Mmere Dane Group Live at The Spot Underground on January 14, 2015
Posted on Tuesday March 31, 2015
Mmere Dane Group Live at The Spot Underground on January 14, 2015
From their facebook page.
Musicians- Riley Stockwell- Guitar, Marcus Monteiro- Sax, Sam Kurzontkowski- Double Bass, Tim Lee- Drumset, Ben Paulding- Percussion
Genre: Groove Based Jazz/World Music
Hometown: Holliston, MA
Footwear - Starts with horns and percussion. Imitation from guitar. A kind of a hard bop head in time. Bass joins with a repetitive part in 4 and improvisation begins with a sax solo. Bass solo. Percussion answering bass while drums stay on a groove. Sax joins on end of solo with echo effect on. Guitar solo. Hanging notes with reverse envelope interspersed with picked lines and occasional harmonies. The same melodic fragment at the end of the solo. Now the guitar plays the head. Drums fills and ends with guitar echoes.
The bulk of the song is modal over a two bar pattern. Inventive improvisation keeps this interesting. The group works together well answering each others ideas.
Life Of The Mind - Spacey intro. Free jazz influenced jam band. Percussive guitar part episode then into a groove like a latin clave. Guitar and sax play the head. In 7. And then 8. Improvisation over this 7 then 8 pattern held together by the bass. Guitar solo with tasteful wa wa. Kind of like funk played in time. Rhythmic episode and then the sax solo. Now the drummer is holding the beat with bass out. Guitar interlude on the head. Drum solo with the guitar holding the rhythm. Back to head. Guitar first and then with sax. A melodic variation and then with harmonies. Ends with a little fade.
Again a nice arrangement with a real head and a very short improvisational form. Using 7 then 8 time during the improv parts forces inventiveness and makes their sound different than a funk band.
West End Strut - Starts on the head. Again in time. Quickly into guitar solo before the time becomes obvious. Sax solo. Guitar chords supporting the solo. Echoes of fusion. Bebop sax solo. Head interlude. Guitar solo playing notes. I think the time is 4-2-4-4-2. Simple yet difficult to count. Catchy once you get it. Guitar moves out of notes into extended timbre then back to notes with some soaring. Signals the end of his solo with the head. Now the guitar plays some bebop figures in a solo extension. And the head. Drum solo with rhythnmic background from percussion, bass and guitar. Out on the head.
Again a short unusual pattern. This time it persists throughout the piece.
The Green Dragon - Very melodic intro. Then a 4 bar 3/4 pattern. Surprisingly complex with a latin tinge. Guitar solo. Sometimes the time shifts to 4 and 2. A melodic figure signals the bass. Guitar and sax play head over bass. The melodic fragment starts the sax solo. Time continues to shift relying on the bass pattern for definition. Drums soloing behind the sax solo. Now they are working together rhythmically. Ends on this rhythmic high point.
An original by Riley Stockwell that sounds more like late 20th century jazz then funk/jam jazz. I get the feeling that this is a very simple arrangement with a lot of room for variation from performance to performance.
Five Of Swords - Strong feel of five but hard to count. Extended head/intro and then guitar solo playing lines against the complex bass pattern. Ok, I'm counting this in 10. But more like 4-2-2-2 than 5-5. After the solo the guitar plays with the bass and there is a drum feature. What further complicates the 10 beat rhythm is that it starts on 2. Ends on this riff over drums.
This band is obviously into playing in time but they manage to do this with substantial variation and considerable groove.
Morning Talks - This original by Sam Kurzontkowski is very much in the fusion vein. Melodic extended head followed by a bass solo. Spacey guitar high ringing chords at the end of the bass solo and then sax and guitar call and response. Really sweet. No definite duration on the parts, sometimes trading bars and sometimes extended phrases with occasional overlapping counterpoint. Segues into a nice guitar figure and then melodic harmony between the sax and guitar building to a strong motif. The melodic harmony repeats but goes to bass to end.
This 9 minute song held my attention with no problem whatsoever.
Keoka - Another Riley Stockwell original. Extended melodic head. Guitar solo. Short bebop/blues figures. Gestures stacked on top of each other. A fusion interlude and then sax. Much sparser overall and very powerful becoming percussive with stacatto and heavily accented phrasing. Post bop. Strong performance. Guitar repeating some of the sax phrasing. Both guitar and sax. Hard to tell who's soaring and who's vamping. Fusion interlude. Great ensemble work. Drums under head on the way out. Sudden stop.
They just keep getting better.
These young musicians write great songs but they also cover other 21st century jazz composers showing that they are deep into contemporary jazz literature. I love listening to live recordings at the Live Music Archive but this recording really made me want to see their show.
Oscar Peterson Plays Jerome Kern
Posted on Sunday March 15, 2015
Oscar Peterson Plays Jerome Kern
A Fine Romance
Can't Help Lovin Dat Man
I Won't Dance
Long Ago and Far Away
Lovely To Look At
Ol' Man River
Pick Yourself Up
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
The Song Is You
The Way You Look Tonight
The Jonesboro Public Library subscribes to the Freegal program for it's patrons. Freegal allows card holders to download or stream music from their computer. The library offered is large and varied but not real strong on contemporary jazz. They do, however offer many great Oscar Peterson albums so I have been downloading them. Downloading six songs a week it only took me two weeks to get this Jerome Kern anthology. When I put them in my media player they came up in alphabetical order so probably not the way they were intended to be listened to.
According to Dr. Ken Carroll, Director of Jazz Studies at ASU, Oscar Peterson is the best jazz pianist in the history of jazz. His virtuosity is astounding and he can play anything from jazz to blues to boogie woogie to classical. So I was amazed to hear his simple, straightforward renditions of these Jerome Kern standards. He keeps his virtuosity well hidden until he plays "Ol' Man River". Not to say that there's anything wrong with his arrangements. Not a note out of place and not an extra note. Then on "Pick Yourself Up" he really lets loose with amazing streams of notes interspresed with what could be single finger melody lines.
With "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" he is back to the same sound that he had on the first six songs but with some ornamentation. As he continues through the piece the playing gets simpler and simpler and sounds better and better.
"The Song Is You" is uptempo and he starts off cooking but contrary to "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" he doubles down and gets amazing for a while before coming back to the melody to close.
On "The Way You Look Tonight" He chords through the melody on the head giving his bass player some room to play. Then he solos once around keeping it pretty restrained. He comes back to chords on the way out and the drummer and the bass player get some space to work out.
He takes some liberties with "Yesterdays" on the intro repeating themes in different octaves with full keyboard runs in between. When he comes to the song the melody dominates but still with substantial fills. Only when he gets to the end of the piece do we get the simple straightforward arrangement that characterize this album.
I love listening to virtuoso pianists playing great jazz, especially standards. But displays of virtuosity turn me off. I'm here for the song, not the pianist. On this album Oscar Peterson presents Jerome Kern's standards in a way anyone can enjoy.
ProleteR - Rookie
Posted on Monday March 09, 2015
ProleteR - Rookie
Listen or free download here - https://www.jamendo.com/en/list/a141402/rookie-ep
By The River - Lifted stylistically from 1920s jazz complete with tight female vocal part and improvised horn counterpoint. There is just a dab of 21st century mixed in so a 1920s jazz aficianado might notice. A little bit of vocal processing or sung vocal processing at the end.
No Place I Can Go - Gershwinesque. Drum machine like beat brings the hiphop. The female vocal is a little bit lower and darker and not always on top. The drums are just enough out of style that I find them distracting but I don't think a hiphop listener would even notice.
Not Afraid - Djangoesque. With a DJ and some spoken word as a short interlude before piano takes the melody. The most hiphop influence so far. Soaring female vocal in the background. Piano solo. Freddie Green comping on guitar. Spoken parts like found music. Another DJ interlude brings us back to the vocalist still in the background. Very short form repeated with contemporary interludes.
Throw It Back - Glenn Miller sound. Rapper over the thirties jazz orchestra. Clarinet solo. Again the drums are a little bit out of style compared to the orchestra. Again a repeated short form.
Inna - Impressionist. Clarinet and woodwinds. Hiphop beat and finger snapping. DJ scratching the vocals. Processed sounding female vocals. Some harmony between the DJ and the vocalist. Ends electronic sounding.
My Melancholy Baby - Very pronounced drumming takes us out of another early jazz sound. Trombone and trumpet exchange improv parts. Tight female vocals are very twenties. Hiphop meets Preservation Hall.
Stereosun - Disco hop. Scratching. 8 bar form repeated. Like an intro played over and over. Then a lighter texture on the same form. Picking back up to the opening sound. Processed female vocals. Rapping in the background. Drum solo. Hand drums and kit or machine.
Throw It Back (instrumental) - 8 bar form becomes very repetitive without the hip hop enhancements. The piano is pretty interesting and then back into the intro part with sax enhancement. Clarinet. Brass. You begin to hunger for the vocalist and you get a little bit at the end of the form a few times. What a tease.
Seven songs ranging from 2:30 to 4:00 minutes makes for a 25:30 quick listen. ProleteR is a gifted composer and arranger who has absorbed historic jazz styles and uses them well in a hiphop environment. I like it.
Weather Report - Live in Offenbach - September 28, 1978
Posted on Sunday February 22, 2015
This is my listening assignment so it's not really structured like a review. Still, for your perusal. The music beats my writing hands down.
Weather Report - Live in Offenbach - September 28, 1978
- Joe Zawinul (keyboards)
- Wanye Shorter (tenor and soprano saxophone)
- Jaco Pastorius (electric bass)
- Peter Erkskine (drums)
01. Black Market
02. Scarlet Woman
03. Young and Fine
04. The Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat
05. A Remark You Made
06. River People
07. Thanks for the Memories
08. Dolores / Portrait of Tracy / Third Stone from the Sun
09. Mr. Gone
10. In a Silent Way
12. Teen Town
13. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good / The Midnight Sun Will Never Set On You
16. Fred & Jack
17. Elegant People
Previously unreleased recordings from pioneering fusion band Weather Report playing live in the 1970s
Starts with laughing or cawing. Electric keyboard solo with comping. Bass and sax then with keys. A head part. Sound like sax multiphonics or the keyboard could be harmonizing. Simple repetitive part. Free jazz sax solo with just sax and drums. Bass and keys back and we're back on the repeating head. Great single line solo from Zawinul on organ/synth. Bass solo with harmonies. Everyone playing short bursts. Out.
This is great playing and every part of it is experimental except for the overall arrangement which is kind of definitely solos and ensemble work. They do, however improvise throughout even during the ensemble work and they don't hesitate to enter on someone else's solo. The most powerful part was the minimalist sax and drums solo. So free.
Starts on keys. Kind of a flute sound. Vocal countdown and thunder. Countdown electronicized somehow. Drums. A motif on bass and keys. Bluesy and then some scale excerpts. Wayne shorter on soprano sax. Spacey solo keyboard work. The return of the motif on bass. Keys answering with melodic improvisation. Again the scale excerpts with soprano sax and it ends.
A keyboard feature with a very small skeleton. Quite experimental really. and listenable throughout.
Young And Fine
Short intro and the tenor on the head. This is a Weather Report classic. Instantly recognizable. The head repeats modulated down. Free jazz sax solo over drums bass and keys modal accompaniment. The head short version. Keyboard solo. vi-ii-V-I accompaniment. Sax and keys on outtro.
Extremely good work on a concise version of a great song.
The Pursuit of the Woman with the Feathered Hat
Arpegiatted piano intro. Blues riff on bass. Melody on soprano sax. Zawinul is cueing a change. Drum fill and then funk bass. R&B bassed modal jazz. Whoa oh oh vocals. Jaco and Joe. Shorter improvising on soprano sax.
Generally speaking not enough harmonic content for my taste but they do pull it off.
A Remark You Made
Acoustic piano intro. A real song with a change. Tenor sax on the melody. A sparse keyboard interlude. Back to sax. Jaco playing the melody on bass. Keys and sax trading melodic lines. This is a classic jazz ballad sound presented in a different way. Bass repeating a melodic fragment. Out on sparse keys improv.
This is a Joe Zawinul song and as far as I'm concerned it's all the way there. The album "Heavy Weather" started with two Zawinul compositions, "Birdland" and "A Remark You Made". This is a very successful jazz album commercially as well as artistically.
Weather Report is an outstanding band for their writing, performance, and innovation. This particular lineup with Jaco on bass is one of the best bands in jazz history. Hearing a live show like this brings that out. The studio recordings are great but sometimes we all need another take on things and live is live. It's the unpredictability of live music that makes it so compelling.
This is the first 40 minutes of a 2 hour concert. The whole concert is on YouTube. Recommended.
Posted on Monday February 09, 2015
I found Sam Rivers here.
This book extensively covers the experimental music I was raised with that ran parallel to the music we have been studying in class. At the beginning of the chapter on Creative Jazz Scarufi writes "Creative music was obviously related to experiments by John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Morton Feldman..."
He also includes a database of musician bios where he says "Arkansas-raised tenor saxophonist Sam Rivers (1923), who had studied at a conservatory of music, represented the highbrow alter-ego of Ornette Coleman's free jazz."
So I was intrigued
Luminous Monolith - from the Fuchsia Swing Song album (December 1964)
Amazing musicians with drummer Tony Williams, pianist Jaki Byard and bassist Ron Carter. The piece is episodic starting with a kind of swing feel after a short arpeggiated intro. Quickly into a drum break. Then the intro again kind of juiced up. Swing again. Then Free Jazz sax sound with just piano comping. Swing again then solo Free Jazz sax. Continues like this with very short episodes and with the Free Jazz infecting the swing parts. Piano solo with straight episodes. Constant stylistic changes. Drum solo. Back to sax. Now Free Jazz is dominating the swing with occasional other styles thrown in. Short drums and then back to sax, swing and then Free Jazz ending.
This was 1964. Because of Tony Williams work with Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet and all of his other work in jazz his style has been fully assimilated. He is considered to be one of the most influential 20th century jazz drummers. Probably because of this his breaks do not sound as revolutionary now as they did in 1964.
At the time Free Jazz was not well accepted. It's practitioners were over hyping how new it was and many listeners had difficulty grasping the transition. I think Luminous Monolith does a good job of showing the growth of Free Jazz out of Swing and Bebop styles.
Euterpe - from the Contours album (May 1965)
Another amazing band with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard, pianist Herbie Hancock, bassist Ron Carter and drummer Joe Chambers.
Piano intro. Bass and piano, then Sam Rivers on flute. The bass is playing a repeated pattern with the piano varying chords on top of it. The flute has an extended melody without repetition. The muted trumpet is more thematic yet still constantly varying. The piano plays a scale of chords building energy and then back to a more constant part. Piano and bass only in a bass solo. The bass remains repetitive. An extended part of his solo centers around a single tone. Flute enters. More Euterpic meanderings. Very sparse accompaniment. Down to a trio in what could be called a piano solo. Almost all chorded moving into some notes. Like the other solos repetitive and tending to focus on a single note or tone. The flute enters with a melodic motif that is repeated and then varied. Ending with a repeated bass line and a sparse, comped, piano part.
This is a very listenable piece with none of the noise and anger associated with Free Jazz from this era. Very modal sounding and very exploratory. No recognizable melody until the last flute solo.
Mellifluos Cacophony - from the Contours CD
Head with sax and trumpet in a strong Free Jazz style followed by swinging sax solo with intermittent bursts beyond bebop. Piano solo. Heavily patterned with repeated motifs up and down the scale. Strong right hand emphasis. Trumpet. After a cacophonic head they are taking turns and they really lose the cacophony. I guess this is the mellifluos part. Hubbard follows Hancock's lead with occasional repeated motifs but not as often with a lot of scale type soloing as well. Drum solo. This is actually a kind of standard jazz arrangement. Chambers is definitely laying down a pulse. Out on the head which sounds less experimental the second time around. I think the repetition shows that it is arranged and written out removing some of the spontaneity.
I love these pieces. I would call them Free Jazz influenced rather than Free Jazz school. They are from Rivers first two albums and so they probably do not represent his most experimental work. I certainly intend to listen to more.
Search for Sam Rivers on Spotify
Net Neutrality Countdown
Posted on Tuesday January 27, 2015
Check out the Net Neutrality widget on Delta Boogie.
You can add this widget to your website here.
Andy Cohen in Brookland on February 4 at 7:00 pm
Posted on Saturday January 24, 2015
Andy Cohen will be playing at the Brookland Methodist Church on Wednesday, February 4. At 6:00 pm we will serve ham and beans. At 7:00 music and worship featuring Andy Cohen. The church is located at 301 W. Matthews about a block from the Brookland Post Office. There is no charge for the music or the food but donations will be accepted.
This Monday is Bluegrass Monday with Monroe Crossing
Posted on Thursday January 22, 2015
Dear Bluegrass Friends,
KASU’s Bluegrass Monday is back this Monday night with a band returning by popular demand for an incredible eighth appearance in our concert series.
Monroe Crossing will perform a concert of bluegrass music on Monday, January 26, at 7:00 p.m. at the Collins Theatre, 120 West Emerson Street, in downtown Paragould, Arkansas. The concert is part of the Bluegrass Monday concert series presented by KASU 91.9 FM. KASU will literally “pass the hat” to collect money to pay the group. The suggested donation is at least $5 per person.
Named in honor of the creator of bluegrass music, Bill Monroe, the band Monroe Crossing plays traditional bluegrass music, Gospel songs, original melodies and their own unique treatments of songs that weren’t originally bluegrass tunes. The band performed over 150 concerts in 2014 at bluegrass festivals, churches and venues across the country. Monroe Crossing has recorded 13 CDs and has produced a concert DVD. A new CD, including music recorded live at past Bluegrass Monday performances, will be available for purchase at the concert.
Based in Minnesota, Monroe Crossing is the only bluegrass band ever to be named “Artist of the Year” (2004) by the Minnesota Music Academy. The group has also been inducted into the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and has received numerous awards from the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association. In both 2007 and in 2014, the band received the prestigious invitation to appear at the showcase concert at the International Bluegrass Music Association’s annual convention.
Members of Monroe Crossing include Lisa Fugile who plays fiddle and sings. She was raised in Nigeria, Africa, and she first discovered bluegrass music through a 78 RPM record of music by Bill Monroe.
Matt Thompson of Mankato, Minnesota, plays mandolin and fiddle. He is a past winner of the “Mandolin Player of the Year” award given by the Minnesota Bluegrass and Old-Time Music Association. He also serves as emcee for the band during their concerts. Thompson has been playing bluegrass music in many bands over the past 30 years, including True Blue, a group which appeared on Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion” nationally-syndicated public radio program.
Mark Anderson plays bass in the group. His first musical experience was playing in alternative rock bands, but his musical tastes changed dramatically after being introduced to bluegrass music in 1995.
Derek Johnson sings and plays guitar. He co-founded the High 48s Bluegrass Band, a group which released four CDs, toured nationwide, and won the prestigious Rocky Grass bluegrass band competition in 2008.
David Robinson plays banjo for the band. He became interested in folk and blues music at a young age, but exposure to a local bluegrass band led him to begin playing banjo at age 14. His banjo playing is influenced by David Holt and Earl Scruggs, and he also taught himself how to play guitar, mandolin and harmonica.
Monroe Crossing has been a full-time, professional bluegrass band since the year 2000. More details about the band, including videos of past performances, are available at www.monroecrossing.com and at www.facebook.com/bluegrassmonday.
Tickets will be distributed at the theatre beginning at 5:00 p.m. Tickets must be obtained in person, and seating will be first-come, first-served.
In addition to the concert, Terry’s Café, 201 South Pruett Street in Paragould, opens on Bluegrass Monday nights to welcome bluegrass music fans. The café serves a catfish buffet meal beginning at 4:30 p.m. on the evenings of Bluegrass Monday concerts. Concessions will also be available at the Collins Theatre.
Bluegrass Monday concerts are held on the fourth Monday night of each month. These concerts are presented with support from Bibb Chiropractic, the Posey Peddler, Holiday Inn Express and Suites of Paragould, the Northeast Arkansas Bluegrass Association and KASU.
KASU, 91.9 FM, is the 100,000 watt public broadcasting service of Arkansas State University in Jonesboro. For more information, contact KASU Program Director Marty Scarbrough at email@example.com or 870-972-2367. Bluegrass Monday is also on Facebook (search “Bluegrass Monday”). To be removed from this emailing list, reply to this message.
I’m looking forward to seeing all my bluegrass friends Monday for another memorable night of music and entertainment with Monroe Crossing.
KASU Program Director
KGPL For Deadheads
Posted on Friday January 16, 2015
It's not quite finished but I have the Alpha 1.0 version of KGPL online for testing and hosting music from the Grateful Dead, spinoffs, and cover bands.
By not quite ready I mean I don't have the add a song form working yet. But you can certainly link on over and listen.
Problems? Suggestions? Ideas? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Blues in Arkansas
Posted on Tuesday January 13, 2015
Blues in Arkansas
I just sent the below article in to the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette,
from a piece they did on Arkansas Music this last Sunday. A full,
whole seciton on music, page after page, and not one damn mention of
any working blues musician at all. A crying shame, in a state with
such rich blues heritage our own media shunts us, and turns their back
on us. I also have this posted on Blues Guitar News
www.bluesguitarnews.com with the ADG editor links and mailing address,
to see if I can get anyone else in the world to put their two cents in
too. This ticked me off so bad, and I still fuming over it. Here is
what I sent every one of their publishers, and editors. Talk to you
later, and have a Merry Christmas and let 2009 find you happy, healthy
and wealthy. Mike.
To: The Crew at Arkansas Democrat Gazette
From: Mike Dollins =96 Whisker Fish in Blues Circles
Subject: Musical Mishmash =96 Sunday December 21st, 2008 =96 Styles Sectio=
Date: December 23, 2008
I had to wait a couple of days before I got into writing
y'all down at the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. In your rendition and
interpretation about the state of music in Arkansas, and then music
nationally in general I have to say . . . . . ugh, thank you. Thank
you from the prospective that you do make the attempt to keep a dab of
Arkansas music alive and well in your publications. Because my mamma
taught me if I couldn't say anything nice, then don't say anything at
all, I can't get into my real deep thoughts I pondered regarding the
piece. Due to my lengthy career as a music journalist I did however
learn to dazzle them with my footwork. Goes with the job I guess.
Here goes nothing.
To start off let me thank Peter Read of Nightflying Entertainment
Guide, and Dottie Oliver at Free Press for keeping us street level
Arkansas blues musicians mentioned and journalized in their
publications. Arkansas Times does a little of that too. I do have to
thank Jack Hill at ADG, for keeping some of our local blues musicians
posted. Heck, even a few of the ADG employees come out and see some
of our blues shows. What I didn't like about your Musical Mishmash
article, is us underground local blues folks didn't even get an
honorable mention. Hey, we're use to it, so don't fret about the
obvious oversight. No slam on you folks, being a 50-year blues
guitar veteran, slammed doors is par on the musical course in life.
We just pack it up, and move to the next gig.
I will do an Arkansas Blues Musician page at my on-line
blues ezine Blues Guitar News in the first of the year.
www.bluesguitarnews.com It does have a worldwide following of about
30,000 - plus thousands of hits on our MySpace site. There is a
worldwide underground blues cult that is totally amazing, but you have
to be a street level musician to understand it, and have any knowledge
regarding the far-reaching popularity blues is attaining very rapidly.
The world is starting to learn that Arkansas shares the Mighty Muddy
River with Mississippi, and we have a long heritage of blues only
matched by Mississippi.
First off, the obvious two oversights in your Arkansas
Music assessment were Michael Burks and Joe Pitts. Michael, is on a
major top blues label, and the word in the street level blues circles
is he is the next BB, Albert or Freddy King, real deal blues
guitarist; Winner of every kind of blues award with the Blues
Foundation, and up for a blues Grammy. Thing is Arkansas clams Albert
King as one of our own, and Michael is the next generation blues
guitarist following in Albert's footsteps filling Mr. King's shoes
rather nicely, and is the real deal. Joe Pitts, another major label
and international touring band has just returned from an extensive
tour in Europe, and is planning another Euro jaunt in February with
other major headliners. Outside of local blues circles here at home,
he is not known by y'all here in Arkansas much, but a star in Europe,
and a guitar icon in Italy who highly revere him on the level of Eric
Clapton, Eric Johnson, Jeff Beck, Joe Bonamassa, Derek Trucks and
Dwayne Allman. Thanks Peter Read, for the nice article on Joe. He
deserves the recognition, along with his wife Rhonda Pitts, and her
highly acclaimed Nashville trained Lonesome Oak recording studio.
Secondly, the Blues Societies here in Arkansas work their
tail ends off, keeping the Arkansas blues heritage alive and well.
Presidents; Barbara "Bab's" Bearden and VP Jeff Weeden of the Arkansas
River Blues Society, Liz Lottmann of the Ozark Blues Society and
Leadra LeNea of the Spa City Blues Society in Hot Springs, are the
behind the scenes labor of love folks keeping the blues alive and
well. You missed Jeff and these three wonderful ladies that deserve a
little respect in the media from time-to-time for their untiring
devotion to Arkansas Blues. You can add in Deb Moser, to this list
too. She can be heard on KABF 88.3 FM, and has one of the longest
running blues shows in Arkansas, "Debs Blues House Party."
More . . . Thank you for the articles you've done on Essie
"The Blues Lady" Neal, as she is the sweetheart of Arkansas blues, and
if you don't know it, she is well known on an international stage and
a member of the Blues Hall of Fame. You also did a very nice piece on
Al Bell, of Stax Records. But, how about John Craig, the local living
blues legend? He has a new blues CD out. Mr. Craig is well known
worldwide in deep blues circles. He is the real deal, and recorded
with major artists on ABC Paramount Records, and toured with Ike
Turner. You would think at 63 years old, and a lifetime dedicated to
the blues we could get John in Arkansas Media a little.
Hey, how about the winners from Arkansas in the
International Blues Challenge at Memphis, slated for February 9th,
2009. This is an international event. I don't think I read about
this in your Arkansas Mishmash article either. From Hot Springs we
have Unseen Eye, and Ben "Swamp Donkey" Brenner, from Little Rock we
have "Gil Franklin & Port Arthur" and "Blues Boy Jag" and from
Fayetteville we have Gary Hucthison and Oreo Blue all traveling to
Memphis, and I am sure the Tennessee media will take note of the
Arkansas participants. Talking Mr. Hucthison, I bet y'all down at
the ADG, didn't know that Gary hosts the blues jam session at the
International Arlington, Texas Vintage Guitar Show, and has done so
for over a decade in the swank Sheridan Hotel. But, Texas embraces
blues pickers. This is a major underground guitar extravaganza, with
tens of thousands of folks traveling in from the four corners of the
world to attend this three-day event. Gary is known worldwide for his
stage guitar prowess, and for those of us that have shared the stage
with him know his Arkansas blues band is a solid act waiting on a
major blues label.
Runner up to this whole major blues event is little old me, and my
band that got mentioned as the best self produced blues CD from Little
Rock, for the IBC in Memphis. That's cool; Linda Cailloutet missed
all of us in Paper Trails too. We do want to thank Steve and the
great folks at Good Morning Arkansas, KATV ABC ch 7, for having us on
their show this month to talk about some of the blues items I am
listing. Super great support team at KATV for local Little Rock blues
musicians. We would like to also thank Pat Lynch, who occasionally
has local blues talent on his radio talk show. Mr. Lynch, although a
super political satire and analysis expert, has a great depth of
understanding on music and the blues. We thank Pat from the bottom
of our hearts for inviting us on his radio show, to talk Arkansas
Blues on a down to earth level.
I need to tell you about another living Arkansas Blues Legend, Eb
Davis. Mr. Davis lives most of his time in Europe now, like so many
blues artists. You see they respect and honor blues folks in the old
country, and Eb is a blues icon all over the European continent. Eb's
bio reads like a who's who of blues and R&B, and he is personal
friends with BB king and Bobby Bland, who he has toured with in years
past. Jefferson Blues, the oldest worldwide renowned blues magazine
in Europe has just featured a full-length article on Eb Davis, and
they do make mention of his Arkansas roots. Congratulations Eb, long
Other tid-bits of Arkansas blues talent could include Charlotte Taylor
and Gypsy Rain, Brethren, Cosmic Biscuit, Joe Marks & NTO, Max Taylor,
Charles Woods, Artis Bivens, Billy Jones, Danny & the Shuffle Kings,
and The Tablerockers etcetera, who are a just a few of the Arkansas
blues folks that deserve a little respect and recognition
occasionally. When you talk about Arkansas blues history and
legends, you can either see our web page on the matter, or take our
word that the following blues or R&B legends all have some sort of
Arkansas link or roots:
Albert King, raised in Osceola, Arkansas
Roosevelt Sykes, born in Elmar, Arkansas
Big Bill Broonzy, raised in Pine Bluff, AR 1898
Luther Allison, born in Widener, AR in 1939
Chester Burnett (Howlin' Wolf) lived in West Memphis, Arkansas from 1930 to=
Robert Lockwood Jr., born in Turkey Scratch, AR 1908
Robert Nighthawk, born in Helena, AR 1909
Junior Walker, born in Blythesville, AR 1931
Junior Wells, born in West Memphis, AR 1934
Louis Jordan, was born in Brinkley, AR 1908
Al Bell, Stax Records, raised in Little Rock, AR
Jimmy Witherspoon, born in Gruden, AR 1921
Arkansas Larry Davis, grew up in Little Rock, AR
Al Greene, born in Forrest City, AR 1946
Casey Bill Weldon, Memphis Minnie's Husband, born in Pine Bluff, AR in 1909
Johnnie Taylor, born in Crawford AR 1938
Guitar Mac, born in Cotton Plant, AR
Roy Buchanan, born in Ozark, AR in 1939
Hubert Slumlin, raised in Hughes, AR
Al Hibler, born in Little Rock, AR in 1915
Frank Frost, born in Augusta, AR 1936
Levon Helm, born in Elaine, AR 1940
Sonny Boy Williamson, lived in Twist, AR with Howlin' Wolf's Sister
Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, born in Helena, AR 1936
Son Seals, born in Osceola, AR 1942
Robert Johnson, lived in Helena, AR
Little Willie John, born in Cullendale, AR in 1937
Scott Joplin, raised in Texarkana, AR 1868
Hollis Gillmore, born in Magnolia, AR
Timothy "Little" Cooper, Prattsville, AR
Sam Carr, born in Marvell, AR 1926
Robert Lee McCoy, Born in Helena AR 1926
WDIA USA's first Blues Radio featuring BB King, Howlin' Wolf and Sonny
Boy WilliamsonIn in West Memphis, Arkansas
Sonny "Sunshine" Payne King Biscuit Blues Radio Show on KFFA Radio, in
Sonny Payne, one of the first ever all Blues DJ's.
BB King named his guitar "Lucille" in Twist, Arkansas
Well, I just went and blew my socks off on all of this,
and y'all probably think I'm just a big sour grapes kind of guy now.
I am sorry for coming off so abruptly, but I had to get it off my
chest. I am just totally frustrated that I can get Arkansas blues on
the international map, and then have to fight tooth and toenail to get
a "blip" in local Arkansas media. I am thankful for folks like Peter
Read, Dottie Oliver and Hairy Larry of Delta Boogie
www.deltaboogie.com that respect us working blues musicians, and go
out of their way to support and encourage us. This isn't a personal
solicitation for me. I've had interviews and reviews in most music
publications and newspapers in major cities from Los Angeles to New
York, and all across Europe, and featured on over 200 blues radio
stations worldwide. That isn't what this is all about. Blues doesn't
share the pop music culture of, "Its all about me." We do what we
call "sharing the hog," and "shouting out," about others. Blues folks
is family. I will until I finally succumb to all my various disabling
infirmities someday, keep on tooting and shouting out about Arkansas
blues on the worldwide blues stage to let 'em know in the streets,
"Blues is Alive & Well in Arkansas." We have blues history, and we
are just as much proud of our bluesmen and women as; Memphis,
Clarksdale, Chicago and New Orleans, cities that brag about their
blues music heritage, and keep them in the forefront in all their
Thank you for your time, and if I offended you in any way, forgive my
rudeness. That is not the intended message. I subscribe to you
paper, and read Pat Lynch and Paul Greenberg every chance I get.
Also, thank you for printing my non-music articles in "Voices."
Someday, I hope you accept one of my music articles, as they do pop up
frequently in publications all over the world.
Arkansas Democrat Gazette Link, if you want to put in your two cents
too. If not, I'll be the lone wolf in the desert shouting out about it
Arkansas Democrat Gazette
P.O. Box 2221
Little Rock, AR 72203