UPDATE ON OUR TRAVELS AND SITUATION
GRAMMY WINNER WILLIAM BELL SITS AT THE TOP OF THE CHART
BRAD VICKERS & THE VESTOPOLITANS LIVE IN OUR STUDIO
SUNDAY MORNING SOUL WITH JOHNNY MAX ADDED TO OUR DJ’d SHOWS
BILLY PRICE GUEST CURATOR FOR MARCH
First let’s start off in the present, we have a brand new show that started yesterday, Sunday at 6pm. It is Sunday Morning Soul, hosted by Johnny Max, a good friend and Canadian stalwart in the blues. The first airing for the week is on Sunday at 6pm EST and the second helping is on Thursday at 11pm EST. There will be a new show every week and we know you add this show to your favorites on Blues411 Internet Radio. Along with every other show we feature!
Also on the vine is our new Guest Curator – but before we get to that we must shout out to Tim Fik & Bridget Kelly for putting together an excellent show for the month of February. If you have not listened in please do so because it is about to end. Last chance is Tuesday 4pm EST, you will be sad if ya miss it. As the old goes out, the new comes in. Our new Guest Curator is Billy Price. Billy was the lead singer with Roy Buchanan for many years and recently cut an album with the late Otis Clay that was just off the hook.
Billy will, like those before him, share insights into his music and pepper it with stories that you may not find anywhere else. So check the web site and Facebook for details and broadcast times. The show starts Wednesday and runs every day of the week.
Well, well, well. . .we have managed to get back to where we belong – finally.
It seemed that we were hit with a wall of opposition on our blues tour that started with The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, then into Memphis for the International Blues Challenge. A short break, then off to The Clearwater Sea Blues Festival after which we picked up my mother-in-law, and back home for a spell.
What should have been a fantastic voyage, albeit a tiring one, turned into a helluva a lot more stress than we ever could have imagined. But let’s look at the good stuff.
The Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise was amazing-as always. It was a new ship – the Koenigsdam. All pretty and shiny, ready to take the bluescruisers aboard for a week of unadulterated bliss.
The ship is all that and more, spacious and well laid out. It did seem at times we had to hi-tail it to the other end of the boat, but…The piano bar was large and accommodated the artists and fans with great ease and comfort. It even allowed for dueling pianos, a phenomenon that has taken hold in various city bars around the USA. It worked well and welcomed other artists to jam and partake in some excellent impromptu music.
Venues were seemingly a wee bit smaller but there were many more so the crush of humanity was not an issue. Some may have wanted larger venues cause if you were tardy or roaming it was sometimes difficult to get a prime viewing spot. So you get there early if it means all that much to you. The main stage had very good sight lines plus a very spacious dance area, gone is the staircase on the sides of the stage – which many folks loved, but they found new spots to lay claim to.
The dining room, yeah we actually ate there a few times, was kinda noisy. There seemed to be no sound cushion of baffles therefore the talking bounced around a lot.
As for the level of musicianship – it was as fabulous as ever and in some cases even better. Where else would you see Otis Taylor ask Walter Trout to join him on the stage? In the piano bar we had Mitch Woods and Kenny Blues Boss Wayne trade chops on the 88’s, with Russell Jackson (BB King’s bassist for many years) bouncing from the bass to the snare drum, accompanied by Todd Edmunds (Otis Taylor Band) Nancy Wright and Terry Hanck on sax and a guest sit in by Dulcimer player Sofie Reed – oh, the answer is nowhere else.
For fear of missing someone or something I will say that all the late night jams were off the hook, from the electric jams, to Tab Benoit‘s ‘Not Till I Smell The Bacon‘ jam, to Captain Jammies and the Crab Shack Shooters ongoing jam and party, big thanks to all.
Suffice it to say we will be back next February, and looking forward to it.
So off we went the road to Memphis for the IBCs. While disembarking from the cruise on Sunday I was hit with the boogie woogie flu. As the song goes, shakin’ all over. But we managed – thanks to Leslie – to drive 900 miles to Sam Brady‘s home in Mississippi, and spend the night before heading to Memphis. Our first stop, fortunately, was Gus’s Fried Chicken. I say fortunately because we wound up staying in our room for two days before getting to see Dr. Janice for a ‘script. Thank you so much! We did not venture out because we felt like dog poo and we did not want to infect any of the artists or friends who were there.
By Thursday we felt well enough to drive home and proceeded to sleep for another three days and finally started to see the other side by the next week.
I can’t say how bummed we were to get this sick at such an epic event. We really did miss all our friends and the chance to see so many artists perform – but better than getting them sick too. A special thanks to Louis Blackwell who took some wonderful pictures for Blues411 during the IBC finals. See ya next year, there’s a theme here somewhere.
Recovery was slow. I was a little ahead of Leslie in getting sick and getting better, but we managed to get healthy enough for travel to the Clearwater Sea Blues Festival. It’s a free festival with seating and VIP options that won’t break your bank and has a fabulous choice of
vendors that aim to please the palate. Sunday was epic with a first class schedule of blues artists, from IBC (yeah the one we missed) 2nd place finisher Souliz featuring Sugar & Spice (I can see why they did so well) to headliner Walter Trout who just tore up the stage and brought tears to the eyes of many folks with his touching talk on organ donation and true love for the blues.
That will lead me to speak on something I have noticed at several venues and festivals of late that seems to be a growing trend. Some bands will evoke the name of blues icons and say how they were influenced by them yadda yadda yet there is not a single note of blues content in their set, nor does it seem to be a truthful or sincere shout out. Now that’s Ok, I guess, but when it is put side by side with someone like Selwyn Birchwood or Walter Trout who not only give sincere lip service to those who went before but then incorporate the music or feel into their set, it makes the other claims paler by comparison in that the words ring true and not hollow. I worry that there is corruption of the blues afoot, as well as the ominous hints of cultural appropriation going on, though this is not new, but it seems to be making more headway into the blues.
Oh so wait, between all this our Blues411 web site was down. There was an overflow of traffic to it and since it is on a shared platform they had to shut it down till they could reallocate the space and get it straight. I guess that’s a good thing – to have that much traffic to the site, but also it prevented many folks who we just met from finding our web based home and of course a link to Blues411 Internet Radio. In a way it’s good that we are the presence that we are on Facebook, it gave folks a landing spot to find us.
We are happy to say that we are back up and running, and hope the latest realignment of resources works for quite a while. Thanks for sticking with us through it.
Leslie’s mom is now with us for a few weeks, she has already run us ragged. She is an eighty-plus year old dynamo who is always busy, whether it be knitting, swimming thirty-six laps in the pool, learning mahjong or visiting here and there. I am glad we got healthy before she arrived, phew!
What’s next? For us, it’s the Bonita Springs Blues Festival in Florida on March 11 & 12. They have a dynamite line up; always a fun festival and we hope to see you there. We also have several events booked at The Roasting Room in Bluffton, SC as part of the Blues411 Concert Series – Chris Thomas King, The Sauce Boss and Benny Turner taking us through March. Unfortunately Chris Thomas King is the same weekend as Bonita Springs, but if you’re in the Savannah GA/ Hilton Head area, we hope you head to The Roasting Room on March 12th.
We are happy to be back and thank all y’all for your continued support for us and more importantly for the Blues. I can’t tell you how any artists have expressed to us how grateful they are for the fans coming out and supporting them and live music.
This week we see William Bell at the top of the charts, He just won a Grammy and is on the BMA nomination sheet.
Our Amuse Bouche is very special this week, as Brad Vickers & The Vestapolitans joined us live in our studios for some music and chat. You dont want to miss this and do tell your friends to tune in.
A Baker’s Dozen of Blues on Blues411 Radio.
Broadcast times are as follows:
Monday – 1pm EST NEW SHOW
Tuesday – 10pm EST
Wednesday – 6:00pm EST
Thursday – 3:00am EST
Friday – 4pm EST
Saturday – 2pm EST
Sunday – 10am EST
Baker’s Dozen: Current Chart & Radio Playlist
|1||2||William Bell||This is Where I Live||5. Born Under A Bad Sign|
|2||3||Mike Zito||Make Blues Not War||3. Redbird*|
|3||4||John Blues Boyd||The Real Deal||8. I’m So Weak Right Now|
|4||5||Rory Block||Keepin’ Outta Trouble||2 Bukka’s Day*|
|5||8||Jack Mack & The Heart Attack Horns||Back To The Shack||10. Let Me In*|
|6||6||Lisa Biales||The Beat Of My Heart||8. Wild Stage of Life*|
|7||7||Tom Dikon & The Jukes Revival||Been A Long Time Baby||8. Tidewater Stomp|
|8||9||Hill & Dale||Big Valley Girl||4. Sweet Peach Georgia Wine*|
|9||10||Landon Spradlin||No More Blue Mondays||4. Drift Away|
|10||11||Popa Chubby||The Catfish||10. Put A Grown Man To Shame*|
|11||12||John Latini||The Blues Just Makes Me Feel Good||1. Black-Eyed Blues|
|12||13||John Mayall||Talk About That||8. Don’t Deny Me|
|13||~||Cary Morin||Cradle To The Grave||10. Nothing Compares 2 U*|
Chef’s Suggestions: The Stuff Ya Gotta Watch
|David Bromberg Band||The Blues . . .||Why Are People Like That|
|Murali Coryell||Mr. Senator||Mr. Senator|
|Knickerbocker All-Stars||Texas Rhody Blues||You Got Me Licked|
|Rolling Stones||Blue & Lonsesome||Blue & Lonsesome|
|Michael Bailey||Can You Feel It||Some Blues|
|Peter Karp||Alabama Town||Y’all Be Lookin’|
|Michael Burks||I’m A Bluesman||Home of The Blues|
|Billy T. Band||Reckoning||It Ain’t Right|
|Big Bill Morgenfield||Bloodstains in The Wall||I Don’t Know Why|
|Thorbjørn Risager & The Black Tornado||Change My Game||Maybe It’s Alright|
|John Ginty Feat Aster Pheonyx||Rockers||Mr. Blues|
|Eliza Neals||10,000 Feet Below||Cold Cold Night (w/Paul Nelson)|
Brad Vickers & The Vestapolitans
Live In Studio
Love, Peace & Chicken Grease
Where Blues Thrives
Photos: Leslie K. Joseph, Blues411