Loose Blues News
In the Studio (and back to the beach): Toronto blueswoman Robin Banks has just returned to her Jamaican retreat following recording sessions at Lakewest Studio in Rhode Island which is owned and engineered by Duke Robillard’s manager, Jack Gaithier. The recording features Duke (who produced) on rhythm and lead guitar and his band members Brad Hallen on upright and electric bass, Mark Teixeira on drums, Bruce Bears on B-3, piano and vintage keys as well as baritone saxophonist Doug James, who now plays with Jimmie Vaughan.
Doug James and Robin slipped away to play a fundraising event in Westerly Rhode Island called “Blues For The Beach” at the historic Knickerbocker Cafe to raise funds to rebuild the beach that was damaged by Hurricane Sandy. Also at that event was former saxophonist for Roomful, Rich Lataille as well as the great vocalist and harmonica player Sugar Ray Norcia. Duke was quoted on Facebook saying “If there isn’t a hit song on Robin Banks new album it will be criminal. It’s that good, and I ain’t blowin’ smoke people!”
The yet unnamed album will be a mix of Soul, R&B, Jazz, Blues and a very sweet ballad about how Robin came to find her place to live in Toronto. Robin is planning a New England tour in the summer and will use Duke’s band and Doug James.
Canadian Blues in Switzerland: Blues Zeppelin which airs on Radio RaBe in Berne and Radio LoRa in Zurich (as well as WRFI community radio in Ithaca, NY) will debut a new feature called Canadian Blues Spotlight, hosted by James Doran, Producer & Host of Inside The Blues on DAWG FM.
Zeppelin host Mark Stenzler attended the recent Blues Summit and was blown away with the quality, depth and variety of Canadian Blues talent he saw there – most of whom he had not heard before. He is already playing a lot more Canadian artists on his program as a result. When James asked him if he would like to have a regular feature, hosted by him, spotlighting different Canadian artists for his Blues Zeppelin Shows he loved the idea – and the deal was struck.
Canadian Blues Spotlight will provide background information on the artists, what’s new in their lives (new CD releases, etc), upcoming tour dates (particularly if they’re going to be touring in Europe) – as well as playing a couple of their songs. Each Spotlight will run around 15 minutes during Mark’s 2 hour show. A different artist/band will be featured on each Show – 24 Shows per year. All Canadian Blues Spotlights will also be archived after broadcast on www.choosetheblues.ca where they can be listened to at any time.
Blues at Folk Alliance: Blues music was well represented at the Folk Alliance Conference in Toronto last month and the highlight was the TBS sponsored Blues Showcase with Harry Manx, Sojourners, Suzie Vinnick and the 24th Street Wailers. This show was open to the public and many local blues fans dropped in to Monarch’s Pub. Steve James hosted a very instructional guitar workshop and Brian’s Blues Campfire brought together a diverse group of players including Clayton Doley from Australia, UK’s Sam Lee, one of the “buzz acts” of the conference, and the highly respected multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Michael Jerome Browne. The blues surprise of the week-end was a duo from Germany, Georg Schroeter and the amazing harp player Marc Breitfelder. Here’s hoping they will make their way back to our town real soon.
2013 Blues Hall of Fame Inductees: The Blues Foundation announces the 2013 inductees for the Blues Hall of Fame, including soul blues singer Otis Clay, blues guitarists’ guitarist Earl Hooker, pianist Little Brother Montgomery, The Blue Yodeler Jimmie Rodgers, contemporary, progressive bluesman Joe Louis Walker, and Chicago guitarist Jody Williams.
Among the individuals recognized by The Blues Foundation for their behind-the-scenes contributions are: quintessential record promoter Dave Clark, producer, arranger and songwriter Henry Glover, and New Orleans studio magician Cosimo Matassa.
The book Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records by Rob Bowman is the sole literature entry into the Blues Hall of Fame this year.
These albums are being honored: Complete Recorded Works (Herwin,1975), also recorded as Texas Worried Blues (Yazoo, 1989) by Henry “Ragtime Texas” Thomas; More Real Folk Blues by Howlin’ Wolf (Chess, 1967); and Louis Jordan’s Greatest Hits by Louis Jordan (Decca, 1969).
The following singles will be inducted during the ceremony: “How Many More Years” by Howlin’ Wolf (Chess, 1951); “Canned Heat Blues” by Tommy Johnson (Victor, 1928); “Let the Good Times Roll” by Louis Jordan (Decca, 1946); “Mystery Train” by Little Junior [Parker]’s Blue Flames (Sun, 1953); and “Me and My Chauffeur Blues” by Memphis Minnie (OKeh, 1941).
The induction ceremony will be held Wednesday, May 8, at the Memphis Marriott Downtown in Memphis, Tennessee, the night before the 34th Blues Music Awards. With living musicians like B.B. King and Buddy Guy, and legends like Muddy Waters, the Blues Hall of Fame consists of blues music’s best and brightest stars.
Major funding is provided by ArtsMemphis and the Tennessee Arts Commission. The 34th Blues Music Awards and Blues Hall of Fame events are also sponsored by BMI, Catfood Records, Eagle Rock Entertainment, FedEx, First Tennessee Foundation, Legendary Rhythm & Blues Cruise, Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau, the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company and Sony/Legacy Records.
Classic of Blues Literature
Soulsville, U.S.A.: The Story of Stax Records, by Rob Bowman (Schirmer, 2003)
Classic of Blues Recording – Album
Complete Recorded Works/Texas Worried Blues — Henry
Louis Jordan’s Greatest Hits (Decca, 1969)
More Real Folk Blues — Howlin’ Wolf (Chess, 1967)
Classic of Blues Recording – Single or Album Track
Canned Heat Blues — Tommy Johnson (Victor, 1928)
How Many More Years — Howlin’ Wolf (Chess, 1951)
Let the Good Times Roll — Louis Jordan (Decca, 1946)
Me and My Chauffeur Blues — Memphis Minnie (OKeh, 1941)
Mystery Train — Little Junior [Parker]’s Blue Flames (Sun, 1953)
Individuals honoured will be Cosimo Matassa, Dave Clark and Henry Glover
Performers being inducted are Earl Hooker, Jimmie Rodgers, Jody Williams, Joe Louis Walker, Little Brother Montgomery and Otis Clay