Friday, September 1, 2017

Time For The Blues ~~ September 2, 2017

Henry and I hope you will join us this Saturday Night, September 2, at 11 as we bring you our latest episode of Time For The Blues. You know what that means, a couple of minutes of silly jokes, but lots and lots of great music.
I had a lot of fun putting together this week’s show, catching up on some artists that had slid over to the back burner for a variety of reasons and discovering a few new ones that just seemed to fit the mood of the show even better.
We’ve got one of my favorite rocking blues bands, the Cash Box Kings and they have released their first album on Alligator and it is a killer. The CBKs have still got it and I enjoyed their earlier work and they haven’t lost a step and we’ve got a few sides from the new album, Royal Mint, and also one from their Live CD, Cutting Heads: Live At the Cuda Café.
If you aren’t familiar with them, might I suggest you have your dancing shoes handy, because you just might want to leap out of that chair and shimmy across the floor.
Of course, if you’re driving while listening to us, don’t try that…
We’ve also got one of the more serious releases of the year from our friends Lew Jetton & 61 South. Jetton impressed us both with his last CD, Rain, and I’ve gotten to know him a little bit through correspondence. His latest effort, Palestine Blues, is a strong album, one of my favorite of the year so far. I can’t wait to share Jetton’s work with you and I hope you will like it as much as I do. 
Both The CBKs and Jetton work with personal blues as well as look at what’s going on in the world. It’s a cool approach and entertaining as well as illuminating.
Ah, but there’s more. We hope there’s always more. 
It would be difficult to not be affected by what is going on in Texas, and Henry and I both have many friends in the Houston area. Henry used to live there, and one of our favorite labels, Connor Ray Music is located there. Fortunately, it seems like Texas is bouncing back as the people of the Lone Star State are prone to do.
One family that has deep roots in Texas is the Vaughan Family with both Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan representing that great state. There’s a new member of that family making a name for himself, Tyrone Vaughan, who plays some wicked guitar with the Milligan-Vaughan Project. What better time to have a Vaughan Family Reunion, with all three of them getting a little time in the spotlight? We get to listen in to all of these talented performers, and when you hear Tyrone, you’ll know that the next generation is in good hands.
And yes, there is indeed more, thanks for asking. We’ve got new material from Michele D’Amour and the Love Dealers – we introduced you to them last week and got a nice response so we’re bringing them back. Also in our new release set are tracks from Johnny Ray Jones and Delta Wires.
So, do what you have to do to join us at 11. Sleep late, take a nap, grab that caffeine, just be sure to join us. We’re going to have a great time and we sure would love for you to come along for the ride. You know where we’re going to be, point your browser to or join us on one of the Idea Stations: 89.1 WCVN, Northern Neck; 90.1 WMVE, Chase City; and the flagship, 88.9 WCVE-FM, Richmond, where it’s always Time For The Blues!
From our Live Music Correspondent, Anita Schlank, here are some great shows coming to the area, and more are being scheduled all the time! Get out and support live music, just make sure you’re in front of your radios or computers by 11:00 p.m. on Saturday nights for the latest episode of Time For The Blues!
Wednesday, September 6
Lee Roy Parnell    Capital Ale House Downtown, 8:00 PM (doors 7:00), $25 

Thursday, September 7
Professor Louie and The Crowmatix Tin Pan, 8:00 PM

Friday, September 8
Blues and Brews - Moogly Blues Band      Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover
Mike Souder Band        7 Hills Brewing Co., 7:00 PM
Selwyn Birchwood        Capital Ale House Downtown, 8:30 PM
Tom Euler Band   Something Different, Urbanna, 7:30 PM, no cover

Sunday, September 10
Mike Souder Band        Lickinghole Creek Craft Brewery, Goochland, 3:00 PM

Tuesday, September 12
Rollin' and Tumblin'      Fishin' Pig, Farmville, 6:30 PM

Friday, September 15
Ellersoul Revue    Buz and Neds' Real Barbecue - West Broad, 8:30 PM (doors 6:00), $20
Mike Lucci Band   Rare Olde Times, 8:00 PM

Friday, September 22
Blues and Brews - Bobby Kyle and the Administers    Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover
Mike Souder Band        Charley's Waterfront Cafe, Farmville, 8:00 PM

Saturday, September 23
Rattlesnake Shake       Poe's Pub, 8:00 PM, no cover
Virginia Chili, Blues n' Brews Festival       Lumos Plaza, Waynesboro, 2:30 PM

Friday, September 29
Mike Lucci Band   Charter Colony Amphitheater, Midlothian, 5:00 PM
14401 Charter Park Drive, Midlothian, VA 23114
Mike Souder Band        Croaker's Spot Petersburg, 7:00 PM

Saturday, September 30
Mike Lucci Band   7 Hills Brewing Co., 7:00 PM
Forrest McDonald Band Andrade's International Restaurant, Petersburg, 8:00 PM

And If You Really Like To Plan Ahead

Sunday, October 1
Tom Euler Band   2nd Sundays Williamsburg, 11:00 AM, no cover

Tuesday, October 3
Blues Flash Croaker's Spot Richmond, 6:00 PM, no cover

Friday, October 6
Mike Lucci Band   Iron Horse Restaurant, Ashland, 8:00 PM

Saturday, October 7
Mike Lucci Band   Rare Olde Times, 8:00 PM
Mike Souder Band        Kindred Spirit Brewing, Goochland, 5:00 PM

Friday, October 13
Blues and Brews - Jack the Bag      Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover
Mike Lucci Band   Steam Bell Beer Works, Midlothian, 7:00 PM

Saturday, October 14
Mike Lucci Band   Cogan's Deli & Sports Pub, Williamsburg, 8:00 PM

Friday, October 20
Syndicators Bryan Park Bar and Grill, 8:30 PM

Saturday, October 21
ZZ Top       Altria Theater, 8:00 PM

Friday, October 27
Blues and Brews - Parker & Gray    Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover

Saturday, October 28
Brothers Hoodoo  Midnight Brewery, Rockville, 4:30 PM

Wednesday, November 1
Blues Flash Croaker's Spot Richmond, 6:00 PM, no cover

Friday, November 3
Mike Souder Band        Croaker's Spot Petersburg, 7:00 PM

Saturday, November 4
Mike Souder Band        Isley Brewing Company, 6:30 PM

Friday, November 10
Blues and Brews - Bluz Catz  Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover
Mike Lucci Band   7 Hills Brewing Co., 7:00 PM

Saturday, November 11
Mike Lucci Band   Brown Chicken Brown Cow, Hampton, 9:30 PM

Tuesday, November 14
Rollin' and Tumblin'      Rock Bottom Brewery, 6:00 PM

Friday, November 17
Mike Lucci Band   Steam Bell Beer Works, Midlothian, 7:00 PM
Mike Souder Band        Charley's Waterfront Cafe, Farmville, 8:00 PM

Saturday, November 18
Syndicators 7 Hills Brewing Co., 7:00 PM

Friday, November 24
Blues and Brews - Eli Cook    Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover

Saturday, December 2
Syndicators Bryan Park Bar and Grill, 8:30 PM

Tuesday, December 5
Blues Flash Croaker's Spot Richmond, 6:00 PM, no cover

Friday, December 8
Blues and Brews - George Taylor Group   Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover
Mike Souder Band        Kindred Spirit Brewing, Goochland, 6:00 PM

Saturday, December 9
Syndicators 7 Hills Brewing Co., 7:00 PM

Friday, December 15
Mike Lucci Band   Cogan's Deli & Sports Pub, Williamsburg, 8:00 PM
Mike Souder Band        Iron Horse Restaurant, Ashland, 9:00 PM

Saturday, December 16
Mike Lucci Band   7 Hills Brewing Co., 7:00 PM

Friday, December 22
Blues and Brews - Jon Spear Band  Camel, 5:00 PM, no cover

Saturday, December 30
Mike Lucci Band   Rare Olde Times, 8:00 PM
Mike Souder Band        Triangle, Williamsburg, 8:00 PM                                             


Eilen Jewell Brings Heart To The Tin Pan

The last day of August is one of those days where people realize that the heat of summer is finally going to break, kids are going to be going back to school, and there’s one more long weekend before the serious business of Autumn begins. It’s the kind of day where part of us mourns the loss of summer fun, and enjoys one last long throw down.
For me, it was a day I had been looking forward to for a few weeks since I discovered that Eilen Jewell was coming to town. Until six weeks ago that wouldn’t have been a blip on my radar, I’m sad to say. I discovered her thanks to a chance listen to her on satellite radio.
While taking a scenic drive with my wife we heard a show that featured a couple of tracks from her album, Sundown Over Ghosttown. Within moments I was under her spell and found her songs to be haunting and lyrical. Then the hosts of the show went into a spiel about her upcoming album being an all blues release.
My spidey senses began to tingle as I immediately knew I would have to get a copy in order to share her work with our audience.
While checking out her tour schedule, I found out she was going to be appearing at one of my favorite places to catch a show, Richmond’s own Tin Pan. I made reservations immediately, and it’s a good thing I did, because a couple hundred of my closest friends also made plans to attend and the venue was close to overflowing.
The evening started off with a low key vibe as Jewell made her way to stage to strong but not raucous applause. She took center stage in front of her seasoned trio: Jerry Miller on guitar, husband Jason Beek on drums (and later washboard), and Johnny Sciascia on stand up bass. She welcomed the audience and opened up with Rich Man’s World.
Even though everyone was obviously here because of her, she seemed soft spoken, almost shy, while connecting with the audience. She said she wanted to go honkytonking and since it was a Thursday night, that was close enough to the weekend. That led into Honkytonk Boulevard, and fairly quickly into the great Loretta Lynn tune, Deep As Your Pocket.
There was a great deal of applause that greeted Pocket, and was a strong choice to represent the album she released as an homage to Lynn, Butcher Holler.
That quickly moved into Needle And Thread and Rio Grande, both dealing with her impressions of time spent in the American Southwest. Jewell introduced the next song, Santa Fe, as a “collection of memories that mostly happened.”
I found that description to be poetically apt, and it reminded me of how another writer of the myth and memories of the Southwest, Sam Shepherd, was often characterized.
One more song of memories, this time about her formative years in Boise, Idaho, Hallelujah Band, and then she moved into some selections from the upcoming blues album, Down Hearted Blues. While the album is scheduled for release on September 22, she had advance copies and the crowd was most enthusiastic to hear the new work.
She played one of Big Maybelle’s numbers, Don’t Leave Poor Me and followed up with Albert Washington’s You Gonna Miss Me, and ended the mini set with Lonnie Johnson’s Another Night To Cry. The audience responded with some of the most sustained applause of the night.
After taking a couple of minutes to come out of the spell she wove arounf the audience, she came back with the Jimmy Rogers inspired Where They Never Say Your Name, and closed her first hour with Sea Of Tears.
By now, pretty much everyone in the audience was enchanted by her, and the shyness was long gone. Jewell told the audience she tended to “get tired of her set list” at this point in the show and asked for requests.
Before anyone else could say anything, a voice called out for Dusty Box Car Walls, the Eric Anderson tune, and Jewell and company obliged. They followed this with great renditions of Worried Mind and Rain Roll In.
From there, she went all the way back to her first album, Boundary Walls, for the title track, then Mess Around (her version, not the Ahmet Ertegun number) and a stellar rendition of I Remember You.
Then it was back to the upcoming blues album for a rocking version of Charles Sheffield’s Is Your Voodoo Working, and a strong version of Bessie Smith’s Down Hearted Blues.
Jewell then closed the show with versions of Flatt & Scruggs’ Head Over Heels and a blistering delivery on Otis Rush’s You Know My Love.
All in all, it was among the fastest 90 minutes that I have ever spent in a show. Eilen Jewell is a strong songwriter, truly among the best working today, and she builds a rapport with her audience so well, it almost feels you’re just sitting around someone’s living room enjoying a pleasant conversation with great music and good company. If you get the chance to catch her on this tour, do it. And pick up a copy of Down Hearted Blues on September 22. You won’t be sorry.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Jason Buie ~~ Driftin’ Heart

Lately I’ve been receiving a fair number of albums, but most of them just didn’t excite me enough to write about. Most had one or two good songs on them, but just not enough to sustain the entire album.
Of course it didn’t help that within a seven day period I saw both Buddy Guy and Janiva Magness in concert, and aside from being able to put a check mark beside their names on my Blues Bucket List, it set the bar kind of high when it came to listening to these other artists.
I promise I will go back and reevaluate them soon.
In the meantime, I did receive an album, Driftin’ Heart, from Canadian Jason Buie, with whom I had no familiarity. We’ve been receiving some great artists from our contacts in Canada, so I was eager to dive in and see what Buie was all about.
In case you were wondering, eh, that’s pronounced “a-boot.”
Aside from taking on the vocals and guitars, Buie put together an excellent group of musicians that include John Hunter on drums, George Fenn on bass, and Dave Webb on piano and Hammond B3. Rick Salt and Marisha Devoin added their vocals to House Party.
Buie teamed up with Hunter to write seven of the disc’s thirteen songs. The others were written by Amos Milburn, Sue Foley, Jimmy Rogers, and Jesse May Robinson.
Buie opens the album with a swinging number, Fool From The Start. I’m liking his soulful blues and Webb’s Hammond adds a nice touch. Buie takes a solid lead and so far, the man sounds like this could be the album to break me out of my funk and return me to my normal state.
He follows up with another swinging up-tempo song, House Party. This is Amos Milburn’s tune and he does a good job with his interpretation. We’ve played several versions of this song in the past and Buie’s stacks up against them all. Sweet song, and he’s two for two.
Next up are a couple of tracks written by Buie and Hunter, starting with Government Man. It’s got a good hook but I’m not as crazy about the vocals effect he’s using. I know it’s designed to sound like it’s being filtered and mysterious, but it’s not my cup of tea. Still, the music is strong. Then Buie and the band launch into a quick number, Westcoast Daddy. It’s a raucous rockabilly blues number that gets your blood pumping and toes tapping. I love this one a lot and you better believe it’s going to appear on Time For The Blues shortly.
I truly wish I could find a source for more Canadian material. It’s tricky to find some of these releases in the States, but once I locate a good source, I will be happy to share it with you. Of course, I’ll continue to add links to the artists’ websites.
Canadian blues artist Sue Foley wrote the title track, Driftin’ Heart. Foley is a terrific player and I’m sad to say that I don’t have much of her work in my collection. This is delivered as a country blues song, and Buie croons his way through it nicely. Solid number all the way around.
Next up are several songs written by the Buie-Hunter tandem, starting with the 1950’s inspired Stay The Night. The song closely follows the set-up of several of those middle of the road rock songs that the Girl Groups would often sing. Then Buie unleashes a blistering guitar run and changes the focus. It’s a strong effort and a nice throwback number.
Suits Me To A Tee opens with some strong guitar and Hammond music before Buie adds his gruff vocals to the mix. This is pure blues and he really delivers on the attitude. I really like this number a lot. Hope I can get it into a show soon.
Next up is 12 O’clock Check Out, a song that could (and maybe should) be my theme song. Like many, I’m wired to be up all hours off the night, so getting out of a hotel by their normal check out time doesn’t always work for me. Fortunately, Buie has given voice – and guitar – to our frustrations. Oh yeah, this one is going on a show PDQ.
He keeps rocking with Last Love Affair, the last song Buie and Hunter wrote for the album. It’s a punchy track, a good song to move an audience to get up on its collective feet and dance. I enjoy it a lot, plenty of blues mixed with rock and some cool piano from Webb that gives way to a killer guitar run.
The last couple of songs are covers, beginning with his version of Jimmy Rogers’ You’re Sweet. Buie and company really rock this number and this is a song that should be getting some airplay. I love the way he turns Webb loose on the piano and the song has that gritty Chicago sound.
He closes out with Jesse Mae Robinson’s Cold, Cold Feeling. It too, has that sweet old school sound and Buie does a great job with the lead guitar. This song has that great late night feel to it, with a singer standing behind the microphone and opening up all of his emotions. It’s a brave, bold move, and Buie gives it everything he’s got. It’s an impressive number and makes me want to hear more.
I know Buie has a couple of other albums that he’s released. For someone who was completely off my radar, he is now solidly on it and I can’t wait to get my hands on his previous work. Driftin’ Heart is a beautifully crafted album that mixes his own masterful songs with others that are well-known and they combine to make a blues album that just about everyone will enjoy.
Buie has traveled the world, but I’m not sure when he’s going to be appearing around here. I’m going to check in with his website, to see where our paths might cross.

(En tant que service à nos amis francophones au Canada ou à travers le monde, j'essaierai d'écrire l'interview ci-dessus en français. Confiez-moi quand je dis que je le fais par respect et mon français au niveau collégial était il ya longtemps J'ai demandé à ma petite amie de lycée belge de l'examiner, mais elle est un peu occupée ces jours-ci ...)

Dernièrement, j'ai reçu un bon nombre d'albums, mais la plupart d'entre eux ne m'ont pas réussi à écrire. La plupart avaient une ou deux bonnes chansons sur eux, mais pas assez pour soutenir l'album entier.
Bien sûr, cela n'a pas aidé cela dans une période de sept jours, j'ai vu à la fois Buddy Guy et Janiva Magness en concert, et en plus de pouvoir marquer une marque à côté de leurs noms sur ma liste Blues Bucket, Quand il s'agissait d'écouter ces autres artistes.
Je promets de revenir en arrière et de les réévaluer bientôt.
En attendant, j'ai reçu un album, Driftin’ Heart, du Canadien Jason Buie, avec qui je n'avais aucune familiarité. Nous avons reçu de bons artistes de nos contacts au Canada, alors j'étais désireux de plonger et de voir à quoi était Buie.
Dans le cas où vous vous demandiez, eh, c'est prononcé "a-boot".
En plus de prendre les voix et les guitares, Buie a rassemblé un excellent groupe de musiciens qui incluent John Hunter à la batterie, George Fenn à la basse et Dave Webb au piano et Hammond B3. Rick Salt et Marisha Devoin ont ajouté leur vocabulaire à House Party.
Buie s'est associée à Hunter pour écrire sept des treize chansons du disque. Les autres ont été écrits par Amos Milburn, Sue Foley, Jimmy Rogers et Jesse May Robinson.
Buie ouvre l'album avec un numéro oscillant, Fool From The Start. J'aime son blues et le Hammond de Webb ajoutent une touche agréable. Buie prend une avance solide et jusqu'à présent, l'homme semble que ce pourrait être l'album pour me sortir de mon funk et me rendre dans mon état normal.
Il suit une autre chanson de swinging-tempo, House Party. C'est l'accord d'Amos Milburn et il fait un bon travail avec son interprétation. Nous avons joué plusieurs versions de cette chanson dans le passé et les piles de Buie contre elles. Douce chanson, et il en a deux pour deux.
Ensuite, quelques pistes sont écrites par Buie et Hunter, en commençant par Government Man. Il a un bon crochet mais je ne suis pas aussi fou de l'effet vocal qu'il utilise. Je sais qu'il est conçu pour sonner comme s'il s'agissait d'être filtré et mystérieux, mais ce n'est pas ma tasse de thé. Pourtant, la musique est forte. Alors Buie et le groupe se lancent dans un petit numéro, Westcoast Daddy. C'est un numéro de blues rockabilly raide qui fait tuer votre sang et les orteils. J'aime beaucoup celui-ci et il vaut mieux croire qu'il apparaîtra prochainement dans Time For The Blues.
J'aimerais vraiment trouver une source de plus de matériel canadien. Il est difficile de trouver certaines de ces versions aux États-Unis, mais une fois que je trouve une bonne source, je serai ravi de la partager avec vous. Bien sûr, je vais continuer à ajouter des liens vers les sites Web des artistes.
L'artiste canadienne de blues Sue Foley a écrit la titre titre, Driftin' Heart. Foley est un joueur formidable et je suis triste de dire que je n'ai pas beaucoup de travail dans ma collection. Ceci est livré comme une chanson de blues de pays, et Buie croons son chemin à travers elle bien. Un nombre solide tout autour.
Ensuite, plusieurs morceaux sont écrits par le tandem Buie-Hunter, à commencer par la soirée inspirée des années 1950. La chanson suit de près la mise en scène de plusieurs de ces chansons de rock moyen que les groupes de filles chanteraient souvent. Ensuite, Buie déclenche un jeu de guitare et change l'accent. C'est un effort fort et un bon nombre de rebond.
Suits Me To A Tee s'ouvre avec de la guitare forte et de la musique Hammond avant que Buie n'ajoute ses chants agressifs au mix. C'est un pur blues et il s'occupe vraiment de l'attitude. J'aime beaucoup ce nombre. J'espère que je peux l'avoir bientôt dans un spectacle.
Ensuite, il y a 12 heures Check Out, une chanson qui pourrait (et peut-être) être ma chanson thème. Comme beaucoup, je suis câblé pour être ouvert toutes les heures de la nuit, alors sortir d'un hôtel par leur temps de sortie normal ne fonctionne pas toujours pour moi. Heureusement, Buie a donné la voix - et la guitare - à nos frustrations. Oh ouais, celui-ci se déroule sur un spectacle PDQ.
Il continue à marrer avec Last Love Affair, la dernière chanson que Buie et Hunter ont écrite pour l'album. C'est une piste punchy, une bonne chanson pour déplacer un public pour se lancer sur ses pieds collectifs et danser. Je l'apprécie beaucoup, beaucoup de blues mélangés avec du rock et un piano cool de Webb qui cède la place à une guitare killer.
Les deux dernières chansons sont des couvertures, en commençant par sa version de Jimmy Rogers' You're Sweet. Buie et l'entreprise vraiment rock ce numéro et c'est une chanson qui devrait être de l'airplay. J'adore la façon dont il rend Webb lâche sur le piano et la chanson a ce som très lourd de Chicago.
Il se ferme avec Jesse Mae Robinson's Cold, Cold Feeling. C'est aussi ce bon son de l'ancienne école et Buie fait un excellent travail avec la guitare principale. Cette chanson a cette superbe fin de nuit, avec un chanteur debout derrière le microphone et ouvrant toutes ses émotions. C'est un mouvement courageux et audacieux, et Buie donne tout ce qu'il a obtenu. C'est un nombre impressionnant et me donne envie d'entendre davantage.
Je sais que Buie a quelques autres albums qu'il a sortis. Pour quelqu'un qui a été complètement hors de mon radar, il est maintenant solidement sur elle et je ne peux pas attendre pour mettre ma main sur son travail précédent. Driftin' Heart est un album magnifiquement conçu qui mélange ses propres chansons magistrales avec d'autres qui sont bien connues et se combinent pour créer un album de blues que tout le monde appréciera.
Buie a parcouru le monde, mais je ne sais pas quand il va apparaître ici. Je vais vérifier avec son site Web, pour voir où nos chemins pourraient traverser.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Time For The Blues ~~ August 26, 2017

Henry and I hope you will join us on Time For The Blues this Saturday night, August 26, at 11 as we crank up the fun and bring you some great blues. Lately, we’ve had a few days of cooler temperatures signaling the end of summer is near and we’re rolling like a freight train to the end of the year.

One band that never cools off is our buds, The Nighthawks. They’ve been rocking for many years and have become one of the few things out of Washington DC that you can trust. I’ve been following them longer than any other blues band and every time they drop a new album, I’m the first in line to get a copy.

When we got a copy of their latest effort, All You Got To Do, from our friends at EllerSoul Records, I pounced on it and now we get to share it with you. These guys really deliver the blues, and if I may, “All You Got To Do” is listen in and I think you’re going to agree!

Just because I can, I’m also going to drop in a song from an earlier release, Damn Good Time, and that’s a title that’s very prophetic as I think you will have a “Damn Good Time!”

Another feature focuses on Scott Ellison, a very underrated performer that we discovered when he dropped Elevator Man a couple of years back. We’re going to play one selection from that fine album and a few more from his latest release, Good Morning Midnight.

As Time For The Blues airs at 11 on Saturday nights and runs for an hour, we often say “Good Morning” to Midnight, so that’s a title that really appealed to me. Of course, after I sampled the disc, I couldn’t wait to bring it to the show.

Then there’s some new artists that impressed us, including the Scottie Miller Band, from their impressive album, Stay Above Water. From their very cool album, Last Nights at the Leopard Lounge, comes Michele D'Amour and the Love Dealers.

I still can’t say their name without breaking into an outrageous French accent, sort of a cross between Pepe Lepew and that taunting guard in Monty Python And The Holy Grail. However you say their name, you’ll be saying it a lot after you hear their sound.

Also up is the amazing bass player Joseph Veloz, who has dropped his debut album, Offerings. We’ve got a great song from him with Lucky Peterson on the vocals.

A band that’s in transition, Andy T Band, which was formally called the Andy T Nick Nixon Band, is moving from one lead singer to another on their album, Double Strike. It’s a smooth transition as Nixon is retiring from the business and Alabama Mike is taking over without missing a beat.

If you like your blues with a rocking edge, might I suggest Dani Wilde, from across the pond. You know Henry loves his Brit Blues, so as a special treat for him, I’ve included a side from Wilde’s Live At Brighton Road, which is available now from VizzTone.

Last, but certainly not least, is a new group out of Texas, the Milligan-Vaughan Project, which features a young man, Tyrone Vaughan, who is the latest member of the musical Vaughan family. Tyrone is the son of Jimmie and the nephew of Stevie Ray, and he’s one helluva guitar player. Maybe it’s in the genes, maybe it’s that he has to try harder to live up to their reputation. Whatever it is, this man has it.
So, do what you have to do to join us at 11. Sleep late, take a nap, grab that caffeine, just be sure to join us. We’re going to have a great time and we sure would love for you to come along for the ride. You know where we’re going to be, point your browser to or join us on one of the Idea Stations: 89.1 WCVN, Northern Neck; 90.1 WMVE, Chase City; and the flagship, 88.9 WCVE-FM, Richmond, where it’s always Time For The Blues!



Thursday, August 24, 2017

Buddy Guy Brings The Blues To Charlottesville

Over the years there have been many good performers who played the blues. But even among those artists, there are a handful of true giants who have elevated the genre to greater heights. Buddy Guy is one such giant, and in an electrifying performance in Charlottesville’s historic Paramount Theatre, Guy used the healing power of music to soothe a community that was recently rocked by violence.
The audience was already on its feet when Guy casually strolled out onto the stage in a white shirt with black polka dots, loose pants, and the kind of sneakers your grandfather might wear. Even at the tender young age of 81, Guy moved around the stage with grace and style, and damn, can that man still play a guitar. Over the next couple of hours, Guy gave a clinic, not only on how to handle a six-string, but how to connect with an audience that was starved for a great show.
He opened his set with his classic, Damn Right I’ve Got The Blues, and to say the audience was enthusiastic would be a vast understatement. Throughout the evening, Guy was more than generous sharing his spotlight with members of his band, especially keyboardist Marty Sammon and guitarist Ric Hall. Each would take extended solos during the jams. Also with Guy, he would often switch from song to song or throw something in seemingly on the fly, only to come back and comment on it, often with some salty language tossed in.
After that great opening, he moved into some blues “they don’t play on the radio anymore,” Five Long Years. As a radio producer, I must take slight umbrage, but only slight, as some of us are playing those blues, but we’re a dying breed. If you have a local blues show in your area, be sure to support it! Sermon over…
He added a snippet of My Momma Done Told Me to Five Long Years before moving into Willie Dixon’s classic, I Just Want To Make Love To You, featuring the audience as his sing along partner for the chorus. After that was a blistering version of Hoochie Coochie Man where the audience tried to sing with him, but had a hard time getting it right. Guy laughed and took command of the situation.
From there he delivered Close To You and a smoking version of Fever. Up to this point there was one member of the audience who was undoubtedly more enthusiastic than the rest – perhaps fueled by some liquid courage – and after he chose a quiet moment in the song to yell out “I love you Buddy,” Guy actually brought the song to a close and remarked, “Every time someone says, ‘I love you man,’ I wish the whole world would say, ‘I love you too.’”
The audience, no doubt still feeling the effects of the recent riot that took place nearby, erupted into spontaneous cheers and applause. There was a memorial of flowers less than a block away from the theatre, and no one escaped the feeling of dread that had hung over the area.
Guy then gave us a little lesson of how he learned to play by listening to the radio. He played a little of John Lee Hooker’s Boom Boom and a little of BB King’s Sweet 16. The overly enthusiastic audience member kept up his running commentary until Guy asked him to be quiet so everyone could enjoy the show. (That’s not his actual quote, but this is a family blog…)
Guy then played Slipping In, by slipping into the audience and walking through the crowd. Of course, everyone was one their feet hoping to get near the legend himself. He took his time on the stroll,
jamming and playing with a few members of the audience as he made his way back to the stage. Still in a playful mood, he continued to play with his guitar utilizing a drumstick and a tea towel.
After working the audience into yet another frenzy, he playfully asked, “Do they have a curfew here? ‘Cause I feel like playing longer…” He then proceeded to go into what he referred to as a “G Minor Slow Jam” and a hot version of Drowning On Dry Land and a great version of the title track from his latest album I Was Born To Play Guitar.
At that point, he brought back out his producer, Tom Hambridge, who had also played drums for opening performer Quinn Sullivan, who also came back out. Guy told the story of his mother teaching him that beauty was only “skin deep” and how later that story was turned into a great song. Hambridge added vocals and percussion while Sullivan added his own amazing guitar.
Guy heaped plenty of praise on Sullivan, who had really opened up the audience with a great performance – more on that in a minute – and gave the 18-year old a chance to shine with some over the top playing. Guy showed off his abilities by dropping in some Marvin Gaye and Ray Charles to show what he used to play while he was learning the ropes.
He closed out the show with versions of Strange Brew and Chicago, before exiting the stage and having the band jam for a while.
Quinn Sullivan opened the show with 6-7 songs, tearing into Ain’t No Stopping Us, before moving into a slow jam, almost progressive blues number. Sorry, I didn’t catch the title of it. From there he played Cyclone, the title track from an earlier album before playing Midnight Highway, the title track from his latest album.
If you haven’t heard Midnight Highway yet, do yourself a favor and check it out. Or, better still, get a copy and play it. I love the album, and the title song is a beautiful number that takes Sullivan’s music in a new and exciting direction.
He closed with two more songs, She Gets Me and Let It Rain. The audience was almost as excited by his performance as they were with Guy’s. The two are great friends and they combined to create an unforgettable evening of spirited blues.
Guy is a giant of the blues. There’s no denying the force behind him and it quickly becomes obvious why he is the favorite guitarist of so many elite players. Catch him if you can, it’s an experience you may never forget.

(All photos taken by Mrs. Professor and used by permission. Or threat, hard to tell sometimes...) 

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Janiva Magness Holds The Audience In The Palm Of Her Hands ~~ Tin Pan Review

Etta James once sang two words that can send a thrill up your spine, “At last.” Last night was one of those “at last” moments for me as multi-time Blues Music Award-winning artist Janiva Magness rolled into Richmond at the Tin Pan, and for approximately 90 minutes held the audience spellbound with her performance.
I have been a fan of her work for several years and have often played her music on the radio show I co-host with Henry Cook, Time For The Blues. In fact, it was Cook who introduced me to Magness’ music when he brought one of her earlier CDs in to share with our audience.
Since that time nine years ago, we have featured every one of her releases and always have requests from listeners for more. Last night, a lot of those listeners, and many other fans who have traveled a good distance to share the evening were in attendance and hung on every note.
Up first was the Janiva Magness Band, the four men who back her up throughout the evening. These artists include Vince Foster Jr. (aka “Hawk” for his ability to catch everything that’s going on) on drums, Gary Davenport on bass, and Zach Zunis and Brophy Dale on guitars. They ripped through a couple of instrumentals to start the evening, and damn, they are solid and the crowd was already enjoying their performance.
After they warmed up the crowd, they brought it to a boiling point by introducing the one and only Janiva herself, who made her way through the enthusiastic crowd, taking the stage in a red fringed jacket over a black dress and launching into the evening’s performance.
She opened with the funky blues number, The Devil Is An Angel Too, and established a groove that she could come back to throughout the night. After that, she paused for a moment before segueing into the slow, powerful song, I Won’t Bleed.
One thing you quickly realize about Magness, many of her songs have a deep spiritual connection with her. Sometimes you can tell a singer who sings a great song, but doesn’t put her soul into it, but with Magness, you don’t get that feeling because she brings her soul out and puts it into every single phrase.
Stopping the song just before the final line, she asks the audience if they would like her to finish, or tell them the story behind it. Overwhelmingly we call for the story and are not disappointed as she reveals some of the pain that has been a part of her life.
Magness uses that pain as a way to connect with her audience. Her pain is our pain, and even when we experience different circumstances, her ability to put that into a song touches us and we grow closer as a result.
Then she finished the song. By the way, it was only her second song in the night and already dancers were up having a good time. Trust me when I say this is rare for many Richmond audiences.
From there she launched into Walking In The Sun and her beautiful low throaty voice was working its way into all of our hearts.
The stories came more rapidly after that. While fanning herself with a Chinese fan (yes the stage gets mighty hot) she talks a little about her last full album, Love Wins Again, for which she was nominated for a Grammy Award, and how that title – that song – is needed now more than ever.  Whatever your politics, that’s a sentiment we all need right now.
After that came a song she dedicated to her husband, the man many of us have nicknamed “Lucky,” When You Hold Me. It’s a beautiful number and its slow smoldering passion could ignite many fires.
Another story, this time about fear and how it affects her. The song, Doorway, was written by her producer Dave Darling, and for the first time in the evening the crowd was so moved that they couldn’t respond immediately after the song ended. It took a few seconds for the feeling to ebb some before we could burst into a giant round of applause. It’s a powerful song and one that is sure to touch you with its message.
Shifting gears to her latest release, Blue Again, a six-song EP, she got back to the music like she performed when she first started out, and the music that inspired her when she was younger.
First up for this portion of the show was Bo Diddley’s I Can Tell. As you would expect from a Bo Diddley number, it was a solid rocker and heavy on the rhythm. After that was Buck, a song recorded by Nina Simone, but written by her husband. When you listen to the lyrics which are all about what a great man she has, it’s pretty evident that it was written by a man talking about himself.
Then she moved into a great Etta James/Harvey Fuqua number, If I Can’t Have You. Originally a B-side and a duet, Magness turned it into a show stopping solo and then moved into one of my favorite Al Kooper songs, I Love You More Than You Will Ever Know. It’s a gorgeous number and was one of many that gave her band a great chance to shine. The song has been covered by a number of artists, but few have ever done it as well as Magness did live.
She followed up with Long As I Can See The Light, and even though the staff was quietly handing out the checks for the evening, our eyes were riveted to the stage. She told one more story about running away as a child and while sitting on the curb in front of her house, wondering who would come for her.
Sometimes questions like that take a long time for an answer to appear. And one day, while sitting in her living room with a group of friends, those answers began to reveal themselves to her and the song, Who Will Come For Me emerged. It was a beautiful moment and she moved to her final song of the night, I Can’t Let You Go.
I don’t know if I can completely answer the question of who will come for her, but I know a couple of hundred people who will come to see her the next time she is anywhere near the area. And if Janiva Magness couldn’t let us go, we’ll return the favor and never let her go.
All in all, it was a great night by an amazing performer in an intimate venue that puts everyone close to the stage. After the show, she took her time with every single person who wanted to stop and chat – and most of us wanted to do that.
Don’t miss Janiva Magness if she comes anywhere near you. Find out by dropping by her website,, and be sure to tell her The Professor sent you.

 (All photos by Anita Schlank. Used by permission.)