Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Dale Robertson CD release party


“Whoa baby … my kids are ugly, and it’s all because of yoooouuu!”
So wails Dale Robertson to start “My Kids Are Ugly,” one of seven tracks on the Dale Robertson Band’s new CD “Briefly Revisited” (DR Records).
The band will celebrate the recording with a CD release party at 11 p.m. on Thursday, April 25, at PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave. in Detroit (313-961-4668).
“My Kids Are Ugly,” written by Robertson, is the sole original on the seven-song, 32-minute release. The other six are the band’s interpretation of blues classics such as “Black Cat Bone,”  Big Joe Turner’s “Flip, Flop and Fly,” Slim Harpo’s “King Bee,”  “Spoonful”  by Willie Dixon, the John Loudermilk standard “Tobacco Road,”  and Howlin’ Wolf’s “Who’s Been Talking,” credited here as “My Baby Caught the Train.”
The CD features Robertson’s considerable skills on harmonica, an instrument he has been playing for over 40 years, since starting as a homeless, teenage street musician in Ann Arbor. There’s also some fine guitar work by Dan Dekuyper.  Robertson, known for his high energy performances, sings lead vocals on four songs, while Dekuyper mans the mic on “Black Cat Bone,” “King Bee” and “Spoonful.”
The rhythm section on the CD was provided by bassist Terry “T-Bone” Bradley and drummer Tony Coppola. “Briefly Revisited” was recorded and mastered at CC King Studios in Livonia.
“This CD is full of the low down, hometown blues of the Detroit style,” Robertson said. “If you like it raw, you'll love ‘Briefly Revisited’.”
If you can’t make it to the CD release, you can get a copy of the CD by emailing Robertson at dalerobertson@live.com. For more information on The Dale Robertson Band, click www.dalerobertsonblues.com.


J. Geils tribute band
If you’re a fan of the music of the J. Geils Band, you will want to check out Raputa, Michigan’s only J. Geils tribute band, on Friday, April 26 at the Packard Grill in Utica.
Band members include Herb Kilian (vocals), Dave Yurmanovic (guitar), Larry Everhart (harmonica), Tom Carroll (keyboards), Tracy Garneau (bass) and Doug Nichols (drums). All are veteran performers on the local music scene.
Also on Friday, blues-rock jammers The Muggs debut their new live record, “Full Tilt,” with a CD release show at the Magic Bag in Ferndale. The Steepwater Band and Katie Grace open the party. Tickets are only $10. Click www.themagicbag.com.
On Saturday, April 27, the WHFR Spring Blues Fundraiser will be at The New Place Lounge in Dearborn. The standout lineup includes Big Ray & the Motor City Kings, Jeff Maylin, and Motor City Josh.
Admission to the 21-over event is only $5 with proceeds benefiting listener supported WHFR (89.3 FM). For info, call 313-277-3035.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Johnnie Bassett recording honored

The late Johnnie Bassett, known as "The Gentleman of the Blues," won a Detroit Music Award for his CD "I Can Make That Happen" (Sly Dog) on Friday. Bassett’s last recording was named Outstanding National Small / Independent Label Distribution Album.
JOHNNIE BASSETT (BluesPhotos by Don McGhee)
Bassett, who passed away from complications of liver cancer on Aug. 4, 2012 at the age of 76, was a silky smooth singer-guitarist, who got his start in the mid-1950s with Joe Weaver and the Blue Notes (the studio band for Fortune Records), backing up musicians such as John Lee Hooker, Big Joe Turner, and Ruth Brown.
After a stint in the U.S. Army, Bassett lived for a time in Seattle, where he hosted a Sunday night jam session often attended by a young guitarist named Jimmy James, who later became well-known as Jimi Hendrix.
Bassett returned to the Motor City in the late 1960s, but didn't headline his own band until the early 1990s, when he formed the Blues Insurgents. Bassett made up for lost time with a series of outstanding recordings.
He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Detroit Blues Society in 1994.
His DMA win wasn’t for only sentimental reasons. “I Can Make That Happen” was one of his best recordings ever. It reunited Bassett with The Brothers Groove (keyboardist Chris Codish, bassist James Simonson and drummer Skeeto Valdez) and the Motor City Horns (saxophonist Keith Kaminski, trombonist John Rutherford, and trumpeters Bob Jensen and Mark Byerly), who played with him on his previous recording and who regularly backed him up at live shows.
“One advantage is they know your style, they know practically every note you’re going to do before you do it,” Bassett said in an interview two months before his death. “It just jells together when you have worked with the guys over the years.
“It’s so much more comfortable, so much easier playing, and so much more fun. I love it and I wouldn’t change a thing.”
The 11-song CD features nine originals, including Detroit-oriented tunes “Proud to be From Detroit” and “Motor City Blues,” as well as covers of Lowell Fulsom’s “Reconsider Baby” and Solomon Burke’s “Cry To Me.” 
For more on Bassett's music or to purchase "I Can Make That Happen," click www.johnniebassett.net.

In DMA blues music categories, guitarist Bobby Murray was named Outstanding Blues/R&B Instrumentalist, and Barbara Payton, Eliza Neals and Martin “Tino” Gross won multiple awards.
Payton was named Outstanding Blues/R&B Vocalist and Outstanding Rock/Pop Vocalist and her group, Barbara Payton & the Instigators, won Outstanding Blues Artist/Group.
Neals received the Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording DMA for “Messin’ With a Fool” and was also named Outstanding Rock/Pop Songwriter.
Gross, who was a contributor on Neals’ “Messin’ With a Fool,” won an armful of awards, including Outstanding Blues/R&B Songwriter and Outstanding Record Producer. His label, Funky D Records, was named Outstanding Local Record Label; and his group, the Howling Diablos, was named Outstanding R&B Artist/Group.
Congratulations to all the winners and those who were nominated.
To see a complete list of Detroit Music Awards winner, click www.detroitmusicawards.com.

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

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Detroit Music Awards are Friday

The 22nd annual Detroit Music Awards will be held on Friday, April 19, at the Fillmore Detroit.
The event will feature live performances by Suzi Quatro, KEM, Katie Grace, Passalacqua, Cybertrybe and HafLife, Sweet Crystal with David Winans, Ife Mora, the Blackbyrd Revue, and Mike Ridley.
Among the numerous awards will be several for blues music.
Nominated as Outstanding Blues Artist Group are Barbara Payton & the Instigators, Erich Goebel and the Flying Crowbars, Howard Glazer, Jim McCarty & Mystery Train, Motor City Josh, and Paul Miles.

Nominated as Outstanding Blues/R&B Instrumentalist are Bobby Murray (guitar), bugs Beddow (trombone/flute), Emily Rogers (bass), Howard Glazer (guitar), Jim McCarty (guitar), Motor City Josh (guitar), Nolan Mendenhall (bass) and Pete Peltier (guitar).
Nominees for Outstanding Blues/R&B Recording include “Angry City” by Brian “Roscoe” White and Lamont Zodiac, “Eat, Drink, Boogie, Repeat” by Carl Henry, “Messin’ With a Fool” by Eliza Neals, and “Spirit of Humanity Show Part II” by Paul Miles.
Nominated as Outstanding Blues/R&B Songwriter are Eliza Neals, Howard Glazer, Motor City Josh, Paul Miles, Stacia Petrie Ford, and Martin “Tino” Gross.
Nominated as Outstanding Blues/R&B Vocalist are Barbara Payton, Eliza Neals, Kathleen Murray, Motor City Josh, Paul Miles, and Tosha Owens.
Guitarist/banjo player Jeff Grand received a nomination as Outstanding Country Instrumentalist and Janiva Magness’ “Stronger For It” (Alligator Records) received a nomination as Outstanding National Major Label Distribution Album.

For more information, go to detroitmusicawards.com.
Motown House Party
The Howling Diablos -- Martin "Tino" Gross, Eric Gustafson, Johnny Evans, Mo Hollis and Johnny "Bee" Badanjek -- are hosting another Motown House Party on Saturday, April 20 at Callahan's Music Hall in Auburn Hills. The evening will include performances by the Diablos and special guests Mike Leslie Band and the Royal Blackbirds.
Advance tickets for the "Spring Fling" are $10-$15 and are available at www.ATCALLAHANS.com.

Tickets are also on sale now for blues-rock guitarist Walter Trout's performance on June 19 at Callahan's.  It will be a CD release party for
Trout's new album, "Luther's Blues" (a tribute to Luther Allison).
Attic Dwellers rescheduled
Traditionally, the Attic Dwellers acoustic blues group holds its circle jam session on the second Sunday of the month. But, the group has moved its May event to Sunday, May 19 due to Mother's Day. Join the Attic Dwellers from 1-5 p.m. May 19 at Paycheck's Lounge in Hamtramck. The group welcomes beginner and advanced musicians, as well as listeners.
Blues Society addresses postponed event
There were high hopes for the Temple Blues and Gospel Explosion planned for April 12-14 at Masonic Temple in Detroit, with an ambitious schedule of live performances and blues history seminars. But, the event was postponed days before it was set to open.
In an April 9 release, Temple Entertainment Company stated that "the three day event scheduled for April 12-14, is being moved to the fall to accommodate additional artists, non-profits and sponsors."  

" ...In addition to moving to the fall date we will continue to participate and co-sponsor Blues Showcases through-out the city and continue our strong support for the Detroit Blues Society (DBS) and their efforts to promote Detroit’s Blues musicians. We appreciate the efforts of the DBS to get the word about this event out to the Blues Community. DBS was in no way involved in the postponement.
"To accommodate the additional sponsors, to allow for additional time for our participating non-profits to reach out to their constituents, to add additional staging and artists, and accommodate our additional new sponsor promotion and support plans we have chosen to reschedule the three day Blues and Gospel Explosion to the fall."

Shorty afterward, the Detroit Blues Society, which assisted Temple Entertainment Company with promotion and in identifying potential blues acts for the festival, issued a statement on its Facebook page regarding the postponed event.
The statement reads, in part:
"We were stunned when TEC, citing poor advance ticket sales, abruptly decided to cancel an event of this magnitude. We had no advance warning and were not consulted in the decision.
"We apologize to all who were as disappointed as we were with this decision, particularly many of the blues acts that had signed contracts and arranged their performing schedules to be part of the festival.
"For that reason, DBS has advised TEC that it should find some level of compensation for all of the artists who were booked for the event. Furthermore, DBS will have no role in promoting or partnering with TEC in the future without a major effort that repairs the broken relationships and ensuing disappointment of the local blues community."
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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blues at the library

The Blue Cat Band will perform at the Jazz and Blues program at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, at the Southfield Public Library, in the Southfield Municipal Complex, 26300 Evergreen Road.
Blue Cat -- Al Carmichael on guitar and vocals, Bill Farris on guitars and vocals, Frank Lee on bass and Ken Murphy on drums and percussion -- came together in 1996, combining four lifetimes of musical experience to bring a unique guitar-driven sound to the Motor City. With backgrounds in rock, country and folk, Blue Cat now covers the blues classics across Michigan.
Admission is $5, $3 for Friends of the Southfield Public Library members. Children under 12 are admitted free.
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.

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Live blues music to enjoy

Just because this weekend’s planned Temple Blues & Gospel Explosion has been postponed until fall, it doesn’t mean there won’t be blues music in metro Detroit!

On Friday, the Detroit Blues Crew will be at Mug Shots Bar and Grill in Mount Clemens.

There will be several bluesy events on Saturday.
The Broken Arrow Blues Band is playing Saturday night, starting at 9:30 p.m., at Nancy Whiskey's in Detroit. There’s no cover charge.
“We have invited all the musicians that were going to be on the cancelled (Blues & Gospel Explosion) show to come down and sit in with us, so maybe you won’t have to miss out on anything,” BABB guitarist Christopher Leigh posted.
From 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday, the Boa Constrictors will host the Detroit Blues Society’s Monthly Meeting and jam at the Cooley Lake Inn in Commerce Township.
Also on Saturday, there will be a Memorial Jam to honor those who have passed on at the Corktown Tavern in Detroit; Champagne and The Motor City Blues Crew will be at Bert’s in Detroit; and the David Gerald Band will be at Fishbones Rhythm Kitchen CafĂ© in Greektown.

On Sunday afternoon, from 1-5 p.m., the Attic Dwellers acoustic blues music group will be at Paycheck’s Lounge in Hamtramck.
Acoustic jammers, as well as listeners, are welcome to attend this free circle jam. Beginners as well as seasoned musicians will enjoy themselves. 
Also on Sunday, Monsieur Guillaume & His Zydeco Hepcats will have a CD release party at the Blue Goose Inn in St. Clair Shores, starting at 4 p.m.

Looking to catch a national act?

Callahan’s Music Hall in Auburn Hills will host Tommy Castro and the Painkillers on Saturday.

As always, schedules are subject to change, so check with the venue before heading out.

Free blues music sampler
Alligator Records, in collaboration with National Public Radio and public radio stations, has released a free, downloadable 17-song sampler to help bring attention to Public Radio Music Month. “Alligator Records Presents Blues & Roots” features songs selected from throughout the label's storied 42-year history. The sampler was personally curated and annotated by Alligator president and founder Bruce Iglauer and is currently available at the Alligator Records Facebook page. It will remain available until May 11.

Artists include Marcia Ball, James Cotton, JJ Grey & Mofro, Curtis Salgado, Detroit native Janiva Magness, Joe Louis Walker, Tommy Castro & The Painkillers, Koko Taylor, Roomful Of Blues, Saffire--The Uppity Blues Women, Jesse Dee, Rick Estrin & The Nightcats, Lil' Ed & The Blues Imperials, Anders Osborne, The Holmes Brothers, Charlie Musselwhite, and Albert Collins, Robert Cray, and Johnny Copeland (together).

Public Radio Music Month, held during April, is a tribute to the impact of public radio in music.

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