Author Archives: Ches Moulton

About Ches Moulton

Canadian born and raised. Lived in Barbados from April '94 -Oct '11. Clinical Hypnotherapist/Psychotherapist practicing in Brentwood. Lifetime fan of the Blues genre. Have memorable experiences producing/executive producing concerts, street parties and other entertainment events in Halifax, N.S. Married to a woman who is as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside...and she's gorgeous! Really happy to be in the UK and looking forward to making a home here for many years. People here are extremely polite and very warm and welcoming. Glad I can share my love of music with others who appreciate.

Interview-Jensen Interceptors/Gary Martin

The Jensen Interceptors

The Jensen Interceptors


At the recently held Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, I had the pleasure of interviewing Gary (Ace) Martin from the popular blues recording and touring band Jensen Interceptors.

The interview can be heard right here









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Porter visits Blues From Brentwood


I had the very good pleasure of welcoming Gary Porter into the studio on June 27th….along with Dave Melling to provide accompaniment on Keyboards. We had a great interview and a few laughs and some fantastic vocal styling from Porter as he gave a preview of two tracks to appear on his upcoming CD, due out later this year. The tracks Hand on My Heart a melodic ballad and the title track Stone Chucker are sure to catch the ear of anyone interested in intriguing lyrics and vibrant instrumental backing. Eager to hear the tracks with the entire compliment of the band, I’ll be including these and other tracks into the playlist once the CD become available for release.

Porter;  band membes;
Gary Porter – Guitar/Vocals/Songwriting
Dave Melling – Keys / Trumpet / Tenor Sax
Mick Harding – Upright Bass
Clive Dimmock – Baritone & Tenor Sax
Phil Mount – Drums & Percussion
Dave Barlow – Tenor Sax
This new line-up started playing gigs throughout Europe around 2011 supporting various artists including Grammy award nominee James Hunter.
This period of activity culminated in the release of the jazz/ska/blues album ‘Can’t Keep Still’ in summer 2012 which has gained much praise and support from radio and  various press publications including Album of the Week in Europe/Spain.
The band are presently working on their new album ‘Stone Chucker’ and are touring the UK this fall to promote its release.
They are also playing as a main billing act at the BRENTWOOD Music Festival on 7th July.

To hear the interview…[audio:]

To see the video of the session click the link

Hand On My Heart

Stone Chucker

To experience more of Porter and see his touring schedule Click Here

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Rotary Club of Billericay – Blues at Emmanuel

Blues at  Emmanuel



The Rotary Club of Billericay is staging a major blues and jazz concert on Saturday, June 29. Venue: Emmanuel Church, Laindon Road, Billericay. 7.00pm for 7.30pm start.

Music is by the popular Grapevine Blues Band who performed at the club’s open garden event last year and were so good that they were invited back again this year – only indoors for fear of inclement weather.

The band have had many recordings and CDS and their music has been featured on BBC Essex and Phoenix FM.

Proceeds are in aid of “End Polio Now” and other charities supported by Rotary. Tickets: £12.00 to include light refreshments available from:

Patrick Rothan:; Tel: 01277 840289

Roger Kettle: Tel: 01277 659416 or on the Rotary Club of Billericay website:

Car parking space; major raffle.

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Mark Reed interview and session

Click below to listen to the interview and session again:

[audio:|titles=Mark Reed – 23 May 2013]

Videos of Mark Reed live in the studio tonight:

Mark Reed Bio

Age 54 Born in London UK. Currently living in Basildon Essex

As a musician I’m just an old road dog

Bought my first guitar using cash from my paper round at age 12.

Spent teenage years learning every Shadows, Beatles and Led Zepplin song.

Mid 20’s started learning classical guitar, self taught until decided to take exams. Grade 7 classical playing and grade 5 music theory

Started playing classical guitar and folk club venues late 20’s then got invited to play lead guitar in a blues band. Knew nothing about blues guitar so chose to play bass and remained with the band for 5 years. gigging round London, Essex, Kent and Suffolk.

Early to mid 30’s moved through a series of bands everything from country to rock and roll, 60’s covers to rock bands, playing both bass rhythm and lead guitars.

Late 30’s started to write songs and instrumentals for solo performances at acoustic and folk sessions.

Joined covers singer and worked for 10 years gigging around London and home counties.

Started writing and recording more songs and released 4 solo albums, the contents of which came from my solo acoustic repertoire.

Started to post all my material on the web, and received an offer to join a record company Statue Records.

This led to the experimentation of mutli track computer recording. The original request was for an album of 12 songs so I went back to the blues for most of it with some rock songs added.

Thus my 5th album Everything Counts was produced.

The contract was a years duration, but I still found my album on the labels books after 2 years.
I eventually unsigned myself from the company

From then on I became rapidly interested in writing and recording and have gone on to write and produce in total 9 album projects. Many of these have been sold at gigs, unfortunately not in massive quantities lol.

Live work drifted away after my singer retired due to ill health, I finished most of the remaining bookings as a solo act periodically hiring singers to work with me.

Current projects are, to re-record, mix and master most of my back catalogue with an aim to get some of my work published.

Projects are the blues album Whose blues? mine!  This is a series of 8 acoustic blues songs with a tongue in cheek approach to some of my blues moments.

Nice n Eazy which is a compilation of 11 jazz instrumentals much of this was recorded with improvised melodies and has a few fun pieces there.

Summer Dreams and Haunted Themes: For this project I used acoustic and classical guitars with a guitar synth to create some very moody works.

Celtic Sands: This project is ongoing, with a few pieces complete and some basic ideas. It will contain themes based on Irish jigs and reels

I will return to live work, but need to do something different, so looking into the realms of jazz for a vehicle.

Local Recording Artist Mark Reed








Interview is Here! [audio:]

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Session 55 February 28 2013

On February 07, I visited The New Crawdaddy Club to enjoy the evenings entertainment provided by the house band The Heaters and the main attraction Jo Harman & Company. Prior to her set, Jo sat down with me for a quick catch up and a chat about her career.

Here’s the interview…

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Session 52 February 07 2013

The Heaters

On January 31 I visited the New Crawdaddy Blues Club located on Crays Hill, Billericay, where I interviewed Paul Dean. Paul is the Manager of the club, he plays keyboards in the house band, The Heaters, and he books all of the bands that play on Thursday nights. He’s been doing this for over 14 years and claims it is his passion.

Listen to the full interview here


This is a link to The New Crawdaddy Club

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Session 51 January 31 2013

Every Day I Have the Blues James Brown Black & White Blues Collection 17 Blues 2007
Yer Blues The Beatles Black & White Blues Collection 16 Blues 2007
Bad Love (live) Deborah Coleman & Bernard Allison Black & White Blues Collection 18 Blues 2007
Red Hot Mama (live) Fleetwood Mac Black & White Blues Collection 17 Blues 2007
Mean Old World Climax Blues Band Black & White Blues Collection 15 Blues 2007
Trouble in Mind Eric Clapton & Jerry Lee Lewis Black & White Blues Collection 20 Blues 2007
Aint It Good Richie Milton Bill Farrow New Tracks Down An Old Road Blues 2013
Five Long Years Kim Wilson Black & White Blues Collection 16 Blues 2007
Texas Flood – Feb 1988 Stevie Ray Vaughan Unplugged And Jamming Texas Blues 1985
Down To You Walter Trout and The Radicals Go The Distance Electric Blues 2001
Got My Mojo Working Muddy Waters The Definitive Collection Chicago Blues 1956
What’s The Matter With The Mill? Muddy Waters The Blues Collection # 11 – Chicago Blues Urban Blues 1993
Caledonia Downchild Blues Band So Far General Blues 2007
Flip, Flop, Fly Downchild Blues Band So Far General Blues 2007
Hold On – I’m Coming Frank MacKay and The Lincolns Dutchie’s 60th Birthday General Blues 1998
Rad Gumbo Little Feat Road House Jam Bands 1989
Blues About You Baby Delbert McClinton Room To Breathe Americana 2002
Walkin’ Blues Colin James Bad Habits Contemporary Blues 1995
The Blues Is Alright Little Milton Down Home Blues 2 Soul Blues 1988
Good Golly Miss Molly Little Richard The Blues Collection # 12 – Long Tall Sally Mainstream Rock 1994
Shake It For Me The Ledgendary Blues Band Keepin’ The Blues Alive Blues 1990
Crossroads Blues Dr Ika Dr. Ika’s Blues General Blues 2002
Born Under A Bad Sign Dutch Mason Dutchie’s 60th Birthday General Blues 1998
Goin’ Away Baby Eric Clapton From The Cradle Blues Rock 1994
New Kid On The Block Magic Dick and J. Geils Great Blues Harp Blues Rock 1996
Down In The Valley Solomon Burke King Of Blues’n’Soul Classic Soul/R&B 2001
Up And Down Roy Cox and The BluesKnights Road To Freedom Blues, Boogie & Southern Rock
I Had To Go See Alice Buddy Whittington Six String Svengali General Blues 2011
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Session 50 January 24 2013

The Blues Overtook Me Charlie Musselwhite Great Blues Harp Harmonica Blues 1996 Charlie Musselwhite
Shake Your Hips Peter Green Splinter Group Soho Session (CD 1) Blues 1998
Who Do You Love? Howlin’ Wolf The Super, Super Blues Band Urban Blues
Six Days On The Road Taj Mahal The Essential [Disc 1] Acoustic Blues 1969 Earl Greene
Roadhouse Blues Jim Morrison & John Lee Hooker Black & White Blues Collection 07 Blues 2007
Mystery Train Dutch Mason Dutchie’s 60th Birthday General Blues 1998
How Long Blues Eric Clapton From The Cradle Blues Rock 1994 Charles Brown
Alberta Eric Clapton Unplugged 1992 Big Bill Broonzy
Canning Town Blues Richie Milton Bill Farrow New Tracks Down An Old Road Blues 2013
Bring Your Fine Self Home Albert Collins, Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland Showdown Texas Blues 1985 Johnny Copeland
24 Hours At A Time The Marshall Tucker Band Greatest Hits Southern Rock 2011 Toy Talmadge Caldwell
Saviour Colin James Bad Habits Contemporary Blues 1995
Full Tilt Boogie Man Bare Bones Boogie Band Bare Bones Boogie Band Rock 2011
Sinner’s Prayer Ray Charles and B.B. King Genius Loves Company Classic Soul/R&B 2004 Lowell Fulson
Smoking Gun Robert Cray Strong Persuader Contemporary Blues 1986 Bruce Bromberg
Stop Breaking Down Jeff Healey Songs From The Road Blues Rock 2009 Robert Leroy Johnson
Dirt Road Blues Bob Dylan Black & White Blues Collection 08 Blues 2007
After Hours Muddy Waters The Blues Collection # 11 – Chicago Blues Urban Blues 1993 Parrish
Fannie Mae Magic Slim and The Teardrops The Blues Collection # 67 – Grand Slam Urban Blues 1982 Buster Brown
Raw Whiskey Blues The Dermot Byrne Blues Combo Raw Whiskey Blues Other Blues 2008
Ivory Tusk Blues Traveler Travelers & Thieves Adult Alternative Rock 1991 Chandler Kinchla
Look At Little Sister Stevie Ray Vaughan Soul To Soul Electric Blues 1985 H.Ballard
Take Your Time Paul Lamb & King Snakes Black & White Blues Collection 11 Blues 2007
Wild About You John Mayall and The Bluesbreakers The Blues Collection # 08 1987 John Mayall
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Session 49 January 17 2013

Dollar Got The Blues Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown Alright Again! Classic Soul/R&B 2011
You Got Me Wrong Billy Boy Arnold Back Where I Belong Chicago Blues 1993
When the Levee Breaks II Magic Slim & James Cotton Black & White Blues Collection 02 Blues 2007
Five Long Years Kim Wilson Black & White Blues Collection 16 Blues 2007
Gin House Blues Eric Burdon & The Animals Black & White Blues Collection 17 Blues/Rock 2007
Look On Yonder Wall Peter Green Splinter Group Soho Session (2) Blues Rock 1998
Roberta & Johnnie Lee Richie Milton Bill Farrow New Tracks Down An Old Road Blues 2013
Dorchester Minglewood Band Best of Other Blues 1992
Turned Off TV Blues Ten Years After Think About The Times: The Chrysalis Years (1969-1972) British Blues Rock 1972
Mojo Hand Lightnin’ Hopkins Black & White Blues Collection 03 Blues 2007
Pulp Wood Freddie King Black & White Blues Collection 02 Blues 2007
Pleasantly Blue 4 Non Blondes Black & White Blues Collection 04 Blues 2007
Red House Warren Haynes Black & White Blues Collection 02 Blues 2007
Rockin’ Daddy Howlin’ Wolf Smokestack Lightning The Complete Chess Masters 1951-1960 Disc 02 Chicago Blues 1954
It’s Over Jan James Where Blues Meets Rock Disc 01 Other Blues 2000
One Good Man Bare Bones Boogie Band Bare Bones Boogie Band Mainstream Rock 2011
Nobody But You Etta James Wilie Dixon’s Blues Dixonary, Vol:2 Classic R&B 1993
Merry Go Round Fleetwood Mac 100 Hits Blues Ballads Blues 1968
I Got The Blues The Rolling Stones 100 Hits Blues Ballads Blues 1971
I Woke Up With The Blues The Legendary Blues Band Woke Up With The Blues Blues 1989
Sugar Bee Canned Heat Future Blues AOR Classic Rock 1970
Cadillac Baby Colin James Then Again Contemporary Blues 1995
Pride And Joy – 1988 Stevie Ray Vaughan Unplugged And Jamming Texas Blues 1985
Smoking Gun Robert Cray Strong Persuader Contemporary Blues 1986
Flip, Flop, Fly Downchild Blues Band So Far General Blues 2007
Rad Gumbo Little Feat Road House Jam Bands 1989
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Interview with Buddy Whittington

Buddy Whittington

Buddy Whittington is an American guitarist. He began playing the guitar inspired by his sister’s records of The Beatles, Rolling Stones and, in particular, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton. At the age of 14 he was already a part of the Dallas/Fort Worth music scene.  A succession of fledgling musical efforts with varying degrees of success ensued, culminating in an offer by John Mayall to join The Bluesbreakers in 1993.
While attending high school, Buddy played in a band called “Short Change” which opened for Point Blank, a band that he would later join, replacing rhythm guitar player Kim Davis. During the early 1980s, he formed and sang with his own band “The Sidemen”.
In 1991 they opened for John Mayall and when Coco Montoya left the Bluesbreakers in 1993, Mayall called him to take his place in the band. In Mayall’s band Whittington also sings occasionally and contributes to songwriting.
Buddy toured and recorded with Mayal worldwide for the 15 years between 1993 and 2008, at which time the existing Bluesbreakers were ‘kicked out of the nest’ and the band was reformed by Mayall.
2008 saw the release of his first solo album and touring in Europe with his UK based band which includes Roger Cotton on organ, Pete Stroud on Bass and Darby Todd on drums. He lives in Hurst, Texas with his family.
Buddy Whittington usually plays a 1963 Stratocaster plugged into a Dr. Z amplifier. He also plays a Lentz guitar modeled partially after the Fender Telecaster.

On December 06 2012 I interviewed Buddy prior to his Sold Out & Standing Room Only performance at the New Crawdaddy Club in Essex.

Here is the audio of that interview. Buddy Whittington 12-06-12


Source: Wikipedia; Buddy Whittington Homepage


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JO HARMAN GIG DATES (full band unless stated)


Sun 20th Pizza Express, Dean Street, Soho

Sat 26th Mrs Yarringtons Music Club, High Street, Battle, Sussex – acoustic duo gig with Mike Davies

Sun 27th Skegness Rock and Blues Festival, Lincolnshire – headlining acoustic stage, duo gig with Mike Davies

Mon 28th Radio session at Raven and the Blues, houseboat, London for future broadcast (closed event)


Fri 1st Feb
Live radio session at Radio Wey, Surrey with Martin Clarke’s Blues Session (closed event)

Thurs 7th Feb
New Crawdaddy Club, Billericay, Essex
Friday 15th Feb
The Forge, London <>

Sat 23rd Feb
Broadstairs FESTIVAL (headline) Wrotham Arms, Broadstairs, Kent
Tuesday 5th March
supporting Mick Hucknell at Heineken Music Hall, Amsterdam, Netherlands, duo gig with Mike Davies

Wednesday 6th March
supporting Mick Hucknell at Oosterpoort, Groningen, Netherlands, duo gig with Mike Davies

Friday 15th March
Framfield Memorial Hall, Framfield, Sussex
Fri 22nd Mar
Saltburn Blues Club, Saltburn, North East England <>

Sat 23rd Mar
Scarborough Blues FESTIVAL (headline), Scarborough, Yorkshire

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Session 47 January 03 2013

This week’s show was a Live show…in that all the tracks were live recordings of some of the best Blues traditional songs as well as some of the most popular artists in the UK, Canada and USA, throughout their careers…and a few newcomers that are suring up the charts and the festival scene.

Live music is always an interesting experience in that some songs include improvisation, most are much more involved, both instrumentally and in length, and  anything can happen…or not happen when equipment fails.

This was a great set list to prepare and to present.


I’m Torn Down Jeff Healey Mess Of Blues 2008
Walkin’ Blues Amos Garrett Off The Floor Live! 1996
Standing On Shaky Ground [Live] Delbert McClinton Live From Austin 1989
Mercury Blues Canned Heat Burnin’ – Live In Australia 2007
Muddy Water (live) Aretha Franklin Black & White Blues Collection 06 2007
Good Morning Blues (live) Della Reese Black & White Blues Collection 21 2007
Heartsring Jo Harman and Company Live At Hideaway 2011
Little Girl Blue Theresa Malenfant Dutchie’s 60th Birthday 1998
Born Under A Bad Sign Dutch Mason Dutchie’s 60th Birthday 1998
Caldonia [Live] Muddy Waters Charly Blues Legends Live, Vol. 2: Live In Chicago 1979 1995
When Love Comes To Town [Live At The BBC-Recorded live in Glasgow 1991] B.B. King Live At The BBC [BBC Version] 1991
Bring My Baby Back To Me (Live at Mar-Y-Sol Festival) (Prev. Unreleased Long John Baldry Everything Stops For Tea 2005
Catfish Blues (live) Jimi Hendrix Experience Black & White Blues Collection 19 2007
Story Of The Blues Gary Moore Blues Alive 1993
32/20 Blues Gov’t Mule The Deepest End: Live In Concert 2003
(I Got Everything I Need) Almost (Live) Downchild Blues Band But I’m On The Guest List 1982
Steamroller Blues (live) Elvis Presley Black & White Blues Collection 17 2007
Pontiac Blues (live) The Animals & Sonny Boy Williamson Black & White Blues Collection 16 2007
Stranger Blues (live) Fleetwood Mac Black & White Blues Collection 14 2007
100 Years Blues Traveler Live From The Fall 1996
Bad Love (live) Deborah Coleman & Bernard Allison Black & White Blues Collection 18 2007
Smokestack Lightning Boyes, Brill And DelGrosso Live From Bluesville 2008
Confessin’ the Blues (live) The Rolling Stones Black & White Blues Collection 10 2007
Rock Around The Clock Crowbar Larger Than Life ( And Live’r Than You’ve Ever Been) 1972
Oh What A Feeling Crowbar Larger Than Life ( And Live’r Than You’ve Ever Been) 1972
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Podiatry and Physical Fitness

Shulagh Jacobs

I was joined in the studio by Shulagh Jacobs, a veteran physical training professional who has developed  a successful program dedicated to weight loss and fitness training. She spoke about her program and other matters related to achieving and maintaining a healthy body. the interview can be listened to here. [audio:]




Sue Curtin (BSc Hons, M.Ch.S. SRCh)

Sue Curtin also joined me on Bodytalk and spoke about the perils of diabetes and its impact on foot care. Sue also talked about maintaining proper care of one’s feet and gave advice on shopping for stylish footwear while being nice to your feet. The contents of our interview can be heard here:[audio:]


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Session 41 November 22 2012

Downchild Blues Band

The Downchild Blues Band is a Canadian blues band, described by one reviewer as “the premier blues band in Canada”.
The blues pioneer on the Canadian scene, founding member Donnie Walsh, has been called the ‘father of Canadian blues’ and with good reason. That country’s blues scene, was relatively barren in the late 1960s when The Downchild Blues Band first started out.
The band’s international fame is partially due to three of its songs, the originals “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost)” and “Shot Gun Blues”, and its adaptation of “Flip, Flop and Fly”, all from its 1973 album, Straight Up, which was featured on the first Blues Brothers album, Briefcase Full of Blues in 1978.
The band’s musical style is described as being “a spirited, if fundamental, brand of jump-band and Chicago-style blues”. The band name came from the Sonny Boy Williamson II song, “Mr. Downchild”.
The initial blues musical influence on Donnie Walsh was Jimmy Reed. He was later greatly influenced by James Cotton, both in terms of musical style and band format. Other credited influences were Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, Muddy Waters, B.B. King, and Albert King.
The band’s first album, Bootleg, is regarded as one of the first independent albums produced in Canada.
According to Donnie Walsh, while more than 120 musicians have been associated with Downchild since its founding the band has never lost its focus on the blues genre.
Walsh is quoted as saying… “I played the blues then and I play the blues now. That’s what I love. … It’s a living thing, it’s living music. By living and breathing it goes on and what that means is that instead of being the same kind of music somebody else wrote years ago, it lives and evolves. Blues is serious stuff, it’s a heavy kind of music in your soul. You show up with the blues I play, you lighten up. That’s what it’s all about. It’s like medicine.”
The Lead singer for many years Richard “Hock” Walsh…died on December 31, 1999, at the age of 51, of an apparent heart attack. …Donnie Walsh assessed his brother’s ability as follows: “He was a fabulous singer; he could sing the blues better than anybody I’ve ever heard. He had the timing, the phrasing, a fabulous voice…”
The song, “I’ve Got Everything I Need (Almost)” was selected as one of 125 “essential” Canadian songs, and the only blues song on the list.
Since 1971 the band has released no less than 31 albums and has been the recipient of numerous industry awards.

Source: wikipedia;

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Session 34 October 04 2012

Richie Milton

Richie Milton 2008

Born circa 1950 in London… Richie Milton’s career was kick started in the late 60’s, when he appeared on national TV performing, “Got My Mojo Working”, when only 13 years of age.

Playing guitar and singing, Milton became active on the UK blues scene, leading his band, the Lowdown. His repertoire ranges through blues, R&B and rock ‘n’ roll,

Milton writes most of his band’s material, finding an effective mixture of traditional blues themes and contemporary trappings.

In the early 70’s he took up saxophone, and toured and recorded with Freddy Macks Soul Extravaganza and reggae acts The Pioneers and Judge Dread.

After switching to guitar he signed to Bell Records, releasing a single and making further TV appearances. He went on to form “The London Apaches”, who became an established name on the then thriving London R&B scene, releasing the single, “Lost In The Jungle”, and touring with the legendary Long John Baldry. He also recorded the CD “Straight Ahead No Stopping and  “Coming Back For More”.

It was around this time Richie’s songwriting was being noticed paving the way for his well acknowledged talent as a singer and songwriter. The next recording, “Let Me Tell You More” came out on the Blues Matters label, much to critical acclaim and receiving world-wide air play.

The current Lowdown line-up comprises: Dave Lennox on keyboards Phil Lucas on bass, Ed Spevock on drums; Linda Hall on backing and lead vocals; Dick Hanson on trumpet and Steve King on sax.

Their live shows have drawn praise from other artists, and the press alike, including Jazz Journal, who proclaimed their show as, “A Powerhouse Performance”!


Bill Farrow

Bill Farrow

Bill Farrow was born and bred in the east-end of London. The first guitar that he picked up belonged to his older brother, The first guitar Bill owned he bought for £3.00 from a school friend. He still has that guitar.

He was Influenced by Josh White, The Reverend Gary Davis, Jessie Fuller, Jimmy Rodgers, Wood Guthrie and in time Big Bill Broonzy, Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and the whole Folk/Blues scene that was just beginning to open up…and Bill was to become part of  that revival while starting to perform in front of the public for the first time in  the local bars. He began to gain a reputation as a good guitarist and people began to look forward to a very entertaining evening from Bill.

Bill became resident entertainer at a folk club in Barking  supporting such artists as Simon & Garfunkle, Carolyn Hester and Tom Paxton to name only a few. As he performed more and more, his song writing skills began to emerge where he’s well known not just for his renditions of Blues classics but also for his own compositions in a surprisingly wide variety of genres;

In fact, whilst Bill won’t own up to how many years he’s been writing, he does admit to 14, as being the age when he penned his first song.

Bill has recorded numerous albums, including as well as several singles including ‘Canning Town Blues’, which became something of an anthem at the West Ham football ground.

The kind of blues I like is what they now call “The Old Blues”. I still call it the REAL Blue’s, raw, nothing too fancy or slick and nothing too loud.

Bill has recorded no less than five album/cd’s, continues to tour and record.Hi charismatic personality entertains people wherever he appears.



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Session 33 September 27 2012

The Mule performing in 2008: L to R, Haynes, Abts, Hess, Louis

Gov’t Mule is a Southern USA rock jam band formed in 1994 as an Allman Brothers Band side project, by Warren Haynes and Allen Woody.
The two shared a love for 1960s power trios like Cream, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the James Gang and Mountain. Along with drummer Matt Abts, they released their self titled debut album in 1995.
In 1997 when The Allman Brothers Band were not forthcoming with any new material, Haynes and Woody left to concentrate full-time on Gov’t Mule.
Over the course of a 15 year period they released no less than 15 albums…many to critical acclaim and seemingly with each new release the bands popularity increased in direct proportion to the accolades it received.
Unfortunately, in 2000, Allen Woody was found dead in New York City in August of that year.
Haynes began appearing with The Allman Brothers Band again and with Dickey Betts’ departure, Haynes came back full time to the band at the beginning of 2001 and has continued splitting his time between the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule and re-formed Grateful Dead bands.
That next year, Haynes and Abts began to record a tribute album using some of Woody’s favorite bass players. such as Jack Bruce, formerly of the Cream,  Mike Watt of Minutemen, Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Chris Squire of Yes among others.
These sessions resulted in two CDs… The Deep End, Volume 1 in 2001 and  Volume 2   the following year.
Haynes and Abts used a revolving door of keyboardists and bassists to fulfill touring engagements in support of the Deep End recordings. Danny Louis. and Andy Hess, were eventually named as permanent members.
In 2008, Andy Hess was replaced by Jorgen Carlsson, who had been rehearsing with the band for six months.
The band continues to tour extensively and has become a staple act at music festivals across North America, with both its members and frequent guests from other notable bands, adding various funk and blues rock elements to the band’s sound.

Source: Wikipedia

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The New Brunswick Battle of the Blues

The search is on, for the 3rd year in a row, for talented unsigned and original blues bands and solo musicians. The province of New Brunswick, Canada, is looking once more for UK talent to perform on an international stage at its renowned Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival in the capital Fredericton and have once again chosen The New Crawdaddy Blues Club in Billericay, Essex, for the South East heat. Unsigned musicians from around the UK producing original work are invited to sign up for the competition between 1 October and 30 November.  Bands getting through this first phase will be invited to perform at the heats.  This is a brilliant opportunity for local blues musicians and we’d love you to help us spread the word.

For more information or for interviews with New Brunswick Battle of the Blues organisers, just get in touch.  I’ve attached a release and image of last year’s winners, Groove-A-Matics.
With best wishes
New Brunswick Battle of the Blues
(02380 732981 )

September 2012

Nationwide search for best unsigned Blues Musicians chooses Billericay once more for South East heat – musicians from across the country urged to enter now!!

It has just been announced that entries for this year’s highly prestigious and nationwide competition – The New Brunswick Battle of the Blues – will open on 1st October.  For a third year the cream of unsigned bands and singer/songwriters is being sought from across the UK and particularly from the South East of England where, organisers believe, great blues talent deserves higher recognition.
Five heats will take place around the country, with the South East heat being held once again at The New Crawdaddy Blues Club, Billericay.  Another heat in the South will be held at The Brunswick in Hove on 25th January (although musicians are welcome to enter any of the 5 heats – see below). Heat winners plus a ‘judges’ choice’ will go head to head at the final in London in March 2013, with the overall competition winner being taken out to play main stage at the world renowned Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival in New Brunswick, Canada, during September 2013.
Says Lisa Gagnon, who’s organising the competition in the UK for New Brunswick, “Harvest Jazz & Blues is one of the world’s great music festivals.  Once again we’re thrilled to be offering this chance to British blues musicians to play alongside the best of the best.  New Brunswick’s capital Fredericton, where the festival is held, is a wonderful place to visit at any point in the year, but at Harvest time the atmosphere is electric!”
And she continues, “The winners will play gigs on the Festival’s main stage and have the chance to make contact with some of the all time blues greats who come here from across North America and indeed the world.  And we’ll even take our winners whale watching, sea kayaking and sightseeing – all expenses paid, of course.
Last year’s winners – Groove-A-Matics from Gateshead – said this of the competition, “It’s a fantastic opportunity for emerging or established British blues artists to raise their profile and play on a world stage at this brilliant festival – as well as experiencing the wonders of the Canadian province of New Brunswick.”
Interested bands and singer/songwriters are invited to register initially at between 1st October and 30th November 2012.  Artists will need to demonstrate the ability to produce new and original work, though some covers are permitted.  To qualify, they will need to be unsigned at the time of the competition (including the final). Musicians may enter whichever heat best suits them – choose from Newton-le-Willows in the North West, Redcar in the North East, Billericay in the South East, Hove in the South and Cupar, Scotland.
For further information, interview, images or press tickets, please contact Rachel Shimell or Miranda Johnson on 02380 732981/ 01962 890208 or
email:  or

Note to Editors
New Brunswick is one of Canada’s 3 maritime provinces and is known as the ‘Jewel of Atlantic Canada’.  The province is rich in history, culture and natural beauty and music is an integral part of its psyche. Visit  for more information

The Harvest Jazz & Blues Festival is an annual music festival held in Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick.  It has an international following and features blues, jazz and world music, taking over the city for 5 days in September.

Details of heats:

11th January, True Blues Club, Newton Le Willows
24th January, New Crawdaddy Blues Club, Billericay
25th January, The Brunswick, Hove
8th   February, Redcar Blues Club, Redcar
23rd February, Blues & Beyond club, Cupar, Scotland

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Session 32 September 20 2012

Kenny Wayne Shepherd

Born Kenny Wayne Brobst on June 12, 1977, in the state of Louisiana…Kenny Wayne Shepherd is an American guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He has released several studio albums and experienced a rare level of commercial success both as a blues artist and a young musician

He is “completely self taught”, and does not read music. Shepherd got his first “guitar” at the age of three or four, when his grandmother purchased a series of several plastic guitars for him. His self-taught method employed a process of learning one note at a time, playing and rewinding cassette tapes, learning Muddy Waters, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Albert Lee licks and riffs
At the age of 13, Shepherd was invited on stage by the New Orleans bluesman Bryan Lee. After proving his abilities, he decided on music as a career. Demo tapes were made and a two-camera video was shot at Shepherd’s first performance at the Red River Revel Arts Festival in Shreveport.
From 1995 on, Shepherd took seven singles into the Top 10, and holds the record for the longest-running album on the Billboard Blues Charts with Trouble Is….
In 1996, Shepherd began a longtime collaboration with vocalist Noah Hunt, who provided the vocals for Shepherd’s signature song, “Blue on Black”. Shepherd has been nominated for five Grammy Awards, and has received two Billboard Music Awards, two Blues Music Awards and two Orville H. Gibson Awards.
In 2007, he released a critically acclaimed and two time Grammy nominated DVD–CD project, titled 10 Days Out: Blues from the Backroads. This documents Shepherd as he travels the country to jam with and interview the last of the authentic blues musicians.
In 2010 Shepherd was nominated for a Grammy for Live In Chicago which featured performances with Hubert Sumlin, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith, Buddy Flett and Bryan Lee. In 2011, Shepherd released his seventh CD entitled How I Go on Roadrunner Records.
Shepherd is married to actor Mel Gibson’s eldest daughter, Hannah and they have three children.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 31 September 13 2012

Jimmy Rogers

Born James A. Lane in Ruleville, Mississippi on June 3, 1924…Jimmy Rogers was a Chicago blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player. Rogers learned the harmonica alongside his childhood friend Snooky Pryor, and as a teenager took up the guitar and played professionally in St. Louis, Illinois, where he played with Robert Lockwood, Jr. among others, before moving to Chicago in the mid 1940s.
In 1947, Rogers, Muddy Waters and Little Walter began playing together as Muddy Waters’ first band in Chicago  The first band defined the sound of the nascent “Chicago Blues” style (more specifically “South Side” Chicago Blues).
He began to enjoy success as a solo artist in 1950, scoring a hit with “That’s All Right”, but he stayed with Muddy Waters until 1954. In the mid 1950s he had several successful releases most featuring either Little Walter Jacobs or Big Walter Horton on harmonica…most notably “Walking By Myself”…
In the early 1960s Rogers briefly worked as a member of Howling Wolf’s band, before quitting the music business altogether for almost a decade. He gradually began performing in public again, and in 1971 when fashions made him a reasonable draw in Europe, Rogers began occasionally touring and recording, including a 1977 reunion session with his old bandleader Muddy Waters.
In 1995 Rogers was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
He continued touring and recording albums until his death from colon cancer in Chicago on December 19, 1997.

Jimmy Witherspoon

Jimmy Witherspoon born in the state of Arkansas on August 8, 1920  was an American jump blues singer
He first attracted attention singing with Teddy Weatherford’s band in Calcutta, India, which made regular radio broadcasts over the U. S. Armed Forces Radio Service during World War II.
In 1949, recording under his own name he had his first hit, “Ain’t Nobody’s Business,” a song which came to be regarded as his signature tune. In 1950 he had hits with two more songs closely identified with him: “No Rollin’ Blues”, “Big Fine Girl”, as well as “Failing By Degrees” and “New Orleans Woman”.
Witherspoon’s style of blues – that of the “blues shouter” – became unfashionable in the mid-1950s, but he returned to popularity with his 1959 album, Jimmy Witherspoon at the Monterey Jazz Festival.
In 1961 he toured Europe with Buck Clayton and returned to the UK on many occasions. In the 1970s he also recorded the album Guilty! with Eric Burdon. He continued performing and recording into the 1990‘s. Other performers with whom Witherspoon recorded include, Long John Baldry, , Count Basie, and  Van Morrison to name only a few.
Witherspoon died of throat cancer in Los Angeles, California on September 18, 1997.

Jimmy Reed

Born Mathis James Reed on September 6, 1925 in Mississippi,  Jimmy Reed was an American blues musician and songwriter, notable for bringing his distinctive style of blues to mainstream audiences. Reed was a major player in the field of electric blues, as opposed to the more acoustic-based sound of many of his contemporaries and had a significant impact on many rock and roll artists who followed, such as Elvis Presley, Billy Gibbons and the Rolling Stones.
After being discharged from the US Navy in 1945, Reed  married his girlfriend, Mary “Mama” Reed,who appears as an uncredited background singer on many of his songs, notably the major hits “Baby What You Want Me to Do”, “Big Boss Man” and “Bright Lights, Big City”.
By the 1950s, Reed had established himself as a popular musician and soon released “You Don’t Have to Go”, his first hit record. This was followed by a long string of hits.
In 1957, Reed developed epilepsy, though the condition was not correctly diagnosed for a long time, as Reed and doctors assumed it was delirium tremens.[3]
In spite of his numerous hits, Reed’s personal problems prevented him from achieving the same level of fame as other popular blues artists of the time, though he had more hit songs than many others. ract with the fledgling ABC-Bluesway label, but Reed was never able to score another hit.
In 1968 he toured Europe with the American Folk Blues Festival.
Jimmy Reed died in Oakland, California in 1976, of respiratory failure, eight days short of his 51st birthday.
In 1991 Reed was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Source: Wikipedia

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Session 30 September 06 2012

Little Walter Jacobs

Born Marion Walter Jacobs (May 1, 1930 – February 15, 1968), Little Walter was an American blues harmonica player, whose revolutionary approach to his instrument has earned him comparisons to Charlie Parker and Jimi Hendrix, for innovation and impact on succeeding generations. His virtuosity and musical innovations fundamentally altered many listeners’ expectations of what was possible on blues harmonica. Little Walter was inducted into the The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2008 in the “sideman” category making him the first and only artist ever to be inducted specifically for his work as a harmonica player.

Jacobs made his first released recordings in 1947. These and several other early Little Walter recordings and like many blues harp recordings of the era, owed a strong stylistic debt to pioneering blues harmonica player Sonny Boy Williamson I (John Lee Williamson).

In February 1968…a few months after returning from his second European tour, he was involved in a fight while taking a break from a performance at a nightclub on the South Side of Chicago. The relatively minor injuries sustained in this altercation aggravated and compounded damage he had suffered in previous violent encounters, and he died in his sleep at the apartment of a girlfriend early the following morning.

Little Richard

Richard Wayne Penniman born December 5, 1932 and known by the stage name Little Richard, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, recording artist, and actor, considered key in the transition from rhythm and blues to rock and roll in the mid-1950s. He was also the first artist to put the funk in the rock and roll beat and contributed significantly to the early development of soul music.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website entry on Penniman states that:

He claims to be “the architect of rock and roll”, and history would seem to bear out Little Richard’s boast. More than any other performer – save, perhaps, Elvis Presley, Little Richard blew the lid off the Fifties, laying the foundation for rock and roll with his explosive music and charismatic persona. On record, he made spine-tingling rock and roll. His frantically charged piano playing and raspy, shouted vocals on such classics as “Tutti Frutti”, “Long Tall Sally” and “Good Golly, Miss Molly” defined the dynamic sound of rock and roll

Although rock and roll sales were in a slump in America in 1962, Penniman’s records were still selling well in England. From April to May of that year, The Beatles, then still an obscure English band, co-resided with Penniman at the Star Club in Hamburg, Germany, during which time he advised them on the proper technique for performing his songs. Included in this instruction was teaching Paul McCartney his “woo holler.”

Little Milton

Born on September 7, 1934 , James Milton Campbell, Jr. better known as Little Milton, was an American electric blues, rhythm and blues, and soul singer and guitarist, best known for his hit records “Grits Ain’t Groceries” and “We’re Gonna Make It.”

Milton was born James Milton Campbell, Jr., in the Mississippi Delta town of Inverness and raised in Greenville by a farmer and local blues musician. By age twelve he had learned the guitar and was a street musician, chiefly influenced by T-Bone Walker and his blues and rock and roll contemporaries.

In 1952, while still a teenager playing in local bars, he caught the attention of Ike Turner, who was at that time a talent scout for Sam Phillips’ Sun Records. He signed a contract with the label and recorded a number of singles. While none of them broke through onto radio or sold well at record stores, Milton continued his career achieving a loyal following and enjoying modest success as an entertainer, performer and recording artist.

Milton died on August 4, 2005 from complications following a stroke.

Source: Wilkipedia

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Milton & Farrow Entertainers Extraordinaire!

On August 09, 2012 Blues From Brentwood was honoured to host two veteran and talented entertainers in the persons of Richie Milton & Bill Farrow. Their guile and wit are a natural extension  of their talent and  many years and gigs they have witnessed, performing and entertaining throughout the UK. Here are the pics and videos of two  tunes they performed live in the studio and were broadcast to the listening audience. Also…here is the audio of the interview I had with them on this occasion.

Doin' their thing...

..still doin'...

Photo-Op for the Posers







[audio:|titles=Interview Milton & Farrow August 09 2012]

Interview: Richie Milton and Bill Farrow-August 09 2012

Milton&Farrow01 ASAP (Video)

Milton&Farrow02 Crawlin’ Home (Video)



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Session 29 August 30 2012

Gary Moore - 2008

Robert William Gary Moore…born on 4 April 1952 in Belfast , was a Northern Irish musician, most widely recognised as a blues singer and guitarist.
Moore grew up on Castleview Road opposite Stormont’s Parliament Buildings, off the Upper Newtownards Road in east Belfast, as one of five children of a promoter named Bobby and housewife, Winnie, but he left the city as a teenager.
Moore started performing at a young age, having picked up a battered acoustic guitar when he was eight years old. He got his first quality guitar at the age of 14, learning to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left-handed.
He moved to Dublin in 1968 at the age of 16. His early musical influences were artists such as Albert King, Elvis Presley, The Shadows, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. His own style was developing into a blues-rock sound that would be the dominant form throughout his career. Moore’s greatest influence in the early days was guitarist Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac who was a mentor to Moore when performing in Dublin.
He relocated to England in 1970 and remained there, apart from two short periods in America.
Moore played with artists including Phil Lynott and Brian Downey during his teens, leading him to memberships with the Irish bands Skid Row and Thin Lizzy on three separate occasions. Moore shared the stage with such blues and rock luminaries as B.B. King, Albert King, George Harrison and Greg Lake, as well as having a successful solo career.
Moore released his first solo album in 1973, Grinding Stone.  In 1978 the combination of Moore’s blues-based guitar and Phil Lynott’s voice produced “Parisienne Walkways”, which reached the Top Ten in the UK Singles Chart in April 1979.
While less popular in the US, Moore’s work brought substantial acclaim and commercial success in most other parts of the world – especially in Europe.
Throughout his career, Moore was recognised as an influence by many notable guitarists including Vivian Campbell,   Paul Gilbert, Slash,  Joe Bonamassa,  Randy Rhoads, John Sykes and many others.
He collaborated with a broad range of artists including, George Harrison,  Travelling Wilburys, Albert Collins,  Jack Bruce,  B.B. King, Bob Dylan,  Cozy Powell, Rod Argent, the Beach Boys, Ozzy Osbourne, Keith Emerson, Roger Daltrey, Albert King and Andrew Lloyd Webber on the composer’s
He experimented with many musical genres, including rock, jazz, blues, country, electric blues, hard rock and heavy metal.
After a series of rock records, Moore returned to blues music with Still Got the Blues, with contributions from Albert King, Albert Collins and George Harrison.
As Moore returned to his tried and tested blues format in 2001: he continued with this style of expression in that genre through to his final album…Bad For You Baby…released in 2008
Moore died of a massive heart attack, during the early hours of February  6 2011. Moore was laid to rest in St Margaret’s Churchyard, Rottingdean, East Sussex,  which is close to Brighton.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 28 August 23 2012

Long John Baldry 1941-2005

Born on the 12th of January 1941…John William  Baldry  was an British and Canadian blues singer and voice actor. Baldry’s birth was registered in Brixworth Registration District. His early life was spent in Edgware, Middlesex where he attended Camrose Primary School until the age of 11, after which he attended Harrow Downer Grammar School.
He grew to 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m), resulting in the nickname “Long John”. He was one of the first British vocalists to sing blues in clubs. Baldry appeared quite regularly in the early ’60s in the Gyre and Gymble coffee lounge, around the corner from Charing Cross railway station. He sometimes appeared on Eel Pie Island, on the Thames at Twickenham and at the Station Hotel in Richmond…one of the Rolling Stones’ earliest gigs.
In the early 1960s, he sang with Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, with whom he recorded the first British blues album in 1962, titled, “R&B from the Marquee”. At stages, Mick Jagger, Jack Bruce and Charlie Watts were members of this band while Keith Richards and Brian Jones played on stage. When The Rolling Stones made their debut at the Marquee Club in July 1962, Baldry put together a group to support them. Later, Baldry was the announcer introducing the Stones on their US-only live album, Got Live If You Want It!, in 1966. Rod Stewart and Elton John also appeared in bands led by Baldry in the 1960s.
Baldry became friendly with Paul McCartney after a show at the Cavern Club in Liverpool in the early 1960s, leading to an invitation to sing on one of The Beatles 1964 TV specials.
Following the death in 1964 of Cyril Davies, Baldry took over the group and renamed it Long John Baldry and his Hoochie Coochie Men featuring Rod Stewart on vocals and Stewart was recruited after Baldry heard him busking a Muddy Waters song at Twickenham station after Stewart had been to a gig at Eel Pie Island.
In 1965, the Hoochie Coochie Men became Steampacket with Baldry and Stewart as male vocalists,  After Steampacket broke up in 1966, Baldry formed Bluesology featuring Reg Dwight on keyboards and Elton Dean, on guitar. Dwight adopted the name Elton John, his first name from Dean and his surname from Baldry.
Bluesology broke up in 1968, with Baldry continuing his solo career
In 1968 he recorded top a 20 hit titled “Mexico”, which was the theme of the UK Olympic team that year.
In 1971, John and Stewart each produced one side of It Ain’t Easy which became Baldry’s most popular album and made the top 100 of the US album charts. The album featured “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll” which became his most successful song in the US.
The two would again co-produce his 1972 album Everything Stops For Tea which made the lower reaches of the US album charts.
In 1978, Baldry settled in Vancouver, British Columbia, where he gained citizenship in that country. His 1997 album Right To Sing The Blues won a Juno Award in the Blues Album of the Year category in the Juno Awards of 1997. He continued to make records and do voiceover work. One of his best known roles in voice acting was as Dr Robotnik in Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
Baldry’s final UK Tour concluded with a performance on Saturday 13 November 2004 at The King’s Lynn Arts Centre, in Norfolk.
Long John Baldry died on 21 July 2005 in Vancouver.


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Session 26 August 09 2012

Sonny Boy Williamson

Born John Lee Curtis Williamson on March 30, 1914 Sonny Boy Williamson  was an American blues harmonica player and singer, and the first to use the name Sonny Boy Williamson.

His original recordings were considered to be in the country blues style, but he soon demonstrated skill at making harmonica a lead instrument for the blues, and popularized it for the first time in a more urban blues setting. He has been called “the father of modern blues harp” and in 1934 settled in Chicago.
His name was synonymous with the blues harmonica for the next decade.
Well-known recordings of his include “Good Morning School Girl” “Sugar Mama Blues”, “Shake the Boogie”, “You Better Cut That Out”, “Sloppy Drunk”, “Early in the Morning” and “Stop Breaking Down” and “Hoodoo Hoodoo” aka “Hoodoo Man Blues”.
Williamson’s style influenced a large number of blues harmonica performers, including Billy Boy Arnold, Junior Wells, Sonny Terry, and Little Walter, among many others. He was the most widely heard and influential blues harmonica player of his generation. His music was also influential on many of his non-harmonica playing contemporaries and successors, including Muddy Waters (who had played guitar with Williamson in the mid-1940s) and Jimmy Rogers
He was popular enough that by the 1940s, another blues harp player, Aleck/Alex “Rice” Miller, from Mississippi, began also using the name Sonny Boy Williamson. John Lee is said to have objected to this, though no legal action took place, possibly due to the fact that Miller did not release any records during Williamson’s lifetime, and that Williamson played mainly around the Chicago area, while Miller seldom ventured beyond the Mississippi Delta region until after Williamson’s death.
Williamson recorded prolifically both as a bandleader and a sideman over the entire course of his career,
Williamson’s final recording session took place in Chicago in December 1947,.
On June 1, 1948, John Lee Williamson was killed in a robbery on Chicago’s South Side, as he walked home from a performance just a block and a half away from his home.
A Tennessee historical marker, placed in 1991, indicates the place of his birth and describes his influence on blues music.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 25 August 02 2012

George Thorogood performing at Niagara Falls, Canada

George Thorogood born February 24, 1950 is an American blues rock vocalist/guitarist and recording artist from the state of Delaware in the  United States.
In the 1970s, Thorogood played on a baseball team in Delaware in a semi-professional League. He was the second baseman and was chosen rookie of the year  However, after seeing John P. Hammond perform he turned toward music  and by the late-1970s, success in the music industry led him to quit playing the sport and focus on music instead.
Thorogood’s demo, Better Than the Rest, was recorded in 1974, but was  not released until 1979. His major recording debut came in 1976 with the album: George Thorogood & The Destroyers.
While touring in the 1970s, the Destroyers and Jim Thackery’s Nighthawks happened to be playing shows in Georgetown (DC) at venues across the street from each other. The Destroyers were engaged at The Cellar Door and the Nighthawks at Desperados. At midnight, by prior arrangement, while both bands played Elmore James’ “Madison Blues” in the key of E, Thorogood and Thackery left their clubs, met in the middle of the Street, exchanged guitar patch cords and went on to play with the opposite band in the other club.
Thorogood gained his first mainstream exposure as a support act for The Rolling Stones during their 1981 U.S. tour. Thorogood and the Destroyers also became known for their rigorous touring schedule, including the “50/50” tour of 1980, on which the band toured 50 US states in the space of 50 days
With a fusion of roots rock, roots blues and endless boogie, George Thorogood and the destroyers have spent more than 35 years touring the world and getting people on their feet.
All but one album have charted in the top 100 Billboard charts with eight in the top 10.
He has recorded or appeared on no less then 27 albums throughout his ongoing career and continues to tour and preform to  sold out venues.

source: wikipedia;;

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Session 24 July 26 2012

Howlin' Wolf

Chester Arthur Burnett born on June 10, 1910 in West Point, Mississippi  and known as Howlin’ Wolf, was an influential American blues singer, guitarist and harmonica player.
With a booming voice and looming physical presence, Burnett is commonly ranked among the leading performers in electric blues; A number of songs written or popularized by Burnett—such as “Smokestack Lightnin'”, “Back Door Man”, “Killing Floor” and “Spoonful”—have become blues and blues rock standards.
At 6 feet, 6 inches  and close to 300 pounds, he was an imposing presence with one of the loudest and most memorable voices of all the “classic” 1950s Chicago blues singers.
In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him #51 on their list of the “100 Greatest Artists of All Time”.
Explaining the origin of the name Howlin’ Wolf he was quoted as saying  My Grandfather would often tell me stories about the wolves in the country and warn him that if he misbehaved, the howling wolves would “get him”.
In 1930, Howlin’ Wolf met Charley Patton, the most popular bluesman in the Delta at the time.  The two became acquainted and soon Patton was teaching him guitar. His harmonica playing was modeled after that of Rice Miller (also known as Sonny Boy Williamson II), who had taught him how to play when Howlin Wolf had moved to Parkin, Arkansas, in 1933.
“How Many More Years”, his first and biggest hit, made it to #4 in 1951; “Moanin’ at Midnight”, “Smokestack Lightning” “I Asked For Water (She Gave Me Gasoline)” also appeared on the charts and qualified as “hits” on the Billboard national R&B charts:
Throughout the 1960‘s and 70‘s he continued to record and tour and in 1964 he toured Europe as part of the American Folk Blues Festival tour produced by German promoters Horst Lippmann and Fritz Rau.
In May 1970, Howlin’ Wolf, traveled to London  and recorded  the Howlin’ Wolf London Sessions LP, accompanied by British blues/rock musicians Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Ian Stewart, Bill Wyman, Charlie Watts and others. He recorded his last album for Chess, The Back Door Wolf, in 1973.
Though functionally illiterate into his 40s, Burnett eventually returned to school, first to earn a G.E.D., and later to study accounting and other business courses aimed to help his business career.
He died on January 10 1976 from complications of kidney disease.
A popular music venue in New Orleans, Louisiana was named The Howlin’ Wolf when it opened in 1988.
Burnett was portrayed by Eamonn Walker in the 2008 motion picture Cadillac Records.
In 1999 a recording of Howlin’ Wolf was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, which is a special Grammy award established in 1973 to honor recordings that are at least twenty-five years old, and that have “qualitative or historical significance
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed three songs by Howlin’ Wolf of the 500 songs that shaped rock and roll.
On September 17, 1994 the U.S. Post Office issued a Howlin’ Wolf 29 cents commemorative postage stamp.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 23 July 19 2012

Canned Heat in concert 1979

Canned Heat is an American blues-rock/boogie rock band that formed in Los Angeles, California in 1965.  It was launched by two blues enthusiasts, Alan Wilson and Bob Hite, who took the name from Tommy Johnson’s 1928 “Canned Heat Blues”,  After appearances at Monterey and Woodstock, at the end of the 1960s the band acquired worldwide fame.
The band appeared at most major musical events at the end of the 1960s and they were able to deliver on stage electrifying performances of blues standards and their own material. Two of their songs—”Going Up the Country” and “On the Road Again”—became international hits. “Going Up the Country” was a remake of the Henry Thomas’s song “Bulldoze Blues” recorded in in 1927. “On the Road Again” was a cover version/re-working of the 1953 Floyd Jones song of the same name, which is reportedly based on the Tommy Johnson song “Big Road Blues” recorded in 1928 and became a number one hit in most markets and finally put a blues song on the top charts
Producer Johnny Otis recorded the band’s first (unreleased) album in 1966  but the record was not actually released until 1970 when it appeared as Vintage Heat,
“Rollin’ and Tumblin’” backed with “Bullfrog Blues” became Canned Heat’s first single. The first official album, Canned Heat, was released three months later in July 1967. The first big live appearance of Canned Heat was at the Monterey Pop Festival on June 1
Also in 1968, after playing before 80,000 at the first annual Newport Pop Festival in September, Canned Heat left for their first European tour. It entailed a month of concert performances and media engagements that included TV appearances on the British show Top of the Pops. “On the Road Again” rose to #1 in practically in all of Europe.
Canned Heat’s popularity has endured in some European countries and Australia. In Belgium they have a particularly devoted following
The Band has endured many lineup changes throughout the decades and continues to tour and preform today.

Source: Wikipedia

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Set List-Sunday July 15 2012

Alicia Keys Fallin’ 2001
April Wine Just Between You And Me 1996
B.J. Thomas (Hey Won’t You Play) Another Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song 1975
Bob Marley No Woman, No Cry (Live At The Roxy) 1992
Bread If 1971
Bread Make It With You 1970
Dire Straits So Far Away 1986
Dobie Gray Drift Away 1973
Don Henley The Last Worthless Evening 1989
Dr. Hook When You’re In Love With A Beautiful Woman 1979
Extreme More Than Words 1990
Gary Wright Dream Weaver 1976
Gordon Lightfoot If You Could Read My Mind 1970
Hootie and The Blowfish Let Her Cry 1994
Jimmy Buffett Come Monday 1974
Jo Harman Summer Breeze 2012
John Lennon (Just Like) Starting Over 1980
Kansas Dust In The Wind 1977
Lenny Kravitz Can’t Get You Off My Mind 1995
Nazareth Love Hurts 1976
Phoebe Snow Poetry Man 1975
Santana Feat. Seal You Are My Kind 2002
Savage Garden Truly Madly Deeply 1997
Scorpions Still Loving You 1984
Steely Dan Deacon Blues 1977
Stephen Bishop On And On 1977
The Mamas and The Papas Dream A Little Dream Of Me 1968
The Moody Blues Nights In White Satin 1967
Van Morrison Brown Eyed Girl 1967
Whitesnake Is This Love 1987
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Session 22 July 12 2012

Eric Clapton - 2008

Eric Patrick Clapton, born on 30 March 1945 in Ripley, Surrey, England, to a British mother and Canadian father… is known throughout the world as a guitarist and singer-songwriter, creative genius and philanthropist.
Clapton received an acoustic Hoyer guitar, made in Germany, for his thirteenth birthday, but the inexpensive steel-stringed instrument was difficult to play. Influenced by the blues from an early age, he practised long hours to learn the chords of blues music by playing along to the records.
His guitar playing was so advanced that by the age of 16 he was getting noticed. Around this time Clapton began busking around Kingston, Richmond, and the West End.
Clapton forged a distinctive style and rapidly became one of the most talked-about guitarists in the British music scene.
Clapton cites Freddie King, B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, and Hubert Sumlin as guitar playing influences. Clapton stated Robert Johnson to be his single most important influence.
In the mid 1960s, Clapton departed from the Yardbirds to play blues with John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers. where he gained the nickname “Slowhand” because he re-stringed his guitar on stage during live concerts.
Guitarists influenced by Clapton include Richie Sambora, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Gary Moore, Duane Allman, Derek Trucks, Eddie Van Halen, Brian May, Tony Iommi, Lenny Kravitz, Slash, Vince Gill, Joe Satriani, Joe Bonamassa, and George Harrison.
Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and as a member of Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and influential guitarists of all time and ranked second in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” and fourth in Gibson’s Top 50 Guitarists of All Time.
Having received an OBE in 1994…ten years later he was promoted to CBE.


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Jo Harman Biographical

Jo Harman

“I want to make a classic album” so says Johanna Harman, “one that sounds just as good in ten years time” she explains. “I’ve had producers, managers, boyfriends, whoever, all telling me to follow the main chance and they are all well meaning and stuff, but really, I know what kind of record I want to make and I’m just gonna go ahead and make it!”. So, Jo and her band take to the best studios around , to do just that. And based on the live shows, a very interesting record it promises to be with, amongst other things, soul, gospel, country blues and rootsy rock and roll being thrown into the mix. If nothing else, it promises to be a deeply sincere record, which is exactly the way Jo wants it. But first, let’s get acquainted…
Born in London, raised in Devon, Jo pursued her love of classical music – playing bassoon to grade 8 standard in a number of prestigious youth orchestras. After gaining a degree in performing arts, she subsequently travelled the world before coming to Brighton, her current home town, to study at the Brighton Institute of Modern Music.
Jo’s evocative voice, a truly powerfully soulful and bluesy instrument, attracted the attention of the infamous London/Brighton Soul Reality Collective where she was invited to take centre stage with some of the best around, including musicians who have worked with the likes of Massive Attack, Jools Holland, Tom Jones, Iggy Pop, Paul Weller and many, many other A-list greats. Quickly encouraged by these guys to form her own band comprising the best of their number, her fast growing reputation secured prestigious bookings – gigs at the world famous 606 club, a couple of BBC introducing sessions and a guest slot with the legendary Average White Band, included. These early gigs instantly showcased a natural stagecraft and a deeply expressive voice that drew instant, if sometimes unhelpful!, comparisons with any manner of other singers as diverse as Janis Joplin and Dusty Springfield and the classic Memphis performers.
From this fast track apprenticeship, in 2010 Jo teamed up with Grammy winning producer Pete Smith (Sting, Joe Cocker) and Boe Larsen of the noted MillFactory in Denmark, and The Jo Harman Project was born. After a handful of critically acclaimed gigs the project hit the rocks. “I’ll always be grateful to Pete and Boe, it was a fabulous experience and we recorded some great tunes but at the end of the day it was their project, their vision, not mine. I was a hired hand, a very willing hired hand, but at the end of the day I’m an artist and, for better or worse, artists have to speak to their own soul”.
So in 2011 Jo branched out as an independent, originals, artist, not only paying her dues but quickly making an impact, attracting regular bookings from prestigious London venues such as ‘Parliamentary Jazz Venue of the Year’, Hideaway – where she and they recorded their first ever live album – and selling out the Pizza Express Dean Street, venues both otherwise renowned for booking some of the most established and respected artists in the business. This early buzz led to a number of summer festival appearances – Chagstock, North Devon and Meadowlands, included – and being invited, in very short order indeed, to open for the likes of Candi Staton, Marlena Shaw, Incognito, Omar and more. Indeed a mini tour opening for Amercian based soul’funk legends, Average White Band led to Jo being asked to front up as vocalist for AWB saxist, Freddy V’s all star band UK touring band. Major guest spots with UK own groove supergroup, Kokomo, and a session as ‘voice of choice’ for double grammy nominated producer James McMillan’s song co-written by Amy Winehouse, further underlined Jo’s industry credentials as a vocalist of rare distinction.
2012 promises to be no less busy for this maturing singer. With a world class pool of musicians in tow, known as ‘The Company’ (with collective resumes that include the likes of Bob Dylan, Beyonce, Jessie J, Bobby Womack, Tina Turner and more) Jo and Co. will be extending their fledgling touring even further; lots of festivals, small theatres and provincial Arts Centres included. An eagerly anticipated debut studio material remains in the works. ‘I’m in no rush’ concedes Jo. ‘It has to right, it has to be me and it has to be good. I got some more dues to pay and I’m busy paying em… hang on in there, its coming’.

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Session 21 July 05 2012

Elmore James

Born Elmore Brooks  on January 27, 1918  in Mississippi Elmore James was an American blues guitarist, singer, songwriter and band leader. He was known as “the King of the Slide Guitar” and had a unique guitar style, noted for his use of loud amplification and his stirring voice.
Elmore began making music at the age of 12 using a simple one-string instrument (“diddley bow” or “jitterbug”) strung up on a shack wall.
Although Robert Johnson died in 1938, James (like many other musicians) was strongly influenced by him, and by Kokomo Arnold and Tampa Red. There is a dispute as to whether Robert Johnson or Elmore wrote James’ trademark song, “Dust My Broom”.
James’s early death may have been hastened by his lifelong taste for, and manufacture of, moonshine whiskey, to which he was introduced at an early age. James was also reportedly an extremely fast driver who also loved hunting with guns and dogs in Mississippi.
During World War II James joined the United States Navy, was promoted to coxswain and took part in the invasion of Guam against the Japanese. Upon his discharge, Elmore returned to central Mississippi and eventually settled in Canton with his adopted brother Robert Holston where he devised his unique electric sound, using parts from the shop and an unusual placement of two D’Armond pickups.
He began recording in January 1951, first as sideman then debuting as a session leader in August with “Dust My Broom”. It was a surprise R&B hit in 1952 and turned James into a star.
During the 1950s he recorded “It Hurts Me Too” “The Sky Is Crying” (credited to Elmo James “My Bleeding Heart”, “Stranger Blues”, “Look on Yonder Wall”, “Done Somebody Wrong”, and “Shake Your Moneymaker”, all of which are among the most famous of blues recordings.
James played a wide variety of “blues” (which often crossed over into other styles of music) similar to that of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf and some of B. B. King’s work, but distinguished by his guitar’s vastly more powerful sound  There are only a few  known photos of James performing.
The nearest we have to a recording of a ‘live’ set by James is his last recorded session by Bobby Robinson, in New York City in 1963 shortly before James death. This session features several takes of “Hand In Hand” which was abandoned and James then played a ‘live’ set.
His best known song is the blues standard “Dust My Broom” The song’s opening slide guitar riff is one of the best-known sounds in all of blues. It is essentially the same riff that appeared in the recording of the same song by Robert Johnson, but James played the riff with electric slide guitar.
He influenced many rock guitarists such as The Rolling Stones’ Brian Jones, Fleetwood Mac’s Jeremy Spencer. John Mayall The Allman Brothers Band, Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix. James is mentioned in The Beatles’ song “For You Blue”: while John Lennon plays the slide guitar (Frank Zappa and Jimmy Page
James’s music & style still today has immense influence upon today’s modern blues icons, including the young Derek Trucks of the Allman Brothers and The Derek Trucks Band, who has attributed James as his most predominant influence, and inspiration.
During his abbreviated career he recorded no less than 46 singles and 22 albums
James died of his third heart attack in Chicago on May 24, 1963 just prior to a tour of Europe.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 20 June 28 2012

Carolyn Wonderland at Antone's in Austin (2008).

Born Carolyn Bradford in 1972, in  Houston, Texas) Carolyn Wonderland is an American blues singer, songwriter and musician. She is married to A. Whitney Brown.
Originally a High School dropout in pursuit of her musical ambitions, in she was spending more than 300 days a year on the road performing.
Wonderland’s instrumental abilities include guitar, slide guitar, mandolin, trumpet and piano. Although primarily a blues artist, Wonderland likes to incorporate elements of country, swing, zydeco, surf, gospel, soul, and cumbia into her musical mix.
Fans of Wonderland’s music include Bob Dylan, and Ray Benson, founder of Asleep at the Wheel. Benson produced Miss Understood, her 2008 album release and has been one of her songwriting collaborators. Wonderland credits several blues and Texas musicians as influences on her music.
Wonderland has been involved in a number of recordings, including several that were self-produced on independent labels. She was the lead singer fronting the band Imperial Monkeys.
Wonderland released Bloodless Revolution in 2008, and is the primary singer on the Jerry Lightfoot’s Band of Wonder Texistentialism CD with Lightfoot and Vince Welnick
Wonderland appeared on Austin City Limits in 2008, and has had her music used on NBC’s Homicide and Fox’s Time of Your Life.
She was a headlining artist at the annual Rochester International Jazz Festival in the summer of 2009
Wonderland also performs with the Imperial Golden Crown Harmonizers, raising money for local Austin charities, food banks, soup kitchens, homeless shelters,
She has won Best Female Vocalist at the Austin Music Awards in both 2009 and 2012 and in 2009 she also won the award for Best Blues Band. She has also been awarded for her songwriting talents.
Wonderland married writer-comedian A. Whitney Brown in March 2011, in a ceremony officiated by Michael Nesmith.

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Jo Harman – Interview and Tour Dates

Click here to listen again to the interview:

[audio:|titles=Jo Harman Interview July05’12]

Thu. 12th July, New Crawdaddy Club, Billericay, Essex

Fri. 20th July, Chichester Inn, Chichester

Fri. 24th Aug, Limetree FESTIVAL, Yorkshire

Fri. 31st Aug, Brixham Theatre, Devon

Sat. 8th Sep, Exchange Arts Centre, Dorset

Sat. 15th Sep, Pizza Express Jazz Club, Maidstone, Kent

Sun. 16th Sep, Hoochie Coochie, Newcastle

Sun. 23rd Sep, Little Jazz Club, Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Fri. 28th Sep, Hideaway, Streatham, London

Sun. 30th Sep, York Blues FESTIVAL, Yorkshire

Sun. 21st Oct, Frome Blues FESTIVAL, Somerset

Sun. 28th Oct, Scunthorpe Blues FESTIVAL, Yorkshire

Fri. 23rd Nov, HighBarn, The Bardfield Centre, Essex

Fri. 7th Sep, Hideaway, Streatham, London

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Session 19 June 21 2012

Delbert McClinton

Delbert McClinton was born November 4, 1940 in Lubbock Texas and is an American blues rock and electric blues singer-songwriter, guitarist, harmonica player, and pianist.Active as a side-man since 1962 and as a band leader since 1972, he has recorded for several major record label albums, and charted singles on the Billboard Hot 100, Mainstream Rock Tracks, and Hot Country Songs charts. On a tour to the United Kingdom, McClinton instructed John Lennon on the finer points of blues harmonica playingEmmylou Harris had a No. 1 hit in 1978 with McClinton’s composition “Two More Bottles of Wine,” and his “B Movie Boxcar Blues” was covered on the first The Blues Brothers album, Briefcase Full of Blues

His highest-peaking single was “Tell Me About It”, a 1992 duet with Tanya Tucker which reached No. 4 on the Country chart. He has also had four albums that made it to No. 1 on the U.S. Blues chart, and another that reached #2.

McClinton’s 1980 album, The Jealous Kind, contained his only Top 40 hit single, “Givin’ It Up for Your Love”, which peaked at number 8 on the Billboard Hot 100. After an inactive period during much of the 1980s, He won a 1991 Grammy Award for his duet with Bonnie Raitt, “Good Man, Good Woman”In 2006, McClinton won a Grammy Award for his album The Cost of Living in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category.He was inducted into the Texas Heritage Songwriters Hall of Fame, in March 2011.


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Session 18 June 14 2012

Stevie Ray Vaughan

Born on October 3, 1954 Stephen Ray “Stevie” Vaughan (– August 27, 1990) was an American guitarist, vocalist, songwriter, and a notable recording artist. Often referred to by his initials, SRV, he is best known as the leader of the blues rock band Double Trouble, with whom he recorded four studio albums and toured the world.
Influenced by guitarists of various genres, Vaughan emphasized intensity and emotion in his guitar playing, and became one of the leading blues rock musicians, encompassing multiple styles, including jazz and ballads.
Born and raised in Dallas as the younger brother of Jimmie Vaughan, he moved to Austin at the age of 17. Accompanied by drummer Chris Layton, bassist Tommy Shannon, and later, keyboardist Reese Wynans, Vaughan became an important figure in Texas blues, a loud, swing-driven fusion of blues and rock.
Vaughan was highly rated and is considered to be one of the greatest guitarists of all time. He has received critical recognition for his guitar playing, ranked at #7 on Rolling Stone’s list of “100 Greatest Guitarists” in 2003. He ranked #3 on Classic Rock magazine’s list of “100 Wildest Guitar Heroes” in 2007. Vaughan won six Grammy Awards, and was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and won five W.C. Handy Awards. As of 2012, Vaughan has sold over 11.5 million albums with Double Trouble.
Vaughan’s music took root in blues, rock, and jazz. He was influenced by the work of blues artists such as Albert King, B.B. King, Freddie King, Albert Collins, Johnny “Guitar” Watson, Buddy Guy, Howlin’ Wolf, Otis Rush, Guitar Slim, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters.
He was influenced by rock artists including Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, along with jazz guitarists like Django Reinhardt, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, and George Benson.
While Albert King had a substantial influence on Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix was Vaughan’s greatest inspiration. Vaughan declared: “Hendrix was so much more than just a blues guitarist–In fact I’m not sure if he even played the guitar–he played music.” Vaughan owed his guitar technique in large part to Lonnie Mack, who Vaughan acknowledged taught him to “play guitar from the heart”.
On August 27, 1990, while departing a concert venue by helicopter in East Troy, Wisconsin, Vaughan was killed when the helicopter crashed into the side of a ski hill. His death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and as many as 3,000 people attended his public memorial service in Dallas.

Source: Wikipedia;

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Blues at Burstead with Grapevine Blues

Blues at Burstead

The Rotary Club of Billericay staged its annual Big Band in the Garden  festival on Sunday June 10.  This year known as Blues at Burstead, it was  held  at the home of Rotarian Peter Strong in his beautiful garden at Ivy Cottage, Laindon Common Road, Little Burstead.
The event featured for the first time, the Grapevine Blues Band . It was  great family day out with dancing on the lawn, jugs of Pimms and  picnics. The event was staged in support of Little Haven Children’s Hospice.

My interview with Peter Strong (Foundation Chairman) is here Peter Strong Interview

Grapevine Blues
Grapevine Blues was formed in 1997 by Mike Chase and like most successful bands has experienced changes and additions to the membership over the years
Mike…with his Vocals & Harmonica styling is joined by guitarist Dr Eeka, who hails   from Tbilisi, Georgia and was twice voted top guitarist in the U.S.S.R. before coming to the West…and has twice  performed with the legendary B.B.King -(once in Georgia and again in Sweden)…an unusual claim to fame from an ex- neurosurgeon.
Mike & Ika are joined by fellow musicians Ivan Hoe, Dave ‘Roy’ Rogers and Dave Lennox to form the Grapevine Blues Band.
Ivan Hoe is an outstanding drummer from Johannesburg, South Africa.
Dave ‘Roy’ Rogers on bass is the other half of that rock steady rhythm section.
Adding an exciting new dimension to the band is  Dave Lennox on keyboards.

Collectively the members have played with Rory Gallagher & Alvin Lee, Bernie Devine Blues Band, Al Green, Ginger Baker, Herbie Hancock, The Equals, Thin Lizzy, Chris Montez, Dave Berry… to name only some….and have shared a stage with people such as Wilko Johnson, Stan Webb (Chicken Shack), Kenny ‘Blues Boss’ Wayne, The Yardbirds, Buddy Guy and Gary Moore.

My Interview with Mike Chase is here Mike Chase Interview

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Session 17 June 07 2012

Etta James in 2006

Born Jamesetta Hawkins in Los Angeles on January 25, 1938  Etta James was an American singer, songwriter and recording artist. Her style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Starting her career in the mid-1950s, she gained fame with hits such as “Dance With Me, Henry”, “At Last”, “Tell Mama”, and “I’d Rather Go Blind” for which she wrote the lyrics.
Relocating in 1950 to the Fillmore district in San Francisco. The 14-year-old girl met musician Johnny Otis. who gave the singer her stage name reversing Jamesetta. James recorded a version, of “Dance with Me, Henry” which she was allowed to co-author, in 1954, In February of 1955 the song reached number one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Tracks chart.
Her debut album, At Last!, was released in late 1960 and was noted for its varied choice in music from jazz standards to blues to doo-wop and rhythm and blues (R&B). The album also included James’ future classic, “I Just Want to Make Love to You” and “A Sunday Kind of Love”. In early 1961, James released what was to become her signature song, “At Last”, which reached number two on the R&B chart and number 47 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Though she continued to perform, little was heard of Etta James until the late 1980‘s  when in 1989, James released the album Seven Year Itch and went on to enjoy a resurgence in her career, releasing several albums, appearing in concert video’s and continuing to tour throughout the 90‘s.
In April 2009, the 71-year-old James made her final television appearance performing “At Last” during an appearance on Dancing with the Stars. In November 2011, James released her final album, The Dreamer, which was critically acclaimed upon its release.
From 1989, James received over 30 awards and recognitions from eight different organizations, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences which organizes the Grammys.
James is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked James number 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists.
Etta James died on January 20, 2012, just five days before her 74th birthday, and three days after the death of Johnny Otis

Source: Wikipedia

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Liam Tarpey: a studio session

The UK’s rising blues recording artist Liam Tarpey graced us with his presence in the studio during Blues From Brentwood this week. Not only did he sit down for an interview, but he also took the time to entertain us with two acoustic versions of songs from his current CD, titled Warm Up My Bones.

The Liam Tarpey Band are an energetic young Blues trio from London UK, comprising of Liam Tarpey (guitar and vocals), Rob Millard (bass and vocals) and James Taylor (drums).


They formed in late 2011, have been gigging extensively since and released their acclaimed debut album ‘Warm up my Bones’ in October of the same year. The debut release is receiving heavy airplay on UK and international Blues radio stations and has been reviewed in Classic Rock Magazine.

With a fast growing 2400+ strong following on Facebook the band have been endorsed by one of the world’s leading boutique effects pedals manufacturers, Wampler Pedals and most recently by Diago Pedalboards.

Since forming a few months back, the band has played at some of the most respected London venues, and have supported some of the biggest names in UK blues.
Their style, comprising of Southern Blues, Rock and Soul makes them stand out and have always played to standing ovations at every show.

The band has been nominated for the Kevin Thorpe Award at the British Blues Awards 2012. You can visit their website at and cast a vote in favour of this award

Following is the list of questions I asked Liam … and to hear the complete interview … click below …

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Liam Tarpey (Ches, 31-05-2012)]
  1. Give our listeners a brief history of the Band
  2. Why The Blues?
  3. Who are the songwriters in the band?
  4. Take me through your process as it relates to songwriting
  5. The Blues in general aside…What are the common themes in your work to date?
  6. Do you like touring?
  7. Briefly…what have you got in the pipeline?
  8. Where do you see yourself in 3 years?

To listen to the acoustic set Liam performed in the studio, you can watch the videos below:





To connect with the Liam Tarpey Band…
Twitter: @LiamTarpeyBand

The Liam Tarpey Band is managed by Simon Collyer, Artist Partners.


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Dave Jackson descends upon Phoenix


One part ‘Kossoff’, one part ‘Rodgers’ with a good dose of ‘Hendrix’. A guitar style described as mesmerising, luscious deep toned and soaring. With a rock-solid rhythm section likened to ‘Mitch Mitchell’, ‘Andy Fraser’ and ‘Jack Bruce’, the Dave Jackson Band is one of the most exciting live bands you’ll hear for a long time.
Pete Feenstra – Get Ready To Rock

I had the great pleasure to meet and interview Dave Jackson, a seasoned touring and recording artist and raconteur , when he visited the studios at this week. An experienced career musician who leads the Dave Jackson Band, Dave along with his bass player, Jan Jackson, sat down for an interview, which can be heard by clicking below.

[audio:|titles=Phoenix FM interview with Dave Jackson (Ches, 31-05-2012)]

“Born Again Bluesman” a song from his newest release has been nominated by Gary Grainger for the ‘Kevin Thorpe Memorial Award’. You can vote for this song to win by going to

These are the questions I asked Dave.

1. Thinking back to early childhood…what was your first experience with music. What was it like…
2. What song do you remember most as a child?
3. What made you realize that you wanted to pursue a career in music?
4. What was your music before you became a born again bluesman?
5. Talk about you conversion….
6. Describe your music in 3 or 4 words.
7. What can people expect to see at a live performance?

Visit the website for more information, dates, music and more

The Dave Jackson Band is managed by Simon Collyer, Artist Partners.

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Session 16 May 31 2012

James Booker in 1978

Born on December 17, 1939 in New Orleans, James Carroll Booker III – was a New Orleans styled rhythm and blues musician  Booker’s unique style combined rhythm and blues with jazz standards.
Booker was the son and grandson of Baptist ministers, both of whom played the piano. Although he  received a saxophone as a gift from his mother, he demonstrated a stronger interest in the keyboard. He first played organ in his father’s churches.
In his early adolescence, Booker attended the Xavier Academy Preparatory School. He became highly skilled in classical music and played Bach and Chopin, among other composers. He also mastered and memorized solos by Erroll Garner, and Liberace. His thorough background in piano literature may have enabled his original and virtuosic interpretations of jazz and other popular music. These performances combined elements of stride, blues, gospel and Latin piano styles
Booker made his recording debut in 1954 on the Imperial label, where he also engaged in some session work with Fats Domino, Smiley Lewis, and Lloyd Price.In 1958, Arthur Rubinstein gave a concert in New Orleans. and eighteen-year-old Booker was introduced to the concert pianist and played several tunes for him. Rubinstein was astonished, saying “I could never play that… never at that tempo.”
Booker also became known for his flamboyant personality amongst his peers.In 1960, Booker’s “Gonzo” reached number 43 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and number 3 on the R&B chart. This was followed by some moderately successful singles. It has been speculated that his song “Gonzo” was the inspiration for the use of the word gonzo to describe Hunter S. Thompson’s journalistic style.
Professor Longhair and Ray Charles were among his important influences. Booker’s performance at the 1975 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival earned him a recording contract with Island Records. During 1976, Booker played and toured with the Jerry Garcia Band.Booker recorded a number of albums while touring Europe in 1977, including New Orleans Piano Wizard: Live!, He played at the Nice and Montreux Jazz Festivals in 1978. Fourteen years later a recording in Leipzig from this tour would become the last record to be produced in the former East Germany. It was entitled Let’s Make A Better World!
Harry Connick Jr., a student and close friend of Booker, is probably his most renowned disciple. Connick, Henry Butler, and Dr. John, among others, have recorded songs with titles and musical styles referencing Booker.
His last commercial audio recording, Classified, was made in 1982 — in four hours according to the producer, Scott Billington. At the end of October, 1983, film-maker Jim Gabour captured Booker’s final concert performance staged at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans
Booker died ten days later, on November 8, 1983,
Source: Wikipedia

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Session 15 May 24 2012

Guy performing at the Bonnaroo Music Festival in 2006

George “Buddy” Guy born July 30, 1936 is an American blues guitarist and singer. Critically acclaimed, he is a pioneer of the Chicago blues sound and has served as an influence to some of the most notable musicians of his generation.
Born and raised in Lettsworth, Louisiana, Guy began learning guitar on a two string diddley bow he made. Later he was given a Harmony acoustic guitar, which, decades later in Guy’s lengthy career was donated to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In the early ’50s he began performing with bands in Baton Rouge. After arriving in Chicago in 1957 Guy fell under the influence of Muddy Waters. In 1958, a competition with West Side guitarists Magic Sam and Otis Rush solidified a recording contract for Guy
Chess Records, Guy’s label from 1959 to 1968, refused to record Buddy Guy’s novel style that was similar to his live shows and  used Guy mainly as a session guitarist to back Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Sonny Boy Williamson, Koko Taylor and others.
“A key influence on Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy put the Louisiana hurricane in 1960s electric Chicago blues.
Guy’s career finally took off during the blues revival period of the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was sparked by Clapton’s request that Guy be part of the ’24 Nights’ all-star blues guitar lineup at London’s Royal Albert Hall
Ranked thirtieth in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”, Guy is known for his showmanship on stage: playing his guitar with drumsticks or strolling into the audience while playing solos.
The magazine also ranked his song “Stone Crazy” seventy-eighth in a list of the 100 Greatest Guitar Songs of All Time.
For almost 50 years, Guy performed flamboyant live concerts of energetic blues and blues rock, predating the 1960s blues rockers. As a musician’s musician, he had a fundamental impact on the blues and on rock and roll, influencing a new generation of artists.
Buddy Guy has been called the bridge between the blues and rock and roll.
Guy has won six Grammy Awards both for his work on his electric and acoustic guitars, and for contemporary and traditional forms of blues music.
In 2003, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. This medal is awarded by the President of the United States of America to those who have made extraordinary contributions to the creation, growth and support in the arts in the United States.
By 2004, Guy had also earned 23 W.C. Handy Awards (more than any other artist has received), Billboard magazine’s The Century Award (Guy was its second recipient) for distinguished artistic achievement, and the title of Greatest Living Electric Blues Guitarist.
Guy was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 14, 2005 by Eric Clapton and B.B. King
Buddy Guy’s discography is compiled over 70 album and CD releases.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 14 May 17 2012

Carey Bell at the Long Beach Blues Festival, 2003

Born Carey Bell Harrington on November 14 1936 in Macon, Mississippi. Carey Bell was an American blues musician, who played the harmonica in the Chicago blues style.
As a child, Bell was intrigued by the music of Louis Jordan and wanted a saxophone in order to be like his hero; however, Bell’s family could not afford a saxophone and he had to settle for the harmonica, known also as a “ blues harp” Soon Bell was attracted by the blues harmonica greats: DeFord Bailey, Big Walter Horton, Marion “Little Walter” Jacobs, and Sonny Boy Williamson . Bell taught himself to play the instrument.
By the time he was eight, he was quite proficient on the instrument and joined his first band at the tender age of  thirteen.
Having arrived in Chicago in 1956, where he actually met and received lessons from Little Walter Jacobs and Big Walter Horton.
Also proficient on bass guitar, he played that instrument to survive, when there was no demand for harp players on the Chicago scene.
In 1969 Bell toured Europe and the UK with the American Folk Blues Festival, and played at the Royal Albert Hall in London, appearing on a live recording of the event.
Throughout his career that spanned over  30 albums, Bell recorded and toured with many of the great blues artists of his time, such as Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, Junior Wells, James Cotton and Billy Branch, Louisiana Red and Jimmy Dawkins.
In 1978, Bell was featured on the Grammy-nominated album Living Chicago Blues and in 1998, Bell was awarded the Blues Music Award for Traditional Male Artist Of The Year.
Late in his career Carey teamed up with his guitar playing son Laurie Bell with whom he recorded and toured.
Carey Bell died of heart failure on May 6, 2007, in Chicago, Illinois.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 13 May 10 2012

Jeff Healey August 2002

Norman Jeffrey “Jeff” Healey born on March 25, 1966  was a Canadian jazz and blues-rock vocalist and guitarist who attained musical and personal popularity, particularly in the 1980s and 1990s.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Jeff Healey  at the age of  one year, lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements.
Amazingly,  he began playing guitar when he was three…developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap.
In his late teens Healey began hosting a jazz and blues show on a local radio station where he became known for playing from his massive collection of vintage 78 rpm gramophone records. Healey was an avid record collector and amassed a collection of well over 30,000 78 rpm records. Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, with whom he formed a trio, “The Jeff Healey Band”. The band started gigging around the Toronto area  and played at the famed blues club Albert’s Hall where Healey was discovered by guitarists Stevie Ray Vaughan and Albert Collins.
In 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single “Angel Eyes” and the song “Hideaway”, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. The album sold over one million copies in the US.
In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums Hell to Pay and Feel This gave Healey 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles’ While My Guitar Gently Weeps which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar.
On March 2, 2008, Healey died of cancer at  his home town of Toronto. He was only 41 years old.
In early 2009, Healey’s album Mess of Blues won in The 8th Annual Independent Music Awards for Best Blues Album
In 2009, Healey was inducted into the Terry Fox Hall of Fame. He is survived by his wife, Cristie, and two children. one of which was also born with the same disability
Jeff Healey was a guitar virtuoso and arguably one of the most distinctive guitar players of our time.

Source: Wikipedia;

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Session 12 May 03 2012

Muddy Waters with James Cotton; 1971

McKinley Morganfield was born on April 4, 1913 –  known as Muddy Waters, he was an American blues musician, generally considered the “father of modern Chicago blues”. He was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s and was ranked No. 17 in Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
He started out on harmonica but by age seventeen he was playing the guitar at parties emulating two blues artists who were extremely popular in the southern USA, Son House and Robert Johnson
McKinley conceived of the name Muddy Waters from his attempt to describe the aftermath of the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927
As a result of hearing a completed recording of himself in 1941, Muddy Waters became motivated to pursue a professional career. Receiving his first break from Big Bill Bronzy, Waters over the years has enjoyed the membership in his band of such notable talents in the name of Little Walter Jacobs,  Jimmy Rogers, Otis Spann, Howlin’ Wolf, Bob Margolin, Pinetop Perkins, and Luther Johnson
Muddy headed to England in 1958 and shocked audiences (whose only previous exposure to blues had come via the acoustic folk/blues sounds of acts such as Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee and Big Bill Broonzy) with his loud, amplified electric guitar and thunderous beat.
His 1958 tour of England marked possibly the first time amplified, modern urban blues was heard in the UK.
The Rolling Stones named themselves after his 1950 song “Rollin’ Stone” (also known as “Catfish Blues”) British Band Cream covered “Rollin’ and Tumblin'” on their 1966 debut album Fresh Cream, as Eric Clapton was a big fan of Muddy Waters
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame listed four songs of Muddy Waters among the 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll
Between 1971 and 1979 Muddy Waters received  six Grammy Awards and in 1992 posthumously was honoured with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and in 1994 his likeness was transformed into a stamp issued by the US Postal Service
Due to declining health his last public performance took place when he sat in with Eric Clapton’s band at a concert in Florida in the autumn of 1982.
On April 30, 1983 Muddy Waters died in his sleep from heart failure, at his home in Illinois.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 11 April 26 2012

Colin James - 2009

Colin James, born Colin James Munn on August 17, 1964, in Regina, Saskatchewan, is a Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and record producer, who plays in the blues, rock, and neo-swing genres.
During his early years Colin was introduced to different kinds of music by his parents who loved to go to coffee houses and music festivals. It wasn’t long before he picked up a guitar.
From the prairies of Saskatchewan where he was raised as a Quaker, to sharing the stage with arguably the greatest and most influential guitarists of all time, such as Keith Richards, George Thorogood and John Lee Hooker,  he still remembers the words of advice given to him by the late, great, Stevie Ray Vaughan. “I’m opening doors for you –walk through them.”
Looking back on a career that now spans two decades, Colin has walked through more than just a few doors to reach the level of success that he enjoys today.
Early in his career, James and his band The Hoodoo Men opened for Stevie Ray Vaughan on several tour dates in the U.S.
In 1988, following his association with Vaughan, James released his self-titled debut album, which yielded several international hit singles, as did the followup Sudden Stop.
He presaged the mid-1990s swing music revival with his Colin James and the Little Big Band project, which released a successful first CD in 1993, followed by two others in 1998 and 2006.
James’s worldwide popularity waned somewhat in the late 1990s, but he continued to release albums in rock, blues, and acoustic styles, in addition to his Little Big Band. In 2005, he gave a command performance for Queen Elizabeth during her visit to his home province of Saskatchewan.
The list of performers and recording artists with which he has worked and collaborated is a who’s who of global stars such as Bonnie Raitt, Albert Collins,  Robert Cray, Luther Allison, Albert King, Lenny Kravitz, ZZ Top,  The Chieftains, Carlos Santana, Little Feat, Buddy Guy and many, many others
Between 1989 and 1999 James was nominated for 14 Juno Awards, (The Canadian equivalent of the Grammy’s) winning six of them.
The confidence that comes with maturity can be heard in his voice and seen in his electrifying stage performance. He does what comes naturally…
Source: Wikipedia;


Local Essex boy Mark Reed bought his first guitar in 1970 at the age of 12.
Spending his teenage years learning every Shadows, Beatles and Led Zepplin song, on the market it was in his Mid 20’s that he started learning classical guitar.
And it was while playing classical guitar and folk club venues that he was invited to play lead guitar in a blues band gigging around London, Essex, Kent and Suffolk.
He then moved through a series of bands playing everything from country to rock and roll, and 60’s covers, playing bass rhythm and lead guitars.
In his late 30’s he started writing songs and instrumentals for solo performances at acoustic and folk sessions and resumed touring throughout the home counties and London
Mark then started writing and recording more songs and released 4 solo albums, the contents of which came from his solo acoustic repertoire.
Currently  he is engaged in re-recording, most of his back catalogue with an aim to publishing.
This track is from the blues album Whose Blues? Mine!

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Session 10 April 19 2012

Robert Cray in concert, 2007

Robert Cray born on August 1, 1953, in Columbus, Georgia, is an American blues guitarist and singer, songwriter and recording artist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, he has led his own band, as well as enjoyed an acclaimed solo career.
Cray started playing guitar in his early teens while attending High School in  the state of Virginia, where his love of blues and soul music flourished.  Originally, he had plans to become an architect, but around the same time that he began to study architectural design, he formed the band Steakface, described as “the best band from Lakewood you never heard of”
By the age of twenty, Cray had seen his heroes Albert Collins, Freddie King and Muddy Waters in concert and decided to form his own band playing the west coast college circuit.
In the late 1970s while living in Eugene, Oregon, he formed the Robert Cray Band. In the 1978 film, National Lampoon’s Animal House, Cray was the uncredited bassist in the house party band Otis Day and the Knights.
After several years of regional success, Cray was signed to Mercury Records and in 1986 his third album release, Strong Persuader, received a Grammy Award, while the crossover single “Smokin’ Gun” provided him wider appeal and name recognition.
By now, Cray was an opening act for such major stars as Eric Clapton and sold out larger venues as a solo artist.
In 1992 Cray had the opportunity to play alongside John Lee Hooker on his album Boom Boom, playing the guitar solo in the song “Same Old Blues Again”. He is also featured on the 1989 Hooker album, The Healer in which he plays a guitar solo on the song “Baby Lee”. The entire Robert Cray Band backs Hooker on the title track of Hooker’s 1992 album “Mr. Lucky”, where Cray plays lead guitar, sings, and banters with Hooker throughout the song.
Cray was invited to play at the “Guitar Legends” concerts in Seville, Spain at the 1992 Expo, where he played one of his signature tracks, “Phone Booth”. One of his heroes Albert Collins was also on that bill.
In 2006-2007 he toured the world supporting Eric Clapton, and in 2011, Robert Cray was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
He continues to record and tour.
Source: Wikipedia

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Session 09 April 12 2012

Albert Collins playing live in 1990

Born in Leona, Texas, October 1, 1932  Albert Collins was an American electric blues guitarist and singer (and occasional harmonica player) whose recording career began in the 1960s in Texas and whose fame eventually took him to stages across the US, Europe, Japan and Australia.
A distant relative of Lightnin’ Hopkins he grew up learning about music and playing guitar. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, he absorbed the blues sounds and styles from Texas, Mississippi and Chicago.
Collins began recording in 1958 and released singles, including many instrumentals such as the million selling “Frosty” in 1962. In the spring of 1965 he moved to Kansas City, Missouri where he made a name for himself. This was also where he met his future wife, Gwendolyn.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Collins toured the United States, Canada, Europe and Japan. He was becoming a popular blues musician and was an influence for Coco Montoya, Robert Cray, Gary Moore, Debbie Davies, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jonny Lang, Susan Tedeschi, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, John Mayer and Frank Zappa.

He regularly named John Lee Hooker and organist Jimmy McGriff, along with Hopkins, Guitar Slim and Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown as major influences on his own playing.
In 1983, he won the W. C. Handy Award for his album Don’t Lose Your Cool, which won the award for Best Blues Album of the Year. In 1987, he shared a Grammy for the album Showdown!  which he recorded with Robert Cray and Johnny Copeland. The following year his solo release Cold Snap was also nominated for a Grammy.

Alongside George Thorogood and the Destroyers and Bo Diddley, Collins performed at Live Aid in 1985, playing “The Sky Is Crying” and “Madison Blues”, at JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. He was the only black blues artist to appear.

He made his last visit to London, England in March 1993 and after falling ill at a show in Switzerland in late July 1993, he was diagnosed with lung cancer which had metastasized to his liver.  With an expected survival time of four months parts of his last album, Live ’92/’93, were recorded at shows that September; he died shortly afterwards, in November at the age of 61.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 08 April 05 2012


Carlos Santana 2005

Born Carlos Augusto Alves Santana on July 20, 1947, Carlos Santana is a Mexican-American rock guitarist. Santana became famous in the late 1960s and early 1970s pioneering a blend of rock, salsa and jazz fusion. The band’s sound featured his melodic, blues-based guitar lines set against Latin and African rhythms.

Carlos learned to play the violin at age five and the guitar at age eight.

Heavily influenced by Ritchie Valens at a time when there were very few Latinos in American rock and pop music, Around the age of 8, Santana “fell under the influence” of blues performers like B.B. King and John Lee Hooker. He also credits Jimi Hendrix, Mike Bloomfield and Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac, as important influences.

Carlos Santana’s distinctive guitar tone is produced by signature guitars plugged into multiple amplifiers. Santana attributes the tonal qualities of each amplifier to that of a singer producing head/nasal tones, chest tones, and belly tones. A three-way amp switcher is employed on the pedal board to enable him to switch between amps. Often the unique tones of each amplifier are blended together, complimenting each other while producing a richer tone.

In 1989, Santana appeared with John Lee Hooker on a track included on a release that was a veritable cornucopia of blues recording artists.
In 1994 Santana with his brother Jorge and his nephew Carlos Hernandez recorded and released Santana brothers which reached 191 on the Billboard 200 album chart.
And in 2007…Live In Australia…a concert recording from 1968, performed prior to his debut album was released and contains a few of his earlier interpretations of popular blues standards

In 2003, Rolling Stone magazine listed Santana at number 15 on their list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. He has won 10 Grammy Awards and 3 Latin Grammy Awards.[3] and has a star on the hollywood walk of Fame…overall he has been nominated for 61 different awards and has won 53 times.

Source: wikipedia

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Session 07 March 29 2012


Taj Mahal at the Museumsquartier in Vienna (Jazz-Fest Wien)

Henry Saint Clair Fredericks born May 17, 1942, who uses the stage name Taj Mahal, is an American Grammy Award winning blues musician.
Born in Harlem, New York, Taj Mahal grew up in Springfield, Massachusetts. His mother was the member of a local gospel choir and his father was a West Indian jazz arranger and piano player.
His family owned a shortwave radio which received music broadcasts from around the world, exposing him at an early age to world music
A self-taught singer-songwriter and film composer who plays the guitar, banjo and harmonica (among many other instruments), Mahal has done much to reshape the definition and scope of blues music over the course of his almost 50 year career by fusing it with nontraditional forms, including sounds from the Caribbean, Africa and the South Pacific.
For some time Mahal thought of pursuing farming over music. He had developed a passion for farming that nearly rivaled his love of music—coming to work on a farm first at age 16. Despite having attended a vocational agriculture school,  and majoring in animal husbandry and minoring in veterinary science and agronomy, Mahal decided to take the route of music instead of farming
His stage name, came to him in dreams about Gandhi, India, and social tolerance. He started using it in 1959 or 1961—around the same time he began attending the University of Massachusetts.
n 1964 he moved to Santa Monica, California, and formed Rising Sons with fellow blues musician Ry Cooder and Jessie Lee Kincaid. The group was one of the first interracial bands of the period, which likely made them commercially unviable.
During his early career days Mahal worked with musicians like Howlin’ Wolf, Buddy Guy, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Muddy Waters. and The Rolling Stones, with whom he has performed at various times throughout his career.
In 1981 he decided to move to Hawaii and soon formed The Hula Blues Band.  This started a comeback of sorts for him, and in the 1990s he did collaborative works both with Eric Clapton and Etta James.
Taj Mahal has received nine nominations for Grammy Awards over his career winning twice… In 1997 he won Best Contemporary Blues Album for Señor Blues, followed by another Grammy in 2000 for Shoutin’ in Key

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 06 March 22 2012

John Lee Hooker - Long Beach Music Festival, August 31, 1997

John Lee Hooker born on August 22, 1917  was a highly influential American blues singer-songwriter and guitarist.
The youngest of eleven children He began his life as the son of a sharecropper, and Baptist preacher and rose to prominence performing his own unique style of what was originally a unique brand of country blues. He developed a ‘talking blues’ style that was his trademark.
Though similar to the early Delta blues, his music was metrically free. John Lee Hooker could be said to embody his own unique genre of the blues, often incorporating the boogie-woogie piano style and a driving rhythm into his blues guitar playing and singing.
Hooker’s recording career began in 1948 with the release an up-tempo number, “Boogie Chillen'”, which became his first hit single followed by “I’m in the Mood” (1951) and later “Boom Boom” (1962), the first two reaching R&B #1 in the Billboard charts.
Despite being illiterate, Hooker was a prolific lyricist. In addition to adapting the occasionally traditional blues lyric , he freely invented many of his songs from scratch.

John Lee rarely played on a standard beat, changing tempo to fit the needs of the song. This often made it difficult to use backing musicians who were not accustomed to Hooker’s musical vagaries.
He appeared and sang in the 1980 movie The Blues Brothers.  Hooker was also a direct influence in the look of John Belushi’s character Jake Blues.
In 1989, he joined with a number of musicians, including Carlos Santana and Bonnie Raitt to record The Healer, for which he and Santana won a Grammy Award. Hooker also recorded several songs with Van Morrison,
John Lee Hooker recorded over 100 albums.
Among his many awards, Hooker has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was inducted in 1980 into the Blues Hall of Fame  and in 1991 he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Two of his songs, “Boogie Chillen” and “Boom Boom” were included in the list of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. “Boogie Chillen” was included as one of the Songs of the Century.
In 2000, Hooker was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
He fell ill just before a tour of Europe in 2001 and died on June 21 at the age of 83, two months before his 84th birthday.

Source: Wikipedia


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Session 05 March 15 2012

Albert King Liri Blues Festival Italy 1989

Albert King  was an American blues guitarist and singer, and a major influence in the world of blues guitar playing.
Born on April 25, 1923 One of the “Three Kings of the Blues Guitar”  Albert King stood 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)  and weighed 250 pounds (110 kg] and was known as “The Velvet Bulldozer”. a name he earned  as early in his career he drove one of them and also worked as a mechanic to make a living.
He began his professional work as a musician with a group called In The Groove Boys in Arkansas USA. In St. Louis, Missouri, he briefly played drums for Jimmy Reed’s band and on several early Reed recordings. Influenced by blues musicians such as Blind Lemon Jefferson and Lonnie Johnson, but also, interestingly enough, Hawaiian music, the electric guitar became his signature instrument, his preference being the Gibson Flying V which he named “Lucy”
In 1967 he released the album Born Under a Bad Sign The title track of that album (written by Booker T. Jones and William Bell) became King’s best known song and has been covered by many artists (from Cream to Homer Simpson).
Albert King went on to become a major force in the Blues music industry during his lifetime touring the world, releasing several albums and influencing others such as Mick Taylor, Derek Trucks, Warren Haynes, Mike Bloomfield and Joe Walsh He also had an impact on contemporaries Albert Collins and Otis Rush.
Eric Clapton has said that his work on the 1967 Cream hit “Strange Brew” and throughout the album Disraeli Gears was inspired by King.
King died on December 21, 1992 from a heart attack in his Memphis, Tennessee home.

Source: Wikipedia


Riley B. King (born September 16, 1925), is an American blues guitarist and singer-songwriter. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at No.3 on its list of the 100 greatest guitarists of all time.

B.B. King at Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Ontario (May 2007)

King introduced a sophisticated style of soloing based on fluid string bending and shimmering vibrato that would influence virtually every electric blues guitarist that followed.
Initially he worked at the local R&B radio station as a singer and disc jockey, where he gained the nickname Beale Street Blues Boy, later shortened to Blues Boy and finally to B.B. He received his influence from listening to T. Bone Walker which led him to acquire an electric guitar.
King began his recording career in 1949 in Los Angeles and went on to become the man and the name that has become synonymous with the Blues music genre, often referred to as Ambassador of the Blues.
In 1980 King was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004 he was awarded the international Polar Music Prize, given to artists “in recognition of exceptional achievements in the creation and advancement of music. The recipient of 16 Grammy awards throughout his career including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1987 B.B. King has also been awarded most of the highest honors open to civilians in the United States including the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006.

In the winter of 1949, B.B. King played at a dance hall in Twist, Arkansas. In order to heat the hall, a barrel half-filled with kerosene was lit, a fairly common practice at the time. During a performance, two men began to fight, knocking over the burning barrel and sending burning fuel across the floor. The hall burst into flames, which triggered an evacuation. Once outside, King realized that he had left his guitar inside the burning building. He entered the blaze to retrieve his beloved guitar, a Gibson semi-hollow electric. Two people died in the fire. The next day, King learned that the two men were fighting over a woman named Lucille. King named that first guitar Lucille, as well as every one he owned since that near-fatal experience, as a reminder never again to do something as stupid as run into a burning building or fight over women.

Source: Wikipedia

Freddie King-Photo:Chuck Pulin/Star File

Born Frederick Christian, on September 3, 1934 – December 28, 1976), and nicknamed “the Texas Cannonball”, was an influential African-American blues guitarist and singer. He is often mentioned as one of “the Three Kings” of electric blues guitar, along with Albert King and B.B. King, as well as the youngest of the three.
Freddie King based his guitar style on Texas and Chicago influences and was one of the first bluesmen to have a multi-racial backing band onstage with him at live performances. He is best known for singles such as “Have You Ever Loved A Woman” (1960) and his 1961 Top 40 hit “Hide Away”.
King had a twenty-year recording career and became established as an influential guitarist in the early 1960s. He inspired American musicians such as Jerry Garcia, Stevie Ray Vaughan and his brother Jimmie Vaughan. His influence was also felt in the UK, through recordings by blues revivalists such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, and Chicken Shack.
King died on December 28, 1976 in the height of his career aged 42 in Dallas, Texas.

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 04 March 08 2012

Simone in concert in Morlaix, France May 1982

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon  on February 21, 1933 , Nina Simone was an American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist widely associated with jazz music. Simone aspired to become a classical pianist while working in a broad range of styles including classical, jazz, blues, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop.
Born the sixth child of a preacher’s family in North Carolina, Simone aspired to be a concert pianist, however, her musical path changed direction after she was denied a scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, despite a well-received audition. Simone was later told by someone working at Curtis that she was rejected because of her colour. Simone then moved to New York City, where she studied at the prestigious Juilliard School of Music and went on to become a world renowned performer and recording artist.
Playing small clubs in Philadelphia to fund her continuing musical education she was approached by Bethlehem Records, and her rendition of “I Loves You Porgy” became a smash hit in the United States in 1958.  Over the length of her career, Simone recorded more than 40 albums
Her musical style arose from a fusion of gospel and pop songs with classical music, in particular with influences from her first inspiration, Johann Sebastian Bach and accompanied with her expressive jazz-like singing in her characteristic low tenor. She injected as much of her classical background into her music as possible to give it more depth and quality, as she felt that pop music was inferior to classical.
After 20 years of performing, she became involved in the civil rights movement and the direction of her life shifted once again. Simone’s music was highly influential in the fight for equal rights in the US. including songs in her repertoire that drew upon her African-American origins and spoke in great detail about events taking place in the southern US at that time.
Throughout her career, Simone assembled a collection of songs that would become standards in her repertoire. such as “I Loves You, Porgy”  “My Baby Just Cares for Me”, “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” “I Put a Spell on You”, ” and “Feeling Good”
Simone’s bearing and stage presence earned her the title “High Priestess of Soul
On stage, she incorporated monologues and dialogues with the audience into the program, and often used silence as a musical element. Simone compared it to “mass hypnosis”.  and was quoted as saying…”I use it all the time”.
House Of The Rising Sun… was originally a sixteenth-century English folk song about a Soho brothel, that English emigrants took to America where it was adapted to its later New Orleans setting.[2]
The oldest known existing recording is by Texas Alexander, recorded in 1927
Appalachian artists Clarence “Tom” Ashley (with Gwen Foster) recorded it in 1934
Ashley said he had learned it from his grandfather, Enoch Ashley.
In 1961, Bob Dylan recorded the song for his eponymous debut album, and Nina Simone recorded her first version on Nina at the Village Gate in 1962.
Nina Simone passed away on April 21 2003 in France at the age of 70

Source: Wikipedia

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Session 03 March 01 2012

Settled in much more comfortably this week and flew solo without incident. Just love sharing my collection of Blues music with listeners.

This weeks Three For Thursday featured British blues legend John Mayall.

John Mayall British Blues Legend

John Mayall, (born 29 November 1933) is an English blues singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, whose musical career spans over fifty years. In the 1960s, he was the founder of John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, a band which has included among others Eric Clapton,  Mick Fleetwood, Don “Sugarcane” Harris, Harvey Mandel,  Walter Trout, and Coco Montoya

Influenced by his father Murray a guitarist and jazz music enthusiast, John was drawn from an early age to the sounds of American blues players such as Leadbelly, Albert Ammons, Pinetop Smith, and Eddie Lang, and taught himself to play the piano, guitars, and harmonica.
Mayall spent three years in Korea for national service and, during a period of leave, he bought his first electric guitar. In 1963, he opted for a full time musical career and moved to London.
Mayall married twice and has six grand-children. Maggie Mayall is an American blues performer and has, since the early 1980s, taken an active part in the management of her husband’s career.
In 2005 Mayall was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire.



Born Thomas Wright Waller….Fats Waller was a prolific performer, composer and songwriter…once described as “the soul of melody” he co-wrote iconic songs such as “Honeysuckle Rose”, “Ain’tMisbehavin'” and “Squeeze Me”
He enjoyed success touring the United Kingdom and Ireland in the 1930s and appeared in one of the first BBC Television broadcasts and recorded a number of songs for EMI  in their Abbey Road Studios.




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Session 02 February 23 2012

Well, the second show was a real blast. Lots of great music, a more comfortable experience in presenting the show and all around a more natural flow. Even got a request…which I will play on the next show, so listen out for Fats Waller!

This weeks Three For Thursday featured Canadian blues icon, Dutch Mason, a performer I saw and heard on more occasions then I could ever remember. Hard living and hard playing, Dutchie personified the stereotypical bluesman, and he never complained and always put on a great show…sometimes under very trying circumstances.

Born Norman Byron Mason on 19 February 1938 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, Dutch Mason,  was a Canadian musician of notable talent.
Dutch started performing as a musician in the mid-1950s, usually playing rock and roll or rockabilly standards as well as traditional music from the Canadian maritimes.[2] A true artist, he began playing the Blues long before Blues became popular just because he liked the genre and felt it spoke to him and society in general.
In the 1970s his career took off as  he became known as a blues artist  and toured the country regularly, performing at the legendary Albert Hall in Toronto and the Rising Sun in Montreal.
In 1998, during his 60th birthday celebration, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation recorded a live tribute CD staged at the Rebecca Cohen Auditorium in Halifax that includes performances by the Nova Scotia Mass Choir, Sam Moon and Frank MacKay. Joe Murphy, Matt Minglewood and several more.
In 1994, Dutch he was nominated for a Juno Award (the Canadian equivalent of The Grammy’s) for Best Blues album and in 2005 was nominated for Best Blues album at the East Coast Music Awards.
He was inducted into the Canadian Jazz and Blues Hall of Fame, and was inducted into the Order of Canada in 2005.
Sadly The Prime Minister of The Blues (as he was affectionately called by almost everyone) passed away on 23 December 2006.
He is survived by his sons Charlie Mason and Garrett Mason, who won the 2005 Juno Award for Best Blues album.


Source: Wikipedia, Canadian Press


When the Levee Breaks” is a blues song written and first recorded by husband and wife Kansas Joe McCoy and Memphis Minnie in 1929. The song is in reaction to the upheaval caused by the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927.

It was famously re-worked by English rock group Led Zeppelin as the last song on their fourth album, released in 1971. The lyrics in Led Zeppelin’s version were partially based on the original recording. Many other artists have also recorded versions of the song or played it live.

Source: Wikipedia

Early "Shock Rocker"


Screamin’ Jay Hawkins…. Famous for his powerful, operatic vocal delivery and wildly theatrical performances… hesometimes used macabre props onstage, which made him one of the few early shock rockers. Apparently…He was also a serial womanizer….Subsequent to his passing in February 2000 it became known that he left behind an estimated 55 children… upon investigation, that number “soon became perhaps 75 offspring”

When did he have time to  perform………………….on stage I mean?!


Source: Wikipedia


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Session 01 February 16 2012

Had a Great first show. The first hour was marvelous! The second hour was…well as they say…it was live radio. The only thing I’ve learned from my mistakes…is not to repeat them. Confident that this will be my guiding philosophy during the second show.

By their own admission British bands including the Beatles, Rolling Stones and others were influenced during their formative years by the genre and they will be given a strong voice as the weeks and shows move forward.

The special feature Three For Thursday highlighted Deborah Coleman, an American singer/songwriter/performer.

Deborah Coleman (born October 3, 1956, Portsmouth, Virginia) is an American blues guitarist, songwriter and singer. Coleman won the Orville Gibson Award for “Best Blues Guitarist, Female” in 2001, and was nominated for a W.C. Handy Blues Music Award nine times. Coleman was raised in a music-loving military family that lived in San Diego, San Francisco, Bremerton, Washington, and the Chicago area. With her father playing piano, two brothers on guitar, and a sister who plays guitar and keyboards, Deborah felt natural with an instrument in her hands, picking up guitar at age 8.

She has appeared at all the top Blues festivals across America…including  the Monterey Jazz Festival in 2001, and the North Atlantic Blues Festival in 2007
Coleman’s debut, I Can’t Lose (1997), was an album of ballads and blues stories, and guitar playing and singing. Her version of Billie Holiday’s “Fine and Mellow” received a lot of airplay on college and public radio stations around the U.S. Soul Be It (2002) included the opener “Brick”, “My Heart Bleeds Blue”, “Don’t Lie to Me,” and a jump blues track, “I Believe”. These were followed by What About Love? (2004) and Stop the Game (2007).


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