in 2004 , he featured saxophonist , Mike Wallace of Fayetteville,NC.
Our own Blazin' Bob Paolino, has performed every year. He will be fired up on this year's festival also. We appreciate his committment to the preservation of blues music. Bob often provides a mini lecture on the history of blues musicians and their performance styles.
Big Bill Morganfield was our first headliner with a heritage to a legendary bluesman, Muddy Waters. He came to Salisbury soon after his decision to become a serious bluesman. He plays his own blues style as well as some of his father's popular requested songs.
In keeping with our tradition to showcase young talent this year we are presenting America's youngest Blues Band, the Homemade Jamz Blues Band, from Tupelo MS. Their ages range from 9 to 16. The Perry family plays the blues passionately from their homemade guitars using automobile mufflers. Their nine year old sibling is probably the youngest female blues drummer. They have appeared on CBS "Sunday Morning"and NPR ,"All Things Considered."
Many thanks to all of our faithful audiences over the past ten years. More thanks to our devoted financial supporters who without your contributions this festival would not have become a signature event.
Rowan Blues & Jazz Society
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HOMEMADE JAMZ BLUES BAND:
The Homemade Jamz Blues Band
consists of three kids, aged nine, fourteen, and sixteen- two brothers and little sister-out of Tupelo, Mississippi. They make their own instruments. They got hooked on music listening to their dad's BB King's
records. And man, they play the blues. Join Elwood this week on teh House of Blues Radio Hour as he sits down with the astonishing Homemade Jamz Blues Band
, only the The House of Blues Radio Hour.
For years, the Blues Festival Guide Magazine received numerous requests for updates on festivals via email, and on January 10, 2006, the Marketing Director of the Blues Festival Guide magazine, Nancy Edwards partnered with the magazine (RBA Publishing) and published the first emailed issue of the E-Guide E-Newsletter.
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