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Pics, bios, reviews, album art and links to where you can purchase the music featured on the show!
Go Right Back To Bed- Duncan Street- “Baptized By The Blues”
Rocks In My Bed- Betty Roche- “Lightly and Politely”
Let’s All Go To Bed- The Mother Truckers- “Let’s All Go To Bed”
Three Days In Bed- Holly Williams- “Here With Me”
Blues All Around My Bed- Precious Bryant- “Fool Me Good”
Bedside Window- The California Honeydrops- “Like You Mean It”
Hot New Music:
Strut- Lenny Kravitz- “Strut”
Blue Sunset- Sarah Levecque- “Beautiful Defeat”
Goin’ Back To Florida- Joe Miller- “Ramblin’ Guitar Man”
92nd Street- Kris Delmhorst- “Blood Test”
Midnight Rain- Jonah Tolchin- “Clover Lane”
Better ‘Bout You- The Loot Rock Gang- “That’s Why I’ve Got To Sing”
Red River- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers- “Hypnotic Eye”
Sweet Red Wine- The Biscuit Burners- “Take Me Home”
Red Hot Rocking Blues- Wilko Johnson- “Red Hot Rocking Blues”
Little Red Rooster- Big Mama Thornton- “Live At Newport”
Red Shack Zydeco- C.J. Chenier- “Can’t Sit Down”
Red Headed Stranger- Willie Nelson- “Red Headed Stranger”
Red Mule Ride- The Bibb City Ramblers- “Mountain Air”
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Go Right Back To Bed- Duncan Street
Dave Duncan has played guitar music professionally for over 35 years now. He has dug deeply into the the roots of Americana..playing pedal steel guitar with cowboy singer Johnny Western, rockabilly 6 string with piano great SE Willis, deep blues with Jack Pearson & The Nationals.. and spankin’ the plank with jam band cult favorites GooseCreek Symphony.
As a songwriter, Dave Duncan has had over 20 songs recorded by other artists..3 Song of The Year nominations for blues songs performed by Curtis Salgado, 2 Gold Records for songs by country stars (Lorrie Morgan & Buddy Jewell)… and 3 self produced CDs of Dave Duncan Music.
Cajun chefs, bluesmen and red-haired women people the art of Stan Street. On his canvas, New Orleans’s Delta and Florida’s Big Cypress Swamp blend into a stew of red hot licks and blazing was only after years as a recognized blues musician in Florida that he took up brush and paint. Street’s earliest art celebrated the blues pioneers in wide slashes of brilliant color on slabs of discarded wood, rescued from anonymity with portraits of the likes of Muddy Waters, Elmore James, Robert Johnson. After some time in New Orleans, the juke joints and blues festivals of the deep South started to breathe on his canvas. As he experimented with different styles, drawing on the Impressionists and Expressionists, Street “took what he needed to know and went from there”. Bold strokes and colors played out the sounds he heard and played as a musical artist. “Being
self-taught is an advantage, in that doors are always open for new development. My art will always have a primitive feel to it and I try to give it movement and life.”
The biggest influence on Street’s art is the perspective of being a blues musician. Growing up in New York he was influenced by his father and uncle – classical percussionists – who encouraged his creativity. He took up: sax, harmonica, percussion and singing, accumulating credits in award winning blues groups. He tours the Canadian blues festival circuit as well as blues festivals and honkytonks of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Georgia. Although Street called Florida his “home” for more than 25 years, he has moved to Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he finds common ground with the primordial blues of the Delta, and also will be closer to New Orleans, Chicago, and Kansas City.
Duncan Street’s Baptized By The Blues is just what the doctor ordered – a powerful album laid out with the basic instrumentation and high emotional expression of a blues standard. Dave Duncan has been at it for many years, not only composing for numerous blues and country artists, but also for his solo albums, which have featured the likes of Delbert McClinton. Together with Stan Street, it’s no wonder that the duo has put out such an enjoyable album.
-Dan Harr, June 30, 2014, musicnewsnashville.com
Rocks In My Bed- Betty Roche
A singer who performed with Duke Ellington in both the ’40s and ’50s, Betty Roché was famous for her strong, dramatic way of putting across blues material, a talent that not every vocalist with this big band had. Ellington, who was sometimes prone to hire vocalists with stilted, nearly classical delivery, described Roché with typical grace: “She had a soul inflection in a bop state of intrigue and every word was understandable despite the sophisticated hip and jive connotations.” She was born Mary Elizabeth Roché and began her career by triumphing at an amateur contest at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. In 1941, she sang with the Savoy Sultans, then joined Ellington two years later. It was a tough assignment, replacing one of the bandleader’s most popular vocalists, Ivie Anderson, just days before Ellington’s first concert at Carnegie Hall. She rose to the occasion, scoring highly with both the critics and audience in her featured section of the Ellington suite “Black, Brown and Beige.” Her vocal on this number comes on during the blues sequence, and was the composer’s interpretation of the feelings of urban blacks at the start of the 20th century. It became one of Ellington’s greatest pieces for a singer, an ambitious slab of scoring that showed the skill with which the composer was able to make use of the basic feeling of the blues as part of a sophisticated, advanced musical structure. To give credit where credit is due, there were many vocalists who worked with Ellington who would not have been able to pull this number off as effectively as Roché did.
-Eugene Chadbourne, AllMusic.com
It is ironic that what is arguably singer Betty Roché’s finest all-around recording was also her last. For this session, which has been reissued in the OJC series on CD, Roché (backed by pianist Jimmy Neeley, guitarist Wally Richardson, bassist Michel Mulia, and drummer Rudy Lawless) improvises constantly and uplifts a variety of superior standards, including “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Polka Dots and Moonbeams,” “I Had the Craziest Dream,” and three songs by her former boss, Duke Ellington. It’s recommended, particularly to jazz fans not aware of Betty Roché’s musical talents.
-Scott Yanow, AllMusic.com
Let’s All Go To Bed- The Mother Truckers
The Mother Truckers are a kick-ass rock ‘n’ roll band from Austin, Texas! Their music is high-octane Americana, blending elements of Country and Blues with loud guitars, big choruses and powerhouse vocals. Their creative songwriting and high energy live performances lift you up to a place that’s somewhere between a honky-tonk and a mosh-pit!
The core of the group is the singing songwriting team of Josh Zee and Teal Collins.
Josh Zee (vocals/lead guitar) has recorded 2 major label records on the SONY/Work label as the singer/guitarist and songwriter for the Rock group “Protein”. They toured extensively throughout the U.S. on “The Warped Tour” and also toured Europe and Japan as part of MTV Asia Summer Fest.
Teal Collins (vocals/ukulele/guitar) Teal’s early introduction to music was through her dad, famous Jazz disc jockey Al, “Jazzbeaux” Collins. Teal has recorded sessions for Grammy award winning producers Narada Michael Walden (Whitney Houston) and Stephen Bray (Madonna). Teal has also received Gold and Platinum albums for her work on Shanice (Motown records) and Third Eye Blind’s album Blue.
Josh and Teal formed the Mother Truckers in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2002 after meeting at a local open mic night. The Band recorded several self-released albums including fan favorite “Something Worth Dying for”.
In 2005, Josh and Teal moved their music to Texas, and set up shop in Austin, “The Live Music Capitol of the World”. There, they met local music scene veterans, Danny G (Bass) and Pete The Beat (Drums) who form The Mother Truckers powerhouse rhythm section. The band got a residency at the legendary Continental Club and quickly started drawing a large number of fans to their shows.
Three Days In Bed- Holly Williams
Most country artists talk about their long journey to Nashville, but Holly Williams was born and raised in country music’s capital. Most country artists speak of some music-loving elder who almost made it, but Holly Williams comes from country royalty. Hank Williams was her grandfather, Hank Jr. her dad, and Hank III her half-brother. Despite all this — and a couple songs she wrote at the age of eight — when growing up Holly wasn’t interested in music, and dreamed of a career in modeling. Hank Jr. and Holly’s mother had separated when Holly was young, but in her teen years her father was taking his daughter to more of his shows. Perhaps that’s why, at the age of 17, Holly finally tried playing one of the guitars in the house. Within a week she was writing introspective, somewhat dark, songs.
After graduating from high school, she gave herself a year to try the music business before she would settle for college. Three months in Los Angeles to study piano, write songs, and attend concerts by the Rolling Stones, Elliott Smith, and Neil Finn helped her focus.
-David Jeffries, AllMusic.com
If it’s hard to follow in the footsteps of a famous parent, it must be even tougher to do so when said parent is the offspring of a music legend. Singer/songwriter Holly Williams not only faces the daunting task of standing in the long shadow cast by her father, rough-and-tumble country outlaw Hank Jr., but the even longer shadow cast by the grandfather she never knew, country progenitor Hank Williams. While most famous offspring are lacking in the talent department and have to lean heavily on their family name, Williams doesn’t. The comely singer drips talent on her Mercury Nashville debut, Here with Me. Her music is a pop-Americana hybrid, raw and real while at the same time polished to a beautiful shine. The singer’s songs don’t even hint at the contrived candyfloss schlock of 21st century Nashville. This is music straight from the gut, via the heart.
-Todd Sterling, AllMusic.com
Blues All Around My Bed- Precious Bryant
Born Precious Bussey in Talbot County, GA, on January 4, 1942, Precious Bryant has performed rural acoustic blues throughout her native state for over 30 years in a variety of settings, from the Baptist church to folk festivals to clubs and concert halls. As a female practitioner of a rapidly fading folk style, Bryant has a unique musical voice, if only by virtue of survival.
Growing up in a close-knit Georgia family, Bryant was surrounded by myriad musical forms from a very young age, her mother a piano player and her father a traditional blues musician. Her uncle, George Henry Bussey, instructed her on guitar and began to teach her the rudiments of what became an extensive blues repertoire. By the age of nine, Bryant was playing regularly in the church, accompanying her seven sisters on guitar. The church appearances naturally led to appearances at other local events.
Though her material was largely traditional, taken from the fertile breeding ground of the lower Chattahoochee River Valley, she also absorbed contemporary influences, including Jimmy Reed, Muddy Waters, and Elmore James. In the late ’60s, Bryant came to the attention of folklorist George Mitchell, who recorded her and encouraged her to make increasingly public performances. Eventually, she agreed to perform at the Chattahoochee Folk Festival and was a smashing success, laying the groundwork for numerous tours in the United States and abroad, including notable appearances at the Blues to Bop Festival in Switzerland and the Alabama Folk Festival in Montgomery. With an engaging stage presence, Bryant helped pass along stories of the music’s origins as well as the songs themselves.
-Jesse Jarnow, AllMusic.com
Recorded by Amos Harvey at the Zelda Station — the living room of longtime friends Cathy and Fred Fussell — Precious Bryant’s Fool Me Good is a unique field recording of sorts. A performer in varying degrees of formality for over 30 years, Bryant had never recorded or released a full-length record of her rural Georgia blues, though she had been documented numerous times. Armed with an acoustic guitar, Bryant wends her way through the highlights of the repertoire she has accumulated over the span of nearly 60 years, collecting songs from family, friends, and fellow musicians. Her voice is oddly sweet for the blues, with a guitar style to match, rarely encroaching on even remotely gruff territory, nor is too refined. She works best on pop standards like “Fever,” which finds a middle ground between the genres. As a female blues singer, she is a rarity, and an enjoyable one at that. One can almost imagine her voice rising off of old shellac 78s coated in a layer of crackle and hiss.
-Jesse Jarnow, AllMusic.com
Bedside Window- The California Honeydrops
The California Honeydrops don’t just play music—they throw parties. Drawing on diverse musical influences from Bay Area R&B, funk, Southern soul, Delta blues, and New Orleans second-line, the Honeydrops bring vibrant energy and infectious dance-party vibes to their live shows. They’ve taken the party all over the world: on their nine European tours, to featured slots at such premiere festivals as Monterey Jazz, High Sierra, and Outside Lands, and performances in 2013 supporting B.B. King, Dr. John, Buddy Guy, and Allen Toussaint. Whether in those high-profile performances or in more intimate venues where the band itself can leave the stage and get down on the dance floor, the California Honeydrops’ shared vision and purpose remain: to make the audience dance and sing.
The Honeydrops have come a long way since guitarist and trumpeter Lech Wierzynkski and drummer Ben Malament started busking in an Oakland BART station, but the band has stayed true to that organic, street-level feel.
Photo by: Jomar Photography
Strut- Lenny Kravitz
There may have been other “retro” rock acts before him, but Lenny Kravitz was one of the first to not be pigeonholed to a single style as he touched upon such genres as soul, funk, reggae, hard rock, psychedelic, folk, and ballads over the years. Born in New York on May 26, 1964 (his mother was actress Roxie Roker, best known for her role as Helen Willis on the popular TV series The Jeffersons, and his father was a TV producer), Kravitz was raised in Los Angeles, where he found himself around countless musical giants as a youngster due to his parents’ friendships with the likes of Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughan, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Short, and Miles Davis. Kravitz was a member of the California Boys Choir until his teenage years, when he decided to pursue rock & roll while in high school and under the heavily influence of funk-rocker Prince. Kravitz’s admiration of the Purple One was so great that he at first patterned his style and approach directly after Prince and became known as “Romeo Blue” (complete with blue contact lenses), but failed to land a recording contract.
In the late ’80s, Kravitz relocated back to New York City, where one of his roommates turned out to be actress Lisa Bonet (who played the part of Denise Huxtable on The Cosby Show); they eventually got married. During this time, Kravitz wisely discarded his Prince-like approach and looked back to such ’60s/’70s classic rockers as Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield, Bob Marley, and the Beatles for inspiration.
-Greg Prato, AllMusic.com
Blue Sunset- Sarah Levecque
Sarah Levecque is a singer songwriter guitarist who moves easily between the sturdy roots of American music. Influenced in equal parts by early blues, country, folk and rock music Sarah has two full CD releases of her original material.
A Maine native, Sarah has been crafting her song-writing skills in the Boston / Cambridge / Somerville scene for the last eight years. An early music education in classical piano gave way to her love of early blues music. The Blues, raw and free of the conventions of her earlier training led Sarah to play guitar and eventually front her own band. At 19 she began to sit in with bands playing the music of Johnny Lee Hooker, Magic Sam, T-Bone Walker and Albert King. Her writing has evolved from the Blues tradition and her shy demure style may belie her capacity to bring strong and authentic blues guitar work to her live performances.
Always following the best American music downstream Sarah has been influenced by the writing of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan and Lucinda Williams.
Engaging, mysterious and plain spoken in equal measure, her work evolves.
Photo by: Chris Yeager
Goin’ Back To Florida- Joe Miller
Joe Miller is a singer/songwriter/guitarist born in New Haven,Connecticut. Growing up with the sounds of Rock N Roll throughout his life, he quickly learned to play the guitar at the young age of 13. Before anyone knew it, Miller was writing songs with influences of vintage rock and blues.
His styles range from straight ahead raw Rock N Roll and dirty blues to backwoods folk with a country flavor. His songs have been featured on such well known radio stations as 99.1 WPLR CT’s #1 Rock Station and Little Steven’s Underground Garage satellite show on Sirius XM. As a high energy performer in his twenties, doing all of his own songwriting, he delivers a sense of free confidence and charisma.
>> Read more…
92nd Street- Kris Delmhorst
“moody, euphoric, and transcendent” -LA Times
“bold and brilliant” -Boston Globe
“Delmhorst has become a favorite among music fans who like to be challenged as well as entertained.” – Music Box Online
“a work of lo-fi beauty… evidence of an artist taking flight” -Boston Herald
“As seamless and brave as it is brilliantly creative” -Irish Times
“a gorgeous, tender, evocative voice and a textured and varied musical palette” -Amazon
“warm and immediately accessible” … “a voice that breathes through the speakers” -All Music
Kris Delmhorst grew up in Brooklyn NY, but her musical home is in Boston MA where she cut her teeth on open mics, bar gigs, and subway busking before embarking on her life as an internationally touring songwriter. She has released six albums on respected indie label Signature Sounds. Delmhorst now lives in the hills of western Massachusetts with her husband, songwriter Jeffrey Foucault, with whom she occasionally performs as part of the collective Redbird.
On May 13th, Delmhorst will release her seventh album, BLOOD TEST (Signature Sounds) – her first of original music since 2008′s critically acclaimed album SHOTGUN SINGER. A prolific writer and constant collaborator, Delmhorst continues to share her unique perspective in this new work. The album describes a moment of reckoning and centering in the songwriter’s life, and in society as a whole. In a collection of songs which move between triumph and heartbreak, restlessness and responsibility, Delmhorst acknowledges the weary work of an intentioned life – and the new American dream of presence and perspective in a frenetic time.
>> Read more…
Photo by: Shervin Lainez
Midnight Rain- Jonah Tolchin
Raised in central New Jersey, singer/songwriter Jonah Tolchin was introduced to blues music in his early teens. After a rebellious few years in which he dropped out of high school and ran afoul of the law, he found himself searching for an outlet for all his pent-up energy. His father had spent some time years before living in Mississippi where he ran a record store, so music was always in the Tolchin household, though it wasn’t until Jonah was 14 that his father turned him onto the blues. He immediately connected with style and passion and spent the next several years immersing himself first in the blues, then in the many different branches of roots music from bluegrass to old-timey jug band.
-Timothy Monger, AllMusic.com
“… A promising new artist who artfully occupies the gulf between old-school tradition and contemporary appropriation.”
– Kim Ruehl, NPR Heavy Rotation
“…demonstrates the finesse and maturity of someone like Jason Isbell, 8 out of 10”
– Uncut Magazine
“Adding raw, punk brio to a folk-blues template…”
– Mojo Magazine
“…He has the songwriting chops and singing prowess of an aged blues legend.”
– The Bluegrass Situation
“Taking directions from Bourbon Street up to Beale Street and on to Maxwell Street, Jonah Tolchin’s Clover Lane deserves its rightful place on the map as a truly remarkable Americana/blues record.”
“Jonah is a quiet powerhouse of a person. Perhaps diminutive in stature, he is a creative giant – and Clover Lane reflects that.”
Better ‘Bout You- The Loot Rock Gang
The Loot Rock Gang consists of St. Louis-based husband and wife vocal duo Little Rachel and Mat Wilson (who also plays acoustic resonator guitar), Stephen Inman on upright bass, and Kellie Everett on baritone saxophone. They perform acoustic blues, roots, and Americana music with dual vocal harmonies.
The Loot Rock Gang gathers their diverse set of influences, and the most traditional elements of blues, country, jazz, and rock n’ roll, in such a striking, unexpected way, that it takes a form palatable to modern listeners, as well as traditionalists. Whether you are swinging along, and tapping your toes to an infectious rhythm, or being drawn in by the emotional power of a strong, blues ballad, you will be part of the chemistry that makes the Loot Rock Gang a refreshingly remarkable listening experience for all.
It would seem both obvious and insufficient to say that history is important to the Loot Rock Gang. The quartet plays post-war jump-blues and sings often about post-war concerns, alongside more evergreen topics like love, money and the intersection of the two. That the group is named after Jesse James’ cavern hideout won’t be lost on any Missourian who has trekked to Meramec Caverns (postcard ephemera of which is nicely included in the CD artwork), and opening track “Loot Rock Boogie” plays with that mythology while introducing the outfit to the world. There’s history, too, in the band’s origins, though of a more recent vintage: Band leader and guitarist Mat Wilson established his unmistakable style with the Rum Drum Ramblers, a trio regularly sidelined as his bandmates tour the world with Pokey LaFarge. Wilson’s wife and singing partner, Rachel Fenton, performed for years as Little Rachel, plying twangy R&B in her native Kansas City before moving to St. Louis. It’s clear from That’s Why I’ve Got to Sing that Loot Rock Gang is no consolation prize or holding pattern, and alongside low end from both Kellie Everett’s baritone sax and Stephen Inman’s upright bass, Wilson and Fenton’s paired voices mix well while each retaining their signature characteristics.
-Christian Schaeffer, Thursday, September 18, 2014, riverfronttimes.com
Photo by: richardanichols.com
Red River- Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Upon the release of their first album in the late ’70s, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers were shoehorned into the punk/new wave movement by some observers who picked up on the tough, vibrant energy of the group’s blend of Byrds riffs and Stonesy swagger. In a way, the categorization made sense. Compared to the heavy metal and art rock that dominated mid-’70s guitar rock, the Heartbreakers’ bracing return to roots was nearly as unexpected as the crashing chords of the Clash. As time progressed, it became clear that the band didn’t break from tradition like their punk contemporaries. Instead, they celebrated it, culling the best parts of the British Invasion, American garage rock, and Dylanesque singer/songwriters to create a distinctively American hybrid that recalled the past without being indebted to it.
The Heartbreakers were a tight, muscular, and versatile backing band that provided the proper support for Petty’s songs, which cataloged a series of middle-class losers and dreamers. While his slurred, nasal voice may have recalled Dylan and Roger McGuinn, Petty’s songwriting was lean and direct, recalling the simple, unadorned style of Neil Young. Throughout his career, Petty & the Heartbreakers never departed from their signature rootsy sound, but they were able to expand it, bringing in psychedelic, Southern rock, and new wave influences; they were also one of the few of the traditionalist rock & rollers who embraced music videos, filming some of the most inventive and popular videos in MTV history.
-Stephen Thomas Erlewine, AllMusic.com
Sweet Red Wine- The Biscuit Burners
“They have a captivatingly unique sound that’s all their own, yet rich with heritage and culture. Their music is a breath of fresh air in this stale period of lifeless pop music culture.”
Greg Tutwiler – Singer & Musician Magazine
“The result is a brand of bluegrass as clean and smooth as a mountain stream.”
“The last (band) I heard that really blew me away was the Biscuit Burners.”
Joe Perry – Aerosmith
“History doesn’t just happen. People have to make it. The Biscuit Burners are making musical history right now. I know because I heard them do it – just last night.”
Tullio DeSantis – Reading Eagle
The importance of artists’ work can be measured by the response from their peers, the media, and their audience. That being said, the world has taken notice of The Biscuit Burners, and has welcomed their Fiery Mountain Music with open arms. Whether it is national praise from Aerosmith’s Joe Perry or Billy Cardine’s performance with the three-time Grammy Winning Edgar Meyer at Carnegie Hall, the musical community respects The Biscuit Burners. With appearances on BBC World TV’s “Destination Music”, National Public Radio’s “Mountain Stage”, and XM’s Bluegrass Junction, along with coverage in magazines such as Singer & Musician, Bluegrass Unlimited, Dirty Linen, American Songwriter, it is evident that the international media supports The Biscuit Burners. From sellout concerts from Pennsylvania to California, and top bill appearances at major festivals, it is clear that their fans love The Biscuit Burners.
A fresh approach to acoustic music with roots that date as far back as mountain music can reach, The Biscuit Burners offer their Fiery Mountain Music with innovative instrumentation, resplendent harmonies, and captivating original material. Their unique yet familiar material pulls strong from their respect of traditional mountain music, their love of bluegrass and classic country, and their appreciation of music from the far corners of the world.
Photo by: Peter Montanti
Red Hot Rocking Blues- Wilko Johnson
Best known as the guitarist in Dr. Feelgood, one of British pub rock’s greatest bands, Wilko Johnson went on to a long solo career playing the kind of rootsy, R&B-based rock & roll he loved. Born John Wilkinson (which he inverted to come up with his stage name) in 1947, Johnson grew up in the coastal Canvey Island area, and played around the local music scene during the ’60s (often in jug bands). He studied at Newcastle University beginning in 1967, but returned home during breaks to keep up his musical activities.
In 1971, after returning from a trip to India, he joined the band that became Dr. Feelgood, and quickly became one of their focal points thanks to his maniacally intense stage presence. Dr. Feelgood played locally for a couple of years and made their debut in London in the summer of 1973; their distinctively scruffy image and menacing energy soon made them a hot commodity on the pub rock circuit.
-Steve Huey, AllMusic.com
Little Red Rooster- Big Mama Thornton- “Live At Newport”
Willie Mae “Big Mama” Thornton only notched one national hit in her lifetime, but it was a true monster. “Hound Dog” held down the top slot on Billboard’s R&B charts for seven long weeks in 1953. Alas, Elvis Presley’s rocking 1956 cover was even bigger, effectively obscuring Thornton’s chief claim to immortality.
That’s a damned shame, because Thornton’s menacing growl was indeed something special. The hefty belter first opened her pipes in church but soon embraced the blues. She toured with Sammy Green’s Hot Harlem Revue during the 1940s. Thornton was ensconced on the Houston circuit when Peacock Records boss Don Robey signed her in 1951. She debuted on Peacock with “Partnership Blues” that year, backed by trumpeter Joe Scott’s band.
But it was her third Peacock date with Johnny Otis’ band that proved the winner. With Pete Lewis laying down some truly nasty guitar behind her, Big Mama shouted “Hound Dog,” a tune whose authorship remains a bone of contention to this day (both Otis and the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller claim responsibility), and soon hit the road a star.
-Bill Dahl, AllMusic.com
Red Shack Zydeco- C.J. Chenier
Clayton Joseph Chenier was born September 28, 1957 – the son of the great King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier. C.J.’s father was the first Creole musician to win a Grammy Award. C.J. spent his childhood in the tough tenement housing projects of Port Arthur, Texas. His earliest musical influences were an eclectic mix of funk, soul, jazz and Motown, and his first musical instruments were piano, tenor saxophone and flute. It wasn’t until his 21st birthday, after winning a scholarship and studying music at Texas Southern University, that C.J. first performed with his famous father and the legendary Red Hot Louisiana band.
On the road his father showed him how to front a world class touring band – teaching C.J. how to run the family business and how to develop his lifelong passion for music into a career. When Clifton died in 1987 his son adopted the Red Hot Louisiana Band and recorded his debut album for the great American independent label Arhoolie Records. As he told a journalist at the time, he does not try to imitate his father’s playing: “I play it the way I play it. All my father really told me was to do the best I could do with my own style.” In the following years C.J. would record albums Slash Records and the legendary Chicago label Alligator Records.
When Paul Simon recorded his 1990 album Rhythm of the Saints, he handpicked C.J. Chenier to play accordion (alongside Ringo Starr on drums) then asked him to join his “Born at the Right Time Tour”. A few years later C.J. showed up as a guest on the Gin Blossom’s “New Miserable Experience” album.
C.J,‘s 1995 appearances on the Jon Stewart Show and CNN brought C.J.’s music to his widest audiences yet. But all this attention didn’t change his philosophy toward his music. “You go to a gig by a jazz band,” he says, “and everybody’s sitting down, sipping drinks. You play zydeco and you see shoes flying off. You can’t come to my show and stay unhappy all night long. You’re going to break a smile and stomp your foot before too long. This is happy music, and it makes you dance.”
It’s not easy to be the son of a famous musician, especially when that musician was the pinnacle of a genre. But C.J. Chenier, son of the great Clifton Chenier (the King of Zydeco), does a great job of following in his father’s footsteps. He rocks up the zydeco a little more, and spreads the field a little wider, covering Tom Waits and Curtis Mayfield, as well connecting the short space between zydeco and blues with versions of “Baby Please Don’t Go” and John Lee Hooker’s “Dusty Road.” There’s a nod to history in a Boozoo Chavis classic, “Paper in My Shoe,” and fiery versions of two songs by Clifton Chenier, where he exorcizes his ghost even as he pays homage. There are three of his own compositions, where he shows himself very much in the zydeco historical line, but on this album, at least, it’s about the songs as much as the dance music, laying out his territory and establishing himself in his own right, away from the famous shadow. He’s an excellent instrumentalist, one who knows how to use the accordion to the best effect in the music, and he has a crack band (including a guitar player who takes some sizzling, concise solos). Even on disc he works up a sweat — live he must be quite something. This is an album that fully establishes him as a mature artist, with plenty to say, and the expression to say it.
-Chris Nickson, AllMusic.com
Red Headed Stranger- Willie Nelson
When Willie Nelson recorded ‘Red Headed Stranger’ in 1975, his record label thought it was too difficult a listening experience to succeed. But the album was a commercial and critical smash, and has gone on to become one of the keystone albums in the history of country music.
Nelson had already experienced significant success prior to signing with Columbia Records, and that allowed him to bargain for complete creative control of his work for the label. Nelson conceptualized the themes that would become ‘Red Headed Stranger’ during a car ride from Colorado to his home in Austin, and recorded a demo of the resulting songs at his ranch.
“I started out with the song ‘Red Headed Stranger’ itself, a song that I didn’t write but I used to sing when I was a disc jockey many years ago,” Nelson recalled in 2000. “So, when I had the chance to do an album with CBS, what was almost unheard of in those days was artistic control. I had to stop and think of what I wanted to do. I took the ‘Red Headed Stranger’ album and thought, “I’ll write a concept album about what happened up until that song started, and then what happened after the end of it.”
The new work turned into a dark, thematic album about a man who murders his unfaithful wife and her lover and goes on the run, weaving Nelson’s own compositions with classic songs and bits of narration to create one of country music’s first true concept albums.
Hoping to avoid the slick commercial production that had characterized much of his work in Nashville, Nelson recorded his new album at a studio in Garland, Texas, using his own band instead of Nashville session players. He produced the album himself, and the result was a bold step in a strikingly different direction from anything else that was going on in country music at the time.
-The Boot Staff, August 1, 2013, theboot.com
Red Mule Ride- The Bibb City Ramblers
The Bibb City Ramblers formed by Dan Davidson and Brian Fowler in July 2007. BCR continue to write and record Original music and have released 4 cd’s to date available from CDBABY. BCR have played over 400 dates and are a Professional Unit w/ excellent P.A and showmanship and the willing to please a audience… BCR loves to play Festivals,Corporate Events,Historical events You name it, were ready,book us! BCR’s albums have been reviewed in International Magazines Like Holding Together the Jefferson Airplane Magazine based out of the U.K, The Georgia Beat and The Corner news in Auburn as well as our hometown paper the LEDGER ENQUIRER and PLAYGROUNDS MAGAZINE and BLUEGRASS UMLIMITED.