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:

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FACEBOOK

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*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

    Johnny Burgin Teams With Anson Funderburgh to Put the ‘Cherry On Top’

    Johnny Burgin Teams With Anson Funderburgh to Put the ‘Cherry On Top’

    JD Nash

    “Cherry on Top” is available today via Delmark Records on all major outlets

    “Cherry On Top” is a sultry, burlesque blues with lyrics of love for this Valentine’s Day! Chicago blues artist Johnny Burgin is livin’ in a lover’s paradise and wants the world to know! The trademark restrained lines and super-clean tone of Anson Funderburgh heightens the romantic and indulgent mood of this new blues digital single.

    Johnny and his road manager, producer Stephanie Tice, share a lot of lighthearted banter as they travel — leading to lots of “that’s a song!” moments. “Cherry On Top” is a true-life love song that was quickly jotted down as the tour van rolled. Johnny always loves to record in different cities with great local musicians, and last winter while touring in Dallas, Johnny and his touring bassist Chris Matheos jumped at the chance to record with young multi-instrumentalist Reo Casey on drums and veteran pianist Christian Dozzler.

    Blues guitar aficionados will love this fruitful pairing of Johnny Burgin and Anson Funderburghs guitars– their first appearance together on record. Anson has long been one of the very best living blues guitarists, with an elegant and instantly recognizable sound with roots in the swinging early BB King style. Johnny’s more in a gutbucket, Chicago West Side sound, and creates a fun contrast by playing very aggressively on the outro. All in all, it’s a great meeting of dedicated simpatico blues artists to bring to this seductive and fun tune to life.

    It was really fun to record in Dallas, I love spending time in Texas and hanging out with so many of the great musicians there. I’ve always wanted to make a collection of blues music for burlesque dance, and I hope “Cherry on Top” will be the first step in that journey. Working with Anson was a highlight of my career as a guitarist and he brought just the right spice to the song. On that same session, I recorded a few tunes with Dylan Bishop, he’s got a huge talent. – Johnny Burgin

    “Cherry on Top” is available for streaming and download today via Delmark Records and can be purchased here.

    Johnny Burgin

    *Feature image courtesy of Delmark Records

    Highwomen Member Natalie Hemby Signs to Fantasy Records

    Highwomen Member Natalie Hemby Signs to Fantasy Records

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Renowned songwriter and member of The Highwomen to release new solo album later this year

    Natalie Hemby, one of contemporary music’s most successful and sought-after songwriters has signed a world-wide recording contract with Fantasy Records and will release a new solo album later this year. The GRAMMY®-winning songwriter, a founding member of the supergroup, The Highwomen, is also is a double nominee for Country Song of the Year at next month’s GRAMMY® Awards with nods for The Highwomen’s “Crowded Table,” and Miranda Lambert’s #1 country single, “Bluebird.” Last year, Hemby won her first GRAMMY® Award, Best Song Written for Visual Media for Lady Gaga’s “I’ll Never Love Again,” from A Star Is Born.

    “Natalie Hemby is a masterful singer-songwriter, a visionary artist, and a dynamic, influential presence among Nashville’s creative community,” stated Fantasy Records President Margi Cheske. “We’re thrilled to welcome her to the Fantasy family and look forward to working closely with the great team at Mick Management to bring this incredible new album to the world.”

    “Both Mick Management and Fantasy Records have an exceptional and eclectic roster of artists they work with, stated Hemby.” “Their teams are some of the most respected in the music business. I’m so proud to be a part of their musical families…it is truly a dream come true for me.”

    Since Hemby signed her first publishing deal at 19, the supremely talented and prolific Nashville native has amassed many #1 Country singles including Justin Moore’s “You Look Like I Need A Drink,” Jon Pardi’s “Heartache Medication,” Little Big Town’s “Pontoon,” and “Tornado,” and Miranda Lambert’s “White Liar,” “Automatic,” and the aforementioned “Bluebird.” Her songs have also been recorded by Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris, Sheryl Crow, Lady Gaga, Dierks Bentley, Eli Young Band, Kelly Clarkson, Rag’n’Bone Man and Labrinth, just to name a few.

    In 2019, Hemby, Brandi Carlile, Maren Morris and Amanda Shires formed The Highwomen. The supergroup’s self-titled debut album, widely acclaimed as one of the year’s best, debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Country chart and won Americana Music Honors & Awards for Album of the Year, Duo/Group of the Year, and Song of the Year (“Crowded Table.”)

    Hemby’s first solo album, the warmly received Puxico, was released in 2017. The upcoming new album, produced and mixed by her husband Mike Wrucke, will be Hemby’s first for Fantasy. Last year, in milestone for the Los Angeles based independent record company, Fantasy’s Tanya Tucker won two GRAMMY® Awards, the first of her illustrious career, Country Album of the Year (While I’m Livin’) and Country Song of the Year (“Bring My Flowers Now.”)

    *Feature image credit: Alysse Gafjken

    British Brave Hearts Redfish Deliver Valentine’s Day Blues Blockbuster

    British Brave Hearts Redfish Deliver Valentine’s Day Blues Blockbuster

    David Scott

    On Valentine’s Day, UK-based rhythm and blues band Redfish release ‘Songs from the Fire Station,’ their new EP comprising four fan favorites, recorded live from their popular monthly residency at the Old Fire Station in Carlisle.

    Redfish released their 2019 debut album of original material, Souls, which was acclaimed as a beautifully arranged, glorious, genre busting and breathtaking musical extravaganza. The upcoming follow-up EP, Songs From The Fire Station, was recorded live at the band’s monthly blues jam in the Old Fire Station, Carlisle, on the border between England and Scotland. It comprises four well-chosen covers which these talented musicians make their own as they explore and interpret aspects of blues, funk, soul and jazz.

    Bob Dylan’s “Meet Me In The Morning” opens with an innovative duel between keyboard player Fraser Clark and guitarist Martin McDonald underpinned by the precise funky rhythm of drummer Sandy Sweetman and bassist Rod Mackay. Clark and McDonald take turns to solo with considerable energy and panache throughout this epic performance, Stumblin’ Harris skillfully overlaying the vocals with intensity and drama. This version is reminiscent of Dylan’s collaboration with Jack White but possessing the uniqueness which Clark’s consummate keys add to the mix.

    The high tempo “Give Me Back My Wig” with its raucous guitar work and machine gun, rapid-fire keys makes Hound Dog Taylor’s classic sound like a waltz. Harris milks the humor of the line, “You just give me back My Wig/Honey now let your head go bald.” It takes a genius to even attempt Taylor’s iconic style but Stumblin’ nails it impeccably whilst adding flavors and flourishes of his own.

    “Bright Lights Big City” is mainly a straight forward 12-bar from the Jimmy Reed repertoire. However, its neat, nuanced groove just behind the beat, together with tasteful jazz-infused keyboard interludes, gives the song another dimension. 

    Bill Withers’ “Use Me” has a soul-funk vibe, the rhythm enhanced by guest percussionist Suzy Cargill. Harris uses his vocal range well, the interplay with MacDonald’s dynamic guitar riffs a superb feature as the song reaches its climax. By this point, Fraser and Cargill are in full-blown creative mode, held in check by the metronomic and dexterous bass and drums.

    Much credit goes to Eden Dunn, live stage performance engineer, for such a clear and authentic sound, capturing the energy and enthusiasm of the musicians and audience.

    “Listening through the archives of recordings we discovered these gems recorded at our monthly Blues Jam at The Old Fire Station,” states vocalist Stumblin’ Harris. “It’s been a challenge keeping engaged with our audience throughout the pandemic, we miss the live shows greatly and releasing this EP will hopefully give a bit of a ‘feel good’ vibe and a reminder of what we took for granted.”

    The EP is available as a download from Bandcamp.

    *Feature image credit: Stuart Scott

     

    Mavis Staples Bandleader Rick Holmstrom to Release ‘See That Light’ Feb. 26th

    Mavis Staples Bandleader Rick Holmstrom to Release ‘See That Light’ Feb. 26th

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “The main thread, as I see it, is in the songs, or the stories.” – Rick Holmstrom

    Rick Holmstrom has stories. Thirty-two years of hurtling around the globe in metal tubes will do that. From his early days with blues and soul artists like William Clarke, Johnny Dyer and Booker T. to his 13-year run as gospel/soul/civil rights legend Mavis Staples’ guitarist/bandleader, a conversation with Holmstrom quickly turns to road stories. Sidelined from touring due to the pandemic, he initially felt depressed, but ultimately turned to his guitar for solace. See That Light is the result of that period, when Holmstrom masked up and recorded with his bandmates Steve Mugalian and Gregory Boaz, who also tour with Staples.

    When we returned from Australia in March, 2020, like most musicians, I sat at home stunned. We had a banner year booked–bus tours with Patty Griffin and Norah Jones, Wrigley Field with Chris Stapleton—poof, gone. So after a couple weeks of family time and de-compression, my livelihood dried up. I got depressed. Unusually depressed. I’m normally a pretty upbeat person. At some point I finally grabbed a guitar. Always the best medicine. Playing really helped me regain purpose. – Rick Holmstrom

    These songs were written looking out of airplane and bus windows, or in hotel rooms at 2 am. Holmstrom explains: “The main thread, as I see it, is in the songs, or the stories. We’ve got a person here who’s struggling; who’s afraid to wake up to the truth; afraid they’re losing their shit; can’t find work; looking for love under a freeway overpass in San Bernardino; trying to convince a fair-haired hotel clerk to see the bright lights of Fresno; while anxiously trying to navigate an existential dystopian crisis; feeling like a loser; and an asshole; that the world is passing them by; and that they might be better off calling it quits. But in the end, a four year old points her finger up at the night sky and asks: ‘See that light? What’s its name and how do you know?’ It’s the child’s joyful eye that restores this guy’s hope.”

    “Losing My Shit” is the third single release from See That Light. Art & Animation by Mikki Itzigsohn & Zach Zito

    See That Light was recorded near Holmstrom’s home in Venice, CA at Kevin Jarvis’ Sonic Boom Room with Mugalian (Lucinda Williams, Harry Dean Stanton, Chuck Prophet) on drums and Boaz (Dave Alvin, Mick Taylor, John Mayall) on bass. Rob Schnapf (X, Beck, Richard Thompson) mixed the record, emphasizing the rawness and sense of space around the trio.

    Holmstrom has released 5 solo records on labels including Black Top, Tone Cool and M.C. Records, as well as winning a Grammy with Staples (“You Are Not Alone”) and nominations in 2015, 2013 and 2009, but this will be his first self-release, on LuEllie Records, named after his beloved daughters, who have been his North Star during a dark year.

    Rick Holmstrom
    Pre-Order See That Light (US and Canada)
    Pre-Order See That Light (International)

    Kara Marni Joins Forces with Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White

    Kara Marni Joins Forces with Earth, Wind & Fire’s Verdine White

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Rework of her feel-good R&B anthem “Trippin” out now.

    Critically-acclaimed British R&B/soul artist to watch Kara Marni has released “Trippin (Tripped Out Soul Mix)” – a special collaboration with the legendary Verdine White of the GRAMMY-award winning group Earth, Wind & Fire. The track is a soul rework of her feel-good R&B anthem “Trippin,” which samples Amerie’s “1 Thing” and teases what’s to come from her third EP due out this spring.

    Verdine recruited fellow Earth, Wind & Fire band member John Paris as well as GRAMMY-award winning producer Neal Pogue (Outkast) to rework “Trippin” with him. The three used live instrumentation at a studio in Los Angeles to deliver their distinctive soul jazz-infused sound giving the song a whole new energy and vibe.

    Speaking about Kara, Verdine says:

    I love Kara’s musical style. She’s an incredibly talented young lady and did a great job re-doing Amerie’s ‘1 Thing.’ Once I listened to ‘Trippin,’ it was an easy yes to collaborate—her voice is beautiful. I loved the record and wanted something we could all swing to. Working on this remix remotely was a different process but the energy and excitement from Kara made it seem as if she was in the room with us.

    Throughout her short career so far, Marni has accumulated more than 50 million career streams and is a mainstay of the major pop and R&B playlists including Spotify’s Chill Hits and This Is How We Do as well as A List: R&B on Apple Music. Her two EPs, No Logic and Love Just Ain’t Enough, led to radio support from BBC Radio 1Xtra, where her single “Lose My Love” spent 5 weeks on the A-list. Kara’s debut performance at the Live Lounge went global after reaching 20 million Instagram users in one weekend. She capped off a busy international festival season in 2019 by headlining Glastonbury’s Pussy Parlure stage and sold-out her first-ever UK and European headline tour. Kara was spotlighted in “Ones To Watch” features by Vogue and Complex, won “Best Female Act” at the 2020 Urban Music Awards and holds the title for the most engaged performance in the Vevo DSCVR series.

    Kara Marni
    Click HERE to buy/stream.

    *Feature image photo credit: Dean Martindale

    Mary Wilson, A Supremely Nice Girl, Has Passed

    Mary Wilson, A Supremely Nice Girl, Has Passed

    Don Wilcock

    In less than a year’s time, the Supremes eclipsed the Miracles, the Temptations, and Mary Wells to become the highest profile group at a label that was redefining the very definition of pop music

    Mary Wilson, founding member of the Supremes, has died suddenly at age 76.

    I was shocked in 2013 when I interviewed Mary, and she said she never experienced prejudice in Detroit because all her encounters as a youngster were with other blacks. Detroit’s black population in 2018 was 79.1% of the total. When she visited her grandmother’s in Alabama, she realized what racial hated was all about.

    “In Detroit we were so segregated that we really didn’t receive a lot of prejudice because there were areas that you just didn’t go into. So, it wasn’t in front of you day to day. However, when we travel to our grandparents’ home in the south, then we would see it.” 

    Credit: Casey Curry/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

    Younger than Motown’s other acts, it took the three young teenagers a year and a half of hanging out daily in Motown’s reception area to wear down CEO Berry Gordy enough to sign them. “Even in Motown, we were totally different from everyone else. We were just these three squares. I think that’s what made the group so unique was that we were different from most: clean cut, cute little girls, maybe not as pretty as the Ronettes, you know?”

    In less than a year’s time, the Supremes eclipsed the Miracles, the Temptations, and Mary Wells to become the highest profile group at a label that was redefining the very definition of pop music with songs including five consecutive No. 1 singles: “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Come See About Me,” “Stop! In the Name of Love” and “Back in My Arms Again.”

    Half a century later Mary Wilson had eight grandchildren who called her gamma without the “r.”

    I had never imagined super stars coming from Detroit could ever be naïve, but remember she was only 16 when she and the other Supremes first recorded, and that opportunity only arose because she loitered at the Motown headquarters for months before anyone there paid attention to her.

    “Even in Motown, we were totally different from everyone else. We were just these three squares. I think we felt everyone else was hip and because when we first performed at the Apollo Theatre we went there scared as can be because we weren’t sure that they were gonna like us because we were so square, because we were so unhip, and when they did, it was almost like, ‘Wow, they really like us.’ “

    Think about it; most of the Motown music was far from being as gritty as the rhythm and blues hits that preceded that label’s run of successes. One of the reasons was because label head Barry Gordy wanted to produce songs that crossed over into the pop market where the biggest hits were by white artists. One has to wonder, would he have been able to succeed, had he not discovered young black artists who had been sheltered from both the white community and from the kind of hardnosed white R&B label heads like Don Robey of Duke/Peacock Records or blues labels like Chess run by Leonard Chess.

    Even as a seasoned hitmaker, Mary Wilson maintained a personality as engaging as any artist I ever interviewed. As successful as she was, there was a thread in her personality that grew out of her childhood that was almost as idyllic as her time in front of the stage lights.

    Success did not come in a flash. For their first year and a half, they had had the nickname as the “no-hit Supremes” at Berry Gordy’s Detroit hit factory. Stax/Volt artists like Otis Redding were considered soul and R&B. The Stones and Beatles were pop rock, but The Supremes were the leading edge of a sound that was identified simply by the title of the label with an infectious blend that transcended its black roots.

    “The general observation was that we (at Motown) were all created equal,” Mary told me in 2013. “We were not. We came in there with our little pearls on that we had bought from Woolworth’s. We were totally matching in outfits that we had on, and we actually made Motown take us because we were so persistent in being there every single day and always singing.”

    Mary Wilson, one of the founders of the biggest girl group in history, dead at 76.

    Harry Dean Stanton with the Cheap Dates ‘October 1993’

    Harry Dean Stanton with the Cheap Dates ‘October 1993’

    Cary Baker / Conqueroo

    Collaboration of Harry Dean Stanton and members of the Kingbees, Stray Cats, the Doobie Brothers, and Iggy Pop/David Bowie to be available from Omnivore Recordings on February 12, 2021

    Harry Dean Stanton (July 14, 1926 – September 15, 2017), the beloved actor with a career spanning more than six decades, also loved to sing and play music. Who could forget his extraordinary performances in the film Cool Hand Luke? His trusted musical partner for 15+ years was Jamie James (The Kingbees, Dennis Quaid & the Sharks), as evidenced in the acclaimed documentary and soundtrack Harry Dean Stanton: Partly Fiction. Omnivore Recordings released the soundtrack to the movie in 2014.

    On February 12, 2021, Omnivore will release Harry Dean Stanton With the Cheap Dates, October 1993, a collection of never-before-heard music from the man Los Angeles Times described as a “prolific character actor who brought a soulful, hangdog presence.” Produced by Jamie James, the album features four tracks from the studio alongside five recorded live at Doug Weston’s Troubadour in West Hollywood. The album will be available on CD, LP and Digital.

    James sets the scene in his liner notes:

    Together, Harry and I had been doing some dates around Los Angeles as a duo, and I remember suggesting to Harry to have Slim Jim Phantom (Stray Cats) come over and play drums with us. In doing so, he brought along Jeff “Skunk” Baxter (The Doobie Brothers) to play pedal steel, which then led to Slim and I asking Tony Sales (Iggy Pop, David Bowie, Todd Rundgren) to play bass, and that’s how we became the Cheap Dates.

    October 1993 documents that collaboration. Featuring covers of Bob Dylan, Chuck Berry, Ben E. King, and Jimmy Reed, among others, it’s a celebration of friendship, music, and love.

    Track listing:

  • I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight
  • Promised Land
  • You Don’t Miss Your Water
  • Across the Borderline
  • You Never Can Tell (Live at the Troubadour)
  • Spanish Harlem (Live at the Troubadour)
  • Miss Froggie (Live at the Troubadour)
  • Bright Lights, Big City (Live at the Troubadour)
  • Canción Mixteca (Live at the Troubadour)
  • Omnivore Recordings

    *Feature image photo credit: Robert Matheu

    The Freedom Affair’s ‘Freedom is Love’ Gets Limited Vinyl Run March 12th

    The Freedom Affair’s ‘Freedom is Love’ Gets Limited Vinyl Run March 12th

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The Freedom Affair’s ‘Freedom is Love’ album will be released on vinyl for the first time on March 12th via Sunflower Soul Records but is limited to 1,000 random colored copies.

    Freedom Is Love is the debut album from Kansas City’s newest soul juggernaut, The Freedom Affair. The album explores themes of love, heartache, empowerment, and togetherness through a varying landscape of hard-hitting funk, luscious soul, and everything in between.

    The Freedom Affair is a unique collective featuring 3 powerhouse female vocalists (Paula Saunders, Misha Roberts, and Seyko Groves) in front of a dynamic 6-piece band. On Freedom Is Love, each of the ladies get their time to shine individually, but the magic is on full display when all 3 come together in unison and harmony, symbolically embodying the messages that they sing about. The album was recorded and produced by Chris Hazelton, utilizing the best of vintage and new recording technologies to create an authentic experience, befitting of a soul record that would have been relevant 50 years ago as much as it will be 50 years from now.

    The Freedom Affair’s new album Freedom Is Love is out now on digital/streaming formats and drops on Random Colored Vinyl on March 12th via Sunflower Soul Records (and distributed via Colemine Records). Click here to pre-order the Random Colored Vinyl (limited to 1,000 copies).

    The Freedom Affair

    *Feature image photo credit: Erica Joi Photography

    Jorma Kaukonen Performs, Holds Virtual Workshops and Releases New Recording for Radio Play

    Jorma Kaukonen Performs, Holds Virtual Workshops and Releases New Recording for Radio Play

    Cash Edwards Music Services

    With careful consideration of the times, Jorma Kaukonen performs solo concerts

    Jorma Kaukonen, a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is a founding member of two legendary bands: San Francisco’s Jefferson Airplane and his still-touring Hot Tuna — a duo with Jack Casady. In a career that has spanned more than 60 years, guitarist and songwriter Kaukonen is a highly respected artist who always adds new energy into his music, expressing himself cleanly and clearly, creating his unmistakable sound.

    Photo courtesy of Cash Edwards

     Feb. 6 – Quarantine Concert #37, Free Live Stream on YouTube 8 p.m. EST

    Feb. 8 – Old School Square Center for the Arts, Delray Beach, FL

    Feb. 11 – The City Winery, Nashville, TN, 5 pm & 8 pm

    March 28, 2021 – City Winery Presents

    Jorma Kaukonen’s March Medicine Music to Heal the Soul – A Virtual Zoom Masterclass

    Still got the blues… and you will too if you join us for this class. I’m going back to the blues well. It’s a deep well that set me on fire as a young musician. From Muddy Waters to Jesse Fuller I was inspired to find my own voice which I did with the help of my old Gibson. Drawing from a lifetime of blues excursions, I will take you back to that place and break down a few of my favorite blues songs. Though this is a level 3 fingerstyle class, we will be addressing advanced technique and execution in addition to, “just learning the songs.” (https://citywinery.com/newyork/jormas-march-medicine-music-to-heal-the-soul)

    Now turned 80 this past December 23, Jorma still travels the land performing solo, as Hot Tuna with bassist Jack Casady, and with many friends. Though the touring has temporarily been put on hold the music has not stopped! Since last Spring every Saturday Jorma has live Quarantine Concerts on YouTube.

    Jorma livestreams from his Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp in the countryside near Athens, Ohio. Each Saturday night finds Jorma reminiscing both in song and story about his heroes, his friends, his guitars and the music. The New York Times included these free livestreams in their “10 of the best virtual concerts” list, twice! The concerts will continue for the foreseeable future at 8 p.m. EST on The Fur Peace Ranch YouTube Channel. Please subscribe! (www.youtube.com/user/FurPeaceRanch)

    John Hurlbut & Jorma Kaukonen’s The River Flows is being heard across the country! Take a listen to the single “Travelin.”

    John Hurlbut · Travelin’

    www.jormakaukonen.com
    www.hottuna.com
    www.furpeaceranch.com
    www.jackcasady.com

    Adrian Younge Announces New Multimedia Project ‘The American Negro’

    Adrian Younge Announces New Multimedia Project ‘The American Negro’

    Grandstand Media

    “This project dissects the chemistry behind blind racism, using music as the medium to restore dignity and self-worth to my people.” – Adrian Younge

    Adrian Younge has announced his most ambitious and deeply personal project to-date. The American Negro is a multimedia project release in conjunction with Black History Month, and sees the Los Angeles-based multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer share an unapologetic critique detailing the systemic and malevolent psychology that afflicts people of color. Younge is set to release The American Negro full length album featuring music and spoken work on February 26th via Jazz Is Dead. To better explain the intricacies of the album’s message, he will also release the four-part podcast Invisible Blackness and short film T.A.N. – both available exclusively via Amazon Music.

    The American Negro is a powerful, multifaceted statement that reflects perennial injustices and serves to act as a lever of change during a time of mass disillusionment: an album for the people that details the evolution of racism in America. It is insightful, provocative and necessary in our fight for equality.

    The American Negro is the most important creative accomplishment of my life. This project dissects the chemistry behind blind racism, using music as the medium to restore dignity and self-worth to my people. It should be evident that any examination of black music is an examination of the relationship between black and white America. This relationship has shaped the cultural evolution of the world and its negative roots run deep into our psyche.

    The album’s title track and lead single “The American Negro” captures the poetic spirits of black luminaries like Gil-Scott Heron, Curtis Mayfield and Marvin Gaye. It cultivates a bold balance between melancholy and pure joy, with deeply poignant lyrics and melodic grooves. “The American Negro” single features The Linear Labs Orchestra with vocals performed by Loren Oden, Chester Gregory and Sam Harmonix.

    The American Negro is not for the faint of heart, including the album cover art–a recreation of “Lynching Postcards” that became very popular to celebrate the murder of African Americans at the hands of White Americans as vigilante justice at the turn of the last century, with no judicial reprisals; in addition, they served as warning signs against any person of color seeking to eradicate racial inequality. Modernly, death by asphyxiation is a tool police officers have used in killing innocent Black Americans–the lynching of the Black Americans has to stop!

    Created as a companion to The American Negro, Younge is also releasing his brand-new podcast Invisible Blackness with Adrian Younge. The Amazon Music-exclusive podcast documents the development and evolution of racism in America. Over four episodes and a series of extended conversations, Younge analyzes the Black consciousness of America with new historical parallels to the future and the past. As part of the podcast, Younge will be joined by fellow luminaries like Chuck D, Ladybug Mecca, Kenyon Harrold, Michael Jai White and more to reveal, illustrate, and make visible the dominant ideologies embedded in America’s culture.

    A true Renaissance Man, Younge wrote, directed, edited and composed the score for the upcoming short film T.A.N. – a narrative film that sees five fragile souls, confused and in a haze of consciousness and intolerance, enter an eerie dimension. Piece-by-piece, each person realizes their destiny, and the darkness they’ve left behind. The film will be available later this month via Amazon’s Prime Video and on the Amazon Music app. Look for more on the film soon.

    Adrian Younge is a member of The Midnight Hour and has produced for entertainment greats ranging from Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and Wu-Tang Clan. He’s composed for television shows such as Marvel’s Luke Cage (with Ali Shaheed Muhammad), and films including Black Dynamite. He owns the Linear Labs boutique record label and analog studio, and is co-owner of Jazz Is Dead. When he’s not working on scores for major studios or networks, he’s making albums that speak to his own artistry. For The American Negro, Younge not only wrote, but played every instrument of the album’s rhythm section; he also orchestrated a 30-piece orchestra and recorded them in his analog studio.

    Adrian Younge Facebook
    Subscribe to Invisible Blackness Podcast

    Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters Release Latest Single, ‘Swashbucklin’

    Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters Release Latest Single, ‘Swashbucklin’

    David Scott

    Single #2 out today!

    Scotland’s rising blues star Jed Potts gained international recognition last year with his innovative tribute song, “Talkin’ Apollo 13 Blues,” marking the 50th anniversary of the USA’s third mission to land on the moon. 

    With his band comprising bassist Charlie Wild and drummer Jonny Christie, the power trio Jed Potts & The Hillman Hunters, specialists in 1950s American blues, are releasing the second of a new series of singles focusing exclusively on original material entitled “Swashbucklin’.” Last December’s debut single, “Where’s Your Man,” demonstrated the musicians’ commitment to down home authentic blues whilst adding some unique flavors.

    Drummer Jonny Christie and bassist Charlie Wild

    Recorded at Chamber Studio, “Swashbucklin” is a blues wailing party courtesy of its compelling riffs, muscular grooves and syncopated swing patterns. Wild and Christie provide the power, dexterity and timing to underpin Jed’s superb finger-blurring fretwork. Searing solos are complemented by understated interpolations reflecting the range of Jed’s guitar work. The intensity and infectious enthusiasm of his vocals show that Potts is definitely strutting and not walking these days: if falling in love has this effect, then more people should give it a try.

    I wrote  “Swashbucklin” very shortly after returning from the States where I had played guitar on Brandon’s album The Longshot. Something about that experience inspired me to try to focus more on writing original material, and to try to develop a distinctive style in doing this. The idea of the word ‘Swashbuckling’ and particularly it’s usage as a verb made me laugh and felt very “Hillmansy” to me. And when I realized that it could be used as a metaphor to describe how good someone can make you feel it felt like a good starting point for lyrics. I liked having to figure out which types of characters could personify the concept of ‘swashbucklin.’ The pirate is fairly obvious, but the tomcat and the paratrooper slightly less so.

    The song is now available to stream on all major platforms, and also available for download from Bandcamp.

    River Kittens Release Stunning Cover of ‘Atlantic City’ for Forthcoming EP Due Out This Spring

    River Kittens Release Stunning Cover of ‘Atlantic City’ for Forthcoming EP Due Out This Spring

    Big Hassle Media

    Devon Allman signs River Kittens to Create Records, and they will join this year’s Allman Family Revival February 13 at the Ryman

    Today, the St. Louis duo River Kittens have released a remarkable cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Atlantic City” giving the classic song a bluegrass makeover that is both refreshing and lively. River Kittens signed to Devon Allman’s label, Create Records, for their forthcoming EP due out this Spring.

    Photo courtesy of Emily Ginsberg

    The duo spoke about the track saying:

    “Atlantic City” is a song that has always been close to our hearts. It’s one of the first songs Mattie ever learned on her mandolin. Its piece of music that has seen us both through hard times and loves lost. It’s a classic night cap tune for late night jams with our pals in St. Louis. It’s as much our anthem as any song we’ve written. We feel as though ‘Everything dies baby, that’s a fact…’ is a great reminder to not to take life so seriously, but also to live in the moment! It’s the original YOLO.

    River Kittens signed to Devon Allman’s label, Create Records for their forthcoming EP, due out this Spring.

    Following the release of “Atlantic City” River Kittens will join Devon and The Allman Betts Band for The Allman Family Revival, which will be returning for its fourth year in celebration of Gregg Allman’s birthday. This year the show will take place in Nashville, TN at the iconic Ryman Auditorium. This show will have limited and socially distanced in person attendance, which are now sold out. Streaming ticketing options available HERE

    River Kittens (Allie Vogler and Mattie Schell) sound like they’ve been singing together their entire lives. They sing like angels and fight like sisters, even though the pair first met and sang together at a metal bar in 2014. They’re salty and sweet, and sometimes sour too, but their two unique approaches blend together perfectly. River Kittens’ effortless harmonies and honest songwriting can move an audience to laughter or tears, sometimes both.

    *Feature image: Screengrab of video

    Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Chris Roberts Releases ‘Get Down’

    Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist Chris Roberts Releases ‘Get Down’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “I never tried to become a musician. I never thought I would play music. I never desired to play music. It’s just that music kept falling into me and out of me until I had no choice.” – Chris Roberts

    Ahead of his forthcoming EP release on February 26, singer/songwriter/guitarist Chris Roberts is out with a rousing new single, “Get Down,” and it is coming at a time when a lot of folks could use the message.

    “Get Down’ is about finding a way through hard times,” Chris shares. “When you got your back up against the wall, what are you gonna do? I know, no matter what, I’m gonna pull myself up by the bootstraps and get on down with the get down.”

    The song was written and recorded during a time when Chris and his band had been forced to cancel shows due to the pandemic. So, they decided to make the best of an unpredictable time, quarantining together in a studio in Joshua Tree in the California desert making, in his words, “rock ‘n’ roll/hippie/country magic.” Straddling the worlds of Americana and raw country/Southern rock, the songs are solidly written and executed, laced with innovative but irresistible hooks and finessed with world-class craftsmanship.

    It wasn’t always clear that music was in the cards for the Austin native now based in Aspen, CO. “I never tried to become a musician,” he explains. “I never thought I would play music. I never desired to play music. It’s just that music kept falling into me and out of me until I had no choice.”

    From working on ranches and construction sites in Texas, laying carpet, and even washing cars, to eventually launching Aspen Hatter, a highly successful hat making business, Chris has always been an independent and impulsive self-starter. Every bit of music he’s heard, every moment of sadness and joy he’s experience, informs who he is and what he does.

    Chris Roberts
    “Get Down”
    Aspen Hatter on Instagram

    *Feature image by Kimberly Hunt