Former ‘Lady Antebellum’ and the Real Lady A Settle Trademark Lawsuit

Former ‘Lady Antebellum’ and the Real Lady A Settle Trademark Lawsuit

Lauren Leadingham

“Black Lives, Names, Experiences, Work, Art – They All Matter.” – Anita White

Blues veteran Lady A, aka Anita White and The Real Lady A, announces that she and the band formerly known as Lady Antebellum filed joint motions to dismiss the trademark infringement litigation pending in the U.S. District Courts for Tennessee and Washington. The parties have reached a confidential, mutually agreeable solution.

The country trio shortened their name in 2020 following the protests over George Floyd’s murder, saying, “We are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down the word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused.” 

The problem with their name change was Anita White had already been using it for a few decades. Instead of contacting her, the band filed a lawsuit against her in July 2020. In an interview with ABS that same month, The Real Lady A told us, “They are not going to use that name unless they come out and say, ‘Black lives DON’T matter.’ They do that, and they can keep the name. I’ll walk away.”

She later filed a countersuit against Lady Antebellum, claiming that since they took her name, her presence on music streaming services and social media were greatly affected. The suit argued that she experienced “lost sales, diminished brand identity, and diminution in the value of and goodwill associated with the mark.” And in December 2020 she released the song “My Name Is All I Got.”

Lady A’s lawyer Brendan Hughes of the Cooley firm said, “Anita White AKA Lady A is an amazing individual and artist. Cooley appreciates how important it is for women and people of color to tell their own stories. This is Anita’s story to tell.”

Anita continues to send messages of hope with her ninth CD, Satisfyin’, scheduled for release on February 7th to coincide with Black History Month. She’s also sharing her love of music and music education through involvement with the Rhapsody Project and Northwest Blues in the Schools.

In a statement released today, she closed with “Black Lives, Names, Experiences, Work, Art – They All Matter.”

 

Lady A Blues

Bob Stroger Joins Forces with The Headcutters for ‘That’s My Name’

Bob Stroger Joins Forces with The Headcutters for ‘That’s My Name’

American Blues Scene Staff

‘That’s My Name’ was produced by Stroger and the Headcutters in Brazil in 2019 and 2020.

Bob Stroger, Chicago’s most prolific blues bass man has worked with a cavalcade of legends, from Otis Rush to Jimmy Rogers, Sunnyland Slim, Louisiana Red, Snooky Pryor and many others, earning Blues Music Awards in 2011 and 2013. He has performed on over 30 Delmark albums, and at the age of 92, he has joined forces with Brazil’s The Headcutters for his first solo Delmark album, That’s My Name, which will be released on February 18.

Stroger was born on a Missouri farm, and his family arrived in Chicago when he was 16, settling into an apartment behind Silvio’s nightclub. A self-taught guitarist, he formed a family band (The Red Tops) before joining Eddie King’s band. In the late 70s he began touring with Otis Rush, ultimately playing on his Live in Europe and Lost in the Blues. His work as a session musician brought him together with Sunnyland Slim, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Carey Bell and Pinetop Perkins.

For twenty-two years The Headcutters have been building their own blues scene in and around the sunny beach town of Itajaí in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil. They looked and sounded quite incongruous in their suits, with their vintage amps and guitars, singing traditional Chicago blues in English, but they persevered, sparked by their deep passion for the genre. Along the way they have toured in Argentina, all across Brazil and the US. They have backed great blues artists such as Billy Branch, Kim Wilson, Mud Morganfield, and Eddie C Campbell. Just don’t call Joe Marhofer and Ricardo Maca of The Headcutters bluesmen. In Joe’s words:

We are just four white guys from Brazil, and we could never call ourselves a bluesman — that belongs to the African American greats.

That’s My Name was produced by Stroger and the Headcutters in Brazil in 2019 and 2020. Its 13 tracks include 5 originals by Stroger and versions of some of his favorite songs by Big Bill Broonzy, Ma Rainey, Eddie Taylor, Jay McShann and others.

Delmark Records

*Feature image photo credit: Lorena Jastreb

Kenneth Brian Band Brings the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’

Kenneth Brian Band Brings the ‘Keys to the Kingdom’

American Blues Scene Staff

Wherever they perform, Kenneth Brian and the band continue to captivate audiences with hard-hitting guitar tones, soulful vocals and a powerful rhythm section.

Soulful singer/songwriter/guitarist Kenneth Brian returns February 25th with a new album titled Keys to the Kingdom, that’s drenched in Southern Rock, Alternate Country, Blues and Americana sounds guaranteed to shake some legs and raise some smiles from all who hear it. Kenneth and his band have toured with Blackberry Smoke, Lucinda Williams, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd in the last few years, and an earlier album of his was produced by legendary producer Johnny Sandlin (The Allman Brothers Band, Gregg Allman).

Keys to the Kingdom, is an anthology of 10 songs that spans the roots of American Rock ‘n’ Roll, Blues, and Alternative Country. His songs rock with a sense of soulful urgency, powered by his visceral vocals and incendiary guitar work. Pre-production on the album was done by Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty, Average White Band) and long-time Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell. The sessions were recorded over a period of five beautiful days in the High Mojave Desert at Dave Catching’s Rancho De La Luna Studio in Joshua Tree, California. Kenneth (lead guitar and vocals) is joined by indie soul brothers Chris Cano on drums and Brandon Owens on bass.

Keys to the Kingdom is pure modern Southern Rock’ ‘n Roll with a side of Mojave Desert Mojo. It hits hard from the first track to the last. “I wrote these songs while living in Hollywood and Malibu over the last five years,” says Kenneth Brian. “They are heavily influenced by my experiences in Southern California.”

Since his first album release in 2002, Kenneth Brian’s modern Southern Roots-infused style, timeless song-craft, layered with gritty vocals and powerful guitar have earned him a loyal fan following and the respect of fellow musicians worldwide. Besides the earlier-mentioned artists, he’s toured and shared the stage with Steve Winwood, Rufus Wainwright and Jamey Johnson, to name a few.

Born in Virginia, raised in the musical rich Gainesville, Florida, area with his formative years spent in Alabama, Brian is a “Southern Rock Tour De Force.” Kenneth is also an album producer and session musician, and has worked in Nashville, Memphis, Los Angeles and other studio centers.

“We did the pre-production at Steve Ferrone’s studio in Los Angeles,” offers Brian. “Steve and Mike Campbell helped me get the first five songs together. I’m very grateful for their insights and for the experience. We recorded the album at Rancho de la Luna in Joshua Tree, California. I flew Jeremy Stephens, Johnny Sandlin’s longtime engineer, from Decatur, Alabama, out to record the sessions. All the songs were cut as live as possible in no more than three takes. I really wanted to capture the true sound of the band. I had the right players and right crew turning the knobs. I really feel like we got the ‘true’ Kenneth Brian Band sound on this album.

“Joshua Tree is a majestic place and Rancho de la Luna really captures that Mojave magic. It’s rag tag and bare bones enough with just the right kind of gear and vibe that you need to really make a great record. Dave Catching and his crew are the right kind of freaks!

“Jeremy and I mixed the tracks back in Alabama at Johnny Sandlin’s Duck Tape Studio and at Jeremy’s Clearwave Studio. I brought Kevin Bartley in to master the album. He’s an engineer at Capitol Studios in L.A. and also mastered my last album, With Lions.”

 

The Kenneth Brian Band

 

*Feature image photo credit: Tamarind Free Jones

Celebrating Chicago Bluesman Jimmy Johnson’s Legacy

Celebrating Chicago Bluesman Jimmy Johnson’s Legacy

American Blues Scene Staff

Remembering Jimmy Johnson (November 25, 1928 – January 31, 2022)

Chicago blues guitarist and vocalist Jimmy Johnson, who died Monday, has been quoted as saying, “My music has taken me all over the world and I’ve had the great pleasure of playing with some of the greatest musicians of all-time: BB King, Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy, Otis Rush and Magic Sam to name just a few. All have had a tremendous influence on me and my music. It’s difficult to put into words just how much they all continue to mean to me.”

He was born James Earl Thompson on November 25th, 1928 in Holly Springs, Mississippi to a family of musicians including his father and two younger brothers. The name Johnson was first adopted by his brother Sylvester “Syl” Johnson, who became a famous blues and soul singer in his own right. Jimmy and their brother Mac (bassist for Magic Sam) followed suit and changed their last name to Johnson as well.

As a teenager, he considered Matt “Guitar” Murphy his best friend, although Johnson himself didn’t seriously take up guitar until moving to Chicago at the age of 21. When the family moved to The Windy City in 1950, Magic Sam was their next door neighbor.

After focusing primarily on Gospel music, Johnson began playing blues professionally in 1959, although he veered into the genre of soul in the 1960s because the gigs paid better and he was able to tour with his brother, Syl, as well as other popular artists including Bobby Rush and Otis Clay.  When he began to focus on the blues again in the early 1970s, his style continued to reflect an R&B flavor.

Johnson’s only charting hit was “Don’t Answer the Door” in 1965 which reached #16 on the Billboard R&B Chart.  The following year, BB King covered the song and took it to #2. 

It wasn’t until the age of 50 that Johnson released his first solo material. His song, “I Need Some Easy Money” won the award for Blues Single at the very first Blues Music Awards in 1980.  Since then he has won Blues Music Awards  in 1983 (Blues Song of the Year “Country Preacher”), 1985 (Contemporary Blues Album/Foreign “I Didn’t Give a Damn if Whites Bought It!” with Eddy Clearwater) and 1996 (Comeback Blues Album “I’m a Jockey”).

In 2014, Johnson played bass guitar on two tracks of the Persian Traditional Music album Beyond Any Form, collaborating with Iranian artists Homayoun Shajarian and Tahmoures Pournazeri, Peruvian guitarist Ramón Stagnaro and percussionist John Wakefield.

Johnson recorded for labels Delmark, Alligator, and Verve. He was a regular performer at the annual Chicago Blues Festival, and Mayor Lori Lightfoot proclaimed June 12, 2019 as Jimmy Johnson Day.  

Rhiannon Giddens to Publish Her First Book ‘Build a House’

Rhiannon Giddens to Publish Her First Book ‘Build a House’

American Blues Scene Staff

“It has been an absolute honor and pleasure to work with my fantastic publisher Candlewick on this book, and a revelation to see what gifted artist Monica Mikai has done with this story.” – Rhiannon Giddens

Rhiannon Giddens’ 2022 will include the publication of her first book, the long-awaited debut of her opera, and a tour with the Nashville ballet. All on the heels of two GRAMMY nominations for her 2021 album release, They’re Calling Me Home (Nonesuch) and her opera debut as Bess in the Greensboro Opera’s rendition of Porgy and Bess which is Giddens’ first professional opera at the age of 44, and her first return to the operatic stage after 18 years. Today Giddens has revealed the striking cover for her debut picture book, Build a House, ahead of its October 11, 2022 publication date (Candlewick Press).

Written as a song to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth, Build a House is boldly illustrated by painter Monica Mikai, and tells the moving story of a people who would not be moved and the music that sustained them. Steeped in sorrow and joy, resilience and resolve, turmoil and transcendence, this dramatic debut offers a proud view of history and a vital message for readers of all ages: honor your heritage, express your truth, and let your voice soar, even—or perhaps especially—when your heart is heaviest.

I released this song on Juneteenth in 2020 with the great Yo-Yo Ma. We made a socially distanced recording (very — there was an ocean between us!) and put it out on socials and that was that. A few days later, someone said the lyrics would make for a great children’s book. Fast forward two years and that children’s book is almost here! It has been an absolute honor and pleasure to work with my fantastic publisher Candlewick on this book, and a revelation to see what gifted artist Monica Mikai has done with this story.

Build a House is the first of four children’s books that Giddens has planned with Candlewick Press. The second scheduled book, We Could Fly, is slated for publication in fall 2023 and is based on “We Could Fly,” written with Dirk Powell, a powerful and affecting dialogue between mother and daughter drawing on African folklore and celebrating resilience and love. It will be illustrated by Briana Mukodiri Uchendu.

This announcement follows the recent news of Giddens’ two GRAMMY Award nominations with her partner Francesco Turrisi: Best Folk Album for They’re Calling Me Home and Best American Roots Song for “Avalon.” Giddens is now an 8-time nominee and won in 2010 for Best Traditional Folk Album for Genuine Negro Jig.

Giddens also recently detailed a tremendous 2022, including the long-awaited world premiere of her opera, Omar, and the very first tour of the Lucy Negro Redux ballet that she composed the score for.  Omar is based on the life and autobiography of enslaved Muslim American Omar Ibn Said, forcefully brought to Charleston, S.C. from Africa in 1807. Lucy Negro Redux, is a ballet based on a book of poetry by Nashville writer Caroline Randall Williams that explores a character referred to as the “Dark Lady” in Shakespeare’s sonnets.

 

Pre-Order Build a House

 

*Feature image photo credit: Ebru Yildiz

Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne Pays Tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon With New Album

Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne Pays Tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon With New Album

Mark Pucci

Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne’s ‘Blues From Chicago to Paris: A Tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon’ is available March 4th, 2022 via Stony Plain Records.

Canada’s multi-award winning beacon of the blues Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne has prepared his Hall of Fame talents for takeoff with the announcement of his new album, Blues From Chicago to Paris: A Tribute to Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon — available March 4th via Stony Plain Records.

The 17-track album pays spirited homage to the piano-pounding and bass-slapping bygone legends from a legend himself — all while serving as a rousing and riveting guide to the lively post-war blues scenes of Chicago and Paris.

Memphis Slim and Willie Dixon were a team, and their styles worked great together. Out of many other blues piano players I’ve listened to, I found a unique playfulness between these two men, unlike the many other great blues pianists.

Focused on the period when the two giants of the genre teamed up to tour the globe in the late ‘50s-early ‘60s, Blues From Chicago to Paris presents a robust collection of favorite songs, as well as the innovative tunes that have inspired and influenced artists ever since.

As was the case with his other most recent release, 2020’s Go, Just Do It, Wayne took on the role of producer once again for Blues From Chicago to Paris; he also invited bassist Russell Jackson, a veteran of the B.B. King band during the 80s, and drummer Joey DiMarco into the studio for the sessions.

In the studio with (L-R) Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne and Russell Jackson. Photo courtesy of Kenneth Spruell.

Now 77, Wayne’s six-decade musical career began with him soaking up the sounds of gospel music from his father, a preacher. From there, his genre journey traversed through jazz, Latin, R&B, and soul, with explorations in swing, bebop, dance, and the standards, for good measure.

The JUNO Award-winner with multiple Maple Blues Awards and keyboard awards from Living Blues Magazine to his credit, Kenny “Blues Boss” Wayne was also inducted into the Boogie Woogie Piano Hall of Fame in 2017.

 

Pre-Order Blues From Chicago to Paris

 

*Feature image courtesy of Kenneth Spruell

Bobby Rush Releases 50th Anniversary Version of ‘Chicken Heads’ With Buddy Guy

Bobby Rush Releases 50th Anniversary Version of ‘Chicken Heads’ With Buddy Guy

American Blues Scene Staff

“It means a lot that Buddy loves a record so much that he would do this record for me, and love me so much that he’d do this record.” – Bobby Rush

In 1971, Bobby Rush released the single “Chicken Heads” on Galaxy Records (later sold to Fantasy Records and Concord Music) and in the subsequent months it inched up the Billboard R&B chart, marking his first career hit. (The B-side was a track called “Mary Jane.”)

On Record Store Day/Black Friday (November 26, 2021), Rush celebrated the song’s 50th anniversary with new duet versions featuring three blues giants: Buddy Guy, Gov’t Mule, and Christone “Kingfish” Ingram. A limited-edition 2,000-unit pressing of a 12″ vinyl was released exclusively in independent record stores across the United States and Europe on Bobby’s own Deep Rush Records, distributed via Nashville’s Thirty Tigers & The Orchard. The single by Buddy Guy featuring Bobby Rush was released digitally on Friday, January 28. It will be followed by the full EP digital release on Friday, February 18.

On its initial release, “Chicken Heads” topped the soul charts in Chicago and many other markets. Its laid-back, rhythm guitar-driven style stood in stark contrast to the sounds of the Dramatics, the Spinners, and Jerry Butler — all of whom were mainstays of soul radio at that time.

Over the years, “Chicken Heads” has been a staple of Rush’s live performance, whether with his full Southern soul band and two booty dancers or stripped down acoustic and solo, with Rush sharing the story of how the record deal came to be with the aid of his colleague, A&R man/producer/songwriter Calvin Carter.

The song has been utilized in film and television, leading to its second emergence on a Billboard chart as part of the soundtrack for Black Snake Moan, the 2006 release starring Samuel L. Jackson and Justin Timberlake. It also appeared in HBO’s Ballers (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), The Deuces on HBO2 (James Franco and Maggie Gyllenhaal), and several other shows. In 2015, “Chicken Heads,” “Mary Jane” and 72 other gems from the Bobby Rush catalog were packaged into a 50-year career retrospective box set (Blues Music Award- and Living Blues Award-winning) titled Chicken Heads: A 50-Year History of Bobby Rush, on Omnivore Recordings.

In the course of the last half century, Rush has established himself as a consummate entertainer, prolific songwriter, successful recording artist, mentor, independent artist, and businessman, leading to an induction in the Blues Hall of Fame, two Grammy® Awards among six nominations, 14 Blues Music Awards among 54 nominations, the Crossroads of American Music Awards presented by the Grammy Museum Mississippi, the keys to 14 U.S. cities, the first performance of a blues artist at the Great Wall of China (leading to the title from China “Ambassador of the Blues”), and hundreds of other awards and honors.

In 2021-22 Rush and his compilation co-producer (and longtime manager) Jeff DeLia embarked on a project that would honor the legacy of his breakthrough composition/recording. They sought to create four new versions from the artist himself and a group of his high-profile friends.

The result: “Chicken Heads” reimagined in the unique styles of iconic multi-Grammy® winner Buddy Guy, jam band Gov’t Mule (who feature Allman Bros. alum Warren Haynes), and rising blues star Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, with Rush featured on each track, plus Rush’s own new take made in Mississippi in the downhome Southern soul style that his band has been playing it in for these last several decades. The recordings were laid down in various studios across the U.S.: Gov’t Mule in Connecticut and L.A., produced by Gov’t Mule; Christone “Kingfish” at Royal Studios in Memphis, produced by Nick Goldston, engineered by Boo Mitchell (Grammy winning Engineer of “Uptown Funk”); and Buddy Guy in Nashville, produced by multi-Grammy winner Tom Hambridge.

It means a lot that Buddy loves a record so much that he would do this record for me, and love me so much that he’d do this record. He asked me how I liked it after he cut it, and that means a lot to me that he wanted to know. I want to thank Buddy Guy for all of the talks we’ve had lately. I thank him for his phone calls and great friendship that we have. I think in the future, with the little time we have left in this life, we are going to be doing a lot of things together and I appreciate that.

The Real Buddy Guy · Chicken Heads (feat. Bobby Rush)

These are artists close to Rush’s heart: Buddy Guy has included a version of the song at his concerts for years and the two are dear friends. Gov’t Mule has long performed another Rush song in their shows. Rush and Warren Haynes got reacquainted at the B.B. King Tribute in early 2020, which sparked a new friendship. Christone “Kingfish” Ingram is a rising star, longtime friend and mentee of Bobby Rush, and, like his mentor, a resident of Mississippi. Kingfish has gone on record stating that Rush was one of his early influences.

Bobby Rush was born Emmett Ellis Jr. in Homer, La., on November 10, 1933. The son of a guitar- and harmonica-playing pastor father, he moved throughout the South before settling in Chicago in 1953. Backing the likes of Muddy Waters and Little Walter, he was soon making his own recordings for Checker, ABC, and Salem before “Chicken Heads” put him on the map. Since then, he has released 27 studio albums and countless singles on labels such as Jewel, Philadelphia International, & Warner Bros. After settling back in the South in Jackson, Miss. in the ’80s, he recorded for LaJam, Urgent, Malaco/Waldoxy and his own Deep Rush Records.

Bobby Rush

*Feature image photo credit: Arnie Goodman

UK Singer/Guitarist Jack Broadbent Shares Video for Driving Title Track ‘Ride’

UK Singer/Guitarist Jack Broadbent Shares Video for Driving Title Track ‘Ride’

American Blues Scene Staff

“His playing is superb, showing an almost reckless abandon when he gets revved up. He is performing on the edge, and if he falls, so be it. The pieces will not break.” – Little Feat’s Bill Payne

British musician Jack Broadbent releases “Ride,” the title track and video from his upcoming album Ride out April 8th. The blues-heavy rock track offers a groove-infused, updated take on the classic road song, as Broadbent barrels down the highway in a convertible with his guitar. Ride was created while Broadbent was grounded during the pandemic, and the direction effortlessly evolved into what he calls “the rock ‘n’ roll record I’ve been wanting to make for a long time.”  

Broadbent began crafting his musical chops as a youth in Lincolnshire England, where he originally started off on the drums before moving towards the guitar and songwriting. While busking in his early 20s Broadbent refined his slide guitar technique, complete with his requisite whiskey flask, which attracted fans of all ages to the young virtuosic bluesman. In 2016, the Montreux Jazz Festival hailed him as, “The new master of the slide guitar.”  Many musicians took note of the young luminary as well, and Ronnie Wood, Peter Frampton and others enlisted Broadbent to join them on the road. 

And while his background may be rooted in the blues and rock of classic artists like John Lee Hooker and Little Feat, the sound is distinctly his own. The songs on Ride are steeped in grit and power. The Americana vibe of “I Love Your Rock ‘n’ Roll” moves into the funky “New Orleans,” an homage to one of Broadbent’s favorite towns. “Grace” soars with a kind of front-porch spirituality, while album closer “Who Are You” offers brooding moments, depicting the ongoing journey that is life. 

Broadbent plans to take Ride on the road throughout 2022, eager to bring the songs to life on the stage. No matter what lies on the road ahead, Broadbent’s fans can rely on his dedication to the music and to his evolving craft.

Little Feat founding member and current US tourmate Bill Payne says it best: “I love his voice. His playing is superb, showing an almost reckless abandon when he gets revved up. He is performing on the edge, and if he falls, so be it. The pieces will not break.”

Jack Broadbent on tour: 

January 30 – Runaway Bay, Jamaica – Feat Camp 2022

April 9 – Akron, OH – Akron Civic Theatre*

April 10 – Rochester, NY – Kodak Center*

*supporting Little Feat

 

Pre-order Ride

 

 

Acclaimed Blues-Rock Guitarist Albert Castiglia Declares ‘I Got Love’

Acclaimed Blues-Rock Guitarist Albert Castiglia Declares ‘I Got Love’

Mark Pucci

“The blues and blues-infused music is rooted in truth. This album is my truth.” Albert Castiglia

Gulf Coast Records announces the new CD from acclaimed blues-rock guitarist Albert Castiglia, I Got Love, coming March 25.

I Got Love was produced by Gulf Coast Records guitarist and co-owner Mike Zito and features a stellar cast of musicians backing Castiglia (guitar and vocals): Justine Tompkins (bass and vocals); Ephraim Lowell (drums and vocals) and Lewis Stephens (Hammond B3 organ and piano).

The new album, which showcases 11 blistering, blues-drenched tracks, is a personal and powerful statement from Castiglia. “I Got Love is a musical essay documenting the last two years of my life: two years of many highs and lows,” Castiglia offers. “It’s about falling, failing, adapting, reinventing, surviving and becoming triumphant. It contains musings of an unemployed man, a covid-stricken idiot and getting through it like Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption. The blues and blues-infused music is rooted in truth. This album is my truth. To ignore the events of the past two years (the covid era) and write about anything else would not be my truth. I went through it all – loss, depression, illness, fear of the unknown. I know I couldn’t have been the only one that went through it. This collection of songs is for those who felt like I did. It’s for those who went down fighting and those who keep on fighting. For many of us in my profession and in the gig economy, this was our great depression. Some of us are doing well and some of us are still trying to find solid ground.

“This album is for everyone. It’s also a thank you to those who helped keep us alive; the folks that contributed to my virtual shows and took guitar lessons from me. This album’s also for Rick Lusher, who retired from the radio promotions business and handed the keys over to my wife at a time when we really needed it. It’s about love, gratitude and becoming a better person from the shittiest of circumstances. It’s my blues in its truest form.

I Got Love is the most thematic album I’ve done since Masterpiece,” Castiglia declares. “My daughter and grandchildren were my muse for Masterpiece. With I Got Love, it was the deepest darkness and the brightest light, two extremes that tested every fiber in my being. I’m glad I lived to tell the tale!”

Miami-raised Albert Castiglia served an apprenticeship while backing legendary blues musician Junior Wells. He later went on to work with singer Sandra Hall. Never content to allow himself to be confined to any particular category, he embarked on a solo career that’s yielded many critically-acclaimed albums and consistent kudos for his exceptional instrumental prowess, his searing vocals, and live performances that have dazzled audiences from coast to coast. After the highly successful and critically acclaimed release of Masterpiece on Gulf Coast Records, Castiglia won the Blues Music Award for Blues Rock Album of the Year and was nominated for Blues Rock Artist of the Year.

I Got Love is Castiglia’s follow-up CD to his last effort, Wild and Free, which was recorded live at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, Florida. That in-your-face live performance captured all the energy and guitar mastery that Castiglia shares with his audiences each time he takes the stage and featured special guests Mike Zito, John Ginty and Lewis Stephens.

Castiglia and Zito are teaming up for what promises to be one of the most exciting tours of the year, a string of dates in March and April dubbed The Blood Brothers Tour.

This high-energy tour will showcase each band (Mike Zito Band and Albert Castiglia Band) for a set and then will culminate with both bands together on stage, creating sound of classic Southern Rock, Blues and American Roots Music!

Albert Castiglia

*Feature image photo credit: Norma Hinojosa

Bob Corritore To Release Two New Albums From The Vaults

Bob Corritore To Release Two New Albums From The Vaults

American Blues Scene Staff

These are historic recordings from Bob Corritore’s vast archives of performances with some of the biggest names in the blues at his Phoenix, Arizona club, The Rhythm Room.

Bob Corritore is one of the most active and highly regarded blues harmonica players on the scene today. His style passionately carries forward the old school of playing that Corritore learned as a young man directly from many of original pioneers of Chicago Blues. His sympathetic, yet fiery harmonica playing is featured on over 100 releases to date, on labels such as VizzTone, Delta Groove, Delmark, HighTone, HMG, Blue Witch, Blind Pig, Earwig, Ruf, Putumayo and many others.

Many of Bob’s acclaimed releases have been nominated or winners for various Handy, Grammy, Living Blues, Blues Music Awards and Blues Blast Music Awards. Bob is also widely recognized for his many roles in the blues, as band leader, club owner, record producer, radio show host, arts foundation founder, and occasional writer.

VizzTone Records has announced two new albums will be released as part of Corritore’s popular From the Vaults series. These are historic recordings from Bob’s vast archives of performances with some of the biggest names in the blues at his Phoenix, Arizona club, The Rhythm Room. Previous releases have paired Corritore with such legendary artists as Dave Riley, Kid Ramos, and Henry Gray.

The first new release is Louisiana Red & Bob Corritore Tell Me ‘Bout It, due out on February 18th.

At the heart of this album of finely crafted down-home blues is the close friendship of the two principals. Louisiana Red and Bob Corritore first met at the Delta Fish Market in Chicago in the summer of 1981, where they performed together for the first time. The following year Bob moved to Phoenix, Arizona soon to be joined by Red. The two worked the local clubs for most of 1982 before Red went on a European tour where he met his loving wife Dora and relocated.

But the friendship remained, and in 2000 Red started touring the US annually, always stopping in Arizona to visit and perform and record with his friend. These 11 songs come from seven different recording sessions from between 2000 and 2009. Red passed away Feb 25, 2012.

A deep musical and personal chemistry is apparent throughout this album. Red leads us through a program of all original songs and Bob’s brilliant harmonica is always spiritually and musically connected. Red’s stunning vocals and hard-hitting guitar are in strong supply here. Red’s blues are a testimony to his ability to draw the listener into his often painful, always hopeful life experiences and psyche. The combo of Red and Bob along with the other fine players on this album is pure unadulterated blues power.

Appearing in the crack backing bands on this album are Chico Chism, David Maxwell, Bob Margolin, Little Victor’s Juke Joint, Buddy Reed, Johnny Rapp, Chris James, Patrick Rynn, and Brian Fahey. Get ready for Louisiana Red and Bob
Corritore to tell you ‘bout it!

March 4th sees the release of Bob Corritore and Friends/Down Home Blues Revue.

Corritore lovingly assembled this collection of old school down home Southern blues and juke joint dance numbers, the rough-edged predecessors to modern Chicago Blues, all recorded in Phoenix, Arizona between 1995 and 2012 and drawn from Bob’s vast vault of recordings.

When the 25-year-old Corritore moved from Chicago to Phoenix in 1981, he never expected to be creating a Southwestern Mecca for the blues – it just worked out that way. Bob was soon joined by old friend Louisiana Red, and before long they were playing all over town. Drummer Chico Chism soon followed. Bob started doing a weekly blues radio show, and in 1991 he opened the now legendary blues club the Rhythm Room. He would book his favorite blues artists at the club and arrange a recording session, capturing numerous amazing performances

This 13-track album features exuberant performances by Honeyboy Edwards, T-Model Ford, Henry Townsend, Big Jack Johnson, Robert “Bilbo” Walker, Smokey Wilson, Tomcat Courtney, Dave Riley, Pecan Porter, and Al Garrett.

 

 

Bob Corritore

 

 

*Feature image photo: Jeff Fasano

Keb’ Mo’ Releases New Album ‘Good To Be’

Keb’ Mo’ Releases New Album ‘Good To Be’

American Blues Scene Staff

The album was written between Nashville and his childhood home in Compton, which Keb’ recently purchased and renovated.

Five-time GRAMMY winner Keb’ Mo’ released his new full-length, Good To Be, via Rounder Records.

The album release was accompanied by the official video for the single “Good to Be (Home Again),” which made its broadcast premiere on CMT Music, CMT.com, and ViacomCBS Times Square billboards. The clip was filmed in Mo’s hometown of Compton, California, and features the famed Compton Cowboys.

“‘Good To Be (Home Again)’ feels like the title track to my life,” explains Kevin Moore, who is best known by his stage name Keb’ Mo’. “I’m so excited to share the experience of a day in my neighborhood with the Compton Cowboys.” Smiling, he says, “What’s great about Compton is you never know when someone’s going to come riding down the block on a horse.”

In 2021 Keb’ Mo’ released the album’s singles  “Good Strong Woman” featuring Darius Rucker, “Sunny and Warm,”  “The Medicine Man” featuring Old Crow Medicine Show, and a cover of Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me,” all of which appear on the album.

Good To Be was co-produced by Keb’ Mo’ alongside country music legend Vince Gill, who produced three of the album’s 13 tracks, and three-time GRAMMY winner Tom Hambridge (B.B. King, Buddy Guy). Darius Rucker, Kristin Chenoweth, and Old Crow Medicine Show all make guest appearances on the album.

The album was written between Nashville and his childhood home in Compton, which Keb’ recently purchased and renovated. He often found himself reflecting on the idea of home and contemplating what it means to belong and what it takes to stay true to yourself. ​​“You can’t bring an attitude to Compton,” reflects Keb’. “You can’t pose. You can’t be anything but real when you’re walking down the same streets you used to ride your bike on as a kid. In a lot of ways, coming back there felt like it completed me.”

 

Keb’ Mo’

 

*Feature image photo credit: Jeremy Cowart

Peter Veteska & Blues Train Start 2022 On a Roll With ‘So Far So Good’

Peter Veteska & Blues Train Start 2022 On a Roll With ‘So Far So Good’

American Blues Scene Staff

Hard work and dedication have paid off for Peter Veteska and his Blues Train with ‘So Far So Good.’ This group of top-flight Jersey Shore musicians are certainly on a roll.

Everything is full steam ahead for New York Blues Hall of Fame inductee Peter Veteska and Blues Train, who have released six albums in seven years. Following the internationally acclaimed 2021 release, Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side, which was chosen by Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation as their entry in the best self-produced record competition at the 2022 International Blues Challenge (IBC) in Memphis TN, Veteska & company return with So Far So Good, a twelve-track album on Blue Heart Records featuring eight dynamic originals.

The guys once again teamed up with Joseph DeMaio at Shorefire Recording Studios – New Jersey’s longest running recording studio. The stalwart trio of Veteska on guitar and vocals with Coo Moe Jhee on bass and drummer Alex D’Agnese, invited revolving bandmates keyboard ace Jeff Levine together with friends Garry Neuwirth, Mikey Junior, Roger Girke, Rick Prince and Jenny Barnes, session horn players Tommy LaBella, Steve Jankowski, and Doug DeHays and more to join in the sessions early 2021.

D’Agnese leads the charge with a thundering drum roll kicking off a set of rambunctious blues and roots rock on the driving opening track “Done With Bad Luck.” Levine leads the slow blues testimony “I ‘ve Got The Blues This Morning,” with deft piano and Veteska spars with powerhouse vocalist and Jersey girl Jenny Barnes during the Chicago shuffle “I Miss You So.” He then declares his loyalty and inspiration for his art on “My One And Only Muse,” bolstered by hot blues harp from Mickey Junior, who also joins him for a romp through the saucy James Cotton Rhumba “Young Bold Woman,” paying tribute to the blues legend.

The swinging “Lovin’ Oven” features greasy Hammond B3 from Levine and Derek “Slim”Matterson on harmonica. Guitar Slim’s 1956 classic, ”You Give Me Nothing But The Blues,” is transformed into a horn driven soul blues tête-à-tête with Veteska and Barnes stepping onto the roles of Dinah Washington and Brook Benton for the radio ready showstopper. Veteksa then lets his guitar do most of the talking as he digs in to the twelve-bar meditation “ Low Down Dirty Blues.”

The house party continues as Levine and Junior strut their stuff on the Johnnie Johnson Kansas City Jump Blues “Baby Please.” Paul Boddy rips on slide guitar during the Delaware Destroyers’styled road boogie “East Coast Blues,” before the crew stretches out and trades solos on the funky title track “So Far So Good.” The final track, “Can’t We All Get Along,” takes a page from the Marvin Gaye playbook and concludes the album with a plea for unity in a troubled world set to a smooth bed of soulful R&B.

After a long hiatus from the music scene, lead guitar man and vocalist Veteska formed the original Peter V Blues Train in late 2013. In 2015 the band released its first album, Peter V Blues Train, which the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Foundation selected to send to IBC in Memphis. By 2016, they had followed up quickly with another release, On Track, at which time the New York Blues Hall of Fame inducted Veteska.

While playing venues like the legendary B.B. King’s in New York City and festivals throughout the tri-state area in 2017, the band released its third recording, Running Out Of Time, which reached RMR’s Top 10 and garnered glowing reviews from across the world.

Shaken But Not Deterred, released in 2018, peaked at Number #3 on RMR. In 2018 through 2019 Peter V Blues Train had two albums in the Top 100 RMR contemporary blues category and charted in 14 countries worldwide.

Peter, along with Blues Train drummer Alex D’Agnese and bass player Coo Mo Jhee, began work on the band’s fifth music project in 2019, while performing as far north as Rockland, Maine and as far south as Brooksville, Florida at the Camping With The Blues Festival. Grass Ain’t Greener On The Other Side released in late 2020, features guest artists from New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania and includes six original tracks as well as four reinterpreted blues classics.

Now performing and recording as Peter Veteska & Blues Train, the band’s latest release on Blue Heart Records reflects a return to a purer blues sound and a departure from previous albums that were rooted in the blues but in infused with elements of jazz and rock.

Right now, So Far So Good is charting at #4 on the Roots Music Report charts and the song “You Give Me Nothing But the Blues” is #8 on BB King’s Bluesville’s Rack of Blues.

Hard work and dedication have paid off for Peter Veteska and his Blues Train with So Far So Good. This group of top-flight Jersey Shore musicians are certainly on a roll.

 

Peter Veteska & Blues Train

‘Bloor Street’ Review: Actor Kiefer Sutherland Writes What He Knows

‘Bloor Street’ Review: Actor Kiefer Sutherland Writes What He Knows

Bill Graham

In songwriter mode, Kiefer Sutherland writes what he knows. He takes a walk down ‘Bloor Street’ and you almost feel like you are walking along with him.

Bloor Street, out today, is Kiefer Sutherland’s third album in five years. It follows 2016’s Down In A Hole and 2019’s Reckless & Me. The first two were predominantly country oriented. His third album has a country flavor to it as well but is R&R laced, seasoned with Americana and a dash of R&B tossed in. Yes, we are talking about the same Kiefer Sutherland who played a bully in the movie Stand By Me, the hardboiled counter terrorist agent Jack Bauer in 24, and reluctant politician turned president Tom Kirkland in Designated Survivor.

Songwriters should write what they know. In songwriter mode, Kiefer Sutherland writes what he knows, and what he knows is the city of Toronto. The title of the album is derived from the street where he got his first job as a dishwasher in a food court, had his first meaningful kiss at the entrance to the subway, and got beat up for first time while doing something stupid. It also is the title of the first single released from the album.

He takes a walk down Bloor Street and you almost feel like you are walking along with him. It is a story about returning home. It is a reunion of sorts, one he has mixed feelings about. “I mean, there’s been moments that I’ve loved Toronto,” he says, “and there’s been moments that Toronto has taken a piece out of me, you know, and so I have this back-and-forth thing with Toronto.” 

All the same, Sutherland may live in Los Angeles now but he knows where home is. “They say you can never go home. This song, for me, says in your heart you never leave.” Perhaps that is why he hears the city whisper to him, “Baby, don’t go.”

Sutherland also knows what it is like to be on the wrong side of a jail cell. He did 48 days in a California prison in 2007 for drunk driving. The experience, along with others from a more reckless time in his life, was the catalyst for “County Jail Gate.”

“Two tons of steel grinding on the wheel is a sound you’ll never mistake. As the buzzer rings you’re gonna feel the sting as they open the county jail gate.” It is a sound he will never forget. Not surprisingly, the song is not about how cool it is to go to jail. In Sutherland’s words the song’s message is simple: “Don’t do this or you’re gonna feel like an absolute moron.”

“Two Stepping In Time” is an unabashed love song. Despite the cliché line “I will love you forever,” the song really isn’t cliché at all. It starts out with a picture of “cigarettes in the ash tray” and “empty glasses of whiskey (that) show the passage of time.” Dancing around the kitchen island with no one left to stare could have the song taking place after an evening party. Yet, the passage of time also could be a lifetime together. It is a song with many layers.

The R&B entry is “Goodbye,” a song about knowing when it’s time to move on, when you get tired of living a lie. “Nothing Left To Say” is another song about a love affair coming to end. “We both know we tried but we have nothing left to say.”

“Chasing The Rain” is about life on the road with the backup band and missing a loved one. Does that lead to a time when there is nothing left to say? “So Full Of Love” was written during the pandemic when Sutherland realized he had a lot to be thankful for. “I woke up humming that melody, then I’m in the shower, singing it,” he told The Sun. “So when I went to dry off at the kitchen island, where I write a lot of songs, half of me was laughing, thinking this is the most corny thing I’ve ever written.”

“So Full Of Love” is an expression of gratefulness, kindness, and humility. Fittingly, it also is a tribute to his mother, actress and activist Shirley Douglas, who passed away in April 2020 at the start of the pandemic.

Sutherland wrote all the songs on Bloor Street, three-quarters of them during the pandemic. He brings to mind hints of Don Henley, Bryan Adams, Tom Petty, and others, yet the stories he tells are uniquely his.  And make no mistake about it – Sutherland is a storyteller. The album was produced and mixed by the multiple GRAMMY-winner Chris Lord-Alge – known for his work with Keith Urban and Carrie Underwood – and is well worth a listen. 

 

Bloor Street

 

*Feature image credit: Beth Elliot

Provogue/Mascot Present ‘Theme For an Imaginary Western’ Ahead of ‘Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West’ Release

Provogue/Mascot Present ‘Theme For an Imaginary Western’ Ahead of ‘Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West’ Release

Steve Karas

When Leslie West passed away in December of 2020, he left behind a towering legacy of epic recordings that few rock guitarists can match.

Provogue Records / Mascot Label Group have presented a new lyric video to the classic Mountain hit “Theme For An Imaginary Western” in front of the March 25th release of Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West. The recording features Twisted Sister bandmates Dee Snider on vocals and Eddie Ojeda on guitar, with Mike Portnoy (Dream Theater / Flying Colors) on drums alongside Rudy Sarzo (Quiet Riot/Ozzy Osbourne) on bass.

Snider was a dear friend of Leslie West for decades, and shares, “Leslie was a hero, friend, amazing guy and a guitar god.  I always wanted to sing this song. It’s my favorite Leslie West guitar solo. It resonates with me, and speaks to me on so many levels. I’m honored to have gotten a chance to do it on this record.”

When Leslie West passed away in December of 2020, he left behind a towering legacy of epic recordings that few rock guitarists can match. But there was more to West than great songs (although, to be sure, he created a ton of them); there was his brilliant, idiosyncratic sound, a gargantuan earth-mover that razed arenas and stadiums across the globe. More than just paralyzing tone, though, he also had a touch nobody could beat. Stinging, swooning and sensual melodies leapt from his fingertips – with a deft flick of his wrist, he sounded like a Delta bluesman had picked up a violin. These elements and more helped to make West one of the most significant, influential and irreplaceable guitarists of the rock era.

Friends, and many whom were influenced by the loved West, have contributed to this special release.  Amongst those who performed are Dee Snider and Twisted Sister bandmate Eddie Ojeda, Robby Krieger, Slash, Zakk Wylde, Yngwie Malmsteen, Randy and Tal Bachman, Jethro Tull’s Martin Barre, Joe Lynn Turner, Blackberry Smoke’s Charlie Starr, The Cars’ Elliot Easton, George Lynch, Marty Friedman, Steve Morse, Dirty Honey’s Mark Labelle, Mike Portnoy, and West’s band members Bobby Rondinelli and Rev Jones. The release will be available on LP and CD, digitally, and as a web shop exclusive limited LP variation manufactured with digital. 

“We were so blessed to be working with home-run hitters on each song,” says Bob Ringe, “but each one underscores the fact that Leslie is the true MVP. This record really shows that his work stands the test of time. When I listen to the album, it makes me look up to the sky, and I can just see that big mountain of a man, Leslie West, with a smile on his face going, ‘This makes me feel good.’”

For her part, Jenni West sums the album up thusly: “Nobody in this world has ever made me feel loved as much as Leslie, and I feel so honored and grateful that I could give him this gift.” She laughs. “He would often say, ‘If it doesn’t make my balls rumble, it’s not right.’ And I think there’s some balls-rumbling tones on this record! When you’re listening to it, you might even think it’s Leslie playing – and that’s a good thing. He really believed that adage of imitation being the sincerest form of flattery.  Even when some of the players do their own twists on the music, they’re still doing it in a way that’s authentic and respectful, and Leslie would have appreciated that.”

 

Pre-order Legacy: A Tribute To Leslie West

 

Singer Meat Loaf Dies at 74

Singer Meat Loaf Dies at 74

Lauren Leadingham

Michael Lee Aday AKA Meat Loaf (September 27, 1947 – January 20, 2022)

Singer Meat Loaf, perhaps most beloved for rock opera Bat Out of Hell, has died aged 74. The news was confirmed in a statement on his Facebook page.

“Our hearts are broken to announce that the incomparable Meat Loaf passed away tonight with his wife Deborah by his side. Daughters Pearl and Amanda and close friends have been with him throughout the last 24 hours.”

Cher tweeting, “Had So Much Fun With Meatloaf When We Did ‘Dead Ringer,’ Am Very Sorry For His Family, Friends, & Fans. Am I imagining It, or Are Amazing Ppl In The Arts Dying every other Day.” 

Photo credit: Michael Ochs / Getty Images

1977’s Bat Out of Hell and 1993’s Bat Out of Hell II: Back Into Hell were the wide-ranging singer’s two biggest albums, yielding hit singles “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” “Paradise by the Dashboard Light,” and “Two Out of Three Ain’t Bad.”

Meat Loaf won a GRAMMY for Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance in 1993 for the song “I’d Do Anything for Love.” He also appeared in several television shows and films, including cult classics Wayne’s World, Fight Club, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The singer previously stated that physical problems affected his ability to perform. In November, he acknowledged he had four back surgeries and would be back in the studio in 2022. He said, “The back surgeries hurt everything. Before the back surgeries I was still trying to do shows, that’s when some of you saw or heard of me collapsing on stage and finally stopping the tour in the UK.

“I couldn’t hit high notes because of back pain. Not a slight back pain. Pain that would bring you to your knees.”

*Feature image credit: Charles Dharapak / AP File

Steve Vai and Ibanez Present Three-Neck Guitar The Hydra

Steve Vai and Ibanez Present Three-Neck Guitar The Hydra

Steve Karas

“The conception and construction of the instrument was a monumental feat of creativity…” – Steve Vai

Steve Vai and Ibanez have revealed The Hydra. This one-of-a-kind instrument is the realized vision of a collaboration that’s been five years in the making. It is a beast of an instrument – a one-bodied, two-headstocked, three-necked creature that encompasses, among other things: 7 and 12-string guitars; a 4-string ¾ scale length bass; 13 sympathetic harp strings; half-fretless necks; single-coil, humbucking, piezo, MIDI and sustainer pickups; floating and hardtail tremolo bridges; phase splitters; and much, much more. 

Director Garson Yu and his team at yU+co were brought on to capture a deep look into this magnificent creation:

Steve Vai offers, “We absolutely respected this instrument by having the brilliant Garson Yu and his team at yU+co create this phenomenal Hydra reveal video. The guitar geek in me is stunned every time I see it. This video captures the splendor and mystique of the Hydra in intimate detail. The conception and construction of the instrument was a monumental feat of creativity by a whole group of inspired people, and I could not be more happy with the way this video came out. Imagine being a half an inch tall and exploring the Hydra as an adventurer. It would be like exploring an alien planet. Sign me up!”  

yU+co’s Garson Yu shares, “When I first saw the instrument at Steve’s studio, I was stunned. I thought this was a creation that didn’t belong here on earth— it looked Extraterrestrial to me. When Steve played a track that he composed with the Hydra, I told him that it sounds so transparent and open, complex and spiritual on many levels. When we were filming, I put the guitar on the turntable and looked through the lens: It looked like an alien spaceship. It’s epic. I told myself we need to create a video that has the same transcendent feeling of this instrument. My team and I are honored to be part of it.”

Ibanez Artist Relations Manager Mike Orrigo states, “The Hydra, as Mr. Vai has appropriately dubbed it, started off as a concept that Steve approached Ibanez with several years ago. While it was understood then that the task to turn Steve’s vision into reality would be a tremendous undertaking, we were undeterred by the challenge. Fueled by Steve’s inspiration, our team of designers, engineers, and luthiers worked tirelessly together in order to create a truly one-of-a-kind instrument, remaining as true to the initial vision as possible. This incredible reveal video, produced by yU+co, perfectly captures the same feeling of awe and amazement that this magnificent beast of an instrument imparts on to all who are able to witness it in person!”

On January 28, the day of the release of Vai’s new studio album, a one-of-one NFT of the Hydra reveal video will be auctioned via OpenSea. The highly coveted collectible features the video, plus unlockable bonus content that will be revealed to the buyer. Additional assets will be added over time for the winner to access.  The opening bid has been set at 1 ETH. Once the auction is live, interested parties can access to bid here.

This is Steve Vai’s first foray in to the NFT space. There is consideration to broaden offerings in the future encompassing a deeper initiative to continue collectible drops focused on his vast collection of iconic instruments played throughout his career. Keep an eye on Vai.com for more detail.

“I feel this instrument has the potential to be historical. It’s unique in various ways and its construction is inspired. And there’s a song that was written on it that honors the potential of the instrument. This Hydra reveal video is the first video made that intimately details many of the unique aspects this guitar embodies.” says Vai.

Over the course of a more than 40-year career, Steve Vai has routinely transformed what would appear to be outrageously impossible into something very, very possible… and still also pretty outrageous. From his days as Frank Zappa’s “stunt guitar” player to his more recent expansive and exploratory solo work, Vai has continually challenged notions of traditional guitar playing and composition – and on more than one occasion even reimagined the very instrument itself. 

Vai’s Inviolate is a nine-song opus that pushes the boundaries of instrumental guitar music.  The body of work presents his most focused, streamlined and perhaps invigorating music in years. “It’s very ‘Vai,’ whatever that means,” he says, and then laughs. “Someone else might be better than me at explaining what that is. But it’s just very honest music. Because a lot of my records, they’re long and there’s a lot of concepts and playing around with stories. This one has none of that. This is nine pretty dense all-instrumental compositions that I wanted to capture and record so I could get out there and play them live for people.”

Ellis Avenue Renamed After Mississippi Blues Great Bobby Rush

Ellis Avenue Renamed After Mississippi Blues Great Bobby Rush

American Blues Scene Staff

Ellis Avenue is now Bobby Rush Boulevard!

Mississippi’s capital, Jackson, is renaming one of its major streets for blues legend Bobby Rush, WLBT-TV reported. The musician, composer and singer has won two Grammy Awards for best traditional blues album — one in 2016 and one in 2020.

The Jackson City Council voted Tuesday to rename Ellis Avenue to Bobby Rush Boulevard, the name change to take effect in a month. Rush, a Lousiana native, moved to Jackson in the 1980s. 

He spoke to the Jackson City Council in April when a member first proposed renaming the street for him. He said he and his family faced racism in the Jim Crow South.

“I remember three white guys, two riding a horse and one guy leading a horse, when my daddy was getting hay out of a barn as a Black man. They asked my mom, ’What are you doing with this n-word?’” Rush said. He said his mother replied that she is also Black.

“She had to go into the store and prove she was a Black woman to save my daddy’s life,” Rush explained.

 

Sugaray Rayford Unveils New Track ‘Please Take My Hand’

Sugaray Rayford Unveils New Track ‘Please Take My Hand’

American Blues Scene Staff

In “Please Take My Hand,” Rayford raises the voices of generations who’ve struggled and persevered with love in the face of oppression, accompanied only by a spare bass drum, handclaps, and cowbell.

Sugaray Rayford released “Please Take My Hand” — the latest single off of In Too Deep, Rayford’s new full-length, dropping March 4, 2022, via Forty Below Records.

In “Please Take My Hand,” Rayford raises the voices of generations who’ve struggled and persevered with love in the face of oppression, accompanied only by a spare bass drum, handclaps, and cowbell.

This song is about unity regardless of color, religion, race, or creed. We all live on the same planet, so we are all brothers and sisters.

A modern take on retro-soul, In Too Deep explores the themes of love, loneliness & pertinent social issues of today. The album features the partnership between the soul-blues powerhouse and producer/songwriter Eric Corne. The pair’s first collaboration, Somebody Save Me, earned Rayford a 2020 Grammy nomination. Later that year, Rayford took home Blues Music Awards for ‘Soul Blues Male Artist’ and ‘B.B. King Entertainer of the Year.’

The summer of 2021 saw the release of the adventurous single “Homemade Disaster.” The song found its home on multiple retro-soul and new blues playlists on Spotify.

In Too Deep opens with “Invisible Soldier,” a song inspired by the 10-year Marine veteran’s struggles with insomnia from PTSD. The track serves as a reminder that our cities and communities are full of veterans struggling with the aftershocks of war and how it’s invisible to most fellow citizens because they’re in plain clothes.

Rayford is a dynamic performer known to put his band through its paces with abrupt feel and style changes. He thrives on funky up-tempo grooves, as evident in another standout song, “Miss Information.”

Rayford reveals a whole other side on the soulful and sensual “No Limit to My Love.” The track features expressive orchestral harp, horns, flutes, and strings along with some of the funkiest lead guitar this side of Bobby Womack, courtesy of Eamon Ryland. It could fit just as easily next to Silk Sonic as Bobby Blue Bland.

“Golden Lady of the Canyon” is a lush soul-country flavored ballad infused with strings, horns, and Stax-style guitar work by Mavis Staples’ bandleader Rick Holmstrom. Rayford’s soulful croon rising and falling plaintively; it’s sure to please fans of the title track from his Grammy-nominated album, Somebody Save Me.

While not mentioned directly, you can view many of the songs through the lens of the pandemic. Such is the case with the Jackson 5-reminiscent, Gospel-tinged “Gonna Lift You Up”; “Outta breath/Outta luck/The mountain’s steep/And you feel stuck/Don’t be broken-hearted/The world is just in flux/Keep on movin’/Don’t ever give up/Gonna Lift You Up.”

Corne’s production paints unique vignettes with each arrangement to suit the mood of the lyric and Rayford’s deft interpretations and portrayals. Corne enlisted some serious heavyweight friends to help him orchestrate the strings and horns on the record, with violinist Eric Gorfain (Dionne Warwick, REM) and from Rayford’s current band saxophonist Aaron Liddard (Amy Winehouse), respectively. Also on hand are three mainstays of Corne’s studio work, Taras Prodaniuk (Lucinda Williams), Matt Tecu (Jacob Dylan), and Sasha Smith (Priscilla Ahn,) along with Rayford’s live Musical Director Drake “Munkihaid” Shining.

Rayford’s live shows are wild dance parties, but in essence, he is a galvanizing uniter. Some conversations may be had, and some self-reflection may occur, but people leave feeling a sense of joy and togetherness at the end of the day. This shines through on the album’s closer, the slinky, funky “United We Stand.” Then, as the album fades, Rayford takes us home with concert banter and good vibes, a feeling that lingers, tempting the listener to hit play again.

 

Sugaray Rayford
Pre-Order In Too Deep

 

*Feature image courtesy of Devious Planet

Listen to Bob Corritore & Friends’ New Single ‘Mean Old Frisco’ ft. T-Model Ford

Listen to Bob Corritore & Friends’ New Single ‘Mean Old Frisco’ ft. T-Model Ford

American Blues Scene Staff

Singer-guitarist T-Model Ford digs into a perfect bit of pure, unpolished down-home blues on “Mean Old Frisco,” the new single from Bob Corritore & Friends!

Harmonica player/producer Bob Corritore lovingly assembled a collection of old school down-home Southern blues and juke joint dance numbers, the rough-edged predecessors to modern Chicago Blues, all recorded between 1995 and 2012 and drawn from his vast vault of recordings.

When the 25-year-old Bob Coritore moved from Chicago to Phoenix Arizona in 1981, he never expected to be creating a Southwestern Mecca for the Blues — it just worked out that way. Bob was soon joined by old friend Louisiana Red, and before long they were playing all over town.  

Drummer Chico Chism soon followed. Bob started doing a weekly blues radio show, and in 1991 he opened the now legendary blues club the Rhythm Room. He would book his favorite down-home blues artists at the Rhythm Room, and while these artists were in town he would offer a recording session to accompany the booking. The end results were numerous amazing performances captured for posterity and finally available to the public for the first time via Bob’s From The Vaults Series. 

The most astonishing thing about Bob is the scores of top bluesmen he has produced, supported and played alongside over the years. Folks like Bo Diddley, Pinetop Perkins, Ike Turner and Eddy Clearwater to name just a few. Corritore is recognized as one of the top traditional blues harmonica players in the world.

This album features exuberant performances by Honeyboy Edwards, T-Model Ford, Henry Townsend, Big Jack Johnson, Robert “Bilbo” Walker, Smokey Wilson, Tomcat Courtney, Dave Riley, Pecan Porter, & Al Garrett. Of all these featured Artists only one of them, Dave Riley, is still alive today. All but one track on this album are previously unreleased.

On the new track, “Mean Old Frisco,” legendary Delta singer-guitarist T-Model Ford digs into a perfect bit of pure, unpolished down-home blues. Ford takes liberties with the song structure, running on pure emotion as harmonica ace Corritore complements his every line.

“Mean Old Frisco” – Choose Preferred Service

Tommy Castro Announces 30th Anniversary Tour

Tommy Castro Announces 30th Anniversary Tour

American Blues Scene Staff

“When Randy and I started out playing blues joints and bars in San Francisco in the early 90s, we had no idea what kind of a ride we were in for. I’ve always been inspired by all the old blues guys and now I’m one of them. I look forward to the next 30 years!” – Tommy Castro

Internationally beloved blues and roots rock guitarist, singer and songwriter Tommy Castro announced dates for his 2022 30th Anniversary Tour, celebrating his new album, the critically and popularly acclaimed Tommy Castro Presents A Bluesman Came To Town. 2022 marks Castro’s 30th year as a bandleader as well as his 30-year association with bassist Randy McDonald. Castro is also celebrating the 10th anniversary of the formation of his current band, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, with McDonald, drummer Bowen Brown and keyboardist Michael Emerson.

Live, the band will perform material from A Bluesman Came To Town, along with fan favorites from throughout Castro’s long career. The new album is a roots music odyssey. Through its 13 songs, Castro 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 is where Castro has made his mark over the past three decades. Talking about his 30 years as a bandleader, Castro says, “When Randy and I started out playing blues joints and bars in San Francisco in the early 90s, we had no idea what kind of a ride we were in for. I’ve always been inspired by all the old blues guys and now I’m one of them. I look forward to the next 30 years!” McDonald adds, “We’ve lasted longer than all our marriages combined, and we’re still rockin’ somewhere nearly every night.”

The two have performed over 6000 shows together, including three seasons as the house band for NBC’s Comedy Showcase, two summer-long tours with B.B. King and Buddy Guy, 40 music cruises (including 33 consecutive sold-out Legendary Rhythm and Blues Cruises), and many of the world’s largest music festivals. They have shared stages with legends including John Lee Hooker, Carlos Santana, Bob Weir, Greg Allman, Dr. John, Willie Nelson, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa, Elvin Bishop, Charlie Musselwhite, Magic Dick of The J. Geils Band, Taj Mahal and Los Lobos.

Throughout his long, constantly evolving career, 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 on 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.

Castro joined Warner Brothers’ artists The Dynatones in the late 1980s, performing all over the country. While in the band, he met and befriended McDonald. With McDonald on bass, Castro formed the first Tommy Castro Band in 1992 and has not stopped touring since. In 1995, soon after releasing his first album on Blind Pig Records, The Tommy Castro Band was selected as the house band for three seasons on NBC Television’s Comedy Showcase (airing right after Saturday Night Live). The show brought him in front of millions of viewers every week and cemented his reputation as a not-to-be-missed, nationally touring live performer.

After a series of successful releases on the Blind Pig, Telarc and 33rd Street labels, Tommy Castro joined Alligator Records in 2009. His label debut, Hard Believer, was released to massive popular and critical acclaim. With the album, Castro won four of his six career Blues Music Awards, including the coveted B.B. King Entertainer Of The Year Award (the very highest award a blues performer can receive).

In 2012, Castro formed The Painkillers and released The Devil You Know. The album was embraced by his legion of fans and discovered by hordes of new ones. He released Method To My Madness in 2015, Stompin’ Ground in 2017, and the irresistible Killin’ It–Live in 2019, with critics shouting praise and admirers cheering the group’s every move. The band has coalesced into one of the telepathically tightest units Castro has ever assembled, delivering soul-shaking, muscular music that makes them one of the most in-demand live roots music acts performing today.

Castro’s relentless road-dog approach—gig after gig, night after night—has won him loyal, lifelong fans everywhere he plays.

During the 30th Anniversary Tour, Castro will be teaming up with some other heavy hitters. In Sacramento on March 12th, Castro will co-bill with Elvin Bishop for the Badass Blues Package. On 19 stops, Deanna Bogart will be his special guest, including on a co-bill with Walter Trout in Alexandria, Virginia on April 4th. As the tour rolls through 4 stops in Texas, Marcia Ball will be joining the co-bill.

Tommy Castro

Music Maker Foundation to Release Legendary Beverly “Guitar” Watkins Set, Premieres ‘Red Mama Blues’

Music Maker Foundation to Release Legendary Beverly “Guitar” Watkins Set, Premieres ‘Red Mama Blues’

American Blues Scene Staff

Premiering exclusively today is the slow-burning “Red Mama Blues,” named for Watkin’s guitar. ‘In Paris’ out March 18 via Music Maker Foundation!

Three years after her passing, Beverly “Guitar” Watkins’ first live album, In Paris, will be released by Music Maker Foundation on March 18. A rare touring female guitarist on the chitlin circuit – releasing her first solo album at 60 and playing Lincoln Center at 74 – Watkins played with James Brown, B.B. King, and Ray Charles. The New York Times noted that she captivated crowds by “playing her electric guitar on her back and behind her head, sliding across the stage. When she sang, it was often with a growl.”

She nicknamed her guitars Red Mama and Sugar Baby, releasing debut solo album Back In Business at the age of 60, earning a W.C. Handy Blues Award nomination, and opening a 42-date tour for Taj Mahal. Watkins plays harmonica on one track. The recording, made to a rapturous crowd in 2012, also features Albert White (Elvin Bishop, Clarence Carter, Ben E. King, Ray Charles, Joe Tex) on guitar, Eddie Tigner (leader of the Ink Spots) on organ and piano, and Lil Joe Burton (Tex, Bobby Womack, Otis Clay, B.B. King) on trombone. She pays tribute to Ray Charles here with a rendition of “What’d I Say.”

“This lady is a flat-out musician who can duke it out onstage with the best there is — man, woman, or child prodigy.” Mahal said. “I’m still feeling the effects, and have some great memories of touring the country and playing onstage with her.”

Premiering exclusively today is the slow-burning “Red Mama Blues,” named for the guitar with which Watkins dazzled the audience without fail. Of the storied singer-songwriter/guitarist, Tim Duffy of Music Maker Foundation tells ABS:

Beverly Guitar Watkins off stage appeared to be a proper church lady, but when she took the stage Beverly transformed, prowling the stage, chasing fiery blues guitar and stirring the crowd up into a frenzy.


Music Maker Foundation · 09 – RED MAMA BLUES

Pre-order In Paris

Canadian Blues Musician Matt Andersen Shares Soulful Track ‘Other Side of Goodbye’

Canadian Blues Musician Matt Andersen Shares Soulful Track ‘Other Side of Goodbye’

American Blues Scene Staff

For his latest long-player, the laid-bare ‘House to House,’ Matt Andersen brings it all back home with the sweet chemistry that only a voice and guitar alone, together, can conjure

Commanding blues guitarist and singer-songwriter Matt Andersen sets the stage for his upcoming release, House to House, with the formidable album opener “Other Side of Goodbye,” out today. The strong, compelling track showcases Andersen’s complex, deep vocal range while he honestly laments the end of a relationship. About the song, Andersen notes, “Breaking up is sometimes the easiest part, the hardest part is moving on.”

Just as comfortable delivering a tender ballad as he is flying high on gospel or belting the blues, on House to House Andersen delivers a body of work that is expansive, rich and varied.

Andersen’s masterful voice is the highlight of House to House as he moves through thunderous notes, intimate moments and everything in between.  The boldness of “Other Side of Goodbye” leans into the softer love song “Let Me Hold You.”

The upbeat “Time for the Wicked to Rest” offers gospel-infused folk, while the sparse ballad “See This Through” is a quiet, thoughtful take on a struggling relationship.  And a poignant, soulful cover of the Curtis Mayfield  classic “People Get Ready” brings the album to a moving close.

House to House is Andersen’s first solo studio record, continuing a rich career as one of the more captivating songwriters and engaging performers in modern roots music. He has earned every fan through decades of touring across the globe, from small dim lit clubs to majestic theaters and major festivals.

He has amassed over 18 million streams on Spotify and 18 million views on YouTube. House to House is Andersen’s 9th studio album and follows Halfway Home By Morning from 2019.

 

Matt Andersen

Light in the Attic and Angel Olsen Celebrate Karen Dalton with Cover of ‘Something on Your Mind’

Light in the Attic and Angel Olsen Celebrate Karen Dalton with Cover of ‘Something on Your Mind’

American Blues Scene Staff

Light in the Attic continues 50th anniversary celebration for Karen Dalton’s masterpiece ‘In My Own Time’ with new single featuring Angel Olsen covering singer’s iconic interpretation of “Something On Your Mind” (out today as part of LITA’s ongoing 7” vinyl and digital singles ‘Cover Series’)

As part of their 50th anniversary celebration for Karen Dalton’s 1971 masterpiece, In My Own Time, celebrated archival reissue label Light in the Attic (LITA) released a new single today (1/13) featuring North Carolina-based Angel Olsencovering the singer’s iconic “Something on Your Mind.

Written by Dino Vallenti, the track was originally found on Dalton’s second album, In My Own Time. The single is the latest installment from LITA’s on-going 7” vinyl and digital singles Cover Series, featuring the labels favorite artists covering their favorite artists’ songs. The single was pressed at Third Man Pressing, with artwork by Los Angeles-based fine artist Robbie Simon.

Previous releases from the Cover Series include: musician, poet, and author Leslie Winer collaborating with Manchester-born composer Maxwell Sterling on a truly gorgeous cover of Tim Buckley’s 1967 forlorn love song “Once I Was,” Bill Callahan & Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy covering Johnnie Frierson’s beautiful and inspiring tune “Miracles,” BADBADNOTGOOD with Jonah Yano covering “Key To Love (Is Understanding)” by Milwaukee’s funk/soul pioneers Majestics, Charles Bradley & the Menahan Street Band covering Sixto Rodriguez’s “I’ll Slip Away,” Mac DeMarco covering Haruomi Hosono’s “Honey Moon,” and Iggy Pop & Zig Zags transforming Betty Davis’ dirty funk track “If I’m In Luck I Might Get Picked Up” into a heavy Sabbath grind, amongst many others. Click here to revisit past singles from the series.

LITA’s anniversary edition of In My Own Time — a true masterpiece by one of music’s most mysterious, enigmatic, and enduringly influential artists; featuring Dalton’s interpretations of songs such as Are You Leaving for the Country,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Katie Cruel,” and her posthumously recognized signature performance of “Something on Your Mind” — is due out March 25th and available now to pre-order in multiple formats (including a Standard Editionand the bonus-filled Super Deluxe Edition).

Expanding exponentially upon LITA’s critically acclaimed 2006 reissue of the album (co-produced by Nicholas Hill, In My Own Time (50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) features the newly-remastered original ten-track album on three sides of 45-RPM, 180-gram vinyl pressed at Record Technology Inc. (RTI), with the fourth side showcasing alternate takes from the album sessions. The set includes nine bonus tracks overall (including six previously unreleased live performances), including Live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival (May 1, 1971), available exclusively as part of the Super Deluxe Edition. This is the first time this audio has been made available in any physical format — presented on 180-gram 12-inch vinyl, pressed at Third Man Record Pressing, and featuring a stunning etching of Dalton by acclaimed artist Jess Rotter on the B-Side. Accompanying the bonus record is a replica playbill from the festival, meticulously arranged and compiled from vintage source material by Darryl Norsen

The Super Deluxe Edition also contains a CD with all tracks included in the package and two 7” singles, including previously unreleased live recordings captured at Germany’s Beat Club in April of 1971 ─ both pressed at Third Man Record Pressing and housed in tip-on jackets. All audio has been newly remastered by Dave Cooley, while lacquers were cut by Phil Rodriguez at Elysian Masters. A 20-page booklet, featuring rarely seen photos and liner notes from musician and writer Lenny Kaye (with contributions from Nick Cave and Devendra Banhart), rounds out the package, which comes housed in a special trifold jacket, individually foil stamped and numbered. Strictly limited to 2,000 copies worldwide, the Super Deluxe Edition is available now to pre-order exclusively at Karen-Dalton.com and LightInTheAttic.net, with a movie poster bundle offering. More info on the poster below.

Additionally, the expanded 19-track anniversary edition of In My Own Time (also offered as part of the Super Deluxe Edition) will be available separately on CD and digitally. Plus, a cassette edition is being offered that features 15-tracks, excluding the Live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival audio, which is exclusive to the Super Deluxe, CD, and digital editions. Lastly, In My Own Time (50th Anniversary Standard Edition) — featuring the newly-remastered original 10-track album — is available (online) as a limited-edition 8-track. The booklet (featuring unseen photos and liner notes) is only included with LP and CD editions. All formats will be available at independent record stores (with the exception of the online exclusive Super Deluxe Edition), as well as at Dalton’s online store and LITA’s site.

Coinciding with the anniversary and single releases is the internationally acclaimed documentary film, Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, which premiered in theaters on October 1st and released digitally on November 16th through Greenwich Entertainment. Directed by Robert Yapkowitz and Richard Peete, and executive produced by Light in the Attic, Wim Wenders, and Delmore Recording Society, the film chronicles the life, music, and legacy of Dalton and features interviews with family, friends, collaborators, and a variety of artists (including Peter Walker, Nick Cave, Lacy J. Dalton, and Vanessa Carlton). Angel Olsen lends her voice to the film as the principle narrator, reading aloud from Dalton’s personal journal.

As a special gift, all orders of LITA’s In My Own Time (50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition) will include an 18” x 24” fold-out of the documentary’s movie poster, illustrated by artist Matt McCormick.

The Oklahoma-raised Dalton (1937-1993) brought a range of influences to her work. As Lenny Kaye writes in the liner notes, one can hear “the jazz of Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday, the immersion of Nina Simone, the Appalachian keen of Jean Ritchie, [and] the R&B and country that had to seep in as she made her way to New York.”

Armed with a long-necked banjo and a 12-stringed guitar, Dalton set herself apart from her peers with her distinctive, world-weary vocals. In the early ‘60s, she became a fixture in the Greenwich Village folk scene, interpreting traditional material, blues standards, and the songs of her contemporaries, including Tim Hardin, Fred Neil, and Richard Tucker, whom she later married. Bob Dylan, meanwhile, was instantly taken with her artistry. “My favorite singer in the place was Karen Dalton,” he recalled in Chronicles: Volume One (Simon & Schuster, 2004). “Karen had a voice like Billie Holiday and played the guitar like Jimmy Reed.”

Those who knew Dalton understood that she was not interested in bowing to the whims of the record industry. On stage, she rarely interacted with audience members. In the studio, she was equally as uncomfortable with the recording process. Her 1969 debut, It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best (reissued by Light in the Attic in 2009) was captured on the sly when Dalton assumed that she was rehearsing songs. When Woodstock co-promoter Michael Lang approached Dalton about recording a follow-up for his new imprint, Just Sunshine, she was dubious, to say the least. The album would have to be made on her own terms, in her own time. That turned out to be a six-month period at Bearsville Studios in Woodstock, NY.

Producing the album was bassist Harvey Brooks, who played alongside Dalton on It’s So Hard to Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best. Brooks, who prided himself on being “simple, solid and supportive,” understood Dalton’s process but was also willing to offer gentle encouragement and challenge the artist to push her creative bounds. “I tried to present her with a flexible situation,” he told Kaye. “I left the decisions to her, to determine the tempo, feel. She was very quiet, and I brought all of it to her; if she needed more, I’d present options. Everyone was sensitive to her. She was the leader.”

Dalton, who rarely performed her own compositions, selected a range of material to interpret—from traditional songs such as “Katie Cruel” and “Same Old Man” to Paul Butterfield’s “In My Own Dream” and Richard Tucker’s “Are You Leaving For The Country.” She also expanded upon her typical repertoire, peppering in such R&B hits as “When a Man Loves a Woman” and “How Sweet It Is.” In a departure from her previous LP, Dalton’s new recording offered fuller, more pop-forward arrangements, featuring a slew of talented studio musicians.

While ‘70s audiences may not have been ready for Dalton’s music, a new generation was about to discover her work. In the decades following her death, a slew of artists would name Dalton as an influence, including Lucinda Williams, Joanna Newsom, Nick Cave, Angel Olsen, Devendra Banhart, Sharon Van Etten, Courtney Barnett, and Adele. In the new documentary film Karen Dalton: In My Own Time, Cave muses on Dalton’s unique appeal: “There’s a sort of demand made upon the listener,” he explains. “Whether you like it or not, you have to enter her world. And it’s a despairing world.” Peter Walker, who also appears in the film, elaborates on this idea: “If she can feel a certain way in her music and play it in such a way that you feel that way, then that’s really the most magical thing [one] can do.” He adds, “She had a deep and profound and loving soul…you can hear it in her music.” 

Tracklist – In My Own Time (50th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition):

  • Something on Your Mind
  • When a Man Loves a Woman
  • In My Own Dream
  • Katie Cruel
  • How Sweet It Is
  • In a Station
  • Take Me
  • Same Old Man
  • One Night of Love
  • Are You Leaving for the Country
  • Something on Your Mind (Alternate Take)
  • In My Own Dream (Alternate Take)
  • Katie Cruel (Alternate Take)
  • One Night Of Love (Live at Beat Club, Germany, April 21, 1971)*
  • Take Me (Live at Beat Club, Germany, April 21, 1971)*
  • Something on Your Mind (Live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, May 1, 1971)*
  • Blues on the Ceiling (Live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, May 1, 1971)*
  • Are You Leaving for the Country (Live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, May 1, 1971)*
  • One Night of Love (Live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival, May 1, 1971)*
  •  
  • 1-10: Originally released on Just Sunshine – PAS 6008 (1971)

    11-13: Alternate takes from album sessions (1970-71)

    14-15: Recorded live at Beat Club in Germany (April 21, 1971)

    16-19: Recorded live at The Montreux Golden Rose Pop Festival (May 1, 1971)

     

    * previously unreleased

     

     Tracklist – In My Own Time (50th Anniversary Standard Edition):

  • Something on Your Mind
  • When a Man Loves a Woman
  • In My Own Dream
  • Katie Cruel
  • How Sweet It Is
  • In a Station
  • Take Me
  • Same Old Man
  • One Night of Love
  • Are You Leaving for the Country
  •  

    1-10: Originally released on Just Sunshine – PAS 6008 (1971)

     

    Pre-order In My Own Time

    Ronnie Spector, Lead Singer of The Ronettes, Dies Aged 78

    Ronnie Spector, Lead Singer of The Ronettes, Dies Aged 78

    Lauren Leadingham

    “I don’t think I ever listened to a song more than ‘Be My Baby’ and this just breaks my heart.” – Brian Wilson

    Ronnie Spector, the lead singer for ‘60s girl group the Ronnettes, has passed away at the age of 78. The family confirmed in a statement on her website: 

    Our beloved earth angel, Ronnie, peacefully left this world today after a brief battle with cancer. She was with family and in the arms of her husband, Jonathan. Ronnie lived her life with a twinkle in her eye, a spunky attitude, a wicked sense of humor and a smile on her face. She was filled with love and gratitude.

    Ronnie was the vital voice on such hits as “Baby I Love You” and “Be My Baby,” which Brian Wilson has said is his favorite song – writing the Beach Boys’ “Don’t Worry Baby” as a tribute to the Ronettes’ wall of sound masterpiece and biggest hit.  He’s been quoted as saying, “This is the song that inspired me to produced records.” 

    Brian took to social media today, saying:

    ​​I just heard the news about Ronnie Spector and I don’t know what to say. I loved her voice so much and she was a very special person and a dear friend.

    “I don’t think I ever listened to a song more than “Be My Baby” and this just breaks my heart. Ronnie’s music and spirit will live forever. Love & Mercy, Brian.

    He shared this video to accompany the post:

    In lieu of flowers, Spector’s family requested donations be made “to your local women’s shelter or to the American Indian College Fund.”

    A celebration of Spector’s life and music is to be announced.

     

     

    Remembering Drummer and Vocalist Kris Schnebelen

    Remembering Drummer and Vocalist Kris Schnebelen

    Lauren Leadingham

    American Blues Scene sends love and condolences to Kris Schnebelen’s family, friends, and fans

    The blues world is a lesser place without Kris Schnebelen, who died on Monday, January 11. Formed in Kansas City, Missouri in 2000, soul-blues trio Trampled Under Foot originally consisted of siblings Danielle Schnebelen (lead vocals and bass), Nick Schnebelen (guitars and vocals), and Kris Schebelen (drums and vocals).

    Kris left the band in 2014, and went on to perform with artists such as Lauren Anderson, Albert Castiglia Band, Amanda Fish, Sean Chambers, as well as many others. 

    Trampled Under Foot won the International Blues Challenge in 2008. In 2013, their album Badlands went to number one on the U.S. Billboard Top Blues Albums Chart. The following year at the Blues Music Awards, Badlands also won the Contemporary Blues Album of the Year category, with Danielle winning the Best Instrumentalist – Bass category. 

    “It is with a deep sadness today we said Goodbye to our Son, Brother, Person, Father, and Friend Kristopher Robert Schnebelen,” Trampled Under Foot’s Facebook post read. Continuing, “Kris was surrounded by the immense love of his fiancé and their precious daughter as he made his transition. We have felt and continue to feel your love from all around the world. We ask for privacy and patience as we navigate a future without our Beloved.”

    VizzTone Label Group, who released the band’s album Wrong Side of the Blues, also took to social media to pay their respects:

    Vizztone joins the Schnebelen clan and the musical world in mourning the loss of beloved drummer, family member and human being Kris Schnebelen. We all loved knowing him and working with him and were honored to be his friends.

    We were thrilled to release Trampled Under Foot’s 2011 album, and for years afterward Kris would call to share his contagious enthusiasm about the latest Kansas City artists, many of whom went on to become members of our family too. We’ll miss you, Kris.

     

    Paul Waring and his Band of Blues Men Declare ‘It’s a Mad Mad Bad Dad World’

    Paul Waring and his Band of Blues Men Declare ‘It’s a Mad Mad Bad Dad World’

    Mark Pucci

    “The process of making this record was one part voodoo and one part experimentation, but exactly what I’d hoped: an honest collaboration.” – Paul Waring

    Sitting in guitarist Pete Galanis’s studio in south Chicago on a cold February day in 2021, singer/guitarist Paul Waring knew the time was right to commit his newest work to a second Bad Daddy album. The two friends were drinking beers, talking music and working on Waring’s busted amp. 

    The pandemic had turned the world upside down, upending many businesses including the music industry. News from rural Maine that his bass player was leaving Waring’s band only added to the feeling of uncertainty.  It was beginning to feel – to Waring – like a mad, mad world and it was time to create something positive.

    “Pete’s become a close friend whom I trust and respect,” Waring says. “Sitting in that studio, I said to him, ‘I got all these songs written, half of them are done and the others are close — how about we make a record together?’ It’s that bond with Pete, in collaboration with his band and my will to push on that ultimately got this record made

    The result, It’s a Mad Mad Bad Dad World, releasing March 11 on PieHole records, highlights Bad Daddy’s sound, rooted in classic blues and roots rock. 

    Nine original songs and a cover of Mighty Sam McClain’s “Where You Been So Long” make up MMDBW. Pete Galanis on guitars, Ari Seder on bass guitar and Jason “Jroc” Edwards on drums backed Waring‘s vocals and guitar on all 10 tracks, recorded at Chicago’s JoyRide Studio and Galanis’ Studio 3036. .” Its striking cover art by Chicago’s own Kate Moss is inspired by the classic film title work of the legendary Saul Bass.

    Bad Daddy plans to release a first digital-only single on January 14th of “Pork Pie Hat,” followed by “Blues at Home” (also via digital distribution only) on February 4, prior to the album’s full CD/digital release on March 11. On Sunday, March 13, Bad Daddy will celebrate the new album with a special Record Release Party at Rosa’s Lounge in Chicago, with doors opening at 6pm and music from 7-9pm.

    The crispy, bluesy tracks on the new disc convey a sense of passion honed and hardened to a sharpened edge. It’s one man’s story of love and sorrow speaking to a broader human predicament: the pain and joy that define blues storytelling.  Waring’s voice, backed by skilled Chicago musicians, creates a modern blues soundscape that speaks to these mad, mad times.

    Collaboration, a crucial feature in his day job as a Maine-based boat designer, drives Waring’s aspirations for his musical projects.

    “As most musicians find out early in their careers, a band is not a democracy,” Waring admits. “But collaboration is vital to making music, and working as one unit in service of a singular vision results in good vibes and leaves bandmates feeling like their input and performance actually matters. It’s the best way to create musical art.”

    Waring had been hanging around Chicago blues clubs since 2010, when he began dating a Chicago girl. During trips to the city, he brought his guitar and played blues jam nights at Buddy Guy’s Legends and Rosa’s Lounge. Other nights he’d hang at clubs like B.L.U.E.S. and just soak in the music. 

    Waring married that Chicago girl in 2014, the same year he met Galanis during a set break one Tuesday at Rosa’s where the guitarist has a residency. The two became friends and Waring asked Galanis to remaster his first album. Galanis would also help mix and master “Beautiful Thing,” a song Waring and other Maine musicians produced to honor a friend who had died of cancer. 

    All that time, songs for a future Bad Daddy album kept coming. In 2016, Waring wrote “Blue on You” after learning a friend and former bandmate had committed suicide. Other tunes, like “These Times” and “Trip on Your Love,” are more recent creations. The oldest songs on the new record, “Blues at Home” and “Just My Luck,” came in 2015.

    Two years later, Waring was sitting in Galanis’s studio, asking him to collaborate on what would become It’s a Mad, Mad Bad Dad World. Waring sent demos of the songs to Galanis, Seder and Edwards. “They said, ‘yeah, when can we get started?’” Waring recalls. By March 2021, the group was at JoyRide recording the rhythm section, quickly nailing all 10 songs in no more than three takes in one 10-hour day. “The guys were killing it,” Waring says. 

    With the rhythm section done, Waring and Galanis turned to completing the production, a process that eventually spanned about six months. Six of the songs were so fresh, the duo explored guitar rhythm work, fills and solos. When turning to vocal work, Waring focused on delivery, style and tenor.

    “Fitting two guitars into a soundscape is a matter of dovetailing parts—finding texture and space that sonically blend two similar instruments,” Waring states. “But we each have a unique sound and that comes through beautifully on the record. Our process gave me freedom to explore how to express myself playing and singing these new songs.”

    In late May of 2021, organist Elton Jaan burned his way through each track in a single 8-hour session. With live gig work on the calendar, both Galanis and Waring began to balance work and production.  Waring returned to a summer of live shows with his band in Maine, while Galanis continued the work of mixing and editing in Chicago when he wasn’t playing his own gigs. In September, the final stages of mastering were done.

    “The process of making this record was one part voodoo and one part experimentation, but exactly what I’d hoped — an honest collaboration,” Waring enthuses. “I feel like these songs are a reflection of my soul and my message is captured in every one of these tracks.”

     

    Bad Daddy

    *Feature image credit: Chris Monaghan

     

    Morgan Wallen Grand Ole Opry Performance Prompts Backlash

    Morgan Wallen Grand Ole Opry Performance Prompts Backlash

    Lauren Leadingham

    “I believe now is the time to watch and move. Watch how people are responding and reacting and move accordingly.” – Rissi Palmer

    Following a “surprise” performance by Morgan Wallen at Grand Ole Opry last weekend, the Nashville institution is receiving backlash. Wallen joined country singer Ernest on stage to perform their song “Flower Shops.”

    Wallen came under fire back in February of last year when footage surfaced of him using the N-word. He then insisted that the hateful word was uttered because he was “dumb” and drunk. He was dropped by radio stations and temporarily suspended from his record label, before he was also banned from the CMA Music Awards. And yet, sales of his most recently released album secured a number one slot on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart for 10 weeks.

    Black country artists and their allies are now asking the Opry for accountability. Jason Isbell tweeting, “Last night Opry you had a choice: either upset one guy and his ‘team,’ or break the hearts of a legion of aspiring Black country artists. You chose wrong and I’m real sad for a lot of my friends today. Not surprised though. Just sad.” 

    Isbell later added, “The thing that really upsets me is bigger than one person’s words. It’s the idea of a young Black artist walking into that venue and wondering if ANYBODY is on their side. What a lot of us consider to be a grand ole honour can be terrifying for some. Doesn’t have to be that way.”

    Country artist and Color Me Country Radio host Rissi Palmer urged, “I believe now is the time to watch and move. Watch how people are responding and reacting and move accordingly. Systems only work when we continue to participate in them. The moment we stop and divest, they lose their power…”

    In its nearly 100-year history, the Grand Ole Opry has only officially invited two Black artists, the beloved Charley Pride and Darius Rucker, to be regular members. 

    In June of 2020, the Opry made this statement: 

    Racism is real. It is unacceptable. And it has no place at The Grand Ole Opry. 

    Just days ago the Opry Tweeted, “On January 7, 1967, Charley Pride made his Grand Ole Opry debut. He was the first black solo singer to perform on the Opry. Pride sang ‘The Snakes that Crawl At Night’ and ‘I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You).’ We love and miss you, Charley.” 

    And now we have Morgan Wallen — not a member but a surprise guest, who thinks racial slurs are not racist when used “playfully” — stepping out on that historic stage one day after Pride’s debut anniversary celebration. 

    Black Opry founder Holly G. penned an open letter to Opry bosses Gina Keltner and Dan Rogers that took them to task: “It felt like a slap in the face to see you all celebrate Charley Pride, only to pull this stunt 24 hours later. You should know that our community is extremely disappointed, though many are not surprised. “A stage that was once a dream destination for many Black artists has now cemented itself as one of the many Nashville stages on which we know we are not respected.”

    The letter follows a meeting Holly had with Gina in which they discussed “pursuing efforts towards creating a safer environment for Black fans and artists and being more inclusive.”

    Pierce Turner Releases New Single, ‘Set A Few Things Up,’ with Stop Motion Video

    Pierce Turner Releases New Single, ‘Set A Few Things Up,’ with Stop Motion Video

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Recorded with acclaimed Bowie guitarist Gerry Leonard

    Today, the internationally acclaimed Irish performer Pierce Turner releases a new single titled “Set A Few Things Up” alongside a creative, handmade music video. The single is the third track off his forthcoming album, Terrible Good, which was created with legendary guitarist Gerry Leonard (David Bowie, Suzanne Vega, Rufus Wainwright). The album is set for release on February 25 via StorySound Records. 

    In a dual-celebration of Terrible Good and St. Patrick’s Day, Pierce will perform at the famed Joe’s Pub in New York City on March 17 with an all-star band including Leonard on guitar, Tony Shanahan on bass (Patti Smith), and Yuval Lion on drums (David Byrne). Tickets are available here.

    “Set A Few Things Up” is about the optimism and persistence of being a musician. The music video was created by the ​​team of Mark Lerner and Nancy Howell and offers a make-shift performance of the song featuring illustrated paper cut outs and stop motion animation.

    An Irish-American musician in the truest, and most literal, sense, Pierce lives half the year in his hometown of Wexford, Ireland, and the other half in his longtime adopted hometown of New York City. Both places are reflected in his songs, which frequently move between these two different worlds. Since he began his solo career in the 80’s, he’s worked on a broad range of projects including writing for opera, scoring movies, and composing a contemporary Mass. His genre-bending songwriting has led Turner to collaborate with legendary producer John Simon (The Band, Leonard Cohen, Cass Elliot) on 1991’s Now Is Heaven and composer Philip Glass on projects such as 1986’s It’s Only a Long Way Across and “Yogi with a Broken Heart.”  

    Turner wrote the songs for Terrible Good over a four-year period, in a process complicated by living and working in two different countries and during a pandemic. Electric guitars are central to Terrible Good, arising from his collaboration with guitarist/producer Gerry Leonard (David Bowie, Rufus Wainwright, Suzanne Vega).  The two Irishmen, who have spent the greater part of their lives living and experimenting with music in New York City, have married those experiences to produce an Irish album recorded with a New York attitude.

    In case you missed it, ABS premiered exclusively the video for Terrible Good’s opening track “Where It Should Be.”

     

    Pierce Turner

     

    *Feature image credit: Chris Schoonover

     

    Mike Zito Blasts Off with New Double Live CD ‘Blues for the Southside’

    Mike Zito Blasts Off with New Double Live CD ‘Blues for the Southside’

    American Blues Scene Staff

    Recorded on November 26, 2021 at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, and produced by Mike Zito, ‘Blues for the Southside’ showcases Zito (guitar and vocals) and his stellar band in full fury.

    With numerous Blues Music Award honors under his belt, Mike Zito, co-owner of Texas-based Gulf Coast Records (which has birthed a number of critically-acclaimed blues/rock albums since its 2018 inception), announces a February 18th release date for his new double live album set, Blues for the Southside.

    Recorded on November 26, 2021 at the Old Rock House in St. Louis, Missouri, and produced by Zito himself, Blues for the Southside showcases him (guitar and vocals) and his stellar band in full fury: Matthew Johnson – vocals/drums; Lewis Stephens – piano/organ; Doug Byrkit – vocals/ bass, with special guests including label mates Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz, plus guitar wizard Eric Gales.

    The song list for that special night included tunes from Mike’s earlier albums such as First Class Life, Gone to Texas, Make Blues Not War and his Tribute to Chuck Berry, plus his takes on songs popularized by Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Tampa Red, as well as a new song, the album’s title track.

    Now based in Nederland, Texas, Zito states:

    ‘Blues for the Southside is a special album for me. I have wanted to do a live blues album playing songs from my catalog with my current band for a while now. I wanted to go back to my old neighborhood in South St. Louis to make the recording. That’s where it all began for me, where I fell in love with music. I knew friends and family would fill the Old Rock House and bring the energy I was looking for in this recording.  I wanted Tony Campanella and Dave Kalz to join me as guests. I grew up with both of these guys playing in the scene in St. Louis in the 1990s. They are also both Gulf Coast Records artists. I was surprised by my dear friend Eric Gales who happened to be in town for a rehearsal. He showed up and I got him onstage to do an impromptu version of the original ‘Voodoo Chile,’ which turned out to be 12 minutes of pure guitar bliss. I am proud of this album and my band. I’m most proud of my hometown and my neighborhood, South St. Louis.

    Mike Zito
    Gulf Coast Records

    *Feature image by Danya Artimisi courtesy of Mark Pucci Media

    Watch: Previously Lost Footage of Rolling Stones at Altamont Festival

    Watch: Previously Lost Footage of Rolling Stones at Altamont Festival

    Lauren Leadingham

    “But every so often something comes along that attracts a lot of attention – such as a never-before-seen home movie from the notorious Altamont Free Concert in 1969.”

    Previously unseen 8mm footage of the notorious Rolling Stones performance at Altamont Festival has been unearthed and published by the Library of Congress. The 26-minute “home video” also features the Flying Burrito Brothers, Carlos Santana, and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.  

    According to a guest post by LOC’s Mike Mashon

    Here at the Library, we’re dedicated to the acquisition, description, preservation and accessibility of our film, video, and sound recording collections regardless of perceived “worth.” We really do want to make it all available for future generations  ̶  so we don’t necessarily prioritize beloved classics over a refrigerator ad or the song “Fido is a Hot Dog Now.”

    But every so often something comes along that attracts a lot of attention – such as a never-before-seen home movie from the notorious Altamont Free Concert in 1969, in which the Hell’s Angels, who had been hired to provide security, stabbed a fan to death during a confrontation over a gun. It was a major cultural turning point of the era, and the heart of the Maysles Brothers 1970 documentary Gimme Shelter.

    Although the video is silent, the footage shows an unparalleled look into performers who had been cut from Gimme Shelter, as well as shots of Mick and Keith watching Gram Parsons fronting the Flying Burrito Brothers.

    How the video was recovered from unprocessed films makes for a good story in and of itself. It started in 1996 when archivist Rick Prelinger acquired 200,000 reels from Palmer Films. The library acquired the reels in 2002, a press release saying it would “take several years before the Library will be in a position to provide access to these films.”

    A technician working on the Prelinger Collection recently discovered two reels of silent 8mm reversal positive, which is a common format for home movies. The handwritten title read, “Stones in the Park.” 

    “When I saw that, I immediately thought that it could be a home movie of the July 5, 1969, Rolling Stones Hyde Park concert held in London a couple of days after the death of guitarist Brian Jones,” Mashon says. “But it could also be a copy of a documentary of the same name, which would make the discovery considerably less interesting.

    “Regardless, I sent the reels up for 2K digitization by our film preservation laboratory. A couple of days later, I heard from some very excited colleagues that the scan wasn’t the Hyde Park show. It was from the Altamont Speedway concert in California and it definitely wasn’t footage from the 1970 documentary.”

    Later in the blog post, Mashon says that while the second reel from the Stones’ evening performance captures the chaos, it doesn’t add to the understanding of Meredith Hunter, who was violently killed by a Hell’s Angel member. 

     

    *Feature image courtesy of Library of Congress