EDDY CLEARWATER TO BE INDUCTED INTO THE BLUES HALL OF FAME

Eddy "The Chief" Clearwater at the State Street Blues Stroll, Media Theatre Main Stage, 104 E. State St., Media Saturday, June 12; 7 p.m.Tickets: $15 - $20 Info: 610-566-5039 or www.statestreetblues.org
On Tuesday, February 16, The Blues Foundation announced musical legend Eddy Clearwater will be inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place on Wednesday, May 4 in Memphis, TN. The Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel will host the event as it is being held in conjunction with the 37th Blues Music Awards.

Eddy Clearwater is among the very finest practitioners of the West Side Chicago blues. He won the Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues – Male Artist of the Year in 2001. His 2003 CD, Rock ‘N’ Roll City (Bullseye Blues) was nominated for a Grammy Award. DownBeat says, “Left-hander Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer…He lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics.”

Congratulations, Eddy. We are very proud of you.
To learn more:  Blues Hall of Fame Inductees

CHICAGO BLUES FESTIVAL TO CELEBRATE ALLIGATOR RECORDS’ 45TH ANNIVERSARY & OTIS RUSH

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The City of Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events has announced the Petrillo Bandshell line-up for the 33rd Annual Chicago Blues Festival taking place June 10–12, 2016 in Grant Park. The free admission three-day festival opens on Friday, June 10 with a celebration of Alligator Records’ 45th anniversary, and concludes on Sunday, June 12 with a special tribute to legendary bluesman Otis Rush featuring notable friends and other musicians he has influenced throughout his career. Other festival headliners include Fred Wesley & The New J.B.’s, Irma Thomas and Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters. The full schedule will be announced later this spring.

Friday, June 10 – Alligator Records 45th Anniversary Celebration
The festival opens on June 10 with a salute to Chicago’s Alligator Records who, in 2016, celebrates 45 years of “Genuine Houserockin’ Music.” The Chicago Tribune says Alligator is “America’s most revered blues label.” Rolling Stone says, “Alligator Records has reached dizzying heights in celebrating the blues.”

6:00pm – Tommy Castro & the Painkillers. The San Francisco Chronicle says Castro plays ““funky Southern soul, big city blues and classic rock… silvery guitar licks that simultaneously sound familiar and fresh.” DownBeat calls the band’s new album, Method To My Madness, “a high water mark in their career.” Castro will be joined by special guest, Chicago bluesman Tornozo Cannon. He’ll unleash songs from his Alligator Records debut, The Chicago Way.

7:00pm – Longtime favorites Lil Ed & the Blues Imperials will bring their raw and rowdy blues back to the main stage. The Chicago Sun-Times says, “A party band in the best sense of the word…the hottest purveyors of bottleneck boogie to come out of Chicago since Hound Dog Taylor.” The band’s most recent CD is 2012’s Jump Start. Harmonica master Corky Siegel will join the band as a special guest for an unforgettable collaboration.

8:15pm – Shemekia Copeland, whose 2015 album Outskirts Of Love received a Grammy nomination, will headline the tribute. USA Today says, “Shemekia captures the timelessness of the blues while spinning it forward with remarkable maturity.” She will be joined by guest Curtis Salgado, the award-winning vocalist and harmonicist whose new Alligator CD, The Beautiful Lowdown, will be released on April 8, 2016.

Saturday, June 11 – Soul/R&B Night
6:30pm – Grammy-winner Irma Thomas’ career has spanned over five decades since her first hit in 1960, 
You Can Have My Husband But Don’t Mess With My Man.

8:15pm – Fred Wesley & The New J.B.’s. Wesley is best known as the music director, arranger, trombonist and a primary composer for the legendary James Brown from 1968 to 1975.

The evening’s opening performance begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be announced at a later date.

Sunday, June 12 – Tribute to Otis Rush
Legendary blues guitarist Otis Rush arrived in Chicago from Mississippi in the 1950s after seeing Muddy Waters perform while visiting his sister. Rush worked tirelessly to establish himself as an innovative blues guitarist, bandleader, singer and songwriter by playing with the legendary bluesmen of the day. Rush set new standards and influenced countless blues and rock musicians, including Carlos Santana, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Led Zeppelin and many others. A fearless electric guitarist, Rush was a leader in creating the modern, R&B influenced Chicago blues we know today as the West Side Sound.

5:00pm – Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters open the night. As an award-winning blues guitarist, Ronnie Earl learned from Rush and considers him to be the greatest musical influence on his career and life.

6:30pm – Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater brings his West Side blues to the main stage.The New York Times says, “Clearwater is equally adept at Chuck Berry-style guitar as he is at deeper blues style. He’s a fine singer who puts on a wild, exciting show…the sort of exuberant entertainer who can turn a concert into a party.”

8:00pm – Friends, artists and surprise guests will come together to celebrate Otis Rush with a special tribute featuring the confirmed artists to date: Jimmy Johnson, Abb Locke, Brian Jones, Carl Weathersby, Bob Stoger, Sumito Ariyoshi, Big Ray, John Kattke, Mike Wheeler, Lurrie Bell, Shun Kikuta, Eddie Shaw, Sam Burton, among others. The entire lineup and additional guests will be announced at a later date.  

A complete line-up and schedule for all stages, as well as preview events, will be released this spring.

For more information, please visit chicagobluesfestival.us.

Blues for Peace

BLUES FOR PEACE is a grass roots movement of musicians, music promoters, music venues & anybody who would like to help promote peace. May 27-30, 2016 there will be musical events in cities and towns around the world sending a message of peace. BLUES FOR PEACE has partnered with the USA for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and will be raising money to assist refugees world-wide. You can join the movement by going to the BLUES FOR PEACE Facebook page: Blues for Peace on Facebook

Sugar Blue will release his 1st Studio Recording in Over 5 years

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Northport N.Y. – M.C. Records is proud to announce the signing of modern blues harmonica sensation Sugar Blue. The new release Voyage will be all originals except for one Ray Charles cover, “Mary Ann.” The recording is full of what makes Sugar Blue and his band so special; passionate song-writing, tight arrangements and of course Sugar Blue’s out of this world harmonica playing. Voyage is due out in the spring and will mark Blue’s first studio album in over five years.

Look for Sugar and his band to be taking their own brand of contemporary blues from coast-to-coast and around the world.

The 25th anniversary of M.C. Records is off to a strong start. We will not only be releasing a new Sugar Blue effort, also a new Joanna Connor recording both in the spring. In addition, look for an announcement of our third release coming later in 2016 with one of the great blues/roots guitarists of the past 30 + years!

“One of the foremost harmonica blowers in all of Modern blues…” – Rolling Stone

“…an extravagantly lyrical harmonica player” – New York Times

Joe Louis Walker

 

Official Website: joelouiswalker.com

TOUR DATES

Joe Louis Walker is a true powerhouse guitar virtuoso, unique singer and prolific songwriter. Walker, a Blues Hall of Fame inductee and four-time Blues Music Award winner, has toured extensively throughout his career, performing at the world’s most renowned music festivals, and earned a legion of dedicated fans. His latest, highly-acclaimed album Everybody Wants A Piece, from Mascot/Provogue, cements  his legacy as a prolific torch bearer for the blues. Looking back on his rich history, Walker shares, “I’d like to be known for the credibility of a lifetime of being true to my music and the blues. Sometimes I feel I’ve learned more from my failures, than from my successes, but that’s made me stronger and more adventurous, and helped me create my own style. I’d like to think that when someone puts on one of my records they would know from the first notes, ‘That’s Joe Louis Walker.'”

Born in San Francisco on Christmas Day his parents were both from the South and they brought their love of blues with them when they headed west. Joe’s dad played blues piano, and his mom played B.B. King records. Walker picked up the guitar as a child, and by the time he was 16 was regularly backing touring blues artists rolling through town. San Francisco’s music scene was quickly becoming a melting pot of blues, jazz and psychedelic rock, and Walker was right in the center of it.

 As a 16-year-old, Walker was the house guitarist at San Francisco’s famed musical playground, The Matrix, where he played with or opened shows for everyone from Lightnin’ Hopkins to Jimi Hendrix to Thelonious Monk. He was also a regular at The Fillmore West. The blues legends Walker accompanied shared not only musical knowledge but also their personal wisdom with the teenage up-and-comer. Fred McDowell, Ike Turner, Albert King, Freddy King, Robert Jr. Lockwood, Lightnin’ Hopkins and many others taught, fed, and chastised the youngster.

Inspired by what he learned, Walker developed his own fiery, melodic, and always unpredictable guitar attack.

 Walker met guitarist Michael Bloomfield in 1968 and the two became fast friends. Bloomfield helped push Walker’s blues in a more rock-fueled direction, and he became the single biggest influence on Walker’s sound. The two shared an apartment for years and remained close friends until Bloomfield’s death in 1981. From 1975 to 1985, prior to joining Alligator Records in 2012, Walker released 23 albums and toured the world virtually non-stop. He has garnered four Blues Music Awards and has been nominated a whopping 52 times. He holds an international reputation as one of the blues’ most prolific and talented stars. He’s also recorded as a guest with some of the blues world’s best-known artists, including appearances on Grammy-winning records by B.B. King and James Cotton.

In 2013 The Blues Foundation inducted Walker into The Blues Hall Of Fame. “I am honored to be in the company of the great artists already inducted,” Walker said at the time. “I hope to live up to the honor.” Joining the ranks of previous inductees, including B.B. King, Hound Dog Taylor, Koko Taylor, Willie Dixon, Muddy Waters, Etta James, Howlin’ Wolf and other blues greats, while still at the peak of his musical powers is, according to Walker, “a dream come true.”

With each subsequent release Walker’s audience continues to grow as his touring schedule expands. He’s played all over the U.S. and Canada, major European festivals including The North Sea Jazz Festival, Glastonbury, Notodden and Montreux, as well as festivals in Japan, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Turkey and Brazil. Now, with Hornet’s Nest, Walker is excited about bringing even more people to his music. “Blues is a big tent,” he says, “morphing into a bigger tent. Young folks like good blues when they hear it, and I’m here to make sure they want to listen.”

NPR Music has called Walker “a legendary boundary-pushing icon of modern blues,” and he is already being referred to within the blues world as a living legend. However, at this stage of his life, Walker profoundly shares, “I’d really like to inspire younger musicians to carry on the legacy of blues/roots music – but play, and do it your way – don’t be afraid to mix it up. There’s no right or wrong way, just the way you wanna express yourself.  And above all, ENJOY YOURSELF.”

GRAMMY AWARD WINNER VANCE POWELL TO MIX DELTA GENERATORS NEW ALBUM

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It is now official, The Delta Generators will be heading to Nashville to have Multi Grammy award winning
producer/engineer/mixer Vance Powell mix their new album. Vance has engineered and mixed such artists as the White Stripes, Jack White, Beck, Buddy Guy, Chris Stapleton, Keb Mo, Sturgill Simpson, Rival Sons, North Mississippi Allstars, Kings of Leon and on and on and on. Vance has Grammy’s for artist including Buddy Guy and the Raconteurs (one of Jack Whites many bands). He also had a #1 album on billboard 200 last month with the Chris Stapleton’s album, “Traveler”.

It is a very lucky day to have this opportunity. It will take more funds to hire Vance, but the band wants to go all the way with this new album.

To help the Delta Generators get the album mixed, mastered and pressed, go to:
PLEDGEMUSIC.com/DELTAGENERATORS

Live for Hope: The new Karp-Foley CD Release to Benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.

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The Karp-Foley Band is excited to announce the release fo a double live CD to benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (www.OCRF.org). The double CD set, Live for Hope, features live performances by acclaimed blues/Americana musicians, Peter Karp and Sue Foley.

The September, 2015 release date coincides with Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The first CD in the set, Peter Karp’s The Arson’s Match, was originally broadcast live on Sirius Satellite Radio during a 2004 performance at the historic Bottom Line in New Tork City to a sold out audience. Backed by a glowing ensemble of consummate talent, Karp, a masterful slide guitarist and exhilarating vocalist, teams up with gruitarist Mick Taylor of the legendary Rolling Stones. Together, Karp and his Roadshow Band put forth an inspired performance of some of Karp’s finest original songs.

The second CD, Change by Sue Foley, is an awared-winning, live acoustic blues CD recorded in 2004 at Toronto’s preeminent listening room and live music venue, Hugh’s Room. Change is a notable departure from Foley’s distinguishable high energy, soulful blues-rock sound and reveals her softer and more playful side. This CD earned Foley three Maple Blues Awards including Recording of the Year. All proceeds from the sale and download of the CD set will benefit the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund in loving memory of Peter Karp’s late wife, Mary Lou Karp, who died from the disease in 2009.

“Mary Lou Bonney Karp was a remarkable writer, a poet, a daughter, a mother and my wife of 25 years. In June of 2009 she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. She died 9 months later on February 17, 2009. While she had vague and disconnected symptoms for years, no one saw it coming. She was misdiagnosed (which happens often) with a back problem. This CD is to honor her memory. Before Mary Lou became sick, we knew nothing about ovarian cancer. Now I know that it is a vicious, silent killer of woman and that the only way to stop it is to spread the word about early detection.” – Peter Karp

“We are really happy to be able to donate our two live CD’s to raise money and awareness for ovarian cancer research. Knowing the loss that Peter and his family suffered through brought the pain and destruction of this devastating desease to light. This is the beginning of our pursuit to give back through donating our music and organizaing concerts and fundraisers, with the ultimate goal of stamping out ovarian cancer for good.” – Sue Foley

Get your copy today; support a worthy cause:
OCRF.org Download Live4Hope

Eddy Clearwater Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

BLUES LEGEND EDDY CLEARWATER RECEIVES LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FROM BLUES BLAST MAGAZINE

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Legendary Chicago bluesman Eddy Clearwater will be honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award from Blues Blast online magazine. Clearwater will accept his award in person at the 9th Annual Blues Blast Music Awards Ceremonies on September 25th, 2015 at the Fluid Events Center in Champaign, Illinois.

Clearwater is an intense, flamboyant, blues-rocking showman. He’s equally comfortable playing the deepest, most heartfelt blues or rocking, good-time party music. DownBeat says, “Left-hander Eddy Clearwater is a forceful six-stringer…He lays down some gritty West Side shuffles and belly-grinding slow blues that highlight his raw chops, soulful vocals, and earthy, humorous lyrics.”

Between his slashing guitar work, his room-filling vocals, and his self-defined “rock-a-blues” style (a mix of blues, rock, rockabilly, country and gospel), Clearwater is among the very finest practitioners of the West Side Chicago blues. He won the Blues Music Award for Contemporary Blues – Male Artist of the Year in 2001. His 2003 CD, Rock ‘N’ Roll City (Bullseye Blues) was nominated for a Grammy Award.

WEST SIDE STRUT, released on Alligator in 2008, is an energized mix of West Side blues and old school rock injected with a tough, up-to-the-minute contemporary edge. Featuring some of Eddy’s hottest playing ever recorded, the CD burns with his stinging guitar and rough-and-ready vocals. Guests include Eddy’s old friends Lonnie Brooks, Jimmy Johnson, Billy Branch and Otis Clay as well as Ronnie Baker Brooks (who also produced) playing some scintillating guitar parts.

Born Edward Harrington on January 10, 1935 in Macon, MS, Eddy and his family moved to Birmingham, AL in 1948. With music from blues to gospel to country and western surrounding him from an early age, Eddy taught himself to play guitar (left-handed and upside down), and began performing with various gospel groups, including the legendary Five Blind Boys of Alabama. After moving to Chicago in 1950, Eddy stayed with an uncle and took a job as a dishwasher, saving as much as he could from his $37 a week salary. His first music jobs were with gospel groups playing in local churches. Through his uncles’s contacts, Eddy met many of Chicago’s blues stars. He fell deeper under the spell of the blues, and befriended Magic Sam, who would become one of Eddy’s closest friends and teachers.

By 1953, as Guitar Eddy, he was making a strong name for himself, working the South and West Side bars regularly. After hearing Chuck Berry in 1957, Eddy added that rock and roll element to his already searing blues style, creating a unique sound that defines him to this day. He recorded his first single, Hill Billy Blues, for his uncle’s Atomic H label in 1958 under the name Clear Waters (his manager at the time, drummer Jump Jackson, came up with the name as a play on Muddy Waters).

The name Clear Waters morphed into Eddy Clearwater, and Eddy worked the local circuit steadily throughout the 1950s, 1960s and into the 1970s. He found huge success in the 1970s among Chicago’s young rock ‘n’ roll fans, who responded to his individual brand of the blues, his rock and roll spirit and his high energy stage show.

His first full-length LP, 1980s The Chief was the initial release on Chicago’s Rooster Blues label. A number of records for various labels has kept him in-demand around the globe. His slicing guitar licks and “rock-a-blues” music — along with his uninhibited live show — give fans a dose of the real West Side Chicago blues played by a legendary blues master.

Zac Harmon

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Zac Harmon is an award-winning guitarist, organist, singer, and songwriter whose distinctive style combines the best of old-school soul-blues artist with modern lyrics and themes that bring the blues into a new century. Right Man, Right Now is contemporary music that proves just how alive and relevant the blues is today.

Harmon is one of the blues’ strongest live performers, thrilling fans everywhere from Memphis to Mumbai. With Right Man, Right Now he finally brings that excitement to a brand new CD, his bluesiest ever.

Addressing issues straight from today’s headlines, Zac presents them in a fresh original style built on the best blues tradition. And he has some incredibly talented musicians helping him – guests include Bobby Rush, Lucky Peterson, Anson Funderburgh and Mike Finnegan.

The Album provides definitive proof that Zac Harmon is indeed the right man to firmly establish all that blues can and should be right now in the second decade of the new millennium.

JJ Appleton & Jason Ricci

Official Website: jjappleton.com

TOUR DATES

The joining of forces between award winning blues harp master Jason Ricci and singer/songwriter/guitarist JJ Appleton is one of the most unexpected and exciting blues music releases of 2015.

Containing original songs that nod to Delta blues and roots history, the album stakes a claim in modern Americana authenticity to bring raw, powerful emotions and world class musicianship in an acoustic format. Ricci’s fiery harp performances blend perfectly with Appleton’s deep, wry, truthful songs and fierce resonator guitar skills.  The recording’s intensity is pushed even higher with upright bassists Tim Lefebvre (Tedeschi Trucks) and Neal Heidler (Eddie Harris) bringing fat-bottom grooves to the albums already supple tracks.

Appleton’s skill as a producer captures the charged atmosphere of the sessions, and with a “Dirty Memory” tours coming 2015/2016 fans can expect to see that energy and passion up close and personal.

Throughout Appleton’s varied musical career as a touring/recording artist and producer he has worked an eclectic roster including Keb ‘Mo, Kesha, Jamie Cullum, Ashford & Simpson, Maya Angelou and Leslie West.  JJ was signed to Universal/UK as a rock artist and has toured extensively throughout the US and UK. Appleton says, “My first concert was Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee, and soon after I witnessed the brilliant harp player Sredni Vollmer perform with Rick Danko. Those performances left a permanent mark that one day I would find a way to make an album and perform with a blues harp master.”

For years, Appleton has been a go to New York City session man, producer, bandleader and songwriter alongside members of Gov’t Mule, Tedeschi Trucks, Black Crowes, Lenny Kravitz and John Scofield bands. Now he steps back into the role of frontman alongside Ricci in this unique musical partnership.

With “Dirty Memory” Ricci and Appleton are keeping alive an American musical tradition, while bringing a 21st century sound and viewpoint to songs that speak to the heart and soul of Americana Blues.