Robert Finley to Release Dan Auerbach-Produced Album, ‘Sharecropper’s Son,’ On May 21st

Robert Finley to Release Dan Auerbach-Produced Album, ‘Sharecropper’s Son,’ On May 21st

American Blues Scene Staff

Watch the official video for “Souled Out On You” and pre-order new album!

Today, Robert Finley announced Sharecropper’s Son, the career-defining new album from “the greatest living soul singer,” released on Easy Eye Sound/Concord, on May 21 2021. A soulful masterpiece written by Finley and co-written and produced by Dan Auerbach, Sharecropper’s Son features blues veterans and studio legends who have worked with everyone from Elvis to Wilson Pickett. 

Photo courtesy of Steve Karas

The announcement was accompanied by “Souled Out On You,” the album’s debut track, which was released today, along with a striking video directed by Tim Hardiman, which featured Dan Auerbach on guitar.

“Souled Out On You,” is “the story of a relationship that’s ending,” Finley explained, adding, “It’s about someone who takes on everything in the relationship. All the good and the bad and even after all of that, they notice that it just isn’t going to work out and the relationship has run its course. I took all I could take and I’m starting my life over.” 

 Finley has always been a consummate entertainer and sensational soul singer, but when he lost his sight, he became an overnight success after 67 years of hard work. Finley has a voice that has stood the test of time and can glide from a gut-deep growl to a transcendent falsetto, all in a single phrase. Rooted in the vintage sounds of southern soul, country, rhythm and blues, Sharecropper’s Son showcases Finley’s formidable vocals, which take centre stage and encapsulate his remarkable life story and reflect on his childhood during the Jim Crow era south. Finley’s stories of pain and joy will uplift as he shares his belief that you are never too young to dream and never too old to live. 

Finley is an army veteran and was a skilled carpenter before losing his sight in his 60s to finally pursue his musical dream. Finley has overcome divorce, house fires, an automobile accident and is legally blind following losing his sight due to the medical condition, glaucoma, which forced him to retire from carpentry and finally pursue his long delayed music career. Finley believes his sight was improved by the power of prayer and Finley’s faith has also helped him focus on launching his music career in his 60’s. According to Finley, “losing my sight gave me the perspective to see my true destiny.” 

His ascent has been swift. His Auerbach produced previous album, Goin’ Platinum, received widespread critical acclaim. Auerbach saw Finley’s potential straight away, proclaiming him “the greatest living soul singer.” “He walked in like he was straight out of the swamp.” Auerbach recalled, adding, “He had leather pants, snakeskin boots, a big country & Western belt buckle, a leather cowboy hat and a three-quarter-length leather duster. The final touch was the folding cane the legally blind Finley wore on his hip, in a holster. Basically, he was dressed for national television.”  

Currently living in Bernice, in North-Central Louisiana, Finley is one of eight children, and was born in Winnsboro, Louisiana in 1953. Song’s including Sharecropper’s Son’s title track, were inspired by Finley’s childhood. His family were Sharecroppers and he was unable to regularly attend school and often worked with his family in the field picking cotton. He later attended a segregated school but dropped out in the 10th grade to go into employment.

 “I was ready to tell my story, and Dan and his guys knew me so well by then that they knew it almost like I do, so they had my back all the way.”  Finley stated, reflecting back on his childhood stories that inspired the record, “Working in the cotton fields wasn’t a pleasant place to be, but it was part of my life. I went from the cotton fields to Beverly Hills. We stayed in the neighbourhood most of our childhood. It wasn’t really all that safe to be out by yourself. One of the things I love about music is that, when I was a boy growing up in the South, nobody wanted to hear what I had to say or what I thought about anything. But when I started putting it in songs, people listened.” 

 

With songwriting by Finley, Auerbach, Bobby Wood, and contributions from respected country songwriter Pat McLaughlin, Sharecropper’s Son also features an all star band including guitar expertise from Auerbach himself, Mississippi hill country’s Kenny Brown – a blues veteran of R.L. Burnside’s band, and studio legends Russ Pahl, Billy Sanford and Louisiana guitarist Billy Sanford. They are joined by other notables: keyboardist and songwriter Bobby Wood and drum legend Gene Chrisman, who both played a historic role in Memphis and Nashville music. The line-up was completed by bass contributions from dap king Nick Movshon, blues legend Eric Deaton and former Johnny Cash bandmate Dave Roe, as well as a full horn section, and percussion from Sam Bacco. 

The fire behind the conflagrant performances on Sharecropper’s Son is ignited by 67-year-old Finley, who has cited a range of vocal influences, including Al Green, Jimmi Hendrix, Ray Charles, Elvis, James Brown and The Beatles, all inspiring his genre diverse approach. Finley stated, “I want people to understand that I can’t be kept in a box. I like to do all kinds of music—everything that means anything to me, from gospel to blues to soul to country to rock ‘n’ roll.”

Sharecropper’s Son will be released on May 21 on Easy Eye Sound. There will be an exclusive sunrise yellow vinyl, available from the Easy Eye Sound store only.

Tracklist:

 1 Souled Out On You 

2 Make Me Feel Alright 

3 Sharecropper’s Son 

4 Better Than I Treat Myself

5 Country Child 

6 Starting To See 

7 I Can Feel Your Pain

8 My Story 

9 Country Boy 

10 All My Hope

 

Pre-order Sharecropper’s Son

 

*Feature image courtesy of Steve Karas 

Interview: Corky Siegel Previews Chamber Blues Extravaganza/Chicago City Winery

Interview: Corky Siegel Previews Chamber Blues Extravaganza/Chicago City Winery

Lisa Torem

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues EXTRAVAGANZA – “Closer than in-person” is a virtual event that will debut on Mandolin on Saturday, 3/6 at 7 PM CT

Mark your calendars for Saturday, March 6 when Corky Siegel — one of Chicago’s most renowned blues harpists, keyboardists and composers — invites you to participate in the streaming of his Chamber Blues Extravaganza, where he and a unique community of musicians unearth their signature songs and stories. 

The featured acts are names you’ve heard before, but perhaps never in one expressive and explosive night: blues artist Toronzo Cannon, City Winery super star Lynne Jordan, Poi Dog Pondering’s poetic Frank Orrall, jazz saxophonist Ernie Watts, vocalist/songwriter Marcella Detroit, Cantor Pavel Roytman and soulful Grammy nominee Tracy Nelson.

Corky Siegel and Toronzo Cannon (Credit: © Phil Solomonson)

Corky and his wife, Holly Siegel, exceeded expectations by mastering this technological feat during the height of the pandemic. So, what happened behind the scenes? And what can we expect during this one-off performance? We caught up with Corky prior to the show to find out.   

Lisa Torem for ABS:

Holly said, “Culturally, this is probably the most important thing we’ve ever done.” Can you elaborate? 

CS:

Well, this didn’t happen on purpose but our group is probably as diverse as you can imagine. We have African-American, someone from Taiwan, someone from India and someone from Wheaton College (laughs). They are diverse, both culturally and artistically. 

The concept of bringing blues and classic together was Seiji Ozawa’s in 1966. 

He felt it was important because it brought two very seemingly opposing cultural forces  together and that for me, was experienced most acutely when I was performing with the New York Philharmonic at Lincoln Center in 1969. The audience, of what we would have called “the establishment,” saw these hippies onstage and started booing and hissing. 

And then, when the concert was over, the president of the symphony association reported that it was the longest and most intense standing ovation he had ever seen in all his time at Lincoln Center. And he said the only thing that reminded him remotely of it was Enrique Caruso’s last performance. That’s what he told me, so, as a young twenty-year-old, I’m thinking, a few of these people were really angry, and in the end music brought everyone together. 

ABS:

Lynne Jordan shares a story about her ancestor’s resilience during the era of Jim Crow. Instrumentally, she combines forces with Kalyan Pathak’s tabla, as well as the chamber quartet. You heighten the suspense by sweetening her vocal part with your blues harp. These are just a few of the incredible moments that people will witness during the live stream, but how did you work out the technology? 

CS:

First, each solo artist that we chose, we had done one, if not many shows with them individually. So, every time we were going to do a show, for instance, with Tracy Nelson, I would have to write three or four or five or six special arrangements of their tunes, or tunes that they could sing so we could do a show with them. 

So, I chose my favorite artists and my favorite pieces of theirs and I just did a composition around their song that was still a chamber blues classical style composition but that included their genre. 

And so, I had all of these pieces—the first thing I had to do was get the string quartet to record them, and I used the electronic score and had audio pumped out of the score. Then, I sent an audio of the score to each individual musician. And we played along with the score as if they were playing along with each other. And none of the people involved thought it was going to work, but I was pretty sure it was going to work and it did. 

Usually when you get together to rehearse and perform, there’s a leader of the band who takes responsibility for everything that’s happening and each musician has the responsibility for getting their part right, but in a situation like this, each individual becomes 100 percent responsible for the whole production that they’re sending to Corky and Holly Central. So each individual is a choreographer, a cinematographer, a staging director, a lighting director; they’re doing everything, They’re taking full part in the production; therefore they get a sense of collaboration like never before. 

ABS:

I was struck by the beautiful melody of “Hine Ma Tov” that cantor Pavel Roytman sang in Hebrew. Can you share with us the meaning behind the song? 

CS:

“How beautiful it is when brothers can sit together in peace.” And because of that song, when I was writing the arrangement for it, which, by the way, is based on Muddy Water’s ‘Hoochie Coochie Man,’ and then going into some classical wanderings, I was trying to understand the words. I was writing the introduction to it, to make it more acute. So, the introduction was: “The universe just weeps with joy when every mother’s girl and every father’s boy lives in this world as one.” 

And then I decided, hey, that’s a song. So, my wife and I sat down and wrote a song called: “One” which is on the last Chamber Blues album. 

ABS:

When listening to saxophonist Ernie Watts, I feel the presence—the spirits of Dave Brubeck, Miles Davis…  

CS:

That’s how we feel about Ernie because he’s played with everybody. His whole life is an amazing story. Having him is an added depth. And that’s true, too, of the other artists. We did a live stream on Marcy Detroit and people were just blown away by her musical history. Elton John chose her to do a duet with him; there’s a video of it, and the same thing with the Bee Gees. Bob Dylan wanted her to be in the band; she turned him down. It’s a funny story. “Bob, who?” she said. 

I played a solo and I sent it to her. I left space in it for her to play and that’s what she did. That’s what she does. She’s amazing. 

ABS:

You studied saxophone at Roosevelt University but performed live using keyboards and blues harp. In retrospect, did your saxophone experience inform your arranging skills?  

Credit: © Phil Solomonson

CS:

I got a lot of my first harmonica licks from what I was doing on the saxophone but the saxophone didn’t fit in my pocket. My studies at Roosevelt did give me an advantage because I did learn basic music theory but I never got beyond that because it didn’t make sense to me and now I understand some of the things I could have learned, but back then, nothing fit into my world of how I approached music. 

I remember, I was actually in a composition class. I failed. I failed all my classes. But I also took this composition class because I started composing starting from measure one and then going ahead. The professor, who was a jazz person, told me that I couldn’t compose that way. So, I didn’t really get anything out of the class. Like I said, I failed it, but I have not stopped composing in the same way, which is starting from measure one and moving on. It’s not the traditional way, but mostly I would just take it one measure at a time.  So, I did have a leg up. A basic understanding of music theory is really all anyone really needs to be able to compose symphonic music and a good book on orchestration.

ABS:

Thank you, Corky. We’ll see you at the Chamber Blues Show! 

Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues EXTRAVAGANZA – “Closer than in-person” is a virtual event that will debut on Mandolin on Saturday, 3/6 at 7 PM CT. It features Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues with a slew of featured artists who also happen to be City Winery favorites. This is a 100% donation-based virtual performance where people can RSVP for free to watch on Mandolin and they can donate via Paypal. 

*All images: © Phil Solomonson / Philamonjaro Studio

Tom Petty’s ‘Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions)’ Announced

Tom Petty’s ‘Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions)’ Announced

American Blues Scene Staff

Available everywhere May 7!

Tom Petty’s Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions) — curated with help from his family, bandmates and collaborators — features 16 studio recordings of alternate takes, long cuts and jam versions of Wildflowers songs as Tom, band members and co-producer Rick Rubin worked to finalize the album in 1994.

The release offers fans further deep access into the writing and recording of Wildflowers, as well as realizing the full vision of the project as Tom had always intended.

Today sees the release of “You Saw Me Comin’.” The previously unreleased song and recording from 1992 and the final track on the collection premieres alongside a video directed by Joel Kazuo Knoernschild and Katie Malia.

Reflecting on the recording, Benmont Tench notes, “There’s this kind of longing in the song, in the way that he wrote the chord structure, the melody and the lyrics. It’s wistful, and it would have been the perfect way to end the disc.”

Finding Wildflowers (Alternate Versions) Limited Edition gold vinyl is available now.

 

*Feature image courtesy of the artist’s site

Album Premiere: Grandaddy Short Leg ‘Firewater Sessions: Vol. II’

Album Premiere: Grandaddy Short Leg ‘Firewater Sessions: Vol. II’

American Blues Scene Staff

These former moonshiners come from a tradition of music that spans five generations, creating both a classic and eclectic blend of blues, rock and country

Firewater Sessions: Vol. II, the new EP from Grandaddy Short Leg, is almost like the missing link between John Lee Hooker and ZZ Top. The songs strike a balance between refried boogie and pure blues, with a southern rock tint that respects their musical heritage but places it in a modern context. Born in blood, bottled in bond, and hardened by the crucible of mountain life, all three band members are the latest scions of a five-generation tradition of music and spirits.

Combining their love of distilling with their passion for playing, you’re as likely to see these gentlemen cooking the corn in a 21st century digitally controlled still, as you are to find them cooking on stage with vintage guitars and Marshall amps.

“Let’s just say we were forcefully encouraged to find an alternate line of work after a number of brushes with government types… T-men and whatnot,” says guitarist and singer Lester Tugnut, explaining how the band came together. “We had to abandon alcohol, professionally, but, growing up together, me, Cletus (Massengil – drums, vocals) and Smoke-Eye (Kielbasa – bass, vocals) always played music. So that’s what we went back to. We named the band after Cletus’ great-great-grandpappy’s first still; it had one leg a bit shorter than the other and sat kinda crooked so he called it Grandaddy Short Leg. That man made some legendary shine, kept three divisions in fighting form for at least two years after the war ended. But I digress.”

Though their approach may seem tongue-in-cheek to the casual observer, when it comes to playing music this band is all business. Firewater Sessions: Vol. II not only musically nods to blues and rock, there are subtle and not-so-subtle tips of the hat to everything from Link Wray to Flatt & Scruggs woven into their framework. The deeper you dig, the more nuggets you find – and this record is chock full. 

Editor’s note: If you are having difficulty accessing the player or are getting error messages, please click here.

 

Grandaddy Short Leg

Americana Duo Ida Mae Release ‘Click Click Domino’ ft. Marcus King

Americana Duo Ida Mae Release ‘Click Click Domino’ ft. Marcus King

American Blues Scene Staff

New album out this July!

The Nashville / London duo Ida Mae have a new video for “Click Click Domino” that launches alongside the announcement of their new album of the same name. They will release their sophomore LP Click Click Domino on 7/16 via Thirty Tigers. 

Watch the video for “Click Click Domino” – which features contributions from guitarist phenom Marcus King. With it’s prowling rhythm, seething guitars and biting lyrical wit, the song radiates Beat poet psyche and freak-blues energy like a lost B-side from The White Album.$4

Turpin and Jean relocated to Nashville in 2019 and released their debut LP Chasing Lights to widespread critical acclaim. Rolling Stone hailed the album’s “stomping swirl of blues and guitar-heavy Americana.” The music helped the earn the duo a slew of support dates with the likes of Greta Van Fleet, The Marcus King Band and Blackberry Smoke, as well as festival performances everywhere from Bonnaroo and Telluride Blues to Reeperbahn and Zermatt Unplugged.

With COVID-19 taking international travel off the table, though, Turpin and Jean decided to go ahead and make their next record themselves, leaning on everything they’d learned collaborating with producer Ethan Johns on Chasing Lights, as well as other top shelf producers over the years like T Bone Burnett (Elvis Costello, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss), M. Ward, Ryan Hadlock (The Lumineers, Brandi Carlile), Jake Gosling (Ed Sheeran, Shawn Mendes), and Mike Crossey (The 1975, Arctic Monkeys).

Working out of their house in Nashville, they set up a series of bare bones recording stations and began cutting tracks together in one or two take performances, balancing the spontaneity of the moment with the intuition of the live show they’d spent the past few years perfecting. The results however hardly sound contained or minimalist. On Click Click Domino The pair pushed themselves to break new ground on the record both as artists and producers. The resulting leap forward is palpable on every single track, a distinct elevation in ambition and execution that reaches back into the past in order to reimagine the future.4

New Video From Rhiannon Giddens – ‘Waterbound’

New Video From Rhiannon Giddens – ‘Waterbound’

Shore Fire Media

Reflections On Meaning Of “Home” Created During Pandemic Lockdown In Ireland

Rhiannon Giddens’ new album They’re Calling Me Home, recorded with Italian multi-instrumentalist Francesco Turrisi, will be released April 9 on Nonesuch Records. Giddens and Turrisi, who both live in Ireland when they aren’t on tour, have been there since March 2020 due to the pandemic. The two expats found themselves drawn to the music of their native and adoptive countries of America, Italy, and Ireland during lockdown.

Exploring the emotions brought up by the moment, Giddens and Turrisi decamped to Hellfire, a small studio on a working farm outside of Dublin, to record these songs over six days. The result is They’re Calling Me Home, a twelve-track album that speaks of the longing for the comfort of home as well as the metaphorical “call home” of death, which has been a tragic reality for so many during the COVID-19 crisis.

They’re Calling Me Home features several traditional songs that Giddens hasn’t played for years, including some of the first old-time pieces she ever learned: “I Shall Not Be Moved,” “Black As Crow (Dearest Dear)” and “Waterbound.” The album also includes a new song Giddens wrote, “Avalon,” as well as an Italian lullaby, “Nenna Nenna,” that Turrisi used to sing to his infant daughter that took on new resonance during the lockdown.

“Waterbound” was originally recorded in March, 1929, by the Grayson/Carroll County, southwestern Virginia, group Fields Ward’s Buck Mountain Band consisting of Fields Ward (gtr., vocals), Ernest V. Stoneman (harmonica, vocals, using his Justin Winfield pseudonym), Eck Dunford (fiddle), and Fields’ brother Samson Ward (banjo). The group took its name from Wade’s birthplace in Buck Mountain, however, the group also went by the name Grayson County Railsplitters. A later iteration of the group called the Ballard Branch Bogtrotters (Wade and Crockett Ward, nephew Fields Ward, autoharpist Doc Davis and fiddler Eck Dunford) was recorded playing “Waterbound” in 1937 for the Library of Congress by folklorist John A. Lomax.

Giddens and Turrisi’s version also features Congolese guitarist Niwel Tsumbu.

In the past two years alone Rhiannon Giddens has received another GRAMMY nomination, been profiled in the New Yorker, featured on multiple magazine covers, and appeared in Ken Burns’ Country Music on PBS and Samuel L. Jackson’s Epix series Enslaved, among other appearances. She received the inaugural Legacy of Americana Award at the Americana Awards & Honors, composed her first opera (with a forthcoming debut at Spoleto Festival USA), shared remote performances for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert and NPR’s Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, and was named Artistic Director of the Silk Road Ensemble.

Rhiannon Giddens
Pre-Order They’re Calling Me Home

*Feature image photo credit: Karen Cox

British Jazz Giant Chris Barber Dies at Age 90

British Jazz Giant Chris Barber Dies at Age 90

American Blues Scene Staff

Not only had he brought such singers to Britain as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters, but he added John Slaughter, the electric guitarist, to his band

Editorial Note: This obituary information was provided by Lisa Best of The Last Music Company.

After suffering from dementia, jazz multi-instrumentalist Chris Barber died on March 2, 2021. He was 90.

Born Donald Christopher Barber on April 17th, 1930 in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, he began learning the violin at age 7. He was educated at Hanley Castle Grammar School, Malvern, Worcestershire, to the age of 15, and started to develop an interest in jazz. After the end of World War II, he attended St Paul’s School in London, and began visiting clubs to hear jazz groups. He then spent three years at the Guildhall School of Music, and started playing music with friends he met there, including Alexis Korner.

Barber began collecting 78 records of his American heroes, becoming an expert on the early days of recorded jazz. He formed his first band in London after the war, playing a trombone that he bought for £5 from the trombonist in Humphrey Lyttelton’s band. His first records were made at the end of the 1940s, but it was when he and the clarinettist Monty Sunshine formed a co-operative band in 1953 under the leadership of Ken Colyer that his career took off. 

Colyer’s band was a byword for New Orleans authenticity, helped by the fact that after working his passage to the home of jazz the trumpeter had been deported for outstaying his visa in order to play with the city’s legendary jazz musicians. In 1954 the band split from Colyer, the remaining five members adding trumpeter Pat Halcox to the line-up, who was to stay in Barber’s various bands until 2008, their 54-year partnership being unparalleled in British jazz. When the Northern Irish singer Ottilie Patterson (soon to become Mrs Barber) joined the band, it hit a winning formula, and moved from small jazz clubs to ever-larger concert halls, first in Britain, then in Europe, and from 1959 in the United States. There Barber became known as “the man who brought Trad back to America.”

Barber had briefly studied the double bass at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, as well as trombone, and he played the instrument on his 1956 record of “Petite Fleur,” featuring Monty Sunshine’s clarinet, which became a chart hit — reaching no. 3 in the UK and no 5 in the American top 100. It was number 1 in Sweden for several weeks. There was chart success, too, for the band’s original banjoist, Lonnie Donegan. He and Barber had often included a short set of “skiffle” — American country blues and folk songs — in their concert sets, and their version of “Rock Island Line” released in 1955 was the first debut vocal recording to become a certified Gold Disc in the UK.

Barber’s abiding interest away from music was motor sport, and after owning a pair of vintage Lagondas, he moved into sports car racing, first driving a Lotus Mark IX and then a prototype Lotus Elite, supplied direct to him by Colin Chapman. He was a regular figure at UK racing circuits over the years and his band often played during post-race celebrations at the British F1 Grand Prix.

By the time the Beatles began to transform the landscape of British popular music, Barber had established himself as a hot property with regular radio and television shows, but by the early 1960s he had also become a major figure in the blues revival. Not only had he brought such singers to Britain as Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Muddy Waters, but he added John Slaughter, the electric guitarist, to his band, which became the Chris Barber Jazz and Blues Band. This group never stood still musically and while his “Trad” compatriots were still playing the traditional jazz repertoire of the 1920s and 1930s, Barber was exploring material by Charles Mingus, John Handy and Joe Zawinul.

This restless taste for experiment continued, and his eight-piece band of the 1980s and 1990s, working for much of the year in Germany and Holland, successfully combined its New Orleans roots with more contemporary material. Barber himself was a frequent guest with musicians such as Van Morrison and Jools Holland, bringing his trombone and enthusiasm into their backing bands in equal measure. Barber’s final venture was to enlarge his group from the start of the new century as the Big Chris Barber Band, specializing particularly in the music of Duke Ellington, which had fascinated him since boyhood and which was brilliantly arranged for his line-up by his fellow trombonist Bob Hunt.

In 1991 Barber was awarded the OBE for his services to music. Barber announced his retirement in 2019, having led a band almost continuously for 70 years. He published his autobiography Jazz Me Blues in 2014. Barber is survived by his wife Kate and children Caroline & Christopher from a previous marriage.

*Feature image photo credit: John Watson / jazzcamera.co.uk

Jorma Kaukonen Approaches One Year of Free Live Virtual Concerts, Touring to Begin

Jorma Kaukonen Approaches One Year of Free Live Virtual Concerts, Touring to Begin

Cash Edwards Music Services

Jorma’s #40 Quarantine Concert this Saturday, one-year anniversary coming up!

For almost a year, Jorma Kaukonen has been there for thousands of fans. Since April 4, 2020, with a wry sense of humor, Jorma intersperses music with lifetime stories, fields fans’ questions with honesty and engages with his family live on YouTube. The music has not stopped! This Saturday, March 6, will be Quarantine Concert #40. And they will be celebrating their one year anniversary April 3, 2021.

The concerts will continue for the foreseeable future at 8 p.m. EST. All live shows are both broadcast and archived on the Fur Peace Ranch YouTube channel.

Recorded with kindred spirit John Hurlbut, Jorma’s latest release, The River Flows, can be heard on Americana, Blues, NPR and Independent radio across the country. Watch the official video for “The Ballad of Easy Rider” below.

The Touring Begins with Electric Hot Tuna

(Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady, Justin Guip)

and 

The David Grisman Trio

with Sam Grisman and Danny Barnes

Nov 24  The Birchmere, Washington, D.C.

Nov 26   The Paramount, Huntington, NY

Nov 27  Mahaiwee Theatre, Great Barrington, MA

Nov 28  Wilbur Theatre, Boston, MA

Nov 30  Flynn Theatre, Burlington, VT

Dec 01  The Egg, Albany, NY

Dec 03  Penn’s Peak, Jim Thorpe, PA

Dec 04  Capitol Theatre, Port Chester, NY

Dec 05   Count Basie Theatre, Red Bank, NJ

Dec 07  Carnegie of Homestead M.H., Pittsburgh, PA

Dec 08  Kent Stage, Kent, OH

Dec 09  Ludlow Garage, Cincinnati, OH

For more information and tickets:

http://jormakaukonen.com/tour.php

 

 

 

WXPN Welcomes ‘That Guy Was Fun: Gene Shay’s Birthday Bash’

WXPN Welcomes ‘That Guy Was Fun: Gene Shay’s Birthday Bash’

Lauren Leadingham

Remembering folk giant Gene Shay (March 4, 1935 – April 17, 2020)

For over 45 years, Gene Shay was prominent in the Philadelphia folk scene, producing folk radio shows every Sunday since 1962. A founder of the Philadelphia Folk Festival and the event’s emcee since its inception, he has been called the “Godfather of Philadelphia Folk Music” and also the “dean of American folk DJs.” 

Throughout his career, Shay discovered dozens of folk, blues and Americana. His early interviews include Joni Mitchell, Jackson Browne, John Denver, Tom Waits, Phil Ochs, Bonnie Raitt and Judy Collins, some of which have been bootlegged. It was Gene who brought Bob Dylan to Philadelphia for his debut concert in the area. And as an advertising writer-producer, he also wrote the original radio spots for Woodstock. Gene came up with the name “World Cafe” for the nationally syndicated series produced by WXPN. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Delaware Valley Music Poll in 1994.

On Saturday, March 6th the national folk music community will celebrate the life of legendary DJ Gene Shay. Fifteen plus Facebook Live sites will host the WXPN Welcome event, including organizer Jefferson Berry & the UAC.

When Berry saw Gene’s Birthday come up on the calendar, he thought, “We should do something. For all the people we’ve lost during the pandemic, none of us have gotten any closure. But thinking about Gene’s passing, one can be sad for just so long.  So many good times. So many good stories.”

Jefferson Berry / Credit: Lisa Schaffer

Of Gene Shay and the event, Jefferson Berry tells ABS:

If you knew Gene Shay, one thing you knew for sure was “That Guy Was Fun.” But writing and recording the song “That Guy Was Fun” in the middle of the pandemic really didn’t prepare me for the experience of producing ‘WXPN Welcomes That Guy Was Fun, the Gene Shay Birthday Bash.’  He touched so many people in so many ways and when we were putting together all the performances, I realized that he touched everyone in so many ways. 

You have folks like Ernie Tokay and me, for whom for all his stardom, Gene was one of the guys. And for Ben Arnold he was this, but also someone he could run his new songs past. The heartfelt sincerity of his loss on this show is balanced with the playful memories.. A father figure. A world class broadcaster. Gene Shay was so many things to so many people. I think this show captures that.

Hosted by Ian Zolitor (Shay’s successor on WXPN’s 88.5 FM’s Folk Show on Sundays from 8-10 PM EST), the online event will feature stories and performances from folks who knew Gene well: Tom Rush, Susan Werner, Ben Arnold, Kim and Reggie Harris, Michael Braunfeld, John Francis O’Mara, Kicking Down Doors, LisaBeth Weber, and Jefferson Berry & the UAC. Jayne Toohey has compiled a photographic memorial to Gene.

Grants will be given in Gene Shay’s name and redistributed to Folk artists in need via Greg Seltzer, the founder and curator of Philly Music Fest — whose micro grant program has put significant money into the pockets of those performers and venue workers who were impacted the most intensely by Covid-19. Grants will be given in Gene Shay’s name and redistributed to Folk artists in need via PMF. Gene’s family felt that this would be an appropriate way to pay tribute to him.

Donations can be made here in Gene Shay’s name. For more information on the event and a direct link to the event’s Facebook page, click here.

Listen: New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers ‘Blues For Yesterday,’ ft. Charlie Musselwhite

Listen: New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers ‘Blues For Yesterday,’ ft. Charlie Musselwhite

American Blues Scene Staff

The ‘New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Vol. 2’ repertoire is a mix of righteous takes on such musical chestnuts

The New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers are Charlie Musselwhite, Alvin Youngblood Hart, Jimbo Mathus, the late Jim Dickinson, and North Mississippi Allstars members Luther Dickinson and Cody Dickinson (just nominated for a GRAMMY in the Contemporary Blues category for their Up and Rolling album). Vol. 2 is slated to be released March 26 via Stony Plain Records. 

Recorded at the Zebra Ranch Recording Studio in Coldwater, Mississippi, the 11 blues-drenched tracks on New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Vol. 2 give fans even more bang for their buck than the first volume’s 10 tracks of sublime roots music.

New Moon Jelly Roll Freedom Rockers Volume 1, released in September of 2020, was greeted with universal acclaim and became a Top 20 Billboard and Top 10 Living Blues chart album.

This album crosses the generations of new Blues-Rockers and Classic Blues Statesmen. It is a testament to the great experience and talent of these esteemed performers that they could casually conjure a recording of this quality out of the ether in a casual jam session — sounding as if you are right there in the room with them with between-song banter and commentary, the classic structures of the Blues, being pulled together and teased apart by some of the most award-decorated members of the Blues Elite.

Listen to “Blues For Yesterday,” featuring Charlie Musselwhite.

Pre-order Vol. 2

*Feature image courtesy of Charlie Musselwhite site

Amid Crisis New Blues Foundation President Eager to Work With Community

Amid Crisis New Blues Foundation President Eager to Work With Community

JD Nash

“I have found the Memphis community to be very welcoming, and very warm. I look forward to post-COVID when I can really get out and start to meet our partners and those people who make up the blues community here.” – Patricia Wilson Aden

On October 1st, 2020 Patricia Wilson Aden took the reins of The Blues Foundation in Memphis, Tennessee as its new President & CEO. Her appointment, coming as it did amid the COVID-19 crisis, brought more than a handful of challenges to Ms. Aden. She has met them head on with grace and experience, excited for the day when she can make connections to the blues community at large in person.

With a background in historic preservation, specializing in the preservation and celebration of African American cultural resources, Aden brings more than three decades of experience to the post. Her most recent experience as President & CEO of the African American Museum in Philadelphia and her earlier role as Executive Director of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation make her uniquely qualified to lead The Blues Foundation.

One of the first things noticeable in our conversation is Aden’s frequent use of the word “we.” She doesn’t use it as a “royal we,” but rather as reference to herself and her entire team. That generosity alone strikes of humility, gratitude, and professionalism.

JD Nash for American Blues Scene:

You are the new President and CEO of The Blues Foundation.

Patricia Wilson Aden:

I am. I’m very excited for this new opportunity to join the blues community.

You had extensive experience coming into this position. Is that right?

I was the Executive Director of The Rhythm and Blues Foundation for about three years.

Are you a musician yourself, or what brings you into the music field like this?

Fortuitous circumstances. I am not a musician. I am a non-profit manager. I specialize in leading non-profits that celebrate cultural resources. In particular, African American cultural resources. My background is actually in historic preservation.

This shows how serendipitous things can be; I was working in Philadelphia, leading an historic preservation organization, and we sold an historic theater to Kenny Gamble of Gamble & Huff, (The Sound of Philadelphia). At that point, Mr. Gamble had a vision of making Philadelphia the home of Rhythm & Blues. Part of that strategy called for bringing The Rhythm & Blues Foundation to Philadelphia. He eventually loaned me to The Rhythm & Blues Foundation for what was supposed to be a short term executive loan. What was supposed to be a three month assignment turned into a three year adventure for me.

Since then I’ve maintained my contact with the music community even as I worked for the African American Museum in Philadelphia as their President. So when I received the call from The Blues Foundation it seemed like the stars had aligned and it was a conversation that I welcomed.

So do you now live in Memphis?

I moved to Memphis in October and have found the Memphis community to be very welcoming, and very warm. I look forward to post-COVID when I can really get out and start to meet our partners and those people who make up the blues community here. That means not only the artists, but those people who run the venues, and everything that comprises the blues community. I’m also very anxious to make that pilgrimage down to Mississippi to see many of the sites associated with Delta blues.

COVID has really limited my introduction, but I’m very eager to get out there and make those connections.

And we are eager to have things back in other than a virtual format. The International Blues Challenge and Blues Music Awards for example.

Absolutely. I’m very eager to experience the excitement and vitality that everyone tells me is unique to The International Blues Challenge on Beale Street. We are keenly aware of how much IBC will be missed, not only for the artists but for blues fans. We bring thousands of people to Memphis so its loss is impacting the Memphis economy as well. From the venues to the hotels to the restaurants, they’re all feeling the absence of a live IBC.

Mostly I think the larger blues community is feeling the lack of a live IBC. It plays a very unique role in serving as that launching pad for so many of our blues musicians. It is the chance for them to congregate, hone their craft and meet their fellow blues musicians. They really use IBC as a training opportunity to launch their careers. One year they compete in IBC and the next year they may be a BMA winner. We’re just so frustrated that, due to COVID restrictions, we could not offer it as a live event again in 2021.

Speaking of the BMA (Blues Music Awards), they will once again be virtual this year, is that correct?

Yeah (heavy sigh). We had to make that tough decision. We held out as long as we could but we had to consider several factors. One would be of course state and local regulations. Others would be the likelihood of how many people would be vaccinated by then and feel safe, but we’re also very aware that many people in our audience for the BMA are older people. We must always prioritize the safety of our audience and of our artists. We knew that we were working with a vulnerable population. Some people would either be unwilling or unable to travel. We thought it would be best if we tried to put together a really exciting virtual BMA show and we’re working on that right now.

Barbara Newman was President of The Blues Foundation when COVID hit and she had to adapt very quickly to the virtual process. She seemed to embrace that technology well. Was she able to pass that knowledge on to you, or did you come in with completely fresh ideas? Or both?

I think it’s a combination. I’ve been very gratified to work with Barbara to affect a smooth transition. She’s been very generous in sharing that kind of information. The team itself has been very generous. There was institutional memory, but there was also commitment to being nimble, understanding that this is a unique situation and we had to be able to flex and adopt new practices. We looked around and saw what the best practices are. We were open and willing to learn from our peers.

I like to think I’m bringing some new perspectives and new capacity to the organization. I really want to emphasize that I’m building upon the foundation that was established by Barbara as she worked in close collaboration with the board and of course with the staff. The team here has been terrific, always prioritizing how we can fulfill our mission under these very difficult circumstances.

What about some other Foundation projects? The HART Fund (Handy Artists Relief Trust) for example. Is the COVID-19 Blues Music Emergency Relief Fund part of that or something separate?

It is separate. Both function as part of The Blues Foundation but in March of 2020 when COVID first hit, the work of The Blues Foundation understood that this would have a particular and challenging impact upon blues musicians. We founded the COVID-19 Relief Fund and we’ve been very gratified on both ends. On one end we’re very happy that we have received so many donations. It has been very generously funded. We’re also very grateful that we can provide the urgent support that so many of our blues artists require.

We have received over $300,000 in donations and have been able to pay mortgages, car payments, utility bills, and telephone bills for those blues musicians who have applied. To know that we’re ensuring that they continue to have shelter during this time, but also making sure they’re able to stay in communication. As you know a musician getting a call about a possible gig is very important. So making sure that we’re able to pay those telephone and utility bills is just as important.

We are keenly aware that many musicians have not been able to get out there in the venues because the venues are closed and this has had a damaging domino effect on the music community. The COVID-19 Relief Fund is The Blues Foundation’s way of providing a much needed safety net.

Is the Blues Hall of Fame closed at this time?

Yes. It has been closed since March of last year due to COVID restrictions here. We have, of course, a wonderful collection in the Blues Hall of Fame and we’re very eager to open that back up and welcome the public once again to see that rich collection that tells the story of the blues. It is, I think, an underappreciated jewel and is an underutilized asset here in Memphis. We attract blues fans, but we want to be sure that everyone who visits Memphis has the Blues Hall of Fame as a destination because it really adds substance to the brand of Memphis as ‘The Home of the Blues.’

This is also our opportunity to really focus on the programs we want to develop to support our blues community. We have been innovative in establishing the COVID-19 Relief Fund, and we continue to administer The HART Fund. We’re also working at building up our educational initiative.

We’re also using this time to partner with the tourism and hospitality community to start thinking about ways to open the doors and welcome an even greater number of visitors once we’re past the COVID emergency.

Has the closure adversely affected income to The Blues Foundation as a non-profit?

It’s very gratifying that the blues community is very generous. This is a time when people are making donations to the COVID-19 Relief Fund and to the HART Fund to provide much needed assistance to blues musicians. The Blues Foundation has been impacted by the COVID crisis. Because we’re closed we’re not receiving the revenue from visitors to the Blues Hall of Fame. We’re also not seeing the revenue that we would normally see from the IBC. For that week that we have all of those people here in Memphis, that is a huge revenue generator for The Blues Foundation. We don’t have that opportunity to generate that revenue this year.

Donations to The Blues Foundation itself are very timely and very important at this time. We’re very grateful that people are supporting what we call our restricted funds such as the COVID-19 Relief Fund and the HART Fund, but we are especially grateful when someone makes a donation to insure that The Blues Foundation can continue to do the important work that it does.

I want to emphasize that due to the generosity over the years, we are still able to maintain our staff and to do the critical work that we do. But, like so many businesses, COVID has had an impact on The Blues Foundation as well.

When the restrictions are finally lifted, and you can hit the ground running, do you have any new programs in mind to implement?

We’re really taking a fresh look at our education programs. We’ve had Blues in the Schools for a long time, and have worked closely with our blues affiliates across the country. We applaud the work that they’ve been doing but we do realize that we have the opportunity to take a fresh look and develop some new curriculum. We’re looking to really stretch and use Memphis as a laboratory to test some education strategies and programs that we can then share with our affiliates, hoping to make an impact on the next generation so that those children have an understanding of the blues, both historically and musically.

This pause right now is our opportunity to take a look at that type of programming. We hope to also reach our adult audiences with more programming as well. We’re taking a look at how we can roll that out.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Just that we are committed to making sure that we maintain, and build upon, the foundation that has been established. We want to continue to connect with the blues community as best we can with the use of our virtual shows. We want to maintain communication and I am very eager to meet all the people in person that I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to communicate with via email, phone and social media.

The blues community has stretched out welcoming arms to me and I’m just real excited for the opportunity to get to know people on a personal basis and to experience the signature events such as IBC and BMA. I’m looking forward to experiencing those events in person and getting to know the artists and fans on a personal basis. Everyone has told me ‘you have to be there’ to know just how special those events are, so I’m excited for the opportunity, hopefully in 2022, to experience those things for myself.

The Blues Foundation

*Feature image courtesy of Conqueroo

Chris Cain To Release Alligator Debut ‘Raisin’ Cain’ On April 9

Chris Cain To Release Alligator Debut ‘Raisin’ Cain’ On April 9

Alligator Records

“My songs are funky and danceable and my writing is now less personal diary than in the past. I want my songs to tell universal stories.” – Chris Cain

World-renowned blues guitarist, vocalist and songwriter Chris Cain will release his Alligator Records debut album, Raisin’ Cain, on Friday, April 9, 2021. The album features 12 originals, each showcasing Cain’s fiery musicianship and deft, memorable songwriting skills. According to Cain, who recently received two Blues Music Award nominations (for Contemporary Blues Male Artist Of The Year and Best Guitarist), “These are the best pack of tunes I’ve ever written.”

Of Raisin’ Cain, Chris Cain says, “My songs are funky and danceable and my writing is now less personal diary than in the past. I want my songs to tell universal stories.” From the rocking opener “Hush Money” to the instantly relatable “Too Many Problems” to the late-night jazzy blues of “I Don’t Know Exactly What’s Wrong With My Baby,” the universal appeal of Cain’s music is abundantly clear. His songs deliver uncommon, surprising hooks and riffs coming in rapid-fire succession. On four songs, Cain shows off his stellar keyboard skills, and on the far-out instrumental “Space Force,” he proves himself a funky and jazzy ARP Soloist player. Along with Cain is his road-tested band — of bassist Steve Evans and keyboardist/organist Greg Rahn, with Chris’ touring drummer Sky Garcia and veteran D’Mar Martin (Little Richard, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) sharing the skins. The album was produced and recorded by Kid Andersen (Rick Estrin & The Nightcats) at Andersen’s Greaseland Studio in San Jose, California.

With more than three decades of worldwide touring and 14 acclaimed previous albums, Cain has earned his reputation as both a fan favorite and a musician’s musician. Since his first release in 1987, he has created his very own blues sound inspired by his heroes – B.B. King, Albert King, Ray Charles, Albert Collins, Grant Green and Wes Montgomery. His jazz-informed blues guitar playing is fiery, emotional and always unpredictable. His vocals – gruff, lived-in and powerful – add fuel to the fire. His indelible original songs keep one foot in the blues tradition and both eyes on the future. The pure joy Cain brings to his playing and singing is palpable, and draws fans even closer in.

Both the media and his fellow musicians rave about Cain. Guitar Player said, “Cain is an impressive, top-notch guitarist. His full-bodied tone and big voice pack a punch that had me reeling.” Guitar icon Robben Ford said, “Chris Cain is for real. He’s a great blues player with an intensity that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what he’s going to do next. Plus he knows how to write a song you haven’t heard before, full of humor and insight. If you like the blues, you’ll like Chris Cain. I am a stone fan.”

Cain formed his first band in 1986 in his hometown of San Jose, California, and released his first album in 1987, Late Night City Blues, on the locally-based Blue Rock’It label. Almost immediately, booking agents came calling. Incredibly, he was touring Europe even before he started barnstorming the U.S. The album received four W.C Handy Award nominations (now the Blues Music Awards) and the offers to perform kept rolling in. He even opened for his heroes Albert King and Albert Collins, who both asked Chris to jam on stage. The more Cain toured and recorded, the greater his reputation grew. His releases include four albums on Blue Rock’It and three on Blind Pig Records, and his live performances number in the thousands.

Cain has toured all over North America and made repeated trips around the world. He’s performed at the Chicago Blues Festival, The Doheny Blues Festival, The Philadelphia Blues Festival, The Waterfront Blues Festival in Portland, and many others. He’s played concerts and festivals in Argentina, Uruguay, Italy, Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Brazil, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Georgia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.

With Raisin’ Cain, Chris Cain says he is at a new point in his career. “I’m playing and writing better than ever before. I can say more with less,” he says, referring to his dynamic guitar playing and superb songwriting. “I’m as much a fan as a musician,” Cain says. “And I’m as excited to be making music today as I was when I was a teenager. More than ever before, I just play what I feel.”

Chris Cain
Pre-Order Raisin’ Cain

Leftover Salmon Returns to Compass Records

Leftover Salmon Returns to Compass Records

American Blues Scene Staff

Leftover Salmon have been considered the architects of what has become known as “jamgrass,” and are a band that has continued through various musical fads and label affiliations to maintain a vibrant, relevant and influential voice in the music world.

Compass Records is proud to welcome Leftover Salmon back to the label for a release in late spring 2021. For 30 years, the group has been one of Colorado’s most beloved musical exports, picking up where bands like Little Feat, The Band and The Grateful Dead left off and distilling their music into a potent brew of bluegrass, rock ‘n’ roll, folk, Cajun, soul, zydeco, jazz and blues.

Compass Records, known for its roster of Americana and roots music artists and its award-winning bluegrass releases, released the band’s album LIVE in 2002, as well as several of lead singer/mandolinist Drew Emmitt’s solo projects, and is excited to partner with the forward-thinking roots outfit again.

“Few bands on the acoustic music scene have withstood the test of time and the changes that come with it,” says Compass Records co-founder Garry West. “Not only has Leftover Salmon managed to do so, they’ve evolved in the process, adding new elements and textures, all coupled with songwriting that just gets better and better. And somehow in the process they have managed to retain their festival campground, bluegrass jam roots. We’re thrilled to be welcoming them back to the Compass fold.”

Drew Emmitt responded for the band: “After putting out LIVE and three solo albums with Compass Records in the past, it’s a beautiful feeling to be back with Garry and Alison and the Compass family.”

Leftover Salmon have been considered the architects of what has become known as “jamgrass,” and are a band that has continued through various musical fads and label affiliations to maintain a vibrant, relevant and influential voice in the music world. Over that time, Leftover Salmon’s sound has grown and evolved while staying true to the roots and guiding spirit of the band’s founding members – mandolinist/singer Emmitt and guitarist/singer Vince Herman.

Over the course of their career, Leftover Salmon has collaborated with an A-list of music industry tastemakers: from the cream of American roots artists (1999’s groundbreaking NASHVILLE SESSIONS) and indie oddballs Cracker, to Little Feat’s Bill Payne and Los Lobos’ Steve Berlin (who produced the band’s last album).  And, in spite of enduring the death of a founding member as well as various line-up changes, Leftover Salmon has continued to stay true to their fans and their sonic vision.

Leftover Salmon

*Feature image photo credit: John-Ryan Lockman ShowLove Media

LA Funk-Rock Trio Share New Single/Video ‘Holly’

LA Funk-Rock Trio Share New Single/Video ‘Holly’

American Blues Scene Staff

Captain Danger announce debut EP ‘Love Sweet Love’ due out March 26 via Chemical Music

After years in New York City, songwriter/producer Aaron Steinberg (guitar/vocals) – buoyed by an uptick in soundtrack work – “finally escaped” NYC for Los Angeles. While performing in LA’s live music scene, Steinberg soon met up with drummer Roger “Joose” Benford (SiR, Patrick Paige, Shafiq Husayn), an LA native with an undeniable “depth of feel.” Over regular live shows in various configurations, the two developed a relationship that continues to feel musically wide open.

It was a fortunate night for the band when D.C.-born Keith “E-Day” Eaddy subbed in last minute on one of the band’s dates (bass/vocals/keys). The chemistry was immediately apparent. Eaddy’s flexibility (likely a result of a performance background that includes Macy Gray, Dam-Funk, Jody Watley, Loose Ends, Baisden After Dark band) and a similarly animated musical curiosity seemed to signal right off the bat that the way ahead for these three musicians might very probably include adventures together.

 

 

This energy has been distilled on Love Sweet Love, Captain Danger’s debut release as a band – featuring concise songs that showcase the band’s stylistic focus straightaway. The first single “Holly” is an easy starting point for assessing the band’s approach, with a propulsive groove alongside falsetto vocals expressing vulnerability. The song’s lyrics lament a city-dweller’s sense of alienation – with alienation also now getting an entirely literal and humorous treatment in a memorable new music video (directed by the Emmy-nominated Dane Lawing) featuring a vintage sci-fi spin.

Today sees the release of the accompanying video for the single “Holly,” from their debut EP out March 26 via Chemical Music. 

Of the song/video, bassist/vocalist Keith “E-Day” Eaddy explains to ABS:

The song mixes rock with some classic soul elements with a funky feel underneath, and I like how it doesn’t necessarily fit right in to a predetermined, particular style. I feel like people are especially welcoming something unexpected, with a bit of a twist these days. Also from another angle, I like how we get into the chorus right away, magnifying the hookiness in it, seems to feel right.

For the music video, we teamed up with (Emmy-Nominated) director Dane Lawing and we all agreed we wanted to go for something fun and a little weird,” says songwriter/guitarist/vocalist Aaron Steinberg (whose credits include music for many reality TV shows, Bill Nye The Science Guy and whacked-out guitar work on composer Paul Leonard-Morgan’s “Dredd” film soundtrack). “Stepping into the retro Sci-Fi zone for this video brought in some more twists, and yet it seems like it all supports the song’s lyrical theme of big city, modern-day alienation in an oddball way.

I guess we got pretty literal with the ‘alienation’ this time around.

Captain Danger is a unique trio comprised of some of the hardest working musicians around. Guitarist/vocalist Aaron Steinberg works as a soundtrack and theme-song composer including themes for Bill Nye, Howard Stern, Disney/ESPN, and more. He’s also created original music for all the major networks as well as A&E, MTV, ESPN, Keurig, Sprint, History Channel, VH1, Billabong, Subway, PBS, WE, Nickelodeon, Showtime, Amazon, Bravo, Oxygen, BET, Animal Planet, Discovery, AMC, Science Channel, The CW, Wendy’s, Avon, Toshiba, TLC and many more. As a session musician, his work has appeared in Limitless, A Psychedelic Love Story, Dredd, and many others.

Bassist Keith “E-Day” Eaddy has played with Macy Gray, Dam-Funk, Jody Watley, Loose Ends, Baisden After Dark Band. In the Baisden After Dark Band, Keith played with Stevie Wonder, Ledisi, Musiq Soulchild, Betty Wright, and others. Keith has also worked with Dr. Dre, Melissa Etheridge, Jessica Simpson, Rick James, Angie Stone, Bobby Brown, Kamasi Washington, and many more. Keith co-wrote a song (“Memphis”) on K Michelle’s More Issues Than Vogue. Keith also performed on the Dreamgirls soundtrack featuring Beyonce.

Drummer Roger “Joose” Benford is known for his work with SiR, Patrick Paige, and Shafiq Husayn.

 

Captain Danger Music

Ann Wilson Returns to Power Rock Roots With ‘The Hammer’

Ann Wilson Returns to Power Rock Roots With ‘The Hammer’

Big Hassle Media

Legendary rock singer and songwriter Ann Wilson continues her streak of electric new singles with today’s premiere of “The Hammer,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services

“The Hammer” was written by Wilson with guitarists Tyler Boley and Craig Bartock, and recorded last fall in Wilson’s Spiritual home, Seattle. “The Hammer“ is a triumphant return to Ann’s power rock roots. 

 “We had a great time recording this one! The whole experience was great! “ says Wilson. “ The band felt just as passionate as the lyrics!”

 “The Hammer” follows Wilson’s latest single, “Tender Heart,” and its video featuring American Olympic medalist Gracie Gold, as well as “The Revolution Starts Now,” her first single release in two years. The song was originally written and recorded by Steve Earle and was backed by her version of Alice In Chains’ “Rooster,” available now at all DSPs and streaming services. The official videos are streaming now via Wilson’s official YouTube channel.

Ann Wilson is a true icon, known far and wide as lead singer and songwriter of the groundbreaking rock band Heart. Led by Wilson’s extraordinary vocal power, Heart has thrilled audiences for more than four decades, earning sales of more than 35 million and well-deserved induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013.

Wilson’s second solo album, 2018’s Immortal, saw her putting her unique stamp on songs made famous by a number of hugely influential artists, including David Bowie, Leonard Cohen, Tom Petty, Amy Winehouse, and more. Produced by longtime Heart collaborator Mike Flicker, the album earned widespread critical acclaim, with Associated Press declaring it “an exciting, eye-opening look at largely obscure songs by big-name artists” and Goldmine praising Wilson for “her mighty vocal firepower and a far ranging creative spirit.”

 

CONNECT WITH ANN WILSON:

OFFICIAL

FACEBOOK

TWITTER

INSTAGRAM

YOUTUBE

 

*Feature image courtesy of artist’s site

Modfather Paul Weller Heralds New Album With Release of ‘Cosmic Fringes’ Video

Modfather Paul Weller Heralds New Album With Release of ‘Cosmic Fringes’ Video

Lauren Leadingham

New album set for May 14th on Polydor Records

Silver linings can be found amidst the global pandemic; one among them is the productive tear Paul Weller has been on. The ex-leader of The Jam will release his 16th solo album since his 1992 self-titled debut, which follows June 2020’s UK chart-topping On Sunset.

Photo courtesy of Black Box LA

After his tour dates were postponed during the spring of last year, Weller redirected his attention to new ideas, thus new songs. He started to record them on his own with just vocals, piano and guitar which he’d send to his core band members (drummer Ben Gordelier, Steve Cradock on guitar and bassist Andy Crofts) to add their parts. The band reconvened at Weller’s Black Barn studio in Surrey when restrictions were lifted to finish the work, and the album took its shape.

Fat Pop (Volume 1) is a distinct collection of sounds, with no one style prevailing. A handful of quality guests appear, including Lia Metcalfe, Andy Fairweather Low, Hannah Peel, and Weller’s daughter Leah. Watch the video for the synth-heavy “Cosmic Fringes” below.

Tracklisting:

  • Cosmic Fringes
  • True
  • Fat Pop
  • Shades Of Blue
  • Glad Times
  • Cobweb / Connections
  • Testify
  • That Pleasure
  • Failed
  • Moving Canvas
  • In Better Times
  • Still Glides The Stream
  • Fat Pop comes in several formats: 

    • Standard CD
    • Individual exclusive cassettes for Indie Record Stores and Paul’s artist store
    • Individual exclusive colored vinyl for Amazon, Indie Record Stores and Paul’s artist store
    • Black heavyweight vinyl
    • Exclusive picture disc vinyl

    Deluxe Formats which include Fat Pop, Mid-Sömmer Musik (the live special from November last year) and bonus tracks:

    • 3 CD Box Set
    • 3 LP Box set – black heavyweight vinyl

    Pre-order Fat Pop (Volume 1)

     

    *Feature image courtesy of artist’s site

    Old 97’s to Release ‘Fight Songs Deluxe Edition’

    Old 97’s to Release ‘Fight Songs Deluxe Edition’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The people voted, and now ‘Fight Songs’ will receive its first worldwide vinyl release!

    Pioneers of the 1990s alt-country movement, the Old 97’s have been together with their original line up for over 25 years and have released 12 studio albums. Run Out Groove is releasing their classic second album for Elektra Records on vinyl for the very first time!

    Photo courtesy of Run Out Groove

    The 180g deluxe 3-LP set features the original 1999 album, a 2021 remix by GRAMMY-winning producer Vance Powell, and a bonus disc of unreleased 1998 demos all mastered from the original analog tapes.

    Anyone that pre-orders the title @RunOutGrooveVinyl.com by March 28, will receive an unreleased digital track: the 2021 Vance Powell remix of the album B-Side – “The Villain,” free with purchase. The deluxe 3-LP edition of Fight Songs set is available to pre-order  through March 28, and then pressed to a limited and numbered quantity based on pre-orders.

    Track listing:

    Side A (Original Album Remixed)

    1 Jagged 3:27

    2 Lonely Holiday 4:08

    3 Oppenheimer 3:27

    4 Indefinitely 3:41

    5 What We Talk About 4:10

    6 Crash On The Barrelhead

    .

    Side B (Original Album Remixed)

    1 Murder (Or A Heart Attack) 3:41

    2 Alone So Far 4:17

    3 Busted Afternoon 3:11

    4 Nineteen 3:41

    5 Let The Idiot Speak 3:43

    6 Valentine 3:08

    .

    Side C (2021 Remix)

    1 Jagged 3:27

    2 Lonely Holiday 4:08

    3 Oppenheimer 3:27

    4 Indefinitely 3:41

    5 What We Talk About 4:10

    6 Crash On The Barrelhead

    .

    Side D (2021 Remix)

    1 Murder (Or A Heart Attack) 3:41

    2 Alone So Far 4:17

    3 Busted Afternoon 3:11

    4 Nineteen 3:41

    5 Let The Idiot Speak 3:43

    6 Valentine 3:08

     

    *Feature image courtesy of Old 97’s site

     

     

    Low Cut Connie Releases Official Music Video For New Single ‘Charyse’ From Critically-Acclaimed Album ‘Private Lives’

    Low Cut Connie Releases Official Music Video For New Single ‘Charyse’ From Critically-Acclaimed Album ‘Private Lives’

    Missing Piece Group

    Watch the video for “Charyse” and check out the special episode of ‘Tough Cookies’ ft. original members of Sly and the Family Stone!

    Low Cut Connie have released the official music video for “Charyse,” the new single from their critically-acclaimed double album Private Lives out now via Contender Records. This past Saturday, the band partnered with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for a special episode of their livestream show Tough Cookies which featured interviews with original members from Sly and the Family Stone. The full episode is available to watch here.

    “There are 8 million stories in the Naked City. ‘Charyse’ is just one of them. I love singing about her,” says frontman Adam Weiner of the song.

    On Saturday, Low Cut Connie aired their 79th episode of their twice-weekly livestream variety show in partnership with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Adam Weiner interviewed original members from Sly and the Family Stone including Jerry Martini, Larry Graham, Freddie Stone, Greg Errico, as well as Phunne Stone, the daughter of Sly Stone and Cynthia Robinson.

     “I’m so happy to be able to help tell the story of one of the greatest bands of all time,” states Adam Weiner. “Sly & the Family Stone expanded our minds and moved our asses like no other before, and I’m just so impressed that the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame trusted me and Tough Cookies with this project.” 

     Low Cut Connie’s twice-weekly show is continuing into 2021 with episode #80 today (Thursday, February 25) at 6:00 pm ET on the band’s Patreon. In addition to live performances and riotous commentary, Adam Weiner has interviewed artists and personalities such as Darlene Love, Joan Osborne, Big Freedia, Aaron Lee Tasjan and Nick Hornby on the show.

     

    Follow Low Cut Connie:

    WebsiteFacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube

     

    *Feature image credit: Skylar Watkins

    Joshua Henry Sets March 4th For ‘Guarantee’ EP Release

    Joshua Henry Sets March 4th For ‘Guarantee’ EP Release

    Grandstand Media

    “This EP is full of my heart, but I also want people to jump and groove to it, to feel it cerebrally, spiritually, and bodily.” – Joshua Henry

    Modern soul artist and three-time Tony nominee Joshua Henry has announced the March 4th release of his debut EP Guarantee, out via S-Curve Records/BMG. Produced by close collaborator Theron “Neff-U” Feemster (Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat), the EP showcases Joshua’s immaculately powerful voice and his intelligent storytelling background, brilliantly pairing themes of vulnerability, love, and hope born out of the pandemic.

    This EP is full of my heart, but I also want people to jump and groove to it, to feel it cerebrally, spiritually, and bodily. There was a blank canvas that took me back to when I was seven years old, just writing from my heart, with nothing to lose.

    Lead single “Hold Me” explores the balance of the relentless pursuit of a dream while needing to ask for love and support. The track pairs Henry’s regal falsetto with a rippling and kinetic neo-soul production and was added to numerous playlists including Spotify’s “New Music Friday” (US, Canada, World) and Amazon’s “The New Black.” The vibrant video for “Hold Me” was filmed in his beloved New York City.

    His most recent single “Stand Up” is a cover of The O’Jays’ 2019 track calling for love and unity, and portion of proceeds will be donated to the DoSomething organization — the largest organization exclusively for young people and social change, activating over 5 million young people to make positive change.

    Guarantee is Henry’s latest artistic endeavor, following his success as an actor including his three Tony-nominated turns on Broadway (Scottsboro Boys, Violet and Carousel), performing as Aaron Burr in the first touring company of Hamilton, and his upcoming performance in Lin Manuel Miranda’s highly anticipated directorial film debut Tick Tick… Boom! featuring Vanessa Hudgens, Andrew Garfield, Judith Light and others. Joshua’s passion for music was rooted in childhood though and, as he progressed through Broadway, TV and film roles, Henry’s heart beat out rhythms, his voice ringing with clarion emotion. But the entire time, he longed for an outlet to express his own story.

    Guarantee is available now for pre-order / pre-save: joshuahenry.lnk.to/guarantee. Fans that pre-order the album will automatically be entered to win a chance to join Joshua virtually for his “Guaranteed Great Night In” hosted by Question Party?! — known for their comedy-meets-quiz experiences, and Big Night In Entertainment.

    Joshua Henry Facebook

    *Featured image photo credit: Rengim Mutevellioglu

    Newport Jazz Festival Announces Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Leadership Grant

    Newport Jazz Festival Announces Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Leadership Grant

    Grandstand Media

    The grant will expand Newport’s Jazz-specific music education programming through content capture and curriculum development as well as provide artists with additional revenue streams

    Over its six and a half decades, the Newport Jazz Festival® has been committed to providing artists a platform to showcase their mastery and innovation to the public, students and educators. The Jazz Festival has been preserving and expanding Jazz’s legacy and impact by igniting interest in new generations of Jazz lovers through their Jazz Assembly programs and educational initiatives. Now, the Newport Jazz Festival and the Newport Festivals Foundation will be able to continue their work as a recipient of a Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Leadership Grant.

    “As a foundation that believes and invests in the vitality of jazz, the Newport Jazz Festival is an important partner for us,” said Ed Henry, president of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). “For more than 65 years, the festival has presented jazz legends, offered platforms for promising emerging artists, and created an artistic space that showcases to global audiences the deep roots and evolution of this music. DDCF is pleased to provide this grant to recognize the leadership role the festival has played in the field and to help it continue to support artists and the music into the future.”

    Since its inception, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Arts Program has recognized that substantial support to exemplary arts organizations plays an essential role in supporting the creative lives and livelihoods of artists. The Leadership Grants were designed to enhance organizations’ abilities to adapt to a complex, evolving environment that often obstructs their ability to plan and achieve long-term institutional goals and business plans. The grant will expand Newport’s Jazz-specific music education programming through content capture and curriculum development as well as provide artists with additional revenue streams.

    Newport Jazz & Folk Founder, George Wein & Newport Jazz & Folk Executive Producer Jay Sweet Photo Credit: David Salafia / Courtesy of Newport Festivals Foundation

    The Newport Jazz and Folk Festivals, created by George Wein in 1954 and 1959 respectively, are some of the longest running music festivals in history. Newport Jazz has been home to legendary performances by Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald, John Coltrane, and Herbie Hancock while Newport Folk has had its stages graced by its co-founder Pete Seeger, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan. Widely considered two of the most treasured cultural institutions in American history, they are known for their once-in-a-lifetime collaborations and more for what’s not announced than what is.

    For over sixty years, the Newport Folk and Jazz Festivals have shown that music has the ability to positively impact the communities and lives it touches. “Doris Duke, who had a home in Newport, was often in attendance at the Newport Jazz Festival,” says founder George Wein. “I’m sure Miss Duke would be happy to see that DDCF is giving such meaningful support to Newport Festivals Foundation and what it means to the cultural life of Rhode Island, America and the world.”

    In 2008, Jay Sweet joined Newport Folk Festival as Co-Producer. Since then, Sweet has steadily grown Newport Folk Festival from operating at a loss to becoming an immediate sellout months in advance of the festival and before announcing a single artist. The growth of the Folk Festival has allowed the organization to invest in the future of its festivals as well as expand the impact and reach of its music education initiatives. Now Sweet has taken on the dual role of Executive Producer for both the Newport Folk and Newport Jazz Festivals.

    The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Leadership Grant recognizes Jay Sweet, George Wein’s legacy and the Newport Jazz Festival’s continued commitment to diversity, education and support of artists in the Jazz Community. “It is such an honor to receive this grant from DDCF,” says Sweet. “With the legacy of Newport Jazz, my team and I feel an immense obligation to not only preserve jazz’s history, but allow it to evolve and flourish as its future unfolds – we can’t do that alone. Having a partner like DDCF, who understands that cultivating the next iterations of jazz lovers relies heavily on music education and providing opportunities to grow, means the world to us, especially in times like these. The long term effects this pandemic will have on music have yet to be seen. But together, with the support of DDCF, we have the will and means to ensure that the jazz community will not only survive but thrive.”

    In 2010 the festivals returned to their non-profit roots of the 1950’s by creating the Newport Festivals Foundation, whose mission is to expand the impact of its music festivals through educational initiatives that celebrate innovation while preserving the deep traditions inherent in Jazz and Folk music. The Newport Festival Foundation believes every person deserves access to music education, regardless of socioeconomic status. Upon its creation, the Foundation expanded beyond the summer festivals to include music education programs.

    The program partnerships they have developed now support a large and successful local, regional, and national network. In 2020, more than 22,000 students in 23 states and territories participated in programs; 650 instruments were provided to student musicians; and over 100 schools, after-school programs, and other non-profits were program partners. In particular, one of the Foundation’s programs, Jazz Ambassadors, directly served 12,000 students directly, prior to being suspended due to the pandemic in March 2020.

    Newport Festivals Foundation
    The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation

    *Feature image Photo Credit: Brian Lima / Courtesy of Newport Jazz Festival

    Chicago Alt-Country Band Thompson Springs Release ‘Fayetteville Hotline’

    Chicago Alt-Country Band Thompson Springs Release ‘Fayetteville Hotline’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    After working with Wilco’s Pat Sansone and Kurt Vile’s recording partner Rob Laakso for the debut album prior to the pandemic, they enlisted Sansone again for mixing their newest single.

    Chicago alt-country group Thompson Springs is trying something new during their time at home: They’re releasing songs as they complete the recordings for their second album.

    They just released their first single, “Fayetteville Hotline,” over Valentine’s Day weekend from this work-in-progress record through their small imprint label called Dropped Beauty Recordings. It’s the first release by the band since they released their debut album Undertones last summer. After working with Wilco’s Pat Sansone and Kurt Vile’s recording partner Rob Laakso for the debut album prior to the pandemic, they enlisted Sansone again for mixing their newest single.

    The band first felt inspired to write “Fayetteville Hotline” a year ago, just before the pandemic when they were driving back from a tour that took them through Texas. After seeing billboards for gambling, drugs, and religious hotlines, the band asked: “Why not a heartbreak hotline?” They wrote it in the sound and flavor of a classic country song, which even features a pedal steel guitar and a tack piano.

    Ever since the pandemic began, the band is taking on the new challenge of recording their music at home for their very first time. While it’s been a learning experience for the band, they’re using this time as an opportunity to steadily release a few singles as they piece together a larger record. In a sense, you’re hearing their music piece-by-piece.

    Thompson Springs

    *Feature image photo credit Kayla Thornton

    Gravitas Ventures to Release Chuck Leavell Documentary

    Gravitas Ventures to Release Chuck Leavell Documentary

    Mark Pucci

    Leavell has played and toured with the Rolling Stones since 1982, and his status as rock royalty may be equaled only by his stature within the world of environmental forestry, where he previously has been named the National Tree Farmer of the Year in the United States.

    Allen Farst, founder of Niche Productions, is thrilled to announce the signing of a distribution deal with Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios Company, to release his latest film, Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man, a sterling documentary on the rock ‘n’ roll pianist/keyboardist often described as the “Fifth Rolling Stone.” The film was released to several Video-On-Demand (VOD) outlets on December, 2020.

    Directed by Farst, Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man provides an epic, in-depth look into Leavell’s life both on and off the stage. Leavell has played and toured with the Rolling Stones since 1982, and his status as rock royalty may be equaled only by his stature within the world of environmental forestry, where he previously has been named the National Tree Farmer of the Year in the United States. It’s this fascinating combination of passions, coupled with more than 80 gripping interviews from legendary musicians with a combined 58 Grammy Awards, that already has produced quite the buzz for the film.

    The documentary captivated crowds last year at both the Macon Film Festival and Sedona International Film Festival, the latter of which recognized the film as the 2020 People’s Choice Award. “This is a MUST-SEE film for anyone who loves great music and great documentaries,” said Patrick Schweiss, Artistic Director of the Sedona International Film Festival. “Director Allen Farst has managed to capture the life of one of the great keyboard legends, Chuck Leavell, who has worked with all the greatest musicians…The Tree Man’ was a rousing hit at our festival, with audience members cheering and raving about the film!”

    Allen and I have been working on this for over three years now and I have to tip my hat to him. He’s done a masterful job. – Chuck Leavell

    The documentary is full of star power, including interviews with Billy Bob Thornton, Mick Jagger, President Jimmy Carter, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Bonnie Raitt, Dickey Betts, Paul Shaffer, Chris Robinson, Charlie Daniels, Miranda Lambert, Charlie Watts, Bruce Hornsby, Juliann Lennon, Mike Mills, John Bell, Pat Monahan, Ronnie Wood, Warren Haynes, John Mayer, David Gilmour and more.

    With capabilities of reaching more than 100 million homes in North America and nearly 1 billion homes worldwide, Gravitas Ventures is making this must-see movie available on several VOD platforms, including iTunes, Amazon, GooglePlay, VUDU and Playstation.

    Joe Lewis Band To Release 4th Album ‘Up Next’

    Joe Lewis Band To Release 4th Album ‘Up Next’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “The way to influence people with your music is to put your own heart and soul on the line for all the world to see. If your heart and soul are right and your message is right you now have the power to influence people in a positive direction.” – Joe Lewis

    You can tell a lot about a person when you learn where they were raised and came of age. In the case of Joe Lewis: Picayune Mississippi, located about an hour or so from New Orleans. The sounds of the Delta and blues music were the forever background music Joe heard while growing up. So, it is no wonder that those sounds deeply influenced him as he picked up his first guitar at age ten and began to play.

    In American music, the lines between genres are thin and the roots of each genre intertwine as they grow. That line has always been blurred between blues and gospel, two genres that are considered the source of all modern music. As a gifted musician the choice to play electric guitar and sing words of praise is not a new thing; Sister Rosetta Tharpe pioneered the genre in the early 50s. However, the Joe Lewis Band are trailblazers in Contemporary Christian Blues music.

    Up Next should prove to be another fine tool in their mission to open hearts and minds as well as doors.

    Lewis and his power trio of Tom Cole on bass and drummer Derrick Enyard began 2020 by representing the Lake of the Ozarks Blues Society at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. They then embarked on recording their fourth album enlisting super producer Kevin Shirley to mix the album at his famous studio, The Cave, in Sydney Australia and having the album mastered by the legendary Bob Ludwig. This A-team clearly delivered to create a first-class sonic landscape with ten original tracks, a mixture of straight-ahead blues, funk and rockin’ soul centered around Lewis’ stellar guitar playing and sparkling tenor vocals. The rambunctious spirit of the album and its words of positivity and praise strive to blur the line between Saturday night and Sunday morning.

    The session opens with a chiming guitar that leads us into the unconventional love song “I Like It,” with words of devotion set to a funky groove. Lewis continues to give praise for his beloved on the soul track “Hot Lovin’ Momma,” doing his best James Brown, along with special guest Biscuit Miller laying down an authentic Bootsy Collins’bass line. The jump blues “Can I Get With You,” features furious fretboard work and playful lyrics on a great danceable number. Lewis spells out his devotion as a seeker on the dynamic “Do Your Work In Me” and then delivers a touching tribute to a dearly departed sister on the emotional ballad “Broken Angel Of The Delta,” a real highlight of the album.

    The second half of the session begins with the account of the night Lewis discovered his calling while listening to a real bluesman at a local jook joint on the edgy “Do Drop Inn,” and then proceeds to lead the fellows through a blazing instrumental “Twang A Doodle Boom Boom,” swinging with fury. The trio continuous to show off their proficiency of authentic blues forms on the Texas shuffle “Baby Rocks The Boat,” and another time shifting funk blast “Defying Gravity,” with a clever lyrical twist. Lewis ends the set with an acoustic driven devotional “Jesus I Love The Way You Love,” a sincere benediction from a faithful servant.

    The way to influence people with your music is to put your own heart and soul on the line for all the world to see. If your heart and soul are right and your message is right you now have the power to influence people in a positive direction. – Joe Lewis

    Up Next is self-released and drops on February 26th, 2021.

    Joe Lewis Band

    California-Based Singer Will Porter Set to Reissue His Lauded CD, ‘Tick Tock Tick’

    California-Based Singer Will Porter Set to Reissue His Lauded CD, ‘Tick Tock Tick’

    Mark Pucci

    Produced and arranged by the renowned Wardell Quezergue (pronounced “Kah-Zair”), creator of some of the biggest hits on Stax, Malaco, and Red Bird, ‘Tick Tock Tick’ pairs Will Porter with a dazzling array of special guests, including the legendary Dr. John and Bettye LaVette.

    One of the most critically-acclaimed – but limited released – albums of the past decade, Tick Tock Tick, the soul-drenched roots disc from San Francisco-based singer Will Porter, will be reissued on the Gramofono Sound label April 16th to audiences throughout North America. Recorded at Esplanade Studios, Tick Tock Tick also showcases stellar work from a host of additional Crescent City titans and SF Bay Area horns.

    Produced and arranged by the renowned Wardell Quezergue (pronounced “Kah-Zair”), creator of some of the biggest hits on Stax, Malaco, and Red Bird, Tick Tock Tick pairs Will Porter with a dazzling array of special guests, including the legendary Dr. John and Bettye LaVette, as well as New Orleans guitar icon Leo Nocentelli of The Meters, Yellow Jackets bassist Jimmy Haslip, The Womack Brothers (Curtis & Friendly) and the Louisiana Philharmonic Strings.

    Tick Tock Tick was first released in 2016 with extremely limited distribution in the USA, as the deal Porter signed with the ACE UK label called for hard copy distribution In Europe, Japan and Australia, but NOT the United States. After a problem with a streaming agency, Porter decided to pull down all digital streaming. Nearly all very limited American media that received a copy wrote about it or played it, and it made BEST OF THE YEAR critics’ lists, garnered an R&B album of the year nomination in New Orleans and was dubbed “A Soul Masterpiece.”

    Quezergue, who died at age 81 shortly after completing his work on the Tick Tock Tick album, was a master producer and arranger, who left his mark on a host of classic R&B, blues, jazz, pop and soul recordings over the years, including “Mr. Big Stuff,” “Groove Me,” “Chapel of Love,” “Iko Iko,” “Misty Blue,” “Barefootin’,” “Big Chief” and many more. “I had won awards and had million-selling records, but I never received so much critical praise from the press as I did for the first album from Will Porter,” said Quezergue at the time. “Will already sounded like who he wanted to be. He didn’t come to New Orleans to copy anyone. Often with my hits, the singers (as good as they might have been) were sometimes beside the point; they were part of the recording. With Will and Mac (Dr. John), I try to work off of what I hear coming from them. Will Porter is subtle, expressive, deep and soulful.”

    “Wardell was an acknowledged genius,” says Will Porter about his esteemed producer. “On my last day with him, he told me he thought this album was his best ‘complete’ project (he was primarily known for singles), and he cried while listening to the rough mixes.”

    The illustrious Dr. John – R&R Hall of Fame and Blues Hall of Fame inductee, 6-time Grammy winner and Americana Music Icon – is featured on two duets with Porter, the title track and “When the Battle Is Over,” songs he wrote. His relationship with Quezergue began as a teenage member of Wardell’s band.

    Six-time Grammy nominee Bettye LaVette, called “The Great Lady of Soul,” joins Porter for the powerful Bob Dylan-penned ballad, “Make You Feel My Love.” “Bettye suggested we record together,” recalls Porter about how her participation on the new album came to pass. “We were backstage, and I was so surprised that I called in a witness and made her say it again.”

    Will Porter left his native West Virginia/Appalachia as a teenager, for New York City’s Greenwich Village, singing with his then-wife, a combination of folk, gospel and blues. When the act broke up, he settled in San Francisco, slowly building a band and a following in clubs and concert venues, twice closing The San Francisco Blues Festival. Around 1980, he became the musical director and opener for Motown legend Mary Wells, which continued until her death. That relationship led to band-leading for many R&B and rock acts, and musical directing for Percy Sledge, Barbara Lewis, The Shirelles and Billy Preston. On a tour with Preston, he met Wardell Quezergue, who helmed his first album, Happy, which, even with limited distribution was named “Best Produced Album” by the NY Jazz and Blues Society. The album received rave reviews; leading to Wardell’s calling Porter back to New Orleans for Tick Tock Tick.

    Will Porter
    Order Tick Tock Tick

    *Feature image photo credit Michael S Ray

    Review: SheWolf Sacred’s Virtual Performance Series Gives Way to Magical Mystery

    Review: SheWolf Sacred’s Virtual Performance Series Gives Way to Magical Mystery

    June Reedy

    “Song summons the dance. The dance summons you.”

    SheWolf Sacred is a collective empowered group of womxn in Chicago, IL that express themselves through dance, music, poetry, flow arts, and the cultivation of community. While adhering to COVID -19 restrictions their gatherings have taken a new face: a 4 part online series. The first part, Summoning on 1/26/2021 opened with Brissa Del Mar (she/her) calling in Mother Earth, Father Sky, and the compass directions. This is She Wolf Sacred’s vision of new beginnings for 2021. New beginnings of music, dance, community, and love were summed up, “We are the connectors.”

    To the sounds of a running creek, the sounds of an awakening spring, E’a (she/her) gets our blood pumping. Once we check in with our own body, E’a (she/her) takes it to the next level with drums and sounds that you can’t help but spring from your seat or tap your feet to. We are incited to the spirit of this performance. The sounds give way to fireflies and magical mystery as Coelti’s (they/them) laugh cuts to the next portion. 

    Photo credit: Phil Solomonson

    How neat that we get invited into each of these performer’s homes! I feel like I should buy them dinner first. If understanding happens in a container, we get the best of all containers with a SheWolf experience. 

    Coelti (they/them) gives a spoken word that ponders, “Prayer suits the disposition of the human being and how and where and when and why we do this.” Her laughter is infectious and we wander from home along with her. At his point in the performance, I feel a part of the circle, like a desired part of the circle and a strong sense of belonging.

    Laksha (she/her) up next celebrating the new year with her traditional Indian dance, the Bharatanatyam. The movements are so ornate and intricate, it inspires me to consciously move my body and tell myself, I am worth it. Beautiful lines drawing our eyes to the harmonious duality stretch and glaze, stretch and glaze. We are nearing the halfway point of this evening’s performance this is to gaze upon the SheWolf in all her glory. We are deep in the den now. 

    The variety show continues to the dance club with JC Space Radio (she/they). Group participation is the name of the game. Maybe I can’t move like E’a or Laksha but this looks like fun. Christine leads us in a tapping exercise while frequencies play sure to sanctify and unify the experience amongst all participating. The rhythm clears the space for the new things coming as we all pushed away space, made room, and made way for the future. By this point, we had all rolled out of our slumber, even the sleepy elves.

    Radia (she/her) brought us back to a calm quiet clean cello with her dance. Molly Denninghoff on cello accompanies Radia (she/her) as “Song summons the dance. The dance summons you.” Inherent shapes appear as she flexes and forms. It is your birthright to beautifully decorate your space. Traditional but original all in the dewdrops on the grass. Her singing reminds us that women learn from each other. There is always something new to learn. Some people teach. What a blessing that is. All these thoughts of the divine feminine swell as the performance crests near the closing.

    The final performance of the evening belonged to Edith (she/her) of Pachacamak Folk Foundation. Her heartfelt gratitude speech to open her portion was overwhelming in emotion and the richness that is femininity. As she danced an indigenous Ecuadorian folk dance, the Chalinas, I was imbued with thoughts of what it truly means to be a woman. For me, women dance for their families. Edith (she/her) spoke of her ancestors long gone and still here today. Long gone or recreated families plant seeds together they work the fields together they crush the grapes, the harvest the gardens. Women are vessels of the water of life. How refreshing to know this series of healing and transformation will carry on as I think we all could use some guardrails going into 2021.

    The luscious next installment will be 2/20: Re-Claiming. Howl with us as She Wolf rises. Until we can meet again in person let’s reach out and touch each other’s soul for an hour.

    Check out the Re-claiming performance this Saturday, February 20.

    Corky Siegel Brings Chamber Blues EXTRAVAGANZA Livestream From City Winery

    Corky Siegel Brings Chamber Blues EXTRAVAGANZA Livestream From City Winery

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “The whole approach to the production is based on the psychology that has come about due to the damndemic and the result of Mother Nature sending us to our rooms.” – Corky Siegel

    Corky Siegel is known internationally as one of the worlds great blues harmonica players,  singer-songwriter, and the sole pioneer/composer of award-winning revolutionary works that weave blues and classical forms together. Co-founder of the Siegel-Schwall Band, and Blues Hall of Fame Inductee, Corky Siegel has a catalogue of recordings on RCA, Vanguard, Alligator, and million selling blues/classical recordings on the iconic classical label Deutsche Grammophon.

    His close associations with the blues masters in the earlier days of Chicago blues, his essential part in the blues rock revolution, and his surprising success in bringing together blues and classical audiences make him a pivotal (though stealth) figure in modern music history.  We now introduce his latest and most ambitious run with the muse. EXTRAVAGANZA is a 100 minute audio/visual adventure that infuses additional flavors into the framework of the apposing forces of blues and classical.  But that’s not all.

    The whole approach to the production is based on the psychology that has come about due to the damndemic and the result of Mother Nature sending us to our rooms. Music itself is in the form of compassion considering all it does to unify, uplift, and heal.  But the need for companionship for the big hug is why I felt it was necessary to welcome the viewer personally, one on one, into our individual spaces and allow them to welcome us into their homes. This is also why I express in this presentation the advantages of this format and why this could not be replicated on stage and why we call this; closer than in-person.’ And people have responded so enthusiastically not only to the presentation but to this very concept by commenting: ‘this is even better than a live concert.’ – Corky Siegel

    Imagine you are welcomed right into Blues legend Corky Siegel’s room, looking down directly over his shoulder as his fingers dance gingerly over piano keys. You can get so close to the stellar string players that you need to quickly duck their swift bows akimbo as they each invite you into their individual spaces. Travel with Jazz saxophone icon Ernie Watts from his home in California south of Big Sur, to the Taj Mahal as his haunting song ‘Oasis’ evokes images of the East, or walk a mountainous flower strewn path in Hawaii with Frank Orrall as he sings longingly his poetic vision of Maui in ‘Little Blossoms.’ These are some of the images in the intimate journey that awaits in a closer-than-in-person experience with Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues with special guests: Two-time Grammy winner Jazz titan, saxophonist Ernie Watts considered the  ‘best in the business at the top of his game,’ vocal divas with ‘wow factor,’ Marcella Detroit (Eric Clapton, Elton John, Shakespears Sister)  City Winery favorite, Lynne Jordan, Aretha Franklin’s favorite percussionist, Kalyan Pathak on tabla, popular Poi Dog Pondering’s Frank Orrall with some much needed poetry for the day,  Alligator Records Blues star Toronzo Cannon, internationally renown Cantor Pavel Roytman, and two-time Grammy nominated country blues gospel singer Tracy Nelson (Duets with Willie Nelson ‘After the Fire.’)  singing her hit; ‘Down So Low.’  You are cordially invited into each of their homes, and it all happens right here, in the comfort of your own home. – Holly Siegel

    For years Corky has been calling everyone on his mailing list; “Cousin” because he experiences a vivid “oneness” with humanity. In this same spirit, when the pandemic arrived, he felt a calling and he began his “free – no ask,” twice-a-week live streams to reach out and hug his fans. He’s been called “Mr. Rogers for adults,” with thematic music and stories in the 30 to 45 minute live streams – followed by a one-hour Zoom.

    The presentations are called “Life’s Dream” and he is now at this writing at number 94. With this same understanding he has created this magnum production, EXTRAVAGANZA, with the help of his wife Holly (now director and iPhone 12 cinematographer), his Chamber Blues ensemble and his special guests. Each of the other 12 artists sent in their brilliant and joyful content (as their own directors, recordists and cinematographers). And then Corky, with his 50 years of experience making music and bringing together blues and classical – attacked the “learning curve ball” of Final Cut Pro, the film editing software, and spent 5 months putting it all together – not for an audience – but for you.

    It should be noted that while recording these videos, all the audio was recorded on top-quality equipment, because 8 of these works will be part of the next album project More Different Voices which is a follow up to his ground-breaking 2017 album, Different Voices. (Participate? Corkstarter Fund)

    As Corky explains, “A great deal of focus went into understanding the psychology created by the damndemic (as we call it). Mother Nature has sent us to our rooms to be creative and answer the call to look at ‘streaming video in the pandemic’ as a new art-form bringing people close up companionship with the music makers and a behind the scenes feel for the production welcoming people into our individual spaces while they welcome us into their individual homes.”

    “Chamber Blues: Few can claim to have forged an entirely original genre of music, but in 1966, Corky Siegel did just that. Guiding the blues of Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters out of the smoky cavern of Big John’s and onto the stages of the Chicago Symphony, New York Philharmonic and beyond, the harmonica-playing mad scientist had the tuxedo-and-gown crowd on its feet, clamoring for more of this blues-classical alchemy. These days, the harmonica virtuoso and composer is continent-hopping with Indian percussion and string quartet in Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues, continuing to bring classical and blues fans shoulder-to-shoulder…and obliterating musical categorization in the process.” – Doyle Armbrust

    The EXTRAVAGANZA, livestreamed from the City Winery in Chicago takes place on March 6th, at 8 PM (ET), 7 PM (Central). RSVP for the 100-minute show. Recommended donation $30 but any amount will be appreciated by the whole team.

    Corky Siegel’s Chamber Blues

    African American Folklorist Running Indigogo Campaign and Hosting Benefit Concert

    African American Folklorist Running Indigogo Campaign and Hosting Benefit Concert

    Howlin’ Wuelf Media

    The African American Folklorist is a quarterly newspaper that contains articles about traditions, traditional beliefs, the cultural context, geographical locations, music, and vernaculars of African Americans and the role each element plays in the lives of the people past and present.

    The African American Folklorist Newspaper is looking to raise funds to continue its publishing effort. They are running an IndieGoGo campaign and hosting a benefit concert on April 23.

    The African American Folklorist is a quarterly newspaper that contains articles about traditions, traditional beliefs, the cultural context, geographical locations, music, and vernaculars of African Americans and the role each element plays in the lives of the people past and present. AAF furthers the mission of Jack Dappa Blues Heritage Preservation by publishing articles that discuss the evolution of our traditions, and that present research about blues people.

    AAF includes interviews with and articles from musicians, historians, ethnographers, and academics who specialize in and are enthusiastic about the Black Experience in America. AAF includes a variety of perspectives on the Black Experience and seeks to educate and share perspectives with people of all colors.

    AAF also is proud to incorporate youth that shows interest in studying, researching, and preserving our heritage. There is an entire section dedicated to them called the “African American Folklorist Kids & Youth Section,” which publishes articles and research papers from young people aged 10-17.

    The African American Folklorist is distributed by the Jack Dappa Blues Heritage Preservation Foundation. Founded by Lamont Jack Pearley and co-founder Denise Pearley, the newspaper went from idea to reality with a group of great people.

    Jack Dappa Blues Heritage Preservation Foundation is a focal point for the research, archiving, and raising awareness of African American Traditional Music and the Black Experience. The 501c3 Private Operating Foundation founded in 2011 and officially became a private foundation with tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code on December 14th, 2016.

    It also operates as Jack Dappa Blues Public Media providing intellectual conversations, historical facts, and essential coverage of the African American experience shaped by the African-American community as it works toward a more diverse media outlet by producing original content, public workshops, and events. The JDBPM work to be a source of information about the living history of African American Traditional Music and the Black Experience. Through most of its projects, content, workshops, and live events, it promotes African American literacy and the support of African American literature. Raising cultural and ethnic awareness also means introducing the people it serves to African American history makers that are less known and usually not covered in either mainstream media or today’s educational curriculum.

    Jack Dappa Blues Heritage Radio not only plays African American traditional music that dates back to early Black Spirituals and pre-war blues, but highlights today’s practitioners of the music, as well as tackles the sensitive topics that relate to the African American experience from the past to the present. Engaging and interactive, Jack Dappa Blues Heritage Radio gives its audience the context in which African American traditions, culture, and social environment are shared through the oral documentation of blues, Black Spirituals, and the like, that reflects the African American community and their different classes throughout history.

    Join us Friday, April 23rd, 2021 from 7 pm to 10 pm as we host a Livestream Blues Concert to raise funds for The African American Folklorist Newspaper. Meet the people behind the newspaper, ie – Founders, Contributing Writers, and Columnists. Learn about the story of the paper, and get to witness REAL Blues by Piedmont Blūz Acoustic Duo, Marquise Knox and Corey Harris.

    The African American Folklorist

    Bobby Womack’s The Poet + The Poet II Remastered, Expanded Out 3/19

    Bobby Womack’s The Poet + The Poet II Remastered, Expanded Out 3/19

    Bob Merlis

    40th anniversary edition of Bobby Womack’s ‘The Poet’ and ‘The Poet II’ remastered, expanded editions set for release this spring

    This year marks the 40th anniversary of the initial release of The Poet, the Bobby Womack album that served to relaunch his career and established him as a renewed force to be reckoned with in the urban music field in the 1980s. That album was followed by The Poet II which further solidified Womack’s position as the industry’s leading exponent of traditional soul that he maintained until his passing in 2014.  Now, for the first time, these classic albums have been remastered from the original tapes. 

    Long believed to be lost, the original tapes have been recovered and are sourced for the remasters of The Poet and The Poet II. To offer the best possible listening experience, both The Poet and The Poet II will be pressed on heavyweight (180 gram) vinyl, making the albums available in the vinyl marketplace for the first time in decades. The historic albums packaged on LP and CD with extensive liner notes by R&B scholar Bill Dahl will release on March 19 in the US and Canada with concurrent worldwide HD digital availability. The rest of world territories will release CD and LP on April 30th 2021. 

    Shortly after its release, The Poet, produced by Womack, rose to the #1 slot on Billboard’s Top R&B Album chart and thus provided commercial validation for his musical posture that was so removed from the disco trend of the era. As illustrated in the newly penned liner notes by Bill Dahl, “The Poet was split into two distinct musical moods. The first side of the album placed Bobby in up-tempo settings and let the infectious grooves flow freely. Side two cast Bobby as the romantic balladeer, a seductive image that had long sent his legion of female fans into a frenzy.” 

    “If You Think You’re Lonely Now,” the album’s leading single, went to #3 on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart and stayed there for four weeks.  Decades later, a major sample of “If You Think You’re Lonely Now” provided the basis for Mariah Carey’s #1 hit  “We Belong Together.”  The album also yielded two additional chart singles, “Secrets” and “Where Do We Go From Here.” It went on to become the biggest selling full-length album of Bobby Womack’s career. 

    The massive success of The Poet set the stage for the recording of The Poet II  in 1983. As with its predecessor, The Poet II found both commercial and critical success on both sides of the Atlantic with the UK’s New Musical Express naming it Best Album of 1984.  Among the album’s highlights are three duets with Patti LaBelle including “Love Has Finally Come At Last” which was a presence on Billboard’s Hot Soul Singles chart for 17 weeks, ultimately rising to #3. 

    Jazz guitarist George Benson is also heard on the album; his presence is something of a favor returned.  Womack was the composer of “Breezin’,” the instrumental that served as Benson’s major label breakthrough.  The Crusaders’ Wilton Felder was featured on the set as was drummer James Gadson of Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band renown. He along with Andrew Loog Oldham and Womack comprised the album’s production troika. 

    Bobby Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009 by Ronnie Wood of The Rolling Stones. Bobby Womack’s lengthy association with ABKCO dates from his early career mentorship by Sam Cooke.  ABKCO Music serves as music publisher for the catalog of Womack’s most notable compositions including “Across 100th Street,” “Woman’s Gotta Have It,” “That’s The Way I Feel About ‘Cha,” “Breezin’,” “It’s All Over Now” and “American Dream.”   

    The Poet track listing

  •     So Many Sides of You
  •     Lay Your Lovin’ on Me
  •     Secrets
  •     Just My Imagination 
  •     Stand Up
  •     Games
  •     If You Think You’re Lonely Now
  •     Where Do We Go From Here
  • The Poet II track listing 

  •     Love Has Finally Come at Last
  •     It Takes A Lot of Strength to Say Goodbye
  •     Through The Eyes of a Child
  •     Surprise, Surprise
  •     Tryin’ To Get Over You
  •     Tell Me Why
  •     Who’s Foolin’ Who
  •     I Wish I Had Someone to Go Home To
  •     American Dream
  • Preorder The Poet and The Poet II

     

    Shannon McNally Gives Classic Outlaw Songs a Fresh Voice With New Album

    Shannon McNally Gives Classic Outlaw Songs a Fresh Voice With New Album

    American Blues Scene Staff

    McNally breathes new life into the music here, tackling the tunes with an honesty and a maturity that transcends genre and gender

    With her new album, The Waylon Sessions, the prolific and wide-ranging Shannon McNally set out to revisit the songs and spirit of Waylon Jennings, a legend with whom she’s always had an ongoing fascination.

    “I have always loved his defiantly existential but immediately accessible common man’s music and how it boogies,” says McNally. But her collection of tunes ended up being not so much a tribute as it is a recontextualization; a nuanced, feminine rendering of a catalog long considered a bastion of hetero-masculinity. That’s not to say McNally has a softer, gentler take on Jennings’ songs—in fact, just the opposite. Over and over again, she manages to locate a smoldering intensity, a searing hurt buried deep within the music’s deceptively simple poetry, and she hones in on it with surgical precision on this new album, which features special guests like Jessi Colter, Buddy Miller, Rodney Crowell, and Lukas Nelson. “The world has changed a lot since these songs were first recorded,” says McNally. “I have never heard a woman sing any of them, but these tunes are poignant and relevant to me and to women in general right now. As a songwriter, bringing a song to its full potential so that a larger or different audience can connect is all I’ve ever cared about.”

    When Blue Rose’s founder, Joe Poletto, asked McNally the question every artist wishes they could hear when it comes to making a record, “What would you do if you could do anything?” McNally didn’t even need to think before she answered. “An Album of Waylon.” “What Waylon Jennings brought to country music is what country music needs right now, and that unapologetic and vulnerable sense of self are what women are tapping into artistically right now as the industry evolves,” says McNally. “Because of the nature of this business, I’ve spent most of my life moving through a man’s world. I love men and I accept them for the complex critters they are, but when #MeToo started unfolding, I was hearing all these powerful stories and remembering all my own experiences, and I realized just how much of myself I’d been suppressing to get by. The system and the ways I’d learned to survive in it were cracking wide open, and suddenly I felt this freedom I’d never felt before.”

    McNally knew that assembling the right band would be essential to capturing Jennings’ mix of laid back charm and swaggering bravado, so she called AMA-winning guitarist Kenny Vaughan (Marty Stuart, Lucinda Williams) to help her assemble a team that included drummer Derek Mixon (Chris Stapleton), pedal steel legend and longtime Jennings bandmate Fred Newell, Texas keyboard mainstay Bukka Allen (Robert Earl Keen, Jerry Jeff Walker), and bassist Chris Scruggs (Marty Stuart, Charlie Louvin). Working live and raw, they tracked sixteen songs in just five days, relying on instinct and intuition to guide their decisions at every turn. As brilliant as the band’s performances are, it’s McNally that breathes new life into the music here, tackling the tunes with an honesty and a maturity that transcends genre and gender. She doesn’t swap pronouns or couch her delivery with a wink; she simply plays it straight, singing her truth as a divorced single mother in her 40’s in all its beauty, pain, and power.

    My goal wasn’t to force anything onto the music that wasn’t there already. There’s a feminine perspective hidden somewhere inside each of these songs. My job was to find a way to tap into that and draw it out.

    Born and raised on Long Island, McNally has, at various points, called New Orleans, Nashville, and Holly Springs, Mississippi, home, but it was in Los Angeles that she first came to national attention in the early 2000s with her Capitol Records debut, Jukebox Sparrows. Recorded with a Murderer’s Row of studio legends including Greg Leisz, Benmont Tench, and Jim Keltner, the collection garnered high profile spotlights everywhere from NPR to Rolling Stone, earned McNally slots on Letterman, Leno, and Conan, and led to dates with Stevie Nicks, Robert Randolph, and John Mellencamp among others.

    She followed it up in 2005 with Geronimo, a critically acclaimed sophomore effort that prompted the New York Times to call her “irresistible” and the Washington Post to hail her as “a fine lyricist who often calls to mind Lucinda Williams.” A restless creative spirit with a magnetic personality, McNally would go on to release a wide range of similarly lauded albums, EPs, and collaborations over the next 15 years, performing on stage and in the studio with the likes of Willie Nelson, Dr. John, Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm, Charlie Sexton, Derek Trucks, Terry Allen, and many more along the way. In 2018, she partnered with Joe Poletto at Blue Rose to develop The Waylon Sessions.

    Shannon McNally

    *Feature image photo credit: Alysse Gafkjen courtesy of Compass Records

    Allman Brothers Band To Release Live Album ‘Down In Texas ’71’

    Allman Brothers Band To Release Live Album ‘Down In Texas ’71’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    ‘Down In Texas ’71’ captures a special snapshot in time during the pivotal year of 1971 for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group.

    Renowned for their rousing and mesmerizing live performances, The Allman Brothers Band are preparing to officially release another historic show via the Allman Brothers Band Recording Company label. Recorded on September 28, 1971 at the Austin Municipal Auditorium in Austin, TX, Down In Texas ’71 will be available through an exclusive pre-sale at Merch Mountain, and beginning March 26 (the band’s formation anniversary) at The Big House Museum gift shop and online store, and as a digital release.

    The nine-track collection features “Statesboro Blues,” “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” and “Stormy Monday,” among others, and as a bonus available only on the physical CD is an exclusive radio interview with band members Berry Oakley and Duane Allman, recorded just a few months ahead of this performance.

    Down In Texas ’71 captures a special snapshot in time during the pivotal year of 1971 for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame group. Coming two months after the release of At Fillmore East in July and occurring one month before the death of Duane Allman in October, the Austin show presents the original ABB line-up—Duane Allman, Gregg Allman, Dickey Betts, Berry Oakley, Butch Trucks and Jaimoe—at the peak of their creativity. An innovative “You Don’t Love Me” and the jazz-inspired “Hot ’Lanta” give hints of where the group may have taken their music if Duane had lived. In addition, Down In Texas ’71 features saxophonist Rudolph “Juicy” Carter sitting in on six out of the CD’s nine tracks, which is the most extensive guest appearance available with the band’s first incarnation. Juicy and Jaimoe had played together with Percy Sledge, and it was Juicy who coined the moniker Jaimoe for the drummer born as Johnny Lee Johnson.

    Proceeds from this exclusive release will benefit the Allman Brothers Band Museum. The Big House in Macon, GA is the three-story house where members of The Allman Brothers Band, their roadies, friends, and families lived between 1970-1973. It was the focal point of gathering in those early years when the magic that is the Allman Brothers Band was just taking shape and radiating from this historic Southern town. The Big House is now home to the largest collection of ABB memorabilia in the world. The special pre-sale bundle package for this release is priced at $50, and includes the CD, a limited-edition Down In Texas T-shirt, as well as a one-of-a-kind reflective ABB badge sticker. This offer is available exclusively through the Big House online merch store, or at the museum gift shop. The Allman Brothers Band Museum at the Big House is located at 2321 Vineville Avenue, in scenic Macon, GA.

    Allman Brothers Band