Gulf Coast Records Signs Jason Ricci and Joe Krown – Debut Duo CD Out October 22

Gulf Coast Records Signs Jason Ricci and Joe Krown – Debut Duo CD Out October 22

Mark Pucci

Pre-order ‘City Country City’ Starting September 10

Gulf Coast Records announces the signing of New Orleans-based artists Jason Ricci and Joe Krown, and will release their debut duo album, City Country City, on October 22. Harmonica player/singer Jason Ricci is a multiple Blues Music Award-winner, while organ/piano player Joe Krown has legendary Crescent City credentials and is currently the keyboardist in Kenny Wayne Shepherd’s band. Together, they team up as Ricci/Krown on their new CD, City Country City, a retro soul-infused outing that features Jason’s gutsy vocals and stellar harmonica, overlaid with Joe’s melodic and earthy organ playing. City Country City brings back the sound and feel of early 1960s jazz/blues with an original sound all its own.

 

“I first met Joe Krown as the organist of the Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown band,” recalls Gulf Coast co-owner/artist Mike Zito in announcing the signing. “Joe went on to become a staple first-call musician in New Orleans and a member of the Kenny Wayne Shepherd band. His style is very soulful and organic. Jason Ricci and I were signed to Eclecto Groove Records in the late 2000s in Los Angeles.

Jason was touring full time with his band, winning awards and lighting the world on fire with his incendiary harmonica playing and deeply honest song writing. I had never seen anyone play the harmonica the way Jason plays. He is celebrated with BMA awards and nominations for best harmonica. I got a call from Jason last year and after catching up on things, Jason told me about a new project he was really excited about. He had been playing some shows with Joe Krown on organ and famed New Orleans drummer, Doug Belote. They were doing an ‘Organ Trio’ style group, but with harmonica, organ and drums. Jason was singing as well. He told me this is what he’s wanted to do for a long time and they were considering making an album. I got very excited, as I have been a fan of these gentlemen for some years now and the thought of them playing together sounded intriguing.

“The duo with Doug Belote on drums got into the studio in spring of 2021 in New Orleans and got to work recording fresh new original music and covering some classics as well. The sound is pure joy. The music has air and electricity all at once. It breathes and is urgent. Hearing the tracks for the first time was an experience all its own. It was like hearing music you have never heard before and something you have known all your life. The chemistry between Joe and Jason is obvious and they complement each other’s styles perfectly. I am so excited for everyone to hear this album, City Country City, wonderful music that is a listening pleasure to experience over and over. I am proud this album is released on Gulf Coast Records and I look forward to more music from Jason Ricci and Joe Krown.” 

“Working with Joe Krown makes me feel like I’m finally beginning to be a musical grown-up,” says Jason Ricci about the new album. “But we still have as much fun as little kids! Being linked up with a New Orleanian with Joe’s heavyweight history is truly a dream come true.” 

“Jason and I quickly connected musically,” adds Joe Krown. “We’re both blues musicians that have also extended into jazz and funk. Within a short period of time we started booking shows under both of our names regularly around New Orleans and beyond.  Our biggest hurdle is finding time that we can play together given both our busy schedules, but Jason and I have always made time and will continue to make time to perform together.”

Jason Ricci is one of the best and most imitated blues harmonica players of the 21st century. He picked up the instrument as a teenager when he started playing in a punk rock band. His journey started in earnest when he watched and later was mentored by legendary harmonica player Pat Ramsey in Memphis. As Ricci gigged and grew as a player he found work and support from the southern blues community. He lived and played with Junior and David Kimbrough in Mississippi and then worked as a sideman with Big Al and The Heavyweights for more than a year. In the late ‘90s, he formed Jason Ricci and New Blood, a band that toured around the world for more than a decade and released critically praised albums like Done with the Devil and Rocket Number 9.

Ricci’s latest chapter is the New Orleans band Jason Ricci and The Bad Kind, which is influenced by the sounds of New Orleans and artists like The Meters and Doctor John.  What defines Jason Ricci as an artist is the fearlessness with which he approaches his instrument and music and translates the hardships we all face into unforgettable music. 

Joe Krown is a New Orleans-styled piano and Hammond-endorsed B-3 player. He held the keyboard chair with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown & Gate’s Express from 1992 until Gatemouth’s passing in the fall of 2005. Joe is featured on the chart topping Gatemouth albums The Man, Gate Swings, American Music Texas Style and Gate’s final studio recording, Back to Bogalusa. Joe’s played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year since 2001 and the French Quarter Festival every year since 1998. Along with touring all over the U.S. and the world as a solo artist or with one of his bands, he is currently performing as the organ/piano player for the multi-award-winning Kenny Wayne Shepherd Band, and played on Shepherd’s The Traveler and Straight to You Live albums. Krown has also toured with Mavis Staples and Allen Toussaint, among many others, as well as recorded a dozen of his own albums.

In addition, Krown has won multiple local New Orleans “Big Easy” and “Offbeat” awards.

 

Jason Ricci
Joe Krown

Pioneering Producer and Vocalist Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Dies Aged 85

Pioneering Producer and Vocalist Lee ‘Scratch’ Perry Dies Aged 85

American Blues Scene Staff

Lee “Scratch” Perry OD (March 20, 1936 – August 29, 2021)

Reggae and dub legend Lee “Scratch” Perry passed away on August 29 at Noel Holmes Hospital in Lucea, Jamaica due to an unspecified medical issue. He was 85 years old. 

Born in 1936 in Kendal, Jamaica, Perry’s innovative figure looms large in the world of reggae, as his use of samples, echo, and reverb effects paved the way for other experimental artists and genres. Perry had been active as a producer and vocalist since the early ‘60s, when he started working with Clement “Coxsone” Dodd’s groundbreaking sound system. And in the ‘70s he went on to produce iconic works by the Congos, Bob Marley & the Wailers, and Junior Murvin — as well as dub albums by his band the Upsetters. 

Credit: David Corio/Redferns

Perry collaborated with such groups as the Clash and Beastie Boys. Mike D took to social media, “We send the most love and respect we can to Lee Perry who passed today, to his family and loved ones and the many he influenced with his pioneering spirit and work. We are truly grateful to have been inspired by and collaborated with this true legend.”

Despite certain lows throughout his career, Perry churned out many solo albums. He was recognized by the Jamaican honors system in 2012, elected to Commander class in the Order of Distinction. The following year, he was awarded a Gold Musgrave Medal by the Institute of Jamaica.

Keith Richards once told Rolling Stone, “You could never put your finger on Lee Perry – he’s the Salvador Dali of music. He’s a mystery. The world is his instrument. You just have to listen. More than a producer, he knows how to inspire the artist’s soul. Like Phil Spector, he has a gift of not only hearing sounds that come from nowhere else, but also translating those sounds to the musicians. Scratch is a shaman.”

 

Tangerine Records Releases New Ray Charles Lyric Video for ‘A Song For You’

Tangerine Records Releases New Ray Charles Lyric Video for ‘A Song For You’

American Blues Scene Staff

Limited Edition Box Set ‘True Genius’ Out September 10

Tangerine Records has released a new lyric video for Ray Charles’ Grammy-winning 1993 recording of “A Song For You,” which was first written and recorded by Leon Russell. The song will be featured on True Genius, a newly remastered, limited edition set featuring 90 of the greatest songs from his legendary career and all of Ray’s biggest hits. The set also includes a special bonus disc of eight previously unreleased tracks recorded live in Stockholm in 1972. True Genius will be released on September 10, 2021, in celebration of what would have been Ray Charles’ 90th birthday year, and is currently available for pre-order here.  

Also available to stream today is a sampler playlist of some of Charles’ most timeless recordings of classic pop tracks, featuring “Busted,” “Eleanor Rigby” and “Hallelujah I Love Her So (Live),” along with “A Song For You.”

“We’re extremely proud to present this collection, which maps the breadth and depth of Ray Charles’ music, presented in chronological order so the listener can join Ray on his journey through the most expansive and creative period of his legendary career. I’m also thrilled that this music will be widely available on all streaming services for the very first time, so that new and future audiences will continue to discover the True Genius of Ray Charles.”  – Valerie Ervin, President Ray Charles Foundation

The digital release of True Genius marks the first time this incredible collection of Ray Charles most important works will be widely available on streaming platforms, bringing classic hits such as “Hit The Road Jack,” “Crying Time,” “Busted,” “America The Beautiful,” “A Song for You,” “Unchain My Heart,” and many, many more back to streaming after more than a decade.  

The box set also includes a beautifully designed coffee table style book with rare, unseen photos, and detailed liner notes by Ray Charles Foundation President Valerie Ervin, legendary writer and music journalist A. Scott Galloway, and featuring a special message from Quincy Jones.

Tangerine Records will also release True Genius: Sides of Ray on November 19th, a double disc vinyl collection that illustrates Charles’ many musical “sides” by focusing each album side on the genre categories he visited most: soul, jazz & blues, country, and pop, available for pre-order here. 

On August 16th, The Country Music Hall of Fame announced that Ray Charles has been inducted as an official member. Charles, who revolutionized the country genre and brought it to new audiences with albums like 1962’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, was inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category.

Ray Charles’s recordings are major landmarks in American culture. By blending country and roots with other popular sounds, this visionary singer, songwriter, pianist and composer brought his expansive musical vision to a worldwide audience. Charles’ albums, released during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, broke down both racial and genre barriers. The incredible crossover success of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2 led Willie Nelson to remark, “Ray Charles did more for country music than any other artist.” Ray continued to do something no other artist had done before or since, conquering all genres of music, from gospel and R&B to soul, country, jazz, blues, and pop, which led Frank Sinatra to dub Ray Charles, the only “True Genius” in music.

Ray further helped bring Americans together with his rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and he remains the only artist in history to create and define a national anthem.  Charles was also one of the first recording artists to have ownership of his masters as well as complete creative freedom.

Charles’ staggering achievements over a 58-year career include 17 GRAMMY Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France’s Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, the NAACP Image Awards’ “Hall of Fame Award,” and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, all testament to his enormous influence. In 2019, he was honored by the Grand Ole Opry with An Opry Salute to Ray Charles, which was broadcast across PBS stations.

One of the greatest artists of all time, Charles successfully mastered and forever changed the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes. He teamed up with the best of the best in each stylistic genre, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams Jr, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. As he described himself. “I’m not a country singer. I’m a singer who sings country songs. I’m not a blues singer, but I can sing the blues. I’m not really a crooner, but I can sing love songs. I’m not a specialist, but I’m a pretty good utility man. I can play first base, second base, shortstop. I can catch and maybe even pitch a little.”

 

 

Gabe Stillman Shares Track ‘No Time For Me’ From ‘Just Say The Word,’ Out Today

Gabe Stillman Shares Track ‘No Time For Me’ From ‘Just Say The Word,’ Out Today

American Blues Scene Staff

Listen to the track “No Time For Me” from Gabe’s debut full-length release, ‘Just Say The Word,’ out today!

Winner of the prestigious Gibson Guitar Award at the Blues Foundation’s 2019 International Blues Challenge, Pennsylvania-based Gabe Stillman is a quiet young man who speaks through his music and has a lot to say. 

Just Say The Word, packed with thirteen thoughtfully crafted originals plus two covers, will further solidify Gabe’s reputation as an accomplished guitarist and now as a meaningful songwriter.

Produced by Anson Funderburgh at Wire Recording in Austin Texas, the album is a compelling listen from beginning to end, with powerful contributions from the Texas Horns and special appearances by Funderburgh, Sue Foley and Greg Izor. 

The lyrics and arrangements are interesting, diverse, and heart-throbbing with messages that are both personal and universal. Just Say The Word will appeal to Gabe’s vast following in the blues world while stretching the boundaries into that realm of “just great music” that defies category. 

Of his new effort, Gabe tells us:

I loved the experience of making this album. From the songwriting and arranging, through the recording sessions in Austin with Anson Funderburgh, then to the mixing and mastering; we all worked hard to make this record special.

I’m proud to present ‘Just Say The Word’ as my debut full-length release, and I’m excited to be a part of the VizzTone Label and family.

VizzTone label group · No Time For Me

Buy/stream Just Say The Word

 

*Feature image credit: Soulshine Photography

Listen: Patti Smith Releases ‘Live At Electric Lady’ EP

Listen: Patti Smith Releases ‘Live At Electric Lady’ EP

Lauren Leadingham

Listen to Patti’s surprise live album from the famed NYC studio!

Today, the one and only Patti Smith released a new seven-song EP — her first solo recording since 2012’s Banga. In partnership with Spotify, Live at Electric Lady was recorded in celebration of the famed studio’s 51st anniversary.

Live At Electric Lady features live versions of her own songs, such as “Broken Flag,” Ghost Dance,” and “Birdland.” Smith also takes on Stevie Wonder’s “Blame It On The Sun” and Dylan’s “One Too Many Mornings.”

 

“We are very proud to be part of Spotify’s Live at Electric Lady series, our favorite recording studio,” Patti Smith said in a statement. “It was a unique challenge and offered us an exciting and innovative platform. We are grateful to Spotify for their generous support and willingness to present a live performance with all its possibilities of risk and revelation.”

Electric Lady’s GM/Partner Lee Foster expressed:

Prior to recording, I had been discussing cover song options to present to Patti with Tony Shanahan, Patti’s MD and longtime bassist/pianist. We’d yet to mention to Patti that we’d hoped to record a cover during the session, so she was unaware at the time. Days went by and Tony and I couldn’t find the right song together.

Then, as we’d just begun to agonize over it, he called me excitedly and asked “is ‘Blame It on the Sun’ from Talking Book [Stevie Wonder’s 1972 album recorded at Electric Lady]?” I looked quickly to confirm and told him yes. For no reason at all that morning Patti had texted him to say that the song was stuck in her head and that she wanted the band to learn it. Kismet.

Listen and enjoy below.

Patti Smith – Vocals ⁣

Lenny Kaye – Lead Guitar ⁣

Tony Shanahan – Piano, Bass ⁣

Jackson Smith – Guitar, Bass⁣

Jay Dee Daugherty – Drums ⁣

Produced by Tony Shanahan, Lee Foster ⁣

Executive Producers: Michele Santucci, William Garrett, Lee Foster ⁣

Tracking/Mixing: James Frazee ⁣

Assisted by Lauren Marquez, Carl Bespolka, John Rooney ⁣

Photos by Jessica Lehrman, Steven Sebring ⁣

Artwork by Iris Sofia

 

*Feature image credit: © Phil Solomonson / Philamonjaro Studio

Marcia Ball Pays Tribute to Walter Hyatt on Forthcoming ACL Tribute Album

Marcia Ball Pays Tribute to Walter Hyatt on Forthcoming ACL Tribute Album

American Blues Scene Staff

“Looking at Walter’s lyrics in a book, on a sheet they read so wonderfully, many times they didn’t need music, they were poetry. Very few people write songs like that, that appeal to you on several levels.” – Marcia Ball

Uncle Walt’s Band (David Ball, Champ Hood, and Walter Hyatt) were one of the most popular acts in late ’70s/early ’80s Austin, Texas, where the South Carolina band relocated after a long stint in Nashville. Their on-point songwriting, playing, and singing garnered them local fans, but also Texas luminaries like Willis Alan Ramsey (in a very rare appearance), Jimmie Dale Gilmore, and (then Texas A&M student) Lyle Lovett. After a few self-released albums and cassettes (all available again via Omnivore Recordings), the band went their separate ways, with Hyatt returning to Nashville with his wife, Heidi.

In 1990, Lovett produced Hyatt’s major label debut, King Tears, and went on the road with Walter as his opening act. Three years later, Hyatt released Music Town. Then, sadly, he died in the 1996 ValueJet plane crash that took the lives of all passengers and crew. Lovett helped organize tribute concerts to benefit Hyatt’s wife and children. In 1997, Austin City Limits broadcast one of those tributes featuring friends and fans including Lovett, Ramsey, Gilmore, Junior Brown, Marcia Ball, Allison Moorer, David Halley, Shawn Colvin, and his Uncle Walt’s Band partners, Ball and Hood.

Now, nearly 25 years later, the 11 songs from that original broadcast are available on CD and Digital for the first time as Mighty Fine: An Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt. Due from Omnivore on October 1, 2021, the set adds six tracks recorded for, but not shown on Austin City Limits. To make this collection even more special, four previously unissued Hyatt recordings make their debut. The packaging features photos and a new essay from North Carolina author and musician Thomas Goldsmith. It truly is Mighty Fine.

Of Marcia Ball’s performance, producer Mark Michel says:

Marcia first met Walter in the clubs around Austin in the early 70’s when she was leading the hippie country band. ‘Freda and The Firedogs.’ Uncle Walt’s Band introduced her to the music of Professor Longhair, and soon after she changed her direction from country to New Orleans blues and swing. Marcia often sat in with Uncle Walt’s Band and The Contenders, Walter’s electric band that followed Uncle Walt’s Band.

Of Hyatt’s songwriting, Ball says:

You think his songs are simple when you listen to them, you start humming the melody and working out the chords and you realize they are crafted. Looking at Walter’s lyrics in a book, on a sheet they read so wonderfully, many times they didn’t need music, they were poetry. Very few people write songs like that, that appeal to you on several levels.

Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt

1. As The Crow Flies – Willis Alan Ramsey

2. Houston Town – David Ball

3. Georgia Rose – Jimmie Dale Gilmore

4. Are We There Yet Momma – Marcia Ball

5. Lonely In Love – Willis Alan Ramsey

6. Motor City Man – David Halley

7. Tell Me Baby – Allison Moorer

8. Diggeroo – Junior Brown

9. Babes In The Woods – Lyle Lovett with Shawn Colvin

10. I’ll Come Knockin’ – Lyle Lovett

11. Aloha – Ensemble

Bonus Austin City Limits Recordings not Included in Original Broadcast

12. Rollin’ My Blues – Champ Hood

13. Teach Me About Love – Lyle Lovett

14. Going To New Orleans – Champ Hood

15. Message In A Bottle – David Ball

16. I’m Calling – Lyle Lovett

17. River Road – Champ Hood

Previously Unissued Walter Hyatt Recordings

18. Jungle Flower

19. In A Christmas Dream

20. Early Days

21. Shouldn’t Have Told Me That

 

Mighty Fine an Austin City Limits Tribute to Walter Hyatt

Fantastic Negrito’s ‘Rolling Through California’ (Ft. Miko Marks) Takes On Wildfires, Displacement, and Climate Change

Fantastic Negrito’s ‘Rolling Through California’ (Ft. Miko Marks) Takes On Wildfires, Displacement, and Climate Change

Lauren Leadingham

Watch the official video for “Rolling Through California” featuring Miko Marks!

Today, Fantastic Negrito shares his new single “Rolling Through California,” a blues-funk number and a clarion call for unity and solidarity. The song addresses water management challenges, rapid climate change, and the continuous calamity of California’s annual fire season.

Recorded at Fantastic Negrito’s own Storefront Records studio in Oakland, “Rolling Through California” boasts dynamic backing vocals from fellow Bay Area singer-songwriter Miko Marks.

“I remember waking up to an apocalyptic sky,” says Fantastic Negrito. “The sky was orange, the sun looked bloodshot and people’s anxiety levels were very high. It felt and looked like doomsday. It really made me think about climate change and the environment – how our actions impact where we live and the choices we make.” 

Accompanying the single is a new music video, which depicts a young firefighter seeking refuge on a ranch run by the Oakland Black Cowboy Association. “The little fireman feels so alone because he’s looking at a fast changing world of climate change, displaced people and a California fire season that makes the air more toxic to breathe every year,” Fantastic Negrito explains. “He finds his home in a group that is historically marginalized, overlooked and that’s the Black Cowboys of America who are at home on their farm.”

Fantastic Negrito has partnered with Defy:Disaster so that a portion of the song proceeds will go to support firefighters, first responders, and communities impacted by wildfires throughout North America. To donate and learn more, visit: defy disaster.org

Mud Morganfield’s Single Debut on Delmark Records Available Now

Mud Morganfield’s Single Debut on Delmark Records Available Now

American Blues Scene Staff

Listen to single debut “Praise Him” – Lyrics and Music by Mud Morganfield

Multi-award-winning artist Mud Morganfield is an established star in the world of blues music. The eldest son of the legendary Muddy Waters, Mud was brought up surrounded by many of the finest musicians  in the Blues. 

Mud’s singing is firmly in best of traditions of Chicago Blues, but he is also a writer of great new songs and he is backed by some of the best musicians playing today. He is acclaimed by artists and critics, including Buddy Guy and Jools Holland for his own musical ability.

Mud’s single debut on Delmark Records is out now! On “Praise Me,” a spiritual new song, he is joined by Rick Kreher (guitar), Mike Wheeler (guitar), Cameron Lewis (drums), Luca Chiellini (keyboards) as well as choir singers Felicia Collins, Shantina Lowe and Demetrius Hall.

“I’ve done and seen many things in my life. From drugs to gang wars, to hustling the streets. I not only have a duty but a responsibility to tell you all that I am a walking testimony to what God can do.” – Mud Morganfield

Mud Morganfield: vocals, bass  

Rick Kreher: electric guitar 

Mike Wheeler: electric guitar 

Cameron Lewis: drums, percussion

Luca Chiellini: keyboard 

Choir Singers: 

Felicia Collins 

Shantina Lowe 

Demetrius Hall 

Recorded by Blaise Barton at Joyride  Studios, Chicago IL on June 1st 2021 

Mixed by Blaise Barton & John Grimaldi

Mastered by Blaise Barton 

Cover Photo by Peter M. Hurley 

Design by Jonathan Hill

 

 

Mud Morganfield

Beloved Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Dies Aged 80

Beloved Rolling Stones Drummer Charlie Watts Dies Aged 80

American Blues Scene Staff

Charlie Watts (June 2, 1941 – August 24, 2021)

Legendary Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts died in a London hospital on Tuesday, according to his publicist. He was 80. With the band since 1963, Watts played on every single one of their studio albums.

“It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts,” Bernard Doherty said in a statement.

“He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family. Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also as a member of The Rolling Stones one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”

Recently, Watts had announced he would not tour with the Stones in 2021 because of a health issue.

This is a developing story. 

Larkin Poe & Nu Deco Ensemble Release Live Performance of ‘Sometimes’ (Bessie Jones)

Larkin Poe & Nu Deco Ensemble Release Live Performance of ‘Sometimes’ (Bessie Jones)

American Blues Scene Staff

‘Paint the Roses’ documents a collaborative, streamed concert by the two artistic groups in December, 2020 at Miami’s North Beach Bandshell

Acclaimed roots-rock duo Larkin Poe have partnered with innovative hybrid orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble for Paint the Roses: Live in Concert — a new album that reinterprets Larkin Poe’s music, including their 2020 release Self Made Man and more, through an orchestral lens. The latest single from the project, a version of Bessie Jones’ stomp-and-clap “Sometimes,” is out now.

Originally recorded for Larkin Poe’s 2019 Grammy-nominated album Venom & Faith, the sister duo explains: “We have always held out hope that we’d someday be able to ‘Sometimes’ with a horn section. Performing this song with the support of Nu Deco Ensemble — and their incredible horn section — was a dream finally come true!”

Nu Deco Ensemble Co-Founders and Artistic Directors Jacomo Bairos and Sam Hyken were thrilled to bring “Sometimes” to life. Bairos explains: “This pump-you-up, full of energy song is just what is needed to rocket you off towards an amazing day! I fell in love with it because of the marching band-esque breakdown in the middle, which brought me such nostalgia from when I was a kid in band.” Hyken continues: “This was one of the first songs we requested as part of our collaboration, as it fits the ethos of our ensemble perfectly. This arrangement preserves all of the fantastic elements found within their studio record, while adding new string lines and percussion to create an exciting and virtuosic opener to our album.” 

Paint the Roses documents a collaborative, streamed concert by the two artistic groups in December, 2020 at Miami’s North Beach Bandshell. The performance was part of Nu Deco’s 2020-21 virtual and socially-distanced concert season, which featured the ensemble’s genre-bending orchestral music and its powerful first collaboration with Larkin Poe.

Larkin Poe — a Nashville-based sister-duo comprising multi-instrumentalists Rebecca and Megan Lovell — had recorded their fifth album Self Made Man (which topped the Billboard Blues Album chart and UK’s Independent and Americana Albums charts)in the summer of 2020 but could not take the music on the road due to COVID-19 restrictions. Nu Deco Ensemble’s collaborative concert provided the duo their first chance to play the new record’s songs for a live audience. The tracks on Self Made Man (and now on Paint the Roses) draw on wide influences but are rooted in the creative heritage of Larkin Poe’s beloved American South and Southern Gothic themes. 

“During the challenging times of this past year, music served the critical purpose of connection to one another,” Jacomo Bairos and Sam Hyken of Nu Deco Ensemble explain. “Among those valuable connections was our first collaboration with the amazing duo Larkin Poe and the live album that resulted from it.” 

Larkin Poe added, “Before we could even speak in full sentences, our introduction to the language of music began with classical violin and piano lessons; ever since then, music has been the bedrock upon which we’ve built our lives.

“Over the years we have drawn inspiration from a wide range of genres, but it has always been a dream of ours to find a way to honor our classical upbringing. ‘Paint The Roses’ was born out of a fortuitous, one-night collaboration with Nu Deco Ensemble.

“In hearing our Roots Rock n Roll repertoire reinterpreted through an orchestral lens, it felt like a creative circle was being completed; we wanted to share the performance on a grander scale and, thus, our first-ever live album came into being. We are deeply indebted to Sam Hyken for writing such incredible orchestra arrangements and also to Jacomo Bairos for conducting such a magical evening of music.”

 

Larkin Poe
Nu Deco Ensemble

 

Don Everly, Older Brother of the Harmonizing Duo The Everly Brothers, Dies Aged 84

Don Everly, Older Brother of the Harmonizing Duo The Everly Brothers, Dies Aged 84

American Blues Scene Staff

The Everly Brothers were among the first group of acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Don Everly, the last surviving member of the harmonizing country-influenced rock ‘n’ roll duo The Everly Brothers, has died at the age of 84. Everly died on Saturday at his home in Nashville, according to the family spokesperson.

Don Everly speaks during the 2019 Musicians Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony & Concert in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Terry Wyatt/Getty Images)

“Don lived by what he felt in his heart. Don expressed his appreciation for the ability to live his dreams… with his soulmate and wife, Adela, and sharing the music that made him an Everly Brother,” a statement said. 

Recognized for their close harmony singing and steel-string acoustic playing, The Everly Brothers began writing music in 1956 and had hits worldwide in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Among them were “Bye Bye Love” and “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” and “Cathy’s Clown.” 

Kyle Young, CEO of Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, expressed: “As a singer, a songwriter, and a guitar innovator, Don Everly was one of the most talented and impactful artists in popular music history. His influence reverberates through songs like ‘So Sad (To Watch Good Love Go Bad),’ ‘I Wonder If I Care as Much,’ and ‘Cathy’s Clown,’ through open tunings and rhythmic sensibilities that helped give rise to Keith Richards and many others, and through the ethereal harmonies he conjured with his brother Phil.”

The Everly Brothers influenced bands such as The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel. In the early 1970s, the pair released solo recordings, and in 1973 had an official onstage breakup. They reunited in 1983 and performed on occasion until Phil’s passing in 2014.

The Everly Brothers were elected to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, inducted by Neil Young, and given a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 1997. 

America’s ‘Storyteller’ Tom T. Hall Dead at 85

America’s ‘Storyteller’ Tom T. Hall Dead at 85

JD Nash

“I started playing the guitar when I was four years old and I’m just as good today as I was then.” – Tom T Hall

Country Music Hall of Famer Tom T. Hall died at his home in Franklin, Tennessee on August 20th according to his son, Dean Hall. He was 85.

Photo from the Country Music Hall of Fame

Born Thomas Hall on May 25th, 1936 in Olive Hill, Kentucky, Hall benefited greatly from the tutelage of his childhood friend and mentor, Lonnie Easterly, writing his first song at age nine. In 1971, Hall penned a tribute to his friend and mentor, “The Year That Clayton Delaney Died.” It became his second number 1 song on the country charts.

I started playing the guitar when I was four years old and I’m just as good today as I was then.

In all, he wrote 12 number one songs, and 26 more that landed in the Top 10. Country music legend Tex Ritter dubbed Hall, “The Storyteller.”

After a stint in the army, Hall worked as a radio DJ on stations in West Virginia and Kentucky. In 1964 he moved to Nashville, and began working as a $50-a-week songwriter, writing up to half a dozen songs per day. Dozens of country music stars recorded his songs including Johnny Cash, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Loretta Lynn, and of course, Jeannie C. Riley who took Hall’s “Harper Valley PTA” to the number one spot in 1968.

A multi-instrumentalist and wordsmith like no other, Hall penned hundreds of songs and from 1976 to 1996 wrote nine books. His way of using intimate details in lighthearted lyrics set him apart. Hall himself released 35 studio albums, 9 compilation albums and 50 singles in his career. Some of his most famous tunes include “A Week in a Country Jail,” “I Love,” “I Like Beer,” “Faster Horses (The Cowboy and The Poet),” “Fox on the Run,” and my personal favorite “(Old Dogs, Children and) Watermelon Wine.”

Hall largely retired from writing new music in the mid-1980s and from performing in the early 1990s. His last public performance was also his first in several years, taking place in 2011.

 

Hall became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1971. He won a Grammy® in 1973 and was nominated again in 1976, both for liner notes he wrote for his albums. He won Bluegrass Songwriter of the Year 12 times, and is an inductee in the Kentucky Music Hall of Fame, Country Music Hall of Fame, International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame.

*Feature image Tyler Mahan Coe

Tipitina’s Record Club Offers First Digital Release, Professor Longhair’s ‘Fess At Home,’ Out Today

Tipitina’s Record Club Offers First Digital Release, Professor Longhair’s ‘Fess At Home,’ Out Today

Big Hassle Media

Professor Longhair’s ‘Fess At Home’ out today via all DSPs

Earlier in the summer, Tipitina’s, the legendary New Orleans nightclub owned and operated by the band Galactic, unveiled Tipitina’s Record Club. The new subscription service offering six annual vinyl selections celebrating the music and culture of New Orleans and the Gulf South is offering its first digital companion release today with Professor Longhair’s Fess At Home. A previously unheard recording showcasing the groundbreaking singer-pianist in a uniquely intimate and personal setting is available at all DSPs now.

 

Tipitina’s Record Club presents specially curated, bi-monthly releases spanning archival milestones, never-before-heard rarities, out-of-print reissues, and brand new recordings, all on limited edition, 180g custom-colored vinyl exclusive to subscribers. Bi-monthly and annual subscriptions are available now. Free shipping will be included for subscribers in the contiguous United States.

 

“Being a musician and playing at Tipitina’s, one feels the history and the greatness that has blessed that stage – Professor Longhair, Clifton Chenier, James Booker, The Meters, The Neville Brothers and so many more local and national treasures,” says Galactic’s Ben Ellman. “When Galactic took over ownership, it became our mission to preserve the important role Tipitina’s has played in the culture of New Orleans music and the Gulf South. Creating Tipitina’s Record Club, we get to dig into archives to present never-before-heard recordings, rare reissues, and some amazing new music we know you’ll love. We’re presenting this to everyone on a limited edition piece of art in the form of vinyl. This will make the music something special…just like Tipitina’s.” 

“Our band has been on both sides of the stage at Tipitina’s,” adds Galactic’s Robert Mercurio. “We all started going there as fans, then we started playing there often, and now we are the stewards of the ship. We know there is a deep well of musical history associated with the club and thought that this Record Club would be a great way to share part of this history with everyone – and what more fitting then for it to be on vinyl. We have been digging deep into our chest of treasures and have some great performances and super rare reissues planned.”

Tipitina’s is of course one of America’s most iconic music venues. Since its opening in 1977, Tipitina’s has stood the test of time by hosting the most talented musicians and groups from New Orleans and the world at large, including the renowned Crescent City-based instrumental outfit, Galactic.

In late 2018, Galactic announced their purchase of the internationally famous two-story yellow building on the corner of Tchoupitoulas Street and Napoleon Avenue, promising to both further Tipitina’s rich traditions while also continuing to honor the remarkable musical history of the Gulf South. Galactic’s most recent LP, last year’s acclaimed Already Ready Already, is available now via the band’s own Tchoup-Zilla Records.

 

Connect with Tipitina’s Record Club: Official | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

 

Bubba Sullivan, King Biscuit Godfather, Passes

Bubba Sullivan, King Biscuit Godfather, Passes

Don Wilcock

The road goes on forever and the music never dies. Remembering Bubba Sullivan: the mover, the shaker, and the blues star maker.

Bubba Sullivan has passed. I can’t wrap my head around it. It’s like being told the sun won’t shine anymore.

Bubba was one of the founders of the King Biscuit Blues Festival. There was the Mississippi River, the hundreds of acts that grace the stage in Helena, Arkansas. And Bubba! He introduced all the acts on the main stage, sat at the back of stage throughout and held court absorbing the best blues in the south decade after decade, year after year, day after day, hour after hour.

I nicknamed Bubba the Godfather of the Biscuit. It was tongue in cheek in that he was about as much like a Mafia mobster as the grandfather I never knew. It’s as hard to imagine the Biscuit without him as it was to imagine King Biscuit Time Radio Show after Sunshine Sonny Payne passed.

He would call me once or twice a week usually in the early afternoon, and we’d trade war stories. He’d pay 50 cents to see Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis in an Arkansas club in 1954. He helped Billy Gibbons find a fan for a fan. He sold Taj Mahal hundreds of dollars’ worth of records, and he was in orbit that Bobby Rush sang at his 81st birthday a couple weeks ago.

Bubba Sullivan on The King Biscuit Blues Festival: “We decided to (present King Biscuit) and had no idea in the world. It’s just like a young guy meets a good looking woman, and he says, ‘Man, that the prettiest woman I’ve ever seen in my life,’ but he knows good and well she isn’t gonna have a damn thing to do with him. But he keeps on, and he keeps on. It’s like King Biscuit. After you worry somebody for a long time. ‘Well, hell, I’m going out with him just because he’s bugging me to death.’ That’s the way the music was. It just kept getting better and better, and everybody heard about it.”

Photo courtesy of King Biscuit Facebook

“I’ve always been in the right place at the right time,” Bubba told me in 2020. “You want to see the festival keep going and all these musicians ’cause you think there’s been a ton of musicians that have been here that are already dead and gone. We probably got people that come to the festival now that never got to see Frank Frost. They never got to see Sam Carr, but might not have got to see Robert Lockwood or Pinetop or any of those guys that played in Muddy’s band.”

“Robert Lockwood would come over to the shop early, and he’d get in town early and we’d sit there and just talk about stuff, you know. He was so like my second father. My father died in ’93.

Robert Lockwood to Bubba Sullivan: “You think Robert Johnson is the only guy that got poisoned? Back at the time there was 15 millionaires in Tunicca, 14 of ’em was white and one was black. Old hard face, he owned a liquor store and a gambling joint. “(I was) with a white lady. She happened to be a nurse, and one of the people in town spiked my drink. Lucky she was there. Being a nurse and all, she got me rejuvenated back up.” Bubba told Lockwood, “Robert, I never heard Sonny Pane tell that story.” And Lockwood shot back: “I don’t tell Sonny Payne every damn thing in this world.” 

Bubba Sullivan on KFFA’s Sonny Boy Williamson on King Biscuit Time: “(Sonny Boy) talked about how he wanted to send out a song to Aunt Pearly Mae, and you think about it. In 1942 there wasn’t any blacks on the radio, and for Aunt Pearly Mae to be sittin’ at home and putting on King Biscuit Time and here was a song dedicated to her.”

Bubba Sullivan on King Biscuit Entertainers at county stores: “There was like 142 – 152 county stores out around the county, and Mr. Max Moore was selling King Biscuit Flour, and so it came time for him to be on the radio, and so they gave 15 minutes to King Biscuit Time radio show, and Sonny Boy got on the air and said, ‘Meet me and greet me there.’ Two or three days a week they would show up, and they would announce it all day. ‘The King Biscuit Entertainers are gonna be in Elaine and Marvel and Wabash,’ and they would stop at all these stores, and there would be these crowds. You could just imagine what it was like back in those days.

“I worked in a country store in Wabash Howe Lumber Company, and they would come down and play in Wabash and Elaine and Marvel and all the places. They’d bring a pickup truck down. I mean a truck and Dudlow Taylor was the piano player, and he was so big they had to leave him sittin’ up on there.

“They’d pull up in front of a store and play maybe 30 minutes or whatever and advertise their flour and corn meal and, man, there was a lot of people in Phillips County then and a lot of families. I know the store I worked in. I was 13. I worked at my uncles’ store owned by the Howe Lumber Company, Jim Howe’s dad, and them, and man, we sold a hell of a lot of flour and corn meal back in those days, and we weren’t the only store that did that.”

Bubba Sullivan on Paul Thorn: “Reba Russell happened to be standing by, and she said, ‘I’ll tell ya what you need to do when Paul Thorn comes on. You need to go get you a beer or a drink of whiskey, and you need to get up to the top of that damn levy, and you set back and just listen. There’s just something about him that he just has the crowd in his hand.’ You think about what he played. I mean he got B.B. King coming on next, but that didn’t faze Paul Thorn one bit.”

Bubba Sullivan to Jimmy Dawkins at KBBF: “You used to be called Fast Fingers. Then, they say in the last year or so you just don’t play as well as you used to, but My God in heaven, you were wild.” He said, “Young man, I grew up in Mississippi. I’m back home.” 

Bubba Sullivan on Son Seals at KBBF talking to media:Look, young man, I come back to Arkansas. They invite me back to King Biscuit Time. I’m an Arkansas resident. I mean this is where I grew up. I get paid better down here than in most places on the circuit.’ They started asking him about racism. He said, ‘There’s not racism at King Biscuit. It’s about community.’ And he said ‘The sad (thing) about that is, you people on TV, you don’t understand. You gotta be from this area. You gotta be a musician and understand how things work.’”

Bubba Sullivan on Billy Branch:Billy Branch had taught music here. He would come in on a Sunday or something, and go out to Central High School, and they would get on stage on Friday night, and most of those kids had never seen a damn harmonica on Monday, but by God, they got up and played down there and were pretty good. Billy Branch is amazing because not only is he a great harp player, but when he got the key to the city award two years ago, his wife told me, or his girlfriend, she said, ‘Billy felt like he was back home.’” 

Bubba Sullivan on Frank Frost at KBBF in 1999: “Pinetop Perkins had to be way up in age then, and Frank got up on the stage and he just couldn’t blow that harp or anything, and that was Saturday, and then on Monday they were going to put Frank back in the hospital. So, I went over there, and Frank said, ‘I’m not going back in the hospital. If I can’t blow harp, I’m ready to go.’ And so he did I think on Tuesday, and I had to sit with him till the coroner came, And he was just laying in the bed, died peacefully, you know. When he couldn’t blow that harp anymore, he didn’t want to be around.”

This was my birthday message to Bubba: 

Happy 81st birthday to Bubba Sullivan, the mover, the shaker, and the blues star maker.

Congratulations to the survivor of the pandemic who’s never academic.

The professor of the masses with a B. S. in b.s. and a B.A. in T and A.

You are the spark that lights the flame that barbecues the Biscuit.

The medium that has the message.

Your weekly calls bring me up when I’m down, and the tall tales you tell are all true.

I bow down and kiss the ring of The Godfather.

The road goes on forever and the music never dies. And, if by some odd twist of fate, that’s not true, we’re all gonna die trying to make it true, and you, Bubba, will lead that charge.

Love ya, brother of another mother. 

Here’s to 81 more!

*Feature image courtesy of King Biscuit’s Facebook

Singer-Songwriter/Activist Lilli Lewis Announces New EP and Fall Tour

Singer-Songwriter/Activist Lilli Lewis Announces New EP and Fall Tour

Howlin’ Wuelf Media

‘Americana’ due out October 29!

Powerhouse New Orleans singer-songwriter / pianist / activist Lilli Lewis has announced her fall tour (subject to virtual pivots), and album release date for Americana – a follow-up to critically acclaimed EP My American Heart Red + Blue.

Lewis has been on a roll this summer – releasing the “Wrecking Ball” video from My American Heart Red + Blue in conjunction with her selection for Global Music Match, an online collaboration showcasing 78 artists from 17 countries.

The last #GlobalMusicMatch included a virtual showcase at Folk Unlocked, the digital Folk Alliance International Conference, where Lewis spearheads FAI Committing to Conversation to promote racial equity in folk.

Lewis’ advocacy has extended to co-founding the inaugural Black Opry Festival originally planned for New Orleans and pivoting to virtual in fall 2021, as described in Offbeat Music Magazine’s article: Numbers Don’t Lie: Lilli Lewis Talks Black Presence in Americana. For updates, search for the hashtag #BlackOpryFest. 

Trained as an opera singer and classical pianist, Athens, Georgia native Lilli Lewis has been a composer, producer and performer for over two decades. After carving out space as an African-American lesbian of size, Lewis is lending her voice to the industry’s need to diversify, as quoted in panels from Billboard to Rolling Stone. 

Lewis has been featured at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation’s Chanteuse series and The Kennedy Center’s Arts Across America, held virtually. In 2021, The Folk Rock Diva played WWOZ FM’s star-studded Piano Night, performing “My American Heart” – a song one reviewer compared to “a contemporary Jessye Norman if folk rock had been her genre,” and Mandy Patinkin compared to “the color of light.”

Lewis performs folk, roots, country-soul, gospel and jazz, and has integrated New Orleans traditions by singing lead for Dirty Dozen Brass Band founding member Kirk Joseph’s Backyard Groove. VP and head of A&R for Louisiana Red Hot Records, Lewis’ releases include 2018 solo piano The Henderson Sessions, 2019’s We Belong and 2020’s My American Heart Red + Blue EP. Up next: Americana, Oct. 29, 2021.

Lilli Lewis Fall Tour / LLP = Lilli Lewis Project

8/27              Hot August Nights Riemers (solo)          Hammond, LA

8/28               Cutting Edge Showcase                         New Orleans, LA

9/18               Baton Rouge Blues Festival (LLP)           Baton Rouge, LA

9/22-23          AmericanaFest                                            Nashville, TN

9/24               Broadmoor (Brown Sugar)                       New Orleans, LA

10/2               French Quarter Fest (trio)                          New Orleans, LA

10/8               Allerton Park Music Barn Festival (CANCELED) Monticello, IL

10/15             Marc Stone Presents: “Love in Vain”

                       Blues roots of The Rolling Stones           New Orleans, LA

10/27-31       Black Opry Fest (virtual)                            New Orleans, LA

10/29             “Americana” Album Release (virtual)      New Orleans, LA

11/6              NOMA Concert Performance (LLP)       New Orleans, LA

 

Connect with Lilli Lewis:

Official | Amazon Music | Twitter | Apple Music | Spotify

 

 

 

Listen to Bluegrass Singer/Guitarist Junior Sisk’s New Single, ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’

Listen to Bluegrass Singer/Guitarist Junior Sisk’s New Single, ‘I Wanna Be Where You Are’

Lauren Leadingham

Listen to the hard-driving bluegrass of Junior Sisk and his band!

Through the graces of Mountain Fever Records Junior Sisk shares his new single, “I Wanna Be Where You Are,” a reminder that bluegrass is not just surviving, but thriving.

This sweet ditty about missing the one you love was written by Michael Stillwell and David Stewart — recorded at Mountain Fever Studio and produced by Aaron Ramsey (2021 International Bluegrass Music Association nominee for Engineer Of The Year). Sisk is accompanied by his fine modern traditional band: Tony Mabe on banjo and harmony vocals; Jonathan Dillon on mandolin; Doug Bartlett on fiddle; Curt Love on bass; and Heather Berry Mabe, his singing partner with whom he trades verses. 

Sisk is currently nominated for three 2021 International Bluegrass Music Association Awards; Male Vocalist Of The Year,  Album Of The Year (Load The Wagon), and Song Of The Year “Just Load The Wagon.”

Syntax Creative · Junior Sisk – “I Wanna Be Where You Are”

Connect with Junior Sisk:
Official | Facebook | Instagram

Sue Foley Set to Release New CD ‘Pinky’s Blues’ in October

Sue Foley Set to Release New CD ‘Pinky’s Blues’ in October

American Blues Scene Staff

“We wanted to make something representative of the Texas blues that we had been schooled on in Austin. So, we picked great songs and I wrote a few of my own to round things out. Everything on it is a labor of love.” – Sue Foley

Stony Plain Records announces an October 22 release date for Pinky’s Blues, the new album from award-winning blues guitarist/singer Sue Foley. Featuring several Sue Foley originals, as well as songs from some of her favorite blues and roots artists, Pinky’s Blues was recorded at Fire Station Studios in San Marcos, Texas. Joining Sue Foley (guitar, vocals) for the recording sessions were Jon Penner (bass), Chris “Whipper” Layton (drums) and Mike Flanigin (Hammond B3 organ), who also produced the album. The legendary Jimmie Vaughan joins in as a special guest on rhythm guitar for the track, “Hurricane Girl.”

To support the release of her new disc, Foley will embark on an extensive tour schedule that includes both an official showcase on September 25 at the upcoming Americana Music Conference in Nashville, as well as a set at the Kessler Day Party Showcase on September 23 during the conference.

Foley also shot videos for three songs from the new album that were directed by Tim Hardiman, who directed the latest Black Keys video.

Pinky’s Blues is the follow up to Sue Foley’s award-winning breakout album, The Ice Queen, released in 2018. Foley’s new album is a raw, electric guitar driven romp through the back roads of Texas blues, with Foley’s signature pink paisley Fender Telecaster, “Pinky,” at the wheel. She won “Best Traditional Female (Koko Taylor Award)” at the 2020 Blues Music Awards in Memphis, was nominated for a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy), and she took home the award for “Best Guitar Player” at the Toronto Maple Blues Awards.

For the last few years Foley and her band have kept a rigorous touring schedule across the USA, Canada and Europe. Some highlights were appearances at The Beacon Theater (NYC), guesting with Jimmie Vaughan (opening for Eric Clapton) at Royal Albert Hall in London, Montreal Jazz Festival, Ottawa Bluesfest  (w/ Buddy Guy), Moulin Blues (Holland), NPR’s Mountain Stage (with Bela Fleck), Doheny Blues Festival, and the Jungle Show in Austin, Texas.

Foley and producer Mike Flanigin decided to make the album in the middle of the COVID lockdown in 2020.

Mike, drummer Chris Layton and I had just finished making Mike’s album, West Texas Blues, and we needed another challenge to keep us busy, And because we’d been hanging out together we were comfortable in each other’s presence, and this would be a very low-key closed session. I brought in Jon Penner to play bass, who was my first bass player and had been on all my early records. So just the four of us along with engineer Chris Bell went into the studio and recorded the entire album in three days.

What you’re hearing is live, off the floor, in the moment the music was played totally spontaneously and, mainly, improvised. And, we wanted to make something representative of the Texas blues that we had been schooled on in Austin. So, we picked great songs and I wrote a few of my own to round things out. Everything on it is a labor of love.

Some of the album’s many highlights include her takes on classics such as Lavelle White’s “Stop These Teardrops,” Frankie Lee Sims’ “Boogie Real Low” and Lillie Mae Donley’s “Think It Over,” alongside newer songs like Angela Strehli’s “Two Bit Texas Town” and Foley’s own “Dallas Man.”

Foley consider her guitar a living extension of who she is and it helps guide her through the rambunctiously-deep renditions of everything she performs. It was while playing Pinky and doing a series of live-streaming events with Mike Flanigin that much of Pinky’s Blues came together.

During the COVID lockdown, Mike Flanigin and I had started a livestream show called ‘Texas Blues Party’, and all we were doing was livestreaming from Mike’s house, just the two of us along with a drum machine and playing and talking about the history of Texas blues. It was a fun concept and it ended up being the foundation for both Mike’s album and mine.

We called Angela Strehli one day and ended up learning some of her songs. I think she’s one of the most soulful blues singers there ever was. And besides being such a great singer Angela is also a wonderful songwriter, so I was thrilled to be able to include two of her incredible songs on this album.

The disc’s first single, “Dallas Man,” also bears special significance to Foley. “I realized when I wrote ‘Dallas Man’ it was just about all these great guitar players from Dallas and right around there,” Foley says. “I’ve always been infatuated with Blind Lemon Jefferson and had been reading about him and working up some of his songs. Between Blind Lemon Jefferson and Frankie Lee Sims, and then working on some Freddie King and always watching Jimmie Vaughan came the idea of ‘Dallas Man.’ Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimmie Vaughan, Freddie King, T-Bone Walker, Blind Lemon Jefferson, Frankie Lee Sims, Anson Funderburgh, Zuzu Bollin, Doyle Bramhall II, Denny Freeman and Derek O’Brien all came from that area. That’s almost a whole album right there!”

Leaving Canada as a young player, Foley knew she had to go where the music thrived. All her years in Austin, and including those when she left to learn new approaches to life, have all come together on Pinky’s Blues. “The fact that I have ended up back in Austin just seems right,” Foley says.

“My home is Canada and I definitely identify as a Canadian. But I had a yearning for this music and I can’t even put my finger on why or how. It got in my soul when I was a teenager. I guess I was open and I got imprinted by the sound and the force of blues music. I saw my first blues show at 15 and I swear I’ve never been the same. I was lucky because I was able to play with so many legends before they passed away. That direct transmission, as we know, is what it’s all about. I have the kind of experience and education that you can’t even get anymore. In a way it’s a big responsibility to carry the message of these giants.

“But even more important, it’s about finding your own voice within this framework. In blues, that takes time. The beauty of blues, and something I’ve always loved about it, is that you get better as you get older. I’ve always been a fan of older musicians. There’s something about the message, the life experience, the whole package. If you can keep a good perspective on life, a sense of humor, and a love for what you’re doing, you have much more to give. This is when it all really happens.”

The “cabin fever” atmosphere created by the pandemic, also afforded her an opportunity to really map out her next moves. “I’ve had a lot of time to think about what the next chapter is,” Foley admits. “After being home for so long, all I really want to do is turn up and play my guitar for as many folks as I can. I can’t wait to get out on the road!”

Pre-Order Sue Foley’s Pinky’s Blues here.

*Feature image by Danny Clinch

Alastair Greene Releases New Single, Commences Tour, Signs With Atomic Music Group

Alastair Greene Releases New Single, Commences Tour, Signs With Atomic Music Group

American Blues Scene Staff

“Lyrically it reflects a turbulent time in our nation’s history when it was hard to know who and what to believe at any given time.” – Alastair Greene

Alastair Greene’s new single, “Lies And Fear,” available worldwide, was recorded live in the studio with Greene’s own touring band. Alastair notes, “’Lies and Fear’ was one of the songs I’d written before going down to Louisiana to make the album that became The New World Blues with producer Tab Benoit for his Whiskey Bayou Records label. Lyrically it reflects a turbulent time in our nation’s history when it was hard to know who and what to believe at any given time.”

This is Greene’s third single inspired by his critically acclaimed album since its October 2020 release. The New World Blues has received major airplay on SiriusXM Radio including being featured by Joe Bonamassa on his show. And just as with the previous two singles, a new music video will be out soon. Greene’s first video single “Living Today” saw a world premiere from Relix magazine, while “Bayou Mile” had a week-long exclusive premiere hosted on DittyTV. Stay tuned for more on the release of the new “Lies and Fear” music video.

Tab Benoit and Alastair Greene photo credit: Roman Sobus

Greene’s spring/summer tour with Tab Benoit and his band continues to be a huge success, performing at major festivals, theaters, and music venues including a six-night “Chicago Takeover” at the City Winery. Alastair seizes the moment, executing a blistering opening set with Tab on drums and Corey Duplechin on bass, garnering standing ovations for this super-trio nightly. Then after Benoit’s legendary, high energy set, Alastair joins Tab for a rip-roaring, head banging encore. It’s truly a musical event not to be missed. The tour has just started up again and continues throughout the summer and beyond.

The Austin, Nashville, and Toronto based Atomic Music Group is an international booking agency representing established recording artists of all genres and is now representing Greene alongside The Blasters, Sue Foley, Petula Clark and more. Atomic Music Group enthusiastically welcomes Greene to their roster: “Alastair is an exciting guitarist, singer, and songwriter with one hell of a pedigree. We are looking forward to taking an active role in his artistic development.”

That pedigree includes eight years of international touring on lead guitar and vocals with the Alan Parsons Project, major dates with Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, blues gigs as a longtime regular and host at the Memphis-based Blues Foundation events and showcases, featured performances at the Big Blues Bender and the Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, a year of worldwide touring with the Sugaray Rayford Band, which was nominated for a 2020 Blues Music Award, the current 2021 tour with Grammy nominated Tab Benoit, as well as the Alastair Greene Band, which has drawn comparisons to Gov’t Mule, ZZ Top and Cream. You can find tour dates and more information at alastairgreene.com.

 

“Lies And Fear”

Tangerine Records Releases New Lyric Video for Ray Charles’ “Crying Time”

Tangerine Records Releases New Lyric Video for Ray Charles’ “Crying Time”

American Blues Scene Staff

Update: Today the Country Music Hall of Fame has announced that Ray Charles has been inducted as an official member.

Tangerine Records has released a new lyric video for Ray Charles’ signature country performance of “Crying Time,” which was first recorded by Buck Owens in 1964. The song will be featured on True Genius, a newly remastered, limited edition set featuring 90 of the greatest songs from his legendary career and all of Ray’s biggest hits. The set also includes a special bonus disc of eight previously unreleased tracks recorded live in Stockholm in 1972. True Genius will be released on September 10, 2021, in celebration of what would have been Ray Charles’ 90th birthday year, and is currently available for pre-order.

Also available to stream today is a sampler playlist of some of Charles’ most beloved country recordings, featuring “Together Again,” “Take These Chains” and “Ring of Fire,” along with “Crying Time.” Additional singles will follow in the coming weeks, showcasing Ray’s works in the Classic Pop genre.

“We’re extremely proud to present this collection, which maps the breadth and depth of Ray Charles’ music, presented in chronological order so the listener can join Ray on his journey through the most expansive and creative period of his legendary career. I’m also thrilled that this music will be widely available on all streaming services for the very first time, so that new and future audiences will continue to discover the True Genius of Ray Charles.”  – Valerie Ervin, President Ray Charles Foundation

The digital release of True Genius marks the first time this incredible collection of Ray Charles most important works will be widely available on streaming platforms, bringing classic hits such as “Hit The Road Jack,” “Crying Time,” “Busted,” “America The Beautiful,” “A Song for You,” “Unchain My Heart,” and many, many more back to streaming after more than a decade.  

The box set also includes a beautifully designed coffee table style book with rare, unseen photos, and detailed liner notes by Ray Charles Foundation President Valerie Ervin, legendary writer and music journalist A. Scott Galloway, and featuring a special message from Quincy Jones.

Tangerine Records will also release True Genius: Sides of Ray on November 19th, a double disc vinyl collection that illustrates Charles’ many musical “sides” by focusing each album side on the genre categories he visited most: soul, jazz & blues, country, and pop, available for pre-order.

Ray Charles’s recordings are major landmarks in American culture. By blending country and roots with other popular sounds, this visionary singer, songwriter, pianist and composer brought his expansive musical vision to a worldwide audience. Charles’ albums, released during the heart of the Civil Rights Movement, broke down both racial and genre barriers. The incredible crossover success of Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 & 2 led Willie Nelson to remark, “Ray Charles did more for country music than any other artist.” Ray continued to do something no other artist had done before or since, conquering all genres of music, from gospel and R&B to soul, country, jazz, blues, and pop, which led Frank Sinatra to dub Ray Charles, the only “True Genius” in music.

Ray further helped bring Americans together with his rendition of “America the Beautiful,” and he remains the only artist in history to create and define a national anthem.  Charles was also one of the first recording artists to have ownership of his masters as well as complete creative freedom.

Charles’ staggering achievements over a 58-year career include 17 GRAMMY Awards, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a Lifetime Achievement and the President’s Merit Award, the Presidential Medal for the Arts, France’s Legion of Honor, the Kennedy Center Honors, the NAACP Image Awards’ “Hall of Fame Award,” and numerous other music Halls of Fame, including those for Jazz and Rhythm & Blues, all testament to his enormous influence. In 2019, he was honored by the Grand Ole Opry with An Opry Salute to Ray Charles, which was broadcast across PBS stations.

One of the greatest artists of all time, Charles successfully mastered and forever changed the blues, jazz, gospel, rock, pop, and country music landscapes. He teamed up with the best of the best in each stylistic genre, including B.B. King, Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Hank Williams Jr, Willie Nelson, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. As he described himself. “I’m not a country singer. I’m a singer who sings country songs. I’m not a blues singer, but I can sing the blues. I’m not really a crooner, but I can sing love songs. I’m not a specialist, but I’m a pretty good utility man. I can play first base, second base, shortstop. I can catch and maybe even pitch a little.” 

Update: Today the Country Music Hall of Fame has announced that Ray Charles has been inducted as an official member. Charles, who revolutionized the country genre and brought it to new audiences with albums like 1962’s Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, will be inducted in the “Veterans Era Artist” category.

 

 

 

 

Texas Singer-Songwriter Nanci Griffith Dies Aged 68

Texas Singer-Songwriter Nanci Griffith Dies Aged 68

Lauren Leadingham

Nanci Griffith (July 6, 1953 – August 13, 2021)

Folk singer-songwriter and guitarist Nanci Griffith, celebrated for her sparkling vocals and master storytelling, passed away Friday in Nashville. She was 68. 

Griffith produced such songs as “Late Night Grande Hotel” and “It’s a Hard Life Wherever You Go,” and wrote major hits that proved successful for other artists: Suzy Bogguss’s infectiously catchy and beautifully sung “Outbound Plane,” written by Griffith and Tom Russell; and Kathy Mattea’s memorable “Love At The Five And Dime.” 

Bogguss took to her Instagram account, expressing, “My heart is aching. A beautiful soul that I love has left this earth. I feel blessed to have many memories of our times together along with most everything she ever recorded. I’m going to spend the day reveling in the articulate masterful legacy she’s left us. Rest my dear friend Nanci Griffith.”

Her 1993 album, Other Voices, Other Rooms, was  devoted to songs written by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, etc., with guest appearances by Dylan and Prine. She received a GRAMMY award in 1994 for this effort. 

Born on July 6, 1953, in Seguin, Texas, Griffith was raised in Austin, where she began performing as a teenage singer inspired by Loretta Lynn. She performed while attending the University of Texas, and while working as a kindergarten teacher.

Griffith won the New Folk Competition at the Kerrville Folk Festival in 1978. She  moved to Nashville in 1985, where she found herself on major labels MCA and Elektra, and went on to collaborate with the likes of John Prine, Emmylou Harris and Lyle Lovett.

*Feature image: Redferns via Getty Images

Southern Avenue Share Soulful New Track, ‘Control’

Southern Avenue Share Soulful New Track, ‘Control’

American Blues Scene Staff

Album produced by Multi-GRAMMY® winner Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick, Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene)

Southern Avenue today shared their new song “Control,” the third track to be released off the forthcoming Steve Berlin-produced album, Be The Love You Want, due out on August 27 via BMG/Renew Records.  

“The song ‘Control’ is the voice of self-discipline that you hear inside your head,” said the song’s co-writer Tierinii Jackson. “There’s something about the repetition of the word “control” in the hook sticks with you, and hopefully that can be the voice that carries the listener through whatever journey they are on.”  

Southern Avenue seamlessly bridges the power of Memphis soul with jam band liberation, gospel blues, and R&B to craft their own timeless brand of American music. The ambitious sonic approach expertly complements Be The Love You Want’s rich themes of self-love, self-empowerment, personal accountability, and the desire to push through towards something greater in life.

Earlier this month Southern Avenue released the music video for “Move Into The Light,a song about “moving from the dim moods of our minds and trusting our will to let go and have fun” explains Jackson. Earlier this summer, the band shared the song “Push Now,” along with the official music video – a light-hearted happy-go-lucky visual that showcases the band’s personality and incorporates family members from the entire Southern Avenue team.  

The third studio album from Southern Avenue was produced by multi-GRAMMY® winner, Steve Berlin (Los Lobos, Deer Tick, Susan Tedeschi, Jackie Greene), and co-produced by Ori Naftaly, and arrives on August 27, 2021 via Renew Records/BMG.

Be The Love You Want sees Southern Avenue pushing themselves towards bold new ideas of what it means to be a blues band in the modern world, bending and reshaping their musical heritage with electrifying performance, vivid production, and a remarkably clear vision.

Operating from their distinctively international vantage point, Southern Avenue has produced a wide-ranging collection of original music – predominantly co-written by Israeli-born guitarist Ori Naftaly and powerhouse lead vocalist Tierinii Jackson – that links them to their home city’s glorious past while at the same time, demonstrates their ambitious intent to evolve Memphis music to contemporary effect. With Be The Love You Want, Southern Avenue continue driving the Southern soul legacy into the 21st century, preserving its glory and tradition while striving towards something diverse, universal, and altogether their own.

The band is currently on an extensive tour that includes over a dozen previously announced dates supporting Jason Mraz.  

 

Southern Avenue Tour Dates:

8/14 @ Stone Pony Summerstage | Asbury Park, NJ*

8/15 @ The Anthem | Washington, DC*

8/19 @ Brooklyn Bowl | Nashville, TN w/ Maggie Rose

8/20 @ Summer Camp Music Festival | Chillicothe, IL 

8/27 @ Performance Pavilion at Sweetwater | Fort Wayne, IN w/ Samantha Fish

8/28 @ Levitt Pavilion | Dayton, OH

8/29 @ Railbird Music Festival | Lexington, KY

9/1 @ Crested Butte Summer Concert Series | Crested Butte, CO 

9/2 @ eTown Hall | Boulder, CO

9/3 @ Moxi Theater | Greeley, CO

9/4 @ Wave | Wichita, KS

9/10 & 11 @ Big Blues Bender | Las Vegas, NV

9/17 @ Mississippi Valley Blues Festival | Davenport, IA

9/18 @ Shipyard Festival | Cape Girardeau, MO

9/26 @ Roots N Blues Festival | Columbia, MO

10/1 @ Mempho Festival | Memphis, TN

10/8 @ Clay Center for the Arts | Charleston, WV

10/9 @ Wire & Wood Festival | Alpharetta, GA

10/28 @ Wolf Den | Uncasville, CT

10/30 @ City Winery | New York, NY

1/22 – 26 @ Panic en la Playa | Riviera Maya, Mexico

1/29 – 2/5 @ Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise | Eastern Caribbean

*w/Jason Mraz

All tour dates and up to date news available at southernavenuemusic.com

 

 

 

Legendary Keyboardist and Session Player Mike Finnigan Dies Aged 76

Legendary Keyboardist and Session Player Mike Finnigan Dies Aged 76

American Blues Scene Staff

Finnigan was a 2x winner of a Blues Music Award for his work with Taj Mahal as a member of the Phantom Blues Band

Session player, vocalist and keyboardist Mike Finnigan, whose specialty was the B3 Hammond organ, succumbed to kidney cancer on August 11, 2021 in Los Angeles. He was 76.

Finnigan attended the University of Kansas on a basketball scholarship. He began performing at the age of 19 and started the band The Serfs, who were the house band at a local club in Wichita. Working primarily as a freelance studio musician, Finnigan performed with a wide array of artists in pop, rock, jazz, blues — including Taj Mahal, who took to social media this morning:

Finnigan later collaborated with Columbia artists Jim Krueger and Les Dudek, and was 2x winner of a Blues Music Award for his work with Taj Mahal as a member of the Phantom Blues Band.

He has toured and has been a session musician for Jimi Hendrix, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Sam Moore, Crosby Stills and Nash, Dave Mason, Buddy Guy, Manhattan Transfer, Taj Mahal, Michael McDonald, Maria Muldaur, Peter Frampton, Cher, Ringo Starr, Leonard Cohen, Tower of Power, Rod Stewart, David Coverdale, Tracy Chapman, Los Lonely Boys, and Bonnie Raitt. 

Bonnie Raitt also honored Finnigan on her Facebook, saying “Mike was one of the most powerful, virtuosic soul/gospel/blues singers and Hammond B3 players you’ll ever be blessed to hear. Respected and emulated by musicians the world over, his legacy of staggering performances across his 60+ years career will stand the test of time. He stopped our show nearly every night. There was simply no one like him.”

 

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Reunite for ‘Raise The Roof’ Out November 19 on Rounder Records

Robert Plant & Alison Krauss Reunite for ‘Raise The Roof’ Out November 19 on Rounder Records

American Blues Scene Staff

Listen to new track “Can’t Let Go”

Today, Robert Plant & Alison Krauss have announced the forthcoming release of their new album Raise The Roof, out November 19 on Rounder Records.

The surprise announcement finds Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Plant and 27-time Grammy-winner Krauss, reunited after some fourteen years, following the historic success of their first collaboration Raising Sand (2007/Rounder), which debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200, generated platinum sales, and earned six Grammy Awards including Album and Record of the Year. 

Like its predecessor, Raise The Roof was produced by T Bone Burnett, who worked with Plant and Krauss to expand their collaboration in thrilling new directions, accompanied by drummer Jay Bellerose, guitarists Marc Ribot, David Hidalgo, Bill Frisell, and Buddy Miller, bassists Dennis Crouch and Viktor Krauss, along with pedal steel guitarist Russ Pahl among others.

The album features twelve new recordings of songs by legends and unsung heroes including Merle Haggard, Allen Toussaint, The Everly Brothers, Anne Briggs, Geeshie Wiley, Bert Jansch and more. Other highlights include a Plant-Burnett original, “High and Lonesome,” and the classic “Can’t Let Go,” written by Randy Weeks and first recorded by Lucinda Williams.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss have shared their new recording of “Can’t Let Go” today.

The songs selected for Raise The Roof alternately reflect deep-rooted influences and new revelations. For his part, Robert Plant was keen to introduce the English folk traditions he has loved since adolescence, while Krauss cites hearing “Quattro (World Drifts In)” by the American group Calexico, as “the moment I knew we’d make another album.”

“We wanted it to move,” Krauss continues. “We brought other people in, other personalities within the band, and coming back together again in the studio brought a new intimacy to the harmonies.”

Adds Plant: “You hear something and you go ‘Man, listen to that song, we got to sing that song!’ It’s a vacation, really — the perfect place to go that you least expected to find.”

Released in 2007, Raising Sand is one of the most beloved and acclaimed albums of the 21st century. In addition to winning all six Grammy Awards for which it was nominated, it also earned a CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year, plus Album of the Year and Duo/Group of the Year accolades from the Americana Music Honors and Awards.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss will tour together in 2022, with dates to be announced soon. 

Raise The Roof Tracklist:

  • Quattro (World Drifts In)
  • The Price of Love
  • Go Your Way
  • Trouble With My Lover
  • Searching for My Love
  • Can’t Let Go
  • It Don’t Bother Me
  • You Led Me to The Wrong
  • Last Kind Words Blues
  • High and Lonesome
  • Going Where the Lonely Go
  • Somebody Was Watching Over Me
  •  

    Pre-order Raise The Roof 

     

    *Feature image credit: Frank Melfi

     

     

    Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce ‘A Bluesman Came To Town’ Tour

    Tommy Castro & The Painkillers Announce ‘A Bluesman Came To Town’ Tour

    American Blues Scene Staff

    “I’ve made seven albums for Alligator, and I’ve never made the same record twice. I will always try to be my most authentic self. I give it all I’ve got every time we hit the stage!” – Tommy Castro

    On Monday, August 9, internationally beloved guitarist, singer and songwriter Tommy Castro, leader of Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, announced dates for his A Bluesman Came To Town national tour. With performances all across the United States beginning in September 2021 and moving into early 2022, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers — bassist Randy McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson — will reconnect with fans all over the country. Concert attendees are strongly advised to contact the venue to confirm performance.

    Castro’s trailblazing new album, Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town, is set for September 17 release.

    Throughout his long, constantly evolving career, guitarist, singer and songwriter Castro has always remained true to himself while exploring, growing and creating new music, and he has taken his thousands of devoted fans right along with him. Ranging from horn-fueled R&B to piping hot blues to fiery, stripped-down rock ‘n’ roll, each of his 16 albums is solidly built upon Castro’s unshakable musical foundation—a dynamic mix of 1960s-influenced guitar-fueled blues, testifying Memphis-soaked blue-eyed soul and Latin-tinged East San Jose funk, all driven by Castro’s grab-you-by-the-collar vocals and passionate guitar work.

    Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town is a roots music odyssey, a special project composed by Castro along with Grammy Award-winning producer and songwriter Tom Hambridge. Through its 13 songs, the album tells the tale of a young man, working on his family farm, who gets bitten by the blues bug. He masters the guitar and heads out on the road seeking fame and fortune, only to find what he’s left behind is the treasure he’s been looking for. “A Bluesman Came To Town isn’t a story about me,” says Castro. “It’s pulled from some of my friends’ and my experiences, though. I’ve seen first-hand for a lot of years what it’s like out there on the road.”

    The road has always been Castro’s home away from home. He and The Painkillers will instantly ignite a crowd, turn them into loyal fans, and then keep those fans coming back for more. Castro has traveled hundreds of thousands of miles and performed thousands of gigs at clubs, concert halls, and festivals all over the world. Famed guitarist Joe Bonamassa says, “Tommy has always been top of the heap among blues guitar players. He always puts on a great show.”

    On the new A Bluesman Came To Town tour, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers will perform fan favorites as well as songs from the new album. “I’ve made seven albums for Alligator,” Castro says, “and I’ve never made the same record twice. I will always try to be my most authentic self. I give it all I’ve got every time we hit the stage!”

    Listen to the first song to be released from the album, Somewhere.

    US Tour:

    Saturday, September 18 Berkeley, CA Cornerstone
    Thursday, September 23 Boise, ID Treefort Music Festival
    Friday, September 24 Victor, ID Knotty Pine Supper Club
    Saturday, September 25 Salt Lake City, UT The Commonwealth Room
    Monday, September 27 Tucson, AZ 191 Toole
    Tuesday, September 28 Phoenix, AZ MIM Music Theater
    Wednesday, September 29 Albuquerque, NM Dirty Bourbon
    * Friday, October 1 Hutchinson, KS Historic Fox Theatre
    * Saturday, October 2 Kansas City, MO Knuckleheads
    * Sunday, October 3 Des Moines, IA Wooly’s
    * Tuesday, October 5 Iowa City, IA The Englert Theatre
    * Wednesday, October 6 Madison, WI Barrymore Theatre
    * Friday, October 8 Medina, MN Medina Entertainment Center
    * Saturday, October 9 Fond Du Lac, WI Sadoff Center for the Arts
    * Sunday, October 10 Aurora, IL The Venue
    * Tuesday, October 12 Evanston, IL SPACE
    * Wednesday, October 13 Ferndale, MI The Magic Bag
    * Thursday, October 14 Cleveland, OH Music Box Supper Club
    * Saturday, October 16 Frankfort, KY Grand Theatrer
    Tuesday, October 19 Nashville, TN 3rd & Lindsley
    Wednesday, October 20 Atlanta, GA City Winery
    Thursday, October 21 Savannah, GA Victory North
    Friday, October 22 Sanford, FL The Alley
    Saturday, October 23 Boca Raton, FL The Funky Biscuit
    Sunday, October 24 Tampa, FL Skipper’s Smokehouse
    Saturday, November 6 Fort Lauderdale, FL Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise
    Monday, November 15 New York, NY City Winery
    Tuesday, November 16 Old Saybrook, CT The Kate
    Wednesday, November 17 Pawling, NY Daryl’s House
    Thursday, November 18 Shirley, MA Bull Run Restaurant
    Friday, November 19 Teaneck, NJ Debonair Music Hall
    Saturday, November 20 Annapolis, MD Rams Head On Stage
    Sunday, November 21 Sellersville, PA Sellersville Theater
    Wednesday, November 24 Blawnox, PA Moondog’s
    Friday, November 26 Columbus, OH Natalie’s Grandview
    Saturday, November 27 New Berlin, IL Danenberger Family Vineyard
    Tuesday, November 30 Omaha, NE Stocks n Bonds
    Thursday, December 2 Denver, CO The Oriental Theater
    Friday, December 3 Colorado Springs, CO Stargazers Theatre
    Saturday, December 11 Petaluma, CA Mystic Theatre
    Sunday, December 12 Santa Cruz, CA Moe’s Alley
    Friday, December 17 Sacramento, CA The Sofia
    Thursday, December 30 Fresno, CA The Painted Table Event Center
    Friday, December 31 Bakersfield, CA World Records
    Friday, January 7 Montclair, CA The Canyon
    Sunday, January 8 Agoura Hills, CA The Canyon
    Saturday, January 15 Modesto, CA The State Theatre
    Tuesday, January 18 Seattle, WA Triple Door
    Thursday, January 20 Tacoma, WA Spanish Ballroom
    Friday, January 21 Portland, OR Jack London Revue
    Saturday, January 22 Eugene, OR Sessions Music Hall

    * 2021 Gulf Coast West Coast R&B Ramble With Marcia Ball

    Feature image: Victoria Smith courtesy of Alligator Records

    Jack White and Third Man Records Announce Opening Of London Store, Venue, and European HQ

    Jack White and Third Man Records Announce Opening Of London Store, Venue, and European HQ

    Big Hassle Media

    Opening on September 25th – Exclusive releases from Paul Weller, David Ruffin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, and more!

    Jack White and Third Man Records have announced the opening of their Third Man Records London Store, their first location outside the USA. Situated on Marshall Street in the heart of London’s historic Soho — an area renowned for its rich musical history — the London store will complete a trio of Third Man physical spaces that includes buildings in Nashville, TN and Detroit, MI. The new location will feature a two-level retail space, an intimate live music venue named “The Blue Basement,” and a European headquarters for the label.

    Credit: Olivia Jean

    Located at 1 Marshall Street, London W1F 9BA, the store will officially open to the public on Saturday, September 25. It has been personally designed by Third Man founder Jack White, who recently launched Jack White Art & Design via a comprehensive multimedia website cataloguing two decades of his award-winning creative work, alongside the Third Man creative hive of artists.

     

    The store was conceptualized and created throughout 2020 and 2021 during the Covid-19 pandemic, with the aim of creating a physical space to help keep record sales and live performances alive after such a tough period for everyone.

    Furthermore, in celebration of the opening, Third Man Records approached some of their favorite ever UK artists — Paul Weller, David Ruffin, The Jesus & Mary Chain, Cornershop, Gina Birch of The Raincoats and the great, lost Manchester group The Magic Roundabout — to record something brand new or contribute something previously unheard to the Third Man catalogue.

    These exclusive releases will be available to buy on black vinyl on September 25 from the Third Man Webstore (soon to be expanding to the UK/EU), at all three Third Man Records stores, and independent record shops everywhere, and on very limited edition yellow vinyl in the Third Man London store only.

    Third Man Records London will be multi-functional, tripling up as a two-level retail space, an intimate live music venue named “The Blue Basement,” and a European headquarters for Third Man Records. It will feature a host of the kind of quirks, details and idiosyncrasies Third Man have become renowned around the world for. 

    These include a Third Man Records token-operated lucky dip book machine designed by the Toronto-based artist Craig Small.

     

    Titled the “Literarium,” it is only the second of its kind in the world and much loved by the likes of Margaret Atwood.

    The store will also feature a Third Man Records token-operated recording booth where artists and the public can record their own material straight to vinyl.

    The official announcement follows much speculation and guesswork from eagle-eyed Third Man fans, who noticed the painting of eight fake, rotating store fronts at the 1 Marshall Street address.

    These fronts included Swank’s Muscle Tee Emporium, Jack Sharp’s Upholstery Tacks and Harry Lime’s Penicillin, all of which claimed to be under the umbrella of the fantastical Absurd Scam Family of Businesses. Last week, all UK subscribers to Third Man Records’ The Vault subscription service received a physical invitation for September 25 to the grand opening of one of these scam companies.

     

     

    Connect with Third Man Records:

    Official | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

     

    ‘Bronzeville Blues’ Coming to Chicago August 29th

    ‘Bronzeville Blues’ Coming to Chicago August 29th

    American Blues Scene Staff

    If Chicago is home of the blues, Bronzeville is the neighborhood where it grew up.

    As part of Chicago In Tune, the Department of Cultural Affairs & Special Events will present new and reimagined programs in place of this year’s Chicago Blues Festival in Millennium Park. Four special evenings at Jay Pritzker Pavilion presented with the Millennium Park Foundation will honor music born and innovated in Chicago – including Chicago In Tune–Blues in September. DCASE and its partners will also celebrate blues music with community concerts in the Bronzeville and Austin neighborhoods, on historic Record Row and in music venues across the city.

    Presented with Bronzeville Blues Collaborative: Chicago Blues Revival, Haven Studio, Muddy Waters MOJO Museum and Urban Juncture, the free Bronzeville Blues event will feature four stages of live music in the neighborhood that is the cradle of classic Chicago Blues. If Chicago is home of the blues, Bronzeville is the neighborhood where it grew up.

    Through the classic era of Chicago blues, many of the most famous blues musicians lived and worked in Bronzeville including Muddy Waters, Otis Rush and Sonny Boy Williamson. It was home to important clubs such as the Checkerboard Lounge, Pepper’s Lounge and the 708 Club.

    Bronzeville Blues will have outdoor stages on East 43rd Street/Muddy Waters Drive within easy walking distance of the Green Line station. Stages will be near The Forum, a historic dancehall and social center currently being renovated; the site of the original Checkerboard Lounge; and at Park 43, a community park and gathering space. Self-guided walking and biking tours of other nearby blues historic sites such as the Muddy Waters House and MOJO Museum, Theresa’s Lounge and Pepper’s Lounge will also be available.

    The event is co-produced with the Bronzeville Blues Collaborative, a collective of non-profit organizations bringing all-ages blues programming to Bronzeville, Chicago’s blues neighborhood. See chicagobluesrevival.org for more information.

    John Primer
    Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith
    Melody Angel

    Performers include: John Primer & The Real Deal Blues Band, Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, Melody Angel, Big James & The Chicago Playboys, Bob Stroger, Mississippi Gabe Carter, Harmonica Hinds, Joe Filisko & Eric Noden, Greasy Gravy Duo: Matt Hendricks & Rick Sherry, Gerry Hundt’s Legendary One-Man Band, Nick Alexander Blues Band, Milwaukee Slim, Jimmy Burns, and more.

    And don’t miss the grand finale 5:30-6:30 The “MOJO” All Star Jam Session with Kenny “Beedy Eyes” Smith, featuring John Primer, Melody Angel and more at The Checkerboard Stage!

    Performance Locations:

    • The Forum, 318-324 E. 43rd St.
    • The Checkerboard, 423 E. 43rd St.
    • Park 43, 540 E. 43rd St.
    • PLUS – Muddy Waters MOJO Museum Front Porch Concert 4339 S. Lake Park Ave (On Muddy’s front porch!)

    Listen: Ronnie Wood Shares ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ Ft. Paul Weller And Mick Taylor

    Listen: Ronnie Wood Shares ‘Shame, Shame, Shame’ Ft. Paul Weller And Mick Taylor

    American Blues Scene Staff

    From The Ronnie Wood Band, ‘Mr. Luck – A Tribute To Jimmy Reed: Live At The Royal Albert Hall,’ Out September 17!

    The Ronnie Wood Band today released two more tracks from the second installment of the live album trilogy –Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall.

    Ronnie and friends cover Jimmy Reed’s track “Shame, Shame, Shame,” originally released in 1963. Keeping true to Reed’s sound in their interpretation, the listener can sense their adoration for the late musician. The Rolling Stones previously included this song in their early setlists, along with others by one of their key influences Jimmy Reed.

    The B-Side of the Stones February 1964 UK hit single “Not Fade Away” is thought to have been a pastiche of “Shame, Shame, Shame.” Paul Weller features on the track, an incredible musician who shot to fame with The Jam and is colloquially known as ‘The Modfather” for his influence on the 80s Mod Revival. With its relatable lyrics and lively rhythm, this song has easy listening energy and has been covered many times before by a plethora of musicians.

    Well, I be sittin’ there waitin’

    For you to come home

    When I wake up baby

    I’m sittin’ there all alone

    An’ ain’t it a shame, shame, shame,

    Shame, shame, the way you do?

    Oh, it’s a shame, shame, shame

    Shame, shame on you

    Released by BMG on 17th September 2021, Mr. Luck – A Tribute to Jimmy Reed: Live at the Royal Albert Hall’ is the 18-track album featuring The Ronnie Wood Band including Mick Taylor with incredible special guests, Bobby Womack, Mick Hucknall, and Paul Weller and pays tribute to one of Ronnie’s musical heroes and major influences, the Mississippi electric blues pioneer Jimmy Reed.

    The album is recorded live on a memorable night at the Royal Albert Hall on November 1, 2013. With unique album artwork specially created by Ronnie, Mr. Luck will be available digitally, on CD, as a vinyl release, and as a beautiful limited-edition dual-tone smoky blue vinyl.

    A ‘Tayle’ of Two Sidemen 

    When self-taught guitarist Eddie Taylor imparted his skills onto his friend Jimmy Reed, he surely couldn’t have imagined the effect this was to have on the Chicago blues scene. Backing up such luminaries as John Lee Hooker, he is best remembered for his work with his former student.

    Sweet coincidence, then, that in 1974 another Taylor, Mick, would make way for Ronnie Wood in the Rolling Stones, paving the way for these two friends and celebrated guitarists to work on projects ever since. The culmination of this to date is Taylor’s place in The Ronnie Wood Band at the Royal Albert Hall for 2013’s Bluesfest, where they played the now-legendary set that would come to birth to this recording.

    In regard to Mr. Luck, Ronnie comments: “Jimmy Reed was one of the premier influences on the Rolling Stones and all the bands that love American blues from that era until the present day. It is my honor to have the opportunity to celebrate his life and legacy with this tribute.”

    This album marks the second iteration in a trilogy of special and personal albums by Wood and the band, celebrating Ronnie’s musical heroes. The first album, Mad Lad explored the work of Chuck Berry as an emotional commemoration after Berry’s passing just over two years ago. Ronnie toured with Berry and was a lifelong fan.

     

    Pre-order Mr. Luck

     

    Canadian Blues Duo Shakey Trill To Release Debut Album August 13th

    Canadian Blues Duo Shakey Trill To Release Debut Album August 13th

    Sarah French

    Debut, eponymous album features 10 outstanding originals

    Shakey Trill are an original, gutsy and raw blues/folk duo from Saugeen Shores, Ontario, Canada.  Shakey was a nickname given to guitarist/vocalist Mike MacDonald because of his jittery hands. Trill, by definition, is the sound of two notes being played rapidly back and forth. Tyler Pantlin fittingly exemplifies this with his harmonica technique. The duo’s classic blues sounds have garnered them attention all across Southern Ontario and landed them in Memphis, TN on the stage of the legendary Orpheum Theater as finalists at the International Blues Challenge in 2019. 

    “Tyler and I met through common friends and like minded musicians, we quickly realized that we had similar interests in blues roots music”, recalls MacDonald. “We decided to put together a blues duo after a few years of collaborating in various bands. It has always been a dream to visit Memphis and other areas of Mississippi, It became apparent that we could travel there while competing in the IBC in Memphis. With this goal in mind, we needed original music and a challenge began to write and perform music of this genre.”

    Fast forward to 2021, after pandemic delays and uncertainty, Shakey Trill are set to release their debut, self-titled recording on August 13th.  Produced by award winner Alec Fraser, the album features 10 outstanding originals that showcase both MacDonald and Pantlin’s exceptional musicianship and connection to blues and roots music songwriting, the album also features an incredible version of Muddy Water’s “Can’t Be Satisfied” and another stellar cover, “Dark Road” written by Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee.

    This debut album from one of Ontario’s best-kept secrets will remain a favorite among blues fans of all ages for many years to come. 

    Connect with Shakey Trill: Official | Facebook | Instagram | YouTube

    Charlie Watts Unlikely To Be Available For Rolling Stones Tour

    Charlie Watts Unlikely To Be Available For Rolling Stones Tour

    Lauren Leadingham

    Get well soon, Charlie!

    80-year-old drummer Charlie Watts is likely to miss the Rolling Stones‘ forthcoming No Filter tour in order to recover from a medical procedure. The band will resume their tour on September 26th in St. Louis.

    Photo credit: Rich Fury/Getty Images

    The procedure was completely successful, but his doctors concluded he needs proper rest and recuperation. “With rehearsals starting in a couple of weeks it’s very disappointing to say the least, but it’s also fair to say no one saw this coming,” a spokesperson for Watts said. Watts also said in a statement that he didn’t want his recovery to delay the tour.

    Continuing, “For once my timing has been a little off. I am working hard to get fully fit but I have today accepted on the advice of the experts that this will take a while.

    “After all the fans’ suffering caused by Covid I really do not want the many Rolling Stones fans who have been holding tickets for this tour to be disappointed by another postponement or cancellation. I have therefore asked my great friend Steve Jordan to stand in for me.”

    Back in 2004, Watts was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent two operations to beat the disease. Performing in his stead for the remaining dates of the tour is Steve Jordan, who has played with Keith Richards for years. 

     

    Joe Troop Highlights Dreama Caldwell’s Work for Cash Bail Reform in North Carolina with New Single

    Joe Troop Highlights Dreama Caldwell’s Work for Cash Bail Reform in North Carolina with New Single

    American Blues Scene Staff

    ‘Borrowed Time’ will be released on August 20 via Free Dirt Records!

    Grammy nominated artist Joe Troop of Che Apalache first met North Carolina activist Dreama Caldwell while producing a series of videos, “Pickin’ for Progress,” highlighting the need to get out the vote in rural parts of the state. Caldwell was running for County Commissioner in Alamance County, NC, pushing for cash bail reform. 

    Troop was inspired by the bitter circumstances that drove Caldwell to her work. Held responsible for another’s error, Caldwell was ruined by the bail system, forced to pay ruinous fees and kept from employment. Her ascendance as a force of activism in the region mirrored a larger national movement trying to change cash bail, which has been largely used to keep impoverished communities in the prison system.

    The friendship between Troop and Caldwell has continued since Troop wrote the song in 2020, and now with a new album coming from Troop that features the song, and Caldwell in the new position of Executive Co-Director of Down Home NC, the non-profit that first brought the two together, “The Rise of Dreama Caldwell” has more meaning than ever. 

    Troop is releasing it as a single from his new album, Borrowed Time, and to make the album’s version of the song, he invited Caldwell herself to sing on the track. Troop put together an interracial choral group from the region, naming them The Alamance Justice Choir to highlight Caldwell’s voice and story. As for Caldwell, she’s working harder than ever in grassroots organizing, but remains focused on cash bail reform, saying “I ultimately would like to see the end of cash bail, but I know that change happens in incremental ways, you have to go through the process of reform on the road to transformative justice.”

    Note: To be released is an incredible video accompanying the single.