The Cold Stares Announce New Studio Album, ‘Heavy Shoes,’ Reveal New Song And Video For ‘In The Night Time’

The Cold Stares Announce New Studio Album, ‘Heavy Shoes,’ Reveal New Song And Video For ‘In The Night Time’

Jon Bleicher / Prospect PR

Recorded largely at Sam Phillips Recording Studio, Memphis – with the remaining at their studio in Indiana – this Memphis vibe has seeped into ‘Heavy Shoes,’ out August 13 via Mascot Records

Indiana duo The Cold Stares will release their new album Heavy Shoes on August 13th via Mascot Records (Black Stone Cherry, Crobot, Monster Truck). Ahead of this, they have revealed the video for “In The Night Time.“

Their story alone would be enough for a drama series – cancer, suicide, betrayal, divorce, loss, self-identity crisis, survival, and ancestral skeletons. Write about what you know, they say.

There’s a richness running through the songs with dark, multi-layered narratives that course through every twist and turn. Dirty fuzzed-up rock and roll meet blues, garage, desert rock and a Southern Gothic sensibility. Sombre storytelling is etched into their songs with unflinching honesty. For Chris Tapp and Brian Mullins, authenticity is their hallmark.

The Nuggets-era psychedelic garage-rock “In The Night Time” is the band striving for something more unique and is inspired by the southern gothic city of St Augustine, Florida. “The whole city is a graveyard. So many Spaniards are buried there,” singer-guitarist Tapp says. “When you’re walking the streets, it’s like you’re walking on the graves. I was visualizing walking late at night, with things in the shadows coming alive, and It’s joyous.”  The day of the dead inspired narrative and visuals ties into the incredible cover-art by Corey Booth (Rick & Morty) which highlights that darkness doesn’t need to be menacing, it can be beautiful too.

“I’m writing from the point of Edgar Allan Poe and William Faulkner. It needs to have weight to it,” he explains. “There’s not really anything that bothers me to talk about. When you don’t allow yourself to be human and say what’s happened to you, then you make other people that are going through tough shit think that they’re alone.”

“There were a million opportunities for us to bail. We’ve both been through divorces, and I’ve been through cancer. We’ve been through tough times and never been given anything on a silver plate. We’re just a blue-collar American rock and roll band,” he continues.

“I don’t think you can get to know people any better than playing music together,” says drummer Mullins. “You see people at their best and their worst. We’ve cried in front of each other, we’ve celebrated in front of each other.”

Recorded largely at Sam Phillips Recording Studio, Memphis – with the remaining at their studio in Indiana – this Memphis vibe has seeped into the record. How could it not – the music, the history, the people, the Mississippi river. Mixed by Mark Needham (The Killers) and mastered by Andy Vandette (Beastie Boys/Smashing Pumpkins), Heavy Shoes is their heaviest record yet.

“I tend to try to write like you’re reading a book. It’s descriptive, but also visual,” he says. He solemnly wails about bad luck on “Hard Times,” the first single from the album. They then run a gamut of themes; addiction (“Save You From You”), emotional torture (“Prosecution Blues”), destructive relationships (“Heavy Shoes”) and manipulation (“Election Blues”). The doom-laden, desert-rock “40 Dead Men” centers around an unnamed soldier who destroys his surroundings just to get home. “It’s a metaphor for being sucked into a fight, be it politics or religion, and focussing on going back to the thing you really love.”

Tapp hasn’t been dealt the easiest cards in life. Aged ten he discovered he was adopted, “for a long time, I kinda felt I was alone.” His Grandfather, who he “emphatically loved”, was a significant influence. “He dealt with depression his whole life. Music brought him joy. Because he valued it, it felt natural to me to value it.” He ended up taking his own life, and it was Chris who found him, “it was difficult then, and it’s been difficult since,” he says. “Ninety-nine per cent of the time, he was laughing. But he had this dark side, and maybe there’s a little bit of that dark side in me.” 

“That’s a heavy component of my life, and that creeps into the songs. It’s sometimes easier for me to think about it in a song with characters than it is for me to just think about it.” 

As a child, his grandfather told him about his great-grandfather, who ran moonshine during prohibition. When no one in the family would discuss that period, he decided to go to do his own research, and discovered that during this, the local Sheriff and Deputy visited his great-grandfather’s house and assaulted his great-aunt.  To protect his family, the next time, he hid under the porch until the Sheriff and Deputy returned. He then shot them both dead on the porch. He spent six days in jail and was released. This trauma shook the family and Tapp lived in that home during his twenties. “My great-aunt lived to be 103 and, just before she passed away, in the last couple of years, she started to talk to me about it.”

Tapp was diagnosed with Stage 3 Cancer in 2009 and given six months to live. 18 months of radiation and chemotherapy followed. “Now I feel like I’m saying what I want to say a little bit more concisely and elegantly,” he concludes. 

Now on their fifth album, the road-worn warriors have crisscrossed the US, playing the Mercury Lounge to the Viper Rooms, and played with Rival Sons, Spoon, Grand Funk Railroad and Thievery Corp. Their music has been streamed over 20m+ times and has featured on TV and games; ESPN, X-Games, Monster Energy, TNT’s Animal Kingdom, Dodge Motors and the smash-hit game CyberPunk 2077.

You want authenticity, take one long cold hard stare at these two. The Cold Stares are a rock ‘n’ roll band, but they take a sledgehammer to the foundation to reveal the cracks that are suppressed within it. With that, allowing themselves to be raw and open to show that, we are not alone.

Heavy Shoes Tracklisting:

  • Heavy Shoes
  • 40 Dead Men
  • Take This Body From Me
  • Hard Times
  • In The Night Time
  • Strange Light
  • Prosecution Blues
  • It’s A Game
  • Save You From You
  • You Wanted Love
  • Election Blues
  • Dust In My Hands
  • Hard Times
  •  

    Connect with The Cold Stares:
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    Delta Roots Music Festival 2021 – Tribute To Levon Helm Set For September 25

    Delta Roots Music Festival 2021 – Tribute To Levon Helm Set For September 25

    Don Wilcock

    Rediscover America’s roots music in a whole day of great sounds where it all began in Helena, Arkansas

    The Weight Band headline the second Delta Roots Music Festival on Saturday, September 25th in Helena, Arkansas. This celebration is dedicated to Levon Helm, the patriarch whose name is synonymous with Delta roots music. “He was really special,” says Weight Band leader Jim Weider who played the first King Biscuit Blues Festival in 1986 with Levon Helm and recorded three albums with The Band, the legendary American roots band best known for “Up On Cripple Creek,” “The Weight,” “Shape I’m In,” and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” 

    The Weight Band’s recently released Acoustic Live – Big Pink & The Levon Helm Studios carries on Levon’s Band legacy. “Why don’t we just hit the record button” said Weider during a 2019 Weight Band rehearsal at Big Pink — the house outside of Woodstock where the first Band recording was made. Little did Weider know at the time that this rehearsal and another the next day at Levon Helm’s Woodstock studio would be the last time the group would perform before the pandemic kicked in. No matter, these songs are so familiar to The Weight Band that performing them is as natural as breathing. Classic Band songs on the new release include “Rockin’ Chair,” “Remedy,” “King Harvest (Has Surely Come)”, and “Caledonia Mission” along with other familiar chestnuts from 100 years in the American songbook. These songs will come to life on the banks of the Mississippi as The Weight Band takes Festival attendees through the Delta’s rich history. 

    The Band was the group along with The Beatles, Rolling Stones and The Grateful Dead who turned “rock and roll” into “rock” and helped make roots music a worldwide phenomenon. Levon Helm grew up listening to Sonny Boy Williamson and the King Biscuit Boys perform live every day on King Biscuit Time broadcast on KFFA in downtown Helena. He would go on to become the drummer, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist in The Band. Levon passed in 2012, but his spirit lives on in The Weight Band. “I never saw him happier than at the end of his life,” says Weider. “I worked with him right to the last week of his life at the Barn, and he was always a people person. He really made people feel at home, and to watch him at the end of his life get three GRAMMYS® playing at the last shows really meant a lot to me.” 

    Weider was the sole guitarist for The Band from 1985 until that group’s dissolution in 2000. He wrote songs and performed on three of The Band’s studio albums, Jericho, High on the Hog, and Jubilation. He toured internationally with original Band members Levon Helm, Garth Hudson and Rick Danko for 15 years and was featured with them on numerous albums, films, videos and in television appearances. Come home to the Delta and celebrate Levon Helm’s rich heritage with The Weight Band led by the guitarist who was closest to him. Playing music is as natural to Weider as it was to Levon. “Yeah, I mean Levon had such a great deep feel for the blues coming from his backbeat, his kick drum. He just had a way of laying the backbeat down that comes from watching those guys play it for so long down here growing up with it.” 

    Rediscover America’s roots music in a whole day of great sounds where it all began in Helena, Arkansas. Joining The Weight Band for this special post-pandemic showcase are Arkansas’ own Cate Brothers, Fonky Donkey, Rodge Arnold, Duane Stevens Band, Mother Hubbard & The Regulators, Arkansas Brothers, Bailey Hefley, and the Live Wire Band. The Cate Brothers are 60-year Arkansas music veterans and frequent King Biscuit Blues Festival performers. Their 1976 hit record Union Man earned them appearances on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, Austin City Limits, and The Midnight Special Show. The Cate Brothers band members include guitarist Earl and Ernie on piano, John Davies on bass, Jason Davis on guitars and vocals, and Terry Cagle on drums and vocals.

    Sonny Boy Blues Society’s 2019 Battle of the Bands Winner and International Blues Challenge qualifier Fonky Donkey will perform foot stompin’, hip shakin’, slide-guitar driven original and traditional blues and Americana music. Robert “Rodge” Arnold who grew up in Helena adend worked at KFFA radio is a songwriter who has performed his southern rock music around the world. The Duane Stevens Band features brothers Duane and Grant Stevens steeped in southern tradition and heritage. They grew up in the cotton fields of Mississippi. Coming from humble beginnings and strong family ties, they set their sights on writing songs and the neon lights of the big city.

    Little Rock’s own Mother Hubbard & The Regulators mesh rock and country, adding a southern style to all the music they perform. These Arkansas Brothers, Tim and Jess Hoggard, along with Matt Pierce, have a 20-year history of sharing the stage with everyone from Jimbo Mathus, Sonny Burgess, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ike Turner and Hubert Sumlin to The Black Crowes and Robert Plant. Little Rock native Bailey Hefley, currently of Nashville, has opened for Old Dominion, Ashley McBryde, Deana Carter and Arkansas native Justin Moore. Bailey’s new EP release, So.That.Girl., offers six songs, all of which Bailey co-penned, about finding love—and the ups and downs that come with it. The Live Wire Band is an eastern Arkansas five-piece group that plays rhythm & blues, soul, country and rock with a background that goes back to the ’80s. 

    Tickets for the Delta Roots Music Festival are $20.00 and can be purchased online at eventbrite or at the King Biscuit Blues Festival office (319 Phillips Street, Helena). Hours for the festival are 10 a.m. until 9. p.m. Arts and crafts, food vendors, a cash bar, a raffle for a custom-painted drumhead, Lil’ Sprouts Acre kids area, harmonica workshops, and Delta Cultural Center’s Beans, Greens, and Cornbread Competition will also be a part of this event. Pets are not allowed, only service animals. Kids 12 and under are free to enter. In addition to the live music performances, a Levon’s Levee and Lake Bike Ride will start at 10 a.m. The ride fee is $20.00, and students can ride free. 

    Registration and check-in begins at 8:30 a.m. There will be a 30-minute rest stop at Storm Creek, approximately four miles from downtown Helena, with refreshments and live music. Kayaks will also be available at Storm Creek for use. Tickets are also available at eventbrite. Festival chairman Munnie Jordan said, “Come join us as we celebrate all genres of music – blues, country, gospel, rockabilly, rock-n-roll, and bluegrass – stemming from our Delta Roots.” 

    Other event details will be announced in the coming weeks, so people are encouraged to check eventbrite and Facebook, email [email protected] or call 870-572-5223. Delta Roots Music Festival is a partnership by Sonny Boy Blues Society, Delta Cultural Center, Helena Advertising & Promotions, Main Street Helena, Phillips County Chamber of Commerce, The City of HelenaWest Helena, and Arkansas Department of Parks, Heritage and Tourism.

     

     

    Halley DeVestern Band To Release Live Album ‘Money Ain’t Time’

    Halley DeVestern Band To Release Live Album ‘Money Ain’t Time’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The club billed the show as “imagine Janis Joplin backed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Mothers of Invention with just a hint of Howitzer. That is The Halley DeVestern Band.” A completely accurate description of DeVestern and her seasoned five-piece band.

    There is nothing quite like sound of a seasoned live band playing to a packed house on a night when they were hitting on all cylinders from downbeat one to the rapturous encore. Capturing those moments is a miracle of modern recording technology that we all get to benefit from. One such miracle happened September 1st, 2019 at the Studio Winery in Lake Geneva Wisconsin when the touring New York City rockin’ funk and soul group The Halley DeVestern Band were in the house.

    The club billed the show as “imagine Janis Joplin backed by the Red Hot Chili Peppers and The Mothers of Invention with just a hint of Howitzer. That is The Halley DeVestern Band.” A completely accurate description of DeVestern and her seasoned five-piece band that includes guitarists David M Patterson (Shawn Mullins , Kirsten Thien) and Steve Jabas, (Hot Peas ‘NButter) and the rhythm section of drummer Rich Kulsar (Roger Waters, the Zen Tricksters, Mickey Dolenz) and Tom Heinig (Lamont Cranston Band, Mill City Band) on bass, all of whom have the musical muscle and dexterity to back her up. For DeVestern, who toured with Big Brother and the Holding Company filling the shoes of Janis Joplin with her mighty vocals and showwomanship skills, deserves nothing less. Recorded in front of a full house the 10-song set is a mix of five original tunes including the chart topping single, “Muscle Memory,” and five rearranged cover songs, running the gamut from hard driving soul to rocking blues and Americana, putting the listener in the front row of a one-of-a-kind experience.

    It is undoubtedly a bold move to open with the Queen of Soul standard “Chain Of Fools,“ as most bands would warm up to such a number, but DeVestern and the boys show they came to play by launching into a fun-loving, six-minute version of the 1967 hit, complete with its trademark tremolo guitar licks and vocal acrobatics. Swirling guitars lead us into the chart topping ”Muscle Memory,” and its genre bending atmospherics. DeVestern shows off her Janis Joplin chops on the Kozmic Blues-esque “Try,” mashing it up with a taste of 10 Years After, followed by the title track, “Money Ain’t Time,“ a classic R&B ballad on which Halley rails against greed and apathy, while the guitars not so gently weep. The band then gets busy with the stop time 16 bar blues “I’m Ready,“ with Patterson and Jabas trading hot solos.

    The poetic imagery in “American Pain” reveals harsh commentary on the troubles in our country. Their creative juices really get flowing on the swinging rearrangement of Motown signature song “Dancing In The Streets,“ as a Texas Blues number, adding shout outs and crowd participation for good measure. A deep grooving bass line from Heinig anchors the searing protest against American racism,“Boil.“ DeVestern pours herself into the Hall of Fame “Stormy Monday,” paying loving tribute to the song that inspired many to take up the electric guitar and sing the blues. She changes course for the set closer heading to the Caribbean and leading the boys through a bawdy beach party anthem ”Mighty Love,” slipping into a tongue twisting freestyle finale that young parents and fans of Family Guy will love.

    The timing of this album release, Money Ain’t Time, reminds us all of what we’ve been missing in the last year and what we should never take for granted great live performances from great performers.

    The Halley DeVestern Band

    Alex Lopez is ‘Rising Up’ With New Album Release

    Alex Lopez is ‘Rising Up’ With New Album Release

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Lopez is an acclaimed guitarist, prolific songwriter and emerging artist recognized for his electrifying live performances. Critics have said he is “capable of revitalizing the blues for a new generation” and he is quickly taking the blues/rock scene by storm.

    Cleveland born guitarist and singer songwriter Alex Lopez, who has established himself as a prominent figure on the Florida blues scene, returns with his fifth album Rising Up, striving for a stronger more authentic sound of straight-ahead blues, rock and soul.

    The eleven tracks of original material feature Lopez and his band, The Xpress, a tight, dynamic quartet of Lopez on guitar and vocals with Kenny Hoye on keyboards, Steve Roberts on bass and drummer Kana Leimbach. Gulf coast singers , Latonya Oliver from the Soul Sensations, and Dana Merriwether add sweet background vocals to the title track. Co-producer, engineer and “preacher at the big electric church,” George Harris, out of Creative World Recording Studios in Tampa, also lent his acclaimed guitar playing and songwriting skills to the project and captured the songs in a live off-the-floor style.

    Lopez is an acclaimed guitarist, prolific songwriter and emerging artist recognized for his electrifying live performances. Critics have said he is “capable of revitalizing the blues for a new generation” and he is quickly taking the blues/rock scene by storm.

    Born in the heartland of Rock n Roll – Cleveland, Ohio, Alex started playing keyboards before becoming inspired by British blues/rock bands to master the guitar. Influenced by greats like Clapton, Page and Hendrix, Alex spent young adulthood performing in clubs and recording original songs in small studios while polishing his songwriting skills. Since his move to Florida to attend college, Alex spent years as the vocalist and lead guitarist of the wildly popular rock band Reminiscion, before striking out on his own.

    In September of 2013 Alex released the self-produced album Back Bedroom Blues a collection of all original blues and blues/rock songs on which he played all instruments and introduced his formidable skills as a blues guitarist and singer/songwriter. In 2015 Lopez released his second CD Is it a Lie with his newly formed band The Xpress to excellent reviews. His third album, Slowdown achieved a new level of success with international recognition and critical acclaim rising up the blues, jam and Americana charts with worldwide airplay and earning Alex fans across the globe. The latest recently released album Yours Truly, me… went to #6 on the blues/rock Radio charts and clearly positioned Alex to continue his ascent in blues rock.

    Alex Lopez
    Pre-Order Rising Up

    *Feature image courtesy of Blind Raccoon

    The Reverend Shawn Amos Honors the Greats With ‘The Cause Of It All’

    The Reverend Shawn Amos Honors the Greats With ‘The Cause Of It All’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “There’s a bravery I wanted to capture,” The Rev says of the platters that inspired ‘The Cause of it All,’ masterworks from icons like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter.

    “I want to bring the ancestors into the room,” says The Reverend Shawn Amos, likening himself to the griots of West Africa, a class of traveling poets, musicians, and storytellers who keep oral tradition alive, binding the people together with song. With The Cause of it All, alongside longtime guitarist Chris “Doctor” Roberts, The Rev does exactly that, and not a moment too soon. This stripped-down collection of blues classics speaks to our shared sense of vulnerability and isolation, but with the joyful, contagious swagger that has long borne bluesmen – and their listeners – through trouble, into the light.

    The Cause of it All, The Reverend’s 4th studio album (Shawn Amos’ 8th), arrives less than a year after Blue Sky, his full-band outing with the Brotherhood – including drummer Brady Blade and bassist Christopher Thomas. Even as lockdown commenced, Blue Sky hit #6 on the Billboard Blues Album chart and nabbed a 4-star review in American Songwriter. It remained in the Top Ten on the Roots Music Report Blues Chart for thirty weeks.

    In lieu of gigging to promote Blue Sky, The Rev and the Doctor made some potent, spiked lemonade out of some particularly bad pandemic lemons. They manifested a long-held desire of The Rev’s to journey back to the inspiration that launched him in 2014: raw, unbridled, canonical blues, presented in elemental duo format, no-frills, live in a room, as both testament and evangelism. The Cause of it All hearkens back to historic pairings like Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Junior Wells & Buddy Guy. The Rev and the Doctor deliver standards and lesser-known chestnuts, all bracingly intimate, every word hanging unencumbered in the air like an incantation. Just as they have on stages throughout the world, these men leave a lot on the floor: the breath into the bullet microphone, the laughter, the fret buzz, the defiant foot stomp –everything reverberating in a spirit-filled space, offering soul sustenance as only a well-crafted song can.

    “There’s a bravery I wanted to capture,” The Rev says of the platters that inspired The Cause of it All, masterworks from icons like Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Howlin’ Wolf, and Little Walter. “I wanted to bring back a spontaneity that’s been lost.” Sure enough, with no rhythm section to mask the occasional reckless moment, the bare bones tunes evoke the rickety front porches and smoky back rooms in which they were born, places of both refuge and unabashed celebration. The Rev executes his most assured vocals and harp playing yet, radiating within spartan arrangements percolating with Dr. Roberts’ unique, deeply sympathetic, snaky electric and acoustic stylings.

    “Quarantine was the perfect opportunity to do this,” The Rev says. It’s the right time for The Cause of it All. Not only because it’s a box The Reverend Shawn Amos needed to check, but because it shows the power of elemental blues to soothe, entertain, and embolden folks who long for a lone, joyful, steadfast voice in the dark. Now more than ever.

    The Reverend Shawn Amos
    Pre-Order The Cause of it All

    *Feature image by James Freeman

    4X Grammy Winner Delbert McClinton Announces Retirement

    4X Grammy Winner Delbert McClinton Announces Retirement

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “I have had a decent career, and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I would. With that in mind, this is a good time to retire.” – Delbert McClinton

    Delbert McClinton has had plenty of time to reflect on his 63-year music career during this pandemic. For the first time in six decades, he has been off the road and off stage for more than a year. He has made an important decision, with an announcement to his band members and organization on April 22nd.

    “Here I sit, 80 years old, in the middle of a pandemic. This is not how I envisioned playing out my final years as an entertainer. Music has been my total being for my whole life,” he admits. “I had been considering finishing this year with a modest number of shows. But the more I thought about it, and the more obstacles that have been placed in front of me, the less my heart was in it.

    “I don’t want to get up in front of audiences who might be the cause of my incapacity or death just because I want to play music. I don’t want to listen to anyone who won’t wear a mask or get a vaccine. We all have different values and they are inarguable.”

    He continues, “I have had a decent career, and I have accomplished more than I ever dreamed I would. With that in mind, this is a good time to retire.”

    McClinton adds that this is a good time to close out his career, with a Grammy win (2020 Best Traditional Blues), a great album (Tall, Dark & Handsome: Hot Shot Records/Thirty Tigers), the Americana Lifetime Achievement Award, and the best band and crew with whom he has ever had the pleasure of sharing a stage (Self-Made Men + Dana).

    “I’m leaving the stage with no regrets. I’ve done all that I set out to do and more. Retirement will allow me to enjoy my family and travel a bit as it becomes safer. It’s been a great ride,” he adds, as he looks forward to the next chapter.

    McClinton was born on November 4th, 1940, in Lubbock, Texas, and moved with his family to Fort Worth. He worked in a bar band, the Straitjackets, who played backing Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin’ Wolf, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Jimmy Reed. After several album releases in the early 1970s, he earned his first real acclaim for penning “Two More Bottles of Wine,” a #1 country single for Emmylou Harris in 1978. A cover of his tune,”B Movie Box Car Blues,” was the first track on the Blues Brothers debut, Briefcase Full of Blues the same year.

    His other three Grammy Awards were for Rock Performance by a Duo with Bonnie Raitt for “Good Man, Good Woman” in 1992; Contemporary Blues Album for Nothing Personal in 2002; and Best Contemporary Blues Album for Cost of Living in 2006. He has been nominated a total of eight times.

    According to his Facebook page, Delbert is still scheduled to appear on the Sandy Beaches Cruise 27, with guests The Mavericks, Marcia Ball, The California Honeydrops, Marc Broussard, and many more.

    Blues-Rock Guitar Master Mike Zito Delivers a ‘Resurrection’ on New CD

    Blues-Rock Guitar Master Mike Zito Delivers a ‘Resurrection’ on New CD

    Mark Pucci

    “For me to sing songs and feel them with real emotion, they need to be somewhat personal. Even songs I did not write, I need to feel they explain a part of my thinking or how I am feeling about love, sex, life, death, the world…. ‘Resurrection’ is an album of feelings, emotions, and is very personal.” – Mike Zito

    With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt, Mike Zito, co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records (which has birthed a number of critically-acclaimed blues/rock albums since its 2018 inception), will release his new album with Hillside Global, Resurrection, which is set to hit July 16. Resurrection will be available for pre-order on May 21st at mikezito.com.

    Producing the new disc is the celebrated Grammy-winner David Z, best known for his long-standing work with Prince, and who has contributed to albums by Etta James, Billy Idol, BoDeans, Buddy Guy and John Mayall, among many others.

    “I have songs in me and musical ideas all of the time,” volunteers Zito about the new album’s genesis. “I write what I can, when I can and try to save it all for posterity. Some of the songs are just songs and they don’t always have meaning for me, and some of them become very personal. For me to sing songs and feel them with real emotion, they need to be somewhat personal. Even songs I did not write, I need to feel they explain a part of my thinking or how I am feeling about love, sex, life, death, the world…. Resurrection is an album of feelings, emotions, and is very personal. The title track is how I once almost lost my love, but it came back stronger than ever. I have had this song in me for years, but it only makes sense now to share it with the world. After the year we have had on planet Earth, I believe we all need a rebirth. This rebirth has given me an opportunity to be who I want to be musically and artistically.”

    Joining Zito (vocals, guitar) on his new musical journey are many musicians who’ve played with him for the last several years, including: Matthew Johnson – drums; Doug Byrkit – bass guitar; Lewis Stephens – piano, organ; Zach Zito – acoustic guitar; and Lisa Andersen – backing vocals.

    The 11 tracks on Resurrection not only showcase Zito’s strengths as a composer, with eight original songs that sparkle, but also as an interpreter of other compositions, with scintillating and powerful takes on tunes from JJ Cale (“I’ll Make Love To You”), Eric Clapton (“Presence of the Lord”) and Willie Dixon (“Evil”).

    “I wrote and recorded the music I felt strongest about and I wanted to share it with the world,” Zito says.” I played my guitar the way I want to play my guitar, not the way anyone says I am supposed to play my guitar. I sang the way I wanted to sing – in my voice with my emotions. I had David Z produce for me again after a few years apart. We have now worked on seven albums together and I believe he understands my music and helped me to shape this album to be strong in the year 2021. This is an album that requires deep listening from beginning to end. The album cover art is an original painting by an amazing South Korean Artist, Yool Kim. She has captured the feeling of soul and light at the end of struggle. I am excited for people to hear this music. I believe it is a wonderful album of songs, stories, and sonic waves of electric guitar that convey darkness before the dawn. I am once again excited about love and life and music.”

    Zito’s last CD, Quarantine Blues, was recorded during the heart of the coronavirus pandemic and served as a healing love letter to his fans around the world that heralded better days ahead if we’d all just stick together.  His album prior to that was a tribute to fellow St. Louis native and rock ‘n’ roll legend, Chuck Berry, and featured an array of guest guitarists ranging from Joe Bonamassa, Walter Trout and Eric Gales, to Robben Ford, Luther Dickinson and Sonny Landreth, as well as Berry’s own grandson.

    *Feature image by Scott Lukes courtesy of Mark Pucci Media

    Paula Cole Shares New Song ‘Black Mountain Blues’ – New Album ‘American Quilt’ Out 5/21

    Paula Cole Shares New Song ‘Black Mountain Blues’ – New Album ‘American Quilt’ Out 5/21

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “Together these songs make an American Quilt.”

    Today, Grammy-winning songwriter and producer Paula Cole shares her new song “Black Mountain Blues.”  Recorded by Bessie Smith and covered by Janis Joplin, Cole’s version of the song is the second single from her upcoming album American Quilt.  “It’s strong like black coffee and it’s warrior-esque,” says Cole. American Quilt will be released on May 21st through Renew Records / BMG.

    “Black Mountain Blues” follows Cole’s recent single “Wayfaring Stranger.”

    With a musical catalog defined by honest and deeply personal lyrics carried by her powerful, radiant voice, Cole has always had a gift for discerning the underlying humanity in stories from her own life as well as those around her, and channeling those emotional elements into captivating music. On American Quilt, Cole applies this natural insight to American history and musical roots traditions by interpreting a selection of classic songs – each of which provide an entry point for rediscovering the overlooked stories and figures that populate America’s interwoven cultural lineage.

    The album was produced by Cole, who was the first woman nominated (without collaborators) as Producer of the Year at the 1997 Grammy awards. She garnered a total of seven Grammy nominations that year and won “Best New Artist” for her second album and major-label debut, This Fire, with its timeless hits, “Where Have All the Cowboys Gone?” and “I Don’t Want to Wait” (later the theme song for hit TV series Dawson’s Creek). Today, as a visiting scholar at Berklee College of Music, Cole tells “all my female students, ‘Start thinking like a producer, think about how you want the whole track to sound, be a voice.’”

     

    “Together these songs make an American Quilt,” says Cole, “a patchwork of heritage, a stitched-together-history of culture both painful and beautiful. I hope the listener will step inside the canoe and float down the Missouri River of their mind.  I hope they will hear the gospel of the country, and taste the liquor in the speakeasies.  I hope they will feel the freedom in the jazz of the cities, heed the call to morality in the spirituality of a day’s hard work, and the call to the Great Beyond from the Appalachians.”

    As on previous albums, Cole was joined by a longtime “family” of musicians, including esteemed drummer Jay Bellerose and guitarist Kevin Barry, collaborators since the trio’s days at Berklee. American Quilt follows 2019’s acclaimed album of originals, Revolution.

     

    American Quilt Track List:

  • You Don’t Know What Love Is
  • Wayfaring Stranger
  • God’s Gonna Cut You Down
  • Wayfaring Stranger
  • Shenandoah
  • Black Mountain Blues
  • Good Morning Heartache
  • Nobody Knows You (When You’re Down And Out)
  • Blackbird
  • Steal Away / Hidden In Plain Sight
  • What A Wonderful World
  •  

    Pre-save American Quilt
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    *Feature image credit: Ebru Yildiz

    Ska Boom! An American Ska & Reggae Oral History Now Available For Pre-order Exclusively from DiWulf Publishing House

    Ska Boom! An American Ska & Reggae Oral History Now Available For Pre-order Exclusively from DiWulf Publishing House

    Howlin’ Wuelf Media

    From the story of The Shakers, the first American reggae band signed to a major label deal by David Geffen, to the spreading wildfire of inspiration that was seeing The Specials on Saturday Night Live in 1980…

    Musician, podcaster, and author Marc Wasserman’s debut book Ska Boom! An American Ska & Reggae Oral History is now available for pre-order and will be available on July 4, 2021. Published by DiWulf Publishing House, the 400-plus page book is an exhaustive, extensive, entertaining, and action-packed tale about the pioneers of the American ska and reggae music scene.

    Courtesy of Howard Wuelfing

    Three and a half years in the making, this cinematic story is lovingly told through hundreds of hours of interviews with key musicians, artists, managers, club promoters, writers, and the fans who were there at the dawn of the ‘80s to witness the birth and spread of a uniquely American version of a time-honored subculture.

    From the story of The Shakers, the first American reggae band signed to a major label deal by David Geffen, to the spreading wildfire of inspiration that was seeing The Specials on Saturday Night Live in 1980, to the mighty Skavoovee Tour of 1993 that helped give rise to the 3rd wave of ska, Marc collects hundreds of stories, anecdotes, history, gossip, and (most importantly) the feeling of what it was like as groups of young, ska-crazed acolytes spread their passion from Boston to New York and from Chicago to Los Angeles while igniting a fiercely loyal dedication to a burgeoning culture inspired by Jamaican ska, rocksteady and reggae, and British 2 Tone and mod sounds. The fashion, the feeling, the exciting days of true, DIY independence… Marc captures it all in this exciting, funny, intimate and informative tome.

    Interviews include members of seminal bands The Untouchables (Los Angeles), Bim Skala Bim (Boston), The Toasters (New York), The Uptones (Berkeley, CA), The Scofflaws (Long Island, NY), Let’s Go Bowling (Fresno, CA) Mephiskapheles (New York), journalist and author Joel Selvin, and many more. The book also features some never before seen photos, an essay from Stephen Shafer (Duff Guide to Ska and former Moon Records’ director of promotions, marketing, and production), and a forward penned by Horace Panter of The Specials.

    DJ Chuck Wren of Jump Up Records has put together a rare ‘80s all-USA ska mix CD to be included FREE with all pre-orders placed through the DiWulf website while supplies last! This 80-minute mix digs deep into the obscure world of privately pressed records, proving that American Ska’s roots were firmly planted during the 80s alternative music underground.

     

    Pre-order Ska Boom!

     

    (Official release date: July 4, 2021)

    *Feature image of Marc Wasserman courtesy of DiWulf Publishing

    101-Year-Old Fiddler Willie Durisseau Makes Only Known Recordings of Pre-WWII Creole Fiddle Styles

    101-Year-Old Fiddler Willie Durisseau Makes Only Known Recordings of Pre-WWII Creole Fiddle Styles

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “Willie Durisseau’s music was like a precious time capsule that was buried in his mind for almost a century.” – Louis Michot

    Arnaudville, Louisiana’s Nouveau Electric Records is issuing a unique release on June 19, Creole House Dance, featuring 101-year-old Creole fiddler Willie Durisseau (1918-2019). Creole House Dance features two tracks, each comprising three small songs, some of which represent a pre-WWII Creole fiddle style that has never been recorded before. These performances were captured by Louis Michot (singer/fiddler of Grammy winners Lost Bayou Ramblers and founder of NER) on a Zoom stereo recorder at the Durisseau home in Spring of 2019. Creole House Dance will be released as a 45RPM vinyl 7,” digital download and via streaming platforms.

    As Willie and his wife Irma recounted their memories of the Creole house dances of the 1930s to Michot, Durisseau would pick up his fiddle and allow his fingers to recall the songs he and his late brother, Jimmy Durisseau, played back then in their native, Lebeau, Louisiana. In their community, musicians performed exclusively on fiddle(s) and guitar, with no accordion. Creole House Dance provides 21st century music lovers with a vivid snapshot of those celebratory weekly affairs.

    Louis wrote about his encounters with Willie for the Louisiana Folklife Program:

    Louis Michot/ ‘Live at Dockside’

    “In a time when we look back to recordings to give us a glimpse of the roots of Louisiana French music, we sometimes overlook the deepest wells of information and experience in our own region — the elders who played at and attended the bals de maison. I was fortunate to be introduced to Willie and Irma Durisseau in 2019, who attended many house dances in their native Lebeau, Louisiana, throughout the 1930s. Willie was a Creole fiddler who played at the dances.

    “Willie Durisseau was born on February 20, 1918 in Mallet, and was raised in Lebeau, both communities in St. Landry Parish, Louisiana. His days as a Creole fiddler began in Lebeau, where he and his brother, Jimmie, made their first fiddles out of cigar boxes. They played house dances in the 1930s and were usually joined by one or more of their cousins, the Joe brothers: Aaron, Caffery, and Clarence. Of the two sets of brothers, they played fiddle or guitar, or both, but none of them played the accordion, and according to both Willie and Irma, they never had an accordion at their house dances in Lebeau.

    “Willie eventually met Irma Doucet at one of these house dances, and the two were married in August of 1940. Irma stated that they played at and frequented house dances in 1938 and 1939, but that in 1940 much of the community moved to Beaumont, Texas, presumably for work. That same year Willie joined the United States Army and went to fight in Okinawa in World War II. Irma said they played a few small house dances after the war, but that these social gatherings soon faded as the community was not as strong as before the war, and Willie put down the fiddle to raise his family and work in construction. Willie and Irma later moved to Opelousas to raise their family, but the couple never let go of their heritage and memories of those days in Lebeau.

    “In 2017, a family member bought Mr. Durisseau a new fiddle, and at the age of 99 he picked the instrument back up to recall some of the melodies from these dances over 80 years ago. As one can find it hard to imagine still playing the fiddle at 101 years old, Willie was able to carry a tune for about a minute at a time, and only a few tunes in the space of an hour, but the clarity and authenticity of the melodies flowed from his fingers like gold.

    “I sat down with the Durisseaus for a series of informal interviews in April and May of 2019, along with Corey Ledet, a Creole Zydeco accordion player, Robin Miller, a local French speaker and cultural enthusiast, and J.B. Adams, a Creole music aficionado and radio DJ in Houston who was the first to find out that Willie had retaken to the fiddle at the age of 100 years old.

    “Willie Durisseau’s music was like a precious time capsule that was buried in his mind for almost a century. While many musicians modernize, and change their repertoire as the trends change, Willie held on to the music of his youth and accessed it like a rare gem to share with his family, while Irma reminisced on stories of the older, simpler times. Mr. Durisseau’s ability to tap into those nights at the bals de maison is what makes his music truly priceless.

     “Willie’s passing on December 17, 2019, marked the end of an era. He was the last surviving Creole house dance fiddle player known in Louisiana.”

     Read Michot’s extensive essay.

    Joshua Henry Performs National Anthem at Mets Opening Weekend

    Joshua Henry Performs National Anthem at Mets Opening Weekend

    American Blues Scene Staff

    ‘Guarantee’ is Henry’s latest artistic endeavor, following his success as an actor including his three Tony-nominated turns on Broadway, 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!’

    Joshua Henry has had a non-stop spring. The musician and three-time Tony-nominated performer released his debut EP Guarantee in early March via BMG, welcomed twin sons on March 21 with his wife Cathryn and performed the National Anthem before The Mets home game on Saturday, April 10 to a hometown NYC crowd at Citi Field. And that’s just to name a few things he’s been up to! Watch Henry’s performance of the National Anthem, and stay until the end when he is joined by his 3-year old son Samson:

    Guarantee is out now and was produced by close collaborator Theron “Neff-U” Feemster (Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Justin Bieber, Doja Cat). The four-song set showcases Joshua’s immaculately powerful voice and his intelligent storytelling background, brilliantly pairing themes of vulnerability, love, and hope born out of the pandemic. The EP features lead single “Hold Me” explores the balance of the relentless pursuit of a dream while needing to ask for love and support, and was added to numerous playlists including Spotify’s “New Music Friday” (US, Canada, World) and Amazon’s “The New Black”; “Guarantee” which questions things we look at as certainties in life — a thought, a person, a gadget, a belief system, etc; and more.

    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.

    *Feature image by Jennifer Doak Courtesy of The Mets

    Quarto Valley Records Signs Guitarist/Singer Sean Chambers

    Quarto Valley Records Signs Guitarist/Singer Sean Chambers

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “This album is a tribute to my mentor, and friend, the late great Hubert Sumlin.” – Sean Chambers

    Quarto Valley Records announces the signing of acclaimed blues-rock guitarist/singer Sean Chambers, and will release his label debut CD, That’s What I’m Talkin About, a tribute to legendary former Howlin’ Wolf guitarist Hubert Sumlin, on June 11.

    Florida-born Sean Chambers began his career in the blues back in 1998 when he toured with the legendary Hubert Sumlin as his guitarist and band leader until 2003. During Sean’s tenure with Mr. Sumlin, Britain’s Guitarist magazine named Chambers as “One of the top 50 blues guitarists of the last century.”

    Recorded in March 2020 just before the coronavirus shut everything down, the Florida-based Chambers went into Showplace Studios in Dover, New Jersey, for the sessions of his 8th album. That’s What I’m Talkin About was engineered and produced by Showplace owner Ben Elliott, who suddenly passed away shortly after the album was recorded. In addition to Sean Chambers (guitar, vocals) and members of his band, That’s What I’m Talkin About also features guest appearances from lauded keyboardists Bruce Katz and John Ginty. The 11 tracks on the new disc include 10 songs Sean regularly performed on the road as a member of Hubert Sumlin’s touring band, as well as “Hubert’s Song,” a Chambers original saluting Sumlin. The music showcases a tour-de force of Sean’s blazing guitar pyrotechnics.

    This album is a tribute to my mentor, and friend, the late great Hubert Sumlin. Back in 1998, I got a call asking if my band and I would be interested in backing up Hubert at ‘Blues Stock’ in Memphis. Of course, I was honored and said yes. The band and I woodshedded the songs for a month or so and went to play with Hubert for the first time in October of 1998. It was a magical night for me, and the chemistry between us and Hubert worked really well. After that show, Hubert asked if we would become his full-time group. My band and I continued to play and tour with Hubert for over four years. I look back on that time with Hubert as my ‘college education in the blues’.

    ‘That’s What I’m Talkin About’ was a phrase that Hubert used to say a lot, so we thought it would be a fitting name for this album. Ben Elliott, who engineered and produced the album, sadly passed away suddenly shortly after this session, and it would turn out to be his last project. The picture in the album package of Ben and I behind the mixing board was the last one of us, as we listened back to the tracks we had just recorded, hoping that Hubert would be proud. My previous two albums, ‘Trouble & Whiskey and ‘Welcome To My Blues were also recorded with Ben Elliott. He was a great friend and partner in the business and will be sorely missed by everyone that knew and worked with him. I will always be grateful to both Hubert Sumlin and Ben Elliott and will never forget all the work we did together, as well as all the lessons that I learned from them both. The music will always live on, and I hope that you enjoy this album as much as we enjoyed making it. – Sean Chambers

    Chambers will begin a post-COVID tour in support of the new CD with his band throughout the U.S., Canada and Europe. He currently resides in Southwest Florida with his wife Karen, who handles his merchandise sales while on tour.

    “I am bringing back my old bass player, Todd Cook, who played bass on Trouble & Whiskey and Welcome to My Blues. New touring drummer Andrei Koribanics, was the drummer on the new album, That’s What I’m Talkin About,and played percussion on Trouble & Whiskey,” Chambers says about his new touring band. Other members include Chambers on guitar and vocals, and Rick Curran on Hammond B3 and keyboards.

    Sean Chambers

    *Feature image by: Alain Broeckx Courtesy of Mark Pucci Media

    ‘Alligator Records – 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music’ Set For June 18 Release

    ‘Alligator Records – 50 Years of Genuine Houserockin’ Music’ Set For June 18 Release

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Fifty years ago, 23-year-old blues fan Bruce Iglauer spent his meager savings to record an LP by his favorite Chicago blues band, Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers, and founded Alligator Records to release it. Today, Alligator boasts a catalog of over 350 titles, many of which are renowned, award-winning, time-tested classics of the genre.

    On Friday, June 18, Alligator Records will celebrate a half-century of recording history-making blues and roots rock with the release of Alligator Records — 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin’ Music. Both the 24 song gatefold two-LP set (over 100 minutes of music) and the 58 song three-CD set (over 230 minutes) clearly lay out label founder and president Bruce Iglauer’s wide-ranging, forward-looking vision. The collection — with richly detailed liner notes written by Iglauer himself — highlights Alligator’s extraordinary past, headline-generating present, and a future dedicated to nurturing new generations of blues artists and fans.

    Alligator Records — 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin’ Music features songs from legendary artists like Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Son Seals, Albert Collins, Johnny Winter, Professor Longhair, Lonnie Brooks, Luther Allison and Michael “Iron Man” Burks, interspersed with cuts from current blues and roots icons Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Guitar Shorty, Billy Boy Arnold and Mavis Staples. Songs from today’s world-renowned stars like Shemekia Copeland, Lil’ Ed & The Blues Imperials, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Marcia Ball, Billy Branch, JJ Grey & Mofro, Tinsley Ellis, Joe Louis Walker, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Curtis Salgado and Roomful Of Blues flow together seamlessly with music from newer voices, including Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, Nick Moss, Toronzo Cannon and Selwyn Birchwood.

    Fifty years ago, 23-year-old blues fan Bruce Iglauer spent his meager savings to record an LP by his favorite Chicago blues band, Hound Dog Taylor & The HouseRockers, and founded Alligator Records to release it. Today, Alligator boasts a catalog of over 350 titles, many of which are renowned, award-winning, time-tested classics of the genre. Alligator Records’ artists and recordings have received a total of 48 Grammy Award nominations and three Grammy Awards, over 150 Blues Music Awards (the blues community’s highest honor) and over 70 Living Blues Awards (presented by Living Blues magazine). The label’s artists have appeared on radio, on television and in films. They’ve performed worldwide at clubs, concert halls and festivals, with Alligator’s support promoting and publicizing each and every gig. According to Shemekia Copeland, “Alligator Records has been a cornerstone of the blues world for five decades. As an Alligator artist, I am truly grateful for what Bruce and Alligator Records have done for me and this genre.”

    Since releasing that first Hound Dog Taylor record, Alligator Records — with the invaluable input and guidance from the 14-person staff (many of whom have been with the label for more than 25 years) — has become the most successful blues label in the world. And the Alligator story is still unfolding. From the early days of recording only Chicago talent, to attracting national and international musicians, to the label’s commitment to nurturing the new generations of blues and roots artists, Alligator, like the blues itself, continues to break new ground while staying true to its roots. Alligator Records — 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin’ Music is a must-hear collection for lifelong fans as well as for those who have just discovered the endlessly uplifting, life-affirming, deeply soulful, roots-rocking, healing power of the Genuine Houserockin’ Music on Alligator Records.

    Pre-Order Alligator Records — 50 Years Of Genuine Houserockin’ Music

    Nina Simone and Etta James Live Albums Coming From Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG

    Nina Simone and Etta James Live Albums Coming From Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG

    Cary Baker / Conqueroo

    ‘Nina Simone: The Montreux Years’ and Etta James: The Montreux Years’ uncover rare and previously unreleased performances by the musical icons

    Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG have announced the forthcoming releases of Nina Simone: The Montreux Years and Etta James: The Montreux Years on Friday, May 28, 2021. The live albums, which will be available in multiple-format configurations, including double LP and two-disc CD editions, feature sublime collections of the iconic musicians’ finest Montreux Jazz Festival performances, including previously unreleased material, all restored to their full glory and more. The audio will also be available on digital download and streaming services.

    Montreux Jazz Festival is a renowned music festival co-created by Claude Nobs and held annually in Montreux, Switzerland across two weeks in July. Now in its 55th year, the festival draws 250,000 music lovers from all across the world to the Lake Geneva shoreline. The event celebrates the industry’s emerging and contemporary acts, while paying homage to music’s legendary acts. Originally a pure jazz festival since its inception in 1967, Montreux began showcasing other styles of music throughout the decades and today presents artists from every genre imaginable. Artists who have graced the stage of Montreux include Etta James, Bob Dylan, Elton John, Ms Lauren Hill, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, James Brown, Kendrick Lamar, Leonard Cohen, Marvin Gaye, Miles Davis, Nina Simone and many more. Mathieu Jaton has served as CEO of Montreux Jazz Festival since 2013.

    Simone and James’ albums are the first releases of Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG’s brand-new collection series “The Montreux Years. The collections will uncover legendary performances by the world’s greatest artists alongside rare and never-before-released recordings from the festival’s rich 55-year history, with mastering performed by Tony Cousins at London’s iconic Metropolis Studios, incorporating MQA to capture the original sound of these special live performances. Each collection will be accompanied by exclusive liner notes and previously unseen photography.

     

    Nina Simone’s story from the late ’60s to the ’90s can be told through her celebrated appearances at the famed festival. Taking to the Montreux stage for the first time on June 16, 1968 for the festival’s second edition, Simone built a lasting relationship with the event and its co-creator and director Claude Nobs. This unique trust and electricity can be clearly felt on the recordings.

    Simone’s multi-faceted and radical story is laid bare on Nina Simone: The Montreux Years. From a glorious and emotional 1968 performance to her fiery and unpredictable concert in 1976 (one of the festival’s most remarkable performances ever witnessed), the collection includes recordings from all five of Simone’s Montreux concerts: 1968, 1976, 1981, 1987 and 1990.

    Featuring rare and previously unissued material from Nobs’ extensive trove of recorded material (Montreux Sounds), the release will thrill Nina Simone devotees worldwide with its inclusion of the powerful “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free,” poignant and fearless “Four Women and Simone’s hauntingly beautiful performance of “Ne Me Quitte Pas.

    A spine-tingling version of Janis Ian’s searing and potent “Stars,” which Simone covered for the very first time during her 1976 Montreux performance, sits alongside her bold and electrifying 1990 re-imagining of Bob Marley’s ballad “No Woman No Cry.”The collection closes with the encore from Simone’s final Montreux Jazz Festival concert and one of her most-loved and best-known recordings, the exuberant “My Baby Just Cares for Me,” showcasing the deep and multidimensional facets of Simone’s life and music.

    The CD edition of Nina Simone: The Montreux Years will also include Simone’s 1968 landmark concert in full, the first time the entire concert will be available on CD. 

     

    Etta James: The Montreux Years is a treasure trove of timeless classics, powerful and electrifying performances and raw, soaring vocals by one of the greatest-ever female vocalists. The collection, featuring recordings from James’ live at Montreux concerts in 1977, 1978, 1989, 1990 and 1993, encapsulates and reflects Etta’s dynamic artistry and long-lasting impact. 

    Spanning three decades, Etta James: The Montreux Years offers deeply personal and intimate snapshots of James’ phenomenal career, from one of her earliest successes, the infectious and endlessly elegant “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” to a medley of “At Last,” “Trust in Me” and “Sunday Kind of Love” (a fusion of highlights from the early ’60s), to the raw and emotional “I’d Rather Go Blind and soulful horn-driven “Tell Mama.” The collection closes with “Baby What You Want Me to Do,” James’ homage to Jimmy Reed and the encore of her 1978 concert.

    In 1975, Nobs captured a significant moment of musical history — Etta James’ very first concert in Europe, performing at the festival’s ninth edition. The CD edition of Etta James: The Montreux Years will include highlights of this special landmark concert, held at Montreux Casino July 11, 1975.

    Thierry Amsallem, Claude Nobs’ Universal Legatee, Chair/CEO of Montreux Sounds and Chair of Claude Nobs Foundation, says: “The Montreux Jazz Festival has always been a leading showcase for the international music scene, as well as a meeting place for musicians and music lovers. The magic of Montreux lay in the encounters between musicians. There were unique events that will never be repeated. The idea was to allow artists to get off the beaten track and avoid replaying their usual repertoire. But here, we treated them like royalty and offered them the best conditions in the world, in terms of sound quality and audio-visual recording technology.”

    Nina Simone: The Montreux Years and Etta James: The Montreux Years are the first releases of Montreux Jazz Festival and BMG’s upcoming multi-format live album collection series. Further “The Montreux Years” releases are soon to be announced.

    Pre-Order Nina Simone: The Montreux Years and Etta James: The Montreux Years

    In Memoriam: Rusty Young (1946-2021)

    In Memoriam: Rusty Young (1946-2021)

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “Rusty was the most unpretentious, caring and idyllic artist I have ever worked with, a natural life force that he consistently poured into his music,” says Rick Alter, Poco and Rusty’s manager of more than 20 years.

    Singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Rusty Young, founding member of seminal country-rock band Poco and one of the most influential steel guitar players in rock history, died Wednesday of a heart attack at his home in Davisville, Missouri. He was 75 years old.

    Poco – Courtesy Michael J. Media Group

    Norman Russell ‘Rusty’ Young was born February 23rd, 1946 in Long Beach, California and raised in Denver, Colorado, where he began playing lap steel as a boy and performed in local country and psychedelic rock bands throughout his teens. In 1967, Rusty was invited to Los Angeles by Richie Furay to play steel on Buffalo Springfield’s third and final album Last Time Around, and Young, Furay, George Grantham and Jim Messina formed Poco soon after.

    Over the next five decades, alongside members that would also include Randy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmit and Paul Cotton, Rusty became not only the musical core of the band, but also the writer and vocalist behind hits including “Rose Of Cimarron” and the #1 smash “Crazy Love.” The current band – led by Rusty and featuring Jack Sundrud, Rick Lonow and Tom Hampton – still performed over 100 dates per year. “I made a promise to myself that Poco would only keep going if we remained a band of real musicians who were having fun,” Rusty said last year. “Because audiences can tell the difference.”

    “Poco, at its core, is an early example of what could be described as Americana” No Depression says, “a roots rock band that melded genres in the process of creating something new and exciting.” Rusty was inducted into Guitar Player Magazine’s ‘Gallery Of Greats’ in 1974 and ‘Steel Guitar Hall Of Fame’ in 2012. Young orchestrated Poco’s 50th anniversary reunion in 2017 and released his solo debut album Waitin’ For The Sun on Blue Elan Records later that year.

    “Rusty was the most unpretentious, caring and idyllic artist I have ever worked with, a natural life force that he consistently poured into his music,” says Rick Alter, Poco and Rusty’s manager of more than 20 years, “To fans and fellow musicians alike, he was a once-in-a-lifetime musician, songwriter, performer and friend.”

    Young is survived by his beloved wife Mary, with whom he shared a log home overlooking the Huzzah Creek where he loved to go fishing in the Mark Twain National Forest. He is also survived by their daughter Sara, son Will, and 3 young grandsons Chandler, Ryan and Graham, as well as Mary’s 3 children Joe, Marci and Hallie and grandchildren Quentin and Emma. A memorial service for Rusty will be held October 16th at Wildwood Springs Lodge in Steelville, MO where Rusty and Mary met 20 years ago.

    *Feature image Courtesy Michael J. Media Group

    Satsang Welcomes Spring With Vibrant New Single, ‘I’m The One’

    Satsang Welcomes Spring With Vibrant New Single, ‘I’m The One’

    Jon Bleicher / Prospect PR

    ‘All. Right. Now.’ is out June 4th via SideOneDummy

    On the heels of announcing a 30-date, coast-to-coast tour spanning spring, summer, and fall, the Montana-based quartet Satsang are unveiling “I’m The One,” the vibrant new single from All. Right. Now., out June 4th via SideOneDummy. Featuring a steady, dynamic rhythm and shimmering acoustic guitars, evoking the sonic energy of Paul Simon’s Graceland, “I’m The One” is a breath of fresh air, conjuring images of the summer sun, reuniting with friends, and long drives with the windows down. The single follows the release of “This Place,” featuring singer/songwriter Trevor Hall, and the album’s title track.

    “’I’m The One’ is a song I wrote about my wife and I falling in love eleven years ago, under the sun of the Beartooth Mountains,” explains Satsang’s Drew McManus. “It was an unlikely love story that many didn’t think would work. But here we are. Still in love and still in the Beartooths.”

    Written and recorded during an extended hiatus from the road, All. Right. Now. finds McManus reconnecting with his roots and exploring a whole new palette of sounds, drawing on classic country and modern Americana. The performances are broad and spacious, reflecting the wide-open fields and soaring mountains that surrounded the band while they were recording. The result is a lush, organic collection fueled by acoustic guitars, fiddle, and pedal steel; a warm, inviting record that hints at everything from Uncle Tupelo and The Jayhawks to Gregory Alan Isakov and The Head and the Heart.

     Satsang’s soulful, reggae-infused folk-rock brought their previous work to #1 on the Billboard’s Reggae Chart and saw them sell out concerts around the country, sharing stages with the likes of Michael Franti & Spearhead and Nahko and Medicine for the People as they worked their way up from bars and clubs to massive festivals. It was a stunning rise for McManus, who spent years distancing himself from a troubled upbringing marked by cycles of addiction, violence, and abuse. He came to music as part of his own recovery from addiction, when a month-long backpacking trip in the Himalayas inspired him to share his journey through song and poetry. He ultimately found peace amid family in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, an oasis that allows him a warm hearth to recharge from the rigors of the road. “Montana isn’t just where I live,” says McManus. “It’s my heart and soul.”

     Inspired by the land and by his role as a father, All. Right. Now. is a joyful, rustic collection all about letting go and living in the moment. McManus produced the album himself, and while the songs are certainly honest and deeply personal, they’re written in a spiritual language that taps into something far more universal; something inherent in the human condition that binds us as brothers and sisters on a shared journey to find our place in this world. Grounding himself in a dedicated mixed-martial-arts practice, McManus sees no inherent contradiction between fighting and music, which both require patience, endurance, and a willingness to immerse yourself completely into practice. As a father and a husband, McManus is more committed than ever to taking care of his mind, body, and soul and to making the most of his limited time.

     “When you’re dealt a tough hand, you can either get bitter or you can get better,” says McManus. “You can blame your upbringing for everything and complain about what happened to you, or you can choose to believe that everything happened for you, to step into your power and become the person you want to be.” In Montana, that’s precisely what McManus has done, turning his dreams into reality in a place that, some days, feels more like Heaven than Earth. “My wife, my kids, Montana, they’re all one thing to me now,” says McManus. “They’re home.”

    Stay tuned for additional updates.

    Satsang – Tour Dates:

    APR 24 – Zen Fest West – Palomar Mountain, CA

    MAY 15 – YAM Fest – Yoga, Arts and Music Festival – Saint Clair, MO

    JUN 3 – Pyro Music and Arts Festival – Thornville, OH

    JUN 4 – Pyro Music and Arts Festival – Thornville, OH

    JUN 9 – The Mishawaka – Bellvue, CO

    JUN 10 – The Mishawaka – Bellvue, CO

    JUN 11 – Red Lodge Ales – Red Lodge, MT

    JUN 12 – Red Lodge Ales – Red Lodge, MT

    JUL 24 – Daydream Farm – Wall Township, NJ

    OCT 14 – Turf Club – St Paul, MN

    OCT 15 – Knuckleheads Saloon – Kansas City, MO

    OCT 16 – The Wildwood Smokehouse and Saloon – Iowa City, IA

    OCT 17 – Hi-Fi – Indianapolis, IN

    OCT 20 – Asheville Music Hall – Asheville, NC

    OCT 21 – The Basement – Nashville, TN

    OCT 22 – Rumba Cafe – Columbus, OH

    OCT 23 – Martyrs’ – Chicago, IL

    OCT 24 – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe – Kalamazoo, MI

    OCT 27 – Old Rock House – St. Louis, MO

    OCT 28 – Wooly’s – Des Moines, IA

    OCT 29 – Reverb Lounge – Omaha, NE

    NOV 11 – Marquee Theatre – Tempe, AZ

    NOV 12 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA

    NOV 14 – The Rock – San Luis Obispo, CA

    NOV 16 – Mystic Theater – Petaluma, CA

    NOV 17 – Felton Music Hall – Felton, CA

    NOV 18 – Cornerstone – Berkeley, CA

    NOV 20 – Star Theater Portland – Portland, OR

    NOV 21 – High Dive – Seattle, WA

    MAY 27 – California Roots Music & Arts Festival – Monterey, CA

     

    All. Right. Now. – out June 4th

  • From And I Go
  • All. Right. Now.
  • Answer Was Yes
  • This Place (ft. Trevor Hall)
  • I’m The One
  • Further This Goes
  • Malachi
  • Back Around (ft. G. Love)
  • I’ll Try
  • Love
  • To Last
  •  

     

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    Gulf Coast Records Signs Guitarist/Singer Dave Kalz & Will Release His Debut CD ‘Relish’

    Gulf Coast Records Signs Guitarist/Singer Dave Kalz & Will Release His Debut CD ‘Relish’

    Mark Pucci

    “I’ve known Dave Kalz for 30 years,” said Mike Zito in making the announcement. “He is an inspired guitarist and musician full of heart and soul.”

    Texas-based Gulf Coast Records, which has been releasing exciting new blues/rock albums since 2018, has signed Milwaukee area-based guitarist/singer Dave Kalz and will release his debut CD, Relish, on June 25th.

    Kalz and Gulf Coast Records founder/co-owner Mike Zito met years ago in their hometown of St. Louis, so, it was only fitting for them to return to their roots and record Dave’s debut album on Gulf Coast Records at Sawhorse Studios in St. Louis. “I’ve known Dave Kalz for 30 years,” said Zito in making the announcement. “He is an inspired guitarist and musician full of heart and soul.”

    From 1998-2000 and 2005, Kalz was a founding member of Devon Allman’s Honeytribe, which toured as the opening act for Devon’s father, Gregg Allman, and also performed shows with The Allman Brothers Band, Dickey Betts, Chuck Berry, Little Feat, Molly Hatchet, Night Ranger, Gregg Rolie and many others.

    In 2018, Dave formed Anthology – an Allman Brothers Tribute band. It featured former members of Gregg Allman’s 1978 touring band, Danny Liston and Richard Steltenpohl (also founding members of Mama’s Pride), Mike Zito, the late Grammy Award-winner Yonrico Scott, formerly of Derek Trucks Band and Royal Southern Brotherhood, James Jackson (George Benson, Level 42), and Tom Denman (formerly of Mama’s Pride).

    The 11 all-original songs on Relish were produced by Zito and feature both Kalz and his regular band, augmented by special guests, including Zito, himself. The lineup includes: Dave Kalz – guitars and vocals; Greg Hulub – bass guitar and backup vocals; Kevin McDonald – drums; Mike Zito – slide guitar on “Werewolf Blues,” guitar on “Playing the Blues with My Friends;” Tony Campanella – guitar on “Playing the Blues with My Friends;” and Lewis Stephens – keyboards on “Mexico.”

    “When I first met Mike Zito, he was working at Metro Guitar Shop in St. Louis and playing in a country band with a DJ from a popular St. Louis radio station,” recalls Dave Kalz. “I was playing in a St. Louis band that had become very popular on a local level. Mike and I immediately hit it off. We heard a lot of the same tones in our heads and listened to a lot of the same music; we saw the world from similar points of view…..and we shared a love for Fender Telecasters. We’ve been friends ever since, and when I knew I was going to put out this record, I wanted to do it with Mike.  It was never a question of ‘if,’ just a question of ‘when.’”

    Kalz began playing music in St. Louis but later moved to the Milwaukee area, where he now lives. “After the original music scene and the downtown night life in St. Louis partially collapsed, I stuck it out for another decade or so. However, I recently moved to the Milwaukee area – which is of course mighty close to Chicago. We live right between Milwaukee and Madison. Some things about downtown Milwaukee remind me of the old days in St. Louis. Their downtown is very robust and active, and people are so nice and polite up in the northern Midwest.  It’s an easy part of the country to make new friends, and Chicago has a wealth of great blues and jazz. I still love St. Louis and visit there as often as I can. Some of my favorite venues in the country are still in the city of St. Louis.”

    Kalz has been in love with music from the start. “When I was 4-5 years old, I used to take my grandparent’s old records, spin them in a circle, and acting like my finger was the needle, I would make up my own songs…. singing my little heart out,” he says. “When I was 6 years old, I had an older cousin who turned me on to Led Zeppelin’s first album, 10 Years After’s Ssssh, and a whole host of records by B.B. King. By the time I was in 6th grade, I was playing air guitar on a wooden yard stick to records by Little Feat, the Allman Brothers, and Foghat. I was already knee deep in the swampier blues rock stuff. When I finally picked up a guitar as a teenager, I started learning how to form solos by playing along with Live at Fillmore East by the Allman Brothers and Waiting on Columbus by Little Feat. My world changed when I bought Deguello by ZZ Top, and then changed again when I first heard Texas Flood by Stevie Ray Vaughan. But when I turned 21, and I saw Albert Collins play at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis, and the Arc Angels at the same venue not too long after that, everything I thought about guitar tones changed. It was like someone lifted a blanket off of the guitar amp in my head, and suddenly, I knew what I wanted out of my fingers, my guitar, and my amp.

    “My first trip to New Orleans, followed by a trip to the New Mexico and Arizona deserts changed how I would write and hear the music in my head forever. It became more spiritual…. but also more nasty and swampy. I wanted my guitar to emote sounds that evoked grit and grease, but with a hint of dark mystery, intrigue. And I wanted it to sound like a big Mack Truck trying to fit down a tight back alley, squeezing its way through as it pushed everything around it.  Everything I do now goes back to that. That’s the sound that has been in my head ever since.”

    Dave Kalz Facebook

    *Feature image: Danya Wagner Artimisi

    New Single From Stephen Foster & Howler ‘You Can’t Take Me Home’

    New Single From Stephen Foster & Howler ‘You Can’t Take Me Home’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    The song is about the rumor that Lynyrd Skynyrd fans had been chipping bits off Ronnie Van Zant’s gravestone as mementos!

    Muscle Shoals’ finest, Stephen Foster and Howler release their first single on Thoroughbred Music – “You Can’t Take Me Home” – a song written about Stephen’s late friend Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Ronnie Van Zant, tragically killed in 1977 with others of the band in a plane crash. The song is about the rumor that Lynyrd Skynyrd fans had been chipping bits off his gravestone as mementos! The song is taken from the forthcoming album Southern releasing April 29th.

    Singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist Foster is a 50-year veteran of the music business, inking his first recording contract in 1969 as a stablemate to Percy Sledge, and writing for Lynyrd Skynyrd. As the house guitarist at Quinvy Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, his session credits are legendary, working with a multitude of great artists who recorded there in the 70s. Signed to 20th Century Fox and later Janus Records as a labelmate to Robert Palmer, he walked away from the restrictions of big label deals and started Whitehorse Records in 1979, charting Cashbox Top-40 with “For The Love of A Girl.” He owned recording studios for 20 years and was an integral part in the Indie move to bust the majors but began concentrating on his own recordings in 2000. A series of Indie hits followed, continuing to present day.

    Members of Howler include guitar wizard Kelvin Holley, Little Richard’s guitarist for many years; Bassist J.R. Byrd played with Jerry Lee Lewis for 10 years touring Europe and the United States; and young monster Evan Lane on drums & vocals.

    Their combination of Blues, Rock, Americana & Boogie-Woogie music gives them the flexibility to cross genres and small concerts and huge festivals. This is a heavy act with pounding beats from Psychedelic Blues to Delta & Boogie-Woogie, featuring power piano and at times, dual slide guitars. Foster also plays solo concerts on piano and guitars, singing his hits and telling tales of the famous musicians he’s worked with. He has played solo to crowds of 10,000+.

    About “You Can’t Take Me Home,” Foster says, “I was friends with Ronnie until his passing after writing some songs which Lynyrd Skynyrd used for their first audition in Muscle Shoals at Quinvy studio in early 1970. Rest in peace, Freebird.”

    Stephen Foster & Howler

    The Black Keys to Release Blues Covers Album, ‘Delta Kream’

    The Black Keys to Release Blues Covers Album, ‘Delta Kream’

    Lauren Leadingham

    The Black Keys honor their biggest American blues influences on their latest release!

    The Black Keys have announced a new blues covers album called Delta Kream, to be released on May 14.

    Easy Eye Sound

    The 11-track collection marks the duo’s (Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney) first release since their ninth studio album in 2019, Let’s Rock. The announcement comes after The Black Keys celebrated the 10th anniversary of their sixth album, Brothers, with a special deluxe edition in January. 

    Delta Kream pays tribute to the Mississippi hill country blues acts that inspired them, including John Lee Hooker, R. L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, Ranie Burnette and Big Joe Williams. 

    The band previewed Delta Kream with album opener and lead single “Crawling Kingsnake” — their version of the blues standard which John Lee Hooker recorded in 1949. The album will be available for pre-order starting Apr. 15. You can listen to the single by signing up for The Black Keys’ fan club.

     

    Full Delta Kream tracklisting below:

     

    1. Crawling Kingsnake (John Lee Hooker)

    2. Louise (Mississippi Fred McDowell)

    3. Poor Boy A Long Way From Home (R. L. Burnside)

    4. Stay All Night (Junior Kimbrough)

    5. Going Down South (R. L. Burnside)

    6. Coal Black Mattie (Ranie Burnette)

    7. Do the Romp (Junior Kimbrough)

    8. Sad Days, Lonely Nights (Junior Kimbrough)

    9. Walk with Me (Junior Kimbrough)

    10. Mellow Peaches (Big Joe Williams)

    11. Come On And Go With Me (Junior Kimbrough)

     

    The 35th Annual King Biscuit Invites You to Come on Home

    The 35th Annual King Biscuit Invites You to Come on Home

    Don Wilcock

    The King Biscuit Festival has built legacies before your eyes year after year with favorites you’ve come to love! Time to snatch back the soundtrack of our lives (October 6-9)!

     

    “I know a place… Ain’t nobody cryin’… Ain’t nobody worried… I’ll take you there!” The Staples Singers went to number one in ’71 with “I’ll Take You There.” Come home to the 35th King Biscuit Blues Festival Wednesday, October 6th through Saturday, October 9th where it has never been more important for the number one blues festival in the south to “take us there.”

    Mavis Staples promises to celebrate the 50th anniversary of her family’s hit as Friday headliner at this year’s King Biscuit Blues Festival, just one of more than 100 storied acts performing during four days of multi-stage continuous music.  

    Joining in this year’s triumphant return of the south’s most lauded blues festival are The Allman Betts Band and Billy Branch & the Sons of Blues with Bobby Rush. Butter the Biscuit and better the bite as we celebrate our rebirth. Come dance on the levy with the real thing. We soldiered through a year without our music but gained an appreciation for who we are. It’s  time to grab your reward. Time to express yourself. Time to snatch back the soundtrack of our lives. We’re family, and you’re a member. Slip off your shoes and splash with us on the banks of the Mississippi River in the heart of the Delta.  

    Talk about taking us there! The half-century legacy of southern rock’s premiere band The Allman Brothers with their treasured classics like “Whipping Post” and “Midnight Rider” lives on in Saturday night’s headliner the Allman Betts Band, featuring Gregg Allman’s son Devon Allman and Dickey Betts’ son Duane Betts. Both artists earned their musical chops at the feet of their legendary fathers. Their Biscuit appearance comes on the heels of a 60-date world tour in 2019 and the release of their debut album, Down to the River, followed by Bless Your Heart (2020).  

    Devon Allman told Forbes magazine: “On stage every night we have a certain responsibility to tip the hat to our dads. And what I think balances the legacy, but also moving forward as our own men and as our own musicians, is balancing the two. So, if we have a set that’s 17 songs, we’re going to play a couple Allman Brothers songs. We’re not going to fill our set, but we’re also not  going to turn our back on it. The balance is everything and I think that we’ve been lucky to strike that balance.” 

    Bobby Rush conquered COVID-19 in 2020 and took home his second GRAMMY® in March of this year, finally being recognized for a legacy that he has shared with Biscuit audiences for decades. Hear him team up with Thursday night’s headliner Billy  Branch, another Chicago blues legacy. Branch was one of the first to develop a Blues in the School program and has made over  70 international tours. A three-time GRAMMY® nominee, he’s backed by The Sons of The Blues, a band of veterans that includes bass player Nick Charles, drummer Mose Rutues Jr., and pianist Sumito Ariyoshi, aka Ariyo. 

     

    Known the world over as the King of the Chitlin Circuit, Bobby Rush is one of the Biscuit’s most beloved members of our extended family. He keeps re-inventing himself year in and year out. As fundamental as blues itself, he is a walking history lesson in the form.

    His 2019 CD Sitting on Top of The Blues says it all, coming on the heels of his 2017 GRAMMY®-winning  Porcupine Meat as Best Traditional Blues Album. But we knew him back when, and we embrace him as the visionary he’s always been as we head into a new world order. 

    Another Thursday night act, The Fabulous Thunderbirds, are best known for their 1986 hit “Tuff Enuff.” A rallying cry for nearly four  decades, the song has never meant more than it does right now. It was written by lead singer and harmonica player Kim Wilson  whose history with Biscuit goes way back to when he donated money to the Sonny Boy Blues Society to try and save Sonny Boy  Williamson’s Helena home. Wilson, who founded The T-Birds in 1976 feels the current lineup is the best yet. It features 13-year  band veteran and guitarist Johnny Moeller. “The good thing about Johnny is he’s got his own take on things,” Wilson explained.  “He really has his own style. That’s very important to me. I need people who really have their own minds. I don’t want to hear  somebody [imitating] Johnny Guitar Watson or B.B. King. I’d rather hear people do their own deal.” 

    Come home to the festival that’s built legacies before your eyes year after year with favorites you’ve come to love. Thrill to Reba Russell’s “Heaven Came to Helena,” the Biscuit’s signature song. Wrap yourself around Paul Thorn’s southern homilies. Escape to Muddy Waters’ Chicago blues heyday with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith and Bob Stroger. Rock out to the Kentucky Headhunters. 

    Experience Arkansas’ homegrown blues masters: Lonnie Shields, The C.W. Gatlin Band, the Phillip Stackhouse Band, and  Spoonfed Blues featuring Mississippi Spoonman. Bring Chicago blues club mojo back to the Delta with The Paul Oscher All Star  Band, Wayne Baker Brooks, Nora Jan Wallace, Maurice John Vaughn, and Fruteland Jackson. Acquaint yourself with artists who  are expanding the blues definition: Detroit blues shouter Thornetta Davis, Texas powerhouse Diaunah Greenleaf, Lucious Spiller,  Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright, Gaye Adegbalola, and the Laura Morvan Band. 

    Also performing are: The Sterling Billingsley Band, Blind Mississippi Morris, Rip Lee Pryor, Wampus Cats, Mike Wheeler Band, Rodney Block, Six String Andrew, Sean McDonald, D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project, The Youngbloods of Hot Springs,  Andrea Staten, Charles Wilson Band, Dejeana Burks, Margie Turner, Earnestine Barze, Butch Mudbone, Austin “Walkin’” Cane,  Jessie Cotton Stone, Big T Williams, The Pope of Pimping Fillmore Slim, Andy T & Alabama Mike, Sweet Angel, The Blue Monday  Blues Band featuring King Edward, Bigg Robb, Sean Bad Apple, Lady Trucker, Garry Burnside, Jamaiah Rogers, and many more. 

    Don Wilcock

    On Wednesday, October 6th at the Main Stage, prior to the Michael Burks Memorial Jam, Don Wilcock will host a tribute to Kim Wilson beginning at 5:00 p.m. The Biscuit also features a Tour da Delta Bike Ride, 5K Run, Blues Symposium, Kansas-city  sanctioned BBQ & Blues on the Levee, and more. For tickets, visit King Biscuit Festival.

    Editorial note: Don Wilcock, longtime contributor to ABS, will be holding his annual Call and Response Blues Symposium at the Malco Theater, Sunday, October 9th at 1:15 p.m. The Keeping the Blues Alive Award-winning writer wrote Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues, The story of blues legend Buddy Guy, his 35 years on the scene, and his influence on rock and roll.

     

    WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 6 Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage 

    KING BISCUIT BLUES FESTIVAL LINEUP 2021

    Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage 

    Fillmore Slim – 12:00pm to 12:55pm 

    Tribute to Kim Wilson – 5:00pm to 6:00pm 

    Michael Burks Memorial Jam – 6:00pm until 

    THURSDAY, OCTOBER 7 

    Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage  

    SBBS IBC Bands Winner Fonky Donkey – 11:00am to 11:50am Wampus Cats – 12:00pm to 12:50pm 

    Mike Wheeler Band – 1:10pm to 2:15pm 

    Sterling Billingsley Band – 2:35pm to 3:40pm 

    Rodney Block – 4:00pm to 5:10pm 

    Kentucky Headhunters – 5:30pm to 6:40pm 

    Fabulous Thunderbirds with Kim Wilson – 7:00pm to 8:10pm Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues with Bobby Rush – 8:30 until 

    Front Porch Stage 

    Front Porch Blues Jam hosted by Brotha Ric Patton – 1:00pm to 3:00pm 

    FRIDAY, OCTOBER 8 

    Bit-O-Blues Stage 

    Six String Andrew – 9:00am to 9:30pm 

    Sean McDonald – 9:45am to 10:15pm 

    Grace Kuch – 10:30am to 11:00am 

    D.R. Diamond & Birthright Blues Project – 11:15am to 12:00pm The Youngbloods of Hot Springs – 12:15pm to 1:00pm 

    Front Porch Stage 

    RL Boyce – 12:00pm to 12:45pm 

    Veronika Jackson – 1:00pm to 1:45pm 

    Johnny B Sanders & Queen Iretta Blues – 2:00pm to 2:45pm The Blue Monday Blues Band featuring King Edward – 3:00pm to 3:45pm Bigg Robb – 4:00pm to 5:00pm 

    Lockwood Stackhouse Stage 

    Andrea Staten – 1:00pm to 1:45pm 

    Rip Lee Pryor – 2:00pm to 2:45pm 

    Gaye Adegbalola – 3:00pm to 3:45pm 

    Charles Wilson Band – 4:00pm to 4:45pm 

    John Watkins Band – 5:00pm to 5:45pm 

    Dejeana Burks, Margie Turner, Earnestine Barze – 6:00pm to 7:00pm Maurice John Vaughn – 7:20pm to 8:30pm 

    CeDell Davis Memorial Stage 

    Butch Mudbone – 2:00pm to 2:45pm 

    Austin “Walkin’” Cane – 3:00pm to 3:45pm 

    CW Gatlin Band – 4:00pm to 4:45pm 

    Jessie Cotton Stone – 5:00pm to 5:45pm 

    Lucious Spiller – 6:00pm to 6:45pm 

    Big T Williams – 7:00pm to 7:45pm 

    Paul Oscher Allstar Band – 8:00pm to 9:00pm 

    Laura Morvan Band – 1:10pm to 2:10pm 

    Lonnie Shields – 2:30pm to 3:40pm 

    Reba Russell Band with special guest Susan Marshall –   4:00pm to 5:10pm 

    Andy T & Alabama Mike – 5:35pm to 6:45pm 

    Paul Thorn Band – 7:10pm to 8:20pm 

    Mavis Staples – 8:45pm 

    SATURDAY, OCTOBER 9 

    Lockwood Stackhouse Stage 

    Jayy Hopp with Guest – 1:00pm to 1:45pm 

    Fruteland Jackson – 2:00pm to 2:45pm 

    Mickey Rogers Band – 3:00pm to 3:45pm 

    Diaunah Greenleaf – 4:00pm to 4:45pm 

    Sweet Angel – 5:00pm to 5:45pm 

    The Blue Monday Blues Band featuring King Edward –   6:00pm to 7:00pm 

    Bigg Robb – 7:20pm to 8:30pm 

    Front Porch Stage 

    Sean McDonald – 12:00pm to 12:45pm 

    Detroit Johnny – 1:00pm to 1:45pm 

    Little Willie Farmer – 2:00pm to 2:45pm 

    Dejeana Burks, Margie Turner, Earnestine Barze – 3:00pm to 3:45pm Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band – 4:00pm to 5:00pm Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith Band – 5:00pm to 6:00pm Fillmore Slim – 6:15pm to 7:00pm 

    CeDell Davis Memorial Stage 

    Sean Bad Apple – 1:00pm to 1:45pm 

    Spoonfed Blues featuring Mississippi Spoonman – 2:00pm to 2:45pm Lady Trucker – 3:00pm to 3:45pm 

    Garry Burnside Band – 4:00pm to 4:45pm 

    Phillip Stackhouse Band – 5:00pm to 5:45pm 

    Jamaiah “Blues Superman” Rogers – 6:00pm to 6:45pm Keith Johnson & The Big Muddy Band – 7:00pm to 7:45pm Blind Mississippi Morris – 8:00pm to 9:00pm 

    Sonny Boy Williamson Main Stage 

    Marcus “Mookie” Cartwright – 12:00pm to 12:55pm Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith & Bob Stroger – 1:10pm to 2:15pm Nora Jan Wallace – 2:35pm to 3:40pm 

    Wayne Baker Brooks – 4:00pm to 5:10pm 

    Anson Funderburgh – 5:30pm to 6:35pm 

    Thornetta Davis – 6:55pm to 8:10pm 

    Allman Betts – 8:40pm 

    Shooter Jennings Featured In/Composed Soundtrack For New ‘Chasing Whiskey’ Jack Daniel’s Doc (Out Now)

    Shooter Jennings Featured In/Composed Soundtrack For New ‘Chasing Whiskey’ Jack Daniel’s Doc (Out Now)

    Big Hassle Media

    Feature-length film includes original music composed and performed by Shooter Jennings

    Movie City Films, in association with Evolve Studios, is proud to announce the premiere of the new documentary, Chasing Whiskey – The Untold Story of Jack Daniel’s, available now across all streaming platforms. Much more than a simple narrative chronicling the origins and impact of the iconic Tennessee whiskey, the full-length film features original music composed and performed by 2x GRAMMY® Award-winner Shooter Jennings, who also appears alongside such famous names as Tim Matheson, Eric Church, John Grisham, Tina Sinatra, and many more.

    A 57,000 mile journey across five countries and 16 time zones that is equal parts thought-provoking, insightful, moving, and hilarious, Chasing Whiskey is available now on iTunes, Apple TV, Amazon Prime Video, Google Play, and YouTube. Additional platforms will follow in the coming weeks, including VUDU, Comcast Xfinity, Dish Network, and DirecTV.

    The original music featured on the Chasing Whiskey soundtrack was recorded in 2017 with Jennings providing piano and synthesizer alongside an all-star lineup of musicians that includes legendary Guns N’ Roses/Velvet Revolver drummer Matt Sorum, Michael Devin (Whitesnake, From The Earth) on bass, harmonica, and vocals, Jesse Dayton (Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson) on guitar and vocals, and longtime collaborator/fiddle player Aubrey Richmond (Duff McKagen, Mustangs of the West).

    The Jack Daniel’s brand has been an iconic image of American Cool for generations, its instantly identifiable bottle linked with equally archetypal artists spanning Frank Sinatra to the Rolling Stones, as well as films like Animal House, The Shining, and countless others. From the small town of Lynchburg, TN – where every drop of Jack Daniel’s is made – to Beverly Hills, the outback of Australia, and the streets of Havana, Cuba, Chasing Whiskey documents a cultural exploration into why people all over the world identify so deeply with one of the most distinctly American brands. Through it all, Jack Daniel’s serves as the compass on a journey that offers a unique glimpse into humanity, shared value, differing views, dreams, and delusions.

    A Secret Weapon Films, Stray Dog LLC Production, Chasing Whiskey was directed by acclaimed filmmaker Greg Olliver. Known for such landmark documentaries as 2010’s widely praised Lemmy (chronicling the life and times of Motörhead frontman Lemmy Kilmister), Olliver has spent a decade crafting honest, compelling stories about iconic musicians, war heroes, major brands, and more in a long series of award-winning feature documentaries, narrative films, and short-form branded content work.

    “Why is whiskey so intertwined with popular culture, and how did Jack Daniel’s become the most iconic whiskey brand in the world?,” says Olliver. “These are some of the questions we were asking as we began our journey on Chasing Whiskey. Fortunately, no matter where we went, from Tennessee to Japan to Cuba to the outback of Australia – and even Scotland – we always found someone who had a compelling, personal story to tell about Jack. With unprecedented access that was given to us by Jack Daniel’s, we uncovered surprising stories that began even before Jack started making his own whiskey. We’re proud to present this insightful, whiskey-infused adventure that tells the story of Jack that’s been more than a hundred-and-fifty years in the making.”

    For more information, visit chasingwhiskey.com.

    For nearly two decades, Shooter Jennings has defied expectation while constantly expanding the parameters of country, rock ‘n’ roll, and beyond. The scion of American music royalty, he has affirmed his own place in histories still to come as a truly limitless artist whose ambitious experimentation spans myriad genres and creative platforms, from releasing eight solo LPs, countless EPs, and founding his own label and multimedia outlet, Black Country Rock, to hosting his “Shooter Jennings’ Electric Rodeo” on Sirius XM’s Outlaw Country channel, and the creation of acclaimed BBS Door games. In addition, Jennings is among today’s most in-demand producers, with credits including his mom, Jessi Colter, Jamey Johnson, Wanda Jackson, Billy Ray Cyrus, Hellbound Glory, and many more. In 2019, Jennings received two prestigious GRAMMY® Awards – one honoring his work alongside longtime friend and co-producer, Dave Cobb, on Brandi Carlile’s blockbuster sixth studio album, By the Way, I Forgive You, and the other for his work with the legendary Tanya Tucker on her 2020 smash While I’m Livin’.

     

    Quinn Sullivan Marks A Creative Turning Point On ‘Wide Awake’

    Quinn Sullivan Marks A Creative Turning Point On ‘Wide Awake’

    Jon Bleicher / Prospect PR

    “My new album really shows how I’ve grown over these last few years as an artist and as a human being. I feel like I’m finally stepping into new territory as a songwriter and discovering my sound a lot more.” – Quinn Sullivan

    Quinn Sullivan is opening a new chapter of his already impressive career with the release of Wide Awake, his new full-length album, out June 4th via Mascot Label Group. Just 21-years-old, the singer, songwriter, and guitarist has already toured the world, collaborated with rock’s biggest legends, and developed genuinely jaw-dropping skills as a guitar player. But now, as captured in the video for “How Many Tears,” Sullivan’s more recent work has been with pen and paper, as he lets the abundant skills of his youth blossom and steer him into new directions of artistry and creativity.

    “How Many Tears” is a reflection of how I was feeling about love and relationships back in high school,” Quinn said. “I had thought about myself during those times and I’d see so many guys treating girls so horribly, so I never understood why those girls would always go after those types of guys. I had never written a song about this subject before, but it just felt honest and comes from a very real and genuine place, which is why it’s one of my favorite songs on the new album. Trevor Banks, who directed the video, suggested we have an interpretive dancer come in to dance to the song as I was performing it. We ended up finding Matilda Sakamoto, who was the absolute perfect dancer to fill that role. She brought so much life and emotion to not only the video but to the song.”

    Wide Awake showcases the kind of forward motion that separates the artists from the mere players. “My new album really shows how I’ve grown over these last few years as an artist and as a human being. I feel like I’m finally stepping into new territory as a songwriter and discovering my sound a lot more. Like most artists, you always want to be learning, evolving and growing, and Oliver Leiber was the perfect producer and musical partner to work with. For me, Wide Awake bridges the gap between me as a guitar player, vocalist and songwriter, and ties everything together into one album.”

    A rare artist who’s always sounded older than his years, Sullivan has been touring the world since he was 11-years-old, playing storied venues such as Madison Square Garden, the Hollywood Bowl and RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., as well as India’s Mahindra Blues Festival, Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival, and three Montreux Jazz Festivals. Quinn has shared the stage with his hero and mentor Buddy Guy, as well as Carlos Santana on several occasions. Quinn’s performance experience includes appearances on leading national television programs Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and CBS This Morning, to name a few.

    But as he moves into this new chapter, Sullivan’s constant credo has been growth and learning. “I want to stay true to where I come from, and go from there,” says Sullivan. “The artists that inspire me to do that are always hungry for the new. They never repeat themselves. They just grow and become more unique — and that’s what I aim to do as an artist.”

    Quinn Sullivan

    Jefferson Berry & the UAC To Release Fourth Full Length LP ‘Soon!’ April 23

    Jefferson Berry & the UAC To Release Fourth Full Length LP ‘Soon!’ April 23

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Album release shows scheduled for May!

    On April 23rd, Jefferson Berry & the UAC will release their fourth studio album, Soon! As the follow up to their critically lauded 2020 release Double Deadbolt Logic, the album was written and recorded during quarantine. The band will play two local dates to celebrate the album’s release on May 22nd at Jamey’s House of Music and May 23rd at Malelani Cafe.

    Photo courtesy of Maggie Poulos/Mixtape Media

    Americana for better urban living, Soon! tells stories of city people through the medium of acoustic-jamband music. The album features seven original songs by Berry: Tales of lovers separated by the pandemic, the changing landscape of neighborhoods and the workplace, memories of heroes and villains as well as the anticipation of the reunion of the tribes. “Pass You By” (Gillian Welch/David Rawlings) and “When The Earth Moves Again” (Paul Kantner) get reimagined by the virtuosity of the band’s soloists: Bud Burroughs, Marky B! Berkowitz and Dave Brown. Jefferson Berry and the Urban Acoustic Coalition are a band of uncompromising rock played on acoustic guitar, mandolin, lap steel, banjos and harmonicas.

     “What families, lovers and communities have been going through during the plague has been unnatural. Surreal. The only thing that has managed to keep us sane is the notion that this will be over Soon,” says Berry.

    Jefferson Berry & the UAC combine story telling in the Urban Folk tradition with the intricacies of Jam Band and Roots instrumentation. These songs are performed by a cadre of unique players: The Urban Acoustic Coalition, a band anchored by the mastery of Bud Burroughs, Dave Brown and Marky B! Berkowitz.  While acoustic by nature, never missing is the locked-in bass/drums drive of Uncle Mike and Caleb Estey. Complementing all this with a variety of guitar styles, Berry’s projects bring a danceable style and contemporary point of view to a unique wing of Philadelphia’s local music scene.

     Listen to the LP’s first single, “We’ll Soon Be Together.”

     

    Connect with Jefferson Berry & the UAC: Official | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram

     

    Patti Parks Gears Up For New Album Release ‘Whole Nother World’

    Patti Parks Gears Up For New Album Release ‘Whole Nother World’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    After hearing Patti at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, famed American Bluesman Kenny Neal signed her to his Booga Music label and brought her to his Baton Rouge, Louisiana studio to produce, arrange, and perform on this eclectic gem.

    Kenny Neal’s Booga Music and VizzTone are proud to present Buffalo Music Hall-of-Famer Patti Parks. She’s a riveting live performer, with a soulful and sensual voice that cranks out an uplifting, ebullient blend of Chicago Blues, Funk and Memphis Soul.

    After hearing Patti at the Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge, famed American Bluesman Kenny Neal signed her to his Booga Music label and brought her to his Baton Rouge, Louisiana studio to produce, arrange, and perform on this eclectic gem.

    Neal joins Patti for a vocal duet on the track “Baby Bee,” also providing harmonica and guitar on that song as well as others on this diverse, satisfying album. Whole Nother World is scheduled for release through Booga Music/VizzTone on May 28, 2021.

    In addition to being a sizzling blues performer, Patti is also a working nurse, and the creator of the Nurs’n Blues education program, which she developed to help high risk children at drug rehab centers.

    Parks’ original album, Cheat’n Man, continues to have radio play all over the world including Australia, New Zealand, Europe and the United States. Patti has received outstanding reviews from famous blues music magazines, and done several live interviews from Belgium’s own Purple Haze Radio Show to Rambling Night Blues in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    Patti Parks

    Margo Price Becomes First Female Artist Elected to Farm Aid Board of Directors

    Margo Price Becomes First Female Artist Elected to Farm Aid Board of Directors

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “One of the greatest honors of my life” says Price, who joins Board Members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews & the newly elected Annie Nelson.

    Today, Margo Price is proud to become the first female artist elected to the Farm Aid Board of Directors. Through a unanimous vote, both Price and life-long family farm advocate and humanitarian Annie Nelson join board members Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, Dave Matthews and six industry professionals in a commitment to further the organization’s efforts to build a vibrant, family farm-centered system of agriculture in America.

    Since performing at her first Farm Aid concert in 2016, Price has not missed a year of the festival, and her dedication to Farm Aid’s mission stretches back even further. In accepting her distinguished new role, Price says:

    It is always a thrill to perform alongside my heroes on the Farm Aid stage, and it is one of the greatest honors of my life to become a member of the Farm Aid board. It’s been a dream of mine to help family farmers and communities across America ever since my family lost their farm in the fall of 1984 – a year before the first Farm Aid concert. I hope to use my voice to shine light on the issues of climate change, our health and the health of our soil and water, and, most importantly, food justice.

    Price is the second artist to ever be added to Farm Aid’s Board of Directors, following Dave Matthews’ appointment in 2001 (Mellencamp, Nelson and Young are founding members). In addition to hosting the annual Farm Aid Festival, she will work closely to help the organization rally against corporate consolidation, deploy funds and resources to strengthen farm families facing ongoing challenges, and nurture a cultural movement that values the people who bring good food to our tables.

    Joining the Farm Aid Board of Directors is one of the many new responsibilities Margo Price has proudly taken on over the past year. In a recent profile for The New York Times business series, “Like a Boss,” Price broke down her pandemic work diary – from writing and editing a memoir, to recording two new albums and more while raising her two children.

    Last week, Margo penned a powerful, personal essay for GQ, on her decision to quit drinking at the start of 2021. She describes the choice as the most rebellious thing she has ever done, and throughout the piece she reflects on radical change, feminism and facing the uncertain future with a clearer mind and fuller heart.

    On May 28th, Margo Price will headline her first in-person concert of 2021. The socially-distanced show will take place outdoors at The Caverns Above Ground Amphitheater in Pelham, TN, where she and her band will perform sets full of music from her latest album, That’s How Rumors Get Started. Find tickets and details on COVID-19 safety guidelines here.

    Watch Margo Price and Nathaniel Rateliff team up for tremendous renditions of Rumors highlights “Twinkle Twinkle,” “Prisoner Of The Highway” and “Hey Child” on last month’s return of CMT Crossroads.

    Margo Price
    Farm Aid

    *Feature image Bobbi Rich

    Alastair Greene Drops Second Single From ‘The New World Blues’ – ‘Heroes (Acoustic Version)’

    Alastair Greene Drops Second Single From ‘The New World Blues’ – ‘Heroes (Acoustic Version)’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “Lyrically it’s a tough one to get through when I sing it because it conjures up so many memories of people in my life that are no longer with us. It’s bitter sweet.” – Alastair Greene

    Tab Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou Records has just released another acoustic single from accomplished singer/songwriter/guitarist Alastair Greene. The new track is a solo acoustic version of “Heroes” from Greene’s critically acclaimed album, The New World Blues, produced by Benoit. The single follows the February release of the first solo acoustic single, “Bayou Mile.” “Heroes” is available now worldwide.

    The New World Blues hit the streets in October 2020, landing on the Billboard Blues Chart for multiple weeks, peaking at number three. SiriusXM’s Bluesville has given a home to three songs from the album, giving heavy airplay to “Living Today,” with “No Longer Amused” sitting comfortably on their Top 15 countdown. Joe Bonamassa featured Greene’s “Bayou Mile,” one of the tracks co-written with Benoit, on Bonamassa’s Bluesville show. Joe enthusiastically announced, “Alastair Greene is killing it! Singing great, writing great, he’s at the height of his powers.”

    A highly in-demand guitarist and vocalist, Greene traveled the world, touring with the legendary Alan Parsons Live Project from 2010 – 2017, as well as stints with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and, most recently, Blues Music Award-winner Sugaray Rayford. His work with Parsons, in particular, sparked a conversation with renowned multi-instrumentalist and producer Tab Benoit in Las Vegas at the Big Blues Bender. In 2019, Greene signed with Benoit’s Whiskey Bayou Records label. Armed with a cache of new material, Greene decamped to Benoit’s Houma, Louisiana studio outside New Orleans to track The New World Blues. With Benoit on drums and bassist Corey Duplechin, the three formed a classic power trio, recording nearly the entire album live in the studio.

    “Heroes” was the second song I co-wrote with Tab while we were recording ‘The New World Blues,’ along with “Bayou Mile.” I’d had that main chord progression lying around for years and was just strumming it on a guitar when Corey said ‘What’s that?’ I told him they were some chords I’d been messing with forever. Tab said, ‘That’s cool. I’m hearing that it’s a song about heroes.’ I said, ‘Give me a day I’ll write some lyrics!’

    So I wrote the lyrics and came back to Tab and told him I just needed a killer chord change for the chorus. He paused and then said, ‘Try C, E minor, and D.’ Next thing I knew the song was finished! Lyrically it’s a tough one to get through when I sing it because it conjures up so many memories of people in my life that are no longer with us. It’s bitter sweet. This song translates so well to acoustic guitar that it was an obvious choice to record. Once again (like the acoustic version of “Bayou Mile”) this is live in the studio with no overdubs. —Alastair Greene

    Here’s a taste of “Heroes.”

    Greene plans to tour heavily in support of the album this summer with the multi Grammy nominated Benoit as Tab Benoit and the Whiskey Bayou Revue, featuring Alastair Greene. Be on the lookout for tour dates across the country at Greene’s website.

    Alastair Greene
    Purchase “Heroes (Acoustic Version)”

    *Feature image by Sean McCue

    Maggie Rose Shares “What Are We Fighting For” Official Music Video

    Maggie Rose Shares “What Are We Fighting For” Official Music Video

    Big Hassle Media

    New album ‘Have A Seat’ out everywhere Friday, August 20th

    Nashville-based rock and soul singer-songwriter Maggie Rose is unveiling a trilogy of music videos to be released accompanying her forthcoming album Have A Seat, due out on August 20 via Starstruck Records. The first clip is for the gospel-charged single, “What Are We Fighting For” which was produced by Jared Rauso/Bolo Brothers and directed by Ford Fairchild.

    Photo courtesy of Ken Weinstein

    Like any great soul singer, Rose beautifully captures the tensions of the current moment, gently presenting her pensive social commentary while providing a much-needed reprieve from the everyday chaos.

    “These songs were written during a contentious time, and there are undertones to the lyrics that are influenced by the state of our world politics and the politics of the music industry,” she says. “The title Have a Seat is responsorial, placing an emphasis on inclusivity — like, ‘Here, sit down. Let’s try talking to each other.’ One of the most loving things we can do is listen and make others feel heard — give people the space to speak their mind and be themselves. However, there’s also an intended meaning to the title that points to the power in occupying the seat that’s designated to you: I am claiming a seat I believe is rightfully mine, and I want others to do the same.”

    The album is Rose’s third full-length and was produced by Ben Tanner of Alabama Shakes at the iconic FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, AL. In a series of pre-pandemic sessions, Rose recorded live with a lineup of heavy-hitters that includes bassist David Hood of the Swampers (the group of session musicians who played on records from legends like Aretha Franklin and Etta James) and guitarist Will McFarlane (Bonnie Raitt, Levon Helm), along with her longtime bandmates/collaborators Larry Florman (background vocals/percussion), Alex Haddad (guitars), and Sarah Tomek (drums) of Them Vibes, as well as guests such as Marcus King, among others.

    Rose also recently announced two upcoming live music events in April. The first is presented by Live For Live Music from Cervantes in Denver, Colorado on April 16. The special live performance event will include an early show at 6:45 pm MDT, a late show at 9:45 pm MDT and will be available to live stream via Mandolin. A portion of ticket proceeds benefiting Sweet Relief. Tickets can be purchased HERE.

    On April 28, Rose will host her podcast Salute The Songbirds as a live concert event at City Winery in Nashville, TN. The event, presented by Osiris Media, will feature performances from Elizabeth Cook, Jillette Johnson, Kalie Shorr, Nicole Atkins and Nicki Bluhm. Fans can also tune in to live stream the show via Mandolin A portion of proceeds from the event will benefit Women in Music and can be purchased HERE.

    Pre-order Have A Seat

    Atlanta Bluesman Eddie 9V to Drop New Album May 28th

    Atlanta Bluesman Eddie 9V to Drop New Album May 28th

    American Blues Scene Staff

    This record catches everything that went down at a session that felt more like a party, as Eddie leads the line-up through nine new songs – plus three classic covers – that retool the soul-blues genre on his own terms, reminding a new generation why this music hits so hard.

    Eddie 9V (9-Volt) is proud to announce that his new album, Little Black Flies, will be released via Ruf Records on May 28th.

    All his life, Eddie has acted on instinct. At the tender age of 15, this old soul turned away from the age-old traditional path of school and jobs to attack his native Atlanta, Georgia’s blues club circuit. Flash forward to 2019, and for his debut album, Left My Soul in Memphis, the prodigious multi-instrumentalist simply powered up the amps in his mobile trailer and with his brother/co-writer/producer, Lane Kelly, laid down one of the year’s breakout releases. “Memphis was a total side project,” shrugs Eddie, “that ended up taking off.”

    Little Black Flies is the 24-year-old’s most impulsive move to date. Tracked live in Atlanta’s Echo Deco Studios, with Lane once again turning the knobs. It’s an album that Eddie planned to feel like it’s unfolding right in front of you – right down to the clink of bottles and loose studio banter. “I’ve seen a trend in modern recording,” he says. “There’s no soul. I took inspiration from Albert Collins, Otis Rush, Mike Bloomfield. All those great records were done live with their buddies and no overdubs. I wanted the playing to be spot-on – but even if we made a mistake, we kept going.”

    Born in June 1996 to a non-musical family living ten miles south of Atlanta, Eddie still remembers his fateful first guitar. “I was six, and it was one of those with the speaker in it – get the most bang for your buck, y’know?” he muses. While manufactured pop dominated the airwaves as he grew up, Eddie forked hard left, digging back into the catalogs of blues giants like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Freddie King, and Rory Gallagher. “I studied the older cats,” he explains, “saw what made them groove and tick.” As for his freewheeling lyrics, Eddie credits his home life, “I’ve been making words up on the spot for years – my Uncle Brian taught me how to do that at our family fish fries. How to make people laugh, how to hold an audience’s attention.”

    Eddie still recalls the frustration of watching local musicians load into the fabled clubs of Atlanta. “My first heroes were the local legends like Sean Costello, but I was too young to go see them,” he remembers. When he finally made it inside, it was as a performer, learning his craft at the sharp end, and at precocious speed, with early vehicles like the cover band The Smokin’ Frogs and its maturing blues-rock offshoot, The Georgia Flood. “My first step in being a professional musician was learning how to accept failure,” says Eddie. “As a nobody, the music business is a dartboard. You just hope something sticks.”

    In 2013 – and before Eddie had even graduated high school – The Georgia Flood represented the Atlanta Blues Society in the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. That band spilled over into the indie-rock PREACHERVAN, but perhaps the pivotal moment came in 2019 when he dropped his name – Brooks Mason – and adopted the Eddie 9V moniker for his solo work.

    Since that rebirth, he’s not only pricked up the ears of the music press, but earned a respect on the scene that made it easy to recruit local heroes for the Little Black Flies sessions. “Every player is the best of their craft,” says Eddie of his studio band, “and that’s why I picked ’em. We had the Tedeschi Trucks Band’s bass player Brandon Boone and Cody Matlock, on guitar. Everybody’s mood was so exciting. The energy was there.”

    This record catches everything that went down at a session that felt more like a party, as Eddie leads the line-up through nine new songs – plus three classic covers – that retool the soul-blues genre on his own terms, reminding a new generation why this music hits so hard. Horns blast, drums rattle, slide guitars howl and at the heart of it all is Eddie’s stinging guitar and unmistakable vocal, the bandleader thrilling us one minute with his soul-man holler, then spinning story songs like he’s sat on the next barstool. “The title track,” he explains, “was a narrative about me being in love with the girl in the apartment upstairs, who was being abused, and wanting to do something about it. “3 AM In Chicago” is about America’s unfairness between race and income levels, but also wanting to improve on the situation. “Puttin’ The Kids To Bed” was a total ‘let’s hurry this up and get down to business’ song.”

    With Little Black Flies, there’s a sense of an artist coming full circle, and at the same time coming of age, the kid who once loitered outside the clubs of Atlanta now leading some of Georgia’s greatest players into the studio. Indeed, these recordings gave much-needed catharsis to the musicians who created them. But perhaps Eddie’s ultimate aim is to pass that spirit on to everyone who hears the record. “It makes my day to please someone after they work all day,” he says. “My job is to make them smile and let the music make them forget – or remember.”

    Eddie 9V Facebook

    Scotland’s Liz Jones Pays Tribute To Guitar Legend Peter Green At Virtual Edinburgh Festival

    Scotland’s Liz Jones Pays Tribute To Guitar Legend Peter Green At Virtual Edinburgh Festival

    David Scott

    “Peter Green was the only guitarist that ever made me sweat.” – B.B. King

    One of UK’s most celebrated guitarists, Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, passed away nearly a year ago. In recognition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee’s achievements, Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival have organized an online tribute concert for Thursday, April 22nd.

    Liz Jones and her band will perform a selection of Peter’s best work including early Fleetwood Mac tracks such as “Albatross” and “Man Of The World.” The musicians include two of Edinburgh’s finest guitarists, the ‘Godfather of Scottish Blues’ John Bruce and rising star Jon MacKenzie, both more than capable of carrying Peter’s mantle. The popular and highly rated blues harp maestro Gary Martin makes a guest appearance alongside the rest of the band, bassist Jennifer Clark and Pat McCann on drums.

    Liz is the ideal candidate to lead this tribute because of her powerful, mellifluous and, above all, bluesy voice together with accompanying tasteful and innovative axe work. Liz is steeped in a wide range of musical influences and genres including blues, classic rock and folk roots. Check out her talent on the recently premiered single, “Candle,” Liz Jones & Broken Windows — a precursor to an upcoming album release, available on all major streaming platforms.

    When you are asked to tribute a blues legend of choice, your mind whirls: so many greats, so many favorites. Peter Green had it all, exceptional guitar, timeless songwriting, a real voice for the music and a bitter sweet rock and roll story. Almost a year after his death we tip our hat to the man that gave us a full scale of emotions through his music, the most delicate and sweetest, the most wild and hedonistic and always recognizably him. It is a challenge, an honor, but mostly a deep joy, playing his music.

    Not a lot more needs to be said to anyone that knows his music, as to why we chose him to celebrate.  Personally, I’m a song-writer in awe of Peter, and I’m a huge fan of blues guitar, with luck enough to have a couple of excellent players in my phonebook. John and Jon didn’t need much persuading! The early Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac took a huge amount of influence from classic blues & early electric blues which unsurprisingly we all love. From a ‘show’ point of view, there is a wide range of styles in the songs, from this more authentic blues, through to some seriously heavy guitar for the time, and then to the delicate “Albatross” with timeless popularity.

    There’s so much to choose from, so many dynamics. We deliberated over “Albatross”: How on earth do you cover this? But we went for it because ultimately it is simply a gorgeous piece of music and its huge popularity helped the band on their way to a deserved high place in history. We picked our favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, and one from Peter’s later music with The Splinter group, because it has such confident and undeniably Green licks, and is a testament to the people around Peter that helped bring him back to music.

    We decided not to only choose tunes written by him because part of his magic was putting out a sublime cover.  We really hope our covers are enjoyed, in the manner of celebrating and keeping alive his wonderful legacy, in the sweet acceptance nothing will ever match the man himself, or be quite like Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac. – Liz Jones

    Liz Jones Music
    Bandcamp

     

    Bob Weir & Wolf Bros, Leon Bridges, Larkin Poe, Tom Morello, More Added To Backline’s ‘Set Break’ Livestream

    Bob Weir & Wolf Bros, Leon Bridges, Larkin Poe, Tom Morello, More Added To Backline’s ‘Set Break’ Livestream

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Backline announces ‘Set Break,’ livestream event on April 10, calling awareness to mental health crisis in the music industry one year after the pandemic shut down live events

    On April 10th, Backline will host Set Break, their first-ever livestream fundraiser on The Relix Channel, exclusively on Twitch—featuring live performances from all over the world, public service announcements from music industry professionals, and immersive wellness experiences.

    Following their initial announcement, the non-profit organization, which connects music industry professionals with mental health and wellness resources, has added musical performances from Old Dominion, Wyclef Jean & Jerry Wonda (The Fugees), Bailey Bryan, Fruition’s Mimi Naja, Phoffman of Greensky Bluegrass, Souleye, and a DJ set from Vacationer’s Kenny Vasoli. Additionally, there will be special appearances from Rage Against The Machine frontman Tom Morello, as well as Lily Cornell Silver, mental health advocate and daughter of Chris Cornell, Khruangbin frontwoman Laura Leezy, famed photographer Danny Clinch, and YOLA.

    This new wave of talent joins a genre-spanning lineup that includes Alanis Morissette, Leon Bridges, Dawes, Black Pumas, Sara Bareilles, Bob Weir & Wolf Bros, Ben Folds, Oteil Burbridge, Los Lobos, Michael Franti, K. Flay, Galactic, American Authors, Larkin Poe, Deer Tick, DJ Millie, and a chorus of voices calling out for increased access to mental health and wellness support services for the music industry.

    To further present an opportunity for collective healing for all those affected by the last year’s closures of the live events industry, Set Break will include immersive wellness experiences from Wanderlust, Breathwrk, The Big Quiet, and Meditation Studio by Muse.

    Set Break will also feature experiences from Backline partners Black Mental Health Alliance, National Independent Venue Association, and Tour Health Research Initiative (THRIV), who will be debuting the findings from the largest study on tour professionals.

    Set Break is a free event, but there will be many opportunities to donate and support the mental health of the music industry. In addition to benefiting Backline, a portion of the proceeds will benefit Crew Nation, Live Nation’s global relief fund for live music crews, and Sweet Relief’s Mental Health Fund, which provides financial assistance to music industry workers seeking therapy and other forms of mental health care, who may otherwise be struggling to make ends meet. Fans can even turn their physical activity into charitable donations by signing up for wellness app Sweatcoin anytime before the event.

    Partners on the event include fan-to-fan ticket exchange platform Lyte, production company Club House Global, Dayglo Presents, and Recovery 2.0