Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Papa Lee and the Body Shop Blues

Clyde "Papa" Lee - BluesPhotos by Don Mc Ghee
Papa Lee and the Body Shop Blues will be the featured performers at the Southfield Public Library’s Jazz & Blues program on Sept. 17.
Band leader Clyde W. “Papa” Lee Sr. began playing drums when he was in middle school in Flint and he is still at it more than 60 years later. He traveled and recorded with the Detroit Emeralds in the 1970s and played the famous Club Paradise in Idlewild, Mich.
He’s played with John Lee Hooker, Bobo Jenkins, Washboard Willie, Chicago Pete and just about every well-known Detroit blues artist during the past 50 years, including Eddie Burns, Calvin Frazier, Willie D. Warren, Mr. Bo and Little Mac Collins, Uncle Jessie White, and the Butler Twins.
"Little Arthur" Anderson
The evening will feature “Little Arthur” Anderson on harp and vocals. Also joining Papa Lee will be guitarists Joe Mitchell and Nick Tabarias, and bassist Buster Wylie.
The band will perform at 6:30 p.m. in the Meeting Room of the Southfield Public Library, 26300 Evergreen Road. General admission is $5, $3 for Friends of the Southfield Public Library members. There is no admission charge for children under age 12.
Jazz & Blues is sponsored by the Friends of the Southfield Public Library and the Detroit Blues Society.
For more information, call the Guest Services Desk at 248-796-4224 or click www.southfieldlibrary.org.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Monday, September 8, 2014

Lady Sunshine and the X Band kick off Blues at the Elks series

The 2nd year of the Blues at the Elks series kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 9, with a performance by Lady Sunshine and the X Band.
Lady Sunshine was born on a plantation in West Helena, Ark., and grew up singing gospel music as a little girl. She moved to Ann Arbor in 1975 and began singing professionally.
The Sunshine Band came together in 1994 and made an immediate impact. The band, which has shared the stage with blues/R&B notables such as Koko Taylor, Bobby Rush, Little Milton, Roomful of Blues, War, Big Bill Morganfield, and many more, has garnered many awards.
The band is a two-time winner of the Detroit Blues Challenge; finished second at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis, Tenn., in 2005; made it to the IBC semifinals in 2013; and has twice been named best blues band in Washtenaw County by Current magazine.
Janiva Magness
Lady Sunshine and the X Band will perform from 7-10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, at the Plymouth-Ann Arbor Elks Lodge, 41700 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth, a half mile west of I-275. Admission is $5. There will also be a cash bar and pizza.  For more information, call 734-453-1780 or click
Blues at the Elks is a co-production of the Plymouth-Ann Arbor Elks Lodge and the non-profit Detroit Blues Society.

Blues In Ann Arbor
The Ark in Ann Arbor has an impressive lineup of blues artists performing in the next eight weeks.
Standout singer Janiva Magness, a Michigan native who attended Mount Clemens High School while living with her grandparents, is the recipient of many top blues music awards. She’ll be at The Ark on Sept. 19.
Other blues artists headed to The Ark include singer-songwriter Laith Al-Saadi (Sept. 21), roots music performer George Bedard (Oct. 10), Shari Kane and Dave Steele with Brooks Williams (Oct. 16), and folk-blues singer and songwriter Chris Smither (Oct. 31).
For information, click www.theark.org.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com


Sunday, August 3, 2014

‘Girls of Summer’ blues fest

Thornetta Davis
It could take weeks to see all of Detroit's top female blues artists perform at various clubs and concert halls.
Today, the Detroit Blues Society is presenting the opportunity to catch them all at one venue on one show.
The “Girls of Summer” Blues Fest, which runs from 2-10 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 3 at the Hastings Street Ballroom & Tangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee Ave., will feature 10 of Detroit’s most dazzling blues divas, including Thornetta Davis, Tosha Owens and the GTO Band, Laura Rain and the Caesars, Kathleen Murray and the Groove Council, Heather Jones, Jennifer Westwood, Nikki Pearse and Cannonball Underground, Marley and Spoonful, and Sandy Mulligan and the Gypsies.
These performers will also compete in a “Pretty Outfit Contest,” with the winner receiving a $100 prize.
Alberta Adams, “Detroit’s Queen of the Blues,” will be on hand to celebrate her 97th birthday. There will also be a “Babes and Blooms” print show, and a garden barbeque presented by Side Car Detroit and Captain Kool Ice Cream.
Admission is $15 at the door with all proceeds benefiting the Detroit Blues Society. All artists are donating their talent. Free lighted and secure parking as well as a cash bar will be available.
For more information, click detroitbluessociety.org.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Monday, July 7, 2014

Doug Deming returns

Doug Deming
Fans of Doug Deming will be happy to note that he is back in town and performing with his band the Jewel Tones from 7-10 p.m. Tuesday at the Plymouth Elks Lodge 41700 Ann Arbor Road .
Deming is an east side Detroit native who now hails from Florida’s Gulf Coast.
A talented singer, guitarist and songwriter, Deming first made his mark on the local Detroit music scene in the early 1990s. He spent much of the following years backing many of the day’s top touring blues artists, including Fabulous Thunderbirds front man Kim Wilson, Louisiana swamp bluesman Lazy Lester, harp man Gary Primich, Chicago greats Johnny “Yard Dog” Jones and A.C. Reed, and Detroit’s own Queen of the Blues, Alberta Adams.
Deming is equally adept at performing traditional blues, West Coast and Texas swing, early rock, country and roots music.
Deming is paired with acclaimed harp man and touring partner Dennis Gruenling.
Admission is $5. The Lodge features pizza and a cash bar. Call 734-453-1780 for further information.
For more on Doug Deming, click dougdeming.com.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Alligators at the Plymouth Elks Club

Wailin' Dale and Dave Krammer 
The Alligators have been playing blues in Detroit and throughout the Midwest for 30 years.
Lead vocalist Dave Krammer and harmonica player Wailin’ Dale started the band in 1984, The band also includes Frankie Lee on bass (joined in 2007), Jon Johnson on drums (joined 2008), and Nick Tabarias, guitar (joined 2012).
You can see them tonight (June 10) from 7-10 p.m. at the Plymouth-Ann Arbor Elks Club, 41700 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth.
The band made their recording debut in 1994 with “Gimme Some Skin.” They have recorded four successful and highly acclaimed CDs to date. 

Blues Fest scheduled
The Elks will also be the site of a blues festival on Sunday, Aug. 17. 
On the bill are Carl Henry, The Boa Constrictors, The Greg Nagy Band, RJ’s Kansas City Six and Thornetta Davis and her band.
Gates will open at 12:30 p.m. and music begins at 1:30 p.m..  The donation is $10 for adults and $5 for those under the age 12.  Food and beverages will be available for sale. Plan on bringing a lawn chair and enjoying the music.
Mark your calendars.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Monday, June 9, 2014

Another gem from Little Sonny

Ever since he moved to Detroit from his native Alabama in 1953, singer-harmonica player Little Sonny has been among Detroit’s elite blues performers. The man who got his start with Washboard Willie and His Super Suds of Rhythm, and who was friends and performed with late blues luminaries such as John Lee Hooker and Eddie Burns, is 81 now, still spry, but no longer touring.
Little Sonny feels he still has one more album in him. Until that happens, we have another gem to enjoy.
Little Sonny’s “The Best Love I Ever Had” (Glynn Record Company), originally released in Japan in 1995, has recently been released to the U.S. market.
The CD features Little Sonny’s trademark blues that blend in a bit of funk and Southern soul. Recorded when he was in his early 60s, the CD finds Little Sonny in fine vocal form, especially on the title track “The Best Love I Ever Had,” where he pleads to be “used” by his woman with a strong voice reminiscent of great Stax/Volt artists such as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. This is no surprise, as Little Sonny recorded a trio of albums (“New King of the Blues Harmonica,” “Black & Blue” and “Hard Goin’ Up”) for Stax or subsidiary labels. Still, Little Sonny’s vibrato laced voice is unique.
A funky harp riff kicks off “The End of Your Rope,” in which Little Sonny tells his woman “if I give you enough rope, I’m sure you’ll hang yourself.” It is one of several songs on the recording, including “When Love Begins Friendship Ends” (featuring Don Whyte on soulful tenor sax) and “Love Mechanic,” that demonstrate Little Sonny’s prowess as a songwriter and ability to turn a clever phrase.
Little Sonny wrote seven of the 10 songs on the album, including “Watching the Peoples” that advises you to “watch the people and not what they say.”
Donny Hathaway’s Latin jazz flavored instrumental “The Ghetto” gets a funky treatment here. Two other instrumentals, “Jam” and “Harmonica Funk Blues,” were penned by Little Sonny’s sons Aaron Willis Jr. and Anthony Willis, who perform on guitar and bass, respectively. These songs provide an opportunity for Little Sonny and his sons to stretch out and display their considerable chops. Guitar work by Aaron Jr. (The Dramatics, Bobby Womack) is also featured on “I’ll Never Trust You Again,” while Anthony sets the pace on bass on “Outer Funk.”
Little Sonny’s band on this CD also included keyboard player Rudy Robinson, well known as a performer and arranger for many soul stars until his death in 2002 at age 61, and Dwayne “Butch” Lomax and Curtis Sharp on drums.
Little Sonny is a perfectionist and this studio album, released as a tribute to his late wife Maggie Willis, demonstrates his considerable prowess as a musician, songwriter and arranger.
It also provides an opportunity to check out Little Sonny’s funky, soulful blues on a recording that is receiving long overdue exposure to a wider audience.

To order the CD “The Best Love I Ever Had,” mail a money order for $15 (includes shipping and handling) to Glynn Enterprises, 18648 Fleming, Detroit, MI 48234-1309.

To read more on Little Sonny, click here.

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rick Stel memorial concert scheduled

Rick Stel (Photo by Wolfgang Spider)
A tribute to blues musician Rick (Stel) Salansky has been scheduled from 6 p.m. to midnight on Sunday, May 4, at the Blue Goose Inn, 28911 Jefferson Ave., in St. Clair Shores. Stel passed away on April 8 at age 60.
The evening will open with sets by the Rick Stel Project,  the Yazoo Brothers, and Jim McCarty and Mystery Train. There will be other special guests and a jam session.
Members of the Rick Stel Project -- keyboardist Mark LoDuca, bassist Jef Reynolds and drummer Dave Marcaccio -- will be joined by guitarist Paul Carey and the Wicked Horns four-piece horn section.
Stel's brother Dale will perform with the Yazoo Brothers, one of Rick's early bands. Noted guitarist Jim McCarty, who played with Stel for 20 years, will lead the Mystery Train band.
"When we found out Rick wasn't going to be with us much longer, we decided we would do a musical memorial or tribute," Marcaccio said. "Rick was all about the music, that's what he loved most. I can't imagine we wouldn't do something like this for him.
"It's going to be real strange to do this thing this weekend because he won't be there. It will be like, 'Where's Rick?' But, he will be there in spirit."
According to Marcaccio, Stel's son Eric approached the band about a tribute concert.
"Everyone wanted to be a part of this," Marcaccio said. "It's a collaborative effort."
There's no admission charge. A bucket will be passed to benefit the Detroit Blues Society.
"That's another thing Eric wanted to do," Marcaccio said, "to help keep the blues and music alive in this area."

Click to see previous blog posts:

Detroit blues world mourns passing of Rick Stel

To send info to JB Blues, please email Joe.Ballor@dailytribune.com